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Joyce Clark Unfiltered

For "the rest of the story"

Many years ago I owned and operated a bookstore. It was definitely a Mom and Pop operation with one paid employee. I was in a high traffic shopping center and I made sure I was open when all the other businesses were open. There were times when it was difficult to do so. One of the kids would get sick and I had to scramble to find someone to watch the munchkin until I got home. It was tough at times but I couldn’t afford not to be open and to miss any sale. My shop was open 7 days a week at the very same times that all of the other businesses were open in the shopping center.

I also founded and operated a craftsmen’s cooperative art gallery in downtown Phoenix for 10 years. We were always open the very same hours that all of the other businesses were open. There were times when a craftsperson scheduled to man the gallery could not do so. We were always juggling the artists’ schedules to make sure the gallery was always open.

Do you think the owners of Tanger Outlet allow their tenants to be open when it is convenient to the business owner? Not on your life. One part of Tanger Outlet’s success is the consistency of hours when all of its tenants are consistently open for business.

Apparently this is not the mindset of some downtown Glendale merchants. One time when I had out-of-town company I decided to take my guests to a particular downtown restaurant only to discover, much to my chagrin, it was not open. Now this did not occur on an odd or exotic day. It was a regular Monday – Friday workday and in the middle of the day…not even at night. Just one of the commitments of any shop or business owner (even a Mom and Pop business) is to offer the public consistent and regular hours of operation generally expected by the public.  

As a councilmember on and off since 1992 I have seen the many city efforts to help foster and maintain a viable downtown Glendale merchants’ association. At one time former Councilmember Phil Lieberman and I even wrote a charter for such an association. Every effort has been a failure.

In all of those years I have seen some downtown merchants who are quick to complain and to demand that the city do for them what they are unwilling to do for themselves. Recently I heard this anecdote. A group of citizen volunteers were donating their time and energy to pick up trash on the sidewalks in downtown. One of the business owners had the temerity to come out of the store to point out some trash and to tell the volunteer that he/she had missed picking it up. Was the business owner’s arm broken that day? What about a simple thank you directed to that volunteer for the effort?

What downtown Glendale needs most desperately is their very own, independent merchants’ association — an association that has created and passed its own mutual charter and that requires dues so that everyone has some skin in the game. It needs an association where all of the members agree to set some minimum and consistent hours when all will commit to being open.

I have seen downtown merchants who set their business hours whenever it is convenient for them. There is nothing worse that will turn a potential customer away, never to return. I have heard some of the business owners say why be open when there is no traffic? I beg to differ. There is always some foot traffic and these businesses need to be open consistently to capture those potential sales. The overhead remains generally the same whether a business is open 5 days a month or 30 days a month. The rent is the same every month.

It should be an association that establishes its very own authority in order to establish the credibility needed to be able to interact with the city for each party’s mutual benefit. As an association it needs to be able to create its own downtown mini-events without constantly relying on the city to establish events for them. It needs the ability to identify common problems and craft solutions to deal with them establishing fair and consistent goals for everyone with no favor. It should encourage collaboration and communication between all.

I am optimistic. There are downtown merchants who realize that it’s time to take action in their own self interest. They have recognized that the downtown is broken and not as robust as it could be.  They are willing. The question is…will their peers join them?

 Downtown merchants… it’s time to join the 21st century. It’s time for your own unique brand of creativity, innovation and energy to help Glendale’s downtown, your downtown succeed. It’s time for a downtown Glendale merchant‘s association…by, of and for downtown merchants.

© Joyce Clark, 2017          

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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.

Coyotes Magic…there one moment, gone the next

Posted by Joyce Clark on October 9, 2013
Posted in City of Glendale  | Tagged With: , , , , | 5 Comments

This is not about ownership…only in a peripheral sense in the stability it affords the team. No, this is the rambling of a neophyte, still new to the game. I love the Coyotes. We all love the Coyotes. They are OUR team come hell or high water. Opening night wasn’t for the owners or the fans. It was for the team. Shane Doan’s face was a study in pure joy. That night was their night to win and everyone knew it. That night the team was magical. They played as a unit. They played as if they were one body. We all know that our brain sends signals to various parts of our body and we act and react without thinking about how it happens. That was the play of the Coyotes on opening night of the season.

We have seen and reveled in other magical moments. The team, as do we, remembers each and every one of them. It is the Holy Grail that they seek. So what’s missing these days? Two things. With ownership uncertainty the team viewed itself as the constant scrappy underdog, having to prove that they could succeed no matter what the circumstances. That mindset has disappeared…pouf! In an instant a four year identity was gone and there’s a void still unfilled. The “Hungrier than Ever” slogan is worthy but it is a continuation of a team image that is no longer descriptive. It’s a New Day and a New Team. They need to believe that they are winners and no longer the proverbial underdogs.

The other element is consistency. These men are professional athletes, paid to know and to understand the demands of their position on the team. They must strive to execute their positions flawlessly – no easy task. They must learn to become a well oiled machine and no longer play as individuals. It’s passing the puck and instinctively knowing that your team member will be in the right place at the right time to take it and to shoot. It’s the development of confidence and trust in one’s teammates. When that occurs, it’s magical. The team is not there yet. They lose a couple of games and all of a sudden their anger and the will to win kicks in. Then they are magical once again. These bursts of electricity and will to win demonstrate that the capability is there but not consistently.

The Coyotes are a team of immeasurable potential. All of the right ingredients are there. When you make a cake you need the right ingredients in the correct proportions. Too much flour and the cake is dry. Too much liquid and the cake is runny. Mixing the ingredients too quickly will produce a brick. Mixing the ingredients with enough time and it becomes a cake that magically melts in your mouth. The Coyotes cake has the right ingredients in the correct proportions. It needs to be mixed thoroughly to create its magic.

©Joyce Clark, 2013

FAIR USE NOTICE
This site contains copyrighted material the use of which has. In accordance with Title 17 U.S.C. Section 107, the material on this site is distributed without profit to those 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, democracy, 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 Lawwho 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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