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Joyce Clark Unfiltered

For "the rest of the story"

Apparently Governor Doug Ducey has no problem throwing the City of Glendale under the bus. Recently he offered a settlement to the Tohono O’odham. Here is a link to Howard Fischer’s Capitol Times story: http://tucson.com/news/local/tohono-o-odham-say-proposed-casino-deal-not-likely-acceptable/article_da14a03a-e2b5-5fde-aa95-87519314c89c.html . In return for the state’s recognition of the Glendale casino as well as the state’s allowance of full Class III gaming at the Glendale casino the Governor wants the tribe in essence to promise not to build any other casinos in the metropolitan areas of  Phoenix and to limit gaming to the TO tribal land that existed in 2003. Gee, as a Glendale resident, I want to say, “Thank you, Governor.” The deal, in order to obtain buy-in from the other tribes, gives the tribes an increase gaming operations which means increased revenue for them.

The Tohono O’odham (TO) is reluctant to agree. They are betting that Judge Campbell, who is scheduled to hear arguments in mid-December on the TO’s lawsuit to compel the state to grant it Class III gaming, will rule in their favor. The TO assumes it will win this lawsuit and get Class III gaming in Glendale. The TO’s anticipated win of this current law suit allows them to retain the legal option to open casinos elsewhere in the Phoenix metro area.

A little refresher on history is needed. In 2002, the voters of the state approved a Gaming Compact between all tribes and the state for the purpose of gaming regulation at tribal casinos. The 2002 deal gave the tribes the exclusive right to conduct casino gaming in Arizona and was sold to voters on the promise that gambling would be restricted to existing reservations and that there would be no new casinos in the Phoenix area.

In the meantime, the TO, while actively encouraging voters to support the 2002 gaming compact, were already planning on breaching it. Prior to 2002 they were secretly and actively seeking land for the purpose of planting a casino in Maricopa County. Their original consideration was to purchase land in or around Buckeye. Buckeye dodged the bullet when the TO’s consultant opined that the site was too distant from the major urban centers of Phoenix. They settled on a county island in Glendale, close to city’s newly announced (in 2002) Westgate site as an entertainment district. They bought the land under a shell company and for seven years they kept it secret while Glendale invested millions of dollars into the development of Westgate. On the day in 2009, when they made their public announcement of their intent to build a casino in Glendale, they marched into city hall and in essence told the city they were coming and there was not a darned thing it could do about it.

For years, Glendale and the Salt River-Pima-Maricopa tribe and the Gila River tribe brought lawsuits against the Tohono O’odham. It has only been lately that Glendale’s city council dropped its opposition to the TO casino in return for 30 pieces of silver.

Here is the Arizona Republic’s latest editorial on the issue: http://www.azcentral.com/story/opinion/editorial/2016/11/30/tribal-gaming-settlement/94698276/ .

Everyone , to this day, believes the TO’s West Valley casino was a breach of the spirit of the 2002 agreement with voters that created the plan for limited tribal gaming. The tribes believe the TO breached their trust. Over the past 8 years the TO has created controversy, innumerable legal battles, enormous cost and a great deal of distrust regarding its word to its sister tribes and the voters of the state.

The TO’s response has been to say that it wants to consider all proposals using the Arizona Indian Gaming Association (AIGA). Here’s the rub. The Gila River Indian Community and the Salt River-Pima-Maricopa Indian Community resigned from the AIGA in May, 2016, saying, “actions of the Tohono O’odham Nation to secretly develop a casino in direct opposition to the promises made by AIGA and other tribes has destroyed AIGA’s unity and undermined the principles of the organization.” Obviously the TO’s suggestion is not going to happen but it certainly provides the TO with convenient cover.

What to make of this latest volley? It is clear that no one on this planet trusts the Tohono O’odham’s word.  The only reason the state is willing to grant the long-coveted Class III gambling license is because Governor Ducey wants a signed, legal document  (promise) from the TO that they will not build any more casinos in the greater Phoenix metro area. The TO’s word is worth nothing and their signature on a contract may not be worth much more (do you see future law suits?).

In the meantime the TO wants its cake and to eat it too. They are cocky. They’ve won nearly every law suit. They have convinced themselves they will win this latest one. If they do, they will get their Class III gaming without having to promise anyone that they will not build more casinos in Maricopa County. Uh, oh, watch out Mesa, Scottsdale, Tempe, et. al. A Tohono O’odham casino planted in your town may be in your future! Can anyone say, “Las Vegas?”

