Header image alt text

Joyce Clark Unfiltered

For "the rest of the story"

Christmas is for you

Posted by Joyce Clark on December 21, 2014
Posted in Holidays  | Tagged With: | 2 Comments

 

Christmas card 2First let me take this opportunity to wish you all a very Merry Christmas and Happy Hanukkah. It’s the weekend before Christmas day. All preparations are completed except for the cooking of our Christmas day feast. Jews and Christians alike carve out time during this weekend to worship and many will attend service or Mass on Christmas Eve or Christmas day.

This year, this season, I have been more reflective than ever before.  Perhaps that is what happens when you reach the 70’s, although I don’t feel that old.  I still feel as if I were in my 50’s. Thankfully mentally I remain as sharp as ever. Yet my legs, from time to time, remind me that I continue down the path of old age.

This year as I joined in the rituals of the season, baking, wrapping presents and listening to my favorite music, Mannheim Steamroller, I found myself reflecting on the stages of our lives.

The materialism of Christmas is truly for children. Remember when you were a child and the excitement of Christmas consumed you? You could barely stand to wait for Christmas morning and the anticipation of opening your presents with complete abandon. I was an ornery child and the bane of my Mother’s existence, to be sure. I would silently and surreptitiously search for my presents. I would always find the mother lode and would carefully open and reseal the Christmas wrapping to see if my wishes were fulfilled. Usually they were. One year my Mother got the best of me and hid our presents in a chest-style freezer that I never would have explored. That Christmas morning I noted her sly smile of satisfaction and I realized that She Who Knows Everything, knew that in years past I had found my presents but had failed to do so this one time.

As you moved into young adulthood it became a time of celebration, spending time with friends, boyfriends, girlfriends and not so much with family. You were spreading your wings, the world was yours and you were busy crafting your own unique identity. It’s the season of feel good and look good. The only material things you craved were cash, lots of it or something trendy and hip.

Your middle years became about family…your children and your spouse. It was a time to visit friends and family, take the kids to traditional Christmas events, shop til you drop, bake goodies with the kids, assemble the bikes and doll houses and wrap that pile of presents for the children. You are busy building traditions that your children will remember forever. You are busy, busy, busy and the true meaning of the season has slipped into the further recesses of your mind. Materialism leaves no room for spiritualism.

Suddenly a new kind of Christmas arrives. Perhaps you are retired. Your children have made lives for themselves and now there are grandchildren to spoil. Materially there is nothing you really need or want. You are at a stage in life where when you need something you simply go buy it. There is more satisfaction in giving to others. This becomes the time of your life that brings an appreciation for the real meaning of Christmas. You have earned the luxury of reflection and the realization that Christmas is really about God’s plan for an imperfect human-kind. What greater gift than to give His only Son to redeem us and to mend our souls.

You may not accept or even believe in God. Your beliefs are respected. But the joy of Christmas for many is in knowing that God gave his only Son for us. So, you see, Christmas really is for you and the greatest gift of this season that you will receive is the birth of our Savior, Jesus Christ.

© Joyce Clark, 2014

FAIR USE NOTICE

This site contains copyrighted material the use of which is in accordance with Title 17 U.S. C., Section 107. The material on this site is distributed without profit to those who have not always been specifically authorized by the copyright owner. We are making such material available in our efforts to advance understanding of environmental, political, human rights, economic, democratic, scientific and social justice issues, etc. We believe this constitutes a ‘fair use’ of any such copyrighted material as provided for in Section 107 of the US Copyright Law and who have expressed a prior interest in receiving the included information for research and educational purposes. For more information go to http://www.law.cornell.edu/uscode/17/107.shtml. If you wish to use copyrighted material from this site for purposes of your own that go beyond ‘fair use,’ you must obtain permission from the copyright owner.

It seems that Glendale’s City Clerk, Pam Hanna, is stressed this holiday season. Today, December 19, 2014 was the day of submission of recall petitions for Glendale Councilmember Gary Sherwood by the Recall Councilman Gary Sherwood Committee.

In her usual fashion Ms. Hanna made yet another election mistake. She formally notified everyone that the requisite number of petition signatures required was 3,851. Oops…wrong. The actual number of signatures required is 2,752. Apparently basic math is not her strong suit. Ms. Hanna made the rounds of visiting every councilmember in person with her mea culpa. She also sent out an SOS to all city departments asking for help to process the signatures. Here is her plea for help: GLendaleCityClerk&AlvarezOMCLetters-2pages_Page_1 How many signatures were turned in? The recall committee prior to their submittal counted 404 petition sheets. At 15 signatures per sheet the maximum total could be as high as 6,030 signatures. The City Clerk’s office counted 398 sheets x 15 signatures per sheet for a possible high total of 5,970. There’s that pesky math again. No matter. Whether it’s a possible 6,030 or 5,970 signatures turned in that is far more than the 2,752 signatures required.

