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Joyce Clark Unfiltered

For "the rest of the story"

It has been 17 years and 307 days since the city’s pledge to build the West Branch Library.

On November 3, 2015 the voters of the Sahuaro district dealt a political death blow to Councilmember Gary Sherwood by voting for Ray Malnar to replace him. The unofficial vote total has Ray Malnar winning with 53.61%. There is no doubt that Sherwood caused his own demise. How?

Sherwood was elected in November of 2012. For three years his actions and votes have raised questions. One of the major centerpieces of his campaign was his strong opposition to the Tohono O’odham casino in Glendale. As a result of his position the anti-casino forces paid for independent expenditures supporting his run. He also ran pledging fiscal conservatism in managing the city’s arena. It didn’t take him long to renege on both elements of his platform.

Within a year of his first term he reversed his position on the casino and became its strongest advocate. When asked why, his answers were consistently vague and seemed to center around learning “new information.” When queried on what information and from whom, he never offered a clear and convincing explanation. There was also the nagging assumption by many that he had swapped his positive vote of support for the casino with Councilmember Chavira’s positive vote of support for the IceArizona arena management deal.

Sherwood ran supporting his constituency’s opposition to continuing the practice of exorbitant financial payments to operate the city’s arena. Inexplicitly he advocated for the IceArizona management deal at a cost of $15 million a year. His actions in connection to this support gave rise to an alleged complaint (eventually dismissed) to the Arizona Attorney General’s office regarding his divulging of executive session information. He seemed to have developed a pattern of deliberately supporting big money interests over the voices of his constituents. It was a pattern soon to be repeated.

In the matter of Becker Billboards Sherwood was a prime advocate for their interests while he once again ignored his constituency. It left a bitter taste with his constituents and now they were becoming alarmed about his lack of support for their views. His failure to connect with his constituency became an issue of contention with the proposal to sell the Foothills Branch Library. He failed to notify them of meetings on the issue usually until the day before a scheduled public meeting. He bragged about a luncheon meeting he had arranged with the Kathleen Goeppinger, President of Midwestern University, proposed buyer of the library.

He seemed to be very proud when he declared in a council workshop meeting he had met privately with one candidate under consideration as Glendale’s new city manager, Brenda Fischer. Many people were astounded that he would have done such a thing. He was her strong advocate and after she was hired he seemed to receive preferential treatment not only from Fischer but from her inner circle, including soon-to-be Assistant City Manager Julie Frisoni. It was seemingly obvious that Sherwood and his coalition of councilmembers had the ear of Fischer and her inner circle while those who opposed Sherwood and his positions were frozen out.

Sherwood appeared to be needy…he wanted to be recognized as a “major player,” locally and regionally.  He seemed to revel in the attention he received from Anthony LeBlanc, et.al, when they were seeking approval of their arena contract. After the management contract was signed he was observed lurking about at Coyote Town Hall meetings trying to catch LeBlanc’s attention until he was recognized and praised. Did he know observers reported members of IceArizona not only ignored him after securing the contract but apparently they ridiculed him as well?

When it came to Becker billboards that stakeholder group had contributed significantly to Sherwood’s campaign and so, he seemed to reciprocate by advocating for them. Again, Sherwood seemed to ignore his constituency’s overwhelming opposition to the billboards in favor of those who generously contributed to his campaign coffers. Then there are the countless recitations by many on the 4th floor of city hall who heard Sherwood’s declarations that he was the “real” mayor of Glendale. Many city employees thought he was arrogant and dismissive of them.

The nail in the proverbial coffin was his apparent belief that he was above the law. He accumulated at least 6 driving citations in a relatively short time period and then failed to follow through in fulfilling his responsibilities for those actions eventually leading to a state-wide warrant for Failure to Appear. This issue was resolved only after it was publicly reported that he was caught with his hand in the proverbial cookie jar. In a recent press release he admitted to using city funds to rent a vehicle while driving on a suspended license and pledged to reimburse the city.

After all of his purported foibles, who wanted Sherwood to remain in office? The largest supporter of keeping Sherwood in office was Phoenix Firefighters Local 493 Fire PAC Committee (responding to the bidding of its sister Glendale union) having contributed $14,000 to an Independent PAC called Citizens for Safety and Education run by a long time fire union activist, Mike Colletto. Between October 2 and October 14, 2015 the independent committee spent $11,412.96 advocating for Sherwood’s retention. By the way, per usual, Sherwood was late in filing his latest campaign expense report. He raised nearly $40,000 ($39,810.30). Of note, that’s twice the amount that his opponent, Ray Malnar, raised ($18, 800). Sherwood’s big money contributors were: Mark Becker – $3,000 on 9/9/15; the Tohono O’odham – $6,250 on 10/8/15; Nick Wood (an attorney for IceArizona) – $1,500 on 10/8/15; Jason and Jordan Rose (Becker billboards was/is a client) – $1,000 on 10/17/15; and members of the Molera Alvarez political consulting group – $1,000 on 10/21/15 and 10/22/15. Let’s not forget PAC contributions, much of it union money, totaling $28,000:

  • Arizona Pipe Trades               $10,000                             9/11/15
  • IBEW Local 640                        1,000                              9/15/15
  • Republic Services, Inc.                 500                              9/15/15
  • Iron Workers Local 75               2,000                              9/16/15
  • Phoenix Firefighters
  • Local 493 Fire PAC                    1,000                               9/16/15
  • Surprise PRO Firefighters
  • PAC                                         2,000 (cumulative)            9/16/15
  • United West Valley
  • Firefighters                               2,500 (cumulative)           9/16/15
  • Pinnacle West PAC                        500                              9/21/15
  • Gilbert Firefighters                    4,000 (cumulative)           10/14/15
  • United Mesa
  • Firefighters                               4,500 (cumulative)           10/14/15

Why has Gary Sherwood become the first councilmember ever successfully recalled in Glendale’s history? Despite the tremendous fire union financial and manpower support as well as the financial support of “big money” interests, Sherwood ignored the voices of his constituency and demonstrated that he was apparently more willing to support the interests of those who contributed generously to his campaigns. You can be sure Sherwood will place the blame on “outside interests” such as casino opponents but Sherwood was the architect of his own political demise by making choices that seemingly benefitted him in the short term while ignoring long term consequences. He died politically by a thousand, tiny cuts self inflicted as he made choices that seemed to benefit only himself. Sherwood has no one to blame but Sherwood. He made his choices and has been made accountable for them by his district’s voters. In commenting on his loss Sherwood said he plans to run again in November of 2016. Albert Einstein once said, “Insanity is doing the same thing over and over again and expecting different results.”
Sometimes…every once in awhile…the good guys do win…

© Joyce Clark, 2015

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 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 17 years and 175 days since the city’s pledge to build the West Branch Library.

