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Joyce Clark Unfiltered

For "the rest of the story"

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.

As many of you know I have previously stated that this will be my last term of office. From the very start of my term as the Yucca district councilmember I have been asked repeatedly to run again. Lately the pressure to do so has become very intense and has caused me to reconsider. If I were to decide to run again I would need to make that decision soon in order to begin fund raising for another election run.

To assist me in making that decision let me share factors that I, and you, should consider in making the decision. Perhaps the most important is my age as that is determinant of my mental and physical acuity. This October I will celebrate my 77th birthday. Every year I take an executive physical and the most recent results are that my health is excellent. The only medication that I have taken for many years is for my low Thyroid. I take nothing else. My eyesight and hearing are excellent. Physically the most challenging aspect for me is walking. I no longer climb stairs. My knees are not in good shape but are not drastic enough to require surgery.

It’s not as if I would be the first elderly councilmember. Councilmember Lieberman and Councilmember Martinez each served well into their 80’s. Each had physical challenges but they were not an impediment to service.

In terms of my mental acuity I have no signs or symptoms of any Dementia or Alzheimer’s. I am still as sharp as ever. With regard to council deliberations I continue to do my homework by reading all materials as well as questioning staff incessantly. I still enjoy the work as no two topics are ever the same. I possess a great deal of city/council historical memory which has proven invaluable to me and stood me in good stead on issues that come before us.

What about the political aspects to be considered? In my last run in 2016 my campaign was funded exclusively by the citizens of Glendale, many of whom resided in the Yucca district. I raised in the neighborhood of $15,000 while my opponent out raised and out spent me at a ratio of about 5:1. I suspect I would need to raise at minimum the same amount I previously raised and probably more.

Some of the current councilmembers have urged me to run again. I enjoy and respect my fellow councilmembers.  It’s been a breath of fresh air and the way in which previous councils should have operated.  I wish I had had the same experience in the early terms of my service. Alas, that was not the case.

Library stem walls Sept. 5, 2018

My priority continues to be the completion of Heroes Park, long, long overdue. I am pleased and grateful that the current council has funded Phase I of the West Branch Library. As I write this it is currently under construction and we should see the walls go up within the next few weeks. But there is so much more to be done to complete the park. My next goal is to secure funding for the design and construction of the long awaited water feature that is planned to be sited just east of 83rd Avenue. Then there are still the ball fields, Phase II of the library, a dog park and a Recreation/Aquatics Center yet to be built.

I have been accessible and transparent in my service. I reinstituted district meetings and twice a year I sent out district newsletters to every household in the district. I use Facebook regularly to post information about city and district issues.

There is certainly more to share in the coming months but for now in order to make my decision I need to hear from you, the people of the Yucca district, for if I do not have your support then it becomes a moot issue.

 I am not going to run an informal poll because I have learned that it may not always be accurate. Instead, please comment to this blog. Please take the time to express your point of view. Your reaction is extremely valuable to me and I can’t make a final decision until I hear from you. If you do not wish to comment publicly, please send a personal email to me at clarkjv@aol.com .

Thanks. I look forward to comments…the good, the bad and the ugly!

© 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.

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 this week’s Glendale Star there is a story on all three of Glendale’s incumbent councilmembers winning reelection. Let’s share some of the conspiracy theories Aldama claims in the article. Let’s begin with:

  • “As I have said before, to each his own (in their support) but when there are five current councilmembers supporting a new candidate, it says to me that there is a will to remove democracy and add a dictatorship, and that is not how we function.”
  • “I don’t see any reason why five would want me out, but I don’t answer to the five. I answer to my constituents in my district.”
  • “…And to those who opposed me, I am sorry that I fell short if that is what they feel, but I hope I can work with them to build a better relationship and work together to continue to improve the city.”
  • “The four councilmembers who endorsed my opponent was an attempt to curry favor with the Mayor,”
  • “The attempt by Mayor Jerry Weiers to unseat me and Councilman Turner was a purely political attempt to create a ‘dictatorship.’ His desire was to have a ‘yes’ council that would remove any objections to his political goals and aspirations.”

