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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.

Whew, It’s been a rough two weeks (since April 5th) with my blog site being down. My thanks to all of you who have patiently waited for its resurrection. I did lose some posts that occurred between March 11, 2017 and today. Thanks to the Word Press team and especially my genious grandson (majoring in IT) for solving the Gordion Knot of computer software enabling me to post once again. I know I will be throwing some money in my Grandson’s direction for saving my site.

What’s been happening in the meantime? On Tuesday, April 4, 2017 city council had another Budget Workshop meeting. Mostly it reaffirmed suggestions made by council at the previous budget workshop. One of my “asks” at the previous workshop was to consider moving up the proposal to transition the city’s street light system city-wide to LED lighting. This project would result in cost savings to the city of a half million dollars a year that could be redirected to providing greater dollar capacity to repair and maintain even more city streets annually. Council was presented further information and approved moving the project forward in the coming Fiscal Year rather than waiting until Fiscal Year 2023.

I was also successful in getting Heroes Park and O’Neal Pool back into the Capital Improvement Program. This is but a first step. If these items are not even listed in the CIP, it is impossible to secure funding for them.

Previously I had asked for consideration of returning funding to an upgrade of Pasadena Park that was pulled in favor of a new project, construction of a bike path at Foothills Park. I pointed out that council identified priorities were to maintain and improve existing assets before creating new projects. At that time Councilmember Lauren Tolmachoff seemed to agree with that premise and was amenable to removing the new bike path project. On the April 4th budget meeting she seems to have reversed her position and now is reluctant to give up this new project. As many residents down our way are fond of saying quite often to me, “Them that has, gets more. Them that has nothing, gets nothing.”

The next several council budget workshops will deal with individual departments and their budgets. I am sure I will have questions…lots of questions. That’s one good aspect of having 16 years worth of historical memory…it helps me to identify in which areas of the city to take a good, long look.

On Friday, April 7th, I went down to the studios of Channel 3 TV for the taping of a segment for a show called Politics Unplugged. Here is a link:  https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=PTAoX-SiS6Y&feature=youtu.be . The segment was about local fire unions’ influence in elections and followed on the heels of an Arizona Republic story on the same topic. Here is the link to the Arizona Republic article: http://www.azcentral.com/story/news/local/arizona-investigations/2017/03/28/arizona-firefighter-unions-donated-hundreds-thousands-local-elections/99603914/ .

There are a few more events about which I would like you to be aware. One is a neighborhood public meeting to learn about a proposed residential project to be sited at the southeast corner of 83rd Avenue and Northern Avenue. It will be on Thursday, April 13, 2017 at 6 PM at the Harvest Church, 8340 W. Northern Avenue. The applicant is seeking to place 50+ homes on 6,000 square foot lots…ugh.

On Thursday, April 20, 2017 at 6 PM I will be hosting another Yucca district meeting at the Coyote Ridge Elementary School Cafeteria, 7677 W. Bethany Home Road. Residents will have an opportunity to meet and to hear from our new City Manager, Kevin Phelps, and our new Police Chief, Richard St. John. They will stay for the entire meeting so that residents may introduce themselves and ask questions.

After those two speakers, there will be an informal meeting of the Parks & Recreation Board and the Library Advisory Board for the purpose of hearing a presentation from the Dick & Fritche architectural firm on a proposed design concept for our West Branch Library.

Following that presentation, as is normal for my district meetings, I will open the floor for residents to comment on the proposed library or any other topic. At the end of the formal meeting, please take the time to meet our City Manager and Police Chief.

© Joyce Clark, 2017               

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 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

I have offered the five Es of my campaign platform one by one over the past few weeks. Here is a comprehensive list of all five elements of my pledge to the voters of the Yucca district:

Ethics

The current holder of the position seems to have misplaced his ethical compass. The people of Glendale have every right to expect their public officials to be of the highest character.  Taxpayer dollars fund councilmembers’ expense accounts. It’s your money and you should know the who, what, where, why and when of my expenditures of taxpayer money as a councilmember.

  • I am running to bring ethics, including honesty and integrity, back to the Yucca district city council position.
  • I pledge that as your councilmember I will make public every taxpayer dollar I spend. If the city cannot accommodate my intent then I will personally post all of my expenses on my blog site, www.joyceclarkunfiltered.com for anyone to see at any time.