Sometimes Glendale city council meetings can only be described as mind boggling and l-o-n-g. The June 23, 2015 meeting was nearly 5 hours in length. Here is the link: http://glendale-az.granicus.com/MediaPlayer.php?view_id=2&clip_id=2305 .

Public comment has once again has been placed at the front of the meeting. There were many citizen speakers that night. To a man/woman all spoke in support of the four city councilmembers who may face recall: Councilmembers Aldama, Hugh, Tolmachoff and Turner. Some of the speakers were notable and recounted below. 

It’s important to note there are two, distinctly separate recall efforts occurring in Glendale. One is the recall election of Councilmember Gary Sherwood with that election already scheduled for November 3, 2015 in the Sahuaro district only. The reasons for his recall are unrelated to the recent vote to cancel the Coyotes contract and are best summed up by the Recall Councilman Gary Sherwood Committee at this link: http://www.stopsherwood.com/index.html .

The most recent media reports of recalls center around the councilmembers who voted to cancel the arena lease management agreement with IceArizona, owners of the Coyotes. It’s a totally different situation and the two recall actions should not be confused or lumped together. Very recent recall packets have been taken out on 2 of the councilmembers thus far, Councilmember Tolmachoff and Councilmember Turner. The petition packets have not been turned into the city as the group has just begun its effort and have until October 7, 2015 to turn in recall petition signatures. Glendale First is the sponsoring organization cited on these two political committee filings. Larry Feiner, a Glendale resident of the Cholla district, is one of Glendale First’s spokespersons and he is also involved in Desert Hockey Development with Bea Wyatt and George Fallar. Mr. Feiner and Ms. Wyatt seem to be the two main spokespersons for this latest series of recalls. Even though the sponsoring organization is Glendale First, Glendale residents and hockey fans residing within specific districts filed the organizational political committee paperwork. In this case, Bill and Jennifer Eikost, residents of the Glendale Cholla district, filed as a political committee and pulled the recall packet on Tolmachoff. Ben Shroyer and Paul Miller, residents of the Sahuaro district, did the same on Turner. Make no mistake. These folks are integral members of an avid Coyote fan base and have been involved with Glendale First since its inception.

Glendale First, led by Bea Wyatt and George Fallar of Cave Creek, is angry because in a majority vote of 5 to 2 this council voted to cancel the annual $15M lease management contract with the Coyotes. It raises the possibility of the team’s possible relocation elsewhere after all litigation is resolved. Obviously Glendale First dare not use as its sole reason for recall its anger with this council vote when a recent poll showed that over 50% of Glendale’s residents support the council’s action. So they have manufactured another reason. Their smoke screen reason is that council did not reduce the amount of money going into the city’s unappropriated fund balance (rainy day fund). They contend the money should be used for public safety immediately.

By public safety let’s call it what it is…the fire union. Fire wants more money and lots of it. They point to slow emergency response times but fail to mention two very important facts: 1. The Glendale Fire Department is accredited and meets that accreditation agency’s standards for response times, and 2. Call volume has increased due to the Valley’s Automatic Aid system. Quite simply Glendale fire responds to more calls in neighboring cities such as Peoria and Phoenix than the number of times those cities respond to calls in Glendale. Automatic Aid is placing a strain on the Glendale Fire Department and is partially responsible for the unavailability of Glendale fire units to respond to its own residents in a timely manner.

One of the citizen speakers of note was Gary Hirsch, a Glendale resident and former candidate for city council. With regard to the possible 4 councilmember recall he referred to a special interest group, Glendale First, as the sponsoring organization of the effort but the majority of his remarks were directed to the issue of the first original recall effort against Councilmember

Gary Hirsch Glendale resident

Gary Hirsch
Glendale resident

Gary Sherwood. He said, “There are times that the official conduct of the councilmembers has proven to be so egregious that recall is not only appropriate but is necessary to restore honest representation. As a result the recall Gary Sherwood election has been approved and scheduled to take place on November 3rd, 2015.” He ended with this remark, “Always watch your wallet around Councilmember Sherwood.”Another speaker of note during the public comment period was Justin Harris. His remarks are below verbatim and were directed at the most recent issue of a second set of recalls of 2 (or 4) councilmembers sponsored by Glendale First:

“My name is Justin Harris. I am president of the Glendale Law Enforcement Association and co-chair of the Glendale Police Officer Coalition. I’m here tonight speaking on behalf of my members as well as Julie Pendergast. She could not be here tonight. She had personal matters to attend to. (Note: Julie Pendergast is president of the Glendale chapter of the Fraternal Order of Police and co-chair of the Glendale Police Officer Coalition).

“I find myself in an awkward position. Typically, we don’t come out speaking to the council regarding some of the events that have taken place. But I felt compelled to after some recent media events and some misinformation and misrepresentation of the facts that members of

Glendale First have shared with the public both in the paper and in the media. Recently I learned of the recall petitions that were pulled against Bart Turner. That was filed by Lawrence Feiner. The recall petition against Lauren Tolmachoff was pulled by Bill Eikost and Jennifer Eikost. I’m assuming they are husband and wife.

