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Joyce Clark Unfiltered

For "the rest of the story"

It has been 17 years and 148 days since the city’s pledge to build the West Branch Library. Many who have visited Westgate couldn’t help but notice the fountains spilling into the tiny lake on the south side of Glendale Town lake 3Avenue. Well, poof…it’s gone. With the development of the newest addition to Westgate, Dave & Buster’s and its requisite parking needs, this lake which the city deeded to Westgate was removed. It was a nice, upscale amenity…but heck…since when do those who live on the west side of the valley deserve an amenity?

Becker Billboards is coming back with a vengeance. Remember their failed attempt, supported by Councilmembers Sherwood, Chavira and Aldama to plant billboards along the Loop 101 and Bell Road? It was scheduled to be reheard by the Planning & Zoning Commission this fall. However, betting that a lot of people are out of town during the summer Becker was successful in moving it up to the Planning & Zoning agenda for next Thursday, June 4th at 6pm at City Hall in Council Chambers.

No matter what the P&Z recommendation is it will go before the city council for another vote on Tuesday, June 23rd at 6pm at City Hall in Council Chambers. (Note that citizen comments are again scheduled at the start of the council meeting.) If the Becker Billboards are allowed it will set precedent for additional billboards at other locations throughout the city. The city has worked hard to eliminate the visual blight associated with billboards. Allowing Becker Billboards is, frankly, taking a step backward.

Publicly the record has been Sherwood, Chavira and Aldama support the billboards. Weiers, Tolmachoff and Hugh oppose the billboards. The deciding vote will be that of Councilmember Bart Turner. Thus far, he has impressed as being reasonable and genuinely interested in hearing the opinions of Glendale residents. I urge you to send emails expressing your opinion to the mayor and council at:

I would also urge you to send emails to the Planning & Zoning Commission members. Please send their emails to: tritz@glendaleaz.com . It is his responsibility to copy all emails directed to P&Z Commissioners and to make sure that they receive them in their packets. Please make sure you address your opinion to the P&Z Commissioners. Lastly I urge you to attend one or both meetings. You do not have to speak unless you wish but your presence sends a very strong message.

On May 29, 2015 the city council voted to approve the calling of a Recall Election for Councilmember Gary Sherwood on November 3, 2015. However a funny thing happened on the way to the Recall Election. Are you ready for this? By state law after a sitting elected official is notified of his/her recall (done by the City Clerk on May 12, 2015) the person being recalled has 5 days (excluding weekends and holidays) to resign.

Sherwood chose not to resign. The official is also notified that he/she has 10 days (INCLUDING weekends and holidays) to provide a 200 word statement of defense that will appear on the ballot. Sherwood’s 220 word statement was due on or before May 22, 2015. Sherwood submitted his written statement on May 26, 2015. Oops…Sherwood appears not to be able to follow directions well.

On May 28, 2015 he received a letter from the City Clerk REJECTING his 200 word statement as not being offered to the clerk’s office within the proscribed time limit. Can you believe it? It’s like a remark made to me regarding his failure to be timely. The prosecution (recall committee) presents its case and the defense (Sherwood) is asked to present its and it says, ‘none.’ Talk about self-inflicted wounds…

In his latest e-newsletter Sherwood has announced that he is putting together a citizen advisory committee. Why now after nearly 3 years in office? Because he finally seems to recognize that he is going to lose his seat on council. One of the habitual complaints against him has been his arrogant dismissal of citizen voices. Unfortunately it’s too little and too late.

For those interested in the gristly details of the recall election in the Sahuaro district the first day to file nomination petitions is Aug. 5, 2015 (90 days before); the last day is Sept. 4, 2015 (60 days before); and candidate nomination packets available after June 1, 2015. People can register to vote by Oct. 5, 2015; Early Ballots go out Oct 7, 2015; and the Recall Election Day is Nov. 3, 2015. If I were anyone interested in running against Sherwood I would be forming a Political Action Committee (PAC) immediately and start raising money now.

© Joyce Clark, 2015

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 has been 17 years and 147 days since the city’s pledge to build the West Branch Library.

We all know about the billions the NFL (as a non-profit organization) made from the Super Bowl. It is estimated that the city lost somewhere between $1 and $1.6 million dollars. It turns out it was lucrative for some city employees working overtime for these major events. A total of 305 city employees were credentialed for the Super Bowl. They did not have assigned seats but that would not have prevented them from being in attendance. Many of them worked. The guys and girls on the line – 36 firefighters and 92 police officers – worked hard that day. Some credentialed employees in attendance if truth be told didn’t work at all but certainly were in attendance.

