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Joyce Clark Unfiltered

For "the rest of the story"

As readers of this blog know I have been opposed to the idea of a temporary modular building (trailer) as our west branch library in Heroes Park. I and many, many residents of the Yucca district consider this an insult, as if that is all that we deserve after waiting 18 years.

After the city council acceptance of the Canvass of Votes I was invited to meet on October 7, 2016, with appropriate city personnel regarding the plans for this library. I had requested a meeting after it came to my attention that approximately $2 million dollars would be available for its construction and it appeared that the cost to build a permanent, phase I of a brick ‘n’ mortar branch library would be virtually the same as the cost of a modular building. My meeting with city staff confirmed that $2 million dollars would be sufficient for either a brick & mortar building or a modular building.

Based upon that information and learning that the next step would be to secure city council approval to move forward with the design, I requested that the design process incorporate plans for a permanent brick & mortar building as well as the modular design. The modular design had been directed by city council in a previous action.

I was successful in getting the design for a permanent brick & mortar included in the proposed city council action and on December 20, 2016, city council authorized the City Manager to enter into a Professional Services Agreement with Dick and Fritsche Design Group, Inc. (DFDG) to provide design and architectural drawings for the potential Heroes Branch Library, within Heroes Regional Park located at West Bethany Home Road and North 83rd Avenue, in an amount not to exceed $410,090. Here is the link to that city council meeting: http://glendale-az.granicus.com/MediaPlayer.php?view_id=2&clip_id=2597&meta_id=55164 .

Below is the schedule of work.  As can be seen, it will be 9 months to create the design and construction documents. Although that seems to be very slow, in city terms, it is fast and being expedited. I will monitor the progress of the various steps to make sure the timeline remains intact. The next milestone will be for city council to award a construction contract to build in approximately September of 2017. I will continue to advocate for and seek acceptance from council for the permanent brick & mortar west branch library building. Knowing that the costs are virtually the same for either type of building it would make economic sense that a permanent structure be built with the capacity for future expansion. The library itself will be completed and open for business approximately August of 2018.

·       Notice to Proceed                                                                        1/2/17  

·       Program Verification – Site Analysis                                          1/2/17-1/13/17 (2 weeks)

·       Schematic Design                                                                         1/16/17-2/24/17 (6 weeks)

·       Design Development                                                                   2/27/17-4/21/17 (8 weeks)

·       Construction Documents                                                            3/1/17-3/31/17, 4/24/17-6/16/17

                                                                                                                (8 wks.)

·       Plan Review and Permit / Prepare Bid Docs.                            6/19/17-8/11/17   (8 weeks)

·       Bid                                                                                                    8/14/17-9/8/17 (4 weeks)

·       Notice to Proceed                                                                         9/11/17-10/20/17   (6 weeks)

·       Council Award                                                                                10/12/17 

·       Construction                                                                                   10/23/17-7/27/18 (40 weeks)

·       Close out – Occupy                                                                         7/30/18-8/24/18 (4 weeks)

·       Final Acceptance                                                                            8/27/18

I will also continue to advocate for additional elements of Heroes Park, also long overdue. Nearly every district has its points of pride from the Foothills Library and Foothills Recreation & Aquatic Center, to Sahuaro Ranch, to Thunderbird Paseo Racquet Center, to Murphy Park and the Civic Center. It’s time for west Glendale to have its major amenity and its point of pride completed.

© Joyce Clark, 2016        

FAIR USE NOTICE

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

arcplaque_000On Saturday, October 15, 2016, Glendale celebrated the Grand Opening of the newest amenity at Heroes Park – the Archery Complex. Archery is a sport that seems to be under the radar. Yet as unheralded as it is, there are a lot of archers in the Valley. They were excited and grateful to see this complex become reality for the only other complex is located in the east Valley.

