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Joyce Clark Unfiltered

For "the rest of the story"

It has been 17 years and 282 days since the city’s pledge to build the West Branch Library.

Just when you think there is no more to the Sherwood saga, up pop new revelations and actions. The Glendale Star reported on October 8, 2015 that once again it is alleged Sherwood violated open meeting law by sharing confidential city council executive session information. Here is the link:

http://www.glendalestar.com/news/article_ad8a15fa-6dfe-11e5-bf3a-c3b5b770ad8c.html . Gary Hirsch, a long time Glendale activist, supported Sherwood in his first run for the Sahuaro city council seat because of Sherwood’s opposition to the casino, among other things. They became friends and met often, usually over breakfast. When Sherwood did his dramatic flip-flop on the casino issue, flipping from anti-casino to pro-casino, Sherwood and Hirsch had several conversations about the issue. In the email below (I have the full version of the email. However, I am only publishing the relevant part) Hirsch has, once again, asked Sherwood to explain why he changed his position. Sherwood then sent Hirsch yet another explanation for his abrupt about face on the casino issue. See below:

From: Gary Sherwood                                                                                                          Sent: Monday, November 25, 2013 5:21 PM                                                                           To: ‘GARY HIRSCH’                                                                                                          Subject: RE: TO                                                                                                           Sensitivity: Confidential

Please, please, please, keep this confidential between ourselves – not that I have to tell you that but I need to state it.

Gary –

“Michael Bailey asked the council in an e-session on September 10th for a confirmation that we continue the direction from the previous council – there was a lot of discussion but in the end, a majority of head nodding  (4-3) didn’t want to undo what had been previously been accomplished and this was at the recommendation of Mr. Bailey. This was needed because of recent rulings putting the one issue back to the 9th circuit court. When Michael’s letter came out on the 11th – it was by far stronger than what was discussed the day previous.”

Best, Gary

The first item that has got to grab your attention is the email is marked confidential and Sherwood requests that confidentiality be maintained (which Hirsch had done for 2 years). Why the need for confidentiality if everything Sherwood is saying is legally permissible? Perhaps because Sherwood knew it wasn’t and that he was violating executive session?? Haven’t we seen Sherwood do this before when he sent another email allegedly violating executive session with the admonition to former Councilmember Manny Martinez to delete the email after reading it? As Yogi Berra said, “déjà vu all over again.”

In the body of the email as Sherwood, in an effort to explain away his newly adopted pro-casino stance, reveals Michael Bailey’s (Glendale City Attorney) actions that occurred during that executive session. 

Sherwood knew better but it is just another example of his habit and pattern of ignoring the law. Don’t forget we saw this same behavior regarding his driver’s license suspensions and his Failure to Appear statewide warrant. If Sherwood has played fast and loose with executive session material and has ignored orders of the court, what other “omissions” of the law has he committed?

Aristotle once said, “At his best, man is the noblest of all animals; separated from law and justice he is the worst.” Sherwood seems to proven this adage over and over again for he appears to have been at his worst since his election to office.

Add to this latest revelation of yet another Sherwood allegation of wrong doing the fact that the city council called for an executive session at 11 AM on Friday, October 09, 2015. Here is the link:

https://glendale-az.legistar.com/MeetingDetail.aspx?ID=437640&GUID=5D630A2D-EE64-406C-BE23-10B067AE2DC0&Options=info&Search= . One of the agenda items is:

  1. PERSONNEL MATTERS
  2. In accordance with the City of Glendale City Council Guidelines, adopted February 24, 2015, the City Council will meet to review and discuss an alleged violation of the Guidelines by Councilmember Sherwood. (A.R.S. § 38-431.03 (A)(1)) .

What will come of this extraordinary agenda item? Will the council, as a body, finally be the ones to hold Sherwood accountable for his actions by censuring him? That is the worst punishment they can apply under the Council Guidelines. Do they have the will and backbone to do so? Can Sherwood weigh in on his own censure? I don’t know the answer to this question as it has never occurred before. What if Sherwood is prohibited from participating and the balance of council is split 3-3? In case of a tie it is considered defeated. We will have to wait and to see if it appears as an agenda item on an upcoming city council voting meeting. Don’t hold your breath on this one. I do not expect that enough of the councilmembers will actually have the intestinal fortitude to censure one of their own. From past experience it can be expected that Chavira and Aldama will support Sherwood. Which of the other 4 councilmembers will balk and refuse to censure him? Weiers? Hugh? Tolmachoff? Turner?

It appears everyone has had enough of the Sherwood “drama,” especially the Sahuaro district voters. It’s time to cut Sherwood loose and to send him back to the private sector where he can wreak his own apparent brand of havoc there. The prevalent sentiment of Sahuaro voters is that Sherwood, instead of representing their interests, has blatantly represented his own.

