It has been 17 years and 216 days since the city’s pledge to build the West Branch Library.
You remember Brenda Fischer, don’t you? She was the City Manager of Glendale briefly…in the historical life of Glendale it was over in the blink of an eye…a mere 18 months. So what has she been doing since?
She went back to Henderson, Nevada, started a public relations firm, is now selling real estate and, oh by the way, applied for the City Manager’s position. Drama seems to follow her wherever she goes. Eric Hartley reporting for the Las Vegas Review-Journal on July 13, 2015 described that day’s city council meeting and the council’s appointment of Robert Murnane, the city’s public works and parks director and an employee with Henderson for nearly 20 years, as Henderson’s new City Manager.
Apparently that did not sit well with Robert Craddock, Fischer’s husband. According to Hartley, “Monday‘s meeting was disrupted briefly when a city firefighter tried to speak, telling the council his wife was discouraged from applying to be city manager because of his position with the city. Mayor Andy Hafen repeatedly told him to sit down because the time for public comment had passed.
Robert Craddock, a 26-year veteran of the Fire Department, left the council chambers after a police officer and security guard approached and motioned him to leave. He later apologized for his behavior.
Outside City Hall, Craddock said he got up to speak in frustration after Councilwoman Debra March mentioned hearing that an applicant had withdrawn because of a connection with a city employee. Craddock and his wife, Brenda Fischer, said that was not true.
Fischer said she applied and was excited to compete for the job. She got a call from the search firm in late May, she said, and was repeatedly encouraged to withdraw her application, in part because of her husband‘s job as a firefighter.
Fischer said she refused and never heard another word about her application.
She hinted she might run for City Council: ‘Don‘t be surprised if you see me on a ballot coming up’.”
Ms. Fischer seems to practice the art of dissention wherever she goes. She clashed repeatedly with newly elected Glendale councilmembers who had forged a new majority with new directions. She exhibited a public temper tantrum at Westgate’s Yard House restaurant with Robert Heidt, Glendale Chamber of Commerce president. She aligned herself with, among others, Julie Frisoni, and appointed her as an Assistant City Manager earning disapproval from many within and outside of city hall. She inappropriately requested all of the emails of a selected number of councilmembers whom she perceived as being unfriendly to her.
What is most disconcerting is Ms. Fischer’s apparent disregard for the concept of nepotism. Nepotism is two or more relatives working for the same entity and the perception of (or actual) favoritism that can result. Applying for the city manager’s position in a city where her husband works would most certainly create the perception of favoritism if she, as city manager, had made any decision that appeared to favor the fire department and therefore, her husband. Apparently that was not an issue for her.
On her consulting website, http://www.fischerconsultingllc.com/about-brenda.html Ms. Fischer says, “As a communication professional, one of Ms. Fischer’s top talents is her open and honest communication at all times. She ensured transparency with City Councilmembers, employees, residents and business owners, as a means to develop long lasting, trusting relationships.” Would that Ms. Fischer had practiced what she preaches on her website. It seemed apparent to all who interacted with her that transparency and trust were not traits high on her priority list.
Now she is threatening to run for public office. It’s as if she were a child threatening parents after not getting her way. Let’s hope her seemingly ethical challenges and temperament are noted and considered by the voters of Henderson.
What’s with Glendale’s former City Managers, Ed Beasley and Brenda Fischer? Will their attempts to rehabilitate and resurrect their reputations succeed? It’s time to close the book on Ms. Fischer. Glendale has been there and done that. Her stint is a mini-chapter in the city’s history best forgotten.
© Joyce Clark, 2015
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