There is no more important position in the City of Glendale. All 7 city councilmembers, which includes the position of Mayor, create and decide on all policy and all local laws for the city. City council decides all kinds of policies and enacts all kinds of laws. For example, when your garbage is picked up and how many times a week; what city projects are funded and which are rejected; or the speed limits within our city.
But there is far more to being a councilmember. A councilmember is not only a leader of the community. He or she is a symbol of our value system. Each is charged with being above reproach and is considered to be an example of and an emissary of our community.
My platform consists of 5 “E’s. Over the next week or so I will flesh out each “E.” The first of these is
Ethics. Ethics is standards of right and wrong that tell us what we ought to do in terms of rights, obligations, benefits to society, fairness, or specific virtues. For example, it is unethical to steal, murder, or commit fraud. Ethics embodies honesty, compassion and loyalty. It motivates us to act based upon the concepts of right and wrong. It is a moral philosophy.
I am running to bring ethics, including honesty and integrity, back to the Yucca district city council position. The current holder of the position seems to have misplaced his ethical compass. Witness the recent media stories that cite his abuse of taxpayers’ dollars and trust by using taxpayer money for nearly $25,000 of highly questionable trips. Despite the laxity of city policy, it does generally require that councilmembers’ trips are to be done for city business. Most people agree that it is unethical to go to Washington, D.C. using taxpayer dollars to see the Pope on a large screen TV. Despite the fig leaf of the councilmember’s claim that city business was done (for 5 minutes?) many Yucca citizens believe that he abused the taxpayers’ trust. There are also questions about frivolous expenses he incurred on these kinds of trips, such as a $420 dinner for his boss, the Phoenix Fire Chief.
The people of Glendale have every right to expect their public officials to be of the highest character. 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. It’s your money and you should know the who, what, where, why and when of my expenditures of taxpayer money as a councilmember.
When public officials, such as Mr. Chavira, not only waste taxpayer dollars on questionable expenses, but then refuses to disclose receipts for reimbursement, or votes in favor of issues belonging to some of his largest campaign contributors, he tarnishes what it means to be your councilmember and reduces his ability to ethically represent our district’s best interests.
When I learned of Mr. Chavira’s actions I was angry and dismayed for he had tarnished the reputation not just of the Yucca district elected position but he has now raised public distrust of all of Glendale’s elected officials. He has reinforced the public notion that all politicians are crooks and corrupt. The actions he committed in an instant will take much time to repair. He has lost the trust of the people who elected him to serve them.
© Joyce Clark, 2016
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