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Joyce Clark Unfiltered

For "the rest of the story"

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Disclaimer: The comments in this blog are my personal opinion and may or may not reflect an adopted position of the city of Glendale and its city council.

Several Ocotillo residents emailed me their copy of Jamie Aldama’s latest mailers. Here is the front and the back of the first one. My apologies if they did not reproduce well.

It appears that Aldama is having difficulty getting endorsements. To my knowledge, Mayor Weiers, I and Councilmembers Hugh, Tolmachoff and Malnar are endorsing his opponent, Emmanuel Allen. The only councilmember not endorsing Allen is Councilmember Turner. That should not be a surprise as Turner and Aldama have voted in lock step on some important Glendale issues such as light rail.

As you can see on the front side of this mailer his wife and daughter endorse him. On the back side is his announcement of reelection and a reminder to vote. In my humble opinion, the mailer is a ‘nothing burger’. It would have been a golden opportunity to remind potential voters of all of his successes within the Ocotillo district. But then again, what wins for the people of the Ocotillo district can he point to?

Here is the second mailer.

Note that it is paid for by A Better Glendale, the fire union PAC. It is filled with generalities and platitudes. One line reads “Better for Education.” It seems I have to remind folks every election when Aldama uses this, that Glendale government has no control over schools. That is the responsibility of district school boards. Aldama, as a city councilmember, has no ability to make Glendale’s schools ‘better’.

If anyone out there knows how Aldama is better for Glendale, families, education and community I hope you will share with the rest of us. Also note the endorsement from the Police FOP. It could be the state organization but it is not the Glendale police union. The same is true for the Arizona Police Association.

Aldama is a nice person but choosing someone to represent you is not a popularity contest. Your choice should be based upon your representative’s performance and making sure the candidate’s positions on the issues align with yours.

I became concerned about Aldama’s performance with regard to the issue of council’s decision to place School Resource Officers in all Glendale high schools. During consideration of the initiative by council Aldama never once stated that he did not support the decision due to reason A, B or C. It was surprising to all councilmembers when he did not show up for the Press Conference to announce our decision.

Instead immediately after the press conference, Councilmember Aldama offered a Guest Commentary in the Glendale Star on March 27, 2018 saying, Clearly this was an insensitive headline-grabbing political response to a larger problem than just having an officer in each high school, or on any or all school campuses in Glendale. To suggest this action taken by the city of Glendale is a solution to preventing future school shooting incidents is misleading.”

His commentary was followed by Perry Vandell’s story in the Arizona Republic of March 29, 2018. Vandell stated, Glendale City Councilman Jamie Aldama this week hammered the city’s quick decision to add police officers to all of its traditional public high schools.”  Aldama is quoted within the article saying, “The police and fire associations were told of the adverse impact on their memberships, but not consulted with.” His stance on the issue earned Aldama this rebuke in an Arizona Free Enterprise Club mailer:

 

 

 

 

Yet, by June 8, 2018 in remarks promoting his “Glendale Today” edition on the city’s Glendale 11 TV show he said, “Glendale’s School Resource Officer program is an important step toward ensuring communities are safe and protected. As a current school board member here in Glendale, I recognize firsthand how imperative this issue is to our community.”

Then in July of 2018 in his message in the city’s “Connection” sent to every water household in the city he said,  “It is with great pleasure to announce that I am working with city council and city staff to make our schools safer by implementing a School Resource Officer program…I am very supportive of the SRO program.”

What is troubling was his failure to inform city council in March that he did not support the SRO program for various reasons (take your pick) and failed to show up for a council press conference announcing the program yet three months later (and just before the Primary Election) Aldama does a 180 and full throatily supports the SRO program.

Taking a position in opposition to the SRO program and emphasizing that decision by failing to attend a council press conference and then announcing support for the program just before the Primary Election appears to be a case of political expediency.

Aldama had the opportunity to make his case in his political mailers and failed to do so. I’m for a better Glendale, and can say I’m better for families, education and community…and so can you. With that criteria I guess we all qualify to be the Ocotillo district councilmember.

© Joyce Clark, 2018         

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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Disclaimer: The comments in this blog are my personal opinion and may or may not reflect an adopted position of the city of Glendale and its city council.

On July 13, 2018 a new political action committee (PAC) registered with the Glendale City Clerk. The PAC’s name is A Better Glendale. Sounds very benign, doesn’t it. Don’t let the name of the PAC fool you. The registered Chairperson is Tim Hill. Mr. Hill happens to be the Executive Editor of the Professional Fire Fighters of Arizona magazine and is Secretary-Treasurer Emeritus of the Professional Fire Fighters of Arizona (PFFA). The treasurer of the PAC is Mike Colletto. Mr. Colletto is Legislative Director for the PFFA and is a PFFA honorary fire fighter. Both men have a long history with the Phoenix fire union.

It is not uncommon in any local election to have various big money, interest groups create a temporary PAC for the purpose of influencing an election by supporting a specific candidate. In the opposite, the PAC will go after that candidate’s opposition.

The political function of this PAC, A Better Glendale, is candidate-related independent expenditures. What that means is that Their PAC has one purpose only. They are about to flood the voters of the Barrel and Ocotillo districts with pro Aldama and pro Turner political mailings and anti Strahl and anti Allen mailings.

The problem with these fire union mailers is that they often massage the truth. They look for something, anything with which to denigrate the opposing candidate. They often take a phrase or sentence out of context and then use the exaggeration to smear the opposing candidate. By the time they are done they would have you believe the opponent was the Devil himself/herself. Mailings such as these are rarely grounded in the truth.

So be forewarned. When you receive those political mailings and you will, look for who is paying for it. If it says A Better Glendale now you know it’s the fire union spending PAC money in our Glendale election to support candidates who will support their empire building agenda or to trash candidates who have indicated that they will give everyone a fair hearing.