“What concerned me the most was part of the petition and the way it was worded. If they’ve got issues with what some of the councilmembers did regarding the Coyotes that’s their deal. But what I don’t appreciate is Glendale First coming in, misrepresenting facts saying that the mayor and certain councilmembers do not support public safety. In their filing they say that

Justin Harris President Glendale Law Enforcement Association

Justin Harris
President
Glendale Law Enforcement Association

you guys have diverted money earmarked for public safety and you placed that into a rainy day fund which has increased emergency response times. I’m not sure where they got their information but they sure didn’t come talk to me or my co-chair Julie Pendergast. Interesting enough, both Lawrence and Jennifer are listed as guests with Glendale First on a roster that attended a hockey game April 26th, 2013, at the Glendale arena in the city suite and the host of that event was Gary Sherwood – Councilmember Sherwood. (Please note: I, too, was in that suite on that date).

“Bea Wyatt, also with Glendale First, I listened to a radio talk show interview that she did on Friday, June 19th. She was talking about pulling recall petitions possibly on you, mayor and the other four councilmembers because they were not supportive of public safety. But then her comments bled into the Coyotes team. I don’t know why she was on sports radio talking about Councilmembers Turner and Tolmachoff not supporting public safety. I couldn’t tie the two together. Interesting enough the five councilmembers that voted to not renew the contract are the same councilmembers that this Glendale First is trying to attack and misrepresent facts about not supporting public safety.

“I’m here to tell the public today as being the person who represents the line level men and women who wear the badge. Mayor Weiers, Vice Mayor Hugh, Councilmember Tolmachoff, Councilmember Aldama, Councilmember Turner, you do support public safety. You made the tough decisions. There was a period of time prior to Proposition 457 when our members were giving concessions. We were understaffed to the tune of ten million dollars – understaffed, overworked. Our men and women went out there and did the job we took an oath to do. Meanwhile the city was forking over twenty five million dollars a year to a hockey team. Doesn’t make sense to me.

“So at this time I wanted to thank you Mayor, Vice Mayor Hugh, Councilmember Tolmachoff, Councilmember Aldama, Councilmember Turner for your unwavering support in making a very tough decision, finding the courage it takes to insure that you’re doing the right thing, not only for your constituents but also for your police department, the men and women who put our lives on the line every day to protect the public. Thank you for protecting us. I also wanted to thank each of you for upholding the state law and at least having the courage to have that law looked into to find out if there was in fact a conflict of interest at the time that the deal was done. It takes a lot of courage. You don’t see that too often. So, again, thank you.

“I’ve been sitting back like a lion in the tall grass, just waiting, watching and analyzing as these events have unfolded. But now I have come out to protect my members and to protect the city from a special interest groups that doesn’t care about public safety and they want to use public safety as a reason why they’re pulling this recall – or part of the reason they’re pulling this recall.

“I want each of you to be aware and the public to not support the recall against Councilmember Tolmachoff and Councilmember Turner because it’s misrepresentation of the facts. It’s half truths and they are flat out lies. We know that you are protecting public safety. We appreciate your service to the community and the commitment to your police department. Thank you.”

There were 86 items on that night’s agenda but the one that caused extraordinary public participation was Item # 83 Rezoning (ZON) application Zon 15-03 (ordinance): Palm Canyon Business Park Planned Area Development – 17750 N. 83rd Avenue – the Becker Billboard issue – again. A presentation was made by Mark Becker with the same arguments as when he was previously denied by this council. He added a few paid experts to speak about how innocuous billboards are.

There was one speaker, Glendale resident Connie Keiser, who nicely summed up the feelings of all of the citizenry that came out to speak against the billboards. She said, “Hello. I am Connie Keiser. I live in Glendale. I live in the Sahuaro district and I am impacted by these billboards. First off, I live in Hidden Manor and we were there long before Glendale because you annexed us. We are the subdivision directly north of Arrowhead Towne Center. We are the closest residential subdivision to those billboards.

“Digital billboards are the junk mail of the freeways. No one wants to be looking at a huge TV on a stick that distracts drivers and throws huge amounts of light into neighboring homes and

Connie Keiser Glendale resident

Connie Keiser
Glendale resident

the night sky. That’s the reason Scottsdale and Paradise Valley will not allow billboards. They consider them to be junk.

“Why does Mark Becker keep beating this dead horse? I am sorry that people made a bad, bad investment in that property. When they bought that land they had the mistaken belief that they could fly in under the radar and could get billboards approved before we knew what hit us. Not in our neighborhoods. You can’t, Mr. Becker. You woke several sleeping giants and not only in Glendale but in Peoria. You did not expect us to come together as a community like we have.

Mr. Becker had been told ‘no’ over and over again but he hasn’t caught on yet. Now I have, if you’ll remember in his little presentation that he used, ‘Scenic America’ is one example. But he forgot to tell you about the ‘drop down’ on billboards which I happened to point out today. And I’m just going to quote several little things they say (Scenic America) about billboards.

“‘Billboards endanger health and safety. While the industry would like you to think billboards are harmless, their negative effects on health and safety have been well documented. Billboards hamper economic growth. Billboards make a few people a lot of money. Unfortunately, however, they do serious economic harm to communities. Nature of the billboard industry – the billboard industry likes to proclaim its small, local nature.’ We heard Mr. Becker talk about how he’s just a small, local company. ‘When a state or local government considers enacting tougher billboard controls industry lawyers and lobbyists appear at hearings and speak long and loudly about how the government is threatening another small business with extinction.’ The reality, however, is quite different.

“We don’t need these billboards. I’ve been here, I think I told Planning and Zoning I got notified by Social Security I have a life expectancy of 20 years and I will keep coming back for those 20 years to fight this horrible, horrible idea. Please tell him ‘no’ unanimously just like Planning and Zoning has done. Thank you.”

After Becker’s presentation and the public hearing it was council’s turn and a theater of the absurd ensued. Mayor Weiers asked City Attorney Bailey and it was confirmed the order of proceeding would be amendments to the motion would be considered and voted upon first. That action would be followed by a consideration and a vote upon the applicant’s zoning request with any new amendments that council would have just approved.

Well, it didn’t go that way at all. Councilmember Chavira asked to make his motion first. Instead of offering the amendments only and exclusively, Sammy’s motion included approval of the applicant’s zoning request along with his self crafted 4 amendments. Aldama seconded the motion with amendments. The instruction for action that had just been outlined so carefully went completely out the window. It appears that Sammy is not always the brightest bulb in the pack.