In Sherwood’s run for council in 2012 he captured 1,615 votes. The total number of votes for all Sahuaro city council candidates totaled 4,005.  No matter what the final signature tally is it is clear that twice the number of registered voters signed the recall petition than voted for Sherwood in 2012 and they will be valid signatures. There is no doubt that the City of Glendale will be scheduling a recall election in 2015.

This recall effort is only one of the problems Sherwood faces. He ended his campaign with a balance of $1,330.51 on hand. In terms of running a recall campaign that amount will hardly do. It should also be noted of the $19,000 from his last campaign he loaned his campaign $8600 or nearly half of the money he raised. He may find it very difficult to obtain campaign funding this time around. It should also be noted that on 8/29/2014 his campaign paid $380 as a fine for his not signing the campaign finance report he submitted on 6/302014.

He still remains under investigation by the Arizona Attorney General’s office for alleged allegations of Open Meeting Law violations. His track record of following through on his campaign pledges has alienated him from his constituents.  He ran in opposition to the proposed casino and then was the swing vote to support it. He opposed making the temporary sales tax permanent and then supported it as a councilmember. Perhaps the issue that angered his constituency the most was his ardent advocacy of the Becker billboard proposal. He attempted to push it through not once but twice.

It is time for Mr. Sherwood to cut his losses and resign while his reputation is still fairly intact.

© Joyce Clark, 2014

FAIR USE NOTICE: This site contains copyrighted material the use of which is in accordance with Title 17 U.S. C., Section 107. The material on this site is distributed without profit to those who have not always been specifically authorized by the copyright owner. We are making such material available in our efforts to advance understanding of environmental, political, human rights, economic, democratic, scientific and social justice issues, etc. We believe this constitutes a ‘fair use’ of any such copyrighted material as provided for in Section 107 of the US Copyright Law and who have expressed a prior interest in receiving the included information for research and educational purposes. For more information go to http://www.law.cornell.edu/uscode/17/107.shtml. If you wish to use copyrighted material from this site for purposes of your own that go beyond ‘fair use,’ you must obtain permission from the copyright owner.

Former councilmember Norma Alvarez is certainly not leaving Glendale City Hall with a whimper. On November 20, 2014 she sent a letter off to the Arizona Attorney General’s Office with yet another allegation of an Open Meeting Law violation. I have heard that this complaint has legs.

In it she alleges that someone on Glendale city council after having received in executive session the infamous legal analysis of Glendale employee financial mismanagement then leaked the information to Paul Giblin of the Arizona Republic. Giblin and the Arizona Republic would not divulge the name of the leaker on city council. That is not surprising as the media routinely and rightly will not name their sources.

She goes on to contend that the City Manager, City Attorney and/or other Glendale city employees know the name of the leaker and to date they have failed to disclose the name in an effort to protect all who may have been involved. She makes the specific request of the AG’s office to investigate and to secure the name of the leaker because she has been accused of this violation. She does not name any of the councilmembers as the leaker. Ask yourselves which of the current crop has the reputation of being a media hound? Ask yourselves which of the councilmembers is already under investigation for other alleged Open Meeting Law violations?  Ask yourselves which of the councilmembers has Alvarez locked horns with on nearly every issue? Here is her letter: GLendaleCityClerk&AlvarezOMCLetters-2pages_Page_2 Ever since the new councilmembers, Sherwood, Chavira and Hugh were elected in November of 2012 there have been a string of allegations regarding alleged violations of the Open Meeting Law with one side or the other making complaints to the AG’s office.  These allegations have arisen because they are probably true. Remember the old adage, where there’s smoke there’s fire. But they have also arisen as a sign of the deep divisiveness on the council for the past two years. Council divisions erupted over major issues such as the casino, the sales tax increase becoming permanent and the Coyotes deal. The prevalent ethic among them seems to be if you can’t win the issue then there should be pay back. It has not been a comfortable place in which to work and the council made no bones about airing their dirty laundry publicly.

Will anything come of these AG investigations? Who knows? Many people hope so and think that this council attitude of take no prisoner has to stop. Will this new council of Weiers, Hugh, Sherwood, Chavira, Tolmachoff, Turner and Aldama rise above the current pettiness? Many think not and point to the lining up of two new camps with Sherwood, Chavira and Aldama on one side; and Hugh, Tolmachoff and Turner on the other; and the Mayor as the deciding vote on many issues.

© Joyce Clark, 2014

FAIR USE NOTICE: This site contains copyrighted material the use of which is in accordance with Title 17 U.S. C., Section 107. The material on this site is distributed without profit to those who have not always been specifically authorized by the copyright owner. We are making such material available in our efforts to advance understanding of environmental, political, human rights, economic, democratic, scientific and social justice issues, etc. We believe this constitutes a ‘fair use’ of any such copyrighted material as provided for in Section 107 of the US Copyright Law and who have expressed a prior interest in receiving the included information for research and educational purposes. For more information go to http://www.law.cornell.edu/uscode/17/107.shtml. If you wish to use copyrighted material from this site for purposes of your own that go beyond ‘fair use,’ you must obtain permission from the copyright owner.

