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Joyce Clark Unfiltered

For "the rest of the story"

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.

In this week’s Glendale Star there is a story on all three of Glendale’s incumbent councilmembers winning reelection. Let’s share some of the conspiracy theories Aldama claims in the article. Let’s begin with:

  • “As I have said before, to each his own (in their support) but when there are five current councilmembers supporting a new candidate, it says to me that there is a will to remove democracy and add a dictatorship, and that is not how we function.”
  • “I don’t see any reason why five would want me out, but I don’t answer to the five. I answer to my constituents in my district.”
  • “…And to those who opposed me, I am sorry that I fell short if that is what they feel, but I hope I can work with them to build a better relationship and work together to continue to improve the city.”
  • “The four councilmembers who endorsed my opponent was an attempt to curry favor with the Mayor,”
  • “The attempt by Mayor Jerry Weiers to unseat me and Councilman Turner was a purely political attempt to create a ‘dictatorship.’ His desire was to have a ‘yes’ council that would remove any objections to his political goals and aspirations.”

Once I was able to pick myself up off the floor after having laughed so hard that I slipped out of my chair, I decided that among other things, Aldama thinks an awful lot of himself. Does he really believe we are obsessed with him? OMG!

Poor Jamie, he’s really angry and can’t seem to figure out what happened to him and why. If he’s such a nice guy why would 5 out of 7 other councilmembers endorse his opponent? In a bout of apparent paranoia (or perhaps he’s been listening to Councilmember Turner too much) Aldama has convinced himself that Mayor Weiers is destroying democracy and had ordered the rest of us to endorse Aldama’s opponent.  Sorry Jamie. There’s no “will to remove democracy and add a a dictatorship.” I’m still grinning over that one.

For those who don’t know me very well I have a reputation of taking orders from no one. I have never been a ‘yes person’.  I have never felt the need to “curry favor” with the Mayor or any other member of this council. I never had a conversation with the Mayor or any Councilmember before I made my decision to endorse Emmanuel Allen or Ray Strahl. Both endorsements occurred after in-depth interviews with each and were published in my previous blogs.

Aldama can’t “see any reason why five would want me out.” It’s really quite a simple explanation. He never expressed opposition to council’s collective decisions when he had abundant opportunity to do so. Yet he would turn around and publicly oppose those very same decisions without alerting council or staff of his intentions. Aldama has lost the trust of this council. That is something very difficult to regain and occurs with action, not with words of platitude.

Several councilmembers were dismayed by Aldama’s abusive treatment of council staff leading to three council assistant resignations over time. One assistant was brought to tears. Since council assistants serve two councilmembers the situations often resulted in the leaving of a council assistant valued by the other councilmember. For a period of time the council office included a set of revolving doors. His actions created a decidely unstable atmosphere.

In his four years of service, what tangible results has Aldama produced for the people of the Ocotillo district? None. Nada. Zip. In his four years of service did you see him really push for action with regard to O’Neil Pool? When I came back into service a year and a half ago, I started to advocate not only for the completion of Heroes Park but for action regarding O’Neil Pool, abandoned in 2011. The O’Neil area was part of my council district for many years until the last city council redistricting which occurred in 2011 and the area remains important to me as I lived there for 30 years.

 I resumed my council service in 2016 and as a result of my efforts, council will shortly take up the issue of the abandoned pool and allocate CDBG funds to remove it. I am not happy with staff’s proposal that provides only passive recreation on the former pool site and will continue to press for active recreational opportunities such as a splash pad where the pool once stood. Jamie had four years to make O’Neil pool a priority and failed to do so.

I noted at the Womens’ Club Candidate Forum Aldama spent almost all of his introductory speaking time thanking everyone for everything – a penchant of his at nearly every public speaking opportunity – conveniently leaving very little, if any, time to speak to the issues.

He often takes credit for successful council decisions and actions whether he supported them or not. Code enforcement is perhaps one of the most critical issues for the Ocotillo district yet it is Councilmember Malnar that has taken up the challenge of code, not Aldama. Another critical issue for Aldama’s Ocotillo district is advocacy for small businesses yet I successfully won approval from council to initiate a council business subcommittee, not Aldama. Yet Aldama has the hutzpah to say, “he is ready to continue improving the district…” How exactly Jamie? And please be specific.

Lastly, I would remind the reader that several weeks ago at a Glendale Chamber breakfast, Aldama stood before God and the breakfast attendees and accused the council of “corruption.” That wasn’t a smart move designed to ‘win friends and influence people’. It’s time Aldama came forward with facts to support his allegation or to apologize to this council. As of this writing he has not done so.

I feel sorry for Aldama for all of his decisions and actions appear to be politically motivated. If it’s good for him politically he’ll support the issue or action. He seems to have failed to learn that his job is really about representation and giving voice to the people he represents. When residents disagree it’s time to listen rather than devise payback. Goodness know the people of the Ocotillo district can use a lot of help. Unfortunately, it doesn’t appear that Aldama can provide it.

© 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.

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.

Councilmember Jamie Aldama, currently running for reelection as the Ocotillo district representative in Glendale seems to have problems with ‘process’.  Just a few weeks ago, if you will recall, he opposed the city’s decision to place SROs in all nine of Glendale’s high schools. His stated reason was his disagreement with the process. In reality, many suspect he was receiving his marching orders from the fire union (whom it is assumed will support him in his bid for reelection) which vehemently opposed the action because it removed one city paid fire union representative. Politically it was ill advised and a mailer was sent by American Free Enterprise Club, a Political Action Committee (PAC), to all Ocotillo voters. See here:

Two weeks ago, Aldama, at the regular voting meeting of the city council once again opposed an action due to ‘process’. This time it was the city’s award of a Request for Proposal (RFP) to R.O.O.T.S. to run after-school programs at two city locations, O’Neil Recreation Center and the Glendale Youth Center. Once again, Aldama voiced his opposition due to ‘process’ just as with his previous action.  As before it is important to understand the situational sub context and his assumed political motivation to do so.

