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Joyce Clark Unfiltered

For "the rest of the story"

It has been 17 years and 210 days since the city’s pledge to build the West Branch Library.

Nearly all major battles we face seem to revolve around either love or money. In the case of the Coyotes vs. Glendale it’s definitely money. Before I post a blog on the current deal between these entities it’s important to understand the effects of the biggest driver — money.

Westgate and its sales tax revenue is an important component. It cannot be denied that the majority driver of retail sales tax revenue in Westgate comes from Tanger Outlets. Before Tanger’s opening in November of 2012 retail sales tax revenue was under a million dollars a year. Tanger, when it opened, was projected to earn $2M in sales tax revenue and in fact, from the start, has generated closer to the $2.5M mark.

As you can see from the chart below in calendar years 2013 and 2014 retail sales tax revenue was over $3.5M and almost all of it is attributable to Tanger. In October of 2014 Tanger expanded and the city can now expect an estimated $4.5M in retail sales tax revenue in 2015. Restaurant/Bar sales tax revenue has also increased over time and can be related to football games, hockey games and concerts held at the University of Phoenix Stadium and the Gila River Arena. This component is also attributable to the opening of new restaurants in Westgate. This sales tax revenue has grown as well and is estimated to earn some $3M. “Other” sales tax revenue is composed of bed tax, AZSTA stadium city sales tax, licenses & permits, etc. It is estimated to earn about $5M in 2015.

In 2015 estimated sales tax revenue from Westgate looks like this: Retail — $4 to $4.5M; Restaurant/Bar — $3 to $3.5M; and “Other” — $4.5 to $5M.

Westgate sales tax

The argument often used by Coyotes’ supporters is that the spillover effect from 42 nights of hockey games is essential to Westgate’s restaurants and bars survival and to the city. How much of that spillover is from 70,000 fans attending each of 10 football games? Admittedly it is substantial and could account for anywhere from 1/3 to ½ of the sales tax revenue generated from restaurants and bars annually.

The point is that Westgate has grown despite all of the drama and turmoil of the Coyotes and is strong enough to survive with or without them. If one looks at all of the factors that determine annual sales tax generation at Westgate the Coyotes (from hotel stays and restaurants/bars) are estimated at driving about $2M a year out of a total estimated annual sales tax revenue of a low of $11.5M to a high of $13M.

As long as we are on the subject of money there is another factor to consider. Many Coyotes fans are hoping that the Coyotes will move to downtown Phoenix or a new arena at Talking Stick. Dan Bickley in a recent July 26, 2015 Arizona Republic story entitled Coyotes not out of the woods – or Glendale – just yet said, Sarver says his Suns pay $23 million a year just to play at US Airways Center: $12 million in debt service, $8 million in arena management costs and $3 million in rent. A new arena capable of housing a NBA team and a NHL franchise starts at $500 million, and that’s being conservative.” Kudos to Robert Sarver for publicly offering some expense figures (no revenue figures, mind you). That’s more than anyone has seen from the Coyotes. Any public figures associated with the Coyotes have been minimized or denied by Anthony LeBlanc, an owner and visible spokesperson for the ownership group.

The question for the Coyotes becomes can they afford to move anywhere? Sarver is not in the charity business and I suspect that the owners of Talking Stick are not either. All bets are off if the Coyotes move out of Arizona. Is there an entity out there willing to pay the Coyotes to play in a newly constructed arena? Who knows? The Coyotes will have to pay to play anywhere else in Arizona and as long as they continue to suffer losses of an undetermined amount their options are very limited. No one is offering any love to the Coyotes these days and their entire future is being driven by only one thing – money.

© Joyce Clark, 2015

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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 208 days since the city’s pledge to build the West Branch Library.

Please note: It seems that when one takes a short vacation all hell breaks loose. Glendale and IceArizona have resolved their differences for now. I will be posting a future blog on that event. In the meantime, I noted that the Glendale Star reported that it had attempted to contact me for a comment for their story. Thank goodness for digital phones. Having checked all calls for the past several weeks I can confirm that I received no phone call from the Glendale Star.

On July 22, 2015 the Glendale Police Department issued a press release confirming that Commander Andre Anderson has been hired as Ferguson, Missouri’s Interim Police Chief. In my blog entitled Beasley may have company in Ferguson dated June 25, 2015 I announced that it was possible that he would take the job as well as issues that both Beasley (hired as Interim City Manager) and Anderson could face.