There was one unsung hero in attendance on that bright, beautiful Saturdayphoto-4 morning and that was local realtor and Yucca district resident Tom Traw. If anyone deserves credit for making this complex a reality it is he. For you see, Tom went to Yucca district councilmember Sammy Chavira to pitch the idea. Sammy did nothing, despite his public assertion that as a result of Councilmember Aldama’s idea, he followed up and made it a reality. Nothing could be further from the truth. The thanks and the credit belong to Tom Traw. Tom bull dogged Glendale Parks and Recreation staff when it seemed as if the project had fallen into a black hole. Tom advocated for and kept the pressure on all involved for over 2 years. My thanks and the thanks of all who will enjoy and use this complex go to Tom Traw.

The archery demonstrations were amazing. Eric Bennet, a Paralympian Archer, actually severed the grand opening ribbon and a segment of it was pinned to a target by his shot. 2016 Olympic Archery Coach was surrounded by hoards of young, aspiring archers.

photo-1What is even more amazing was the outpouring of support not just from the non-profit community; the Arizona Sports and Tourism Authority and the Arizona Game and Fish Department both of whom granted funds to the project; but from local businesses who donated time, material and labor. Without their donations there is no way this project could have become reality.

 Lastly, Glendale’s Parks and Recreation Department showcased their innovationphoto-3 and ingenuity as well. Instead of purchasing the stakes needed to hold down lane markings they were able to manufacture them at a fraction of the cost. They also manufactured the moveable carts that hold the targets. They saved an incredible amount of money. They are to be congratulated for their hard work and dedication to this project.

Congratulations to all who made this amazing complex a reality. Now, it’s time to complete Heroes Park, one of a very few regional parks in Glendale and still not completed as designed after an 18 year wait.

© Joyce Clark, 2016          

FAIR USE NOTICE

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

CHECK OUT THE VIDEO TO THE LEFT OF THIS COLUMN. IT IS A VIDEO INDEPENDENTLY PRODUCED. IT WAS NOT PAID BY OR AUTHORIZED BY CLARK FOR COUNCIL.

I have offered my biography and my platform of 5Es: Equity, Environment, Engagement, Economy and Ethics. I have shared some of the accomplishments I achieved in my previous service to you. I have honed in on Sammy’s unethical record as a councilmember. Yet you may not be ready to vote for me.

For the years that I served as your councilmember I was honest and ethical. I never abused your trust. While some councilmembers charged mileage or their cell phone expenses to the city, I never did. All of the Sammy mailers implying that I mismanaged city money is simply a lie. I have already stated why he is using these lies. It’s his only path to reelection for his record is a shameful one.

I am not the type to brag about myself but it seems now is the time to offer some instances of my service to you. There was a constituent who had a front yard full of weeds, knee high. City Code Compliance had cited her repeatedly and she was facing a deadline. She was unable to do the work and furthermore did not have the money to rectify the problem. I used my own money, not a dime of city or taxpayer money, and had rock delivered and spread on her front yard. She didn’t ask for help other than my intervention with the city. That I could not deliver. So I delivered a permanent solution instead.

There was another instance out of so many… the time when a small neighborhood had a problem neighbor. Lots of teens/young adults, late parties, constant noise, cars parked everywhere, perhaps drugs, refusal to acknowledge a problem…you get the idea. After I met with the neighborhood to learn the extent of their problem, I called my “go to” Glendale police officer. Within a matter of days the problem was solved. I was a facilitator. Once I knew what the problem was, I knew where to go to get it solved.

There was a time when an entire apartment complex’s water was about to be turned off. The tenants called me desperate for a solution. The owner of the complex owed back payments and was refusing to pay. I contacted the media who then ran stories on TV about the situation. Within 24 hours the complex owner had made arrangements to pay his bill in full.

There was my request to council, approved, for the first 50,000 Christmas lights in Murphy Park. Today those first Christmas lights have grown into over a million lights for Glendale Glitters or my tour of my district for senior management resulting in the Neighborhood Partnership Program.

Another instance that comes to mind was the battle of the burned out house. It took constant prodding of various city departments, including the city attorney’s office, to finally have the house demolished, perhaps not as quickly as nearby residents expected, but I did get the job done.