Stay tuned. Just when you think there can’t be any more…there is.

© Joyce Clark, 2015

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It has been 17 years and 253 days since the city’s pledge to build the West Branch Library.

As a former Glendale city councilmember I take no joy in writing about the seemingly endless misdeeds of sitting Glendale Councilmember Gary Sherwood. It reinforces the average citizen’s belief that all elected officials are corrupt or are not responsive to the electorate once they take office. Just as in other professions there are a few bad apples that can sully a profession’s reputation.

There are many people upset to learn about Sherwood’s situation and they are justified in their anger. They want to march down to City Hall and demand action. More about this later in this blog.

It appears in addition to the alleged license suspension for 8 days from 8/12/2014 to 8/20/2014, Sherwood’s license was also allegedly suspended from 6/26/2012 to 9/3/2013.

This is troubling on many levels. I attended at least two meetings during that time period, once at a restaurant in north Glendale and another time out at the Glendale Airport, and Sherwood was at both. He drove himself to those meetings…if the public records are correct… on a  suspended license.

The restaurant incident sticks in my mind to this day because after the meeting participants were out in the parking lot getting ready to leave, one of the comments made by Sherwood was that he had a “cop card.” I’ve never forgotten that and assumed that he was alleging that he had a card he could use if stopped for a traffic violation. Apparently it didn’t work very well. I have tried to verify that such a “cop card” exists and no one, especially in the local law enforcement community, has ever conceded they have heard of such a thing. It doesn’t seem to exist. Sherwood was probably bragging in an effort to enhance his reputation as “somebody” as his ego may be his biggest personal failing.

The point is that during that 15 month period it seems that Sherwood was driving on a suspended license. In addition, in the Sahuaro district’s portion of Follow Your Money, Sherwood submitted for mileage reimbursement on 3/1/13 for $64.41. This occurred during the 15 month alleged suspension. An elected official submits for mileage reimbursement when using one’s personal vehicle for city business. The very fact that he submitted for reimbursement seems to verify that Sherwood acknowledged he drove during the 15 month period in question.

During his campaign it seems he attended many campaign events and drove himself to them. There are probably many people who can confirm that. Sherwood was elected to office in November of 2012 and was seated as councilmember in January of 2013. He jumped right into office. He was at city hall nearly every day and probably drove himself there…on a suspended license.  He participated in many city events as well as regional events and probably drove himself there…on a suspended license.

There is nothing to be done about his alleged driving while suspended during that time period. One cannot go back retroactively and affect an arrest. It’s done…it’s finished…but this situation is concerning because the situation demonstrates Sherwood’s apparent habit and pattern for disregard for the law. If the alleged driving on a suspended license shows Sherwood’s propensity to disrespect the law, what other laws may he have disregarded?

I have it on good authority that Sherwood’s active warrant for Failure to Appear has been satisfied…very, very recently.  Apparently in the last day or two he paid the $1,500 bond.  It’s disconcerting that it took public revelation of the situation in my blog of September 8, 2015, to make him do what he should have done months ago.

The information about this issue remains interesting. Failure to Appear in Arizona Revised Statutes says under A.R.S. §13-2506, “A. A person commits failure to appear in the second degree if, having been required by law to appear in connection with any misdemeanor or petty offense, such person knowingly fails to appear as required, regardless of the disposition of the charge requiring the appearance.  1. Failure to appear in the second degree is a class 1 misdemeanor.”

I discovered that in Arizona misdemeanors are divided into 3 categories: Class 1, Class 2 and Class 3. Class 1 misdemeanors are the most serious. The maximum penalties are:

  • Class 1 misdemeanor: up to $2,500.00 fine and six months in jail;
  • Class 2 misdemeanor: up to $750.00 fine and four months in jail;
  • Class 3 misdemeanor: up to $500.00 fine and 30 days in jail.

Many citizens contacted me asking what could be done (this was before it was learned that the bond had been paid recently). The disturbing answer is absolutely nothing. Many wanted to put pressure on the city council to take some sort of action. According to the City Council Guidelines the most severe penalty available for a councilmember is, “(council will) determine what sanction is most appropriate; customarily, sanctions are limited to a letter of reprimand or censure.” Here is the link to City Council Guidelines: http://www.glendaleaz.com/CityCouncil/documents/C-Guidelinesamended2-24-2015CLEAN.pdf . There are no teeth within the City Council Guidelines and a legal issue could not be addressed by the city council.

