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Joyce Clark Unfiltered

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Disclaimer: The comments in this blog are my personal opinion and may or may not reflect an adopted position of the city of Glendale and its city council.

On July 19, 2018 the Glendale Star ran a story entitled “Petitions ready to keep festivals in place.” Bud Zomok, a local downtown Glendale resident, was interviewed about his effort to run an online petition using the internet site ipetitions.com. The purpose of the online petition was to garner support for preserving Glendale’s downtown festivals exactly the way they have always been.

Let’s take a closer look at the representations of support depicted in these petitions. Zomok said he collected 958 signatures. That is factually correct. He said that people for all zip codes in Glendale responded. That is factually correct.  I reviewed all of the petition signatures Zomok presented to each member of the city council. Here is the signature break down by zip code in Glendale:

  • 85301 43 signatures
  • 85302 40 signatures
  • 85303 10 signatures
  • 85304: 30 signatures
  • 85305: 5 signatures
  • 85306: 18 signatures
  • 85307: 1  signature
  • 85308:  21 signatures
  • 85310: 11 signatures
  • Glendale, AZ no zip code:    8 signatures

The total number of identifiable, provable signatures representing Glendale total 187. The balance of the signatures, another 771, had no zip code or if a zip code was entered it was outside of Glendale. In fact, one signature was from France.

Yet Mr. Zomok says, “There were 400 signatures from within the city, while 500 were from the rest of the state and beyond.” I went back and took a closer look at the petitions to see if there was some marker that I missed that would allow Mr. Zomok to definitively identify 400 signatures from within the city. I could not find anything. Did he contact all of these people by email to confirm their residency in Glendale? I doubt it and you should as well. It would be difficult to convince anyone that he had personal knowledge of the claimed 400 Glendale residents.

Now, it is possible that more of the signatures could be from Glendale residents but without a zip code or other descriptor it is not possible to verify. Therefore the only rational course is to accept those petition signatures with stated Glendale zip codes.

While many of the 187 Glendale residents who signed the petition left a comment in support of the festivals there were many more respondents who did not leave any commentary at all.

I selected one page, page 27, at random and reproduced it below:

There is nothing wrong with the use of petitions to convey support for an issue. However, an online petition becomes suspect when anyone who is online can sign it, without claiming a Glendale zip code and without any comment about the festival which indicates a lack of knowledge about the festival. Petitions generally work and have meaning (except for the 1,000 Glendale residents who signed a petition in opposition to an amended Stonehaven plan and were ignored) when locals circulate them among the local population. It does a disservice to every reader of this news article to represent that there is overwhelming support from scads of Glendale’s residents.

No one has suggested that the festivals be eliminated in their entirety. Far from it. In fact, it appears that the city manager has identified enough funding to add one of the three weekends back to Glendale Glitters. So instead of four weekends of city funded programming there will be two. 

In an informal poll that ran with this blog 53% of the respondents approved of changing the festivals while 47% of the respondents did not.

There is nothing to preclude the downtown merchants from getting together, seeking sponsorships and developing programming for the two weekends that will not be funded by the city. It’s not too late to do so. I am sure the city would work with the merchants to facilitate their needs should they decide to take up the task. The merchants would have to raise the money needed for associated production costs such as police, security and sanitation. The city has made clear that it believes the dollars used to cover the costs associated with four weekends can be used more effectively with other initiatives to achieve the goal of driving visitors downtown on a yearlong basis.

The general sentiment seems to be that the festivals need refreshing, not elimination in their entirety. I have some ideas and I have heard some good ideas from the merchants as well. I hope they will come together as one voice and share those great ideas with the city. Let’s work together.

© Joyce Clark, 2018         

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 ‘fair use’ of any such material. 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.

There are times when you have read this blog and wanted to say more than a brief comment. From time to time I will post a Guest Blog. Here is another submitted by Bud Zomok, former Ocotillo district council candidate.

If you would like to submit a Guest Blog I ask the following:

  • Do not plagiarize. If you use facts or quotes, please cite the source
  • Be respectful…no hate filled rants, please
  • You must agree to allow me to edit if necessary. I will not change your opinion or content

Higher expectations for Politicians? by Bud Zomok 

Having taken the time to read the post by Joyce Clark titled Aldama…maybe not, I was surprised by some of the responses submitted.   

Let me take a moment to explain my surprise.   

Mr. Van DiCarlo expressed comments about the policy currently in place by the county as “grossly unfair”.  That may be the case but these are the current rules that the county has created and until those rules are changed one should expect politicians to follow the rules that have been established.   

Mr. DiCarlo, you once expressed in an article as a candidate that you believe a candidate should represent the interests of the voters and not their own interests.  I find that commendable as it means as a candidate one would to take the time to talk and listen to the voters in order to understand their interests. 

Yet in your reply you make the following two statements, “could the two complainants be paving a way to step in as the official runner up” and “that you have little or no respect for those who attempt to get their nose in the door by exploitation.”   

Exploitation?  

It’s interesting that an attempt to have a politician follow the rules is deemed exploitation.  And, did you have that same lack of respect for Mr. Aldama when he, too, filed complaints against candidates early on in the election?  

I saw Mr. Aldama’s challenges as way of ensuring that any citizen who wanted to run in the Ocotillo District was actually eligible to run. I would assume Mr. Aldama would want to ensure he too is doing everything according to the required process in his current race.   

I would pose one question to Mr. DiCarlo. Have you taken a moment to talk with either me or Mr. Hernandez before writing your comments?  Doesn’t that fly in the face of your campaign statement? Didn’t you make comments based on your own interest or assumptions without checking the facts? 

The letter submitted to the County and Attorney General was not submitted to require Mr. Aldama to stop his campaign. It was done to ensure he follows the rules set by the, city /state/ or in this particular situation, the county. 

Surely you as a past candidate are not supporting the idea that candidates should be able to pick and choose what part of particular policy they wish to follow or ignore.   As a past private investigator I would assume you must have had to follow specific rules in the investigative process and had you not followed those rules (even if you didn’t agree or did not know the rules existed) it would have possibly caused the information you secured to be ruled as not admissible.

Mr. DiCarlo, be assured I have moved on, but moving on does not mean one should turn a blind eye to the current requirements of running for any political position.  If anything we should expect “any” citizen who runs for a political office to at least know the rules and follow them.  

I hope we never get to a point where we allow our desire to replace an incumbent to translate into allowing politicians to pick and chose what rules/laws will apply to their campaigns. We are a country of rules and laws and if we don’t like those rules and laws then we need to work to change them, but choosing to ignore them should never be an acceptable option.  

Bud Zomok

© 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.

Ocotillo council district candidates are similar to that of Cholla and Barrel district candidates. Some are articulate and exhibit varying degrees of intelligence. Some are passionate and believe that they want to be part of the solution with regard to Glendale’s financial difficulties. I congratulate them for their willingness to put themselves before the voters to be weighed and measured on the issues of the day. Choices among the 4 candidates will be based on the information publicly available to date that was used in the previous blogs about each candidate.

Michael Hernandez filed a No Activity Campaign Finance Report. He has raised no money and has spent nothing. The scheduled interview with him was cancelled by Mr. Hernandez.  These factors lead to the conclusion that he is not a viable candidate.

Jamie Aldama, Norma Alvarez and Bud Zomok have raised $5,000 to $8,500 to date. Bud Zomok is self funded in the amount of $5,000. It appears that Aldama will capture union campaign contributions while Alvarez will enjoy independent expenditure support from the Tohono O’odham tribe once again. Some of Alvarez’ contributors are not only activists such as Parraz and Maupin but they may well have been within her inner circle as advisors. What is extremely interesting is the Becker campaign contribution of $2,500. Read into that one whatever you wish and you would probably be correct. Aldama has had previous personal financial problems and has had 2 judgments rendered against him. His personal finances call into question his ability to deal with Glendale’s financial problems.

It is extremely difficult for the voter to determine how 3 out of the 4 Ocotillo candidates stand on a particular issue. Hernandez has no website. While each candidate may have developed campaign literature that they pass out or mail to the voters, it is just that, voter specific, and may not reach the entire Ocotillo district voter universe. Aldama and Alvarez have websites but there is no publicly available specific information offered on their positions on Glendale’s issues. Aldama does have an Issues page with the topics of economic diversity, public safety and public services. But what is offered is warm and fuzzy without acknowledging Glendale issues such as the sales tax sunset and Glendale’s enormous debt. Alvarez simply does not specifically address any issue. Zomok has the most robust website and clearly takes a stand on economic issues.

Zomok acknowledges that Glendale has financial problems and he supports the sunset of the sales tax increase in 2017. He offers several strategies for the reduction of Glendale’s debt including a thorough assessment of Camelback Ranch and the sale of some of Glendale’s assets.  None of the other Ocotillo candidates have publicly available material that would indicate their positions.

Alvarez, Hernandez and Zomok have lived in the Ocotillo district for a minimum of 10 years and some have lived in Glendale far longer. Questions have been raised about Aldama’s current residence in the Ocotillo district. Ocotillo candidate Ron Kolb filed a court complaint questioning Aldama’s residency. He then dropped the complaint, has withdrawn as an Ocotillo council candidate and contributed to Alvarez’ campaign. Maricopa County Recorder documents show Aldama still owns a home in the Yucca district and there is no public record available that shows his ownership of property in the Ocotillo district. It is possible that he could be renting a home in the Ocotillo district.