© 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.

The chicken issue in Glendale is still not settled. I suspect I may be on council when this issue is finally brought forward. But right now I am not and I can share some thoughts. If you look at my informal poll to the left of this column you will see that half the respondents don’t want chickens and half do want chickens.

This issue should never have been. It started as a neighbor dispute. From all that I have heard they were good neighbors and got along for years. Something triggered animosity (not the chickens) between them and chickens became a means of redress. One of the aggrieved parties went to his or her councilmember to complain. It could have been handled by the councilmember urging both neighbors to participate in mediation or working with them one-on-one. Instead the councilmember brought it forward during Council Items of Special Interest asking for exploration of and discussion of an ordinance to allow chickens.

It has consumed hundreds of hours of staff time and cost you, the taxpayer, thousands of dollars in terms of employee salaries to handle this issue. For years residents have silently had chickens throughout this city…some on large lot property, some on smaller lot property…and there was peace. It was a non-issue. Now we have warfare and it’s the north versus the south all over again. If this hadn’t turned into such a public and divisive issue people all over Glendale would have continued to quietly maintain chickens and no one would have cared. It would have continued to fly under the radar.

Generally north Glendale residents do not want chickens. It’s a NIMBY situation and they believe it will devalue their property. Whether it actually devalues property or not, it is still a matter of perception and therefore a valid consideration. The anti-chicken charge is being guided behind the scenes by former Mayor Scruggs. The public face of anti-chickens in north Glendale is Penny Knochenhauer and Michele Tennyson, her friends.

Now, I may be wrong but I don’t think so…99% of Arrowhead is residential and those neighborhoods are controlled by HOAs. Northern Glendale doesn’t have and will not have a problem with chickens ever…because their HOA regulations mandate whether or not they would be allowed. South Glendale residents appear to be more tolerant and are willing to accept chickens. Many south Glendale chicken proponents already have them and appear to be living in peace with their neighbors. So what do we do now? The staff manpower and expense to resolve this issue is becoming ridiculous. A speedy decision is required. Compromise may be in order. What could a compromise look like?

·       It doesn’t seem appropriate that there be chickens on small lot residential properties. Expanding permissible zoning districts to R1-8, (8,000 square foot lots) could be considered. Right now the smallest zoning district that allows chickens is R1-12 (12,000 square foot lots). This compromise would expand allowable zoning districts by adding R1-10 and R1-8. Properties smaller than that (R1-7, R1-6 and R1-4) could cause potential problems and don’t seem to be appropriate candidates for chickens.

·       Many Valley cities have restrictions on the number of chickens allowed. It seems reasonable to allow one chicken per every 1,000 square feet. On an 8,000 square foot property that would allow for 8 chickens…that’s a lot of eggs!

·       Another component of compromise should include setbacks, a restriction seen in other Valley cities. A setback of 20 feet from any residence (including chicken owner’s home) and 20 foot side and rear yard setbacks to protect adjacent neighbors seem to be in order.

·       Lastly a public acknowledgement in city language that recognizes that HOA regulations on this issue supersede any city codes is vital. This stipulation allows self-determination of the chicken issue in a vast number of neighborhoods in Glendale. It seems reasonable that neighbors decide what is in their best interest.

·       Roosters are prohibited and will continue to be prohibited in nearly all zoning districts.

You know a compromise has worked if those who are in favor are angry and those who are against are angry. This compromise would probably evoke just such a response. Those who are anti-chicken will be angry because the city has expanded the allowance to R1-8 properties. Those who are pro-chicken will be upset because there are restrictions. Perfect.

If  a majority of city council is unwilling to compromise and it comes down to a straight “yes” or “no” vote and I am on city council, I will have to think about the issue further before I make a final decision.

© 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.

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.

On September 15, 2016 I received a Notice of Neighborhood Meeting for a Minor General Plan Amendment and Rezoning of a property located in the Yucca district from the law office of David Cisiewski  representing Los Olivos Office Partners, LLC., a Delaware corporation. This is slightly curious. Los Olivos Office Partners is a Delaware corporation that was registered with the Arizona Corporation Commission by yet another law firm who is their agent in Arizona. So who are the principals of Los Olivos? Local people? People out-of-state? A foreign firm?