Take my advice and place them in your circular file otherwise known as your trash can. I ask all voters to do their homework. Ignore the spin. Ignore the hyperbole. If you can, call the candidate and ask what his or her position is on the issue in which you have an interest. In a local election that is easy to do. Local candidates are readily available and eager to talk to voters.

Speaking of fire fighters, as many of you know, Glendale fire fighter Danny Valenzuela is running for the position of mayor of Phoenix. This past spring I had the opportunity to have coffee with Danny. I asked if he was going to resign as a Glendale fire fighter if he were elected. His response was ‘no’.  He believed he could do both jobs adequately. Both are full time positions.

I can tell you as a councilmember of Glendale I am required to attend a lot of events and meetings, both regional and local. Can you imagine the schedule of the Phoenix mayor? Did you know the Phoenix mayor has security at all times? I would love to see members of Valenzuela’s security detail riding on a fire truck with him. You and I know that’s an unworkable situation on so many levels. No matter what responsibilities are assigned to Valenzuela as a Glendale fire fighter he will have a security detail with him. In addition, he will have so many commitments as mayor he cannot adequately fulfill all the hours in his firefighter work week.

It is totally unrealistic for Valenzuela to remain as a fire fighter if he is elected. It’s not as if he will be penniless. As Phoenix mayor he would pull a salary of $87,998 and the job is recognized as a full time job. If Valenzuela continues to believe that he can perform two full time jobs then voters should be questioning his decision making capabilities. If he makes that kind of decision on this issue, what else can he make poor or reckless decisions about?

© Joyce Clark, 2018         

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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Disclaimer: The comments in this blog are my personal opinion and may or may not reflect an adopted position of the city of Glendale and its city council.

Just as with Ray Strahl I also arranged an in depth meeting with Emmanuel Allen, candidate for the Ocotillo city council district seat. Once again, I did not know Emmanuel and had only seen him at city events. And once again, an hour interview turned into several hours.

Mr. Allen was born in Milwaukee, Wisconsin and grew up there as well.  His Mom worked in the insurance industry but her life’s passion was fostering children so in addition to Emmanuel’s  sister, twin brothers, a step brother and a step sister there were always foster children too. Emmanuel’s Step Dad was a police officer and spent time as a special agent with the state of Wisconsin and with the Drug Enforcement Agency. His Step Dad was also a pastor and gave Emmanuel his first love of pastoral work.

Emmanuel graduated from Oak Creek High School in Wisconsin. He was a basketball player which made him quite popular with the young ladies. He had lots of friends and was a natural born leader. He worked hard at his studies and was a good kid. His only downfall was his dislike of his history classes. And that is where Mr. Reed comes in. Mr. Reed was his history teacher and mentored Emmanuel. At one time Emmanuel wanted to be a rapper and knowing that Mr. Reed challenged him. Mr. Reed told Emmanuel that if he could create a rap song that encompassed all of the semester’s course material he would give Emmanuel an ‘A’ and he would not have to take the final exam. Emmanuel earned that ‘A’ and his rap song was so impressive it was used by Mr. Reed every year to motivate each new crop of students.

After high school graduation Emmanuel went to Milwaukee Area Technical College to learn computer science. While there he also worked for Zerox. Emmanuel soon realized that he had no passion or patience sitting at a desk fiddling with computers all day.

Then Emmanuel received a wakeup call that would forever chart the course of his life. Several of his good friends were murdered or died. One in a traffic accident and one was shot while working at his Dad’s business. Those deaths were the catalysts for his entry into the Grace Christian College Seminary. Emmanuel was in an accelerated program and worked hard at his studies. It was there that he met his wife, Belinda. They were married shortly after both graduated from the Seminary.

Emmanuel tells the story of meeting his future wife. Mutual friends had arranged for them to meet at an indoor amusement park. Emmanuel and his brother showed up and neither knew who the girl Emmanuel was supposed to meet was. Emmanuel was not having a particularly good day when this girl approached him and said, “It looks like you’re having a bad day. Do you care to talk about it?” Emmanuel poured out his whole life story to this stranger, this girl he had never met before, only to learn that she was the girl his friends had arranged for him to meet. He thought she would never have anything to do with him after pouring out his soul to her but he was wrong. Belinda turned out to be a really good listener and what she heard did not dissuade her from Emmanuel. They have now been married for 17 years. They have one son, Christian.

After graduation Emmanuel and Belinda started a printing business. He said he worked the hardest he ever had in his life but it prepared him for the business world. He learned how to run and sustain a successful business.

In 2008 the national recession hit and just as with many other small businesses Emmanuel and Belinda literally closed their shop. Emmanuel’s Step Dad wanted him to take over pastoring his church but something was happening to Emmanuel. He was having constant dreams about moving and even had a date, January of 2009. But where? Where was he to move? He happened to notice a box, a box that had sat around forever but was generally ignored, which contained his wife’s hair dryer. On the outside of the box were the words “Destination Glendale Arizona.” He had a sign. He and Belinda were moving to Glendale, Arizona. It was a move embodied in faith. They gave everything they possessed away planning to start fresh.

They found a condo to rent in Glendale and quickly joined the Christ Community Church. The relationships they built among that faith community enabled Emmanuel to do what he always felt he must – establish his own church, Breakthrough Life Church. In the beginning he rented various spaces for his services finally landing at a small storefront at 59th Avenue and Glendale Avenue in 2012. It was there that he began his service in Glendale working with the Orchard Glen neighborhood in cleaning up the area. Two years later, in 2014, he reopened the abandoned O’Neil Community Center and began his work of serving the children of the O’Neil area.

