The Glendale City Council typically meets in workshop session every two weeks on a Tuesday afternoon at 1:30PM. It is also televised on Glendale’s Channel 11, which only works if you have Cox cable service and live in Glendale. It is also available online at www.glendaleaz.com.
This is the busiest time of year for any city council as it decides where to allocate resources (revenues) for the coming year. Money in local government is power and each department fights to retain or grow its part of the pie(chart). It will be interesting to see who the gorillas are this year.
What can we expect this Tuesday? Several important items are up for discussion, some of which will be discussed in open session and some of which will be discussed in the non-public, executive session. First up in the open session will be the periodic legislative update. There should be discussion (I would hope) on the state’s attempt to take away cities’ construction sales tax. This issue is huge and if the state prevails, look for every city (including Glendale) to try to find ways to mitigate this loss which could be substantial.
Next up will be Council Items of Special Interest on the Police and Fire budgets. Making it to a workshop agenda is interesting in and of itself. Last week Councilmember Chavira called for such a discussion and his suggestion met with deafening silence by the rest of Council. Yet here we are, a week later, and it has made its way to a workshop. Even more curious, at the previous council’s January 8, 2013 meeting, it was scheduled to vote approval to take actions to balance both department budgets. Instead a motion was made and approved by a majority of council (I was not one) to place all actions on hold until the appointment of a permanent city manager. There is no permanent city manager…yet…but like an unruly stepchild, the issue is before the new council. Hmmmm…
Then there are the six items listed on the council’s executive session agenda. Three of them are hot topics. One is consultation with the newly hired external auditor with a price tag of $200,000; another is that council is to give the City Manager and City Attorney direction regarding arena management (don’t forget Beacon Sports’ fee of $100,000) and the Coyotes; and the last of the trio is to resolve the compensation package for the former City Attorney and I assume, the Acting City Attorney as well. The first two items deal with contracts and the third with personnel. All, unfortunately, are legitimate topics of private discussion.
It would be extraordinary if council resolved the Coyotes issue in Esession but, the NHL will first sell the team to whomever and then the council will decide if the Coyotes stay or go when it makes its decision about the arena management contract. Don’t expect any news on the Coyotes issue from Glendale today or anytime in the very near future.
On Monday, April 1, the city will host its first of two community meetings on the city budget. I plan to go and learn the “media line” that will be used to sell it to the community this year.