Fire Department numbers and figures provided under a Public Record Request reflect combined Pro Bowl and the Super Bowl figures as the department did not track each of these events separately. However the Fire Department had 105 of its employees credentialed for the Super Bowl (Please note: The Public Records Request provided names of all credentialed employees. I chose not to use them):

  • Fire Chief -1
  • Deputy Chief -1
  • Deputy Fire Chief-1
  • Executive Assistant Fire Chief-1
  • Deputy Chief of Logistics-1
  • Assistant Chief of Operations-1
  • Assist Chief of Logistics & Personnel-1
  • Deputy Chief of EMS-1
  • Fire Marshall-1
  • Assistant Fire Marshall-1
  • Deputy Fire Marshall-3
  • Division Chief of Communications-1
  • Division Manager-1
  • Resource Manager-1
  • Inspector-1
  • Battalion Chief-2
  • Acting Captain EMS-1
  • MD-1
  • Administrative Support-5
  • Administrative Supervisor-1
  • Firefighter-36
  • Fire Engineer-11
  • Fire Captain-29
  • Cadet-2
  • Recruit-1

Rates of pay differed for the top five earners encompassing all 3 major events (Fiesta Bowl, Pro Bowl and Super Bowl)  and each earned (again names were provided and I chose not to use them):

  • Fire Captain at 148.75 hours for $11,339.21 (Overtime at $76.23 per hour)
  • Fire Captain at 138.50 hours for $10,939.73(Overtime at $78.98 per hour)
  • Fire Captain at 98 hours for $7,235.34 (Overtime at $73.83 per hour)
  • Fire Engineer at 152 hours for $7,081.68 (Overtime at $46.13 per hour)
  • Division Manager at 19 hours for $4,180.00 (Overtime at $220 per hour)

Police Department numbers and figures provided under a Public Record Request do reflect the Super Bowl figures alone. The Police Department had 190 of its employees credentialed for the Super Bowl (Please note: the Public Records Request provided names of all employees. I chose not to use them):

  • Police Chief-1
  • Assistant Chief-2
  • Lieutenant-9
  • Commander-6
  • Detective-1
  • Sergeant-18
  • SWAT Sergeant-3
  • Sergeant EOD-1
  • EOD Officer-4
  • Sergeant K9-1
  • PIO Lieutenant-1
  • PIO Sergeant-1
  • PIO Officer-3
  • Detention Manager-1
  • Detention Officer-2
  • OIT Officer-1
  • Check In-5
  • Dispatcher-3
  • Communications-6
  • SWAT Officer-24
  • Officer-92
  • K9 Officer-5

The rate of pay for these Sergeants was $45.22 per hour (Again I chose not to use names):

  • Sergeant for 123 hours at $5,561.25
  • SWAT Sergeant for 70 hours at $3,165.27
  • SWAT Sergeant for 66 hours at $2,984.40
  • Sergeant for 60 hours at $2,713.09
  • SWAT Sergeant for 55 hours at $2,486.99

Of the total of 305 City of Glendale employees credentialed for the Super Bowl 10 were not Public Safety employees. Some of the more notable non Public Safety credentialed employees were:

  • Former City Manager Brenda Fischer
  • Former Assistant City Manager Julie Frisoni
  • Current Assistant City Manager Jennifer Campbell
  • Intergovernmental Director Brent Stoddard
  • Former Communications Director Julie Watters
  • Development Services Director Sam McAllen
  • Program Administrator of Economic Development Jean Moreno

When asked under a Public Records Request to verify those employees who actually used their credentials this was the city response, “The city does not have any records to produce that would be responsive to this request. The credentials provided did require the user to scan in and out upon entering the hard perimeter of the stadium; however, the scanning equipment used did not belong to the city, nor was the city provided with any reports or other information about city employee scans.” How about that? The city doesn’t know but presumably the NFL does.

The city’s designated 22 member Operational Planning Team for the Super Bowl was comprised of the following employees:

  • Richard Bradshaw – Police
  • Cathy Colbath – Public Works
  • Justine Cornelius – Building Safety
  • Chris DeChant – Fire
  • Trevor Ebersole – Traffic
  • Walter Fix – Airport
  • Patty Frey – Fire
  • Jon Froke – Planning
  • Julie Frisoni – Communications/Asst. City Manager
  • Anthony Gavalyas – Fire
  • Joe Hengemuehler – Communications
  • Tamara Hicks – Licensing
  • Charles Jenkins – Fire
  • Matt Lively – Police
  • Sam McAllen – Code Enforcement
  • Jean Moreno – Economic Development
  • Tabitha Perry – Planning
  • Lorraine Pino- Convention Bureau
  • Claire Smith – Management Aide
  • Kristen Stephenson – Economic Development
  • Brent Stoddard – Intergovernmental Relations
  • Julie Watters – Communications