Emmanuel’s philosophy is simple to state yet challenging to achieve. He believes in bringing people of all races, creeds and color together to create new hope. He says we all want the same things: a safe community, recreational and educational opportunities for our kids, and a renewal of the sense of neighborhood. Through working with the children he has been able to reach their parents building trust, credibility, transparency and a greater understanding of one another.

For years the city has unsuccessfully tried to build bridges with various communities in the Ocotillo district. It has failed time and time again. Emmanuel Allen is that bridge. He is here at the right time and the right place. He reminds me of former Councilmember Bob Hoffman, often considered the conscience of the council. Bob had earned the trust and confidence of the community he represented as Emmanuel Allen has done. Having a conscience of the council is good. Having someone who has earned the trust and respect of a part of our community often ignored is good. Having someone with the ability to effectuate change is good.  Emmanuel Allen is the right choice for the Ocotillo district at a time when it needs more attention than ever. I endorse Emmanuel Allen and hope if you are a Ocotillo district voter you will consider giving him your vote on your Early Ballot or at the polls on August 28th. Thank you.

© Joyce Clark, 2018         

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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Disclaimer: The comments in this blog are my personal opinion and may or may not reflect an adopted position of the city of Glendale and its city council.

I must confess I didn’t know Ray Strahl. I had run into him at various city or chamber events but other than greeting one another we had never connected. Since he is running for the Barrel district city council seat I asked for time to conduct an in-depth interview. Mr. Strahl graciously agreed and what started as an hour meeting quickly became a several hour meeting.

I wanted to do more than just ask about his positions on the issues but rather try to get a feel for the person. Ray was born and grew up in Elgin, Illinois, a small town of about 50,000 people. He affectionately calls it “Mayberry RFD.” Like many of us who are seniors the lifestyle was quite different then. He and the kids in the area would disappear in the morning to play together and return home just in time for dinner. Often the neighborhood kids would gather at his house.

His Dad was a middle class, hardworking man who, in essence, became a master engraver for the Elgin Watch Factory for 21 years. His Mom was a head bookkeeper for a local firm. After Ray was born she became a stay-at-home Mom but she opened her own, what we would call today, day care business. Ray was an only child.

I asked Ray to share something he has always remembered from his childhood days. He recalled a time when he had been out playing with the neighborhood kids. He knew he had to be home at a specified time to go out to an event with his parents. In typical childhood fashion, the time got away from him and he arrived home late. His Dad was waiting for him, told him to put his bike away and get cleaned up so that they could leave for the event. His Dad’s parting words were, “You’ll get your spanking later. Remind me when we get home.” During the family outing, Ray fretted and worried, debating whether to follow his Dad’s advice to remind him that he owed Ray a spanking. When they got home Ray did as his Dad had asked and reminded him of the forthcoming spanking. Ray’s Dad knelt down before him and said, “Son, I am not going to spank you. I think you’ve suffered enough punishment waiting for it to happen.” When Ray speaks about his Dad, it is evident that he loved, respected and admired him greatly.

Ray was the typical high schooler saying he wasn’t the sharpest tool in the shed with average grades and graduating in the upper third of his high school graduating class of 510 students. He participated in many school sports: tennis, basketball, wrestling as well as marching band and school orchestra. Last August Ray attended the 50th anniversary of his high school graduation. He MC-ed the event and was its keynote speaker.

After graduation Ray enlisted in the Army following in the footsteps of stepbrother and cousin. He became a Huey pilot flying UH1-Bs and UH1-Ds in Vietnam. He did his one tour of duty as part of a Medevac team in the 1st Cavalry Division and decided that a military career was not his path.

Ray still wasn’t sure of his career path so he did something unusual. He went to a head hunting firm for assistance in determining his skill sets. Called in after a battery of tests, Ray was told that his skill set would be best as…a televangelist or a banker. Ray opted for the latter. He went on to become a highly successful banker, realtor and an insurance and financial advisor for over 45 years.

Ray came to Glendale as many of us do. His parents lived at 43rd Avenue and Morten Avenue. Over the years Ray’s Father would ask, “Son when are you moving out here?” One day when the time was right for Ray, he responded, “Hang on Dad. Let me get my calendar.  I will be there on October 8th (1993).”  When Ray arrived, his Dad was sitting in the driveway waiting for him and said, “Son, you’re late.” Ray had five good years with his Dad until he passed in 1998.

Ray met his wife, Diana, when she joined the firm for which Ray worked. Early on in their relationship Diana remarked to Ray, “You look like my second husband.” Ray, puzzled replied, “But I thought you had only been married once before.” To which Diana replied, “That’s true.” Diana and her “second husband” have been married for 20 years.

Ray and his wife have woven themselves into our community. Ray worked on the campaigns of Ray Malnar, Randy Miller and Jerry Weiers. He and his wife are long time members of the Church of Christ the Redeemer. Ray has graduated from Glendale University…twice… because he felt he learned so much. He’s also graduated from the Citizens Police Academy. He is on the Board of Directors of the Western Maricopa County Association of Realtors (WEMAR) ; the Veterans Association of Real Estate Professionals (VAREP) and Lutheran Ministries, Grand Canyon District. Ray also has the distinction of being only the 11th person in the state to have graduated from the National Insurance Advisors’ Leadership and Life Institute.

Ray’s passion for serving as the Barrel district councilmember comes through when he talks not only about his district but about Glendale and its people. His pride in Glendale is evident. He recognizes that most people want to live in a safe and healthy neighborhood where there is an opportunity for families to recreate and to play together. The over 2,000 homes he has already visited share a desire for having a community that works to provide jobs within it; that has top notch police and fire responders; that offers outstanding recreational opportunities; that has city infrastructure and streets in good repair and that strives continually to improve everyone’s quality of life. He knows you want ethical and responsive councilmembers who will work to insure that the city is fiscally sound. He pledges to insure that your goals are his goals.

