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Joyce Clark Unfiltered

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It has been 17 years and 272 days since the city’s pledge to build the West Branch Library.

Today, September 30, 2015, former Glendale Fire Chief Mark Burdick pulled a packet from the Glendale City Clerk’s office with the intent of running for the position of Mayor of Glendale in 2016. Burdick will, obviously, receive a majority of support in terms of campaign funding and manpower from the fire unions. As we have witnessed in the past, the fire unions will operate just a hair’s breadth inside campaign laws. Mayor Weiers is going to have a fight on his hands to retain his seat this coming election.

The Glendale Fire Department, kicking and screaming all the way, has finally implemented the use of a unit staffed with 2 persons, a paramedic and an emergency medical technician (EMT) to answer non-life threatening medical calls. It’s about time and the department is to be congratulated for implementing this test program. After all, it’s been in use in Mesa and Chandler for several years and is a proven system. It’s the first step in the elimination of the use of an engine or ladder answering medical calls…and is long overdue.

Also today, September 30, 2015, Glendale announced the hiring of Terry Garrison as its new fire chief. Here is the link: http://www.azcentral.com/story/news/local/glendale/2015/09/29/glendale-fire-department-names-houston-head-departments-new-fire-chief/73045786/ .

The first question that comes to mind is why would he deliberately demote himself? From the third largest fire department in the country to a much smaller department in Glendale? Apparently Mr. Garrison has been Fire Chief in Houston for the past 3 years and during that entire time his wife continued to live in the Phoenix Metro area. In his resignation letter his reason for leaving Houston is to assist in the care of an infant grandchild with a chronic condition. Many wonder if he will be the man to resist the continual pressure of the fire union power grab. We will find out shortly, won’t we?

© Joyce Clark, 2015

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It has been 17 years and 271 days since the city’s pledge to build the West Branch Library.

NOTE: You may have noted that I haven’t posted blogs lately. More trips to California on personal business interfered. In addition, on one of my usual forays into the koi pond to trim pond plants I fell not once, but twice. It was the second fall that put me out of commission for I broke my fall into the water with a hand. Luckily, due to the strong bones I inherited, I didn’t break anything but I did do damage to my wrist and arm. It was just enough damage to incapacitate me for a few more days…sigh. My invincibility gene was malfunctioning that day.

Recently Judge Campbell, tasked with making local judicial decisions on all things Tohono O’odham casino related, issued another decision. The Tohono O’odham (TO) filed a motion to compel the state to issue it a Class III gaming license. Currently the TO have the right to install Class II (bingo type) gaming equipment but to use Class III equipment it needs state approval. It is generally believed that Class II gaming is not as lucrative as Class III.

Judge Campbell noted the court “has never held, as the (tribe) argues, that the State’s allegations of fraud… lack merit.” This may be the crux of the entire legal situation. Ned Norris, Jr., previous Chairman of the Tohono O’odham, has never once denied or refuted the charges of deception leveled against he and his Tribe allegedly committed against the State of Arizona, the Governor and the voters. Fraud and misrepresentation appeared to be woven into every decision made by the Tohono O’odham. They bought land in Glendale on a county island and kept it secret for 7 years. They funded and actively participated in the campaign to convince Arizona voters to approve the State Compact. They betrayed their sister tribes and the people of the state of Arizona. They had a plan which they shared with no one while advocating for the state gaming compact.

Many who oppose the casino believe as Judge Campbell noted that there is merit to the state’s allegations of fraud. During the campaign to convince voters to approve the State Gaming Compact in 2002:

  • Not once did the TO reveal that they had been secretly land shopping for a new casino site in Maricopa County and even considered a land purchase in Buckeye.
  • Not once did the TO reveal that they had secretly acquired land in Glendale for a casino using a shell company.
  • Not once did the TO reveal that they secretly held land for a new casino for 7 years.
  • Not once did the TO reveal that they planned to violate the promise to voters to limit the number of casinos in Maricopa County.
  • Not once did the TO reveal to its sister tribes its plans for a new casino in Maricopa County.

In 2009 the Tohono O’odham publicly announced its plans and shock waves rippled throughout the state. Their action, if ultimately successful, will blow the state gaming compact apart as  new precedent is set. If and when the compact is finally trampled on by the TO, the specter of new casinos (Indian and non-Indian) on other county islands looms large. Is it any wonder that other Valley Metro cities are concerned and have voiced their disapproval of the TO’s actions? They don’t want a casino in their neighborhoods any more than the people of west Glendale want a casino in their neighborhood.