Quite a few of the members of this committee are department heads and even directors of departments. In city hierarchy their time was very valuable in terms of pay. Yet the city never tracked their hours of planning nor counted their hours of meeting as an identified cost incurred by the city for the Super Bowl. The same can be said of the 16 member Public Information Officers group comprised of the following:

  • Tracy Breeden – Police
  • Jackie Cole – Police
  • Ronald Hart – Fire
  • Joe Hengemuehler – Communications
  • Tamra Ingersoll – Communications
  • Sam McAllen – Code Enforcement
  • Jean Moreno – Economic Development
  • Jay O’Neil – Police
  • Robin Phillips – Communications
  • Laurie Sapp – Media Center
  • Daniel Senese – Fire
  • Rochelle Thomas – Police
  • Daniel Valenzuela – Fire
  • David Vidaure – Police
  • Julie Watters – Communications
  • Michael Young – Fire

Jean Moreno, Sam McAllen, Joe Hengemuehler and Julie Watters worked within both groups. These 2 groups were made up of 34 employees some of whom are high salaried employees. What remains troubling is that no accounting of their time and talent is tracked by the city yet they are expenses that the city incurred to host the Super Bowl.

Whatever figure the city claims as its cost to host the Super Bowl is bogus as long as all costs are not tracked. Employee time and wages are one component of the cost. What about equipment used? Police and fire vehicles, sanitation trucks, transportation equipment, etc. the city used? What about O&M costs for these vehicles? What about other equipment or personnel I wasn’t wise enough to ask for in attributing costs? Although my Public Record Requests were as specific and detailed as I could make them there were sure to be items I never thought of including. As we all know if you don’t specifically ask, you won’t get it. The city is not going to volunteer to give up information.

There you have it. Based on the information provided by the city I did my best to calculate expenses and revenues for hosting the Super Bowl. After all is said and done, Interim Assistant City Manager Tom Duensing’s figure of $2.2 million is incorrect. Add another million to two million dollars and you would be in the ball park. Perhaps the city will take note and if there should ever be another Super Bowl in Glendale city administrators will make every effort to track ALL costs not just the most visible – Public Safety. The city loses money owning the spring training ball park and the arena. Should it consciously continue to lose money hosting the Super Bowl and other major events? Perhaps it’s time to revisit any and all contracts associated with these major events as a means of city loss prevention. We love hosting them but the taxpayers of Glendale should not have to pay for them. It is incumbent upon the city to insure that all event promoters pay their fair share to alleviate the burden of loss the city continues to experience.

By the way, the city in its city council meeting of May 26, 2015 refunded $3 million dollars to AZSTA (Arizona Sports and Tourism Authority) in sales tax. That sales tax would have gone a long way to covering the loss sustained by the city. What’s wrong with this picture?

© Joyce Clark, 2015

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 has been 17 years and 146 days since the city’s pledge to build the West Branch Library.

I salute the men and women of the Glendale Fire Department. You, time after time, demonstrate your compassion, professionalism and integrity every time you answer an emergency call. Your genuine care for the people you serve is evident…especially the children, the little ones. Thank you for your service. I and every Glendale citizen appreciate what you do.

You work hard but you are paid well for your knowledge and expertise. You probably think that it is not enough and perhaps it isn’t. Due to your schedule of one day on and two days off many of you have second jobs or are business owners. It is something that nearly every other employee working a traditional 5 day a week job does not have the luxury of doing.

As a former councilmember and now private citizen of Glendale whatever concerns I have had or do have about the policies of fire service delivery have never been about you but they have been about the union that represents you and some of the goals and the tactics the union uses.

 I go nuts when in reviewing fire’s pay for major events such as this past Super Bowl and I see some fire department employees earning $220 an hour in overtime pay. I’m sorry but I think that is outrageous. There are many other professions in which their members earn far less than $220 an hour in overtime pay. It breeds a lack of sympathy among the general public.

The Glendale fire union’s latest stunt was averted by councilmembers who realized the fragility of Glendale’s current budget situation at their city council meeting of May 26, 2015. Sherwood and Chavira pressed to use reserve funds but they did not prevail. Sherwood is supportive because he needs all the help he can get in facing his recall election. Chavira is a Phoenix firefighter and has an obligation to support anything the fire union wants.

When Glendale residents picked up the Glendale Republic of May 23, 2015 the headline screamed Fire department understaffing stirs concerns in an article by Matthew Casey. It reflected a deliberate strategy by Joe Hester, President of the Glendale chapter of the fire union, (who really runs the department) to use scare tactics to get additional revenue now…immediately…to expand the fire department. Hester said, “It seems pretty obvious there is a crisis by any way you measure it. Our folks are extremely disappointed in the budget process.” Here is the link: http://www.azcentral.com/story/news/local/glendale/2015/05/22/glendale-fire-department-understaffed/27713737/ .