R.O.O.T.S. is run by Emmanuel and Belinda Allen. So what? may be your answer. Here’s the dilemma for Aldama. Emmanuel Allen is running against Aldama for the Ocotillo city council position. That, in and of itself, provides Aldama with the presumed motivation to use a velvet hammer to neuter his political opponent.  In yet another twist Breakthru Barrio would be losing their contract for running the Glendale Youth Center programming. This is the same Breakthru group responsible for damage to Glendale City Hall during one of their events and a group to which Aldama, in the past, has contributed tax payer dollars to help sponsor their events. Make no mistake; Aldama appeared to have been subtly working to support Breakthru’s retention of the Glendale Youth Center after school programming contract.

The problem with his opposition to ‘process’ this time was his apparently deliberate misconstruing of the R.O.O.T.S. application and the city’s process for award of the RFP. When Belinda Allen spoke before city council that night she clarified Aldama’s misrepresentations.

 It should be noted that this RFP process was far more rigorous than any previously used. The publicly available background material regarding the issuance of the RFP stated, “In June 2017, the City engaged Harvard University’s Kennedy School of Government Performance Lab (GPL) for the study of results driven contracting. GPL, in partnership with What Works Cities, focused on improving the RFP process for the applicant, outcomes of after-school programming Glendale. Responses from the RFI indicated the model was sustainable.”

“In December 2017, the City advertised a Request for Proposals (RFP #18-32) to engage one or more community partners to provide after-school services at four city owned recreation/community centers. The objectives of the RFP were to engage a partner/partners who could: 1) Increase participant access and sustain free after-school programming; 2) Improve academic achievement and decrease at risk behaviors; 3) Sustain programming through stakeholder commitment (families, neighborhood schools, funders, and community-based organization); and 4) Advance the City’s mission of improving lives by providing services that align with our values.”

“In January 2018, department staff assembled and evaluation team of professionals that included representation from Arizona State University, the City of Phoenix, and the City of Glendale’s Police, Community Services, and the Public Facilities, Recreation and Special Events departments to objectively evaluate each proposal to determine which provider(s) would best fit the need of the community.”

The process worked but Aldama apparently could not accept the results because it would result in the loss of the contract belonging to yet another political ally. What should concern Ocotillo voters is Aldama’s apparent motivations for rejecting two decisions that are in the best interest of Glendale and its residents seem to be purely political.

© 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.

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 Friday, March 23, 2018 the City of Glendale called a press conference to announce that it would insure that there would be School Resource Officers at every high school in Glendale. This action was in response to the Parkland tragedy and in the wake of a Maryland SRO’s actions that stopped another school shooting after two students had been wounded. One subsequently died.

It was an action the City Manager and the City Council discussed for several weeks. All councilmembers, including Councilmember Aldama, had many opportunities to discuss the idea, ask questions, offer suggestions and voice their approval or disapproval of the idea. Councilmember Aldama asked one or two questions during the entire process and never voiced his lack of support to us, his peers, during these sessions.

At the City’s Friday’s press conference, the Glendale Police Chief made remarks as did the City Manager and the Mayor. Attending in support of the decision to place more SROs in high schools was State Superintendent of Education Diane Douglas as well as Superintendents of the school districts located in Glendale. The entire Glendale City Council was there except for one…Councilmember Aldama. He was AWOL.

Now we know why. Councilmember Aldama has said “No” to the City initiative to place SROs in every Glendale high school. I have placed his release to the media sent out today below.  The photo is small so I have also placed the link as a pdf file, more easily read:  Aldama letter Mar 26 2018

His language within his press release exhibits his bias, when he calls our unified council action “an impactful edict (bold mine)” He implies that this is a decree decided by one person in authority. Not so.  This was a unanimous and carefully considered council decision with one silent voice…Aldama… who never expressed his disapproval to us during our deliberations.

Note this sentence because it is important. He says, “Other critical stakeholders, including Police and Fire Associations (read the unions) were TOLD of the adverse impact on their memberships, but not consulted with.”  This is the real message. All the rest of his statement is a smoke screen. It is important to note that Aldama is up for reelection this year and he desperately needs the support in terms of money and manpower the unions provide to candidates. They are the ‘big dogs’ in Glendale. In plain English Aldama seems to have taken this stance in order to curry the favor and support of these two unions. They will reward him handsomely by pouring monetary donations into his campaign and walking neighborhoods for him. How politically transparent and crass can a person get?

 He goes on to say, “Clearly this was an insensitive headline-grabbing political response to a larger problem than just having an officer in each high school…” I would contend that this city council exhibited extreme sensitivity to an immediate national issue and took appropriate action within our authority. The issues of mental illness and gun regulation are state and national issues and not ones dealt with on a local, municipal level.

It should also be noted that typically government moves at a snail’s pace. Sometimes it is years before an idea becomes reality. This initiative was acted upon with weeks and it required the coordination of and approval of all 4 Superintendents in whose schools the SROs would be placed.

Aldama questions why the city is not placing SROs in elementary schools and charter schools. I believe the current count of schools within the city is somewhere around 80. It is simply not financially feasible to do so and Aldama knows it.

The City does have an Officer Liaison program that has specified officers visiting as many middle and elementary schools as possible on a weekly basis. Since the majority of school shootings occur on high school campuses, the council felt that it was do-able and affordable. How could we not at least make sure all of our high schools were safer?

He then goes on to say, “I am not clear on what these officer’s duties will be.” Glendale has had SROs for years, probably close to 20 years. If he doesn’t know what their duties are then he hasn’t been doing his job for all he had to do was ask at any time.

He then chides us for our “lack of transparency” and for our lack of “open public dialogue and communication.” This is double-speak that in this instance simply does not fit the circumstance. This action is not a new tax on our citizens. It is a reallocation of existent city funds.  It is a situation that is better served by immediate action.  The call for dialogue is a tactic often used to slow down or kill a decision.