Judge Campbell has demonstrated that the Tohono O’odham can’t win ‘em all. Allegations of fraud and misrepresentation may be the undoing of the TO and may turn out to be the most important point of law still untested.

© 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 ‘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 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 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.

Go pound sand…

Posted by Joyce Clark on September 23, 2015
Posted in City issue and actionsCity of GlendaleGlendale finances  | Tagged With: , | 6 Comments

It has been 17 years and 265 days since the city’s pledge to build the West Branch Library.

There are scads of words in the English language with which to characterize Doug MacEachern’s editorial in the Republic on September 10, 2015. Here’s the link: http://www.azcentral.com/story/opinion/op-ed/dougmaceachern/2015/09/10/west-side-valley-economy/72034706/ .

Just a few that come to mind are: elitist, snobbish, snooty, snotty, arrogant, haughty, imperious, pompous, presumptuous, superior, conceited and smug.

I am not disputing MacEachern’s assessment of Glendale’s attempt to become a sports mecca. His attacks on Glendale and its citizens are unwarranted. He characterizes all of Glendale’s citizens as “of limited means.” Or how about his opinion that, “Glendale is still Glendale. Not especially upscale, even in its upscale neighborhoods. And quite a bit more dicey around the edges…”. He ends his editorial trash with, “There are many nice places in the West Valley for tourists to stay. But if they have their druthers they are going to go to where the parties are rocking. And that’s not Maryvale. And it’s not Glendale.”

Really, Mr. MacEachern? One would have thought that having risen to the vaunted position of “idiotorialist” for the Republic you would have grown past petty sniping. You haven’t been invited into Glendale’s upscale neighborhoods because they are gated and you don’t have the code for entry.

Your editorial opinion is currently being used as puppy potty training paper and lining bird cages in a few homes in the West Valley. It’s only a few homes because the Republic readership is no longer as it once was.

If you feel the urge to share your opinion with Mr. MacEachern, here is his Twitter handle (@MacEachernDoug) and his email address: dmaceachern@azrep.com .

Mr. MacEachern, your East Valley elitism, snobbishness, snottiness, pomposity, conceit, arrogance and smugness are showing. Go pound sand…

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

At its annual August retreat, the Library Advisory Board supported the concept of a manufactured or modular library building at Heroes Park in the Yucca district (west Glendale). Bless their hearts for their moral compasses were in the right place with their recognition that the Yucca district is sadly lacking in amenities, such as a branch library, found in other areas of the city.

If you have noted at the beginning of every blog I announce how long it’s been since the city promised to build a west branch library in the Yucca district to serve west Glendale. The count as of today is 17 years and 263 days.

I am tamping down my anger at the concept of a glorified trailer as our west branch library. I understand the city is feeling guilt over never having built the west branch library but offeringfoothills a sop to the citizens of west Glendale is, in truth, insulting. Where, oh where, will we put the Dale Chihuly type art? Or the Magic Doors opening into the magical children’s reading room? Foothills library (Cholla district) patrons received a building replete with original art to enjoy during their visits. Oops, I forgot. Foothills Library is in former Mayor Elaine Scruggs’ district. Yucca district seems destined to remain bare bones. After all, that’s always been what the city has decided west Glendale merits. Except. Except… wait for it…an arena “destined “to propel former City Manager Ed Beasley and former Mayor Scruggs into the national limelight.

Otherwise when it comes to the Yucca district the city always falls back on the rationale that “there is no money.” That excuse only comes into play when a major city building for the use and enjoyment of its citizens is proposed for the westside of Glendale. It isn’t a consideration when approval is given to build a $50 million dollar plus parking garage at Westgate to satisfy the demands of the Bidwills.

The lack of amenities for westside Glendale residents is appalling and has been for many years. Of the 58 small and neighborhood parks (10 acres or less) owned by the city only 5 of them are in the Yucca district (the district’s east boundary is 75th Avenue and west boundary includes all incorporated west to Sarival Avenue; Northern Avenue on the north and Camelback Road on the south).

Of those 5 parks, 3 are joint city/school neighborhood parks with limited hours of access during the school year. They are: Desert Mirage Park at 87th Avenue and Maryland Avenue; Discovery Park at 79th Avenue and Maryland Avenue; and Orangewood Vista Park at 79th Avenue and Orangewood Avenue. Two neighborhood parks are entirely city owned: Pasadena Park at 87th Avenue and Pasadena Road and Sycamore Grove Park at 86th Lane and Emil Rovey Parkway.