I would suggest that it is time for city council to look at this issue. One cannot forget that at one time, 4 councilmembers were under indictment for backdating documents. The charges were eventually dismissed due to a technicality. As a result of council’s inability to address that issue, they remained seated during the legal process and even voted in the affirmative to make sure their legal fees were paid by the city. Perhaps the solution is to place the councilmember(s) on leave until the legal process resolves itself.

However, there is also the matter of the City Attorney. The City Attorney should be concerned about Sherwood’s use of a city ProCard to rent and park a vehicle during his St.Paul/Minneapolis trip on 8/13/2014 during another alleged license suspension. What if there had been an accident? The city surely would have been liable because of the use of its ProCard. It’s the stuff of which City Attorney nightmares are made. At the very least the City Attorney should require immediate reimbursement of the vehicle rental and parking fees. More importantly, perhaps this event warrants removing Sherwood’s ProCard use. Then there is the issue of Sherwood’s reimbursement for mileage during suspension. I would think that might be a legal can of worms as well. Again, at the very least it should require reimbursement to the city.

As for the Glendale Police Department’s arrest of Sherwood it becomes a moot point as he satisfied the bond associated with the warrant for his arrest since the publication of my recent blog.

Even if Sherwood has secured an attorney to deal with these allegations and they are adjucated, that does not mitigate his seeming disregard for the law. It speaks to his character…or lack thereof.

The voters of the Sahuaro district are the only ones who have the power in this situation as there is a Recall Election looming on November 3, 2015. Character is just one of the elements to consider in casting one’s vote. They have the power to decide if Sherwood’s character merits his removal as their councilmember. They do have a choice. Mr. Ray Malnar is running against Sherwood and I suspect his character is not in question.

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

In political terms the Sherwood recall election is coming very soon…November 3, 2015. On the ballot you will see no rebuttal statement by Sherwood because he filed his statement after the mandated deadline. His failure to interpret the fine print is a typical Sherwood failing. He has often had to amend his campaign filings for the very same reason and he has been fined by the City Clerk for filing required documents late.

Sherwood created the mess that he is in. He reneged on his campaign platform almost immediately. He appears to have cut a deal with Councilmember Chavira and so he voted for the casino and in turn, Chavira voted for the Coyotes. His public announcement of his private interview with former City Manager Brenda Fischer immediately raised eyebrows. Once Fischer was on board he aligned himself with her, Frisoni and Burdick. There were reports of his having lunch with them individually on a regular basis.

The office of councilmember beguiled Sherwood. Now he was somebody. He reveled in associating with the big dogs…Anthony LeBlanc, Michael Bidwill, Ned Norris, Jr. and Mark Becker. He not only advocated for their projects he was their biggest champion and constantly referred to his private conversations with them. He dropped names and made sure everyone knew he was their buddy.

After only a few weeks in office he began gunning for Mayor Weiers and brought topics to council workshop that he hoped would embarrass the mayor all the while proclaiming on city hall’s 4th floor that he was the “real” mayor of Glendale. Sherwood quickly became full of himself. He refused to listen to his constituency on issues such as Becker billboards and the library. When they spoke publicly he often denigrated and demeaned them. He failed to communicate on a regular basis with the people in his district. He failed to advise his constituents of important meeting dates on hot topics…such as the possible closure of the Foothills Library.

Sherwood dug his own hole with his seeming arrogance, cronyism and lust for power. If my unscientific poll on this blog is any indication, Mr. Ray Malnar, has an excellent chance of taking the Sahuaro district council seat. Right now there are 151 votes (74%) against Sherwood and only 54 (26%) for Sherwood. I suspect these results will be mirrored in the Recall Election on November 3, 2015.

Who is Ray Malnar, Sherwood’s opponent? I had an opportunity to sit down with Mr. Malnar over a cup of coffee (in my case, tea). He is a breath of fresh air and couldn’t be more different from Sherwood. Mr. Malnar is a man grounded by family, friends and his faith. He is a small business owner of All Stone Tile & Wood Restoration, a licensed and bonded company in business since 1995.

Mr. Malnar has not served on a Glendale Board or Commission but so what…neither did I when I ran for my council seat. Serving on a board or commission signals that a candidate may have been co-opted by the city and may have developed sympathies for city positions on issues. He has been involved in the life of our community in other, equally impressive ways. He currently serves as a Court Mediator and Court Hearing Officer for the Maricopa County Justice Court. He is a current board member of Choice Academies and the West-Mec School District. He was a Boy Scout leader for 15 years and has been involved in various church activities.

He is a graduate of the University of Utah and has a BS in finance, a BA in speech and communications and an MBA. His intellectual strengths are in finance, accounting, information systems, general business management and governmental affairs. He is not self-effacing but is quietly confident. He is eager to build relationships that foster trust and believes in empowering others. He is a gentleman and shows respect for all. He genuinely listens to those who wish to share their concerns or different points of view with him.