The most telling statistic in the article was provided by Glendale Fire Chief Mark Burdick. He offered Glendale Fire Department response times for 90 percent of calls by year:

  • 2010 8 minutes 11 seconds
  • 2011 8 minutes 10 seconds
  • 2012 8 minutes 6 seconds
  • 2013 8 minutes 12 seconds
  • 2014 8 minutes 12 seconds

So where is the crisis? Today’s response time is the same response time as in the previous 5 years. Another fact often ignored is that Glendale is one of ten cities in the state accredited by the non-profit organization, The Center for Public Safety Excellence. Glendale would not have received its accreditation if its response times were not acceptable. This agency is responsible for accrediting individuals and agencies internationally. It is a much coveted accreditation and Glendale is proud to have measured up to its criteria. Do you really think Glendale would have received its accreditation if its response times were not acceptable?

The statistic Chief Burdick provided is telling for another reason. Now that he is soon-to-be retired as Fire Chief he has begun to tell it like it is. As a councilmember 5 or 6 years ago Chief Burdick and I had a conversation about the union and its influence within the department. There was much he wanted to say but he was obviously reluctant to speak freely about the union and its influence and he refrained. I could sense that he was embarrassed that he could not speak freely.

The purpose of this article released just before the council meeting was to pressure the city council to change its budget strategy and to use general fund contingency or unappropriated fund balance to purchase more equipment and to hire more personnel immediately.  Let’s look at some facts not clearly addressed in the article:

  • Fact #1 – Glendale is experiencing an increased call volume. Why? Glendale’s population has barely increased and in fact, Glendale is anticipated to lose state shared revenue because its population growth is low compared to other Valley cities. Much of its increased call volume are responses due to Automatic Aid.
  • Fact #2 – Glendale is a member of the Valley-wide automatic aid system. If the closest fire station is busy and Glendale is the next closest, Glendale is dispatched to handle the call out of its city. The Republic article acknowledged that “Glendale responded about 3,300 more times to calls in Phoenix and Peoria than those cities responded to Glendale combined.
  • Fact #3 – Glendale uses overtime to make up for its increased call volume. It is insane to send a large truck with 4 personnel to medical calls when 80% to 90% of its calls are medical. There are other strategies such as 2 person ambulances being employed right now, this very minute, to respond to emergency medical calls. It’s time for Glendale to adopt one of them.

Shame on the fire union for attempting to scare people into giving them the financial resources they want right now.  Shame on the fire union for attempting to expand its empire rather than looking at other strategies for response to medical calls.

No one asked the question: The fire department’s budget comes from the city’s general fund. It has been acknowledged that they want an additional $2 to $3 million and that does not include the additional monies needed to pay the salaries and benefits for more personnel annually. What department in the general fund do they want to cut by $2 to $3 million? What other city service are they willing to sacrifice to meet their needs right now?

In response over the next few months the council will take a measured look at the entire issue of adequate resources for public safety and that includes the police department. Five of the councilmembers did not rush to judgment as Sherwood and Chavira pressed them to do.  They realize that there is a problem but they were not ready to sacrifice other city services to give the fire union what it demanded. They also realize that there is no quick fix. It will take several years to implement a viable solution. The men and women of the Glendale fire department want what is best for their city. Too bad their union is not listening to them.

© Joyce Clark, 2015

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 has been 17 years and 145 days since the city’s pledge to build the West Branch Library.

On May 23, 2015 the Tohono O’odham Nation published the results of their May 23, 2015 election for all leadership positions within the Nation. Being far more circumspect than we “white eyes” there are no vote totals only a certified announcement of the winners for Chair and Vice Chair and the various districts that comprise the TO Nation. The new Chairperson is Edward D. Manuel and the new Vice Chairperson is Verlon M. Jose. Here is the link: http://www.tonation-nsn.gov/uploads/announcement/General%20Election%20results%20-%20T.O.Nation%202015.pdf . Newly elected Chairman Manuel previously served as Tribal Chairperson from 1995 to 2003.

How will this election affect the temporary casino in Glendale? Probably not much. Events are in play that are yet to be decided such as the 9th Circuit Court case and the congressional Keep the Promise Act of 2015 yet to be voted upon by the full House and Senate. Then there is the State of Arizona’s decision to deny a gambling license for the new casino.

Ned Norris Jr.’s reputation took a big hit over the Glendale casino issue. He is viewed by many of his sister tribes as having lied to them during the 2002 campaign to pass the voter approved State Gaming Compact. His demeanor in dealing with Glendale has been generally very abrasive. As the face of the Tohono O’odham Nation he appeared to be arrogant and rather uncompromising.