Several nagging questions remain. I had heard that Anderson was reluctant to take the job because of the pay disparity between Glendale and Ferguson. Ferguson is a much smaller community, about 1/10 the size of Glendale. I had also heard that that Glendale might make up the disparity in pay between Anderson’s current salary and what he was offered in Ferguson. Would Glendale do such a thing? The rational answer is ‘no’ but we have certainly seen Glendale do other irrational acts. It doesn’t seem that it would be legal. So…the question for Glendale officials is this…is Glendale subsidizing Anderson’s pay while he works for Ferguson? It is a question that deserves a public answer from Glendale because Ferguson isn’t telling.

Anderson is on a six month loan from Glendale. He will be using up all of his vacation time and when that runs out, he will be on unpaid leave from Glendale. However, that explanation doesn’t answer the question of whether Glendale is subsidizing Anderson’s pay.

Another question…what is the city’s reasoning in allowing Anderson to serve as a paid administrator in Ferguson? Was it a favor to Glendale’s former City Manager Ed Beasley? It’s eerily similar to Beasley’s allowing Alma Carmicle, Glendale’s former HR Director, to telecommute from Mississippi.

The Glendale Police Department has, in a fashion, loaned personnel to various state task forces. They remain on the Glendale payroll and their salaries are not subsidized. Although it may have happened I do not recollect in Glendale’s history a Commander taking leave to serve as a Police Chief or in the administration of another municipality. More answers should be provided by the city than has been offered to date. Come on Glendale, come clean.

© 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 201 days since the city’s pledge to build the West Branch Library.

A July 8, 2015 article in the Glendale Star by Darrell Jackson highlights “coincidences” between Councilmember Chavira’s actions and decisions as an elected official and campaign contributions he recently received. Here is the link:  http://www.glendalestar.com/news/article_85b74584-25a1-11e5-95e3-6f2610f801ba.html .

Before reviewing his recent bout of troubling “coincidences” it’s time for another history lesson. I admit to bias. In 2012 Chavira defeated me in the election for the Yucca district seat. He had a lot of support from the Maricopa County Democratic Party #1049 which donated $10,000 to his campaign. He had former Glendale Councilmember Norma Alvarez as well as that of Danny Valenzuela, a Glendale firefighter currently serving on the Phoenix City Council, to thank for the Dems support. Although I am sure Alvarez regrets her support of Chavira when he broke from her and voted against her positions on issues. As a Phoenix firefighter he received thousands of dollars from firefighter union chapters as well benefitting from their independent expenditures on mailers, flyers, signs and manpower. He also received tremendous support from the Hispanic community and used “dreamers” almost exclusively as his foot soldiers. He outspent me in the order of $5 to $1.

During that election cycle some elements of his questionable past actions became public. Just prior to the 2012 election Sammy and Danny were members of the National Association of Hispanic Firefighters (NAHF). Sammy was removed as a Vice President and both men resigned because they allegedly bore responsibility for loss of funds from an NAHF fund raising event. The event may have made money but not for the NAHF. All it received were the bills.

That specific NAHF event was produced by the Phoenix Monarch Group (PMG): Art Jimenez and Tony Herrera. Herrera, a firefighter, has his own business, One Consulting, and also had a  business relationship with Chavira’s wife (and Chavira). Sammy and Danny advocated for hiring them to run the event. Apparently a lot of “funny stuff” happened with scenes (ala the Mafia) of Sammy apparently riding around in a golf cart with Herrera collecting money from the vendors…money never seen again or accounted for to the NAHF.

The Phoenix Monarch Group’s history has a lot of its own question marks. Prior to IceArizona’s successful acquisition of the Arizona Coyotes PMG appears to have had former Mayor Scruggs and former Councilmember Alvarez as advocates as they attempted to secure a contract to manage Glendale’s arena. All of the relationships mentioned are entangled like a giant ball of snakes. It seems as if Sammy’s previous ethical “coincidences” turned out to be precursors’ of his current ethical “coincidences.”

Sammy received a contribution of $500 on February 2, 2015 from Nicholas Wood.  Wood is also one of IceArizona’s stable of legal counsels. On June 10, 2015 the city council voted 5-2 to cancel the IceArizona management contract for the arena. Sammy just happened to be one of two votes against cancellation. Hmmm…

Then on March 23, 2015 Michael Curley (recently deceased) who represented the Bidwills on many of their projects in Glendale, including Sportsmen’s Park East and West, donated $500 to Chavira. A day later, on March 24, 2015, the city council workshop included a discussion of the infamous, Taj Mahal Westgate parking garage. Chavira seemed to have no problem with sticking the cost of this over priced garage to Glendale taxpayers. Hmmm…