Land use and zoning was a constant battle. Although I did not win all battles, I won 90% of them. I believe, as many Yucca district residents do, that Yucca is a prime location for large lot development. If you travel along 83rd Avenue you see many large lot developments…Desert Sunset, Missouri Ranch Estates and Missouri Ranch are just a few. I am especially proud on my work on Rovey Farm Estates with lots from 7,000 to 9,000 SF on its western side to one acre lots on its eastern side. On each of these residential developments, I worked closely with the residential developer and the city’s Planning Department, insisting on larger lots and making a successful case for them.

I have not bragged about any of my accomplishments because I felt it was just part of my job as your councilmember. Sammy Chavira has no such record other than a string of unethical actions.

Yucca district residents could always reach me. To this day, I readily offer my home phone number and my personal email address. While I could not successfully solve all constituent problems with the city I did solve an overwhelming number of them. I listened respectfully to all and occasionally there were arguments that changed my mind on an issue. I did not pander to people. If I could not solve their problem, I told them so. They may have gone away unhappy with me but I did not play games with them and promise something I could not deliver.

I have always been active and engaged. To this day, I know the problem areas in our district and welcome the opportunity to address the city’s attention to them. I have demonstrated over and over again that I cared about people and offered my services to help them.

There is still so much to do for our district. It’s time to complete Heroes Park as designed. Even though it is not in my district (I lived in this area for 30 years), O’Neil Pool in the Ocotillo District must be repaired or replaced. It is a disgrace that this economically challenged area has lost its only major recreational amenity.

There is still so much to do for our city. The major focus must be the city’s financial position. While the city has begun its financial recovery there is more to be done.

I have shown that I was an active and engaged councilmember. I want to continue to be that councilmember. I want to help you. I want a fiscally healthy Glendale. I want what you want, safe neighborhoods, the availability of good-paying jobs within Glendale, and a variety of recreational amenities for your families. If you want the same things, then I ask for your vote on Tuesday, August 30th. Together we can make Glendale better.

© Joyce Clark, 2016       

FAIR USE NOTICE

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

PLEASE DONATE TO MY CAMPAIGN USING THE DONATE BUTTON TO THE LEFT.

PLEASE TAKE A MOMENT TO VIEW THE CHAVIRA VIDEOS ALSO TO THE LEFT OF THIS COLUMN.

Sammy Chavira campaign signs were spotted today. They look like they are the same signs he used in his 2012 campaign. The slogan on his signs, “The right priorities” has proven to be ironic and totally meaningless. People are chuckling and saying, “Really?”

Let’s take a look at Sammy’s priorities during his first term:

  • His priority is to take lavish trips at taxpayers’ expense such as seeing the Pope on a large screen TV in Washington, D.C.
  • My priority is to publicize all of my taxpayer funded councilmember expenses on internet for all to see.
  • His priority is to ignore the law by failing to appear in court for a speeding ticket that resulted in his driver’s license suspension and eventual payment of fines when the media started to question him. He called it “a minor glitch.”
  • My priority is to advance the completion of Heroes Park.
  • His priority is to be largely invisible while serving as a councilmember by missing a dozen council meetings and holding only one district meeting during his term.
  • My priority is to restore regular district meetings and to be accessible in person, by phone, email and social media.
  • His priority while on council is, “I’ll be a voice for accountability and tight spending controls” except when it comes to burying his trip expenses in a mass of lost credit card receipts. His accountability has been non-existent.
  • My priority is to improve services for Glendale’s residents while keeping city government lean and mean.
  • His priority is to “fight to fully fund Head Start, promote education tax credit programs and make city-provided after-school programs more academically focused.” Unfortunately he didn’t tell voters that a Glendale councilmember has no control over local school board decisions regarding curricula, policies and funding.
  • My priority is to work toward a permanent west library branch.
  • His priority is, “no more sweetheart deals.” Yet he flip-flopped on the Coyotes management contract and approved a $15 million dollar a year “sweetheart deal.”
  • My priority is to attract new businesses and jobs while working to assist existent businesses.
  • His priority is as a double-dipper receiving $35,000 a year as a Glendale councilmember while also pulling close to an estimated six figure salary as a Phoenix firefighter yet he can’t seem to do his job as a councilmember.
  • My priority is to serve everyone by doing my “homework” on issues that come before council, attending all council meetings and helping citizens to solve problems.