He is a problem solver. He believes it is not enough to identify a problem but to bring the beginning of an ultimate solution to the table. He recognizes that any solution must be a cooperative effort involving citizens, stakeholders and city staff working together. He realizes that the final outcome is crafted when all elements of our community have a voice.

His skills as a Toast Master give him the ability to inspire others and to lead. He believes he can create greater communication between district residents and the city by holding small, neighborhood gatherings often. He believes this is the first step toward breaking down the present culture of apathy. To do that he will take his skills as a listener to really hear what citizens are saying in order to share those concerns effectively.

Ray says that as a banker, mortgage lender, realtor and financial advisor he has helped thousands of people to achieve the American Dream of home ownership. He believes he can take those same skills of listening, leadership and problem solving to assist citizens regarding city issues both large and small.

Ray Strahl came across as an ordinary man with some extraordinary skills. I had heard that he could be standoffish and brusque but he was neither. He is a warm and genuine. He is a vet and I thank him for his service to our country. While being a successful businessman he has never forgotten his faith, family or his love for Glendale. He has contributed to Glendale in many ways and now he wishes to serve us again in a greater capacity. Some people are born to service whether military, social, economic or political. Ray is one of those.  I endorse Ray Strahl and hope if you are a Barrel district voter you will consider giving him your vote on your Early Ballot or at the polls on August 28th. Thank you.

© Joyce Clark, 2018         

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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Disclaimer: The comments in this blog are my personal opinion and may or may not reflect an adopted position of the city of Glendale and its city council.

On July 19, 2018 the Glendale Star ran a story entitled “Petitions ready to keep festivals in place.” Bud Zomok, a local downtown Glendale resident, was interviewed about his effort to run an online petition using the internet site ipetitions.com. The purpose of the online petition was to garner support for preserving Glendale’s downtown festivals exactly the way they have always been.

Let’s take a closer look at the representations of support depicted in these petitions. Zomok said he collected 958 signatures. That is factually correct. He said that people for all zip codes in Glendale responded. That is factually correct.  I reviewed all of the petition signatures Zomok presented to each member of the city council. Here is the signature break down by zip code in Glendale:

  • 85301 43 signatures
  • 85302 40 signatures
  • 85303 10 signatures
  • 85304: 30 signatures
  • 85305: 5 signatures
  • 85306: 18 signatures
  • 85307: 1  signature
  • 85308:  21 signatures
  • 85310: 11 signatures
  • Glendale, AZ no zip code:    8 signatures

The total number of identifiable, provable signatures representing Glendale total 187. The balance of the signatures, another 771, had no zip code or if a zip code was entered it was outside of Glendale. In fact, one signature was from France.

Yet Mr. Zomok says, “There were 400 signatures from within the city, while 500 were from the rest of the state and beyond.” I went back and took a closer look at the petitions to see if there was some marker that I missed that would allow Mr. Zomok to definitively identify 400 signatures from within the city. I could not find anything. Did he contact all of these people by email to confirm their residency in Glendale? I doubt it and you should as well. It would be difficult to convince anyone that he had personal knowledge of the claimed 400 Glendale residents.

Now, it is possible that more of the signatures could be from Glendale residents but without a zip code or other descriptor it is not possible to verify. Therefore the only rational course is to accept those petition signatures with stated Glendale zip codes.

While many of the 187 Glendale residents who signed the petition left a comment in support of the festivals there were many more respondents who did not leave any commentary at all.

I selected one page, page 27, at random and reproduced it below:

There is nothing wrong with the use of petitions to convey support for an issue. However, an online petition becomes suspect when anyone who is online can sign it, without claiming a Glendale zip code and without any comment about the festival which indicates a lack of knowledge about the festival. Petitions generally work and have meaning (except for the 1,000 Glendale residents who signed a petition in opposition to an amended Stonehaven plan and were ignored) when locals circulate them among the local population. It does a disservice to every reader of this news article to represent that there is overwhelming support from scads of Glendale’s residents.

No one has suggested that the festivals be eliminated in their entirety. Far from it. In fact, it appears that the city manager has identified enough funding to add one of the three weekends back to Glendale Glitters. So instead of four weekends of city funded programming there will be two. 

In an informal poll that ran with this blog 53% of the respondents approved of changing the festivals while 47% of the respondents did not.

There is nothing to preclude the downtown merchants from getting together, seeking sponsorships and developing programming for the two weekends that will not be funded by the city. It’s not too late to do so. I am sure the city would work with the merchants to facilitate their needs should they decide to take up the task. The merchants would have to raise the money needed for associated production costs such as police, security and sanitation. The city has made clear that it believes the dollars used to cover the costs associated with four weekends can be used more effectively with other initiatives to achieve the goal of driving visitors downtown on a yearlong basis.

The general sentiment seems to be that the festivals need refreshing, not elimination in their entirety. I have some ideas and I have heard some good ideas from the merchants as well. I hope they will come together as one voice and share those great ideas with the city. Let’s work together.

© Joyce Clark, 2018         

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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Disclaimer: The comments in this blog are my personal opinion and may or may not reflect an adopted position of the city of Glendale and its city council.

Ocotillo district Jamie Aldama: Aldama started this quarter with a balance of $13,863.63. He received contributions of $23,005.