Here’s one to watch. Jacob Long, son of deceased John F. Long, is nearly ready to make application for rezoning of a large parcel of land south of the Grand Canal to Camelback Road, 83rd Avenue to 91st Avenue. Unless, there are some changes to the zoning plan by Long, neighbors will not be happy and can be expected to protest this one. On February 23, 2015, Long made an yet another contribution to Chavira of $500 bringing his cumulative total to date to $930. Hmmm…

Yet another example of a Chavira’s “coincidence” is recent contributions from firefighter unions. At the April 21, 2015 city council workshop Chavira read a prepared stump speech in support of the Glendale firefighter union request for more funding. A few days later, on April 23, 2015, Phoenix Fire Fighters Local 493 (Fire PAC) gave Sammy $1,000 followed by April 27, 2015, donations of $1,000 from the Peoria chapter and $1,000 from the Tempe chapter. You would think he bears a conflict of interest. Hmmm…

Does it seem that Sammy is ethically challenged? Does it seem to you that his relationships seem questionable? Does it seem that if you have enough money to play he will advocate for you? Does it seem that Sammy is not making decisions in the best interest of Glendale but rather in the best interest of his campaign contributors…Becker billboards…a flip-flop from his campaign platform of denial to approval of the IceArizona contract…no vote on IceArizona contract cancellation…advocacy for more money for firefighters with the use of scare tactics…making the temporary sales tax permanent? Hmmm…

© 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 200 days since the city’s pledge to build the West Branch Library

On July 20, 2015, Sterling Fluharty of the Glendale Star posted an article entitled Hockey Charity broke the law, IRS told. Here is the link: http://www.glendalestar.com/news/article_0051679c-2f21-11e5-8407-7f8577c7a94f.html .

Someone has filed a complaint with the IRS regarding the funds raised by Desert Development Hockey in 2014 at a fund raising golf tournament. Let me be clear. I have no idea who filed the complaint. Nor did I know a complaint had been filed before I wrote my blog about Glendale First!

In one of my blogs entitled Justified that I posted on July 3, 2015 I made reference to the fact that I knew Desert Hockey Development through Glendale First! had repaid a political loan to George Fallar of Glendale First! Fallar is Chairperson of both non-profit groups and Bea Wyatt, Fallar’s significant other, and Larry Feiner, are spearheading the current recall of 3 Glendale councilmembers and are principals in Desert Hockey Development. I knew that Desert Hockey Development had made a June 30, 2014 payment to Glendale First! in the amount of $5,500 and that in turn was paid to George Fallar. That information was part of my Justified blog. I was not aware of the 2012 loan repayments to Fallar of $7,900 and $300 respectively or the 2014 loan repayments to Fallar of an additional $2,000.

I used the information I had learned about the $5,500 loan repayment to George Fallar because: 1. I thought it was wrong to use funds to repay a political debt rather than as publicly advertised as going to develop children’s hockey (even though on their Golf Tournament fund raising page there was a disclaimer stating the money would go to retire debt); and 2. The very same people who were accusing Glendale councilmembers of financial mismanagement may have done the very thing about which they accused these councilmembers.

I don’t know if any financial misdeeds occurred but you can be sure, if they did, the IRS will be all over them. I guess we’ll know in a couple of months.

© 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.

On Wednesday, July 15, 2015 Darrell Jackson, for the Glendale Star, posted a story online in which he reported two sources (not councilmembers but apparently city administrative staff) have confirmed my speculation that the Monday, July 13, 2015 city council executive session was to discuss an offer made by the Arizona Coyotes. Not a bad guess for a former councilmember.

It raises more questions other than answering only one — what was the subject of the e session? If Jackson’s sources are correct the Arizona Coyotes had offered to drop their management fee to $8M for the next 3 years.

Without knowing any more details of the purported offer, the first thought is, don’t the owners of the Coyotes realize they are virtually confirming they plan to exercise the opt-out clause in 3 years? The second thought is city council is absolutely convinced they have a solid legal case against the Coyotes. You can be sure we have not seen all of the city’s cards when it comes to the 2 former city employees, Craig Tindall and Julie Frisoni. I suspect we will not find out how much more there is to know until the discovery phase of the trial — which seems more certain to occur than ever.

Offering to pay a lesser management fee while keeping the opt-out clause does not sound like much of a win-win deal. The city pays the team $8M a year to play in its arena for the next 3 years and then the team leaves? Again, who is going to pay the Coyotes $15M or $8M a year to play in their venue? You can be sure the City of Phoenix and Talking Stick won’t. They have management companies. No, the only thing they will expect is a hefty rental payment from the Coyotes. It seems as if the handwriting is on the wall. No one, other than gullible Glendale has been willing to pay them to play and now, even Glendale has decided that it’s not such a great idea.