The voters of the Sahuaro district do have a choice on November 3, 2015. They can choose Sherwood and receive the same lack of representation, the same arrogance and the same distain for views he does not share. Or they can choose Ray Malnar, a man who has committed to representing his future constituents, who respects others and a man who has business and finance experience. Nationally we hear every day that the electorate is seeking change. Voters of the Sahuaro district have a rare opportunity to do the same by voting for Ray Malnar.

If you think it is time for a change in Sahuaro district representation please share this blog with family, friends and neighbors. Let them know they have a choice in November. Let them know they can vote for a good, solid candidate, Ray Malnar, who will do what Gary Sherwood failed to do…represent them.

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

On May 23, 2015 the Tohono O’odham Nation published the results of their May 23, 2015 election for all leadership positions within the Nation. Being far more circumspect than we “white eyes” there are no vote totals only a certified announcement of the winners for Chair and Vice Chair and the various districts that comprise the TO Nation. The new Chairperson is Edward D. Manuel and the new Vice Chairperson is Verlon M. Jose. Here is the link: http://www.tonation-nsn.gov/uploads/announcement/General%20Election%20results%20-%20T.O.Nation%202015.pdf . Newly elected Chairman Manuel previously served as Tribal Chairperson from 1995 to 2003.

How will this election affect the temporary casino in Glendale? Probably not much. Events are in play that are yet to be decided such as the 9th Circuit Court case and the congressional Keep the Promise Act of 2015 yet to be voted upon by the full House and Senate. Then there is the State of Arizona’s decision to deny a gambling license for the new casino.

Ned Norris Jr.’s reputation took a big hit over the Glendale casino issue. He is viewed by many of his sister tribes as having lied to them during the 2002 campaign to pass the voter approved State Gaming Compact. His demeanor in dealing with Glendale has been generally very abrasive. As the face of the Tohono O’odham Nation he appeared to be arrogant and rather uncompromising.

This result could have a far greater effect upon Councilmember Gary Sherwood and the Recall Election he faces this November. Sherwood and Norris were very closely aligned and in fact, testified together in support of the casino at Senate Indian Affairs Committee hearings. There is probably an expectation by Sherwood that after all that he has done to further their agenda that they owe him. However, the Tohono O’odham got what they wanted out of Sherwood and now he is just negative baggage. He may not get a healthy dose of their financial support that he appears to accept as his due for his recall campaign.

On to another note. Mayor Jerry Weiers announced on May 21, 2015 at a Glendale Chamber of Commerce “Business after Hours” event that he is seeking reelection as mayor. It certainly wasn’t done with any fanfare or press conference. Rather his announcement came in the form of a tweet. Oh well, if he and his campaign manager thinks that it does the job, so be it.

He is sure to have one or more challengers. Look for Jamie Aldama, Gary Sherwood or someone completely out of the blue. Let’s hope he is challenged for that puts pressure on a candidate to lay out goals and expectations. It helps the voter to be better informed.

His first term was generally unspectacular…no major initiatives, no major goals other than care taking of existent government. That’s not a bad thing but one would hope that he might express his vision for Glendale as well as his priorities for its future. No matter what the future for Jerry Weiers or any opposition he may face I wish him and any challengers well. Let the political games begin!

© Joyce Clark, 2015

FAIR USE NOTICE

This site contains copyrighted material the use of which is in accordance with Title 17 U.S. C., Section 107. The material on this site is distributed without profit to those who have not always been specifically authorized by the copyright owner. We are making such material available in our efforts to advance understanding of environmental, political, human rights, economic, democratic, scientific and social justice issues, etc. We believe this constitutes a ‘fair use’ of any such copyrighted material as provided for in Section 107 of the US Copyright Law and who have expressed a prior interest in receiving the included information for research and educational purposes. For more information go to http://www.law.cornell.edu/uscode/17/107.shtml. If you wish to use copyrighted material from this site for purposes of your own that go beyond ‘fair use,’ you must obtain permission from the copyright owner.

It has been 17 years and 140 days since the city’s pledge to build the West Branch Library.

For the first time ever at the May 26, 2015 city council meeting the council will vote to set a recall election date of November 3, 2015. Councilmember Sherwood has got to be desperate. From the number of Sahuaro district registered voters willing and eager to sign a petition calling for his recall is a pretty clear indicator that he cannot win.