What about Community Parks of 10 to 80 acres? Don’t look for any, for there are none in the Yucca district; in the only district that has large portions of vacant developable land.

Of the 6 Regional Parks in Glendale there are 2 listed Regional Parks in the Yucca district: the Grand Canal Linear Park and Heroes Park. Let’s take a closer look at both. The Grand Canal Linear Park was built with the city kicking and screaming all the way. It is part of the Maricopa County Flood Control District and the county district paid the lion’s share of its construction. If the County had not initiated the project there would be no linear park.

Heroes Park contains a splash pad, 4 basketball courts and rental ramadas…that’s it. The majority of the land in that park grows a wonderful annual crop of tumbleweeds. Forget the X Court (skateboard facility). It was closed years ago. Gone is the Master Plan that included baseball fields, a dog park, a west branch library, an urban fishing lake and a recreational center. None of those have been acknowledged for years. Look at the proposed temporary archery range. Have you seen it? I haven’t.

If for no other reason, the city should be providing amenities in west Glendale to encourage development in this slow economy. What employer wants to locate in an area where there are few, if any, amenities for its employees who wish to recreate close to where they live and work? An employer, in order to attract top quality employees, relies upon its location within a city and what a city offers in terms of recreational and cultural opportunities to potential employees/residents. The lack of amenities can be the deciding factor between Glendale and any other Valley city.

So what should be done? Build a glorified trailer in Heroes Park? I say no. What makes far

Courtesy City of Glendale

Courtesy City of Glendale

more sense is to utilize the mostly empty Glendale Media Center at Westgate. The first floor contains all of the city’s media facilities and equipment and should remain. But there is the second floor and third floor, underutilized, that could make one heck of a west branch library. It would be sited where it would enhance the existent surrounding development. How about parking you may ask? As for parking, there isn’t adequate parking at Foothills Library and it doesn’t appear to be a detriment. A west branch library facility could use the parking garage at Westgate by offering library patrons vouchers for parking. It is a city owned parking facility run by the Renaissance Hotel but it is our facility and we do set the rules for its use. This library site would require either an enclosed elevator or escalator on the outside of the building thereby removing the need for the general public to access the media facilities located on the first floor as well as preserving as much space as possible for library use. Certainly the  the retrofit would be on par for a “trailer” whose destiny is to morph into an insufficient library.

Libraries of the future will be different from those of the past. A west branch library at the Media Center should be heavy in two areas that reflect that: technology and lots of it (with media equipment on the first floor it seems that its fiber optics would be first rate); and the children’s area. Up to the minute technological access is critical. Libraries are our best and greatest system of introducing books and the habit of reading to our youngest little ones. It is a habit to be encouraged. Childhood literacy is the foundation of a well educated work force.

Then what about Heroes Park? Do we continue to allow it to languish and grow annual crops of tumbleweeds? No. Two major amenities must be built there and not in another 20 years. It is time for the city to commit its resources to this park. One is an Urban Fishing Lake. The other is a Performing Arts Center/Art Gallery/Art Center which would be within easy access of the Loop 101. A performing arts center/art gallery/art center is an amenity that Glendale has sadly lacked for many years. It is an amenity that helps to define the very character of a great city. It is an amenity that fosters “community.” It is an amenity that this council needs to plan for and build…now…not 20 years from now.

We’ve tried turning the city into a sports mecca and failed miserably. Why not focus our time, talents and resources into creating a point of pride that will be useable and available to all of Glendale’s residents? It’s time to turn Heroes Park from a dusty, woe begotten piece of derelict land into a site of cultural vitality for all of the people of Glendale. It’s time, long overdue, to mete out some justice and equity for the people of west Glendale.

© Joyce Clark, 2015

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It has been 17 years and 261 days since the city’s pledge to build the West Branch Library.

On September 17, 2015, the Glendale Star essentially offered Gary Sherwood the opportunity to explain away his driving suspensions and the active warrant. Here is the link:  http://www.glendalestar.com/news/article_2cb3cc58-5d-11e5-a1bd-b777ff1c7d23e9.html . His attempts to explain his remedial actions do not make the facts disappear.

No one is above the law…not a politician, not a priest. We are all accountable for our actions and must take responsibility for them. Stubborn facts remain. On 8/12/2013 Mr. Sherwood attended meetings at city hall. His license was suspended and it appears that he drove himself to city hall. The following day, in the St. Paul/Minneapolis area, he rented a car and presumably drove it while his license was still suspended. To compound his actions he used a city ProCard to pay for the rental thereby exposing the city to potential liability.

The fact that he disobeyed driving laws six times in ten years, had his driving license suspended several times, failed to appear in court and failed to take timely action to resolve his citations demonstrates his apparent belief that he is above the law. In 6 weeks, on November 3, 2015, the voters of the Sahuaro district will have an opportunity to decide between Ray Milnar and Gary Sherwood. Mr. Milnar has a finance background that will certainly be an asset to the city council. His community activities show that he is a man of principle and strong character. Sherwood has shown the voters of the Sahuaro district his apparent lack of principle on many occasions: Foothills Library, Becker billboards and the casino – to name but a few.

Sophocles once said, “Nobody has a more sacred obligation to obey the law than those who make the law.”

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

I spent some time reading the audit of the Coyotes released by the city on September 9, 2015. Here is the link: https://www.glendaleaz.com/auditor/documents/ArenaContractComplianceReview2015.pdf . The overall sense of the audit expresses the city’s deep frustration with IceArizona’s failure to provide all of the information required by the Professional Management Services and Arena Lease Agreement (PMSA).

Here are a few of the limitations utilized by IceArizona in responding to audit requests:

  • “City staff requested that the Arena Manager provide the City’s auditors and Consultant with a copy of the Team Owner’s financial statements. The Arena Manager denied this request.”
  • “The City’s auditors also requested an independent confirmation of the Team Owner’s 2013/2014 annual operating loss. The Arena Manager’s independent external auditors denied this request.”
  • “On March 13, 2015, the Team Owner issued a notice to the City of the Team Owner’s claimed operating loss for the ‘First Certification Period,’ as defined in the PMSA. The Team Owner provided no additional backup documentation, including Team Owner financial statements, for the city to verify the claimed operating loss.”

Much of the final audit findings are no longer applicable or relevant since the city council cancelled the original contract and negotiated an amended contract good for two years. The audit dealt with all of the revenue streams some of which are no longer applicable under the new temporary contract. However, there were quite a few potential non-compliance issues identified:

  • “Early Termination: The Team Owner’s June 30, 2014 financial statements were not provided to the City, prohibiting the City from verifying the Team Owner’s claimed operating loss. Additionally, the City’s estimate of the Team Owner’s 2013/2014 operating loss is greater than the Team Owner’s March 13, 2015 claimed operating loss based upon the information provided to the City and the Consultant by the Arena Manager. It appeared that the loss as reported to the City was not based upon the Team Owner’s financial results but was based upon the Partnership’s earnings before interest, taxes, depreciation and amortization from the consolidated audited financial statements.” The city had to subtract out the Arena Manager’s audited financial statements from the Partnership’s financial statements since they were not reported separately but all lumped together. The city calculated the Team Owner’s loss to be greater than what they reported to the city.
  • Naming Rights: The City was not paid their full share of naming rights under the 2006 Jobing.com Naming Rights Agreement, resulting in a potential underpayment.” Under the agreement the city was to receive 20% or $1.2 M a year ($60,000 a month). Instead the city received $55,540 for the year. Unilaterally IceArizona said if Jobing.com pays us less, the city gets less. They also independently revised the definition of what components made up the naming rights and told the city that it was not entitled to some of those revenue components.
  • “Qualified Tickets: The number of paid admissions reported by the Team Owner to the NHL was higher than the number of paid admissions reported to the City, resulting in potential surcharge and supplemental surcharge fees still due to the City estimated at $39,640.” The number of paid admissions reported to the city was 533,856; the number reported to the NHL was 542,665 ( a difference of 8,809). The number of complimentary tickets reported to the city was 43,762; the number reported to the NHL was 34,953. The city should have received an additional $39,640.50 for the unreported 8,809 tickets.
  • “Supplemental Surcharge Fees: The Arena Manager did not establish a Supplemental Surcharge Escrow Account in 2014/2014 and deposit funds into the account as required by the PMSA. The Arena Manager wired the entire amount of supplemental surcharge fees that were collected throughout the year to the City on July 9, 2014.” Again, because of the discrepancy in reported ticket sales the city did not receive all supplemental revenue to which it was entitled.
  • “Annual Financial Reports: The City did not receive the Arena Manager’s audited financial statements, which were due September 30, 2014, until February 25, 2015. The Team Owner’s annual financial statements were not reported to the city. The Arena Manager’s independent external auditors were unable to confirm the Arena Manager’s and Team Owner’s 2013/2014 revenues and expenses to the City.
  • “Sales Tax: The Arena Manager and the City have not clarified responsibilities regarding the collection and remittance of sales tax, potentially resulting in unremitted sales taxes on certain Arena revenues.”
  • “Annual Budget: The Arena Manager submitted the 2013/2014 annual budget to the City late on March 25, 2014. The budget was due within 30 days of the closing date of the PMSA.