If the Coyotes owners are as committed to staying as they claim they are, the first concession they should have made to the city was to remove the opt-out clause but they didn’t offer that carrot. Why? Because they plan on exercising the provision in 3 years. For all those die-hard Coyotes fans out there, what will it take to make you believe that it is quite possible that the Coyotes are not here for the long haul, despite what the sometimes dubious truth teller Anthony LeBlanc has been saying? You know which Anthony LeBlanc I’m referring to. It’s the one who denied Andrew Barroway’s purchase of 51% of the team only to retract his denial. Yes, I realize Barroway is no longer the majority owner but he was for a brief time and LeBlanc originally denied it when it was first reported.

Jackson reported that several administrative staff would like to see arena management separate from the team. At this point in time, that seems to be an idea worth embracing. Hang on folks. This is a new chapter of Coyotes history, barely written and I suspect there is much, much more to come before this chapter is completed.

© 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 195 days since the city’s pledge to build the West Branch Library.

Recently ‘thevintageguy,’ one of the regular commenters to my blog posts, offered an interesting idea. He calculated that if every hockey ticket for every game had a surcharge of $24 it would generate $15M annually in revenue. If that surcharge were applied IceArizona would not need the City of Glendale to pay $15M a year for a management fee.

I decided to explore that idea but first, some history. The city owned arena opened in December of 2003. Let me remind you there was no arena management fee that the city had to pay. Steve Ellman led a group of investors who bought the Coyotes. Ellman may be many things to many people but he took immense pride in the arena, the Coyotes and the events he booked. Back then concerts were far more frequent. Bette Midler, Britney Spears, Elton John and U2, to name just a few performers, played at the arena in its early years. During the years of his ownership of the team the Arizona Sting (now defunct) also played all of its games at the arena. While the Arizona Sting was probably not a money maker during the years of its existence from 2003-07, each year it successfully increased its fan base. It certainly was not a deterrent to Jerry Moyes’ acquisition of Ellman’s interests.

Ellman realized how important it was to his bottom line to keep the arena busy all year long. Ellman’s downfall was his inability to develop a substantial amount of commercial and retail surrounding the arena quickly enough. To focus on that aspect of his business he sold his interest in the hockey team to Jerry Moyes. Then the national recession hit and he was unable to hold on to his interests within Westgate.

Under Moyes there was no arena management fee that the city had to pay. Moyes seemed not to be as committed to the health of the team and its bottom line as Ellman had been. Unfortunately Moyes ran the team’s finances into the ground. Apparently he diverted team revenue to his other businesses and subsidiaries. By 2009, Moyes asked the city to begin payment of a management fee of $12M a year. The city refused. Moyes declared team bankruptcy all the while working a secret deal with Jim Balsillie to buy the team out of bankruptcy. The court stopped that scheme and the NHL assumed control of the team. The NHL demanded an annual management fee of $25M knowing that the city needed to buy time until a new team owner was secured. It was precedent setting. From that point forward any potential owner of the team had a green light to require that the city pay a management fee.

In 2013, IceArizona bought the team with the NHL’s blessing and so the management fee scheme was retained with the city paying $15M annually. The IA management agreement has a revenue sharing component but the revenues generated annually and paid to the city have been approximately $8M short every year in covering the annual $15M payment.

Recently the city council voted to cancel the contract with IceArizona (IA) alleging a conflict of interest by two former city employees. IA immediately went to court and obtained a Temporary Restraining Order (TRO). The judge required the city to make its quarterly payment of $3.75M on July 1, 2015 to pay for services already rendered and the city has done so. The court also required IA to post a bond of $1M and IA has done so. On July 29, 2015 both parties will be back in court and the judge will make a determination if the TRO should become permanent pending the outcome of the suit regarding the contract cancellation.

On Monday, July 13, 2015, the Glendale city council met in executive session. It is my strong belief that the subject of that meeting was the litigation between IA and the city. I suspect IA made an offer amending the existing contract and their offer was rejected. It appears as if the city council is convinced that its allegations are solid and provable in a court of law. Just think about it. If there had been a desire on the part of council to accept an offer from IA there would have been a press release issued after executive session. That has not occurred.

Back to the ‘vintageguy’s’ idea. Basic research reveals the following annual attendance figures for the Coyotes, courtesy of hockeyDB.com at http://www.hockeydb.com/nhl-attendance/att_graph.php?tmi=7450 .