Instead of realizing his ambition to become Glendale’s next mayor he faces the humiliating prospect of a recall against him. Desperate people do desperate things. I am convinced that he, and most likely his strongest supporter, the Glendale Fire Union, will attempt some last ditch, legal maneuver to delay the election.  I wouldn’t put it past them. A legal effort to delay the election may cause some Sahuaro district voters to not participate if they know the regular election for that seat occurs in November of 2016. Sherwood hints of this prospect,“if there is this supposed ground swell of dissatisfaction with me, I’m up for reelection next nine months later in August ’16.”

Here is the link to the May 19, 2015 edition of the Glendale Star:  http://www.glendalestar.com/news/article_b6d4fd24-fe45-11e4-86a1-6f00d1c2d6ea.html

In an article written by Darrel Jackson entitled Sherwood faces recall, Sherwood states, “I’m very proud of my record and I have extended an inordinate amount of energy hoping to cover for the lack of leadership that has existed with my fellow policy makers these nearly past two and a half past years.” If I were the mayor or his fellow councilmembers I would be quite angry with Sherwood’s trashing of their performance. This is one seemingly arrogant fellow believing that he is Superman saving Glendale from 6 Jesters.

Sherwood in the Jackson article goes on to say , “he helped negotiate an agreement with the tribe (Tohono O’odham) worth more than $26 million for Glendale over 20 years.” He shouldn’t be quite so proud of that fact. That very same land had it not become a reservation and had been privately developed as offices, would have generated an estimated $4 to $5 million a year in various taxes. Since when is a little over a million dollars a year better than 4 or 5 million dollars a year?

Sherwood’s commentary in the Jackson article demonstrates that when Sherwood is backed into a corner, it seems he can be quite vicious as he blames the current council for the resignation of former City Manager Brenda Fischer (his buddy) and Assistant City Manager Julie Frisoni (another buddy). The current rumor is that Sherwood has hired Julie Frisoni’s new consulting firm as his campaign consultant. That shouldn’t surprise anyone as it appears that Sherwood met often with Frisoni on city business that met his agenda. We can add Frisoni to the list of supporters that appear to include the Glendale Fire Union, Mark Becker of Becker Billboards and Jason Rose of the Rose Law Group.

Look for Sherwood and his supporters to file something to delay the election before the council May 26th meeting and vote. How creative can they be? I expect we’ll find out shortly.

© Joyce Clark, 2015

FAIR USE NOTICE

This site contains copyrighted material the use of which is in accordance with Title 17 U.S. C., Section 107. The material on this site is distributed without profit to those who have not always been specifically authorized by the copyright owner. We are making such material available in our efforts to advance understanding of environmental, political, human rights, economic, democratic, scientific and social justice issues, etc. We believe this constitutes a ‘fair use’ of any such copyrighted material as provided for in Section 107 of the US Copyright Law and who have expressed a prior interest in receiving the included information for research and educational purposes. For more information go to http://www.law.cornell.edu/uscode/17/107.shtml. If you wish to use copyrighted material from this site for purposes of your own that go beyond ‘fair use,’ you must obtain permission from the copyright owner.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

© Joyce Clark, 2015

FAIR USE NOTICE

This site contains copyrighted material the use of which is in accordance with Title 17 U.S. C., Section 107. The material on this site is distributed without profit to those who have not always been specifically authorized by the copyright owner. We are making such material available in our efforts to advance understanding of environmental, political, human rights, economic, democratic, scientific and social justice issues, etc. We believe this constitutes a ‘fair use’ of any such copyrighted material as provided for in Section 107 of the US Copyright Law and who have expressed a prior interest in receiving the included information for research and educational purposes. For more information go to http://www.law.cornell.edu/uscode/17/107.shtml. If you wish to use copyrighted material from this site for purposes of your own that go beyond ‘fair use,’ you must obtain permission from the copyright owner.

It has been 17 years and 110 days since the city’s pledge to build the West Branch Library.

On April 9, 2015 we learned that the state Attorney General’s Office has declined to file charges on the allegations of Open Meeting Law violations facing Councilmembers Gary Sherwood and Sammy Chavira and former Councilmembers Manny Martinez and Yvonne Knaack. It comes as no surprise considering the fact that the attorney general’s office primarily relied on depositions provided by the four current and previous councilmembers. You can be sure each of them had an attorney at their elbow as they responded to the AG’s questions.

Some additional comments about the proposed library dispenser are in order. It’s remoteness and decidedly dark location is problematical. Additional lighting would have to be added driving up the cost of the project. There are limitations, depending on the type of book dispenser purchased, on the size of the book that can be placed in the machine…ummm. Three years ago this was a very popular pilot project especially in remote locations in California. Feedback indicates that over time, fewer and fewer books were retrieved from their dispensers as patrons turned to e-books. Perhaps the money would be better spent on expanding the number of e-book licenses purchased by the Glendale system.