Councilmember Aldama, if you had shared your opinion with council instead of staying mute, you would have earned a modicum of respect.  If your decision was perceived as having been done for some solid reasons, you might have earned more respect. Instead, despite all of your hyperbole, the perception of those familiar with this decision making process, your action appears to be no more than a very transparent attempt to win favor with Glendale’s unions. This wasn’t the best time to, as Nancy Reagan used to say, “Just say no.”

© 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.

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 Tuesday, October 17, 2017 the Glendale city council met in workshop. The first agenda item of five items was that of light rail. Staff presented by recapping what had been discussed to date and asked for further council direction.

There was a robust discussion by council for well over an hour and a half. I will recap each councilmember’s position in the order of workshop seating. Councilmember Ray Malnar related that the original Glendale proposition ballot had 9 items, one of which was light rail. He believes that voter support for the proposition was based on support for 8 of the 9 ballot items and that voters approved the measure and tolerated light rail on the ballot because of the other items that would bring local transportation improvements. He indicated that he could not support light rail and asked for consensus on that position.

Councilmember Bart Turner is a strong and avid advocate for light rail. He attempted to refute any councilmember comments that offered reasons not to move forward with light rail. He feels that the financial figures presented showing a GO Program deficit and the use of General Fund dollars would not be accurate in the future and that the economic development created by light rail would offset those deficits. When it came time to create consensus he clearly wanted to move forward with light rail.

Vice Mayor Ian Hugh has never made a secret of his position on light rail. He has been opposed consistently.  He asked questions of Valley Metro’s CEO, Scott Smith, about pollution and congestion. The answers provided by Mr. Smith were vague as he could not really speak to the issue of pollution and answered the congestion question by stating that in Mesa light rail has caused vehicular traffic to find alternate routes and therefore he has not seen an increase in vehicular congestion. When consensus was called for, the Vice Mayor joined Councilmember Malnar to request that the light rail issue be discontinued in Glendale.

Mayor Weiers Indicated that at one time he had supported light rail as he believed that local connections in the form of trolleys, etc., would be able to connect with the end of the light rail line. However, having reviewed the financial forecast of dollar needs for light rail, he was reluctant to commit future dollars to light rail. He feels that Glendale is finally in a healthy financial position and does not want to jeopardize that success by committing future dollars that the city may not be in a position to afford.

Councilmember Lauren Tolmachoff was clearly torn and on the fence. At one time she had indicated that her support of light rail would hinge on its ability to cross over Grand Avenue. Clearly, the dollars needed to accomplish that were astronomical and frankly unaffordable for Glendale. She did not want to dismiss light rail completely and asked that a decision by council be made after an upcoming council workshop on transportation in Glendale.  There was no support for delaying a decision on the issue. When the call for consensus on ceasing pursuit of light rail in Glendale I, quite honestly, did not see her indicate her position in support for or in opposition to light rail.

Councilmember Jamie Aldama, shared the same position as Councilmember Turner and was a strong advocate for light rail. He believes that light rail will spur downtown economic development. As the Mayor noted, Councimember Aldama was comfortable with his position on the issue as it did not impact LaMar Avenue, located one block south of Glendale Avenue and at one time was considered as a possible location for the light rail line. When it came time for consensus, Councilmember Aldama joined Councilmember Turner in continued support of light rail.

As last in line, I said that I was not ready to sacrifice Go Programming dollars and General Fund resources to pay for light rail. We have immediate needs that can be satisfied by releasing light rail dollars to other transportation needs. When it came time for consensus I joined Mayor Weiers, Vice Mayor Hugh, and Councilmember Malnar in giving direction that council would no longer pursue light rail in Glendale.

On a 4 to 2 consensus with 1 unclear, city council has finally made a decision. Light rail will not come to Glendale…at least not anytime in the next 10 years. Light rail is dead.

© Joyce Clark, 2017                 

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.

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 Tuesday, April 18, 2017 city council met in workshop session. There were 3 agenda items: information on the city’s purchase of a new city-wide software program; my Council Item of Special Interest requesting the formation of a temporary council subcommittee on business; and Councilmember Aldama’s  request to move forward with the creation of a citizen Diversity and Human Relations Commission.

PeopleSoft vs. Munis City-Wide Software Systems. City staff provided information on a proposed software system called Munis. Currently the city uses a software system called PeopleSoft for its Finance, Human Resources and Payroll functions. Staff represented that PeopleSoft is inefficient for their needs and estimated the number of hours currently used to support PeopleSoft as 19,562 and the estimated annual cost of that support is $703,475.

I do accept that the Finance functions under PeopleSoft are no longer sufficient to meet our needs but I have not been convinced that the city should abandon PeopleSoft’s functionality for its Human Resources/Payroll needs. 

In 2015 PeopleSoft’s HR and payroll modules were updated at a cost of $1.2 million. These software modules will receive PeopleSoft support until 2017. There does not appear to be any urgency to replace these modules after the city just spent $1.2 million to upgrade them. Yet the proposed city-wide software system contains the option to replace these modules.

A year later, in 2016, staff requested approval to hire a firm, Berry & Dunn, to search for, review and recommend a new city-wide software system. I don’t believe staff explained this request adequately to city council and that city council approved this request without realizing that they had taken the first step in a procurement process. The result is the current proposal to replace the entire city software system at a cost of $6 million over a two year period. Why replace the HR/Payroll modules when the city spent $1.2 million to upgrade them less than 2 years ago? Finance did make a strong case for the replacement of its PeopleSoft modules and I can support their request but I believe we can wait to replace the HR/Payroll modules at a later date.