All of his priorities reflect facts from the Arizona Republic, the Glendale Star, minutes of city council meetings and direct quotes from his 2012 political mailings.

There were those who counseled Sammy not to run this cycle but it appears that Sammy thinks Yucca district voters are too stupid to understand and appreciate his many misguided “priorities.”

Chavira has done nothing and contributed even less to council deliberations on major issues. Now the Arizona Republic in an Op-Ed piece has called for his censure for his extravagant trips paid by Glendale taxpayers. They did not go far enough. Chavira should reimburse the city. He can certainly afford to do so with his two jobs earning him a six figure salary.

He appears to have flown under the radar taking care of his friends and major campaign contributors. We know that he has repeatedly ignored the residents of Yucca by canceling scheduled meetings, failing to return their phone calls and failing to connect with Yucca residents through regular district meetings.

I decided to run at the urging of many and because Chavira, quite simply, has not fulfilled his responsibilities and obligations in service to his constituents. Add to that his blatant abuse of taxpayer dollars.

It’s time for Chavira to retire as a one term councilmember and for him to refocus on his job as a Phoenix firefighter. He’s done enough damage.Vote for Joyce

© Joyce Clark, 2016

FAIR USE NOTICE

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

PLEASE CHECK OUT THE CHAVIRA VIDEOS TO THE LEFT OF THIS COLUMN. EACH IS ABOUT A MINUTE AND A HALF IN LENGTH.

It has been 18 years and 190 days since the city’s pledge to build the West Branch Library.

June 24, 2016, marks another milestone of 350,000 reads of my blog since I began in February of 2013. That averages about 100,000 reads a year. I am pleased and very grateful to all those who have become faithful readers. Thank you. In addition, in 3 months, over 1,000 people have viewed my 3 Chavira videos. Again, thank you for taking the time to view them.

In Sammy Chavira’s latest weekly e-newsletter of June 24, 2016, he said, “After serving 17 years as a Phoenix firefighter and Glendale City Council Member, Chavira helped bring a Super Bowl to Cardinals Stadium.” Gosh, in addition to all his other misdeeds now we can add embellishment and exaggeration.

While Sammy may have served 17 years as a Phoenix firefighter, he certainly, thankfully, hasn’t served as a Glendale councilmember for 17 years. He has only served one term of 4 years. As for “Chavira helped bring a Super Bowl to Cardinals Stadium.” Really? And how might he have helped? The bid for a Super Bowl and the choice of the stadium for the last Super Bowl was made long before Sammy became a councilmember.

We have just another example of Sammy’s misdirection of the facts and an attempt to give himself recognition for something he did not do.  Add to his practice of embellishment, his lavish trips at taxpayer expense, his failure to attend council meetings and to hold district meetings and his failure to appear in court with a subsequent suspension of his driver’s license while he claimed it was “a minor glitch.”

While we’re at it, let’s take a look at some of the promises made by Sammy in the campaign mailings he sent to voters in his first run for office in 2012. In one campaign mailing Sammy said, “On the City Council, he’ll fight to protect funding for local schools and excellent, academically-enriched after school programs.” Or how about this from another campaign mailing, “Sam understands that good jobs and good schools go hand in hand. He will fight to fully fund Head Start, support education tax credits for our local schools, and make after school programs more curriculum based.” These statements represent one of two positions – take your pick. Fact: The Glendale city council has no authority over federal or local education policies, curriculum or funding. That is the responsibility of your district school board whether it is the Pendergast Elementary School District or the Glendale Elementary School District. Sammy either didn’t know the facts — which makes him ignorant or he knew the facts and he chose to be deceptive.