Contributions of $25 to $50Timothy Jurell, $25; Martin Quezada, $25 (cumulative total of $75); Ray Martinez, $30; Frank Hernandez, $25 (cumulative total of $75)

Contributions of $100 to $250Jeff Keim, $100; Arthur Othon, $100; Dan Saban, $200; Carl Dietzman, $100; Mark Werber, $200; Jack Lundsford, $100; Donna Staude, $200; Bruce Heatwole, $100; Jessica Koory, $100; Jose Hernandez, $100; Luis De La Cruz, $200 (cumulative total of $700)

Contribution of $300 to $500Benjamin Graff, $400; Payan Hossini-Raouf, $500; Donnie Morales, $300

Contributions over $1,000: William Meyer, $6,350; Mark Meyer, $6,350

Political Action Committee (PAC) Contributions: Peoria Police Officers Association, $500; Tempe Officers Association, $1,000; Mesa Police Association, $1,000; UFCW Local 99, $2,500; Avondale Professional Firefighters, $2,500-

Expenses:

Aldama had usual and customary expenses for printing, web hosting, food and bank fees. His notable expenses includes $1,998.30 to the Glendale Star for an ad; another $1,270 to Stone Strategic Management, his consulting firm; another $600 to his campaign manager, Chuck Foy, of Negotiation Dynamics; and $1,552.52 to Christy Fritz for graphic design of his walking literature, thank you cards, signs and a mailing piece. The total of his expenses was $20,423.64 leaving him a balance of $27,397.89.

Ocotillo district Emmanuel Allen:

Allen started this quarter with a balance of $914.37. He received contributions of $21,614.92.

Contribution of $50Shelby Frederick, $50

Contributions of $100: John McCombs, $100; Shirley Brown, $100, David Mitchell, $100

Contributions of $500: Lam Q Bui, $500; Van Son Bui, $500

Contributions over $1,000: Michelle McClain, $1,000; Mark Meyer, $6,350; Ryan Wells, $6,350; Ben Meyer, $6,350

In Kind Contributions: Constatin Querard, $600 for consulting

Expenses:

His expenses to date total $2,199.98. His expenses were typical for any campaign:  printing and a campaign worker. He ends his 2nd quarter reporting period with $19, 929.89.

Aldama has $27,397.89 and Allen has $19, 929.89 plus whatever contributions each get between July 1, 2018 and August 11, 2018. The next campaign financial report will be the August Pre-Election Report due to the city clerk between August 12th and August 18th, 2018.

Here is what so interesting about the current district races. In 2014, the last election for these districts, here is the total of votes cast by district:

  • Cholla district 9,190
  • Barrel district 6,220
  • Ocotillo district 2,435

The voter activity in the Ocotillo district is the lowest of all six council districts with a total in the last election cycle of 2,435 votes. Yet in this cycle Aldama has already spent $20,423.64. That equals $8.39 per voter. Astounding…but more about that in an upcoming blog. On the other hand, Allen has spent a total of $2,199.98 or 90 cents per voter.

Just in terms of contrast in the Barrel district which had a total of 6,220 voters in 2014 (3 times the number than that of the Ocotillo district) Turner has spent to date $766.51 or 12 cents per voter and Strahl has spent $2, 256,71 or 36 cents per vote.

In 2016, my last election cycle, the Yucca district had a total of 3,151 voters. I spent approximately $15,000 or $4.76 per voter. Chavira spent approximately $45,000 or $14.28 per voter.

Keep in mind the upcoming financial reports will reflect even more money collected and spent. I think it’s fair to look at the candidates’ election performance and to judge how wise their decisions have been regarding how they spend their campaign funds.

Does raising and spending a lot of money make for the better candidate? I think not.

© Joyce Clark, 2018         

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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Disclaimer: The comments in this blog are my personal opinion and may or may not reflect an adopted position of the city of Glendale and its city council.

I have to commend the City Clerk. The deadline for filing the 2nd quarter reports was July 15th. By July 17th all campaign reports were posted and are available online from the website. The directions to get to the campaign finance reports were included in a previous blog.

Barrel district Bart Turner: Turner started this quarter with a balance of $1,892.53. He received contributions of $5,865.00.

Contributions of $25 to $50:

Ray Martinez, $40; Reginald Martinez, $50; Davita Solter, $25; Maria Brunner, $50; Wayne Parrish, $50; Cathy Mondino, $50; Andrew Thackray,$50 (cumulative total of $100)

Contributions of $100 to $250:

Tom Cole, $200; Ed Bull, $250; Chris Eastburn, $200; Nancy Adamson, $250; Richard Coffinger, $200; David Chang, $250; Ian Hugh, $100; Judith Atkins, $100; Yvonne Knaack, $150; Bruce Heatwole, $100 (cumulative total of $250); Nancy Lennox, $100; Jessica Koory, $100 (cumulative total of $400); David Schwartz, $200; Jane Short, $100; Dennis Burke, $100; David Lively, $100; Ben Butler, $100; Jamara Harris, $250; Julie Rees, $100; Lynda Vescio, $100

Contribution of $2,000:

Tohono O’odham

Political Action Committee (PAC) Contributions:

Pinnacle West, $500

Expenses:

Turner’s expenses were usual and customary for printing, web hosting and a fund raising event. The total of his expenses was $766.51 leaving him a balance of $6,991.02.

Barrel district Ray Strahl:

Mr. Strahl’s first report is the 2nd quarter report of 2018 since he formed his campaign committee a month or so ago. He collected $8,600 in campaign donations.

Contribution of $150:

Nicholas Simonetta, $150

Contributions of $1,000 or more:

Mark Myer, $6,350; Ronald McClure, $1,000; Kevin Dang, $1,000

Expenses:

His expenses were typical for any campaign:  a little over $2,000 in food for volunteers, petition canvassers and domain name and website hosting. He ends his 2nd quarter reporting period with $6,343.29.

Now it gets interesting. Turner has $6,991.02 and Strahl has $6,343.29 plus whatever contributions each gets between July 1, 2018 and August 11, 2018. The next campaign financial report will be the August Pre-Election Report due to the city clerk between August 12th and August 18th, 2018.