A little of this…

Randy Miller, a former Barrel district Glendale City Council candidate, made complaints to the city regarding a political action committee (PAC) called Revitalize Arizona. Revitalize Arizona is the pipefitters union creation made for one only express purpose…to participate in the Glendale City Council district elections on behalf of specific candidates, one of whom was Bart Turner, the newly elected representative of the Barrel district.

Former candidate Miller viewed the City Clerk’s site to check Revitalize Arizona’s registration as a political action committee (PAC). There was nothing. In addition he discovered Revitalize Arizona did not identify itself on the signs with the acknowledgement “Paid for by…” In accordance with the rules of the electoral process and so he filed complaints with the City Clerk’s office.

To this day Revitalize Arizona has still not filed its expenditures with the city. What were Mr. Miller’s complaints worth to the city? His complaints produced $300 in fines.  It’s a mere slap on the wrist and certainly not a deterrent to future bad acts.

What Revitalize Arizona actions did Michael Bailey, Glendale’s City Attorney, opine to be worth only a $300 fine? He said in a letter to the Torres law firm representing Revitalize Arizona, “Reasonable cause exists that Revitalize Arizona was not a registered political committee in Glendale as required by A.R.S. §16-902.01(E) and A.R.S. §16-912(A) when it had posted campaign signs in the City of Glendale” and “Reasonable cause exists that Revitalize Arizona failed to include requisite statutory disclaimer information on the campaign signs in violation of A. R. S. §16-912(B) and A.R.S §16-912(D).” Bailey went on to conclude, “A.R.S. §16-912(E) provides that ‘(a)person who violates this section is subject to a civil penalty of up to three times the cost of producing and distributing the literature or advertisement’.” Bailey fined them $300. The penalty was supposed to be a triple cost fine for the signs but Bailey valued the signs at $100. What a joke.

Having been a candidate I can tell you campaign signs are not cheap and those signs easily cost in excess of $1700. The fine should have been $5,000. A fine of that magnitude might have made the bad actors in Revitalize Arizona sit up and take notice and cause them to clean up their act in the future.

The Revitalize Arizona attorneys couldn’t respond quickly enough. Whoa…pay a $300 fine and get the heck out of Dodge. They dodged a bullet, high fiving all the way.

Just as in real life, in the City of Glendale, it’s a matter of who you are and who you know.

A little of that…

Have you seen the recently released photo of the new Glendale City Council? I’d be asking for a retake. The City Council is always told to wear dark or black clothing. This time the  instruction produced a group of undertakers. See if you can match the queries below with the right elected official: new council 2015

  • Which one looks like a member of the mafia?
  • Which one needs a new suit that fits?
  • Which one looks like a prissy preacher?
  • Which one looks like Icabod Crane?
  • Which one didn’t follow instructions and wear a dark color?
  • Which one didn’t follow instructions and fold hands in front?
  • Which one is smiling as if there’s a secret to be known?

Glendale certainly got a little of this and a little of that. Let’s see what the recipe produces.

I stand corrected…

I received a phone call from a “Mr. Sims” claiming to be a fire fighter in another jurisdiction. It was obvious he was calling on behalf of City Manager Brenda Fischer. He made the point that Brenda Fischer was not the City Manager when now Assistant City Manager Julie Frisoni sent her emails regarding the pending Coyotes deal to selected councilmembers. He was correct. Dick Bowers was Acting City Manager and Brenda Fischer was hired right after Frisoni sent those emails.

Those emails have since been submitted to the Attorney General’s Office and are part of an investigation into allegations of Open Meeting Law violations by current councilmembers Sherwood and Chavira and former councilmembers Knaack and Martinez.

Ms. Fischer may not have been aware of the emails when she first assumed her position but she most certainly is aware of them now. The question raised remains valid, what will she do to root out “off the reservation” actions by her staff, especially those of Frisoni?

       

© Joyce Clark, 2014

FAIR USE NOTICE

This site contains copyrighted material the use of which is in accordance with Title 17 U.S. C., Section 107. The material on this site is distributed without profit to those who have not always been specifically authorized by the copyright owner. We are making such material available in our efforts to advance understanding of environmental, political, human rights, economic, democratic, scientific and social justice issues, etc. We believe this constitutes a ‘fair use’ of any such copyrighted material as provided for in Section 107 of the US Copyright Law and who have expressed a prior interest in receiving the included information for research and educational purposes. For more information go to http://www.law.cornell.edu/uscode/17/107.shtml. If you wish to use copyrighted material from this site for purposes of your own that go beyond ‘fair use,’ you must obtain permission from the copyright owner.

%d bloggers like this: