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GAIN night

Posted by Joyce Clark on October 29, 2016
Posted in City issue and actionsCity of GlendaleGlendale elected officials  | Tagged With: , , | 1 Comment

On Friday evening, October 28, 2016, Glendale celebrated its GAIN night (Getting Arizona Involved in Neighborhoods) at Murphy Park in downtown Glendale. It was a wonderful event but it was not img_3921a GAIN night. It could be characterized as a police expo, children’s trick or treat and an entertainment event but it was not a GAIN night. There were a tremendous number of booths available to the public from AARP to Glendale’s Justice Center and everything in between. All were eager to share information with the public about the services they offer. The police department had their SWAT vehicle and Command Center vehicle open for the public to view and to learn about their equipment and responsibilities. A local dance academy provided entertainment for the public. All of the kids were fantastic from the youngest dancers shaking their “tail feathers” to the older children performing hip hop. But none of this was GAIN night.

This is undoubtedly an event that has earned the right to become an annual event. But it was notimg_3940 GAIN night and should not take its place. GAIN night was designed to emphasize the importance of police-community partnerships and to encourage citizen involvement in fighting crime. In fact, some of the event visitors I met were from Surprise, Phoenix, etc.

During my time on city council up until I left at the end of 2012, neighborhoods, large and small, were encouraged to host a get together that brought neighbors together. The registered neighborhood could be as small as one street of 20 neighbors or as large as an HOA led subdivision of a 100 neighbors or better. Typically, neighbors would host a pot luck with activities for the neighborhood children. Everyone would sit around, eat and drink, and talk to one another.

img_3929Neighborhoods would be visited by police officers, often the very officers charged with patrolling their neighborhoods. They would meet face-to-face and neighbors would share their “atta boys/girls” and their concerns. They would also be visited by the nearest fire station and the kids had the opportunity to see those fire trucks, up close and personally. Councilmembers, when requested to do so by a neighborhood, would donate $50 out of their council budget, to help defray the cost of refreshments and they would stop by and visit as many neighborhoods as physically possible. While on council I looked forward to GAIN night as a way to reconnect with some neighborhoods and tried to visit as many GAIN neighborhood gatherings as humanly possible. Typically, I was usually able to stop by at least a dozen of them. The good thing about it was there were always more events than a person could visit.

We all know Arizona is a very transient state. People move in and out continually. People also change neighborhoods in an effort to upsize or downsize their homes or for any number of other reasons. Neighborhoods are in a continual flux. Often neighbors may know who lives on either side or across the street from their home but no one else.

One of the benefits of GAIN is that at least once a year it brought new and old neighbors together. It provided a venue to get to know one another. It provided an opportunity for neighbors to bondimg_3944 and to make new friendships – often long lasting.  It encouraged them to discover who was a part of their neighborhood so that strangers in a neighborhood could be more easily identified.

Another benefit was that it provided neighborhoods the chance to meet and to develop relationships with the very police officers that served their neighborhood. Councilmembers used this event to reconnect with some of their neighborhoods and to learn what was going well and what needed attention. GAIN in that format did exactly what it was designed to do.

img_3941Glendale should continue to promote the police expo. It, too, serves a purpose but it should be considered as an adjunct to the traditional (at least 15 year old) GAIN night. Let’s get back to building neighborhoods by building relationships within them.

 

© Joyce Clark, 2016          

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 ‘fair use’ of any such material. 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.

In May of 2016, I shared with you an issue facing historic Harmont Drive in Glendale. It is an older, historic neighborhood of large lot properties established in 1953, over 60 years ago. Their CC&Rs prohibit commercial use of the properties in this SR-17 (17,000 square feet) neighborhood.

As soon as a Mr. Don Olson moved into a home located on the northeast corner of 59th and Northern Avenues, within this subdivision, he used this location as a commercial tree farm business. He accepted retail customers at the location and also stored trees for disposition and sale at other locations in the Valley. Here’s a link to his Facebook page: https://www.facebook.com/Shamus-OLearys-Tropical-Fruit-Trees-469661096392272/ .

When he purchased the property he, like any other buyer in this subdivision, received the CC&R’s prohibiting his use of his property for commercial purposes. Apparently he chose to ignore them and promptly began his retail business. When it came to the attention of the city via the neighbors, he claimed ignorance.

The neighbors couldn’t help but notice the increased commercial activity and notified the city’s Code Enforcement Department. Eventually Mr. Olson was told by the city that he had to stop his activities and he would have to apply for a Conditional Use Permit (CUP). On Thursday, May 5, 2016, Mr. Olson’s Conditional Use Permit request went before the Planning Commission. Fearing a denial, Mr. Olson requested that the item be tabled as apparently he had hired a zoning attorney to represent him when the CUP was scheduled for a rehearing on August 4, 2016.

On August 4th, 2016 the following occurred at the citizen Planning and Zoning Meeting: “CUP16-01: A request by Don Olson for a Conditional Use Permit (CUP) to operate a home occupation (Class II) business in a private backyard of a residence, which will mainly consist of growing trees and selling trees to customers with appointments on a property in the SR-17 (Suburban Residence) Zoning District. The site is located north of the northeast corner of 59th and Northern Avenues (5841 West Royal Palm Road) and is in the Barrel District. Staff Contact: Martin Martell, Planner.  COMMISSIONER HIRSCH MADE A MOTION TO DENY CUP16-01.  COMMISSIONER MORENO SECONDED THE MOTION, WHICH WAS APPROVED WITH A VOTE OF 6 TO 1 (GALLEGOS).”

The neighbors had won. Mr. Olson was denied his CUP request and would not be allowed to operate a business at this location. Then what are these semis doing at Mr. Olson’s residence? It’s not just a single occurrence but seems to happen frequently and with regularity.

Apparently these semis are dropping off trees…lots and lots of trees, which are then distributed by Mr. Olson to other locations for commercial sale. This is a commercial activity that had been strictly prohibited by the August 4th decision of the Planning Commission.

olsonoct23

Mr. Olson is gaming the system. As we residents of Glendale know all too well it’s well nigh impossible to expect Code Enforcement to check out anything on a weekend. Yes, they have an inspector on call from 9 AM to 5 PM on Saturdays. Guess when these semis arrive at Mr. Olson’s. You would be correct if you guessed after 5 PM on a Saturday evening. You would also be correct if you guessed that the trees would be gone by 9 AM on a Monday morning.

The neighbors notified Code of Mr. Olson’s activities (he uses the commercial name of Shamus O’Leary) and the response from Code to date? Nothing. Two months later, in October, 2016, neighborhood complaints are now arriving in a steady stream at Code Enforcement’s desk. Witness this October 15, 2016 email trail to Code (names and sensitive information reacted):

“From: XXXXXXXX Sent: Saturday, October 15, 2016 1:44 AM To: XXXXXXXXX (Code Enforcement)

Subject: Don Olson loading up fruit trees on Fri. 10/14 @ 7:45pm

 XXXXXXX,

Here are some pictures of Don Olson loading up a rental truck with fruit trees and supplies.  According to his FB page, he is selling his stuff at Mesa CC on Sat. morning.  XXXXX, my wife, called the Code compliance phone number and left a message.  I am sure that Don waited until after 5pm to load the truck knowing that there would be no code compliance officers on duty.  This is what I was talking to you about last week.  Did you ever get a chance to talk to someone in the police dept. to see if there is someone we can call on the weekends?  These pictures were taken on Fri. night around 7:45pm.  He is loading the truck from the driveway/easement on the back of his property.  The truck is facing 59th Ave.  The bottom picture is a house facing 59th Ave. and is not Don or his wife/girlfriend’s property.”

image1

Then a few days later, October 20th, another advisory email is sent to Code Enforcement:

“From: XXXXXXXXXXXX Sent: Thursday, October 20, 2016 3:25 PM To: XXXXXXXXXX (Code Enforcement) Subject: Shamus O’Leary

 XXXXXXXXX,

Just wanted to follow up with the e-mail I sent you last week.  According to Don Olson’s business FB page, he will be loading up another truck and heading out on Sat. morning to sell his trees in Apache Junction.  If he is loading his truck on Fri night or Sat morning, is there anyone to call that might catch him in the act?  It also appears that some of his customers are upset with him because he is charging sales tax of 9.6%.  Shouldn’t he be paying that sales tax to the city of Glendale?

 Thanks, XXXXXXXXXXX”

An email is sent to neighbors on the same day:

“From: XXXXXXXXXX Sent: Friday, October 21, 2016 7:55 PM To: XXXXXXXXXXX Subject: Fw: Shamus O’Leary

 Don is loading up trees again tonight for a big sale Sat. morning in Apache Junction.  I told Code Enforcement that he would be loading up a truck tonight but, you know the drill, nobody in Code Enforcement is available after 5 pm Fri until Mon. morning.  He pulled a Penske box truck into the front driveway around 6:10 pm, then started loading it up.  XXXXX (Code) said that XXXXXX (Code Inspector) would be available on Sat. morning if anyone sees Don, but I am sure he will be long gone by then.  The cell # is XXX-XXX-XXXX.  According to the Shamus O’Leary FB page, he is selling his trees in AJ from 9-11 am on Sat.  He also responded to one of his customers who asked why he charges 9.6% tax on fruit trees when Lowe’s doesn’t charge any.  He said his accountant advised him to and that he isn’t familiar with the tax codes.  He also said that he pays his taxes monthly?  Who is he paying them to?”  

By now, the City’s Code Enforcement and License & Tax Division knows what Mr. Olson is doing. Why are they not acting with alacrity? Code’s traditional response is that they have to catch the act itself and cite. That is impossible when the activity occurs outside of regular business hours. You would think that Code being aware of this situation would provide the neighbors with a contact inspector who would come out especially to deal with this illegal activity outside of regular business hours. So far…no.

I know that many in Glendale government read this blog. Hopefully, it will spur some sort of immediate action. After all, Code’s prime directive is to ensure the health and safety as well as the property values of Glendale’s residents. To date, this is yet another example of the city’s lack of response and ineffectiveness. It’s what drives residents nuts.

© Joyce Clark, 2016          

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 ‘fair use’ of any such material. 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 Tuesday, October 18, 2016 the city council had only one item on its workshop agenda…the performance of its Civic Center. The Civic Center opened in 1999 and is now 17 years old. It is a beautiful building. Former Mayor Scruggs wanted it and sold it under the guise of becoming a destination location in downtown Glendale. Has this facility performed up to its expectations? Let’s take a look.

City personnel made their Tuesday presentation based on figures for the last 5 years of the Civic Center’s operation. I have taken staff’s 5 year average and derived estimates that reflect the entire 17 years of its operation. My figures could be a little too high or a little too low as I did not look up the figures in 17 years of budget books. Hence the estimated were arrived at by multiplying the average annual figures times 17 years.

Over the 17 year life of the facility the General Fund Budget allocation was an estimated $11,422,000.00 and there had been an additional General Fund Subsidy over those 17 years of another $4,400,000. The 17 year total of budget allocations and subsidies is an estimated $15,822,000 or an average of $930,000.00 per year. Not included in this amount are the costs of maintenance and repair that have been expended over the 17 year period as staff did not provide any figures relative to this expense.

What kind of revenue does the Civic Center generate to offset its expenses? Over 17 years an estimated $850,000 had been earned from the catering contract and during the same period the Civic Center had earned an additional $6,800,000.  The total estimated revenues over the 17 year period is approximately $7,650,000.

The Civic Center had earned an estimated $7,650,000 over its life span and had cost the city an estimated $15,822,000. It has cost the city an estimated $8,172,000 to keep the doors of the Civic Center open for the past 17 years.

According to the staff presentation over the last 5 years the Civic Center had drawn an annual average of 51,888 patrons or for the past 17 years an estimated total of 882,096 patrons. That averages about 141 patrons per day. However, there are days when the Civic Center has no business and days when it is booked for large gatherings. It should be mentioned that the Center has very little, if any business, in December due to Glendale Glitters. There simply is not enough parking during that period for Civic Center patrons and over the years patrons have not wanted to deal with the traffic generated by Glendale Glitters.

Has this facility fulfilled its promise? Everyone, even staff, says no.  In their presentation staff offered a plan with a new growth goal of an increase of 5% in patronage per year. Since the average annual patronage is 51,888 patrons, their goal is to increase that number by 2, 594 additional patrons this year. They believe they can accomplish that goal because new funding has been allocated to market the Center; there will be enhanced collaboration with the Glendale Convention and Visitor’s Bureau; their absorption into a new department will create new synergy; and there will be an enhanced building maintenance and repair fund. Staff has also asked for authorization for up to 6 community events at no charge; consideration of rental fee adjustments as part of the Fiscal Year 2017-18 budget; and the flexibility to negotiate rental fee packages.

Will all of this work? Everyone hopes so. The jury is still out. City council is willing to give the Center more time.  Staff’s first annual performance report is due in a year. Make no mistake. Challenges remain. Not having a major hotel nearby as well as inadequate parking space during downtown events will have to be overcome, if possible. Add to this equation the Convention Center space owned by the city and managed by the Renaissance Hotel at Westgate is a direct competitor for the same business.

If staff cannot turn the Civic Center around then it may be time for council to consider whether it will ever meet its purpose financially and philosophically. Perhaps repurposing will become its fate. It was originally designed to be a draw for downtown Glendale. A true destination place is exactly what downtown Glendale desperately needs to become more robust and to grow to its potential.

© Joyce Clark, 2016          

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 ‘fair use’ of any such material. 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.

arcplaque_000On Saturday, October 15, 2016, Glendale celebrated the Grand Opening of the newest amenity at Heroes Park – the Archery Complex. Archery is a sport that seems to be under the radar. Yet as unheralded as it is, there are a lot of archers in the Valley. They were excited and grateful to see this complex become reality for the only other complex is located in the east Valley.

There was one unsung hero in attendance on that bright, beautiful Saturdayphoto-4 morning and that was local realtor and Yucca district resident Tom Traw. If anyone deserves credit for making this complex a reality it is he. For you see, Tom went to Yucca district councilmember Sammy Chavira to pitch the idea. Sammy did nothing, despite his public assertion that as a result of Councilmember Aldama’s idea, he followed up and made it a reality. Nothing could be further from the truth. The thanks and the credit belong to Tom Traw. Tom bull dogged Glendale Parks and Recreation staff when it seemed as if the project had fallen into a black hole. Tom advocated for and kept the pressure on all involved for over 2 years. My thanks and the thanks of all who will enjoy and use this complex go to Tom Traw.

The archery demonstrations were amazing. Eric Bennet, a Paralympian Archer, actually severed the grand opening ribbon and a segment of it was pinned to a target by his shot. 2016 Olympic Archery Coach was surrounded by hoards of young, aspiring archers.

photo-1What is even more amazing was the outpouring of support not just from the non-profit community; the Arizona Sports and Tourism Authority and the Arizona Game and Fish Department both of whom granted funds to the project; but from local businesses who donated time, material and labor. Without their donations there is no way this project could have become reality.

 Lastly, Glendale’s Parks and Recreation Department showcased their innovationphoto-3 and ingenuity as well. Instead of purchasing the stakes needed to hold down lane markings they were able to manufacture them at a fraction of the cost. They also manufactured the moveable carts that hold the targets. They saved an incredible amount of money. They are to be congratulated for their hard work and dedication to this project.

Congratulations to all who made this amazing complex a reality. Now, it’s time to complete Heroes Park, one of a very few regional parks in Glendale and still not completed as designed after an 18 year wait.

© Joyce Clark, 2016          

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 ‘fair use’ of any such material. 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.

Let’s start with the fun stuff. This Saturday, October 15, 2016 from 9 AM to 10:30 AM the City of Glendale will host the Grand Opening Ceremony for a brand new archery complex located at Heroes Park at  the northeast corner of 83rd Avenue and Bethany Home Road.

It’s the first new amenity in the 88 acre, regional park to be constructed in 7 or 8 years. The last amenity being the ramadas. There will be archery demonstrations by local archers and the public will have the opportunity to meet Eric Bennet, U.S. Archery Paralympian, and Mel Nichols, the 2016 U. S. Olympic Archery Coach.

The major funding partners are The Arizona Sports and Tourism Authority and the Arizona Game and Fish Department. This was a project whose primary funding came from the private sector. All of the following companies contributed money, labor and/or materials:

·       Arizona Rock Products Association

·       CEMEX

·       DBA Construction, Inc.

·       GCON, Inc.

·       Hansen Aggregates of Arizona

·       Heritage Trucking, Inc.

·       Madison Granite Supplies, Inc.

·       Salt River Materials Group

·       Shade ‘n Net

Instead of sleeping in this Saturday, won’t you join us in thanking these organizations and private sector companies for their generosity? This is a family-friendly event. Please bring your children. Who knows? You might have a budding Olympic Archer in your family.

archery-range

I also want to alert Yucca district residents, most especially Rovey Farm Estates residents. Just north of Glendale Avenue, between 83rd Avenue and 91st Avenue sits Crosspoint Christian Church. It owns 23.4 acres currently zoned by the city as R1-10 (10,000 square foot lots yielding approximately 3 to 4 homes to the acre). The church wants the land rezoned to R1-7 PRD (7,000 square foot lots yielding 5 to 6 homes to the acre).

zoning-request-oct-12-2016

The greater the density per acre the more money the church gets for the land. It is the difference between putting 69 to 92 homes on that land versus putting 115 to 138 homes (nearly double the amount) on that land.

Rovey Farm Estates is directly north of this parcel. This subdivision is divided into sections and the section that is north of this parcel abutting it is zoned R1-10. A small portion of the northeast portion of this parcel has R1-7 homes abutting it. The majority of this land will directly impact the 10,000 square foot lots to the north.

What can you do? The zoning request will be heard and approved or denied by the city council on Tuesday, October 25, 2016 at its regular 6 PM city council meeting. You can go to council chambers at city hall located at the intersection of 59th Avenue and Glendale Avenue that evening and express your support for or opposition to the rezoning request. You can also send an email expressing your opinion to the mayor and councilmembers. Here are their email addresses: jweiers@glendaleaz.com, ihugh@glendaleaz.com, rmalnar@glendaleaz.com, bturner@glendaleaz.com, ltolmachoff@glendaleaz.com, jaldama@glendaleaz.com, and schavira@glendaleaz.com.

If you want to protect your quality of life and your home values it is up to you to act. Make your opinion known to the city council. Let them know whether you approve or oppose the proposed rezoning.

© Joyce Clark, 2016        

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 ‘fair use’ of any such material. 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.

Well, Sammy finally turned in his campaign finance report on October 3, 2016…late. Wonder if he was fined? Here is the link to his finance report: http://glendaleaz.com/Clerk/documents/Post-Primary-ChaviraforCouncil.pdf .

Sammy raised almost as much money as the two mayoral candidates as each mayoral candidate raised and spent in excess of $100,000. This report pegs him collecting $81,180.74 in contributions from special interests and unions outside of Glendale. His total spending to date is $74,301.74. I spent $11,489.70. Sammy, to date, outspent me 6 and a half times to one. He retains excess cash of $6878.27. How long will it take him to figure out a strategy that allows him to pocket that cash? Legally, a campaign committee may only make contributions to other candidates or committees or to non-profits. The excess funds are not to be spent personally.

As Sammy rides off into the sunset hopefully never to run for any office again, we wish him a fond farewell.

Even though I do not take office until December 13, 2016, I have begun to resume councilmember elect activities. I had been invited to attend a neighborhood annual picnic this past Sunday. I had a great time. I connected with residents who I had served previously and listened to their current concerns as well as issues important to them now. This week I will meet with developers on two upcoming residential zoning projects and attend a grand opening for a local business.

I attribute the result of my win to my previous constituent interactions. My campaign support came from individuals living within the Yucca district or within Glendale. To celebrate that win I am joining Mayor Jerry Weiers, Vice Mayor Ian Hugh, and Councilmember Ray Malnar in a victory party on October 21, 2016. To all those individuals who either donated to my campaign, made phone calls for me, walked for me, worked the polls or had yard signs, consider this personal invitation as a way to thank you for your support. I invite you to join all four of us in celebration. I, personally, am excited to be part of a team committed to moving Glendale forward. We ask that you RSVP by calling 623-939-4052 or emailing ianhugh2012@yahoo.com before October 14, 2016 so that we might have a count for food and refreshment purposes.

invitation-5

© Joyce Clark, 2016        

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 ‘fair use’ of any such material. 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.

Campaign finance reports were due by 5 PM on Thursday, September 29, 2016. As of this posting (after 5 PM on Friday, September 30, 2016) Sammy Chavira’s campaign filing report has not been posted by the City Clerk. Why, you say? Because Sammy has not turned it in. Sammy apparently believes that the laws that everyone tries to uphold do not apply to him. It’s not terribly surprising considering his attitude toward a simple traffic ticket. He failed to appear in court and subsequently had his driver’s license suspended. In addition the Campaign for Truth and Leadership committee and Fire Fighters interested in Registration and Education PAC have not turned in their latest and now overdue campaign finance reports either. These organizations spent a considerable amount of money in support of Sammy’s reelection.

The amount of money spent on the Glendale mayoral race is truly astounding. Burdick reported spending $121,489.60 and Weiers spent $107,356.97. The total for these two races is $228,846.57 or slightly over a quarter of a million dollars. What bumped up the numbers was for the first time there were TV ads, notoriously expensive. Burdick led the way with TV ads beginning during the Republican convention in mid-July and they were run repeatedly and relentlessly until August 30, 2016, the day of the Primary Election. Weiers had no option but to run his own series of TV ads.

It appears from now on a person should not consider running for mayor in Glendale unless he or she can amass a war chest of a minimum of $100,000. That will put many would-be candidates out of the race. It’s a shame that it has come to that.

There could be as many as four aspirants in the 2020 election for mayor. Many suspect that former Councilmember Yvonne Knaack still harbors ambitions. Add to that Councilmembers Turner, Tolmachoff and Aldama, all of whom seem to be jockeying for a run. Throw in a dash of former Assistant City Manager and major player in the Burdick failed contest, Julie Frisoni. During the election season some voters received a survey call asking for a favorable or unfavorable opinion of Julie Frisoni. Many considered it strange since she wasn’t running. It seems she may be preparing for a political future and could decide to run against Lauren Tolmachoff for the Cholla district seat or perhaps…gasp…mayor. A Cholla city council seat  seemed a far more likely proposition if Burdick had won the mayoral contest but despite the outcome Frisoni and her backers may decide to give it or a mayoral race  a try in 2018.

In the other races more modest sums were spent: Vice Mayor Ian Hugh spent $26,815.31; Councilmember Ray Malnar spent $11,696.13 and I spent $11,489.70. Collectively that amounts to $50,001.14. However, we do know from Sammy’s previous campaign report that he had already spent $57,905.98 and we will await seeing what shows up in his overdue report. So far, the collective total for council races is $107,907.12. Anywhere from $10,000 to $40,000 is a typical amount that is usually spent on a Glendale city council race. In its previous campaign report, The Campaign for Truth and Leadership spent $45,218.56 (donated to it from the United Food Workers). The committee is now terminated. The entire amount was not spent on pro Burdick and pro Chavira mailers or anti Weiers or anti Clark mailers (about $30,000). Some of the funds (about $15,000) was spent in support of Larkin and Andrade.

Let’s total what we know has been spent in Glendale’s elections per the latest submitted campaign finance reports. Two candidates spent $228,846.57 on the mayoral races; $107,907.12 was spent on the 3 city council races; and another $30,000 was spent by an Independent Committee. That totals $336,753.69. I suspect Sammy’s missing report will show additional expenditures of about $20,000 bringing the total spent in this round of Glendale elections to somewhere in the neighborhood of $350,000. That’s a surprisingly large amount of money to spend in a Glendale election cycle and has never occurred before.

I don’t have an answer to this escalation of political spending. A friend suggested that perhaps there should be a cap of maybe $50,000 for a mayoral race and $20,000 for a council race. It’s intriguing. It would cause the candidate to spend wisely and effectively. This person believes it would force candidates to have more interaction with voters and perhaps more reliance on social media which costs relatively nothing. What’s your take on the state of Glendale races?

© Joyce Clark, 2016          

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 ‘fair use’ of any such material. 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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