For every candidate it becomes a question of decision making in terms of logistics and planning when using the cash balance on hand plus any new contributions most effectively. Primary Early Ballots are mailed out during the first week of August. How much will each candidate decide to use to influence early voters and how much will he hold back for poll voters on August 28th? Statistics prove that early voters are more prevalent than poll voters but there’s a caveat. About one third of all early voters will get their ballots and return them immediately. Another third will hold onto their ballots for about 7 to 10 days before making a decision and mailing the ballot in. The last third will either end up not voting at all or will turn in their early ballot at the polls.

The major expense for candidates to date has been getting signs printed and out on the streets. Political mailings now become critical to raise a candidate’s visibility with the electorate. Mailers are pricey. Most candidates have lists of those who have consistently voted and will target that demographic. The major cost is always the postage. It can easily cost from $2,500 to $4,500 to send out one mailing which includes the cost for design, production, printing and mailing.

However, the most effective way to reach the voters is the old-fashioned way, using shoe leather. Candidates who go door-to-door are likely to win. I can’t count the number of times people have been impressed to actually meet the candidate at their door step.

My next blog will take a look at the 2nd quarter reports for Aldama and Allen.

© Joyce Clark, 2018         

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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Disclaimer: The comments in this blog are my personal opinion and may or may not reflect an adopted position of the city of Glendale and its city council.

Ocotillo District Jamie Aldama: Mr. Aldama continues to be challenged in filing timely campaign reports. Apparently he did not file a 3rd quarter report for 2017 because his 4th quarter filing contains a cover page written by the City Clerk stating, “Per the City Clerk, Julie Bower, this reports contains contributions and expenses from a prior time in 2017 (June – September) period not already filed with the City Clerk.” Mr. Aldama’s 4th quarter report of 2017 shows a cumulative total of $15,216.53 (all funds raised prior to October 1, 2017). He had expenses of $6,923.30. He begins the 1st quarter report with $8,293.23. The following reflect his 4th quarter report of 2017:

Contributions of $25:

David Moreno, Hugo Tinoco, David Sandoval, Janice Nichols, Cecilia Moreno ($30), Ervin Cutwright

Contributions of $50:

 Lorenzo Sierra, Maria Brunner, Patricia DiRoss Coughlin, Jim Malicki, Martin Quezada, Otoniel Navarrate, Ray Watkins, Wendi Sorensen, Richard Andrade, Jim Walsh, Frank Hernandez, Debra Stark ($49), Sally Orozco, Teddy Castro, Jerry Cipriano ($49), Ben Barcon ($49), Teresa Ramirez Lopez

Contributions of $51 to $100:

Monica Pimentel, $75; Philip Carli, $100; Greg Aldama, $100; Tom Nerini, $100; Manuel Cisneros, $100; Tio Tachias, $100; Reginald Martinez, $99; Martin Samaniego, $100

Contributions of $101 to $500:

Janice Garza, $300; Ron Ober, $250; Dennis Burke, $250; Jason Morris, $500; Francisco Gutierrez, $200; Mark Burdick, $200; Luis De La Cruz, $500; John Dick, $500; Stephen Earl, $500; Rye Semro, $250; James Miller, $500; Stephen Anderson, $200; Gregory Vogel, $500;

Contributions of $501 and over:

Shelly & Chris Thompson, $600; Mark Becker, $1,000; Daniel Ochoa, $2,500; Faris Suukar, $1,000; Jacob Long , $1,000

The Committee to Elect Ray Martinez contributed $70

Political Action Committees (PACs):

Salt River Project Political Involvement Committee, $500; United Phx Firefighters Chandler Chapter, $500; United Phx Firefighters Peoria Chapter, $500; Phoenix Firefighters Local 493, $1,000

In-Kind contributions:

Teresa Ramirez Lopez, $45.53; Christy Fritz, $400; Jack Nylund, $60

Expenses:

Aldama’s expenses are interesting. Stone Strategic Management was paid $2,469.20 to define critical issues, and to identify and to develop best strategies.  Negotiation Dynamics was paid $1,389.58. This company is his campaign manager’s, Chuck Foy. The Saban Group was paid $154 to do opposition research and Christy Fritz was paid $600 for design services. Another $2,310.52 was paid out in customary services such a volunteer food, bank charges, etc.

Aldama began the first quarter of 2018 with $8,293.23. He had contributions of $9,600 and expenses of $4,029.60. He ends the first quarter of 2018 with $13,863.63.

For the first quarter of 2018 here is the breakdown:

Contributions of $100 to $500:

Tony Sawyer, $200; Paul Rovey, $250; Jason Rovey, $500; Ronald Rovey, $250; Israel Torres, $100; Rodney Jarvis, $200; Yvonne Knaack, $100; Taylor Earl, $150; Mario Diaz, $100; John Geurs, $300; Jessica Koory, $100; Edwin Bull, $250; Rhonda Cagle, $100

Contributions of $1,000 or more:

Kevin Kelly, $1,000; Stephen Earl, $1,000 (total to date, $1,500); Tohono O’Odham Nation, $2,000

Political Action Committees (PACs):

Arizona Pipe Trade 469, $2,500

Expenses:

Aldama’s expenses show Stone Strategic Management receiving another $1,740. His campaign manager, Chuck Foy, of Negotiation Dynamics was paid $424. Primary Consultants was paid $1,450 for a political mailing. $250 was paid to the Arizona Democrat Party for voter walking/mailing lists. The balance of the expense report shows usual and customary expenses. The total expenses in the first quarter of 2018 were $4,029.60.

We’ve barely gotten started and Aldama has already racked up expenses of nearly $11,000 and half of that was paid to consultants. Aldama begins his second quarter report of 2018 with $13,863.63

Ocotillo District Emmanuel Allen:  Allen formed a political committee late in the 4th quarter of 2017. To get himself started and to register his campaign committee he loaned the campaign $100. He had one contribution of $125 from Nick Simonetta resulting in a total of $225 for the 4th quarter. Allen has a starting balance of $55.06 for his first quarterly 2018 report.