Once I was able to pick myself up off the floor after having laughed so hard that I slipped out of my chair, I decided that among other things, Aldama thinks an awful lot of himself. Does he really believe we are obsessed with him? OMG!

Poor Jamie, he’s really angry and can’t seem to figure out what happened to him and why. If he’s such a nice guy why would 5 out of 7 other councilmembers endorse his opponent? In a bout of apparent paranoia (or perhaps he’s been listening to Councilmember Turner too much) Aldama has convinced himself that Mayor Weiers is destroying democracy and had ordered the rest of us to endorse Aldama’s opponent.  Sorry Jamie. There’s no “will to remove democracy and add a a dictatorship.” I’m still grinning over that one.

For those who don’t know me very well I have a reputation of taking orders from no one. I have never been a ‘yes person’.  I have never felt the need to “curry favor” with the Mayor or any other member of this council. I never had a conversation with the Mayor or any Councilmember before I made my decision to endorse Emmanuel Allen or Ray Strahl. Both endorsements occurred after in-depth interviews with each and were published in my previous blogs.

Aldama can’t “see any reason why five would want me out.” It’s really quite a simple explanation. He never expressed opposition to council’s collective decisions when he had abundant opportunity to do so. Yet he would turn around and publicly oppose those very same decisions without alerting council or staff of his intentions. Aldama has lost the trust of this council. That is something very difficult to regain and occurs with action, not with words of platitude.

Several councilmembers were dismayed by Aldama’s abusive treatment of council staff leading to three council assistant resignations over time. One assistant was brought to tears. Since council assistants serve two councilmembers the situations often resulted in the leaving of a council assistant valued by the other councilmember. For a period of time the council office included a set of revolving doors. His actions created a decidely unstable atmosphere.

In his four years of service, what tangible results has Aldama produced for the people of the Ocotillo district? None. Nada. Zip. In his four years of service did you see him really push for action with regard to O’Neil Pool? When I came back into service a year and a half ago, I started to advocate not only for the completion of Heroes Park but for action regarding O’Neil Pool, abandoned in 2011. The O’Neil area was part of my council district for many years until the last city council redistricting which occurred in 2011 and the area remains important to me as I lived there for 30 years.

 I resumed my council service in 2016 and as a result of my efforts, council will shortly take up the issue of the abandoned pool and allocate CDBG funds to remove it. I am not happy with staff’s proposal that provides only passive recreation on the former pool site and will continue to press for active recreational opportunities such as a splash pad where the pool once stood. Jamie had four years to make O’Neil pool a priority and failed to do so.

I noted at the Womens’ Club Candidate Forum Aldama spent almost all of his introductory speaking time thanking everyone for everything – a penchant of his at nearly every public speaking opportunity – conveniently leaving very little, if any, time to speak to the issues.

He often takes credit for successful council decisions and actions whether he supported them or not. Code enforcement is perhaps one of the most critical issues for the Ocotillo district yet it is Councilmember Malnar that has taken up the challenge of code, not Aldama. Another critical issue for Aldama’s Ocotillo district is advocacy for small businesses yet I successfully won approval from council to initiate a council business subcommittee, not Aldama. Yet Aldama has the hutzpah to say, “he is ready to continue improving the district…” How exactly Jamie? And please be specific.

Lastly, I would remind the reader that several weeks ago at a Glendale Chamber breakfast, Aldama stood before God and the breakfast attendees and accused the council of “corruption.” That wasn’t a smart move designed to ‘win friends and influence people’. It’s time Aldama came forward with facts to support his allegation or to apologize to this council. As of this writing he has not done so.

I feel sorry for Aldama for all of his decisions and actions appear to be politically motivated. If it’s good for him politically he’ll support the issue or action. He seems to have failed to learn that his job is really about representation and giving voice to the people he represents. When residents disagree it’s time to listen rather than devise payback. Goodness know the people of the Ocotillo district can use a lot of help. Unfortunately, it doesn’t appear that Aldama can provide it.

© 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.

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.