Mayor Weiers asked if there were copies of the newly offered Chavira amendments available. City staff did not have any copies but immediately Mark Becker popped up and passed out copies of the Chavira amendments to staff for distribution to council. Wait, you ask, why does Mark Becker have copies of the Chavira amendments but city staff and the rest of council do not? Immediately the question comes to mind – who really wrote those amendments?

Councilmember Tolmachoff must have had the same thought for she asked who prepared the amendments – Mark Becker or Councilmember Chavira? Councilmember Chavira responded by saying it was his motion and he came up with the amendments that very same day. Why did he make sure Mark Becker got copies yet didn’t distribute them to staff and city council for their advance consideration prior to the meeting that evening? It makes no sense.

All of the councilmembers with the exception of Councilmember Sherwood and Vice Mayor Hugh commented prior to their votes. The most disturbing commentary to the anti-billboard people in attendance were the remarks made by Councilmember Turner. It seemed as if he was about to vote in favor of the billboard application and a majority of the audience was visibly shaken for it appeared as if he would become the fourth and majority vote granting the Becker billboard application. He said that the applicant’s request was similar to the billboards that had been approved for the Westgate area and since the Loop 101/Bell Road corridor was similar in commercial nature to the Westgate area it should be considered similarly in that context.

Mayor Weiers asked the city attorney again if Chavira’s motion including the amendments was valid. Mr. Bailey indicated it was a valid motion and recited for clarification what the motion included. Mayor Weiers proceeded with a roll call vote typically done in alphabetical order of councilmember surnames. Councilmember Aldama and Councilmember Chavira voted in favor of the billboard application. Councilmember Sherwood passed. Never, ever in my 16 years as a councilmember had any councilmember ever passed on a vote. Why did Sherwood do it? Why on this night? Think about it. Two councilmembers had voted in favor. Sherwood knew he could vote in favor as well but he needed to know what Councilmember Turner’s vote was before he voted for or against. If Turner voted in favor Sherwood would be the fourth and majority vote for passage of the billboard application. So he passed, waiting to hear what Turner’s vote would be. Councilmember Tolmachoff and Vice Mayor Hugh voted against the billboard application.

The vote was 2-2 and it was Turner’s turn. There was a moment of hesitation and then he voted against the billboard application. Weiers passed and went back to Sherwood for his vote. Sherwood voted against the billboard application and why not? He knew the motion was defeated and by flip flopping once again and voting against the billboards it might provide him some cover for his recall election. The last vote was cast by Mayor Weiers against the billboard application with the result being a 5-2 vote with only Aldama and Chavira supporting the request. Do you suppose they were blindsided by their buddy Sherwood? Do you think they will trust his word from now on?

City council vacates the month of July and will return to regular order in August. Many schedule vacations during July but they may find themselves called back to town to participate in depositions regarding the Coyote litigation. Glendale residents need a break from the ongoing political shenanigans too.

© Joyce Clark, 2015

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.

It has been 17 years and 155 days since the city’s pledge to build the West Branch Library.

As a registered “Interested Party” in Glendale I, along with other Glendale residents, receive notifications of zoning & rezoning applications, conditional use permits, variances, etc. You can be added to the Interested Parties list by contacting Glendale’s Planning Department. Today I received the following letter and I quote the letter in its entirety:

May 26, 2015

Tony Frye                                                                                                                                                                                                                                         6512  N. Sarival Ave.                                                                                                         Litchfield Park, AZ  85340                                                                                                                         Fax: 623-935-5377

Dear Neighbor:

This letter is to inform you that I am applying for a rezoning application with the City of Glendale. The property is at 6502 North Sarival Avenue in the Yucca District.

Our family property sits on 60 acres with ample exposure to the new Loop 303 freeway. The current zoning is rural due to the farming that has dominated this area for generations. The new freeways brings more uses in the realm of Possibility, which is why we are asking for a rezoning of our property to permit and M-1 (light industrial) zoning category. This zoning category provides us the most flexibility when it comes to potential uses. ADOT has estimated that 13,000 motorists use the Loop 303 today and that number is only going to rise exponentially over the next 20 years. Our aim is to acquire the property rights to construct two billboards along the Loop 303 frontage which will provide the opportunity for advertisers to highlight some of the upcoming commercial developments that are helping bring aware to the west valley cities (i.e. Vistancia, New Auto Mall and 1.3 million sqft (sic) retail development).

Please write, fax or call me at the contact information above. You may also contact Thomas Ritz with the City of Glendale at 623-930-2588.

Sincerely,

Tony Frye

The land in question sits at Glendale Avenue and the Loop 303 and is within Luke Air Force Base’s 65 LDN.  The rezoning requested is appropriate for land within Luke’s noise contours. The problem is the applicant is not presenting a development package for the land. All the applicant wants is the right to plant billboards on the land now. It is presumed that the land will continue to be used for agriculture.

I don’t believe city council has had an opportunity to address the issue of billboards along the Loop 303. It may be appropriate in some spots along the freeway and not appropriate in other spots. Until Glendale adopts a design plan for the Loop 303 corridor this rezoning consideration and approval is premature.

It appears as if the Becker Billboards application will indeed be precedent setting if approved by city council on June 23, 2015. As a Glendale resident feel free to contact Thomas Ritz, Glendale’s Senior Planner at tritz@glendaleaz.com . Direct your comments not only to the Planning Department but to the citizen Planning & Zoning Commission as well.

© Joyce Clark, 2015

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.

It has been 17 years and 154 days since the city’s pledge to build the West Branch Library.

Last night , June 4, 2015, the Glendale citizens’ Planning & Zoning (P&Z) Commission met to approve or deny the second round of Becker Billboards’ application to plant billboards at Loop 101 and Bell Road.  The first round occurred on February 26, 2014 with a recommendation of denial by P&Z followed by the March 25, 2014 denial by the city council. Let’s hope that city council also denies this request.