The areas of my concern about which there were no satisfactory answers provided at the workshop are: 1. What are the cost savings and level of productivity to be gained by switching to this new system? and 2. What is the final, estimated cost of purchasing, supporting and implementing this new system? Staff indicated that answer would be available to council and the public on May 28th. By then the proposed budget is set and council moves into June having to approve the proposed budget. That is not satisfactory to me. It leaves no time to question or to adjust the proposed budget to reflect council’s final direction.

Temporary city council subcommittee on business. I introduced this item several months ago as a “Council Item of Special Interest.” It requests the creation of a temporary city council subcommittee comprised of city council members and representatives from Glendale’s business community. Its purpose is to make Glendale even more business friendly while enhancing Glendale’s reputation for supporting job attraction, creation and retention. This committee would review all of Glendale’s business-related codes, ordinances, regulations and policies for the purpose of removing out-dated, redundant, no longer relevant business imperatives. The committee’s conclusions and recommendations are advisory and would be presented to the full council for acceptance or rejection, in whole or part.

I am grateful to city council for offering their suggestions to make the concept even better and for their support in moving this initiative forward. I am excited that there will be an opportunity to take Glendale toward a 21st Century future by aligning its laws, regulations and policies to enhance our business community.

Diversity and Human Relations Commission. This item was originally initiated as a “Council Item of Special Interest” by former Councilmember Gary Sherwood. That’s how long this item has been floating around…at least 2 years. Sherwood was recalled and replaced by the current Councilmember Ray Malnar representing the Sahuaro district. Councilmember Aldama took up the issue after Sherwood left. Councilmember Malnar introduced an alternative Human Relations Commission proposal to Councilmember Aldama’s Diversity and Human Relations Commission. The proposals were virtually the same with the exception of Section 2-313 – Powers and duties (a).

Here is Councilmember Aldama’s version:

“The commission shall advise the mayor and council regarding issues, regulations or policies affecting diverse members of the Glendale community including, but not limited to, those related to race, color, religion, sex, national origin, age, marital status, sexual orientation, gender identity or expression, genetic characteristics, medical condition, familial or parental status, U.S. Military veteran status, mental development, behavior, illness, or disorder or disability, physical appearance, limitation or disability, education level, socio-economic condition or any other individual or distinct characteristic.”

Here is Councilmember Malnar’s version:

“The Glendale Human Relations Commission will act as an advisory body to the mayor and council by making recommendations on way to encourage mutual respect and understanding among all people, to discourage prejudice and discrimination, and to support cultural awareness and unity of the community in all its diverse forms. The commission may also make recommendations for special events.”

I preferred Councilmember Malnar’s version, as did Vice Mayor Hugh and Councilmember Tolmachoff. Consensus was given to move forward with the Malnar version to be agendized for a future city council voting meeting. My reason for support of the Malnar version is that the country’s current preoccupation with diversity has led to increased tensions and divisiveness among disparate communities. That is an atmosphere I prefer not to bring to Glendale. Rather Councilmember Malnar’s version emphasizes the very values we, as a nation, have seemed to have forgotten, that of mutual respect and understanding, the discouragement of prejudice and discrimination and support of unity within our community.

The next city council meeting will occur on Monday, April 24th at 9 AM. It will give the city council an opportunity to focus on individual department budgets and to pose questions about them. It will be followed by another budget workshop on Friday, April 28th and will be a continuation of departmental budget review by city council. You can watch these workshops online at the city website under the City’s Cable Channel 11 or if you are a Cox subscriber you can watch the workshops on TV Channel 11.

© Joyce Clark, 2017                 

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.

PLEASE CHECK OUT THE LATEST CHAVIRA VIDEOWhat’s Sammy Been Doing, HIGHLIGHTING HIS CONSTITUENT ENGAGEMENT. IT IS TO THE LEFT OF THIS COLUMN.

It has been 18 years and 158 days since the city’s pledge to build the West Branch Library.

This evening, May 24, 2016, city council will vote on the issue of light rail. The meeting begins at 6 PM in Council Chambers at City Hall. Please park in the parking garage at 59th Avenue and Glendale Avenue. Walk east to council chambers. Make your opinion known. As I have stated in previous blogs, light rail may be one of the most divisive issues to ever surface in Glendale. Your voice counts.

On May 15, 2016 I filed a Public Information Request with the Glendale City Clerk’s office asking for the following information:

“Councilmember Sam Chavira and Councilmember Jamie Aldama each made a $2,500 donation on or about April 28, 2016 in support of the 2016 Cinco De Mayo Festival held on April 29, 2016 to May 1, 2016. The event was cosponsored by the City of Glendale and Barrio Breakthru Productions. I request the following public information:

  1. What was the $5,000 donated by Councilmembers Aldama and Chavira used for with regard to this event?
  2. A list of services, equipment, supplies and personnel supplied by the City of Glendale to support, produce, operate and clean up of the event, in-king or otherwise.
  3. The monetary value of all requested items listed in #2.
  4. Any and all reports, summaries, etc., submitted to the City of Glendale by or for Barrio Breakthru Productions that reflects the expenses required to produce the event and any and all revenues earned as a result of the event.”

My request was promptly fulfilled by the city by May 20, 2016. Questions #2 and #3 were thoroughly answered with the following information:

  1. “Off duty Police officers were hired through Pro-Force (a third party provider) not directly through the city. Sanitation roll-off delivery, rental, pickup and charges for tonnage at landfill. Audio and lighting services were provided by a third party not through the city. Transportation review of Traffic Control Plan (TCP) for event from the barricade company. This generated charges for lane use and TCP review fees.”
  2. “Sanitation roll-off charges: Delivery fee of $46.11; Haul fee of $175.00 and Landfill charges of $22.60. Transportation charges: TCP Review fee of $44.76; and Lane use fees of $335.76.”