At their last workshop session the Glendale city council approved the concept of naming streets (and perhaps Glendale public property) after prominent public figures. The first two personages mentioned were Martin Luther King Jr. and Caesar Chavez…let’s add George Washington and Abraham Lincoln to that list. What about Thomas Edison or Albert Enistein? Or Max Klass, Anthony Holly and Pat Campbell? Do you see where this is going? The list of worthy people is endless and that’s when the fight starts. That is why previous councils, wisely, never went down this path.

Have you taken a look at the city’s website lately? Don’t bother. It hasn’t been updated since God created dirt. Funny, the city hired a person to manage and to update the site. Guess it’s yet another “Where’s Waldo” situation. If anyone finds this person, please ask him/her to get to work.

The Recall Councilman Sherwood Committee remains on track to collect more than the required number of signatures to mandate a recall election. If you are interested in signing the petition and live in the Sahuaro district please go to www.stopsherwood.com .

After three months Councilmember Jamie Aldama remains AWOL for one neighborhood in particular as they wrestle with code issues.

Are there any outstanding Glendale issues that you would like to see covered? If so, please email clarkjv@aol.com with your suggestions.

© Joyce Clark, 2015

FAIR USE NOTICE

This site contains copyrighted material the use of which is in accordance with Title 17 U.S. C., Section 107. The material on this site is distributed without profit to those who have not always been specifically authorized by the copyright owner. We are making such material available in our efforts to advance understanding of environmental, political, human rights, economic, democratic, scientific and social justice issues, etc. We believe this constitutes a ‘fair use’ of any such copyrighted material as provided for in Section 107 of the US Copyright Law and who have expressed a prior interest in receiving the included information for research and educational purposes. For more information go to http://www.law.cornell.edu/uscode/17/107.shtml. If you wish to use copyrighted material from this site for purposes of your own that go beyond ‘fair use,’ you must obtain permission from the copyright owner.

It has been 17 years and 81 days since the city’s pledge to build the West Branch Library.

I received the following press release today, March 23, 2015 from the Recall Councilman Gary Sherwood Committee.

“For Immediate Release:

Recall Councilman Gary Sherwood Campaign In Full Swing

March 15, 2015 – Glendale, Arizona

“The Recall Councilman Gary Sherwood Committee announced today the launch of its website, STOP SHERWOOD, a new contact point for the recall of Gary Sherwood, the current Councilmember from Glendale’s Sahuaro District as well as its signature-gathering petition drive.

“Committee Chairperson Anna Lee said, ‘The Stop Sherwood website contains pages and pages of documents that prove what Gary Sherwood has done against the interests of Glendale and its citizens, especially those of us he is supposed to be representing, here in the Sahuaro District. It also contains contact information for those who want to sign a petition, share their experiences, put a sign in their yard or join the campaign. We will also be adding a Calendar of Events page so the public can attend rallies and other functions pertaining to the Sherwood recall.’

“This, the committee’s second effort to unseat Councilmember Sherwood, was filed February 20, 2015. The first time, the committee attempted to submit nearly 4,400 Sahuaro District voter signatures to the City Clerk’s office, but because of a technicality in the printing on the petition form, they were all invalidated. Lee said, “What a shame! More people signed a petition to get Sherwood out of office than voted for him in the first place.  We will be sure that these constituents are heard from in this campaign.”

“The Recall Councilman Gary Sherwood Committee has already begun its petition campaign to once again gather the required signatures for a recall vote. “Our website and the aggressive outreach campaign we have planned should get the word out. We know we’ll prevail this time,” said Lee.

“For more information about the STOP SHERWOOD recall campaign, call the committee message phone at 602.657.0303, e-mail: info@stopsherwood.com, or visit: www.stopsherwood.com.

###

Contact:  Anna Lee, 602-657-0303 / info@stopsherwood.com

On Monday, March 16, 2015 the Glendale city council held a special workshop meeting. The only agenda item was the Public Safety Personnel Retirement System (PSPRC). There were 4 presenters: Brian Jeffries, President of the Professional Firefighters of Arizona (PFFA); Scott McCarty, representing the Arizona League of Cities and Towns Pension Reform Task Force; Justin Harris, President of the Glendale Law Enforcement Association (GLEA) and Secretary of the Arizona Police Officers Association (APOA); and Julie Pendergast, President of the Glendale Chapter of the Arizona Fraternal Order of Police (Glendale FOP) and Co-Chair of the Glendale Law Enforcement Coalition (GLEA +GFOP).

Mr. Jeffries (PFFA) began with a 35 minute presentation of the history and background of the PSPRC; legal challenges as a result of SB 1609 passed by the Arizona Legislature in 2014; and the state fire union’s call for a constitutional amendment to the state constitution. Mr. Jeffries was articulate and offered a slick presentation. One can appreciate why he is the president of the state fire union.