The staff presenter was Senior Planner Thomas Ritz. In summary the Planning & Zoning Department was recommending denial of the application because:

  • It does not serve the best long term interests of the city
  • It is inconsistent with the city’s General Plan
  • The specifics filed by the applicant do not match Glendale’s Northwest Plan specifics
  • It is precedent setting for the entire city

Mark Becker of Becker Billboards spoke on his own behalf as the applicant. Mr. Becker’s arguments were focused on:

  • The city has approved digital billboards similar to his request in Westgate
  • The city of Peoria has a plan to erect billboards on its side of the Loop 101 once his application is denied
  • The applicant’s billboard proposal is consistent with the surrounding commercial activity on Bell Road

After nearly an hour and a half of public comment the P&Z Commission voted unanimously to pass it on to city council with a recommendation of denial. The first hurdle is cleared. It will now be heard by the city council on June 23, 2015.

A troubling aspect of Becker’s attempt to gain approval for his digital billboards was his use of veterans and the American Legion. Apparently vets were bused in from a group home in Phoenix to speak on the issue but had to leave prior to speaking to get back to the home on time. Since Becker had used his billboards to advertise on behalf of the American Legion he asked that they speak in support of his application. It was a calculated move designed to elicit sympathy for his application.

In a rare meeting of the minds on June 3, 2015 the Arizona Republic published an editorial entitled Glendale looks too dirty to clean up its auditing mess. Stunningly their editorial calls for an independent third party to assess Glendale’s audit. In a previous blog I had raised questions about the audit after the Assistant City Auditor McDermott-Fields resigned because her findings were changed by City Auditor MacLeod. I also raised the question of the close ties between MacLeod and former City Attorney Craig Tindall, now an attorney for IceArizona.

The Republic made a good call but a better one would be for the city to release the audit findings. There is a stipulation in the management agreement prohibiting the release of actual figures as proprietary information to IceArizona. Fine — but that does not preclude the city from releasing information that either stipulates that the figures supplied by IceArizona are correct or deficient. The fact that the public cannot see the numbers does a disservice to every Glendale resident and taxpayer whose tax dollars subsidize IceArizona. So much for transparency — a pledge that every currently sitting councilmember ran upon.

At the June 2, 2015 city council workshop meeting a presentation was made by Tom Sadler, President & CEO of the Arizona Organizing Committee for the college football playoff National Championship to be held at the University of Phoenix Stadium on January 11, 2016. This event is part of a new collegiate football system to determine which college wins the annual title of National Football Champion.

It is modeled after the Fiesta Bowl for which the city receives a partial reimbursement for public safety and transportation costs. Of course, staff time in preparation and other departments’ costs are not tracked. It is a reasonable assumption that the cost to the city will be an estimated $500,000. Senior staff has budgeted $408,080.00 for the event. Even though that is the city’s current budget (sure to increase) don’t assume that the city will be reimbursed that amount for it will not. Yes, once again, the taxpayers of Glendale will be asked to subsidize yet another sporting event for which the entire Metro area of Phoenix will profit. Aren’t you tired of it yet??

© Joyce Clark, 2015

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.

It has been 17 years and 148 days since the city’s pledge to build the West Branch Library. Many who have visited Westgate couldn’t help but notice the fountains spilling into the tiny lake on the south side of Glendale Town lake 3Avenue. Well, poof…it’s gone. With the development of the newest addition to Westgate, Dave & Buster’s and its requisite parking needs, this lake which the city deeded to Westgate was removed. It was a nice, upscale amenity…but heck…since when do those who live on the west side of the valley deserve an amenity?

Becker Billboards is coming back with a vengeance. Remember their failed attempt, supported by Councilmembers Sherwood, Chavira and Aldama to plant billboards along the Loop 101 and Bell Road? It was scheduled to be reheard by the Planning & Zoning Commission this fall. However, betting that a lot of people are out of town during the summer Becker was successful in moving it up to the Planning & Zoning agenda for next Thursday, June 4th at 6pm at City Hall in Council Chambers.

No matter what the P&Z recommendation is it will go before the city council for another vote on Tuesday, June 23rd at 6pm at City Hall in Council Chambers. (Note that citizen comments are again scheduled at the start of the council meeting.) If the Becker Billboards are allowed it will set precedent for additional billboards at other locations throughout the city. The city has worked hard to eliminate the visual blight associated with billboards. Allowing Becker Billboards is, frankly, taking a step backward.

Publicly the record has been Sherwood, Chavira and Aldama support the billboards. Weiers, Tolmachoff and Hugh oppose the billboards. The deciding vote will be that of Councilmember Bart Turner. Thus far, he has impressed as being reasonable and genuinely interested in hearing the opinions of Glendale residents. I urge you to send emails expressing your opinion to the mayor and council at:

I would also urge you to send emails to the Planning & Zoning Commission members. Please send their emails to: tritz@glendaleaz.com . It is his responsibility to copy all emails directed to P&Z Commissioners and to make sure that they receive them in their packets. Please make sure you address your opinion to the P&Z Commissioners. Lastly I urge you to attend one or both meetings. You do not have to speak unless you wish but your presence sends a very strong message.

On May 29, 2015 the city council voted to approve the calling of a Recall Election for Councilmember Gary Sherwood on November 3, 2015. However a funny thing happened on the way to the Recall Election. Are you ready for this? By state law after a sitting elected official is notified of his/her recall (done by the City Clerk on May 12, 2015) the person being recalled has 5 days (excluding weekends and holidays) to resign.

Sherwood chose not to resign. The official is also notified that he/she has 10 days (INCLUDING weekends and holidays) to provide a 200 word statement of defense that will appear on the ballot. Sherwood’s 220 word statement was due on or before May 22, 2015. Sherwood submitted his written statement on May 26, 2015. Oops…Sherwood appears not to be able to follow directions well.

On May 28, 2015 he received a letter from the City Clerk REJECTING his 200 word statement as not being offered to the clerk’s office within the proscribed time limit. Can you believe it? It’s like a remark made to me regarding his failure to be timely. The prosecution (recall committee) presents its case and the defense (Sherwood) is asked to present its and it says, ‘none.’ Talk about self-inflicted wounds…

In his latest e-newsletter Sherwood has announced that he is putting together a citizen advisory committee. Why now after nearly 3 years in office? Because he finally seems to recognize that he is going to lose his seat on council. One of the habitual complaints against him has been his arrogant dismissal of citizen voices. Unfortunately it’s too little and too late.

