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Joyce Clark Unfiltered

For "the rest of the story"

Please note: Some of the information presented here is repetition of information from my previous blog on Cholla candidate Gary Deardorff and applies to all candidates. Some of you reading this blog for the first time may not have read the previous one.

If you have relatives, friends or acquaintances that live in the Cholla district, please consider passing this series of blogs on to them as another tool to help them evaluate the Cholla candidates prior to casting their vote.

Early ballots are mailed at the end of July, 2014. Candidates (well, most of them) have their websites up, are raising campaign money (or not) and beginning to stake out their positions on Glendale issues.

We begin with the Cholla district council candidates in alphabetical order: Gary Deardorff, Van DiCarlo, Robert Petrone and Lauren Tolmachoff. These 4 candidates share some commonalities. They are running, generally, because they were encouraged by friends or family to do so and obviously, they all believe that they can contribute solutions to fix Glendale’s financial situation.

All of the information to be discussed will be based on the candidates’ websites and their June 30, 2014 Campaign Finance Reports. Some of the candidates I had met previously and am familiar with their positions on various issues. Others I have never met and so I arranged an interview with them.

We’ll take a look at each candidate’s Campaign Finance Report of June 30, 2014. Here is the link to Glendale City Clerk’s posting of each candidate finance report: http://www.glendaleaz.com/Clerk/2014PoliticalCommitteeCampaignFinanceReports.cfm . Go to that page and you can choose which candidate’s campaign finance report you wish to read.

Each report totals 19 pages. The first 2 pages are summary pages. Section A will show all contributions from individuals. Section B shows all political committee contributions. Section C shows loans either the candidate made to the campaign or any other loan received. Section D deals with all expenditures. Section E is for In-Kind contributions and Section F shows miscellaneous items.

This could be considered nit-picky but the finance report is 19 pages. Each candidate’s report should consist of a minimum of 19 pages (there may be multiple pages especially in Sections A and D). Some candidates did not submit the minimal 19 pages. It could be assumed that if they had no financial activity to report in certain areas they just did not bother to include those pages. Technically, that is not a complete report. All pages should be submitted and if there was no activity to report in certain categories, the candidate can leave the page blank, draw a line through the page or indicate “NA,” no activity. Even if a candidate has a treasurer who fills out the report the candidate is still ultimately responsible for the accuracy and veracity of his or her filing.

There is another kind of Campaign Finance Report a candidate can submit and that is a No Activity Statement. That means the candidate didn’t receive any contributions and did not spend any money. Some of the council candidates filed this kind of report.

The items to look for are: what individuals are contributing; are they Glendale residents, relatives, attorneys or other professionals; or Political Action Committees (PACs)? Did the candidate loan his or her campaign any money? How much? Are the expenditures typical of a campaign; signs, printing, bank charges, food for fund raising events or volunteers; web site design or hosting? Is the candidate using a paid political consultant? At what cost?

At this stage of the game candidates are often reluctant to reveal too much about their finances. They may ask that large contributions be made after June 1, 2014 to be reported in the Pre-Primary Report or after August 15, 2014 for the Post-Primary Report.

Van DiCarlo

Campaign Finance Report – His report consists of only 6 pages. He submitted the 2 summary pages, Schedule C showing his loan to his campaign, Schedule D indicating expenditures and Schedule E showing In-Kind contributions.  The rest of the pages, including Schedules B and F…are simply not there. This is not his first run for the Cholla district council seat. He ran in 2006 and by now should certainly be able to fill out the report fully. Mr. DiCarlo loaned his campaign committee $1,937.00. He has no treasurer. Please remember, Mr. DiCarlo ultimately bears the responsibility for the accuracy and veracity of his report.

Campaign contribution limits have become very generous as a result of recent court rulings. In the last election of 2012, the individual contribution limit was $400. Now it is $2,500. A political committee’s limit is now $2,500 and a Super PAC’s limit is $5,000. The trick for local candidates is to get large contributions. It’s not an easy task.

Mr. DiCarlo has received no contributions from any source to date. He did receive 2 in-kind contributions for the use of a golf cart for a month valued at $350 and web design valued at $400.  He has no campaign consultant. DiCarlo employed Stephen Martin for nominating petition signature collection at a cost of $756.  The balance of his campaign expenditures are for usual items such as printing, web hosting and supplies.

The noteworthy take-aways from DiCarlo’s campaign report are: 1. His campaign is self funded in the amount of $1,937.27 to date; 2. He has received 2 in-kind contributions in the amount of $750 to date; and 3. He failed to submit all 19 pages of the Campaign Finance Report.

Website — his campaign website is http://www.electdicarlo.org  . His contact information:  Committee to Elect DiCarlo, 20280 N. 59th Ave, Suite 115-631 Glendale AZ 85308 Telephone:  623.695.6124                            E-mail: voterinput@dicarlo.phxcoxmail.com

His website provides you biographical information, a sparse blog, a photo gallery, campaign donation info and contact info. Under the Issues tab DiCarlo does address Glendale’s finances in part.  I have talked to Mr. DiCarlo and know him and his positions on the issues. We are not close, personal friends. I did not meet with him because I had discussed issues with him when he first declared his candidacy.