Here’s another promise from Sammy.2012. “Too many sweetheart arena deals for out-of-state corporations have left us deeply in debt. Sam will prioritize public safety, education and public libraries and isn’t afraid to say no to special interests.” Or how about, “No more sweetheart deals. The city needs to be a tough negotiator, making smart planning decisions that preserve Glendale’s future.” It would appear that Sammy never met a “sweetheart” deal that he didn’t like. He apparently traded votes with former Councilmember Sherwood, flip-flopping on his promise to protect taxpayers from exorbitant, $15 million dollars a year arena management fees with…you guessed it…an out-of-state corporation.

He seems to favor those who contributed large sums of money to his campaign such as Mark Becker of the Becker Billboard issue that surfaced in Glendale last year.

How has he “prioritized public libraries” by supporting a 7,500 square foot modular building as west Glendale’s branch library? It’s insulting that he thinks so little of his constituency that he throws them this kind of bone.

How has Sammy made “smart planning decisions?” By allowing a residential project like Stonehaven in the Yucca district? A residential project in which 43% of the homes will be on 5,500 square foot lots (smaller than that which is required by the city’s standard R1-6 zoning that requires a minimum of 6,000 square foot lots). That kind of “smart planning decision” devalues all of the homes that surround this project.

There’s more, so much more of Sammy’s deceptions…for another blog, I think. Sammy promised a lot and delivered…nothing. Sammy earns a fire fighter’s pay check as well as a councilmember’s pay check of $35,000 a year. Yet he has failed to do his job as a Glendale councilmember. He’s often absent from council meetings and can’t seem to find the time to reach out to, much less listen to, his Yucca district constituents or their concerns.  It’s time to let Sammy go back to being a fire fighter and not a double dipper. It seems as if he can handle only one job at a time.

© Joyce Clark, 2016

FAIR USE NOTICE

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

PLEASE CHECK OUT THE CHAVIRA VIDEOS TO THE LEFT OF THIS COLUMN.              PLEASE MAKE A DONATION TO MY CAMPAIGN!!

It has been 18 years and 174 days since the city’s pledge to build the West Branch Library.                                                                                                               Recently the Arizona Republic had a story about cities and their park rankings. Here is the link:http://www.azcentral.com/story/news/local/phoenix/2016/06/03/report-phoenix-area-cities-lag-park-funding-access/84931948/ . Glendale ranked in the middle of the pack nationally at number 55. It was disappointing to read that Glendale spends the least on their park system at $39 per resident. The national median was $82 per resident. Glendale spends less than half the national median. This is a truly unacceptable statistic. Scottsdale spends the most in the state at $115 per capita and even Phoenix spends $88 per resident.

The leadership of Glendale, city council and senior management, want Glendale to grow. An admirable goal to be sure but how does a city attract new growth? Two components are essential. One is first class amenities such as parks and plenty of them. Residents want clean, safe parks close to their neighborhoods as do employees of prospective employers deciding to locate in Glendale. Peoria and Surprise are well on their way to meeting this goal. Just look at Glendale’s Grant Canal Linear Park. It is heavily used daily as is Glendale’s Thunderbird Paseo Linear Park. They demonstrate just how important parks are to residents.

Glendale is woefully lagging its neighbors. We still see an unfinished Heroes Park. Two other major parks in west Glendale also remain unfinished. Forget about new parks when Glendale can’t even find the will or funds to finish what it has started. Where are the funds to reopen O’Neil Pool? Putting in a West Branch Library as a modular building is an affront to current and future residents.If Glendale is serious about growth these are issues that must be addressed.

The other component for growth is quality residential development. Glendale’s vacant parcels should not be destined for high density, single family residential. These precious, vacant parcels are an opportunity to raise the bar of residential development. When Glendale allows a Stonehaven residential development with 43% of the lots only 5,500 square feet in size, it is not raising the bar for quality development. Some make the argument that a 5,500 square foot lot with a small home can still be a quality product. Generally it has been found that this type of house product is an entry level home and those that can qualify for purchase of this product cannot afford to upgrade options offered. So you see laminate kitchen counter tops instead of granite, standard bathroom fixtures and standard flooring…no upgrades. You find small bedrooms with just enough room for a bed and not much more. Stonehaven at approximately 300 acres of prime residential development is an opportunity squandered away by Glendale.