For those interested in the gristly details of the recall election in the Sahuaro district the first day to file nomination petitions is Aug. 5, 2015 (90 days before); the last day is Sept. 4, 2015 (60 days before); and candidate nomination packets available after June 1, 2015. People can register to vote by Oct. 5, 2015; Early Ballots go out Oct 7, 2015; and the Recall Election Day is Nov. 3, 2015. If I were anyone interested in running against Sherwood I would be forming a Political Action Committee (PAC) immediately and start raising money now.

© Joyce Clark, 2015

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.

It has been 17 years and 132 days since the city’s pledge to build the West Branch Library.

According to the Maricopa County Elections Department the Stop Councilman Sherwood Committee (www.stopsherwood.com) has successfully submitted enough valid petition signatures to force a recall election of Councilmember Gary Sherwood of Glendale’s Sahuaro district. Look for the recall election to occur on or about November 3, 2015.

According to a story in the Arizona Republic by Peter Corbett (here is the link: http://www.azcentral.com/story/news/local/glendale/2015/05/12/glendale-councilman-sherwood-face-recall-election/27216077/ ) Sherwood said, “This is being funded by Gila River. This is a casino thing but they threw some other issues in there to try to make it legitimate.” Who do you think will be throwing money Sherwood’s way as he tries to beat back this recall effort? Just look at his campaign filings (here is the link: http://www.glendaleaz.com/Clerk/2014PoliticalCommitteeCampaignFinanceReports.cfm . Scroll down this page to “Friends of Gary Sherwood.” You can view all of his submitted campaign finance reports.)

Don’t be surprised to see the Tohono O’odham, Mark Becker of Becker Billboards and the Rose Law Group (Becker’s attorney of record) contributing to his campaign or making independent expenditures. Expect the Glendale Fire Union to call on their brother chapters to contribute money, time and manpower to prop Sherwood up. Remember, theoretically the local Glendale union must not be involved because of the Federal Hatch Act…wink, wink.

Sherwood misreads his constituency if he truly believes that it is simply the Gila River tribe’s attempt to get rid of him. People in his district are not very happy with him these days. He appears to them as arrogant and dismissive of not just their concerns but their positions on issues that are important to them. He has been publicly derisive of their comments at city council meetings. He continues to advocate for Becker billboards and has even tried a few billboard issue maneuvers at council meetings. Apparently his constituents’ opposition to the billboards may not be as important to him as pushing for the billboards. His motive may be payback for previous financial campaign support and anticipated support this time around.

He failed to inform his constituency of the possible sale of the Foothills Library. The perception was that he purposely dragged his feet on publicizing the issue because he supported the idea of a sale. After the library issue died he proudly announced that he was having a luncheon meeting with Midwestern University President Kathleen Goeppinger to offer Glendale’s support of other possible MU initiatives.

Then there’s the casino issue. Sherwood ran on a platform of opposition to the casino and then at the eleventh hour, flip-flopped and became its most ardent supporter. Many people, to this day, believe that Sherwood became pro-casino in return for Councilmember Chavira’s support for the Coyote deal with IceArizona. Each man was the deciding vote to create majority support for each issue.

Sherwood originally claimed that the reason he changed his position was that Councilmember Chavira brought new information to his attention but he has never said what that “new information” was. Now he says the reason he changed his position is, “he changed his mind about it once it was clear that Glendale could not stop the Tohono O’odham Nation project.”  Which is it, Mr. Sherwood? New information from Chavira or you were powerless to stop the TO? If Sherwood had adhered to his campaign promise and stayed the course with Councilmembers Martinez, Knaack and Mayor Weiers, those four would have constituted a majority keeping an anti-casino position.

Then there is Sherwood’s position on the temporary sales tax increase…excuse me…make that a permanent increase. With a proverbial wringing of hands, Sherwood supported making the temporary sales tax permanent while agreeing that it would be revisited in future council budget workshops with the intent to gradually reduce the tax.  During this council budget workshop cycle did you hear Sherwood fighting to gradually reduce the tax?

Sherwood has two options. He can as he puts it “stand by his record and intend to run in the election (2015).” That sets up an interesting scenario. He would have to defend himself this November in a recall election and then turn around and do the whole thing all over again in November of 2016 when his seat comes up for its regular, every four year council district election. Or he could resign and run for mayor against Weiers in the November election of 2016. By resigning he would instantly remove a lot of the current negativity from voters in his district. For now, the issue of his recall is relatively isolated within his district. Hmmm….

As an FYI: Mayor Weiers may face yet another challenge for his seat in 2016. Rumors are floating that even though Councilmember Jamie Aldama is a newbie he wants to run for mayor in 2016. Aldama and his supporters seem to think that the Hispanic vote can win the election for him. Sadly they fail to recognize that the Hispanic vote is concentrated in south Glendale (Ocotillo, Cactus and Yucca districts) and that historically north Glendale (Cholla, Sahuaro and Barrel districts) outvote south Glendale at a nearly 2 to 1 ratio. While Aldama feels that he may prevail in south Glendale his visibility and support in north Glendale is practically nil.

It may become a contest to see who has the greater chutzpah in vying for Mayor Weiers’ seat…Councilmember Sherwood or Councilmember Aldama. It will be interesting to see who wins this match up…Sherwood or Aldama.

© Joyce Clark, 2015

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.

