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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.

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.

This coming Tuesday, August 28th, is Primary Election Day in Arizona. You, the voter, will select party candidates to run in the November General Election. Those candidates range from the Governor’s office down to your local Justice of the Peace. Perhaps the most important is your local city council representative. Glendale’s councilmembers have a major and direct impact on your daily life from deciding city sales tax rates to the creation of new parks in Glendale. Your district council representative will be decided in the Primary Election on Tuesday. Since Glendale’s races are non-partisan and there are only two candidates each for the Barrel and Ocotillo Districts, whoever receives the most votes will be your councilmember. They will not continue on to the General Election in November. The Cholla District has but one candidate, Vice Mayor Tolmachoff. She will automatically continue to be the Cholla Councilmember no matter what the vote total.

If you remain undecided I urge you to call the candidates directly and ask them questions about their positions on issues of importance to you. Here are their phone numbers:

  • Emmanuel Allen              602-488-0147
  • Bart Turner                     623-487-3808
  • Ray Strahl                      623-341-7614
  • Jamie Aldama                 623-930-2249 (I could only find the main city council office                                                                number)

Below I have listed the polling locations for the Barrel and Ocotillo Districts. If you still have your Early Ballot, please fill it out and drop it off at your polling location. Voting is from 6 AM to 7 PM at all polling locations. Voting at the polls on Primary Election day is usually light. You should be able to get in, vote and get out quickly.

On Primary Election Day these are the voting locations for the voters in the Barrel District:

  • BUTLER                   APOLLO HIGH SCHOOL                         AUDITORIUM   
  •                                 8045 N 47TH AVE
  •                                 GLENDALE, AZ 85302
  • COPPERWOOD        WEST VALLEY UNITARIAN                    SANCTUARY
  •                                 UNIVERSALIST CHURCH
  •                                 5904 W CHOLLA ST
  •                                 GLENDALE, AZ 85304
  • GEMINI                    FOSTERING HOPE                                    TBD
  •                                  5609 W CACTUS RD
  •                                  GLENDALE, AZ 85304
  • GLENCROFT              APOLLO HIGH SCHOOL                         AUDITORIUM   
  •                                   8045 N 47TH AVE
  •                                  GLENDALE, AZ 85302
  • RIVIERA                   WEST VALLEY UNITARIAN                    SANCTUARY
  •                                   UNIVERSALIST CHURCH
  •                                   5904 W CHOLLA ST
  •                                   GLENDALE, AZ 85304
  • SAHUARO RANCH     WEST VALLEY UNITARIAN                    SANCTUARY 
  •                                   UNIVERSALIST CHURCH
  •                                   5904 W CHOLLA ST
  •                                   GLENDALE, AZ 85304
  • BERYL                        GLENDALE CHRISTIAN CHURCH       FELLOWSHIP HALL
  •                                   9661 N. 59TH AVE
  •                                   GLENDALE, AZ. 85302
  • CARON                     GLENDALE CHRISTIAN CHURCH       FELLOWSHIP HALL
  •                                   9661 N. 59TH AVE
  •                                   GLENDALE, AZ. 85302

If you are in the Barrel district here is a precinct map that may help you in figuring out which precinct is yours. There are blue tick marks in each Barrel precinct.Once you know the precinct you know your polling location.

Barrel District Precincts

On Election Day these are the voting locations for the voters in the Ocotillo District:

  • BETHANY PARK  DON MENSENDICK SCHOOL              BAND ROOM/SPECIAL ED
  •                             5535 N 67TH AVE
  •                             GLENDALE, AZ 85301                
  • BONSALL PARK     ST ANDREWS EPISCOPAL CHURCH        PARISH HALL 
  •                               6300 W CAMELBACK RD
  •                               GLENDALE, AZ 85301  
  • CHALLENGER         DESERT GARDEN SCHOOL                        LIBRARY 
  •                                7020 W. OCOTILLO ROAD
  •                                GLENDALE, AZ 85303          
  • MONTEBELLO       ST ANDREWS EPISCOPAL CHURCH        PARISH HALL   
  •                               6300 W CAMELBACK RD,
  •                               GLENDALE, AZ 85301      
  • MANISTEE            ST ANDREWS EPISCOPAL CHURCH        NARTHEX (LOBBY) 
  •                               7205 N 51ST AVE
  •                               GLENDALE, AZ 85301                 
  • PECK                     FIRST CHRISTIAN CHURCH/GLENDALE    FELLOWSHIP HALL
  •                               6242 N 59TH AVE,
  •                               GLENDALE, AZ 85301                
  • TUCKEY                 HAROLD W SMITH SCHOOL #40               LIBRARY        
  •                               6534 N 63RD AVE,
  •                               GLENDALE, AZ 85301

 If you are in the Ocotillo district here is a precinct map that may help you in figuring out which precinct is yours. There are blue tick marks in each Ocotillo precinct. Once you know the precinct you know your polling location.