This result could have a far greater effect upon Councilmember Gary Sherwood and the Recall Election he faces this November. Sherwood and Norris were very closely aligned and in fact, testified together in support of the casino at Senate Indian Affairs Committee hearings. There is probably an expectation by Sherwood that after all that he has done to further their agenda that they owe him. However, the Tohono O’odham got what they wanted out of Sherwood and now he is just negative baggage. He may not get a healthy dose of their financial support that he appears to accept as his due for his recall campaign.

On to another note. Mayor Jerry Weiers announced on May 21, 2015 at a Glendale Chamber of Commerce “Business after Hours” event that he is seeking reelection as mayor. It certainly wasn’t done with any fanfare or press conference. Rather his announcement came in the form of a tweet. Oh well, if he and his campaign manager thinks that it does the job, so be it.

He is sure to have one or more challengers. Look for Jamie Aldama, Gary Sherwood or someone completely out of the blue. Let’s hope he is challenged for that puts pressure on a candidate to lay out goals and expectations. It helps the voter to be better informed.

His first term was generally unspectacular…no major initiatives, no major goals other than care taking of existent government. That’s not a bad thing but one would hope that he might express his vision for Glendale as well as his priorities for its future. No matter what the future for Jerry Weiers or any opposition he may face I wish him and any challengers well. Let the political games begin!

© Joyce Clark, 2015

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 has been 17 years and 140 days since the city’s pledge to build the West Branch Library.

For the first time ever at the May 26, 2015 city council meeting the council will vote to set a recall election date of November 3, 2015. Councilmember Sherwood has got to be desperate. From the number of Sahuaro district registered voters willing and eager to sign a petition calling for his recall is a pretty clear indicator that he cannot win.

Instead of realizing his ambition to become Glendale’s next mayor he faces the humiliating prospect of a recall against him. Desperate people do desperate things. I am convinced that he, and most likely his strongest supporter, the Glendale Fire Union, will attempt some last ditch, legal maneuver to delay the election.  I wouldn’t put it past them. A legal effort to delay the election may cause some Sahuaro district voters to not participate if they know the regular election for that seat occurs in November of 2016. Sherwood hints of this prospect,“if there is this supposed ground swell of dissatisfaction with me, I’m up for reelection next nine months later in August ’16.”

Here is the link to the May 19, 2015 edition of the Glendale Star:  http://www.glendalestar.com/news/article_b6d4fd24-fe45-11e4-86a1-6f00d1c2d6ea.html

In an article written by Darrel Jackson entitled Sherwood faces recall, Sherwood states, “I’m very proud of my record and I have extended an inordinate amount of energy hoping to cover for the lack of leadership that has existed with my fellow policy makers these nearly past two and a half past years.” If I were the mayor or his fellow councilmembers I would be quite angry with Sherwood’s trashing of their performance. This is one seemingly arrogant fellow believing that he is Superman saving Glendale from 6 Jesters.

Sherwood in the Jackson article goes on to say , “he helped negotiate an agreement with the tribe (Tohono O’odham) worth more than $26 million for Glendale over 20 years.” He shouldn’t be quite so proud of that fact. That very same land had it not become a reservation and had been privately developed as offices, would have generated an estimated $4 to $5 million a year in various taxes. Since when is a little over a million dollars a year better than 4 or 5 million dollars a year?

Sherwood’s commentary in the Jackson article demonstrates that when Sherwood is backed into a corner, it seems he can be quite vicious as he blames the current council for the resignation of former City Manager Brenda Fischer (his buddy) and Assistant City Manager Julie Frisoni (another buddy). The current rumor is that Sherwood has hired Julie Frisoni’s new consulting firm as his campaign consultant. That shouldn’t surprise anyone as it appears that Sherwood met often with Frisoni on city business that met his agenda. We can add Frisoni to the list of supporters that appear to include the Glendale Fire Union, Mark Becker of Becker Billboards and Jason Rose of the Rose Law Group.

Look for Sherwood and his supporters to file something to delay the election before the council May 26th meeting and vote. How creative can they be? I expect we’ll find out shortly.

© Joyce Clark, 2015

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 has been 17 years and 139 days since the city’s pledge to build the West Branch Library.

The cost to host the Super Bowl is estimated at $3.4 million to $4.1 million dollars. Let’s take a look at the revenue earned by the city. The oft touted public mentioning of Glendale as the host city will not be considered. It is an intangible that cannot be quantified. It has been my experience as a councilmember when the city hosted its first Super Bowl in 2008 that whatever publicity there was did not attract any new business to Glendale. Public safety will not be considered. The costs and reimbursements to and for public safety have been related in a previous blog. Instead we will focus on any revenue earned by any Glendale department.