My answers to questions #1 and #2 were not fulfilled. It seems that Councilmembers Aldama and Chavira’s total donation of $5,000 is in some black hole of non-information. There appears to be no accountability on the part of these councilmembers. Otherwise they could have provided information to fulfill that portion of my Public Information Request. As far as can be determined, neither asked Barrio Breakthru Productions for any information about the use of $5,000 of taxpayer money.  Apparently they just gave Barrio Breakthru Productions your money. Did the money cover costs of producing the festival? If so, what for?

Based on the information the city requested of the event producer its sole interest seems to be in logistics of holding the event. In the material the city provided there is no request for licenses of any kind or proof of insurance. It would seem these would be important for the city to have on file. Yet the city file supplied makes no mention of either item. One would think that these items would be important especially in light of the criminal damage that occurred at city hall during the event.

We still do not know if Barrio Breakthru Productions or the Breakthru Community Church was ultimately considered the event producer and was responsible for producing a certificate of adequate insurance. If it was the church that was the producer of record with the city then there is still the pesky issue of separation of church and state.

This incident demonstrates a lack of competence and clarity by city staff.  There were requirements for insurance in City Ordinance 2975. Why were the Ordinance requirements not followed? If the requirements were followed why was that information not supplied with all of the extraneous information I received about city requirements for the event? What is city policy these days? If elements of Ordinance 2975 are being waived upon whose authority is it being done?

I guess I will file one more Public Information Request asking Councilmembers Aldama and Chavira to obtain information from Barrio Breakthru about expenses covered by their donation of $5,000 of taxpayer money. I will also ask for any and all licenses and proof of insurance on file for this event provided to the city by Barrio Breakthru. Will let you know what response I obtain.

© Joyce Clark, 2016

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.

It has been 18 years and 94 days since the city’s pledge to build the West Branch Library.

On March 19, 2016, Paul Giblin’s article is entitled Glendale expenses get more scrutiny. It is not online as of this date so no link to the story is provided. In his article Giblin solicits reaction to Chavira’s questionable travel expenses from his peers…the Glendale city councilmembers. Giblin reports, “Sammy Chavira’s colleagues on the Glendale City Council said this week they want to strengthen the city’s travel policy following reporting by the Arizona Republic on Chavira’s travel expenses.”

Mayor Weiers said, “‘We’re going to have to do something. Weiers said one option to tighten the travel policy would be to require councilmembers to use personal credit cards, rather than city-issued cards, for all city-related travel. If you want to be reimbursed, then you have to provide us with all the information – who, what, when, why, where. If you don’t provide that, then you’re not going to get reimbursed,’ he said.”

A majority of councilmembers have said this is a future public city council workshop topic of discussion. Silent on the issue were Councilmember Chavira and Councilmember Aldama. “Vice Mayor Ian Hugh and City Council members Lauren Tolmachoff and Bart Turner told The Republic they expect a formal discussion at a public meeting about improving the city’s travel policy for elected officials.”

The reactions from various councilmembers are varied. “Hugh said he is opposed to granting council members authority to approve or disapprove of each other’s trips.” Frankly I agree with his assessment. In towns and cities there are councilmembers who don’t like each other, don’t get along with each other and may downright hate each other. In most cases, the public is never aware of councilmembers’ animosity toward one another because publicly they remain polite to one another. Political animosity (or even revenge) would be a constant threat if councilmembers’ had the power to approve or disapprove of one another’s expenses.

“‘Council members should be held to at least the same standard as rank-and-file city employees,’ Tolmachoff said.” Councilmember Tolmachoff almost got it. Councilmembers should not be held to the same standards as other city employees. They should be held to the highest standard. They should be a model for all employees to follow. Councilmembers are in a unique position. There are only 7 of them elected by the people of Glendale. There is no comparable position in Glendale. That makes them unique. Their major responsibility is to develop all policy for the city. It is an enormous task requiring their best efforts and a commitment to impartiality. It is their responsibility to strive to be above reproach at all times and in all instances.

Councilmember Ray Malnar thinks that a periodic audit of councilmembers’ use of their expense accounts is in order. “Periodic audits of council members’ expenses would help keep members attuned to existing guidelines, Malnar said. ‘There’s always the ability, no matter what kind of controls you have in place, for abuse. And a lot of it is a matter of trust and follow-up.’ he said.” It is a solid suggestion. It bears serious consideration and has the appeal of having a councilmember’s expenses related to his or her budgets scrutinized on a regular basis.

Councilmember Turner, surprisingly, offered very little concern about councilmembers’ travel expenses and instead focused on lost receipts. “Turner said he’s interested in reviewing the city’s policy for lost receipts and perhaps capping the amount allowable for reimbursement using lost-receipt forms.There’s no transparency around a lost receipt, and I think we owe it to our taxpayers to be as transparent as possible,’ Turner said.”

From the councilmembers’ comments two viable themes emerged. Councilmember Malnar suggested audits. If such audits are not publicly posted prominently and instead are buried in the bowels of city hall paperwork, what good is an audit? Councilmember Turner made reference to transparency. However, currently there is no transparency related to any expense incurred by a councilmember. Why tailor transparency narrowly to a lost-receipt? It’s illogical. Transparency only serves the public interest when it brings to light a practice formerly buried and generalized in the city’s annual budget book.

Perhaps audits and transparency should be used in tandem. City councilmembers should consider revising their policy to include an annual audit performed by Glendale’s Audit Office of both their communications/professional development budget and their infrastructure improvements budget to be completed by October 1 of every year. I can hear the City Auditor now saying that it is an onerous burden upon her department. It is not unreasonable. Each councilmember’s two budgets total approximately $35,000 a year. They are simplistic and not as complicated as one would find in auditing an entire city department comprised of millions of dollars. They could be completed quickly and would not require an inordinate amount of audit staff’s time.

These audits should be posted in each councilmember’s Friday e-newsletter no later than the end of each October. If a councilmember had to publicly announce what expenditures he or she made during the course of a year it would constantly reinforce the concept that each and every dollar is a taxpayer dollar and not “theirs.” This is a reasonable policy. It would create an unmatched level of transparency for Glendale’s citizens. Glendale would be the first city in the state to adopt such a model and it is expected it would cause other cities to follow suit. It would have the effect of helping the public to determine if a councilmember was making effective and ethical use of their taxpayer dollars. It would certainly be a breath of political fresh air.