Another Primary Election in Arizona is now history. For those of you who don’t follow politics very closely here are the match ups for the General Election this November:

Governor

Doug Ducey R (Republican)

David Garcia D (Democrat)

U.S. Senate

Martha McSally R

Krysten Sinema D

Secretary of State

Steve Gaynor R

Katie Hobbs D

Attorney General

Mark Brnovich R

January Contreras D

State Treasurer

Kimberly Yee R

Mark Manoil D

Superintendent of Public Instruction

Frank Riggs R

Kathy Hoffman D

Did you know that the State of Arizona has 3.6 million registered voters? Guess how many of us voted this past Tuesday throughout the state…505,470. Roughly half a million voters. That’s a turnout of 14%.

In Glendale voters chose to return all three incumbents:  Vice Mayor Tolmachoff in the Cholla district; Councilmember Bart Turner in the Barrel district; and Councilmember Jamie Aldama in the Ocotillo district. All it took was 21% (6,297) of the registered voters in the Cholla district; 19% (4,393) of the registered voters in the Barrel district; and 12% (1,556) of the registered voters in the Ocotillo district.

 In Glendale there are 116,965 registered voters. Broken down by district:

Cholla district            24,499 registered voters

Sahuaro district        23,199 registered voters

Barrel district            20,594 registered voters

Yucca district             18,318 registered voters

Cactus district            17,426 registered voters

Ocotillo district          12,929 registered voters

For purposes of this exercise in statistics I have taken one district, the Ocotillo District, and broken it down even further:

Bethany Park Precinct               1,121 registered voters               102 or 9% voted

Bonsall Park Precinct                     853 registered voters              2 or .002% voted

Challenger Precinct                    2,952 registered voters              212 or 7% voted

Manistee Precinct                      2,708 registered voters               351 or 13% voted

Montebello Precinct                  2,272 registered voters                143 or 6% voted

Peck Precinct                               1,980 registered voters            168 or 8% voted

Tuckey Precinct                         1,774 registered voters               139 or 8% voted

The reason for presenting all of these statistics is really quite simple and can be summed up in two words…Voter Apathy. But what exactly is apathy? It is lack of interest or concern. In other words, indifference. People have no problem asking for help or complaining whether it’s calling a congressional representative with help with your social security or calling a councilmember for help with a code complaint. 90% of the time that representative is there for you, assisting you to solve the problem, often successfully. That representative, whether congressional, state or local, is there to listen to your complaints and opinions. But where are you when it comes time to vote for that representative who assisted you? Nowhere. You’re usually AWOL.

We often accept the excuse that people are busy living their lives, working to take care of their families, participating in church activities, recreating or volunteering. If one can make time for these life activities surely one can manage to schedule an hour once every several years to vote. My gosh, you don’t want to physically go to a voting site? Then take 5 minutes to register online to become an Early Permanent Voter. The ballot comes to you in the mail. You fill it out and mail it back. You don’t even have to cough up 50 cents for postage. How simple can it get?

We hear that voting is our right and privilege and it is. It’s also our responsibility. I remember my Mom telling me to, “Clean my plate. Do you know how many starving kids there are in China who would love to have this meal?” It’s the same analogy with voting. Do you know how many people on this planet do not have free and fair elections? Countries like the United States are a rarity, not the norm. In order to protect what we’ve got it is incumbent upon us to protect it by our participation in the electoral process.

In November we have the opportunity to vote again. This may be the most consequential election of our lifetimes. What will you do that day? Will you vote or be indifferent? Apathetic and pathetic.

© 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 Wednesday, August 8, 2018, the Glendale Women’s Club hosted its biennial candidate’s forum. Present were: Barrel District candidates Bart Turner and Ray Strahl; Ocotillo District candidates Jamie Aldama and Emmanuel Allen; and Cholla District candidate Lauren Tolmachoff (unopposed).  Each candidate was given three minutes to introduce him or herself. Their responses often mirrored their campaign mailers including how long they have resided in Glendale, their backgrounds, etc.