My Public Records Request generated the following information related to revenue earned by the city:

  • The Glendale Media Center provided figures that reflect both the Pro Bowl and the Super Bowl. It seems reasonable to attribute 40% to the Pro Bowl and 60% to the Super Bowl. Total revenue earned less expenses was $8,480.57. Attributing 40% of the revenue earned to the Pro Bowl revenue was $3,392.23. Attributing 60% of the revenue earned to the Super Bowl was $5,088.34.
  • Planning Review (all departments) submitted a figure of $23,297.94 as revenue earned.
  • Permits earned $36,129.39 in revenue to the city.
  • Total Airport earned revenue for the Super Bowl was $12,686.00.

Super Bowl revenue earned as reported by the city for the above areas totaled $77,201.67.

That leaves the burning question of sales tax revenues earned by the city. City provided sales tax figures for January, February and March of 2014 and 2015 are:

City Sales Tax Revenue

Category January 2014 February 2014 March 2014
Retail sales $9,972,625.07 $5,637,641.32 $6,051,941.00
Contracting 745,079.38 518,696.33 616,690.00
Rentals 1,288,183.21 1,231,427.59 1,198,958.00
Utilities 601,681.64 583,784.06 530,215.00
Telecom/cable TV 405,525.87 416,381.31 448,315.00
Restaurant/Bar 1,495,519.46 1,323,988.20 1,308,653.00
Amusement 273,379.62 164,735.96 **
Other 558,426.02 445,446.71 1,116,070.00
TOTAL $15,335,417.00 $9,905,713.90 $11,271,212.00
  January 2015 February 2015 March 2015
Retail sales $9,372,364.50 $5,907,360.87 $6,747,767.00
Contracting 875,261.45 364,980.35 313,977.00
Rentals 1,491,967.04 1,202,529.74 1,324,516.00
Utilities 550,498.45 652,889.28 533,143.00
Telecom/cable TV 413,887.84 399,566.79 378,533.00
Restaurant/Bar 1,672,493.84 1,470,676.34 1,795,488.00
Amusement 313,548.98 110,242.04 **
Other 626,308.30 648,248.08 3,702,783.00
TOTAL $15,316,326.00 $10.756,493.00 $14,796,226.00

Total revenues for 3 months (Jan. – Feb. – Mar.)

Year 2014 Year 2015
$36,512,342.90 $40,869,045.00

** You will note that the city supplied no figures for the Amusement category for March of 2014 and 2015. I requested the March 2014 and 2015 seperately and received the following with the figures provided: “The requested information is included below with the exception that the category of Amusements has been combined into the category labeled Other.  Due to laws regarding taxpayer confidentiality, the information on Amusements had to be aggregated.  Therefore, the Other category includes Amusements, Hotel/Motel, Use Tax,  Printing, Publishing, Advertising, Jet Fuel, and other small dollar categories.” When I asked for a further explanation of this new practice the explanation offered by Ms. Vicki Rios, Glendale’s Acting Finance Director (now that Tom Duensing has been named as Interim Assistant City Manager replacing Julie Frisoni) was: “Mrs. Clark, 

“Section 21.1-450 (a) of the Glendale City Code states in part, “Except as specifically provided, it shall be unlawful for any official or employee of the City to make known information obtained pursuant to this Chapter concerning the business financial affairs or operations of any person.” 

“We take our obligation to protect taxpayer information very seriously.  During the month of March 2015, the mix and volume of taxpayer transactions in the Amusement category was such that if we were to disclose that category separately it would compromise the confidentiality of one or more taxpayers.  Therefore, we had to aggregate the category with other items for that month.  Because the taxpayer base and volume of transactions changes monthly, we evaluate each request independently.  Therefore, we were able to provide that information in the prior months.” The Amusement category would include sales tax receipts related to the Pro Bowl and Super Bowl.

January sales tax reflects December; February sales tax reflects January; and March reflects February. That is because sales tax is reported and paid in the month following the actual sales.

At first blush, when looking at the total sales tax reported for Jan. – Feb. – Mar. in 2014 and 2015 the first inclination is to say the $4,356,702.10 increase year over year is due to the Super Bowl.

Not so fast. There are mitigating factors to be considered. Tom Duensing, in his May 19, 2015 presentation to the city council on sales tax, stated that much of the increase is due to growth within the city. He indicated that new businesses have located in Glendale and they contributed to the sales tax revenue increase. In fact, Tanger Outlets grew substantially. Since Glendale does not publicly further refine its sales tax receipts the assumption is that an estimated $500,000 of that sales tax increase can be attributed to Tanger Outlet growth. If $500,000 is subtracted from the $4,356,702.10 year over year increase the figure is now $3,856,702.100 in sales tax revenue that can be attributed to all 3 major events: the Fiesta Bowl, the Pro Bowl and the Super Bowl.