In the meantime, Giblin reported, “While Glendale officials talked about Chavira’s expenditures, Phoenix officials acted on them. Phoenix officials submitted five checks to Glendale on March 9 to reimburse the city for their portions of the seafood dinner, said Glendale spokeswoman Sue Breding.” Obviously these Phoenix officials, such as the Phoenix Fire Chief, by reimbursing the city, are tacitly acknowledging that Chavira’s payment for their dinners was inappropriate. That cannot be good for Chavira who keeps repeating that he did nothing wrong. Perhaps he’s hoping if he repeats it often enough people will believe him…Hmmm, I think not. I wonder if former Glendale Fire Chief Mark Burdick or Phoenix Councilmember Danny Valenzuela (who happens to be a Glendale fire fighter) reimbursed Glendale. There’s no way to know as that information is not forthcoming.

Come on, Glendale councilmembers, think outside the box. Develop a policy that sheds light on the issue for all of Glendale’s taxpayers. After all, it’s not about you. It’s about the citizens and city that you are elected to serve.

© Joyce Clark, 2016

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.

It has been 18 years and 46 days since the city’s pledge to build the West Branch Library.

Light rail appears to be the most divisive issue in Glendale’s history. It appears to be more divisive than the Coyotes or the casino. If you look at the mini-poll to the left of this column you will see the respondents to the question are split 50/50. There is no clear public consensus. This will be an issue that city council will have to decide. No matter which way they go it is a sure bet that half of Glendale will be unhappy with their decision. For them it is a no-win proposition. Knowing that, they are charged with making the best decision possible for the city based upon knowledge they may have not generally available to the public. No matter how individual councilmembers decide it is incumbent upon each and every one of them to publicly share their rationale for their decision.

Valley Metro hosted a Glendale light rail meeting at the Glendale Women’s Club on January 20, 2016. A lot of Glendale residents attended (at least 100) signaling that there is a great deal of interest in the issue. When 100 people or more attend a Glendale public meeting it makes the city council sit up and take notice. For an apathetic Glendale demographic that is a lot of people.

Valley Metro is planning on scheduling further community meetings to explain their recommended concept and to gain further community input. The issue is scheduled to go before the Glendale city council in late March or early April for a vote. If city council rejects the recommended alternative Valley Metro has indicated it will continue to work on an acceptable solution with Glendale.

At the Glendale city council workshop meeting of January 19, 2016 council took up most of what could be considered light weight issues. How about the Jazz Festival and chickens? Council seems to be leaning on allowing any Glendale resident to have chickens. Currently the policy is to allow the fowl in agricultural zoning districts. The state legislature has a bill before it to allow chickens anywhere in any municipality. If it should pass it will become a moot point no longer requiring a council decision. Council has called for a series of public meetings to determine whether the fowl are welcome throughout Glendale. I can see it now… Arrowhead residents flocking to obtain chickens.

Another pressing issue of relative non-importance was council discussion of bringing back the Jazz Festival. It was cut out of the budget about 4 years ago when council was looking to pare down the budget and it learned that of all of the major festivals Glendale hosts; it was the one with the least attendance. It will cost a little over $200,000 to produce and earns about $60,000 in revenue to offset its costs. In terms of priorities and how $140,000 (net expense) could be used this doesn’t constitute a major priority. Perhaps that $140,000 could be used to restore some library hours or reinstitute some recreational programs for Glendale’s children. Surely there is a better use for the funds.

It appears that Chavira and Aldama are ready to jump into the festival business big time. In anticipation of council’s approval of the Jazz Festival resurrection Chavira and Aldama have taken it upon themselves to seek out sponsors for the event. Be wary. Remember Chavira’s and Aldama’s last festival fling? Dia de Muertos? Each contributed $2500 of their council budgets (taxpayer money) to support the event which turned out to be highly political by allowing various Democrat candidates to have booths at the event…a real no-no. To this day there has never been an audit of the event even though there have been repeated requests for it.

Add to that peccadillo Chavira’s involvement in a Hispanic Firefighters Association event that ended up costing said association a lot of money resulting in a move to boot Chavira from the organization. City Council should develop policy guidelines to address councilmember involvement in the city’s event business.

Lastly council, quickly and without a smidgeon of discussion, nominated Cactus Councilmember Ian Hugh to another term as Glendale’s Vice Mayor. He was unanimously approved by council at its last formal meeting of January 26, 2016. Congratulations to Vice Mayor Hugh. He’s quiet and steady and will continue to serve well as Glendale’s Vice Mayor in 2016.

It was a far different scenario from last year when Chavira and Aldama backed the now recalled councilmember Gary Sherwood for the position. It demonstrates how quickly political dynamics can change. From a gang of three there is now a gang of two: Chavira and Aldama. The two are leaderless and now constitute a minority…an uncomfortable position for both of them. It shows the enormous amount of influence Sherwood had over his two buddies.

© Joyce Clark, 2016

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.

Please note: Tom McCarthy very recently passed away. Tom had been a voice in Glendale for many years and was well known in our community. He was a first rate attorney and long-time advocate for downtown Glendale. He was a gentleman and most certainly, a scholar. He will be missed. My condolences to his wife, Diane McCarthy. Your family and Tom will be in my prayers as well as those of many Glendale residents. I am so sorry for your loss, Diane.

It has been 17 years and 317 days since the city’s pledge to build the West Branch Library.

I had planned to post this blog yesterday afternoon but then Paris. It just didn’t seem appropriate. Many people share their speculations with me. Lately, rumors and speculation abound about  Councilmembers Chavira and Aldama and yes, sadly…disgraced former Councilmember Sherwood.