In-Kind Contributions:

Consulting services of $400 from Constatin Querard.

Expenses:

$169.94 for web hosting and establishing a campaign bank account.

Allen’s 1st quarter report  of 2018 reflects the infancy of campaign fund raising by a “newbie” who has not run for political office before. In Allen’s first quarter report of 2018 he had contributions of $1,333.35.

Contributions of $50 to $100:

Tim Cole, $100; Skye Steele, $100; Nicole Davis, $100; Geraldine Gage, $100; Lawrence Davis, $50; Keith Davis, $100; Axel Sippach, $100; Vanessa Cordova, $50; Kenneth Turner, $100; Shelby Frederick, $50; Mariana Hunter, $100; Ned Altizer, $100

Contributions of $101 to $200:

Trina Salgado, $200

In-Kind Contributions:

$600 in consulting services from Constatin Querard

Expenses:

$409.24 for food, canvassing, web site hosting, printing and bank fees.

Mr. Allen retains a balance of $914.37 to begin his second quarter of 2018 report.

My next blogs will take a look at the candidates and their positions on city issues, old and new.

© Joyce Clark, 2018         

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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Disclaimer: The comments in this blog are my personal opinion and may or may not reflect an adopted position of the city of Glendale and its city council.

In mid-August voters will receive their primary election ballots. Before the primary election occurs it is time to look at the candidates for the Barrel and Ocotillo district council seats. Since there are two candidates for the Ocotillo and Barrel district seats, it is likely that these district elections will be decided in the Primary Election. This is the important election for Glendale voters. This Primary election will also narrow state legislative and congressional candidate choice to one Democrat and one Republican to face off in the November election.

All candidates whether they are running for local or some other office within the state are required to periodically file a committee campaign report. The schedule for this year is:

  • 2018 1st Quarter report (covers Feb. 25, 2018 to March 31, 2018) due between April 1st and April 15th, 2018
  • 2018 2nd Quarter report (covers April 29, 2018 to June 30, 2018) due between July 1st and July 15th, 2018
  • 2018 3rd Quarter report (covers Aug. 12, 2018 to Sept 30, 2018) due between Oct. 1st and Oct. 15th, 2018
  • 2018 4th Quarter report (covers Oct. 21, 2018 to Dec. 31st 2018) due Jan. 1st and Jan. 15, 2019

This is a new state reporting system that began shortly after my last run for office in 2016. At that time all candidates were required to terminate their existing campaign committees and to reform their committees under the state’s new reporting system.

The 2nd quarter reports have not been put online yet by the City Clerk’s office as the last day to file them was July 15, 2018. As soon as they are posted I will provide an update on the candidates’ filings.

All of the information in this blog is publicly available through the City Clerk’s office. Since the city has implemented a new software computer operating system citywide finding the campaign finance reports is no longer as user friendly. Here’s the drill:

  • On the city’s main page of its website on the left side of the page choose “City Clerk
  • On the next page on the left side choose “Public Document Search
  • A list will come up in the middle of the next page. Choose “Elections
  • A block will come up labeled “Content”.  From the drop down menu choose “Campaign Finance Records-Finance Report
  • A second block underneath is labeled “Committee Type.” From the drop down menu choose the name of any single candidate’s committee.
  • All current filed campaign reports will come up. Choose the report you wish to view.
  • If you wish to print out any report, you must save as a pdf and make sure pop ups are not blocked in your browser.

Whew! That’s really friendly to you, the user, isn’t it? To make your life a little easier I’ve already gone through the relevant campaign finance reports for Bart Turner and Ray Strahl, Barrel district candidates; and Jaime Aldama and Emmanuel Allen, Ocotillo district candidates. At this time I have chosen not to report on Tolmachoff as she is running unopposed in the Cholla district. I viewed the 4th quarter of 2017 reports and the 1st quarter of 2018 reports.

Barrel District Bart Turner: Mr. Turner’s 4th quarter 2017 report shows a campaign committee balance of funds of $942.53. He filed a “No Activity” report for November and December, 2017. His 1st quarter report of 2018 shows receipts of $950.00. The three contributors to his campaign in the 1st quarter of 2018 are:

  • Jessica Koory at $300
  • Bruce Heatwole at $150
  • Klaus Bolle at $500

He had no campaign expenses thus far. He began his 2nd quarter reporting period with $1,892.53.

Barrel District Ray Strahl: Mr. Strahl’s first report is the 1st quarter report of 2018 since he formed his campaign committee a month or so ago. He collected $8,600 in campaign donations. His four contributors are:

  • Mark Myer at $6,350
  • Ronald McClure at $1,000
  • Kevin Dang at $1,000
  • Nicholas Simonetta at $150

His expenses were typical for any campaign:  a little over $2,000 in food for volunteers, petition canvassers and domain name and website hosting. He began his 2nd quarter reporting period with $6,343.29.

As you can see, Strahl the challenger for the Barrel district council seat, has raised more money in this first quarter report. But it’s early in terms of finance reporting. There are still 3 more quarters and a final report to be submitted. Most politicians wait as long as they can to report the major sources of their contributions. Revealing who some of their contributors are could prove problematical in some cases.

In my next blog we’ll take a look at the finance reports of Aldama and Allen, running for the Ocotillo district seat. After that, expect further blogs on more campaign finance reports and the positions of the candidates on major issues in Glendale.

© Joyce Clark, 2018         

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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Disclaimer: The comments in this blog are my personal opinion and may or may not reflect an adopted position of the city of Glendale and its city council.