Ocotillo District Precincts

If you still can’t figure out where to go to vote please go to the Maricopa County Recorder site: https://recorder.maricopa.gov/elections/ . Here is their complete contact information:

Recorder and Elections Dept. 
Main Downtown Office
111 S. Third Ave.
Phoenix AZ 85003
Hours: 8:00 A.M. – 5:00 P.M. Monday – Friday
Phone: 602-506-3535
T.D.D. 602-506-2348

I hope you will cast your vote for Emmanuel Allen as your Ocotillo District councilmember and Ray Strahl as your Barrel District councilmember. No matter your choice please remember to vote this Tuesday, August 28th from 6 AM to 7 PM.

© 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.

Who would you vote for today?

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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.

Glendale’s Primary election is on Tuesday, August 28th, in less than 2 weeks. Just in case you think your vote doesn’t count let’s look back at some close elections.   

  • In the 2010 Ocotillo District Primary Election there were 3 candidates. The top two vote getters that would move on to the General Election were David Goulet with 738 votes and Norma Alvarez with 725 votes. A difference of 13 votes. Ms. Alvarez would go on to win in the General Election by 193 votes out of a total of 3,584 votes cast.
  • In the 2012 Cactus District General Election out of 7,259 votes cast, Ian Hugh prevailed over Gary Hirsch by 172 votes.
  • In the 2014 Ocotillo District Primary Election Jamie Aldama won by 19 votes out of       2, 423 total votes cast. Aldama had 1221 votes to Alvarez’ 1202 votes.
  • In the 2016 Yucca District Primary Election with 3,151 votes cast, I prevailed over Chavira. I had 1591 votes and Chavira had 1545 votes – a difference of 46 votes. 
  • In the 2016 Mayoral contest with 26,022 votes cast, Jerry Weiers with 13,712 votes beat Mark Burdick with 12,767 votes – a difference of 405 votes.

Despite overall voter apathy in Glendale and because so few registered voters actually take the time to vote, Glendale’s elections tend to be ‘squeakers’. Expect about 2500 people to vote in the Ocotillo district and about 4,000 to 5,000 voters in the Barrel district. With those kinds of numbers you can see that truly every vote does count.

If your Early Ballot is still sitting on your kitchen table or ‘To Do’ pile, dig it out, fill it out, and please send it in. You don’t need postage and it only takes 5 minutes to swing by a postal outlet or postal box when going to and from work or grocery shopping. You still have time to mail it in.

If you are a poll voter, take a minute to get online at the Maricopa County Recorder’s Election website and check to find your polling location. Many locations change from one election cycle to another. Don’t assume that because you voted at a local church or school site that it will automatically be used as a voting site this time.

Vice Mayor Lauren Tolmachoff of the Cholla District is running unopposed and her election will simply confirm that fact. In the Ocotillo District your candidates are Emmanuel Allen and Jamie Aldama. In the Barrel District your choices are Ray Strahl and Bart Turner.

To tell you the truth, there is not a lot of daylight between all of the candidates’ positions on the issues. It may come down to a question of character and passion. I think perhaps the best way to help you to decide in this election is to call the candidate directly and ask about any local issue important to you.  Did the candidate call you back? If not, don’t expect to get a better response should that person be elected.

In the spirit of fairness, I went to each candidates’ online presence, whether it was Facebook or an independent web site and looked for a contact phone number. I was able to find the following:

  • Emmanuel Allen     602-488-0147
  • Bart Turner           623-487-3808
  • Ray Strahl            623-341-7614
  • Jamie Aldama       623-930-2249 (I could only find the main city council office number)

Please do vote. It’s so important to the future of Glendale…and you and your family’s future as well. Yours could be one of a very few votes that causes a candidate to win or lose. Remember a margin of 19 votes can decide the winner!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

© Joyce Clark, 2018         

FAIR USE NOTICE

This site contains copyrighted material the use of which is in accordance with Title 17 U.S. C., Section 107. The ‘fair use’ of any such copyrighted material as provided for in Section 107 of the US Copyright Law and who have expressed a prior interest in receiving the included information for research and educational purposes. For more information material on this site is distributed without profit to those who have not always been specifically authorized by the copyright owner. We are making such material available in our efforts to advance understanding of environmental, political, human rights, economic, democratic, scientific and social justice issues, etc. We believe this constitutes a ‘fair use’ of any such material. For more information go to http://www.law.cornell.edu/uscode/17/107.shtml. If you wish to use copyrighted material from this site for purposes of your own that go beyond ‘fair use,’ you must obtain permission from the copyright owner

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

© Joyce Clark, 2018         

FAIR USE NOTICE

This site contains copyrighted material the use of which is in accordance with Title 17 U.S. C., Section 107. The ‘fair use’ of any such copyrighted material as provided for in Section 107 of the US Copyright Law and who have expressed a prior interest in receiving the included information for research and educational purposes. For more information material on this site is distributed without profit to those who have not always been specifically authorized by the copyright owner. We are making such material available in our efforts to advance understanding of environmental, political, human rights, economic, democratic, scientific and social justice issues, etc. We believe this constitutes a ‘fair use’ of any such material. For more information go to http://www.law.cornell.edu/uscode/17/107.shtml. If you wish to use copyrighted material from this site for purposes of your own that go beyond ‘fair use,’ you must obtain permission from the copyright owner.

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