Recently media stories have focused on Glendale’s new City Manager, Brenda Fischer; Glendale’s Assistant City Manager, Horatio Skeete (on paid administrative leave) and the results of the AG’s inquiry into the Glendale City Council’s possible violation of the Arizona Open Meeting Law. Wow! That’s a plate full!
First up…City Manager Brenda Fischer…the true test of her effectiveness will be if she can successfully manage Glendale’s debt crisis. Can she convince this council that cuts of at least $5M (maybe more) must be made over the next 5 years? This council has been reluctant to cut anything and has in fact, spent more on items such as the Beacon Sports contract; the external audit (which has now ballooned to a price tag of half a million dollars); and the $15M a year payment to ArizonaIce for management of the city’s arena.
Next up is Assistant City Manager Horatio Skeete currently on leave and replaced in the interim by Communications Director Julie Frisoni. It can be assumed that Fischer’s call for yet another investigation stems from his handling of the transfers from the Risk Management Trust Fund and the Workers’ Compensation Trust Fund. During their tenures, there is nothing — I repeat, NOTHING, that happened in Glendale without the knowledge of and support/disapproval of Ed Beasley, former City Manager and Elaine Scruggs, former Mayor. If one reads the International City Managers Association (ICMA) Code of Conduct, one would see that one of the Code requisites is that subordinate staff, i.e., Assistant City Manager, Department heads, etc., are impelled to carry out the directives of the City Manager, whether they agree with those City Manager directives or not. It is hoped that as the new investigation commissioned by the new City Manager commences the final decision maker regarding the fund transfers will be identified.
Lastly, the AG’s inquiry into possible council Open Meeting Law violations is laughable. Boy, was it thorough! The AG relied upon an AG interview with only one councilmember and the assertions of no wrong doing by City Attorney Nick DiPiazza who, in turn, asked all seven councilmembers whether they had been bad boys and girls. It’s like the proverbial fox guarding the hen house. I can see it now. DiPiazza to a councilmember: Did you discuss any deal points when you met with the NHL and Renaissance principals? Councilmember, said with indignation: Heavens no! We talked about the weather, living in Arizona and our families. We never discussed any deal points. After all, it was a “meet and greet.” Does anyone want to buy a bridge in Brooklyn?
©Joyce Clark, 2013
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