Former councilmember Norma Alvarez is certainly not leaving Glendale City Hall with a whimper. On November 20, 2014 she sent a letter off to the Arizona Attorney General’s Office with yet another allegation of an Open Meeting Law violation. I have heard that this complaint has legs.

In it she alleges that someone on Glendale city council after having received in executive session the infamous legal analysis of Glendale employee financial mismanagement then leaked the information to Paul Giblin of the Arizona Republic. Giblin and the Arizona Republic would not divulge the name of the leaker on city council. That is not surprising as the media routinely and rightly will not name their sources.

She goes on to contend that the City Manager, City Attorney and/or other Glendale city employees know the name of the leaker and to date they have failed to disclose the name in an effort to protect all who may have been involved. She makes the specific request of the AG’s office to investigate and to secure the name of the leaker because she has been accused of this violation. She does not name any of the councilmembers as the leaker. Ask yourselves which of the current crop has the reputation of being a media hound? Ask yourselves which of the councilmembers is already under investigation for other alleged Open Meeting Law violations?  Ask yourselves which of the councilmembers has Alvarez locked horns with on nearly every issue? Here is her letter: GLendaleCityClerk&AlvarezOMCLetters-2pages_Page_2 Ever since the new councilmembers, Sherwood, Chavira and Hugh were elected in November of 2012 there have been a string of allegations regarding alleged violations of the Open Meeting Law with one side or the other making complaints to the AG’s office.  These allegations have arisen because they are probably true. Remember the old adage, where there’s smoke there’s fire. But they have also arisen as a sign of the deep divisiveness on the council for the past two years. Council divisions erupted over major issues such as the casino, the sales tax increase becoming permanent and the Coyotes deal. The prevalent ethic among them seems to be if you can’t win the issue then there should be pay back. It has not been a comfortable place in which to work and the council made no bones about airing their dirty laundry publicly.

Will anything come of these AG investigations? Who knows? Many people hope so and think that this council attitude of take no prisoner has to stop. Will this new council of Weiers, Hugh, Sherwood, Chavira, Tolmachoff, Turner and Aldama rise above the current pettiness? Many think not and point to the lining up of two new camps with Sherwood, Chavira and Aldama on one side; and Hugh, Tolmachoff and Turner on the other; and the Mayor as the deciding vote on many issues.

© Joyce Clark, 2014

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