Hernandez works and it seems evident that finding the necessary time to fulfill councilmember responsibilities will be difficult for him. Zomok is self employed and that does provide him the flexibility needed to fulfill a councimember’s responsibilities. Alvarez has served on city council for 4 years and has demonstrated her inability to fulfill councilmember commitments due to medical issues or just plain pique. Aldama’s job may also prove problematical in finding the necessary time to participate in councilmember activities.

Alvarez has demonstrated her inaccessibility as a sitting councilmember. The only publicly available contact information for her is the main city council office telephone number published for all of the councilmembers. It is evident that she relied upon coaching when she participated in council workshops/meetings — coaching could be heard during her telephonic attendance. It has also become quite evident that if one does not support her version of reality she will seek retribution, if possible. Her past performance as a councilmember has provided ample evidence of her lack of positive contribution and a vote for her would reinforce her obstructionism.

There is also the question of breaking her word. When she ran for office the first time she pledged that she would serve one term. Up until the time to file for the Ocotillo seat this election cycle she had not reneged on her promise. Suddenly she filed to run for a second term.

Aldama is very similar to Alvarez but is a more polished version. The nagging questions about his residency need to be addressed and have not to date. His past personal financial difficulties signal a weakness that will not serve Glendale’s current financial needs.

On the other hand, Bud Zomok has demonstrated his thoughtful consideration of Glendale’s issues and he has been willing to share his position on those issues publicly. Zomok is articulate and intelligent. His willingness to solve Glendale’s problems is clearly evident.  Michael Hernandez’ lack of participation in the candidate process makes him a non-contender.

What is most fascinating about this district race is that there are 3 Hispanic candidates running in a majority Hispanic district. It is inevitable that they will split this demographic’s voting strength. It will be decided by which one can successfully get their voter base to the polls. Those voters who are supportive of the status quo should look to Aldama and Alvarez. Those voters who are supportive of change and reasonable alternative solutions should consider Zomok.

It seems safe to assume that with 4 candidates no one will take the Ocotillo councilmember seat out right in the Primary Election. The two top candidates will face off in the General Election in November. In previous blogs I could identify two candidates that should be examined more closely by the voters and appear worthy of support. For the reasons presented that is not possible in this district race and only one candidate merits voter support. It is not an easy decision for any voter but based upon information publicly available to everyone, this writer’s pick for the Ocotillo district is:

                       Jamie Aldama            

                       Norma Alvarez

                      Michael Hernandez

               checkmark__bottomheavy_140Bud Zomok

© 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.

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

If you have relatives, friends or acquaintances that live in the Ocotillo district, please consider passing this series of blogs on to them as another tool to help them evaluate the Ocotillo 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 move on to the Ocotillo district council candidates in alphabetical order: Jamie Aldama, Norma Alvarez, Michael Hernandez and Bud Zomok.

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 or worked with previously and am familiar with their positions on various issues. Others I have never met and so I arranged an interview with them. The same questions were asked of all candidates that were interviewed.

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.

Bud Zomok

Campaign Finance Report – He submitted all 19 pages. He has no treasurer. He is self funded in the amount of $5,000 to date. He had 3 individual contributions totaling $450 to date; 1 individual Glendale contribution from Ken Clark for $250. Contributions under $50 total $320 to date. He reports only 2 expenditures to date; $87 for website hosting and $160 for finance training. Please remember, Mr. Zomok 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.

Campaign website – his website is: http://budforglendale.com  .

However there is no contact information provided – no phone; no address; no email address. The visitor can fill in a form on the Contact page.

His website provides you an Issues page with clear and unambiguous positions on Glendale issues. He opposes removing the sales tax sunset. He opposes placing more debt on Glendale and believes that there are opportunities to sell some of Glendale assets. He believes that Camelback Ranch is a major contributor to Glendale’s debt and would support the renegotiation of that contract as well as others. He opposes negotiation with the Tohono O’odham and believes that their effort to establish a casino in Glendale will destroy the 2002 voter approved state compact. He states that the “new” senior management is drifting in the same direction as that of the “old” senior management. I did meet with Mr. Zomok. I asked him the same series of questions that had been used in previous interviews with candidates.

Mr. Zomok does not share any biographical information on his website. He has participated in Glendale community affairs, most notably in historic preservation. He has his home in Catlin Court and spent a great deal to restore the structure.  He also has a business in downtown Glendale and says it provides the flexibility needed to fulfill the responsibilities and commitments of a councilmember. He understands that the city council has no authority over school districts.

After review of all 4 Ocotillo 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 are expected to win outright in the primary and we can expect a run off in the general election in November.  Next up, Ocotillo district council picks.

© 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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