 They are proposing a subdivision called “Orangewood Terrace.” The property’s location is south of Orangewood Avenue and just east of the West Glenn residential subdivision and just west of 79th Lane. Los Olivos is seeking: 1. a Minor General Plan Amendment to change the General Plan designation from Low Density Residential (LDR, 1-2.5 homes to the acre) to Medium Density Residential (MDR, 2.5 to 3.5 homes to the acre); 2. to rezone the property from R1-10 (10,000 square foot lots) to R1-8 (8,000 square foot lots); and 3. a Preliminary Plat for 55 single family homes.

What’s not to like? 8,000 square foot lots…great. Not so fast. In 2008 the city deliberately planned this property for 10,000 square foot lots with a definite purpose in mind. The property was to act as a buffer between West Glen Estates (a subdivision of 8,000 square foot lots, R1-8) located at the southeast corner of 83rd Avenue and Orangewood Avenue and 79th Lane on the south side of Orangewood Avenue which has about 30 large lot (17,000 square foot lot, SR-17) homes. All of the properties on the north side of Orangewood Avenue directly across from this proposed subdivision are SR-17 residences.

The property in question should remain as a 10,000 SF lot subdivision in order to preserve and to maintain the property values of the residents of West Glen Estates and the residents of 79th Lane. The only conceivable reason to reduce the size of the lots to 8,000 SF is to maximize the profit to be derived by Los Olivos Office Partners. That is not the city’s mission or purpose. Its purpose is to protect the interests of its residents, not developers.

I encourage the residents on the north side of Orangewood Avenue as well as the residents of West Glen Estates and 79th Lane to attend the Neighborhood Meeting:

October 3, 2016

6:00 PM

Hampton Inn & Suite Glendale-Westgate

6630 N. 95th Avenue

Glendale, AZ 85305

Now, chickens…

The next scheduled city meetings are: November 1, 2016 – Second City Council Workshop on the proposed Zoning Text Amendment and November 22, 2016 – City Council Public Hearing on the proposed Zoning Text Amendment.

The Zoning Text Amendment being considered would allow the keeping of contained hen chickens (only) in single family-zoned areas with a zoning district of A-1, RR-90, RR-45, SR-30, SR-17, SR-12, R1-10, R1-8, R1-6 and R1-4. However, per city code chickens are already allowed in these residential zoning districts: A-1, RR-90 (90,000 SF lots), RR-45 (45,000 SF lots), SR-30 (30,000 SF lots), SR-17 (17,000 SF lots) and SR-12 (12,000 SF lots). The text amendment would allow these 4 additional residential districts to have chickens: R1-10 (10,000 SF lots), R1-8 (8,000 SF lots), R1-6 (6,000 SF lots) and R1-4 (4,000 SF lots).

Chicken proponents have cited that other Valley cities allow them. Yes, they do but nearly all cities have restrictions.  Let’s look at Phoenix, the big dog in the Valley. In Chapter 8-7 it states, (a) Except as otherwise provided in this article, it is hereby declared to be a nuisance and it shall be unlawful for any person to keep rodents or poultry within the City. No poultry or rodents shall be kept in an enclosure within eighty feet of any residence within the City. Poultry may be kept within eighty feet of a residence if written permission consenting to the keeping of poultry less than eighty feet from a residence is first obtained from each lawful occupant and each lawful owner of such residence. Poultry shall not be kept in the front yard area of any lot or parcel within the City. Poultry and rodents shall be kept in an enclosure so constructed as to prevent such poultry and rodents from wandering upon property belonging to others.

(b)    No more than twenty head of poultry nor more than twenty-five head of rodents nor more than twenty-five head comprising a combination of rodents and poultry shall be kept upon the first one-half acre or less. An additional one-half acre shall be required for each additional twenty head of poultry or for each additional twenty-five head of rodents or for each additional twenty-five head comprising a combination of poultry and rodents. For areas larger than two and one-half acres the number of poultry or rodents shall not be limited.” Their code goes on to say in Section 8-10, “(a)    Except as otherwise provided in this section, it is hereby declared to be a nuisance and it shall be unlawful for any person to keep any animal, as defined in section 8-1 of this chapter, within the City on any lot or parcel of land consisting of less than ten thousand square feet in area.