“Phoenix Coyotes Yearly Attendance Graph. This is a graph of the home attendance of the Phoenix Coyotes, a hockey team playing in the National Hockey League from 1996 to 2015. Attendance is based on numbers from a team or league, either released as an official yearly per-game average figure, or compiled into an average from individual boxscore attendance. In some cases when boxscore attendance is unavailable for a small number of games, the attendance is computed omitting the missing games and annotated as approximate. Clicking on a season’s bar will bring you to a graph of all teams in the league.”

The average attendance figure for the Coyotes for the last 5 years is 13,133. Multiply that figure by 41 games a year and the average total attendance for a season of 41 games is 538,453. If you divide $15M (annual city payment of management fee) by 538,453 each ticket for each and every game would require an additional $27.85. If a hockey fan were to buy a ticket for each of the 41 games per year the additional annual amount he/she would pay would be $1,141.85. What do all of these numbers mean? If hockey fans paid more for every ticket IceArizona would not need the $15M a year from the city. Now that sounds like a plan.

Let’s look at it another way. Each year even with IA’s revenue sharing the city is in deficit for the $15M annual payment by about $8M a year. If revenue sharing were to remain and the same ticket increase scheme were used to cover the $8M a year deficit, each ticket would need to be increased by $14.85 which comes to a total increase for a fan attending all 41 games of $608.85 a year.

I believe my figures are correct but even if they are off a bit don’t get bogged down in the numbers. Instead consider the concept. If fans were charged more per ticket per game with or without IA revenue sharing there would be no need for the city to pay an annual management fee of $15M. That would surely solve the city’s annual Coyotes related deficit. Whether it is $27.85 or $14.85 per ticket per game the sixty four dollar question is are Coyotes fans willing to pay either extra amount to keep the team in Glendale? Is it possible for them to redirect their negative anger to a more positive action – that of paying more to keep their team?

© 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 193 days since the city’s pledge to build the West Branch Library.

I am about to do a commercial. No, not for Willie Wonka but for John Oliver. Who is he, do you say? Don’t feel dumb. I didn’t know who he is either. He is a comedian on HBO with a show entitled “Last Week Tonight.” Here is the link to one of his latest efforts: Last Week Tonight with John Oliver: Stadiums (HBO) – YouTube .

I want to thank ‘Me’ and a friend, both of whom sent me the link to his monologue on sports stadiums. He cracked me up and if you watch you may share my opinion. I’m going to watch previous episodes and make sure I watch from now on.

He may be a comedian but he and his production team do a lot of research and interspersed among the jokes are big, fat, fact bombs. He described today’s stadiums as thFYHUH64Abeing designed by “a coked up Willy Wonka” as he pointed out that the Marlins have an aquarium behind home plate and Dallas has a suspended swimming pool within its stadium. He said that in the past 20 years $12 billion dollars has been spent on 51 stadiums in the United States. He alluded to the often used statement by team owners that they cannot afford to build a stadium on their dime. Yet they will not share their financial books to provide a modicum of truth to the statement. He went on to say that owners monetize every part of the stadium and do not revenue share with taxpayers who foot the bill for constructing these stadiums. These owners keep the revenue on such items as naming rights, concession sales tax and luxury suite sales.

John Oliver even introduced Glendale into the picture at the 13 minute, 59 second mark. He highlighted that Glendale had cancelled their arena contract and the mayor and councilmembers have been virtually pilloried for doing so by showing the segment where a Coyotes fan tazed the mayor for a charity event.

Oliver is funny and he manages to use his brand of comedy to teach some basic facts about his topic of choice. Please join me in giving this guy a spin, kick his tires and check under his hood. We might learn something new in the process.

 © 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.

Tomorrow, July 13, 2015 the Glendale city council will meet in executive session at 11 AM. What is the topic? Your guess is as good as mine. No one is talking and how could they? Senior staff has decided (perhaps wisely) that council will not know the subject matter of the e session until the actual meeting. The only other period of time staff went to such lengths was when Phil Lieberman was on council. It was suspected but never proven that he leaked e session material on a regular basis to Canadian folk during previous Coyotes’ buyer negotiations. This time the alleged leaker(s) may be Councilmembers Sherwood and/or Chavira spilling all to the owners of the Coyotes.

It may be that senior Glendale staff will present a Coyotes offer to the city council. There are events that hint that this may be the topic. Several councilmembers were scheduled last week for depositions with regard to the Coyotes law suit. Abruptly those deposition sessions were cancelled. Was it because the city’s attorneys were in talks with the Coyotes’ attorneys? The Coyotes payment of $1M bond and the city quarterly arena management payment of $3.75M are linked together and are to be paid concurrently. Neither has been paid to date.