Using the 40%/60% assumption, 40% can be attributed to the Fiesta Bowl and the Pro Bowl arriving at a figure of $1,542,680.80 in sales tax revenue. The Super Bowl sales tax figure at 60% is assumed to be $2,314,021.20. Add to this figure $77,201.67 in direct revenue the city received for the Super Bowl and the assumed figure for revenue earned by the city for the Super Bowl is $2,391,222.87.

Mr. Duensing budgeted $2.2 million dollars for the Super Bowl. Under his scenario the city only lost $191, 222.87 to host the Super Bowl. However the assumption is that the Super Bowl costs ranged from a low of an estimated $3.4 million to $4.1 million dollars. Based upon the figures used in this and the previous Super Bowl blogs the estimated loss to the city to host the 2015 Super Bowl ranges from a low of $1,008,777.13 to a high of $1,608,777.13.

The city admittedly had no mechanism to track all costs associated with hosting the Super Bowl and while it may have the figures of sales tax directly attributable to the Super Bowl it does not publicly divulge them. It should be of concern to all Glendale taxpayers that the city does not track each and every Super Bowl related expense. Based upon available expense and revenue figures the city was able to provide an estimated loss of $1 million to $1.6 million dollars is a reasonably accurate estimate. If you accept that the city only lost an estimated $191,000 I have a bridge in Brooklyn for sale.

The last Super Bowl blog will share some interesting information on Super Bowl credentialed Glendale employees and how much some Glendale employees made in overtime or time and a half working these 3 major events. Some of the figures will astound you.

© Joyce Clark, 2015

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 from this material site for purposes of your own that go beyond ‘fair use,’ you must obtain permission from the copyright owner.

It has been 17 years and 132 days since the city’s pledge to build the West Branch Library.

According to the Maricopa County Elections Department the Stop Councilman Sherwood Committee (www.stopsherwood.com) has successfully submitted enough valid petition signatures to force a recall election of Councilmember Gary Sherwood of Glendale’s Sahuaro district. Look for the recall election to occur on or about November 3, 2015.

According to a story in the Arizona Republic by Peter Corbett (here is the link: http://www.azcentral.com/story/news/local/glendale/2015/05/12/glendale-councilman-sherwood-face-recall-election/27216077/ ) Sherwood said, “This is being funded by Gila River. This is a casino thing but they threw some other issues in there to try to make it legitimate.” Who do you think will be throwing money Sherwood’s way as he tries to beat back this recall effort? Just look at his campaign filings (here is the link: http://www.glendaleaz.com/Clerk/2014PoliticalCommitteeCampaignFinanceReports.cfm . Scroll down this page to “Friends of Gary Sherwood.” You can view all of his submitted campaign finance reports.)

Don’t be surprised to see the Tohono O’odham, Mark Becker of Becker Billboards and the Rose Law Group (Becker’s attorney of record) contributing to his campaign or making independent expenditures. Expect the Glendale Fire Union to call on their brother chapters to contribute money, time and manpower to prop Sherwood up. Remember, theoretically the local Glendale union must not be involved because of the Federal Hatch Act…wink, wink.

Sherwood misreads his constituency if he truly believes that it is simply the Gila River tribe’s attempt to get rid of him. People in his district are not very happy with him these days. He appears to them as arrogant and dismissive of not just their concerns but their positions on issues that are important to them. He has been publicly derisive of their comments at city council meetings. He continues to advocate for Becker billboards and has even tried a few billboard issue maneuvers at council meetings. Apparently his constituents’ opposition to the billboards may not be as important to him as pushing for the billboards. His motive may be payback for previous financial campaign support and anticipated support this time around.

He failed to inform his constituency of the possible sale of the Foothills Library. The perception was that he purposely dragged his feet on publicizing the issue because he supported the idea of a sale. After the library issue died he proudly announced that he was having a luncheon meeting with Midwestern University President Kathleen Goeppinger to offer Glendale’s support of other possible MU initiatives.

Then there’s the casino issue. Sherwood ran on a platform of opposition to the casino and then at the eleventh hour, flip-flopped and became its most ardent supporter. Many people, to this day, believe that Sherwood became pro-casino in return for Councilmember Chavira’s support for the Coyote deal with IceArizona. Each man was the deciding vote to create majority support for each issue.

Sherwood originally claimed that the reason he changed his position was that Councilmember Chavira brought new information to his attention but he has never said what that “new information” was. Now he says the reason he changed his position is, “he changed his mind about it once it was clear that Glendale could not stop the Tohono O’odham Nation project.”  Which is it, Mr. Sherwood? New information from Chavira or you were powerless to stop the TO? If Sherwood had adhered to his campaign promise and stayed the course with Councilmembers Martinez, Knaack and Mayor Weiers, those four would have constituted a majority keeping an anti-casino position.