(b)    Poultry may be kept on a lot or parcel of land within the City consisting of an area less than ten thousand square feet if written permission consenting to the keeping of poultry on such lot or parcel is first obtained from all of the lawful occupants and the lawful owners of adjoining lots or parcels of land, as defined in section 8-1, which are located in the immediate vicinity of the property whereon the poultry is kept. In summary, the restrictions are that a resident may have up to 25 chickens, 80 feet away from any residence and if the homeowner’s lot is less than 10,000 SF permission must be obtained from all adjacent property owners.

Let’s look at Mesa. In Mesa, a resident can have 10 chickens on the first one-half acre or less provided any enclosure is at least 40 feet from any neighboring residence, any coop is at least 75 feet from any other residence.” Tempe allows, “5 hens and if the enclosure or coop is 200 sq ft or less AND 8′ or less tall, it must meet building code separation requirements (safety issues) and cannot be in the front yard setback; if either more than 200 sq ft OR 8′ height, it must meet all setbacks for the district.” Similar to Tempe, Gilbert will allow up to 5 chickens on the smallest lots size of 6,000 SF. Chandler and Scottsdale do not allow chickens on small, residential lots.

Some people would have you believe that Valley cities allow chickens carte blanche. That is not the case. I would urge all councilmembers to do their homework and to study exactly what other cities allow and do not allow. It is a no-brainer to realize that allowing chickens, if that is the majority position, must occur with restrictions. Let’s see what kind of restrictions city staff comes up on November 1, 2016 when it makes another presentation before city council. Will they have done their homework?

This remains a divisive issue. I am posting one of my informal polls to the left of this column to give my readers a chance to weigh in on the issue. Blog readers on both sides of this issue have offered reasoned comments. I urge you to take a moment to read them as you make up your mind on this issue.

© 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.

No contest of the formally accepted final election results has been filed by either of the losing candidates within the 5 day time limit as stipulated by state law. Now, let’s see some loose ends cleaned up. Sammy still has campaign signs up, well past the proscribed 15 day limit. Sammy, take your campaign signs down. You are not above the law.

In August of 2016, Mark Burdick, former Glendale mayoral candidate, sent out a campaign mailer without the disclaimer, “Paid for by …” as is required by state law. Arizona State Statute 16-912 says, “A political committee that makes an expenditure for campaign literature or advertisements that expressly advocate the election or defeat of any candidate or that make any solicitation of contributions to any political committee shall include on the literature or advertisement the words ‘paid for by,’ followed by the name of the committee that appears on its statement of organization, or five hundred dollar exemption statement.” Burdick publicly admitted the omission of this required disclaimer.

In mid-August, City Clerk Julie Bower notified City Attorney Michael Bailey of a violation of ARS 16-912(A.) Bailey had said that he received the City Clerk’s notice and had taken action by shipping the complaint to an outside counsel, namely the Scottsdale City Attorney.

This is a cut and dried situation. Burdick sent out a campaign mailer without the legally required disclaimer. Burdick admitted that it had occurred. So, what’s the problem? Why the delay? It has been over a month. We should have been made publicly aware of the fine imposed upon Burdick and that it has been paid. Instead…silence.

On or about August 17th the City Clerk requested that Burdick provide the cost of producing and mailing the piece. The fine is 3 times the amount spent for production (includes the consultant’s time for designing the piece) and mailing. Since it was mailed to voters within all of Glendale the cost would be substantial. To mail a piece in my district (with perhaps one of the lowest active voter totals) is about $3,000. Multiply that times six districts and a conservative figure would be somewhere in the $15,000 to $18,000 range. Three times that cost puts Burdick’s fine in the neighborhood of $45,000 to $54,000.

Has the fine been assessed? Has Burdick paid the fine? Either the City Clerk or the City Attorney has the responsibility of public notification…for an action that should have been completed by now. It’s the city’s loose end and merits being tied up.

On another note city council met in workshop this afternoon. Councilmembers Jaime Aldama and Sammy Chavira were absent although Sammy did participate, sort of, telephonically. There were only 2 agenda items: 1. Costs associated with workmen’s’ compensation claims and 2. Proposed regulations for donation drop off boxes and permissible flagpole heights.