He acknowledged as their partners in seeking a constitutional amendment several law firms hired by the union; TriAdvocates hired by the union as their communications arm; the Fire Chiefs Union and the Fire Districts Association; and last but not least, the Fraternal Order of Police, the Arizona Police Association and the Arizona Highway Patrol Association.

He did clarify at one point, that while law enforcement had attended fire’s meetings on the issue of pension reform it was there to observe rather than as an active participant.

In essence, Jeffries was asking for council to sign on as a supporter of their constitutional amendment proposal. Their fire referendum’s basic language states, “The benefits of the beneficiaries shall neither be diminished nor impaired except for the provisions on Bill xxxx (sic), as passed by the legislature in 2014.” I don’t pretend to be an expert on SB 1609 and its provisions but it appears as if the fire union really, really wants this bill – to the extent that they want it to be a constitutional amendment. They don’t appear to be interested in true pension reform.

There have been lawsuits filed against SB 1609 and in the Harris case, one provision relating to retiree benefits has been struck down successfully. Another case, the Hall case relating to active personnel benefits, looks like it, too, will be struck down successfully.

Despite those provisions being removed the fire union still wants this bill to remain in perpetuity. Jeffries threw down the gauntlet when he proclaimed that the fire union wanted action now and were prepared to mount a statewide referendum campaign to get it on the ballot this year. We should all be asking, why the rush? Next year, 2016, there will be a presidential election and it could be on the ballot at that time. Instead they are ready to fund it and run it as a full, political operation with TV advertising, direct mail and a statewide grassroots effort – now, right now. The question remains, why?

The next presenter, Scott McCarty represents the Arizona League of Cities and Towns. The league, last June, put together a task force on pension reform. The League is taking a measured approach and is currently preparing a Draft Yardstick of pension reform goals, measurements and outcomes. In May or June of this year, they will compare the fire union’s proposal against their Draft Yardstick and by August, 2015 they will present their proposal for pension reform along with their findings of the fire union proposal to all participating cities at their Annual League Meeting.

Last up were Justin Harris (GLEA) and Julie Pendergast (Glendale FOP). Mr. Harris spoke on behalf of both Glendale police unions. He disputed Jefferies’ assertions that the police were on board by unequivocally stating, “The police union is not working in ‘concert’ with the fire union.” He went on to say, “Currently the police union is at odds with the fire union over an agreeable solution.” He said, “The police union wants a plan that is legitimate, legal and long standing.” If Mr. Jeffries’ statements about police union support for this constitutional amendment were in fact, misstatements, what else in his presentation was a misstatement?

Mayor Weiers made some interesting comments. He explained that at the time SB 1069 was introduced, he was Chair of the House Rules Committee. Upon legal advice he came to the opinion that SB 1069 was unconstitutional and would face legal challenges. Kirk Adams was former House Speaker and fully supported SB 1069. In essence, Mayor Weiers said Adams threatened him with removal of his chairmanship if he did not pass SB 1069 out of committee. Weiers acceded.

Weiers also stated that Mike Colletto of the Professional Fire Fighters Association was opposed to the bill but eventually caved and joined in signing off on it. It just so happens that Kirk Adams is Chief of Staff for newly elected Governor Doug Ducey. So don’t be surprised if the fire union effort eventually receives an endorsement from the Governor’s office.

Mayor Weiers then asked Acting City Manager Dick Bowers if this agenda item was informational or required direction because…he and the rest of council had received an email from…you, guessed it…Councilmember Gary Sherwood…asking that council give direction to place this item on an evening voting meeting agenda so that council could support the fire union’s proposed statewide referendum. Doesn’t Sherwood ever quit?

Councilmember Chavira, a firefighter for Phoenix, just couldn’t stand Mayor Weiers’ characterization of his self proclaimed mentor, Mike Colletto and said, “I never saw Mike Colleto cave on anything.” After thanking Jeffries profusely for his “complete presentation” (he almost said “complex”) he then went on to chide the council by stating the need for “solidarity” between the two unions implying that shamefully the police unions were not standing toe to toe with their brother union.

The most important lesson coming out of this informational presentation is that cooler heads…a majority of them…prevail. Those cooler heads are willing to take the time necessary to come up with public safety pension reform, built on compromise, that will stand up to legal challenge and last over time. The fire union’s proposed constitutional amendment speaks to a hidden agenda…what do you think it is?