What does all of this government-speak mean in plain English? The city was frustrated because IceArizona was very late in submitting their audit and IceArizona played games with the report they submitted. The city was put in the position of finding the hidden pea under three cups. The city was conned. IceArizona’s game playing shouldn’t come as any surprise. After all, look at with whom they surrounded themselves…Craig Tindall, Julie Frisoni and Gary Sherwood…who appear to be three little peas in an ethically challenged peapod.

The city didn’t care about the profit and loss statements of the IceArizona partnership. It wanted and didn’t get, two, separately and independently verified audits of IceArizona as the arena manager and IceArizona as the team owner. The city suspects that the annual loss was greater than IceArizona reported but without those two audits the city can surmise but not verify their suspicion. The city was underpaid on ticket sales and the related surcharges that flowed from the ticket sales. The city was underpaid on naming rights because IceArizona unilaterally changed the rules of the game. Finally, the city may also have been underpaid on sales tax revenues generated within the arena.

After having seen the results of the audit is it any wonder that a majority of council cancelled the original agreement? It also lends credence to council’s decision to move forward with putting the arena management contract out for bids. IceArizona has demonstrated an unwillingness to share crucial information, financial or otherwise. They have flexed their muscles as the “big boys” and have shown considerable distain for the city and the taxpayers whose dollars keep them alive.

IceArizona, just like any other entity, is free to submit a bid but based upon their past performance. They will have to clean up their act considerably to be considered seriously.

© Joyce Clark, 2015

FAIR USE NOTICE

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It has been 17 years and 253 days since the city’s pledge to build the West Branch Library.

As a former Glendale city councilmember I take no joy in writing about the seemingly endless misdeeds of sitting Glendale Councilmember Gary Sherwood. It reinforces the average citizen’s belief that all elected officials are corrupt or are not responsive to the electorate once they take office. Just as in other professions there are a few bad apples that can sully a profession’s reputation.

There are many people upset to learn about Sherwood’s situation and they are justified in their anger. They want to march down to City Hall and demand action. More about this later in this blog.

It appears in addition to the alleged license suspension for 8 days from 8/12/2014 to 8/20/2014, Sherwood’s license was also allegedly suspended from 6/26/2012 to 9/3/2013.

This is troubling on many levels. I attended at least two meetings during that time period, once at a restaurant in north Glendale and another time out at the Glendale Airport, and Sherwood was at both. He drove himself to those meetings…if the public records are correct… on a  suspended license.

The restaurant incident sticks in my mind to this day because after the meeting participants were out in the parking lot getting ready to leave, one of the comments made by Sherwood was that he had a “cop card.” I’ve never forgotten that and assumed that he was alleging that he had a card he could use if stopped for a traffic violation. Apparently it didn’t work very well. I have tried to verify that such a “cop card” exists and no one, especially in the local law enforcement community, has ever conceded they have heard of such a thing. It doesn’t seem to exist. Sherwood was probably bragging in an effort to enhance his reputation as “somebody” as his ego may be his biggest personal failing.

The point is that during that 15 month period it seems that Sherwood was driving on a suspended license. In addition, in the Sahuaro district’s portion of Follow Your Money, Sherwood submitted for mileage reimbursement on 3/1/13 for $64.41. This occurred during the 15 month alleged suspension. An elected official submits for mileage reimbursement when using one’s personal vehicle for city business. The very fact that he submitted for reimbursement seems to verify that Sherwood acknowledged he drove during the 15 month period in question.

During his campaign it seems he attended many campaign events and drove himself to them. There are probably many people who can confirm that. Sherwood was elected to office in November of 2012 and was seated as councilmember in January of 2013. He jumped right into office. He was at city hall nearly every day and probably drove himself there…on a suspended license.  He participated in many city events as well as regional events and probably drove himself there…on a suspended license.