The presentation on item #1 generated no council comments or questions…not one. Item #2 generated a great deal of comment and questioning by councilmembers present. It holds true that councilmembers tend to spend more time and energy on issues that directly affect residents than on big picture issues. After nearly an hour of discussion council gave consensus to bring both items back with the request for further information related to how other Valley cities handle both issues. Upon advice of the City Attorney Bailey other “clean up” code/zoning items staff had been prepared to present to council were tabled due to insufficient notice to the public.

© 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.

PLEASE CHECK OUT OUR NEW VIDEO TO THE LEFT OF THIS COLUMN ABOUT CHAVIRA’S MOMENT WITH ANTHONY LEBLANC, OWNER OF ICEARIZONA BEFORE VOTING APPROVAL OF THEIR $15 MILLION A YEAR MANAGEMENT CONTRACT.

Several friends received Sammy’s first campaign mailing and gave me copies. As I forewarned this mailer was paid for by Truth and Leadership, a Political Action Committee (PAC).  Its Chairman is Bill Scheel, of Javalina, a consulting firm. He managed Chavira’s last campaign in 2012. It is registered as an Independent Expenditure Committee.

An independent expenditure committee, by law, may not consult, share information or its plan of action in support of a candidate, with the candidate. That means no personal contact with a candidate.

The mailing clearly says, “Not authorized by any candidate or candidate’s campaign committee.”

One has to wonder if Bill Scheel, chairman of the Truth and Leadership PAC, and Ben Scheel of Bright Consulting (paid $1500 on 5/13/2016 by Sammy for campaign consulting) are relatives.

The mailer was also paid by “major funding provided by United Food & Commercial Workers Union of AZ Local 99 PAC” (Stan Chavira works for the UFCW). Is this yet another relative? The major funding for the mailer from the UFCW is in addition to another $6250.00 it already contributed to Sammy’s campaign. It’s eerie…Bill and Ben Scheel and Sammy and Stan Chavira. It makes you wonder.

Are we to assume that Sammy Chavira has never discussed funding for or the content of this mailer with his relative Stan Chavira and are we also to assume that Bill Scheel and Ben Scheel (are they also relatives?) never discussed this mailer either? Ben Scheel is Sammy’s current campaign manager. So how would that work? If these actions occurred – and we don’t know if they did – that would be collusion and a direct violation of the Truth and Leadership PAC’s requirement to be a truly independent expenditure committee.

Let’s give Mr. Bill Scheel of the Truth and Leadership PAC an “A” for creative writing in fiction. Mr. Scheel describes Sammy as an “independent voice.” Pure fiction easily seen if you ever watched Sammy in action (or non-action) at the council meetings he did attend. Sammy and former recalled councilmember Gary Sherwood were in lock step on many issues including Sammy’s deciding vote to approve the $15 million dollar a year arena management contract with IceArizona. So much for any voice from Sammy as he has become legendarily known for not offering anything meaningful at council meetings other than to thank everybody for any and every thing. So much for an “independent voice.”

Mr. Scheel, in bold text, offers you, the voter, two tag lines: “Yes to stopping special interests” and “No to cutting public safety and quality of life.” It sounds wonderful, doesn’t it? Saving Glendale — all by himself. Sammy has looked out for the interests of every major contributor to his campaigns, from this campaign as well as his 2012 campaign. Sammy didn’t stop IceArizona, a special interest group, did he? Perhaps it was because he’s a full time Phoenix fire fighter and doesn’t have time to listen to his constituents.

We wouldn’t expect Sammy to ever say no to cutting public safety because his interest and agenda, as a fire fighter, is to other fire fighters including those in Glendale. But if it’s for the citizens of his district he settles for crumbs. His action to approve a 7,500 square foot trailer as the West Branch Library has certainly been devastating to the quality of life for all Yucca district residents. He settled… for less than any other Glendale resident enjoys with the Foothills Branch Library ( 4 times the size of the trailer library west Glendale residents will get…eventually) and Velma Teague Branch Library (twice the size of the trailer library) .

His approval of the John F. Long application for the residential project known as Stonehaven with 46% of the lots being only 5,500 square feet has a real impact on Yucca district residents’ quality of life as they see their property values lessen. He didn’t protect the district’s quality of life with his yes vote for Stonehaven. He settled.