Glendale, it’s way past time to set the bar higher. Use the residential land left to attract other than entry level home products and for goodness sakes, finish our parks and add more parks, please.

© Joyce Clark, 2016

FAIR USE NOTICE

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

CHECK OUT THE VIDEO ON SAMMY CHAVIRA’S USE OF TAXPAYER MONEY TO THE LEFT OF THIS COLUMN

It has been 18 years and 146 days since the city’s pledge to build the West Branch Library.

At the city council voting meeting of April 26, 2016 there were two agenda items that should raise  eyebrows. One was the council approval of the Long Trust proposed residential project located between Bethany Home Road and Camelback Road, 83rd Avenue to 91st Avenue called “Stonehaven.” It comprises over 300+ acres and proposes over 1,100+ homes. By the way, it will look nothing like Rovey Farm Estates, another planned area development. Rovey Farm estates had approximately the same acreage but only 800+ homes ranging on lot sizes from 7,000 square feet on the west side of the project to one acre lots on the east side of the project.

Stonehaven will have 1,100+ homes on lots, 43% of which will be 5,500 square feet…very small lots with very small homes. For this reason alone, many concerned residents asked that Stonehaven be tabled with council direction to take another look at these very small lots. The 5,500 square foot lot size does not even meet the city’s minimum standard for detached homes which should be R 1-6 (6,000 square feet). All of the citizen’s concern fell on deaf ears and city council approved Stonehaven unanimously.

Of more concern and precedent setting was council’s approval of a $1.2 million dollar payment to the Long Trust for the right-of-way for the proposed city construction of the north side of Bethany Home Road between 83rd Avenue and 91st Avenue. When a developer builds a subdivision the developer is responsible for paying for and constructing the roads that will serve its planned community. If it’s a major arterial road, such as Bethany Home Road, then the developer will dedicate the necessary right-of-way for the entire road but pay for construction of only half of the road with the city being responsible for paying for construction of the other half of the road.

Not so in this case and that is what is precedent setting. A senior staffer, part of a “city team” that negotiated with the John F. Long trust, acknowledged that the city had asked Long for dedication of right-of-way for the north side of Bethany Home Road and that Long refused.  Having been refused its request, the city rolled over and negotiated a payment of $1.2 million dollars to Long for the right-of-way for the north side of Bethany Home Road. This is precedent setting. I know of no other instance where the city had to pay a developer for right-of-way for a major road that would serve the planned residential development.

Why didn’t the city team decide that if the trust was unwilling to make the necessary dedication for Bethany Home Road that perhaps the entire residential project should not be approved?  The city could have decided that if the trust was unwilling to make the necessary dedication precluding the full construction of Bethany Home Road that the proposed residents of the project would not have adequate ingress and egress from the project. Under that scenario, the Long Trust eager to sell the land to a developer, would have had to dedicate the right-of-way for the north side of Bethany Home Road, if it wanted to approval for Stonehaven.

There is more within the approved development agreement between the Long Trust and the City of Glendale, “The Parties acknowledge that the Bethany Home Road Extension will be completed and accepted on or before January 1, 2022.” That’s 6 years from now.

In Section 3.4 of the agreement, JFLT (John F. Long Trust) will have final plans and specifications for the Bethany Home Road Extension completed by the civil engineer and approved by the Parties prior to the City’s issuance of the 275th home building permit for the Residential Development Parcel (subject to Force Majeure Events and any mutually-agreed extensions).” It is safe to assume that it will be several years before the Long Trust even has to turn in a plan for the road to the city.