There is nothing to be done about his alleged driving while suspended during that time period. One cannot go back retroactively and affect an arrest. It’s done…it’s finished…but this situation is concerning because the situation demonstrates Sherwood’s apparent habit and pattern for disregard for the law. If the alleged driving on a suspended license shows Sherwood’s propensity to disrespect the law, what other laws may he have disregarded?

I have it on good authority that Sherwood’s active warrant for Failure to Appear has been satisfied…very, very recently.  Apparently in the last day or two he paid the $1,500 bond.  It’s disconcerting that it took public revelation of the situation in my blog of September 8, 2015, to make him do what he should have done months ago.

The information about this issue remains interesting. Failure to Appear in Arizona Revised Statutes says under A.R.S. §13-2506, “A. A person commits failure to appear in the second degree if, having been required by law to appear in connection with any misdemeanor or petty offense, such person knowingly fails to appear as required, regardless of the disposition of the charge requiring the appearance.  1. Failure to appear in the second degree is a class 1 misdemeanor.”

I discovered that in Arizona misdemeanors are divided into 3 categories: Class 1, Class 2 and Class 3. Class 1 misdemeanors are the most serious. The maximum penalties are:

  • Class 1 misdemeanor: up to $2,500.00 fine and six months in jail;
  • Class 2 misdemeanor: up to $750.00 fine and four months in jail;
  • Class 3 misdemeanor: up to $500.00 fine and 30 days in jail.

Many citizens contacted me asking what could be done (this was before it was learned that the bond had been paid recently). The disturbing answer is absolutely nothing. Many wanted to put pressure on the city council to take some sort of action. According to the City Council Guidelines the most severe penalty available for a councilmember is, “(council will) determine what sanction is most appropriate; customarily, sanctions are limited to a letter of reprimand or censure.” Here is the link to City Council Guidelines: http://www.glendaleaz.com/CityCouncil/documents/C-Guidelinesamended2-24-2015CLEAN.pdf . There are no teeth within the City Council Guidelines and a legal issue could not be addressed by the city council.

I would suggest that it is time for city council to look at this issue. One cannot forget that at one time, 4 councilmembers were under indictment for backdating documents. The charges were eventually dismissed due to a technicality. As a result of council’s inability to address that issue, they remained seated during the legal process and even voted in the affirmative to make sure their legal fees were paid by the city. Perhaps the solution is to place the councilmember(s) on leave until the legal process resolves itself.

However, there is also the matter of the City Attorney. The City Attorney should be concerned about Sherwood’s use of a city ProCard to rent and park a vehicle during his St.Paul/Minneapolis trip on 8/13/2014 during another alleged license suspension. What if there had been an accident? The city surely would have been liable because of the use of its ProCard. It’s the stuff of which City Attorney nightmares are made. At the very least the City Attorney should require immediate reimbursement of the vehicle rental and parking fees. More importantly, perhaps this event warrants removing Sherwood’s ProCard use. Then there is the issue of Sherwood’s reimbursement for mileage during suspension. I would think that might be a legal can of worms as well. Again, at the very least it should require reimbursement to the city.

As for the Glendale Police Department’s arrest of Sherwood it becomes a moot point as he satisfied the bond associated with the warrant for his arrest since the publication of my recent blog.

Even if Sherwood has secured an attorney to deal with these allegations and they are adjucated, that does not mitigate his seeming disregard for the law. It speaks to his character…or lack thereof.

The voters of the Sahuaro district are the only ones who have the power in this situation as there is a Recall Election looming on November 3, 2015. Character is just one of the elements to consider in casting one’s vote. They have the power to decide if Sherwood’s character merits his removal as their councilmember. They do have a choice. Mr. Ray Malnar is running against Sherwood and I suspect his character is not in question.

© Joyce Clark, 2015

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Malfeasance??

Posted by Joyce Clark on September 8, 2015
Posted in City of Glendale  | 8 Comments

It has been 17 years and 250 days since the city’s pledge to build the West Branch Library.

Courtesy Charlie Leight/The Republic

Courtesy Charlie Leight/The Republic

By now the general public is keenly aware of the Hillary Clinton scandal regarding her emails and the use of a private server while she was serving as Secretary of State. The general public consensus seems to believe that she is arrogant and believes that the law doesn’t apply to her. Perhaps the same can be said of Councilmember Gary Sherwood, Sahuaro district, currently facing a recall election on November 3, 2015.