The forum was about two hours in length and can be viewed following this link:

http://www.glendaledailyplanet.com . There was time enough for each of the candidates to give one minute responses to the following questions. Since I am not a professional stenographer I am paraphrasing the questions:

  • Question 1: Blight is a concern for many cities. How would you address blight in Glendale?
  • Question 2: Would you vote to support the current downtown festival budget?*
  • Question 3: What are your thoughts about the newly created Historical Downtown Merchants Association?
  • Question 4: Since light rail has been cancelled what should be done with those transportation sales tax dollars?*
  • Question 5: List two major achievements in your district.*
  • Question 6: What is your position on Glen Lakes Golf Course?*
  • Question 7: Should there be a citizen’s commission on city charter review?
  • Question 8: Many residents still believe there is north versus south when it comes to the allocation and use of city funds. Do you concur?*
  • Question 9: What is your position on the city construction of the new parking lot by the Cardinals Stadium?*
  • Question 10: How have you allocated your council budget resources?*
  • Question 11: Would you change the current vision for downtown?
  • Question 12: Do you support raising the mayor and council salaries?
  • Question 13: In 2012 a .7 sales tax was instituted. Should it be eliminated?*

As you may note, I have placed asterisks on seven of the questions. These questions can only be answered competently based upon in depth information received through the actual experience of serving on city council. These particular questions were loaded in favor of the incumbents.

I love the Women’s Club Candidate Forum and hope the organization continues to provide this valuable service to our community. But there may be ways to make it even better. All questions are submitted by the public at large. As nearly everyone knows, the questions are usually submitted by each candidate’s supporters, often at the request of the candidate.  In addition, the questions seem to reflect geographically localized Glendale issues (i.e., downtown Glendale) rather than broader policy issues affecting all of Glendale.

Perhaps there is a better way to craft questions that do reflect broad policy issues. Maybe it is time to consider using questions that come from some kind of independent panel. Some questions that could have been used:

  • If you are elected what are your three priorities for your district? for all of Glendale?
  • How would you work to decrease the city’s debt?
  • The city’s budget determines expenditure priorities. For example, public safety versus parks and recreation. How would you balance competing needs for limited available funding?
  • What attributes do you have that would make you a better representative than your opponent?
  • Do you believe public transportation is a priority for Glendale? Why or why not?
  • Have you ever received a traffic ticket, been charged with a DUI, been charged with a felony? had a bankruptcy?

I would also note that answers provided by both incumbents and challengers at this forum were generally the same. There was nothing offered that provided major distinctions between the candidates. This election may well be decided on several things: a candidate’s personality; a candidate’s ability to get out the vote; and I kid you not, since some voters have no idea about the candidates, it comes down to position (first) on the ballot and whether they like your last name.

It was an interesting evening and I am glad that I took the time to attend. Seeing who was in the audience was very instructive. There’s also nothing that can surpass seeing candidates in person because it helps one to get a feel for their characters and personalities, something that just doesn’t come through on TV.

© 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.

This morning, Friday, August 03, 2018 started out as any other day. The Chamber held its First Friday breakfast with its usual compliment of about 100 attendees. Everyone in attendance is given about 30 seconds to say something about the business they own or represent. Usually the Mayor attends and occasionally a councilmember or two will be there. I was not there but my phone starting ringing the minute the breakfast broke up.

Emmanuel Allen, candidate for the Ocotillo district council seat, was there and during his brief remarks announced that he was endorsed by 5 councilmembers; the Mayor and Councilmembers Hugh, Malnar, Tolmachoff and me.

It so happened that the current Ocotillo councilmember Jamie Aldama was also in attendance this morning. His allotted 30 seconds turned into a 3 minute speech. During his remarks Aldama referred to the action of five councilmembers endorsing his opponent, Allen, and accused us of “corruption.” Everyone in the room sat in stunned silence. Mayor Weiers did respond to Aldama’s accusation saying that he took exception.

Aldama is desperate and running scared that he may not be reelected. However, when he makes that kind of accusation he better damn well be able to prove it.

© 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.