Under Section 4.2 it states, “JFLT will cause the general contractor to commence construction of the Bethany Home Road Extension prior to the City’s issuance of the 400th home building permit for the Residential Development Parcel and to achieve completion and acceptance within one (1) year thereafter (subject to Force Majeure Events and any mutually-agreed extensions), but in no event later than the Outside Completion Deadline (January 1, 2022).” How long will it be before the 400th (40%) home building permit is issued? Several years at least. In the meantime these new residents will have limited access to their newly created subdivision.

How does any of this agreement serve the best interests of Glendale’s taxpayers and the soon-to-be new residents?

© Joyce Clark, 2016

FAIR USE NOTICE

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

It has been 18 years and 137 days since the city’s pledge to build the West Branch Library.

On May 3, 2016 city council had another budget meeting. I am always surprised about councilmembers’ lack of in-depth questioning of senior staff about specific budget items. To be fair, Councilmembers Turner, Tolmachoff and Aldama are asking questions but are they the right ones? Just one would be to ask senior staff to justify the hiring of new employees (Full Time Employee, FTEs) being requested in the proposed budget. Specifically adding employees to the city’s core services, public safety, water, sewer and sanitation is a no-brainer and should be approved for they comprise essential city services. However, adding employees to non-essential services should have been thoroughly vetted by council.

I have a lot of questions about the proposed budget but without serving on city council it becomes an exercise in futility for the average Glendale citizen to get any meaningful answers. Instead I offer some observations about the May 3rd session.

Senior staff recommended that three council identified requests go back to the

O'Neil Pool abandoned

O’Neil Pool abandoned

appropriate citizen board or commission with yet another subsequent city council workshop. An increase in library hours will go back to the Library Advisory Board. When library hours were cut it was just announced by the city as a cost saving measure and no citizen input was sought. The repair/replacement or even necessity for the O’Neil Pool will go back to the Parks and Recreation Commission. When the pool was closed due to leaks it was simply announced by the city and no citizen input was sought. Heroes Park is scheduled to receive a $50,000 reevaluation of its Master Plan and it will go to the Parks and Recreation Commission. The city never

Southwest Heroes Park

Southwest Heroes Park

announced its inattention to Heroes Park, it simply ignored it for 18 years. I can tell you what the result of this $50,000 study will be: citizens will say overwhelmingly complete the darn park; build the ball fields, the dog park, the urban fishing lake, a permanent branch library building and an aquatics and recreation center. It appears that city is betting through this wasteful study that citizens will be willing to settle for less in this park.

What is more troublesome is that when senior staff deems something to be a priority, it is accomplished…quickly…and money is no object. Take the need to meet the parking requirements for the football stadium. Senior staff was able to identify the necessary debt capacity of $32 million dollars, purchased the necessary land for $22 million and has already begun construction on the actual parking lots for another $10 million. The entire project will be completed in less than a year.

When it is not a senior staff priority the issue gets punted…er, delayed. Hence the maneuver to send back to citizen boards and commissions the very projects that enhance the quality of life for citizens in our community…extended library hours, reopening of O’Neil Pool and completion of Heroes Park with a definitive timeline. It appears as if it’s not a senior staff priority…you can forget it for a long time.

It’s time for city council to stamp its feet, have a hissy fit and insist that these projects get the attention they deserve…long overdue.

© Joyce Clark, 2016

FAIR USE NOTICE

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

It has been 18 years and 117 days since the city’s pledge to build the West Branch Library.

The city council meeting of April 12, 2016 had a lot of green shirts with the logo “Heroes Park –Finish It” in attendance. Citizen speakers spoke about the need to finish the park, long

Green shirts in city council chambers

Green shirts in city council chambers

overdue; about the density of homes in the proposed residential development south of the Grand Canal; and the need to reopen O’Neil Pool. City council did take notice and several spoke about the park during council comments. What were heard were platitudes. Some said there was recognition of the need to finish the park but none offered a solid commitment to make that happen. Others recognized the need for more parking at the park and punted saying that more temporary parking would be created when the temporary modular library branch was installed.