Economy

Without continual economic growth Glendale will not maintain its ability to keep its infrastructure in good repair nor will it be able to add amenities necessary for our residents’ quality of life. These elements go hand in hand with building an attractive economy. Businesses that look to locate in Glendale look for a well maintained city with amenities that are attractive to its employees.

  • I am committed to ensuring that Glendale’s local economy is vibrant and diverse to ensure that our city budget continues to become healthier and that well-paying jobs are created for Glendale’s residents.
  • I am committed to ensuring that Glendale’s planning and approval process for new business development is continually updated and made faster and more efficient through the latest technology available
  • I am committed to strengthening our partnerships with existent businesses by ensuring that Glendale’s business development department is constantly seeking new ways of assisting them and solving their needs
  • I am committed to making sure that Glendale’s business climate is diverse. For years Glendale has struggled to identify a business cluster to develop. That has not occurred and may be an opportunity in the years to come. In the meantime we must create new policies that attract all sorts of business to locate in Glendale.

Engagement

Our world is changing rapidly. We live in an age when social media is vital to ensure that all of Glendale’s residents’ voices are sought and heard. You, who live within our community, are eager share how best to build an even stronger Glendale and Yucca district.

It is time to use social media and all of its potential. More and more of us use Facebook, Twitter, etc. and mobile platforms such as tablets and smart phones. These conduits have the capability to get information out instantly and to solicit the opinions of large groups of Yucca and Glendale residents.

  • I pledge to advocate for the use on online surveys and polls on city and district issues.
  • I pledge to resume hosting of regular district meetings, at a central location within the district.
  • I pledge to provide the opportunity at district meetings to express your concerns on issues important to you and to offer you the opportunity to submit complaints with regard to the performance of city services.
  • I pledge to resume the issuance of Yucca district newsletters mailed to every home.
  • I pledge to be accessible by use of the phone, the internet, other social media or in person.
  • I pledge to use social media to not only explain my point of view on issues but more importantly, to give you a venue where you know your opinion will be heard and valued. Be assured that I will listen and I have been known to change my position on an issue as a result of listening to Yucca residents.

Equity

The city is perceived by many residents in south and west Glendale as having failed them in an equal provision of city resources.  Residents of the O’Neil Ranch square mile have lost a major amenity with the closure of the city’s O’Neil Pool. Residents surrounding Heroes Park have waited over 18 years for its completion. City council approval of a recent residential subdivision allowing homes on 5,500 SF lots highlights an action that would not have occurred in any other part of Glendale.

The city’s commitment to these areas of Glendale has vanished on my opponent’s watch while serving as the Yucca district councilmember. He has consistently failed to represent your interests on these very important issues.

It’s time to take back our neighborhoods that have fallen victim to years of neglect. A city is not measured by its sports stadia but rather by the quality of life amenities offered to each and every neighborhood in the city. When one area of the city receives more resources than others, that is not equity. When it’s easier for a resident to get to and to use a library in one area of the city, that is not equity. When one area has to wait 18 years for its park to be completed, that is not equity. When some areas of the city look better and cleaner, that is not equity.

  • I pledge to work to refocus attention on the city’s areas of greatest need in south and west Glendale.
  • I pledge to advocate for the concept of equality in delivering the city’s scarce resources.
  • I pledge to work with city council to commit to reopening O’Neil Pool, completing Heroes Park and assuring homeowners that new development will raise their property values not diminish them.

Environment

We must implement responsible city growth. The city’s delivery of its essential, core services of public safety, water, sewer and sanitation is our first priority. Yet we cannot afford to ignore maintenance of the city’s visible assets: its streets, its city right-of-way landscaping, its parks and its major buildings.

  • I pledge to work with city council to ensure that comprehensive laws and adequate resources are adopted and used for responsible growth of our core service delivery.
  • I pledge to work with city council to ensure necessary funding is identified to preserve and improve our streets, roads and other city infrastructure.
  • I pledge to challenge the city’s senior management in its recommendations to ensure that city resources are used to meet its highest priority needs.
  • I pledge to ensure that city resources are placed where the needs are the greatest in terms of service delivery to our 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.

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