There are no hard facts in this blog but rather a compilation of rumors and speculation melded together from a variety of sources. Let’s begin with the Sahuaro district. At this moment things have quieted down but don’t expect it to last for very long. Sherwood claims he will run for his Sahuaro seat again. That may be problematical for him. He has lost a great deal of support and previous donors to his campaign coffers are fading into the political mist. The fire union is frantically looking for someone to run against newly elected Sahuaro district Councilmember Ray Malnar. Don’t be surprised if a Phoenix Deputy Fire Chief, Larry Contreras, whose move into the Sahuaro district was publicly announced by Chavira, becomes their candidate of choice.

In the Yucca district voters will choose a councilmember on November 8, 2016. Expect events to heat up there as well. Rumors have it that current Councilmember Chavira will not run for reelection. Instead, there is speculation that the Tohono O’odham will hire him for a position perhaps as Marketing & Communications Director or Public Safety Director (he seems qualified for neither). It appears that Sammy’s support of the casino may have paid off for him big time. A competing camp believes that under the mentorship of Ruben Gallego, newly elected U.S. Congressman representing Arizona’s 7th District , Chavira may run for the State Legislature providing the fire union some representation in that body.

All of these rumors led me to do some speculating of my own. Now, imagine this scenario, Chavira and Aldama are very close…buddies. We know that Aldama wants to run for mayor so badly it hurts. Everything he does as a councilmember seems to be specifically designed for that goal. Right now Aldama is on a different election cycle. If he were to run for mayor he would have to resign from his council seat and he would no longer enjoy the power of incumbency to assist him. But what if he could stand for reelection in the same cycle as the mayor? With a little shuffling it could happen. Imagine his buddy, Chavira, giving Aldama a heads up that he is not running again way before he announces that publicly. Aldama, as Ocotillo district Councilmember, claims his residency in the Ocotillo district as required by law. But he has a perfectly good home in the Yucca district (where everyone believes he lives) and he could pull a nominating packet to run for the Yucca district council seat right now. If he were to win the seat it would put him up for reelection in 2020, the very same time the next race for Glendale’s mayor would take place.

If you live in the Yucca district and have always harbored the desire to run for city council, get ready. Without Chavria running, the seat will be wide open (even if Aldama decides to run for this seat). The next election is exactly a year from now. Call the Glendale city clerk and ask when nominating packets can be pulled.

They say that truth is stranger than fiction. If even a smidgeon becomes reality it will be a strange Glendale indeed. For political junkies it makes for interesting conversation.

Lastly, food for thought: People tend to gravitate to and associate with like-minded people. Over the coming months take note of just where Mark Burdick in his run for mayor is getting his support…Frisoni, Aldama, Chavira…hmmm…

© 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 309 days since the city’s pledge to build the West Branch Library.

This may be a bit complicated to follow but perhaps by breaking it into smaller bites it will become more understandable. Strands of a tangled spider web emerge and as we explore the web a clearer understanding will be created.logos]

Presented by Councilman Aldama & Councilman Chavira

On the weekend of October 31-November 1, 2015 an event was held at city owned Murphy Park in downtown Glendale. That event was the Dia de Los Muertos. The event had 13 sponsors but take particular note of 4 sponsors: 1. The City of Glendale (Logo prominently displayed as a sponsor), 2. The Glendale Convention and Visitors Bureau (Visit Glendale logo), 3. Glendale Councilmember Chavira, and 4. Glendale Councilmember Aldama.

Why take note of these sponsors? The photo to the right is of a political banner advertising the reelection of Martin Quezada, aQuezada Democrat candidate for Legislative District 29. Unfortunately there was no similar political banner for Quezada’s Republican challenger Aaron Borders.

Why does it matter whether the opposing candidates in a district legislative race had been invited to supply election material and/or participate in this event? The event was partially sponsored by the city, city councilmembers using their district funds (Glendale taxpayer monies) and the Glendale Convention and Visitors Bureau.

Arizona Revised Statutes speaks to such a situation. I have boldened the relevant language within A.R.S. §9-500.14: 9-500.14. Use of city or town resources or employees to influence elections; prohibition; civil penalty; definitions

  1. A city or town shall not spend or use its resources, including the use or expenditure of monies, accounts, credit, facilities, vehicles, postage, telecommunications, computer hardware and software, web pages, personnel, equipment, materials, buildings or any other thing of value of the city or town, for the purpose of influencing the outcomes of elections. Notwithstanding this section, a city or town may distribute informational pamphlets on a proposed bond election as provided in section 35-454 if those informational pamphlets present factual information in a neutral manner. Nothing in this section precludes a city or town from reporting on official actions of the governing body.
  2. The prohibition on the use of public resources to influence the outcome of bond, budget override and other tax-related elections includes the use of city-focused or town-focused promotional expenditures that occur after an election is called and through election day. This prohibition does not include routine city or town communications.
  3. This section does not prohibit the use of city or town resources, including facilities and equipment, for government-sponsored forums or debates if the government sponsor remains impartial and the events are purely informational and provide an equal opportunity to all viewpoints. The rental and use of a public facility by a private person or entity that may lawfully attempt to influence the outcome of an election is permitted if it does not occur at the same time and place as a government-sponsored forum or debate.
  4. Employees of a city or town shall not use the authority of their positions to influence the vote or political activities of any subordinate employee.
  5. The attorney general or the county attorney of the county in which an alleged violation of this section occurred may initiate a suit in the superior court in the county in which the city or town is located for the purpose of complying with this section.
  6. For each violation of this section, the court may impose a civil penalty not to exceed five thousand dollars plus any amount of misused funds subtracted from the city or town budget against a person who knowingly violates or aids another person in violating this section. The person determined to be out of compliance with this section is responsible for the payment of all penalties and misused funds. City or town funds or insurance payments shall not be used to pay these penalties or misused funds. All misused funds collected pursuant to this section shall be returned to the city or town whose funds were misused.
  7. Nothing contained in this section shall be construed as denying the civil and political liberties of any employee as guaranteed by the United States and Arizona Constitutions.
  8. For the purposes of this section:
  9. “Government-sponsored forum or debate” means any event, or part of an event or meeting, in which the government is an official sponsor, which is open to the public or to invited members of the public, and whose purpose is to inform the public about an issue or proposition that is before the voters.
  10. “Influencing the outcomes of elections” means supporting or opposing a candidate for nomination or election to public office or the recall of a public officer or supporting or opposing a ballot measure, question or proposition, including any bond, budget or override election and supporting or opposing the circulation of a petition for the recall of a public officer or a petition for a ballot measure, question or proposition in any manner that is not impartial or neutral.
  11. Misused funds” means city or town monies or resources used unlawfully as proscribed by this section.
  12. “Routine city or town communications” means messages or advertisements that are germane to the functions of the city or town and that maintain the frequency, scope and distribution consistent with past practices or are necessary for public safety.