  • The Recall Councilman Gary Sherwood finally has its website up and running. Here is the link: http://www.stopsherwood.com .If you live in the Sahuaro district please share this site with your friends and neighbors. Below you will note an upcoming meeting on Becker billboards. Sherwood has been an ardent advocate for Becker billboards and that issue is just one of the reasons for his recall.
  • On Tuesday, March 17, 2015 at 9:30 AM at Glendale City Hall in the Council Chambers city council will hold a workshop meeting. Item #1 on its agenda is to receive the recommendations of the three citizen commissions. There is no opportunity for public comment. City Council does not vote at a workshop meeting. They discuss an issue and present their positions. A consensus if formed and further direction is given to staff by council. There are only 3 possible directions that can be given by council tomorrow: rejection of the proposal to sell the Foothills library building and its relocation to the Foothills Recreation & Aquatic Center; tabling the item for further information and discussion; or direction to move forward with the proposal.
  • A neighborhood meeting hosted by Mark Becker of Becker Billboards is scheduled for this coming Wednesday, March 18, 2015 at the Arrowhead Elementary School at 6:00 PM. He is again seeking city approval to place digital and static billboards at the Loop 101 and Bell Road. Glendale planning staff will be in attendance to listen and take notes.
  • On March 4, 2015 I made a Public Records Request for costs associated with three recent events held at the University of Phoenix Stadium in Glendale – the Fiesta Bowl, the Pro Bowl Records request Mar 4 2015and the Super Bowl. What you may or may not know is that preparation for the Super Bowl began the day after it was announced that Glendale would be the host city. Glendale personnel were involved in visiting the previous year’s Super Bowl; were involved in countless hours of preparation; met with various Valley city agencies in joint preparation; and met with the Host Committee and NFL representatives. City supplies and vehicles were used. There were times when the hours used by employees went beyond the standard 40 hour work week and time and half pay or special pay was used. Many employees were involved from the City Attorney’s Office to the Zoning Department. Here is the text of my Public Records Request:

“The total cost of hosting the Pro Bowl, Fiesta Bowl and Super Bowl to the City of Glendale to include the following:

  1. The cost attributable to each event of planning for, preparation for, game day hosting and after actions.
  2. A list of all departments that contributed, by event, in any way, including but not limited to Public Safety but any and all departments involved from the Attorney’s Office to Zoning (A to Z).
  3. The number of employees used for each event from all departments you list, including but not limited to consultants, contract employees or regular (salaried and at will) employees.
  4. The number of hours attributable to each event, by department, including but not limited to planning, preparing, acting upon and after action review of these 3 major events.
  5. The total dollar figure for employee costs attributable to each event, including but not limited to, straight time pay, overtime pay, special pay, time and half pay. List of all employees by job title and department, dollar amount for each of those employees who received overtime pay, special pay, assignment pay, time and a half pay, bonuses, Police & Fire to include sworn and non-sworn administrative staff from those departments. Separate list for each of those three events.
  6. The total dollar figure attributable to each event, for use of all equipment by department from but not limited to vehicles to trash cans whether a city asset or rented.

The total of revenues earned by the City of Glendale directly attribute to each of the 3 events, including but not limited to sales tax, fees, in-kind contributions and reimbursed costs.

All information to be included from April 1, 2014 to March 4, 2015.”

Tom Duensing, Glendale’s Finance Director, has publicly stated that the cost of the Super Bowl was about $2 million dollars. I believe when all of the information and data I requested is researched and made available to me, the cost will be way over the $2 million dollar mark. You will note I also requested the city costs associated with the Fiesta Bowl and Pro Bowl. Those are additional real dollars and real costs borne by the city. I suspect the numbers will surprise everyone.

I asked for an extensive amount of data and do not expect the information to be supplied in a week. I do expect it within a reasonable time period — a month. After all, Mr. Duensing is already claiming a number but I don’t think he has included all of the hidden costs. I will advise readers of the date that my Public Records Request is fulfilled.

This is the kind of hard data that should have been provided to every councilmember and the public. I hope that the results of my request will be shared with them and with the public-at-large. It’s our tax dollars and we surely have a right to know.

© Joyce Clark, 2015

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.

This Tuesday, March 17, 2015 at 9:30 AM at Glendale city hall in the Council Chambers the city council will receive an update on the proposal to sell the building to Midwestern University and to relocate Foothills library to the Foothills Recreation & Aquatic Center. Since it is a council workshop the public does not have any opportunity to speak at this meeting but citizens can still make their voices heard silently by showing up in large numbers.

By all rights it should be DOA (dead on arrival). Hundreds of Glendale residents have voiced their disapproval by either contacting members of the council or speaking at public meetings. The three citizen commissions, the Arts Commission, the Parks & Recreation Commission and the Library Advisory Board, heard staff presentations and unanimously voted to send city council advisory recommendations of denial. It is undeniably clear that there is no citizen support for this idea and it deserves a merciful death. Let’s hope that March 17, 2015 will be the last day of consideration for this proposal.

A neighborhood meeting is scheduled for this coming Wednesday, March 18, 2015 at the Arrowhead Elementary School at 6:00 PM. Mark Becker is the host as he once again seeks city approval to place billboards at the Loop 101 and Bell Road. Glendale planning staff will be in attendance to listen and take notes.

This issue has returned like a bad penny. Almost a year ago to the day, March 24, 2014, Glendale city council voted 5-2 (Sherwood and BeckerMaps_Page_3Alvarez voted in favor) to deny the Becker billboard proposal (ZON 13-04). Glendale’s current ordinance only allows new billboards to be placed in M1 and M2 (light and heavy industrial) zoning areas. Perhaps it is time to revisit the ordinance and prohibit any new billboards anywhere in the City of Glendale. The current ordinance also restricts billboard height to 25 feet. Yet Becker billboards is asking for approval of 85 foot tall billboards.

You would think the issue died with the March, 2014 council denial. Not so. In October of 2014 Councilmembers Gary Sherwood and Sammy Chavira attempted and failed to resurrect the proposal by asking for a special council meeting for the purpose of rescinding the council’s March, 2014 votes. Their motives could be considered questionable. Did Sherwood push for a rescinding of the original billboard vote because Mark Becker and his family members donated to Sherwood’s election campaign? Did Sherwood push for a rescinding of the original billboard vote because Becker’s attorneys on the matter, nearly a dozen attorneys of the Rose Law group, contributed to Sherwood’s election campaign? And what about Sammy? In March of 2014 he voted against the billboard proposal. By October, 2014 he was actively supporting it. Was it at the request of his good friend, Gary Sherwood? Sammy and Sherwood seem to share the same record of flip-flopping on issues.