Yesterday I attended the Glendale Chamber’s Business Over Breakfast meeting and I renewed my annual membership in the Glendale Chamber of Commerce. I paid for my membership out of personal funds. I am not a business and cannot write it off as a cost of doing business. I would not pay dues out of my city council budget because I do not believe it is an appropriate taxpayer cost. It is a substantial personal cost.

I renewed because I believe the Chamber performs a vital service not only to Glendale but to surrounding communities as well. It is now over 1,200 members strong and its members come not just from Glendale but Scottsdale, Phoenix, Surprise, Peoria, etc. Robert Heidt, its CEO and President, has done an outstanding job of reinvigorating the Chamber and is to be recognized for his leadership.

The stated mission of the organization as provided on their website is, “The Glendale Chamber serves the business community as the voice of commerce, provides programs and services to improve the economic environment for its members and supplies leadership for improving the quality of life. For area residents and newcomers, the Glendale Chamber is a reliable source for community information and a dependable resource for business referrals.” This is a mission statement I support and reflects a Chamber working to serve its members.

The Glendale Chamber works within guiding principles of connection, initiative, and stewardship.  It fleshes out these principles by stating, “The Glendale Chamber helps build a strong community by connecting its members to people and issues important to business success. Through Chamber programming and services, you and your business are engaged in activities that move Glendale toward a successful future.”  In terms of initiative it states, “The Glendale Chamber provides unique opportunities for business leaders to influence civic, social, and business initiatives that support community growth. The Chamber offers leadership on issues that transform our community and your business.” Lastly its stewardship is reflected by, “On behalf of its broad and diverse membership, the Glendale Chamber creates a climate of growth and success that benefits all business. Your membership investment allows your business and our community to prosper.”

The partnership between the city and the Chamber is strong and beneficial to our entire community. A healthy and robust Chamber helps to maintain a healthy and robust Glendale. However, I am beginning to believe that when the Chamber enters the political arena, witness its endorsements of candidates for Glendale’s city council, it becomes corrosive not only to the Chamber but to the community .

On July 12, 2018 I posted a blog about the Chamber’s endorsements entitled “The gorilla has spoken.” In it I discussed the manner in which the Chamber made its endorsements in the current Glendale election for city council districts. Since then, five councilmembers: Mayor Weiers, Councilmembers Hugh, Tolmachoff, Malnar and I have endorsed current Councilmember Aldama’s opponent, Emmanuel Allen for the Ocotillo District council seat. This situation led to a Facebook discussion typified by this comment, “I’m confused. The Glendale Chamber is endorsing candidates that the Mayor and Council are not? Please educate me. Thanks”

The Chamber and the City are two separate and distinct entities with separate mandates and missions. We will never be in lockstep on all issues facing the city but we will always strive to maintain a mutually respectful partnership.

The Chamber endorsed candidates based on written responses and personal interviews. Obviously the candidates tailored their responses to be viewed favorably by the Chamber. The Chamber’s endorsements were not based on personal experiences with either incumbent or challenger. On the other hand, the councilmembers who have made endorsements for particular candidates  based them upon personal knowledge and interaction. That may be the major distinction in the opposing endorsements.

I suggest that the Chamber rethink its policy of issuing endorsements. The Chamber represents businesses not only in Glendale but Peoria, Phoenix, etc. Does it plan to issue endorsements in races in these other cities as well? If not, why is it just endorsing in Glendale? In addition, when the Chamber endorses a candidate that does not win, it may earn a certain amount of ill will from the candidate, unendorsed by them, that did win.

Perhaps it would serve the Chamber not to endorse anyone so it remains non-partisan and thereby more effective in promoting its policy agenda with all elected officials. If it really wanted to provide service to the community why not hold a candidate forum just like the Women’s Club does? Certainly all issues are not covered in that one forum. Another would certainly be welcomed. What about disseminating non-partisan information about all candidates on specific business related issues? There is so much the Chamber could do, if it so chose, to assist in informing the voters in Glendale that would be truly helpful. Endorsing certain candidates is a lose-lose proposition and sets up ill will both within and without the organization.

© 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.

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 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.

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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