A.R.S.§9-550.14 seems to say that city sponsored political activity is only permitted if it is fair and impartial and an equalPhx override opportunity is provided for all viewpoints (including candidates’ opponents). It should also be noted that there were also booths in support of several school district override elections but none for those who opposed the very same override elections.

 

 

The Glendale CVB was a sponsor:

http://diadelosmuertosglendaleaz.com/

Welcome To Dia De Los Muertos Online

The Glendale, AZ Convention & Visitors Bureau welcomes you to their inaugural, Dia de Los Muertos celebration in Historic Downtown Glendale.

The Glendale CVB is a department within the city’s Communications Division:

https://www.glendaleaz.com/budget/documents/4_Communications.pdf

Page 140 2013 budget book:

Mission Statement:  To develop and implement marketing and public relations programs, resident communications and visitor services that promote Glendale and ensure the city’s key messages are delivered to target audiences in an accurate, timely and cost-effective manner. 

Department Description: The Marketing/Communications Department consists of nine divisions, including the Public Relations Office, Special Events, Tourism and the new Glendale Convention & Visitors Bureau, Glendale 11, Glendale Media Center, Web Services, Creative Services, Glendale Civic Center and Administration. Marketing/Communications produces and oversees Glendale’s print and electronic communications with the public and the media, as well as develops communication strategies and marketing campaigns that enhance the city’s image.  The city’s special events, produced in this department, draw about one-half million visitors to downtown Glendale annually.                                                                      FISCAL YEAR 2013  GOALS

Goal

Successfully transition Glendale Convention & Visitors Bureau (CVB) from a membership fee based budget model to a bed tax revenue budget model. Related Council Goal One community with quality economic development. (Glendale collects bed sales tax and acts as a pass through on to the CVB).

Activities 

Update CVB Business Plan to reflect organization’s new funding model, establish new organization bylaws, create new hotel advisory group, meet with group to identify budget priorities, develop new advertising, marketing and sales plan, etc. 

If you go to the city’s website and Follow Your Money under the heading Council Office and then the Miscellaneous category for each councilmember you will find Chavira’s and Aldama’s contributions from their district budgets, in other words, taxpayer dollars. Here is Chavira:

http://www.glendaleaz.com/FollowYourMoney/Dept.cfm?Type=5&DeptID=112&DivID=10160&Account=513200

DIA DE LOS MUERTOS EVENT 10/31 10/20/15 $2,500.00

And here is Aldama:

http://www.glendaleaz.com/FollowYourMoney/Dept.cfm?Type=5&DeptID=112&DivID=10170&Account=513200

DIA DE LOS MUERTOS EVENT 10/31 10/20/15 $2,500.00

It would seem that city resources, funds and employees were used to set up and take down the event infrastructure. What was the amount of funding expended by the Glendale Convention & Visitors Bureau as a sponsor? What did the City of Glendale as a sponsor provide in terms of employee manpower and funding or advertising for this event? Did Glendale City Attorney Michael Bailey vet this event and approve the expenditures of the CVB and the $2500 donations each made by Councilmembers Aldama and Chavira? Did Attorney Bailey issue an opinion that these expenditures were not in conflict with A.R.S.§9-500.14 and why or why not they were not in conflict? Did Attorney Bailey advise the City Manager and the city council that city resources were about to be used for what was clearly a partisan event? 

Councilmembers Aldama and Chavira could have made contributions to support this event with personal funds. That would have removed any concerns about a potential conflict with A.R.S. §9-550.14.LD 29 What is even more disconcerting is that LD 29 serves either a portion of or all of Chavira’s Yucca district and Aldama’s Ocotillo district. Both councilmembers are Democrat and the candidate(s) invited to participate in the event were exclusively Democrat. It appears to smack of bias, cronyism and favoritism. It appears that city funds were used to support selected candidates and pro school bond overrides without any opposing viewpoints. It appears that there are alleged violations of A.R.S§9-500.14. 

Councilmember Aldama posted this on his Facebook page:

Jamie Aldama

November 1 at 6:58pm

Thank you LD 29. Senetor Quezada, Representatives Andrade & CeciVelasquez for your support in Downtown Glendale.

One would think that as this comes to the attention of Glendale’s City Attorney Michael Bailey that he would ask either the County or State Attorney Generals to investigate and file charges if necessary. Nope, not going to happen. Bailey’s prime directive is to protect the interests of the City of Glendale. He isn’t going to turn the city in for an alleged violation of A.R.S §9-550.14. However, that does not prevent anyone else reading this blog to file a complaint with either the County or State Attorney Generals’ Offices requesting an investigation and if necessary, subsequent charges.

Since this matter was brought to my attention I am sharing with you, my readers. I am not an attorney and I do not know if the alleged violation has merit. Only the County or State Attorney Generals’ Offices can make that determination.

However, if it walks like a duck and talks like a duck, do we have a duck?

© 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.

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