Now, a year later, Becker billboards is back with a more egregious proposal than the first one. This time they don’t want static billboards but a combination of digital and static and they want them to be 85 feet high. There’s an old adage, ‘don’t take no for an answer.’ Mark Becker and Gary Sherwood certainly didn’t. I guess Glendale’s residents are going to have to convince them once and for all, that no means no.

This information is courtesy of Rodeane Widom, former Glendale Library Director:  For readers who would like to get their opinion to the Mayor and City Council, here is a great link: http://www.gplfriends.org/15-105-agenda-item-for-relocation-of-the-foothills-library/

The Friends of Glendale Public Library have made the process very simple! Just add your name and send your letter off via email or snail mail.

© Joyce Clark, 2015

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.

In the March 5, 2015 edition of the Glendale Star Becker Boards is running a full page advertisement. The ad states that Becker Boards will pay someone $1,000 to be donated to their favorite 501C3 charity if you can see a crane on their property on March 13, 2015 between 3 pm and 6 pm.  Becker is running a “crane test” on their property that evening try to prove that their proposed digital and static billboards are benign and really won’t bother you.

There are qualifiers to win the money: 1. you have to be able to see the crane with the naked eye; 2. you must see it from the first floor of your home or yard; 3. you must live in Glendale and 4. you must call your district councilmember or Mark Becker (602-740-9145) to have them come to your home to verify your claim. Oh, and only 1 donation per household. So don’t have your 5 family members call to make a claim.

It’s a great marketing shtick but Becker has missed the larger picture. In their stubborn attempt to get their billboards approved they do not realize their action as precedent setting. Should those billboards be approved the door is open to allow billboards all along the Loop 101 from Bell Road to 59th Avenue. With the exception of the Bell Road commercial corridor, the majority of property along the Loop 101 in Glendale is all residential with a sea of homes dotting the landscape. More applications for billboards along the Loop 101 are sure to follow.

There are only 2 sections of the Loop 101 in Glendale. One section is from Camelback Road to Northern Avenue. That area is commercial with the WalMart Center at Camelback Road to Dignity Hospital West south of Northern Avenue. Billboards in that area are appropriate to a commercial corridor. However, the other section of Loop 101 runs from Bell Road eastward to 59th Avenue. Only Bell Road is commercial. Beyond Bell all one can see are homes. That area is not appropriate for the proliferation of billboards.

There is a large segment of Glendale citizens philosophically opposed to billboards as visual pollution. For them it is a matter of principle to keep billboards out of Glendale as much as possible.

There is a great deal of anger and frustration by residents in the Sahuaro and Cholla districts. They fought the fight against billboards and were pleased when the city council listened to their voices and denied the Becker billboard proposal. Now it has been resurrected and they must fight the same issue again. Councilmember Gary Sherwood has said publicly that he will bring the issue up every six months until it is approved. Is he pushing this issue because of the campaign contributions he received from the Becker billboard interests as well as attorneys from the Jordan Law Group, attorneys for Becker? That is for you to decide.

On another note: The advisory recommendations of denial of the proposed Foothills library sale and relocation made by three commissions, Arts, Library and Parks & Recreation were to be received by the city council at the March 3, 2015 city council workshop meeting. That did not occur and now we are hearing that those recommendations of denial will be presented to the council “sometime this spring.” Many residents are wondering what the heck is going on? It leads them to assume that there is some kind of secret deal between Midwestern University and the City of Glendale and that it is a fait accompli. Residents are decidedly unhappy between the billboard issue rising again and the limbo of waiting for a final decision on the proposed library sale. It’s time to put both issues out of their misery irrevocably and permanently.

© Joyce Clark, 2015

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.

Since many residents of the Sahuaro and Cholla districts are not within the notification area I am passing on the Becker billboard letter in its entirety. Please pass this notification to interested friends and neighbors.

March 2, 2015

Re: Proposed Installation of Two 85 foot tall billboards (2 freeway oriented faces initially as digital) located along the West Side of the Loop 101 Freeway North of Bell

Dear Neighbor:

This letter is to inform you that we are applying to amend rezoning case ZON06-09 for the Palm Canyon Business Park Planned Area Development (PAD) within the City of Glendale. Palm Canyon Business Park is located at the northwest corner of Bell Road and the Loop 101 Freeway and in Glendale’s Cholla City Council District. The proposed PAD amendment will permit the installation of two billboards along the property’s Loop 101 frontage of which two of the freeway oriented faces will be digital and the other faces will be initially built as illuminated statics. The southern sign, located on the corner of Bell Road and the Loop 101 Freeway, would have two faces oriented toward the freeway (the southern face to be digital and the northern face to be initially built as an illuminated static) and one static face oriented toward the eastbound lanes of Bell Road. The northern sign would be located approximately 1,000 feet north of the southern property boundary (the northern face to be digital and the southern face to be initially built as an illuminated static). This northern sign would contain only two faces oriented toward the Loop 101 freeway and would not be oriented to the west. A site plan and illustrations are included with this letter for your reference.

We invite you to attend a neighborhood meeting at the time and location detailed below. At this meeting you can review additional exhibits of the proposed site plan and elevations of the signs and project. Representatives will be in attendance to answer your questions and discuss any concerns that you may have. The neighborhood meeting will be held at:

  • Arrowhead Elementary School
  • 7490 W. Union Hills Drive
  • Glendale, AZ 85308
  • March 18, 2015 at 6:30 p.m.

If you are unable to attend this meeting but wish to discuss the project you can contact me at 602-740-9145 or MBecker@BeckerBillboards.com or contact Thomas Ritz, City of Glendale Senior Planner, at (623) 930-2588 or tritz@glendaleaz.com .

P.S. On March 13, 2015, between approximately 3:00-6:00 p.m. a crane will be placed on the property at the approximate location and height of the future signs (one crane will be used- it will start at the northernmost billboard location for the first half of the time and then be moved to the southernmost billboard location for the second half of the time) for residents and interested citizens to view at their convenience. Sincerely,                                                                                                                                                 Mark Becker, Becker Boards Large

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