There are some people with a lot of time on their hands and they do research. Recently I received via email a packet of material related to Sherwood and his driving record. I did not do the research on this material but I did go to every link provided and assured myself that all of the information I am about to share is a public record. I will provide the links and copies of the material I found on each site. So, thank you to anonymous for sharing.

Just about everyone on the planet has received a traffic ticket at some point in their driving lifetimes. In my 50 years of driving I have received 3 speeding tickets. I paid my fine, took the defensive driving class, received points on my license…and vowed to stop being a “lead foot.” Gary Sherwood appears to have received 6 traffic citations over a 12 year period from 2001 to 2013. In the great scheme of things, no big deal. However, it is the last and most recent traffic violation that is troubling. Here is the link to his list of violations: http://apps.supremecourt.az.gov/publicaccess/ .

6 traffic violations

The Round Valley Justice Court case appears to still be an open case according to the records. That case shows 3 counts: Count 1-a local driving violation to which he pled guilty and sentence imposed on 8/18/2013; Count 2-“drive with license suspended/revoked/cancelled” which appears to be open and unresolved; and Count 3-“Failure to Appear, 2nd degree” which also appears to be open and unresolved. Use the same link provided above and click on J-0101-TR-20131487 . Below is the case file from that link.

Round Valley Justice Court

Here are the details of the Case Activity. As of 12/8/2014 there appears to be an Active Warrant still open for Sherwood. If this warrant is still active, why hasn’t the Glendale Police Department arrested him? They know where to find him on Tuesdays…at city hall attending council workshops and meetings.

Case Activity

This case is raises some vexing questions. Mr. Sherwood was seated as the Glendale Sahuaro City Councilmember in January, 2013. At that time he is no longer private citizen Sherwood but public official Sherwood. Whether one likes it or not, a public official is held to a higher standard than that of a private citizen.

If you take note in the Case Activity there is a TR/SR Suspension Only on 8/12/2014 and the suspension was lifted on 8/20/2014. Was this a driver’s license suspension? In talking to persons in law enforcement the consensus is that it probably was suspended but they cannot verify that opinion without seeing some of the original documentation. IF his license was indeed suspended, did Mr. Sherwood stay home on 8/12/2014, day of council meeting or did he have someone drive him around? Apparently not. On 8/12/2014 there was a city council executive session at 4 PM followed by a city council meeting that evening. Sherwood attended both. Did he drive himself to City Hall that day?

The following day, 8/13/2014, Sherwood was in St.Paul/Minneapolis for a League of Cities and Towns National Conference. Here is the link and the material copied from the link: http://www.glendaleaz.com/FollowYourMoney/Dept.cfm?Type=5&DeptID=112&DivID=10140&Account=511400 .

Car rental

As you can see, Sherwood rented a car from National Car Rental and paid $44 to park it that day paid with the city’s ProCard (taxpayers dollars)…on what may have been a suspended driver’s license. So, you, dear Glendale taxpayer, could have funded Sherwood’s disobedience of the law.

These publicly accessed facts could lead one to assume that Sherwood is at the very least a scofflaw and at the very worst, believes the law doesn’t apply to him. These facts appear to lend credence to Sherwood’s habit and pattern of ignoring the rules whether they are rules of the road or the filing necessary political documents.

Malfeasance is also a word that comes to mind. Webster’s Dictionary defines malfeasance as “wrongdoing or misconduct especially by a public official.” Voters of the Sahuaro district, is this the man to represent your interests?

© Joyce Clark, 2015

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It has been 17 years and 246 days since the city’s pledge to build the West Branch Library.

In political terms the Sherwood recall election is coming very soon…November 3, 2015. On the ballot you will see no rebuttal statement by Sherwood because he filed his statement after the mandated deadline. His failure to interpret the fine print is a typical Sherwood failing. He has often had to amend his campaign filings for the very same reason and he has been fined by the City Clerk for filing required documents late.

Sherwood created the mess that he is in. He reneged on his campaign platform almost immediately. He appears to have cut a deal with Councilmember Chavira and so he voted for the casino and in turn, Chavira voted for the Coyotes. His public announcement of his private interview with former City Manager Brenda Fischer immediately raised eyebrows. Once Fischer was on board he aligned himself with her, Frisoni and Burdick. There were reports of his having lunch with them individually on a regular basis.

The office of councilmember beguiled Sherwood. Now he was somebody. He reveled in associating with the big dogs…Anthony LeBlanc, Michael Bidwill, Ned Norris, Jr. and Mark Becker. He not only advocated for their projects he was their biggest champion and constantly referred to his private conversations with them. He dropped names and made sure everyone knew he was their buddy.