Then there is Sherwood’s position on the temporary sales tax increase…excuse me…make that a permanent increase. With a proverbial wringing of hands, Sherwood supported making the temporary sales tax permanent while agreeing that it would be revisited in future council budget workshops with the intent to gradually reduce the tax.  During this council budget workshop cycle did you hear Sherwood fighting to gradually reduce the tax?

Sherwood has two options. He can as he puts it “stand by his record and intend to run in the election (2015).” That sets up an interesting scenario. He would have to defend himself this November in a recall election and then turn around and do the whole thing all over again in November of 2016 when his seat comes up for its regular, every four year council district election. Or he could resign and run for mayor against Weiers in the November election of 2016. By resigning he would instantly remove a lot of the current negativity from voters in his district. For now, the issue of his recall is relatively isolated within his district. Hmmm….

As an FYI: Mayor Weiers may face yet another challenge for his seat in 2016. Rumors are floating that even though Councilmember Jamie Aldama is a newbie he wants to run for mayor in 2016. Aldama and his supporters seem to think that the Hispanic vote can win the election for him. Sadly they fail to recognize that the Hispanic vote is concentrated in south Glendale (Ocotillo, Cactus and Yucca districts) and that historically north Glendale (Cholla, Sahuaro and Barrel districts) outvote south Glendale at a nearly 2 to 1 ratio. While Aldama feels that he may prevail in south Glendale his visibility and support in north Glendale is practically nil.

It may become a contest to see who has the greater chutzpah in vying for Mayor Weiers’ seat…Councilmember Sherwood or Councilmember Aldama. It will be interesting to see who wins this match up…Sherwood or Aldama.

© Joyce Clark, 2015

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.

mothers 4

It has been 17 years and 129 days since the city’s pledge to build the West Branch Library.

When it comes to determining the actual cost of hosting the Super Bowl it is almost impossible using the city’s current financial tracking system. As the city responded to my Public Information Request it noted for Pro Bowl and Super Bowl expenses, “It was not announced that the Pro Bowl would be held in Glendale until budget development already took place so there were not separate accounts created for Pro Bowl expenses. Everything was charged to fund 1010 National Events.” In terms of Public Safety costs the city also responded with, “There was not a separate reporting code for Pro Bowl. Pro Bowl public safety costs were subject to the provisions of the city’s contract with Global Spectrum for public safety services at the stadium and the city will receive a partial reimbursement for those expenses.”

I requested a list of all departments that contributed, by event, in any way. The city’s response was, “A list as requested does not exist, but the documents provided somewhat address the request. There were obviously other departments involved as issues arose that affected their service areas, but a list was not created for tracking purposes.”

Based upon city provided figures I arrived at police Pro Bowl figures of 5,486 hours and wages of $309,387.54 and fire Pro Bowl figures of 1,400 hours and wages of $90,000. The city received partial reimbursement from Global Spectrum and I have established an estimated reimbursement figure of approximately $70,000 for police and $45,000 for fire services. Obviously this does not include other departments’ employee time and materials. Based upon figures available it is estimated that the city spent a minimum of $300,000 for public safety in support of the Pro Bowl. Other department costs are estimated to be in the range of $200,000. The city spent an estimated range of $500,000 in non-reimbursable hosting costs for the Pro Bowl.

Based upon city provided figures I arrived at police Super Bowl figures of 7,321.89 hours and wages of $527,527.08 and fire Super Bowl figures of 2,900 hours and wages of $241,000. The city’s costs for public safety alone are approximately $768,000. Add the city identified travel expenses for the 2014 Super Bowl of $19,000, Building Safety costs of $40,000 and Transportation Department costs of $787,000. These city identified costs total $1.61 million.

Add the untracked, unidentified costs such as the Super Bowl Operations Planning Team, the Code Compliance Enforcement Teams and the PIO team. Now add the untracked, unidentified costs of many departments: Sanitation, Marketing, Streets, Parks & Recreation, Planning & Zoning, etc. These costs are easily estimated to total $1 million to $1.5 million. It is fair to estimate the city’s true cost for hosting the 2015 Super Bowl between $2.6 to $3.1 million dollars.

What have you, the taxpayer, paid to be identified as a Sports Mecca in 2015?

  • Fiesta Bowl non-reimbursable cost of an estimated $300,000 to $500,000.
  • Pro Bowl non-reimbursable cost of an estimated $500,000
  • Super Bowl non-reimbursable cost of an estimated $2.6 million to $3.1 million
  • Total cost an estimated $3.4 million to $4.1 million dollars.

Ka-ching…

Next up…some interesting factoids discovered and did the city earn any money while hosting these events?

© Joyce Clark, 2015

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.

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