© Joyce Clark, 2015

FAIR USE NOTICE

This site contains copyrighted material the use of which is in accordance with Title 17 U.S. C., Section 107. The material on this site is distributed without profit to those who have not always been specifically authorized by the copyright owner. We are making such material available in our efforts to advance understanding of environmental, political, human rights, economic, democratic, scientific and social justice issues, etc. We believe this constitutes a ‘fair use’ of any such copyrighted material as provided for in Section 107 of the US Copyright Law and who have expressed a prior interest in receiving the included information for research and educational purposes. For more information go to http://www.law.cornell.edu/uscode/17/107.shtml. If you wish to use copyrighted material from this site for purposes of your own that go beyond ‘fair use,’ you must obtain permission from the copyright owner.

March 19, 2015….17 years and 78 days without a West Branch Library

Please note: From now on my header will contain the length of time West Glendale has been waiting for its long promised library.

It’s only been a few weeks since former City Manager Brenda Fischer resigned and her “publicists” remain hard at work. I have no doubt there will be more positive stories planted in the local media about the “great job” Fischer did in her 17 months in Glendale.

On March 13, 2015 Eric Jay Toll authored an article entitled “The two sides of the Fischer-Weiers split” in the Phoenix Business Journal. Unfortunately unless one has a paid subscription one cannot read the entire article as the website only posts a paragraph or two. As luck would have it, my neighbor does subscribe and gave me his copy.

There was one very notable quote in the article. “Brenda Fischer was good to employees, and she was good for business in the city,” said Glendale Firefighters Association President Joe Hester. “When she left, it was an extreme disappointment. I’ve worked with a number of city managers and she was the first one I’ve worked with who was fully transparent, operated with integrity and had a word that could be trusted.”

Is Joe Hester implying that Interim City Manager Dick Bowers is not “fully transparent,” does not “operate with integrity” and his word is not to “be trusted?” After all, Hester states categorically that she was the first city manger that he worked with who embodied those qualities. Dick Bowers, former City Manager of Scottsdale for many years, is a person with an impeccable reputation of the utmost integrity, transparency and trust. If I were Mr. Bowers I would be none too happy with Mr. Hester’s remarks.

Hester has only been President of the Glendale Firefighters Association for a few years. As president of the union he did not work with Dr. Martin Vanacour, Glendale’s City Manager from 1985 to 2001. If he worked with Glendale’s next City Manager from 2001 to 2012, Ed Beasley, it was for a very brief time prior to Beasley’s departure. So who did Hester work with? That leaves Horatio Skeete, City Manager for about 4 or 5 months in 2012; Dick Bowers for approximately 8 months in 2012 to 2013; Brenda Fischer for 17 months from 2013 to 2015; and now Dick Bowers again. It appears that the number of city managers with whom Hester has worked is three. His characterization of a “number of city managers” would lead one to believe that there have been scads of them. Hmmm.

Then again, of course Mr. Hester was delighted to have Fischer as Glendale’s city manager and why not? Ms. Fischer’s husband was, and may still be for all I know, a firefighter in Henderson, Nevada. It is understandable that Ms. Fischer’s natural bias would be in favor of the firefighters. Wouldn’t Hester feel he had a sympathetic ear when it came to firefighter goals and issues?

Mr. Hester also stated that Ms. Fischer was “good for business in the city.” Perhaps he should have checked with Robert Heidt Jr., President and CEO of the Glendale Chamber of Commerce. I don’t think anyone has forgotten Ms. Fischer’s temper tantrum directed at Mr. Heidt at the Yard House restaurant…a very public place.

Mr. Toll’s headline for his article, “The two sides of the Fischer-Weiers split” implies that Mayor Weiers was responsible for her leaving. Not so. Ms. Fischer was capable of causing it all on her own. Her actions including promoting Julie Frisoni as Assistant City Manager when she was unqualified for the position at the time; her very public berating of the Glendale Chamber President; her perceived advocacy for one councilmember’s (Gary Sherwood) agenda; and her brazen request for three sitting councilmember’s emails were more than enough to sour a majority of council on her leadership.

Many have come to the conclusion that Ms. Fischer orchestrated her own demise as Glendale’s city manager.

© Joyce Clark, 2015

FAIR USE NOTICE

This site contains copyrighted material the use of which is in accordance with Title 17 U.S. C., Section 107. The material on this site is distributed without profit to those who have not always been specifically authorized by the copyright owner. We are making such material available in our efforts to advance understanding of environmental, political, human rights, economic, democratic, scientific and social justice issues, etc. We believe this constitutes a ‘fair use’ of any such copyrighted material as provided for in Section 107 of the US Copyright Law and who have expressed a prior interest in receiving the included information for research and educational purposes. For more information go to http://www.law.cornell.edu/uscode/17/107.shtml. If you wish to use copyrighted material from this site for purposes of your own that go beyond ‘fair use,’ you must obtain permission from the copyright owner.

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