After only a few weeks in office he began gunning for Mayor Weiers and brought topics to council workshop that he hoped would embarrass the mayor all the while proclaiming on city hall’s 4th floor that he was the “real” mayor of Glendale. Sherwood quickly became full of himself. He refused to listen to his constituency on issues such as Becker billboards and the library. When they spoke publicly he often denigrated and demeaned them. He failed to communicate on a regular basis with the people in his district. He failed to advise his constituents of important meeting dates on hot topics…such as the possible closure of the Foothills Library.

Sherwood dug his own hole with his seeming arrogance, cronyism and lust for power. If my unscientific poll on this blog is any indication, Mr. Ray Malnar, has an excellent chance of taking the Sahuaro district council seat. Right now there are 151 votes (74%) against Sherwood and only 54 (26%) for Sherwood. I suspect these results will be mirrored in the Recall Election on November 3, 2015.

Who is Ray Malnar, Sherwood’s opponent? I had an opportunity to sit down with Mr. Malnar over a cup of coffee (in my case, tea). He is a breath of fresh air and couldn’t be more different from Sherwood. Mr. Malnar is a man grounded by family, friends and his faith. He is a small business owner of All Stone Tile & Wood Restoration, a licensed and bonded company in business since 1995.

Mr. Malnar has not served on a Glendale Board or Commission but so what…neither did I when I ran for my council seat. Serving on a board or commission signals that a candidate may have been co-opted by the city and may have developed sympathies for city positions on issues. He has been involved in the life of our community in other, equally impressive ways. He currently serves as a Court Mediator and Court Hearing Officer for the Maricopa County Justice Court. He is a current board member of Choice Academies and the West-Mec School District. He was a Boy Scout leader for 15 years and has been involved in various church activities.

He is a graduate of the University of Utah and has a BS in finance, a BA in speech and communications and an MBA. His intellectual strengths are in finance, accounting, information systems, general business management and governmental affairs. He is not self-effacing but is quietly confident. He is eager to build relationships that foster trust and believes in empowering others. He is a gentleman and shows respect for all. He genuinely listens to those who wish to share their concerns or different points of view with him.

The voters of the Sahuaro district do have a choice on November 3, 2015. They can choose Sherwood and receive the same lack of representation, the same arrogance and the same distain for views he does not share. Or they can choose Ray Malnar, a man who has committed to representing his future constituents, who respects others and a man who has business and finance experience. Nationally we hear every day that the electorate is seeking change. Voters of the Sahuaro district have a rare opportunity to do the same by voting for Ray Malnar.

If you think it is time for a change in Sahuaro district representation please share this blog with family, friends and neighbors. Let them know they have a choice in November. Let them know they can vote for a good, solid candidate, Ray Malnar, who will do what Gary Sherwood failed to do…represent 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 ‘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 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 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 242 days since the city’s pledge to build the West Branch Library.

This is for any “Fischer-philes” still out there. I don’t follow Glendale’s former city manager Brenda Fischer. She’s no longer relevant now that she’s gone from Glendale. Other people still do. One of them sent me the latest on Fischer Consulting.

Guess who two of her latest clients are? How about Julie Frisoni (former Glendale Assistant City Manager) and Mark Burdick (former Glendale Fire Chief)? Here is the link to Fischer’s site: http://fischerconsultingllc.com/ .

I guess Frisoni’s former staid and conservative website was not driving much business. It’s odd because she bills herself as a master communicator. So she Frisoniturned to her old buddy, Fischer, to pep it up with an orange background and an array of microphones as the major image and added a bunch of new communication services (that happen to be eerily similar to Fischer’s offerings on her website). Hmmm…from a sophisticated image to a garish one in one fell swoop.

What is even more interesting is the fact that Burdick has formed his own fire consulting business, Innovative Fire Service Solutions. Is this a precursor for providing ambulance service in Glendale in the near future? Who did he use to Burdickdesign his advertising material? Why, Brenda Fischer. Fischer seems to be rather weak in graphic design. The use of a black background with gold text is not the most readable image. A light bulb with fire atop it is rather trite.

Frisoni and Burdick comprised part of Fischer’s inner power circle during her Glendale days. There were others. So, it’s not surprising that we continue to see the ongoing relationships among all three.

© 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 ‘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 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 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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