If this is indeed what occurs tomorrow council will have several options. They do not vote in workshops or e sessions but do provide direction for staff. They can provide direction to: 1. Accept the offer; 2. Reject the offer; or 3. Send the offer back to the Coyotes with a counter proposal.

If you look at the council e session agenda for this meeting it is rather specific:

“A. The City Council will meet with the City Attorney for legal advice, discussion and consultation regarding the city’s position in pending or contemplated litigation, including settlement discussions conducted in order to avoid or resolve litigation. (A.R.S. § 38-431.03(A)(3)(4))

“B. Council will meet to discuss and consider records exempt by law from public inspection and are specifically required to be maintained as confidential by state or federal law. (A.R.S. § 38-431.03(A)(4))”

A.R.S. § 38-431.03 (A)(3)(4) is also pretty specific:

“(iii) discussion or consultation for legal advice with the city’s attorneys (A.R.S. § 38-431.03(A)(3));

“(iv) discussion or consultation with the city’s attorneys regarding the city’s position regarding contracts that are the subject of negotiations, in pending or contemplated litigation, or in settlement discussions conducted in order to avoid or resolve litigation (A.R.S. § 38-431.03(A)(4));”

It is possible that they will discuss the city’s current law suit with Vieste over recycling issues at the city landfill but it doesn’t seem probable based upon the events of this past week.

On another topic, the University of Phoenix Stadium hosted a soccer cup game today, July 12, 2015. A friend happened to have lunch at Westgate today. The friend related that the Westgate parking areas were jammed and they finally found a parking space literally in the “back forty” of one of the free lots. They almost decided to leave assuming that if the parking lots were filled, so were the Westgate restaurants. That was not the case. Their restaurant, as well as others, was nearly deserted. Who was parking in all of those free Westgate spaces? They learned it was the soccer game attendees at the University of Phoenix stadium.

The stadium has since its inception relied on Westgate parking spaces for football games and major events. Per the agreement with the Arizona Sports and Tourism Authority (AZSTA) the city is responsible for providing 6,000 parking spaces for the football games and major events such as the Super Bowl and Fiesta Bowl. The city has always fulfilled its commitment to do so. Now AZSTA and the Bidwills are pressuring the city to build a $46M parking garage and the city is acceding to that pressure. Last fall senior staff brought forward a new capital improvement project – the infamous and very expensive parking garage at Westgate. Instead of building a library or a swimming pool as a capital improvement project Glendale taxpayers will be footing the bill for a Taj Mahal of a parking garage. You can count on its cost mounting. Don’t be surprised if the final bill is way north of $50M.

Glendale’s taxpayers are not happy about this. They ask why AZSTA and the Bidwills don’t build their own parking garage. They are the ones who need it. They are aware that the Bidwills sought and gained city approval for the development of Sportsman’s Park East and West. Those development plans include approval for several parking garages. Why don’t the Bidwills invest in a parking garage to meet the demands of their patrons attending their football games? Is it because they don’t want to pay for it? Is there a trigger threshold or event that requires the city to build this parking garage? What is it and has it occurred? Does the parking garage have to be as large and grand as staff presented or can it be scaled down to meet a minimal requirement? Can we wait until Glendale’s financial picture is stronger and can absorb yet another debt payment? When is the city going to prioritize the needs of its citizens first? So many questions – met with…silence.

© 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 191 days since the city’s pledge to build the West Branch Library.

A political committee, registered in Glendale, Glendale First! is sponsoring the recall of up to 4 June30-GlendaleFirst-Amendedcurrent Glendale city councilmembers: Vice Mayor Hugh, Councilmember Turner and Councilmember Tolmachoff (they have yet to pull a recall packet on Councilmember Aldama). These 4 councilmembers, along with Mayor Jerry Weiers, voted to cancel the Glendale arena’s lease management agreement with IceArizona.

On their website they say, “It is the opinion of Glendale First! that the recent actions of the Glendale City Council regarding their vote to cancel the arena management agreement with IceArizona (the Arizona Coyotes) was hasty, ill-conceived, politically motivated, and fiscally irresponsible.” They are angry about council’s action and for them it’s payback time. Revenge is a heck of a reason to mount recall elections. This is reason #1 and it is the major reason.