None of the non-solutions are satisfactory. That means the work of the citizen group led by Tom Traw of the Yucca district and Norma Alvarez of the Ocotillo district is not done. Continual pressure by the citizens’ group must continue. They will not succeed with a one day show of

O'Neil Pool abandoned

O’Neil Pool abandoned

citizen force. Pressure must be applied on the city council to allocate the money needed to complete this park.

Please contact Glendale’s city councilmembers at the email addresses listed below and tell them you want Heroes Park finished and it has been far too long.

  • Mayor Jerry Weiers at mayorweiers@glendaleaz.com
  • Vice Mayor Ian Hugh at ihugh@glendaleaz.com
  • Councilmember Bart Turner at bturner@glendaleaz.com
  • Councilmember Lauren Tolmachoff at ltolmachoff@glendaleaz.com
  • Councilmember Ray Malnar at rmalnar@glendaleaz.com
  • Councilmember Jamie Aldama at jaldama@glendaleaz.com
  • Councilmember Sammy Chavira at schavira@glendaleaz.com

Or call the city council assistants and leave a message for each councilmember:

  • Mayor Weiers office at 623-930-2260
  • An army

    An army

    Council assistant Ryan Lee for Councilmembers Turner and Tolmachoff at 623-930-2250

  • Council assistant Adam Maynes for Councilmembers Hugh and Aldama at 623-930-2878
  • Council assistant Van Ornelas for Councilmembers Malnar and Chavira at 623-930-2016

If, after 18 years, you want Heroes Park to be completed it requires your involvement. One tiny ant can’t do very much but an army of ants can move mountains. You need to become a member of the ant army and actively voice your support for the completion of this park.

© Joyce Clark, 2016

FAIR USE NOTICE

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

It has been 18 years and 115 days since the city’s pledge to build the West Branch Library.

This Tuesday, April 12th at 6 PM Tom Traw of the Yucca district and Norma Alvarez of the Ocotillo district are calling upon residents of these districts to meet at Glendale city council chambers as a show of support for citizen speakers on the topics of: 1. calling for the completion of Heroes Park; 2. repair and reopening of O’Neil pool; and 3. opposition to proposed small lot homes between Camelback Road and Bethany Home Road, 83rd Avenue to 91st Avenue.

Each of these issues is important in its own right. It has been 18 years plus and Heroes Park is still not completed. An entire generation of children has grown up without the ability to enjoy this park.

O’Neil pool was shut down about 4 or 5 years ago, after it was discovered to be leaking. The city would like to remove the pool and repurpose the land. It is has refused to date to allocate any money to repair the pool. The only problem is that there are over 2,000 children in the area served by O’Neil pool who have no constructive activity, such as swimming, to enjoy during the summer months. This pool needs to be repaired and reopened.

Lastly, while no one opposes residential development it is expected to be good quality development that raises property values. The proposed residential development (larger than Rovey Farm Estates) has over 1,000 lots and many that are only 5,500 square feet, below the city’s conventional minimum standard for residential, single family home lots of R1-6 (6,000 square feet). A development of this sort does nothing to raise adjacent residential property values. In fact, it will lessen everyone’s property value. Not to mention that it will bring a whole new crop of children who need to be able to use nearby Heroes Park to its full promise.

All of these issues are important to the people of the Yucca and Ocotillo districts. That is why you are needed on Tuesday evening. You will provide a show of strength in backing up the citizen speakers and will show city council you are serious about these issues.

Here is what you need to know:

Tuesday, April 12, 2016

6 PM sharp

Glendale City Council Chambers

(intersection of 59th Ave. and Grand Ave.

Park in the city parking garage.

Council chamber is east of the parking garage)

Please join an army of citizens, the silent majority, who want the city to refocus its attention on the needs of these districts. You don’t have to speak unless you wish to. A large group of people…you… showing up in support of these issues will claim the attention of the city council and senior management. Tom Traw will be handing out T-shirts in support of Heroes Park. Supplies are limited. First come, first to receive a T-shirt until they are all gone.

© Joyce Clark, 2016

FAIR USE NOTICE

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

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