On July 5, 2018 the Glendale Chamber of Commerce announced its endorsements for the three city council seats to be voted upon in Glendale’s next election. The endorsements were for all three incumbents: Vice Mayor Tolmachoff from the Cholla district; Councilmember Bart Turner of the Barrel district; and Councilmember Jamie Aldama of the Ocotillo district. All candidates were interviewed and their written responses reviewed by the Chamber’s Public Policy Council. Those recommendations were then forwarded to the Board of Directors for approval. Here are the members of the Glendale Chamber’s Public Policy Council:

  • Bill Toops, Glendale Star, Chairperson (also serves on Board of Directors)
  • Steve Adams, AlphaGraphics, (also serves on Board of Directors)
  • Rachel Aja, Cox Communications
  • Kathi Beranek, Blue Cross Blue Shield (company also represented on Board of Directors)
  • Judy Butler, Butler Creative & Consulting
  • Ron Castro, BNC National Bank, (company also represented on Board of Directors)
  • Michael Cavaiola, Redflex Traffic Solutions
  • Stephanie Colbert, Chance Mikos Farmer’s Insurance
  • Donna Davis, Expect More Arizona
  • Patricia DiRoss, Salt River Project, (company also represented on Board of Directors)
  • Yvonne Knaack, State Farm Insurance
  • Matt Ligouri, Southwest Gas
  • Bobbi Magdaleno, Arizona State University, (also serves on Board of Directors)
  • Dave Mitchell, Ideal Insurance Agency
  • Liz Recchia, WeMar
  • Brent Stoddard, Director of Public Affairs, City of Glendale
  • Lyndia Vescio, Vescio Law Firm, (also serves on Board of Directors)
  • Robert Heidt, CEO Glendale Chamber of Commerce, (also serves on Board of Directors)

Here are the members of the Chamber’s Board of Directors;

  • Maria Brunner, Chair of the Board, OneAZ Credit Union
  • Lily DeBileux, Chair-Elect, Pendergast Elementary School District
  • Steve Adams, Treasurer, Alphgraphics
  • Scott Spillman, Vice Treasurer, BNC National Bank
  • Jean Higginbotham, Past Chair, Blue Cross Blue Shield,
  • Robert Heidt, CEO, Glendale Chamber
  • Victoria Coley, Humana
  • Ariana Deerman, Wells Fargo Bank
  • Stephanie Klingener, VitalFit Training
  • Kate Kochenderfer, Salt River Project
  • Wayne Lawson, Signarama on 51st Avenue
  • Patrick McDermott, Arizona Public Service
  • Bobbi Magdaleno, Arizona State University
  • Kevin Phelps, City Manager, City of Glendale
  • Mary Pritchard, Pritchard Insurance Group
  • Richard Sherry, Dignity Health Arizona
  • Bill Toops, Glendale Star
  • Jeffrey Turney, Military & Veterans Affairs
  • Lynda Vescio, Vescio Law Firm
  • Judy Walter, Dignity Memorial
  • Mayor Jerry Weiers, City of Glendale

Of the 18 members of the Public Policy Council, 8 members (44%) also serve on the Board of Directors or have another person from their company serving on the Board of Directors. Once the Public Policy Council has made a recommendation for endorsement it is very probable that the Board of Directors will ratify the recommendations. After the 8 members have made a decision those same 8 companies can ratify the recommendations made to the Board of Directors needing only one more person to constitute a majority of the Board.

It is also worth noting that seven (38%) of the 18 members of the Public Policy Council members represent large companies (Cox Communications, Blue Cross Blue Shield, BNC National Bank, Redflex Traffic Solutions, Salt River Project, Southwest Gas, Arizona State University). All have a Valley-wide presence. Should Valley-wide, major companies be empowered to make recommendations about local candidates for office?

What criteria were used to make their recommendations for endorsement?

  • “Candidates were selected who have distinguished themselves as knowledgeable and supportive (emphasis mine) of issues positively affecting the business community in the city of Glendale.”
  • Bill Toops, Chair of the Chamber’s Public Policy Council said, “The Glendale Chamber Board of Directors is pleased to endorse candidates who have demonstrated accessibility and collaboration (emphasis mine) in support of promoting interests most important to our local businesses.”
  • Robert Heidt, the Chamber’s CEO, said, “Throughout this process we heard from those running for office and have endorsed candidates who has the clearest understanding of the challenges facing the business community and those whose policies align with our initiatives (emphasis mine) to foster a pro-business environment focused on the creation of quality jobs, along with business retention and expansion.”

These criteria seem to favor incumbents. Their positions as elected officials provide many opportunities to “distinguish themselves as knowledgeable and supportive,” to have “demonstrated accessibility and collaboration,” and to have advocated for “policies that align” with the Chamber’s initiatives.

Incumbents have the decided advantage as they have the opportunity to interact with the Chamber in a variety of ways in their official capacities as well as the opportunity to approve/disapprove actions that benefit the Chamber’s interests. It’s not a level playing field. Often those running in opposition to the incumbents have no experience or knowledge of specific city initiatives or actions, especially any that could benefit the Chamber. It’s not their fault. They haven’t been playing ‘inside baseball’ for the previous four years (term of an incumbent). They simply do not have any experience serving as an elected and therefore are at a disadvantage. It takes any newly elected official time to learn how the city works, to become familiar with its policy positions and to establish relationships with various stakeholder groups within the city.

Perhaps the better criterion to be used would not to be rely upon experience (that is weighted always toward the incumbent) but rather to review candidates’ positions on the issues and which policies would be supported. If two candidates for the same office shared the same views perhaps using incumbency to tip the scales should not be the option for recommendation. Perhaps in some cases there should be no recommendation or a recommendation to support either candidate.

I remain troubled with the process used by the Chamber to select endorsements in a local campaign. It will be another two years before the Chamber issues its next set of endorsements for local office. That time might be well spent in developing a process that recognizes an incumbent’s advantage and levels the playing field for those who have never held office.

© Joyce Clark, 2018         

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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