Obviously reason #1 for the recalls will not play well with Glendale’s residents and so, reason #2 is Glendale First’s accusation that these councilmembers did not support public safety. By public safety, don’t be confused – Glendale First! is referring exclusively to the Glendale Fire Department and more specifically the Glendale chapter of the fire union.

The Glendale police unions made it clear that they did not share Glendale First’s allegation. Justin Harris, president of the Glendale Law Enforcement Association, spoke at a recent city council meeting and recognized and thanked the city council for its continuing support of public safety. Then the Glendale Law Enforcement Association and the Glendale Fraternal Order of Police ran an ad publicly supporting the councilmembers under threat of Glendale First’s recall effort. As an aside, another ad was taken out by all of the opponents who ran against the sitting councilmembers in the last election. Their ad also supported these members of the city council and their vote to cancel the contract. Obviously the men and women of the Glendale Police Department did not support the allegations of Glendale First! – but the Glendale Fire Union did.

Make no mistake, the fire union wants more money and appears to have partnered with Glendale First! to try to make that happen. Their argument for more money rests on their claim of deteriorating fire department response times. Yet the former Glendale Fire Chief publicly stated the department’s response times have remained constant over the past five years. The fire department is accredited and their response time is one of the major criterions for successfully acquiring that accreditation.

The recent history of the fire department demonstrates the fire union’s tremenous influence within the department. During former Mayor Scruggs’ tenure she allied herself with John Holland, former president of the local fire union chapter. Because of her support of Holland and his union Glendale’s fire chiefs were reluctant to oppose the union’s desires and demands. The union grew in power and strength until today it virtually runs the fire department. It will be extremely difficult if not downright impossible for any Fire Chief, including Interim Fire Chief DeChant, to put the fire union genie back in the bottle. Yet that is what must be done to get the fire department back on track placing the needs of its citizens first.

So reason #2 of non support by council of public safety didn’t fly either. That led to reason #3 and their newest allegation, Glendale First! feels the City Council acted inappropriately when it reclassified the inter-fund advances used to fund payments to the NHL, essentially removing that nearly $40M liability from the City balance sheet with the stroke of a pen and a vote for the budget. In effect, what had been a loan from several enterprise funds was made to disappear with no requirement for repayment.”

Has that money and the promise to repay the Enterprise Funds disappeared as Glendale First! contends? No, it has not. Here is the real story as Paul Harvey would say. In 2011 and 2012 in an effort to keep the Coyotes in Glendale, city council agreed to the NHL demand of a payment of $25 million a year. Funds to make the NHL payments were borrowed from the Enterprise Funds and were recorded on Glendale’s ledger as long-term borrowing and became new debt owed to: Water & Sewer, Landfill and Sanitation. It added even more debt to Glendale’s bottom line and was recognized as such by the bond rating companies. They considered this debt as another long term liability for the city.

The action city council took was to approve renaming this debt from the term “inter-fund advance” to “inter–fund transfer.” It’s no more than an accounting trick. By renaming this debt it had the accounting effect of removing it as a debt (even though it still exists as a debt) which in turn, satisfied the bond rating companies and provided them with a rationale to raise Glendale’s bond rating profile. They did not dismiss their obligation to pay this debt.

Is the debt still there and is it being paid off? You bet it is. At a recent April, 2015 workshop Councilmember Tolmachoff asked to bring forward a resolution to make the General Fund FY 2015-16 Inter fund transfer July 11, 2015inter-fund transfers to the Enterprise Funds part of the budget process each year. It resulted in a City council approved Resolution 4943 New Series on May 26, 2015 making the inter-fund transfers to the Enterprise Funds permanent. Each year the city council will decide what the monetary amount of the inter-fund transfer to the Enterprise Funds will be. This Fiscal Year, 2015-16, the amount of the inter-fund transfer to the Enterprise Funds approved by the city council located on page iv within this year’s budget is in the amount of $600,000.

Glendale First’s reason #3 against these councilmembers which was that they had made the loan from the Enterprise Funds vanish is simply not accurate. The money did not disappear nor did the city’s commitment to repay the Enterprise Funds. It appears as if Glendale First! will have to get creative and come up with a new reason for recall of the councilmembers.

We can strike Glendale First’s reason #2 of council’s non support of public safety.

We can strike Glendale First’s reason #3 of council’s action to make money disappear.

That leaves Glendale First! with only publicly stated reason #1 left – the council cancelled the Coyotes contract.

© 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.