Mr. DiCarlo has lived in Glendale and the Cholla district for 13 years. He is married. He has not participated in Glendale community affairs. He has his own business and believes that his work schedule is flexible enough to accommodate the demands of serving as a councilmember.

His observations with regard to the relationship between council and staff are that staff could be more forthright. He indicated that he is not receiving fire or police union support and is relying on neighborhood donations and self-funding. Under his Issues tab he states that the sales tax increase should sunset in 2017. He advocates for the liquidation of city assets as a way to dig Glendale out of its debt problem. He understands that city council has no authority over school districts. He is not supportive of the Tohono O’odham’s proposed casino on the grounds of objecting to the placement of a reservation within Glendale’s boundaries.

After review of all 4 Cholla district candidates we’ll try to narrow the choices down to 2 people. In this district, as with the other council races, there are so many candidates none of them is expected to win outright in the primary and we can expect a run off in the general election in November.  Next up, Robert Petrone.

© Joyce Clark, 2014

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Jamsheed Mehta, Executive Director of Transportation, and briefly Interim Assistant City Manager for the City of Glendale is leaving on March 12, 2014 to serve the City of Marana. Jamsheed has been with the city since 2005 and in that period his quiet intelligence and competence has served the city and him well. It is disappointing to see that he did not receive the appointment as Assistant City Manager.

His departure may very well be a precursor to the exodus of other talented employees who see the handwriting on the wall under the current regime. Many have indicated their concern as City Manager Brenda Fischer (from the Town of Maricopa) surrounds herself with Town of Maricopa cronies or Glendale employees with questionable resumes earned under the tutelage of former City Manager Ed Beasley.

There is now a readily identified coalition within councilmember ranks that form a majority on most issues. It consists of Vice Mayor Knaack and Councilmembers Sherwood, Martinez and Chavira. The minority is Mayor Weiers and Councilmembers Hugh and Alvarez.

It is not so surprising that Knaack and Martinez would join with Sherwood and Chavira. Some have speculated that both are tired, burnt out and so have opted for the path of least resistance. Both will not be running for reelection and have blessed others to take their places. Martinez has endorsed Robert Petrone, seemingly a man of questionable substance considering his financial past. Knaack is rumored to pass her legacy on to Bill Toops, owner/publisher of the Glendale Star. A man who could experience conflict from the very start, if he runs and is successful in getting elected, as he tries to serve two masters: the paper which provides him income and a city which in the past has often dismissed his paper’s relevance.

Weiers has got to find a way to raise his visibility as Glendale’s mayor in the community. It’s a problem that all mayors in Glendale have had. It used to drive former Mayor Scruggs nuts. In poll after poll, most respondents could not name her as mayor and when they did, they often mispronounced her name as Scaggs or Shruggs. Weiers may be taking actions that are good for Glendale but unfortunately no one knows what they are. He should be wary of Councilmember Sherwood’s ambition.

It is said that Sherwood is in his office in City Hall every day and has de facto assumed the role of Mayor. Why not? Sherwood has the ear of the City Manager. Sherwood is riding high these days with 3 other votes behind him but fortunes can change on a dime. One of his more questionable actions was to actively insert himself into the selection process for a new City Manager. It is said that he met privately, one-on-one, with Ms. Fischer during the process and then actively solicited support of the other councilmembers for her acceptance. There is nothing illegal about his action but ethically it is highly unorthodox. No other councilmember in memory has ever had a private, one-on one with a potential City Manager candidate and then actively lobbied for same.

Everyone acknowledges that Fischer owes Sherwood big time for her hiring. Also of note is Fischer’s spouse is either still a fire fighter in Henderson, NV or was a fire fighter there for years. Add to that Frisoni’s spouse is or was a police officer. Will these relationships color their actions toward public safety? We may have seen it already as one of Fischer’s first actions was to bring the fire department deficit before council allowing it to receive additional funding. No other department received that kind of consideration.

Chavira, on the other hand, appears to be silent, nearly invisible, merely along for the ride, cutting the best deals that he can for him and his fire department union buddies. That is not surprising either as we have seen questionable fire union actions involving his participation prior to his successful bid for a council seat. Alvarez’ past actions and record make her irrelevant. She has a record of contributing little or nothing to crafting solutions. Hugh, on the other hand, has an opportunity to break out. There have been a few flashes when he has spoken that give hint to a thoughtful man.

Based upon the current political landscape where is Glendale headed? Perhaps down the proverbial rabbit hole where “up “is “down” and “down” is “up.” Glendale appears to have two paths before it: Bankruptcy where city debt and rising O&M expenses are so high that no amount of palliative change orchestrated by Fischer, et.al., can save it; or a Glendale saved from falling over the cliff but divested of all that we love about it, lean and mean, soulless but saved.

© Joyce Clark, 2014

FAIR USE NOTICE

This site contains copyrighted material the use of which is in accordance with Title 17 U.S. C., Section 107. The 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 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 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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