Bill Scheel, chairperson of the Truth and Leadership PAC, Patrick Barrett (another campaign consultant being paid handsomely by Chavira in the amount of $4,000 to date) and Ben Scheel ($1,500 to date) are masters at using smoke and mirrors to divert the voters’ attention away from Chavira’s transgressions and failings.

They deliberately use buzz phrases like “led the charge” or “stood up to special interests.” They have no choice but to paint Sammy as a hero to divert voters’ attention away from his misdeeds. They don’t want you to remember about his nearly $25,000 thousand dollars worth of unethical travel on the taxpayers’ dime. Yes, you read that correctly. He used your tax dollars as his own personal check book to take trips and to entertain his Phoenix fire bosses with an extravagant dinner ($420) – all of these actions are wholly unrelated to his responsibilities to Glendale.

They don’t want you to remember his speeding ticket and failure to appear in court or his subsequent driver’s license suspension and hundreds of dollars in fines. They don’t want you to remember that he called it “a minor glitch.” They don’t want you to remember that he paid his fines only after being questioned by the media.

They don’t want you to remember that he held only one district meeting during his term in office, or that he has been absent from a dozen council meetings, the equivalent of 6 months of absent time for which he continued to be paid; or that he doesn’t return constituent calls. Because if you remember these things you will not vote for him.

They have shown utter contempt and disrespect for the voters of the Yucca district. They assume you are ignorant or perhaps stupid. They assume if they put in writing that Sammy is a hero and you receive a slick campaign mailing saying so, since it’s in print, you will believe it.

They don’t know how smart Yucca voters are and they certainly have not gauged the level of anger people feel about Sammy’s misbehaviour.  It looks as if Sammy is just another sleazy politician who believes he can charm you enough so that you will ignore his unethical actions.

It’s up to you, with your vote, to show Sammy and his paid, hired gun consultants and the fire PACs that will pour thousands of dollars into Sammy’s campaign, that you will no longer vote for Sammy as a councilmember. We simply cannot afford his outrageous spending of taxpayers’ money or his lack of ethics any longer.

© 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 tohttp://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.

PLEASE CHECK OUT THE LATEST CHAVIRA VIDEO TO THE LEFT OF THIS COLUMN ABOUT HIS RECORD AS A COUNCILMEMBER

I have shared Sammy’s record with you based upon facts reported publicly or from city council meeting minutes: his failure to fulfill his duties as a councilmember and to be accessible and to represent his constituency; his speeding ticket and subsequent actions; and of course his abuse of taxpayer money with his lavish trips. He has abused the trust voters placed in him and has shown himself to be ethically bankrupt.

What do I stand for? Why vote for me?

  • Completion of Heroes Park with a permanent West Branch library
  • Location of a grocery store within the district
  • New business attraction with quality jobs
  • Creation of a business incubator
  • Streamlined city business codes and regulations
  • Adoption of zero-based budgeting
  • Equitable use of all city resources and redress for areas long neglected
  • Continued emphasis on street repair and reconstruction
  • Continued fiscal emphasis on our core city services
  • Adoption of technology that keeps city government lean and effective
  • Refocus on code compliance
  • Accessibility to constituents in-person, by phone, email or other social media
  • Regular posting online of every cent of taxpayer money I spend with who, what, where and why
  • Restoration of integrity and ethics to the position of Yucca district councilmember
  • Will “do my homework” on all issues coming before council and consistently and regularly attend all council meetings
  • Will represent you and “get your voice back”

Here are a few previous accomplishments

  • Hosted a tour for senior management of the Yucca district sparking the creation of the Neighborhood Partnership Program
  • Successfully gained council approval for the first 50,000 Christmas lights in Murphy Park now known as Glendale Glitters
  • Loan program for E-readers
  • Adoption of Care Program providing discount prescription drugs for people and their pets
  • Piloted street identification signage for motorists later adopted throughout the city
  • Successfully gained basketball courts, water play feature for children, tot lot, X-Court and ramadas for Heroes Park
  • Insured that new residential development  such as Rovey Farm Estates, Missouri Ranch and Missouri Estates, incorporated large lots designed to raise property values in our area

© 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.