Dear John letter

Posted by Joyce Clark on July 4, 2015
Posted in BlogsCity issue and actionsCity of Glendale  | Tagged With: , , | 5 Comments

Merged

I rarely receive email criticism for something I have said in my blog. Usually criticisms come in the form of comments to my current blog post for all to see.  When I have received an email of this kind I do not respond to the content but instead thank the writer, delete and do not accept any future emails from that sender. This time, I decided to share the email I received and my response. Here’s a peek inside my world.

Subject:           your latest rant

Date:               7/3/2015 1:30:05 P.M. US Mountain Standard Time

From:              johnglenn

To:                  clarkjv@aol.com

Joyce,

I probably shouldn’t dignify your latest blog with a response, however I do feel compelled to point out a few things.

When your campaign, in 2012, was floundering and you were being railroaded by just about everybody else around town it was George, Bea, Darren, Larry et al that stepped up and supported you and gave hundreds of hours trying to help right the ship that was your sinking re-election campaign. They knocked hundreds and hundreds of doors, others help you put out your own mail pieces, stuffed envelopes and even make calls to prospective voters. They all did this at a time when no one else was helping you, not even yourself. I recall times when some of them would go out hitting doors and you were in your living room watching Cardinals football. I know for a fact that Bea & George’s business took a back seat to all the doings the summer / fall of 2012 including your campaign. Bea even was tailed by a nefarious individual that they can only guess was associated with your opponent. 

Everyone made these sacrifices, YES because of the hockey team but also they believed in you and that you were fighting for the best possible outcome for the city when faced with some bleak choices. The ship was sinking in Glendale and all your colleagues were getting off the boat; however you choose to stay on the boat and the group probably felt that was admirable. 

I just think you stepped way over a line by throwing them under the bus today and demonstrated a lack of class, I can’t help but think karma will come back on you somehow…maybe it already has… 

I can’t even surmise what your motivations were other than you’re desperate to stay relevant, at least that’s what it looks like from my vantage point. 

I’m sure your decades of public service has been beneficial to the City of Glendale, but to go out like this in such a classless manner probably taints all the good you have done for the city. 

You have successfully made me lose faith in the basic human dignity because each and every one of those people that you threw under the bus deserve your basic respect as they worked their asses off for you.  
John Glenn

My response:

John,

I’ll first observe that your subject title is tremendously prejudiced. It implies that you consider all of my blogs to be “rants.” Then you proceed to write your own “rant.”

Let me point out that insults are not facts. George, Bea, and others, quite simply used me to access Greg Jamison at a time when he appeared to be the ultimate purchaser of the team. It was quid pro quo. They used me and I used them. Most involved were happy to champion me because I was in line at the time with the others voting to keep the Coyotes but they knew nothing of what I stood for or believed in. You used me while helping my opponent.

It was a difficult election cycle as my knee was bad and my doc forbid me from walking door to door. Many helped with that for qualifying signatures. As soon as the referendum action began the only persons who helped me were Dawn and Darren. I am eternally grateful for their help.

No one made “sacrifices.” Everyone had a motive. Each motive was different. In many cases, it was to be an “insider” after the Jamison deal was consummated. I remember Dawn relating to me that she had questioned you (as an active insider in the Democrat party) the day we met. She asked you  about all the lies Alvarez and Chavira and the Democratic party were using against me and you replied, “that’s just politics.” I think your email to me is also your idea of politics.

You excoriate me for “crossing a line” so I assume you have taken the Coyotes group to task for their behavior too; those who regularly insult me, call me a raving lunatic and suggest they wish some kind of harm befall me, as you did in your comment about Karma – simply because of a disagreement of thought. My first and ultimate allegiance is to Glendale and keeping it a viable and vibrant community.

You are a very good Democrat, John. You know the strategy to malign and insult, call names and make outrageous statements like, “karma may have already gotten you” but perhaps not good enough to avoid being classless. Your obvious lack of respect for a female and one old enough to be your mother highlights you weren’t paying attention when your mother taught you manners.

Since this blog began the excoriation I’ve received because I have a different opinion has perplexed me. If people do not like what I am saying in my blog it’s really quite simple. They can acknowledge that I have changed my position; they don’t like it and are no longer going to read or follow me.

Larry Feiner’s and Bea Wyatt’s credibility as spokespersons for the current recall effort is a legitimate question for public consideration in the light of their own financial dealings. They willingly placed themselves there just as I have repeatedly done, and must now suffer the attention that comes with it.

Now, in the words of those you defend in calling me a “bitter, distraught woman,” you believe I have destroyed “your faith in human dignity.” I’m stunned that with your obvious lack of respect, you have bestowed me with the power to do something so dramatic. What a shame you laid that on me when you have so many other people from which to choose.  

Joyce

© 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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