Strike up the band ! 1195436089266192967johnny_automatic_marching_band_1.svg.hiHold a parade!celebrate_newoptimistclub I am hosting a Yucca district meeting !! bTynXyXTLSave the date!  Tell your friends and neighbors!hug-club-clip-art-335

THURSDAY, JULY 21, 2012

6 PM

WEST VALLEY FAMILY CHURCH

6115 N. 91ST AVENUE

GLENDALE, AZ 85305

(East side of 91st Avenue, directly across from the Cardinals football stadium)

It is not appropriate as a candidate for the Yucca district city council seat to have city personnel at this meeting. That will have to wait. Be assured, if I am elected, I will host another meeting immediately upon taking office with city personnel present. I am giving the Pastor of the Church an opportunity to greet everyone. I have also invited Mayor Jerry Weiers to make a presentation and to answer any questions you may have. I, too, will speak briefly and then open the meeting to all of you.

This is a great opportunity to tell me your thoughts on a wide variety of issues that are important to you. Tell me about the code enforcement service you have received, or not…how about the police response in your neighborhood? Share your thoughts about light rail in Glendale or any other issue. I will listen. I will take notes. I will act.

For those of you who are new to the district or have never met me, you will have an opportunity to ask questions of me and to find out why I am running to represent you.

It is also an opportunity to meet other Yucca district residents…your neighbors. There has not been a Yucca district meeting since May of 2013. You have been disenfranchised by your councilman. Now, finally, you will “get your voice back!”

Please share the news of the Yucca district meeting with your friends and neighbors. Please help me to get the word out. I’d love to see 100+ district residents in support of resuming district meetings.

It will be great to see you all again!

PLEASE DONATE TO MY CAMPAIGN BY CLICKING ON THE PAY PAL BUTTON TO THE LEFT.

PLEASE CHECK OUT THE CHAVIRA VIDEOS TO THE LEFT OF THIS COLUMN.

It has been 18 years and 200 days since the city’s pledge to build the West Branch Library.

On June 27, 2016 I sent a letter and an email to Sammy inviting him to a debate. Here is a copy of the letter I sent (email was identical).

Debate invitation June 27 2016

Debate invitation to Chavira June 27, 2016

I secured a site for July 14, 2016 at a local church and Robert Heidt, CEO of the Glendale Chamber agreed to moderate. I asked Sammy to respond by close of business on July 5, 2016.

Surely it is not difficult to make such a decision within a week.  I clearly stated in my letter that if  I did not receive a response by July 5th that meant that he was declining my invitation and I would cancel the arrangements I had made. As of posting this blog I have received no letter of acceptance or rejection; no email of acceptance or rejection; and no phone call of acceptance or rejection.  I have cancelled the debate arrangements. Sammy does not have the common courtesy to respond to a debate invitation and to confirm or refuse that invitation. He should not be surprised if he turns up at the church on July 14th to find that no one is there.

It is July 6, 2016 and Sammy has not responded, period. Not an, “I’m sorry. I have another commitment on that date.” Nothing. Just silence. That seems to be his habit and practice. He has been contacted by the media on numerous occasions to explain his lavish travel on taxpayer dollars. Once again, nothing. Just silence. Does he really believe that ignoring a situation will make it disappear?

In the July 7, 2016 edition of the Glendale Star, Sammy was asked by Darrell Jackson, the reporter, if he would take part in the debate to which I had invited Sammy and had scheduled for July 14, 2016. Chavira’s response? “Let’s just say my record speaks for itself.” It certainly does. His record consists of abuse of taxpayer money on lavish trips, a dozen absences from council workshops and meetings, one district meeting held during his entire term and failure to appear in court with a subsequent driver’s license suspension. That is a record that certainly speaks for itself.

Is Sammy afraid to debate? One could assume that is the case. After all, he and I would have been asked questions without the benefit of knowing them beforehand. Sammy would not have had time to ask others to help him to prepare his answers. If you have ever watched Sammy at council workshops or meetings, he is heavy on thanking everyone for everything but light on offering a substantive response on anything. He doesn’t appear to be very articulate on any subject and seems to have trouble responding without prepared notes (crafted by someone other than Sammy).

So, Sammy will remain, for the time being, as the Yucca district’s invisible councilmember. Sammy, has repeatedly shown how little he respects the voters of the Yucca district and has not earned your vote.

© 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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