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Joyce Clark Unfiltered

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Campaign finance reports were due by 5 PM on Thursday, September 29, 2016. As of this posting (after 5 PM on Friday, September 30, 2016) Sammy Chavira’s campaign filing report has not been posted by the City Clerk. Why, you say? Because Sammy has not turned it in. Sammy apparently believes that the laws that everyone tries to uphold do not apply to him. It’s not terribly surprising considering his attitude toward a simple traffic ticket. He failed to appear in court and subsequently had his driver’s license suspended. In addition the Campaign for Truth and Leadership committee and Fire Fighters interested in Registration and Education PAC have not turned in their latest and now overdue campaign finance reports either. These organizations spent a considerable amount of money in support of Sammy’s reelection.

The amount of money spent on the Glendale mayoral race is truly astounding. Burdick reported spending $121,489.60 and Weiers spent $107,356.97. The total for these two races is $228,846.57 or slightly over a quarter of a million dollars. What bumped up the numbers was for the first time there were TV ads, notoriously expensive. Burdick led the way with TV ads beginning during the Republican convention in mid-July and they were run repeatedly and relentlessly until August 30, 2016, the day of the Primary Election. Weiers had no option but to run his own series of TV ads.

It appears from now on a person should not consider running for mayor in Glendale unless he or she can amass a war chest of a minimum of $100,000. That will put many would-be candidates out of the race. It’s a shame that it has come to that.

There could be as many as four aspirants in the 2020 election for mayor. Many suspect that former Councilmember Yvonne Knaack still harbors ambitions. Add to that Councilmembers Turner, Tolmachoff and Aldama, all of whom seem to be jockeying for a run. Throw in a dash of former Assistant City Manager and major player in the Burdick failed contest, Julie Frisoni. During the election season some voters received a survey call asking for a favorable or unfavorable opinion of Julie Frisoni. Many considered it strange since she wasn’t running. It seems she may be preparing for a political future and could decide to run against Lauren Tolmachoff for the Cholla district seat or perhaps…gasp…mayor. A Cholla city council seat  seemed a far more likely proposition if Burdick had won the mayoral contest but despite the outcome Frisoni and her backers may decide to give it or a mayoral race  a try in 2018.

In the other races more modest sums were spent: Vice Mayor Ian Hugh spent $26,815.31; Councilmember Ray Malnar spent $11,696.13 and I spent $11,489.70. Collectively that amounts to $50,001.14. However, we do know from Sammy’s previous campaign report that he had already spent $57,905.98 and we will await seeing what shows up in his overdue report. So far, the collective total for council races is $107,907.12. Anywhere from $10,000 to $40,000 is a typical amount that is usually spent on a Glendale city council race. In its previous campaign report, The Campaign for Truth and Leadership spent $45,218.56 (donated to it from the United Food Workers). The committee is now terminated. The entire amount was not spent on pro Burdick and pro Chavira mailers or anti Weiers or anti Clark mailers (about $30,000). Some of the funds (about $15,000) was spent in support of Larkin and Andrade.

Let’s total what we know has been spent in Glendale’s elections per the latest submitted campaign finance reports. Two candidates spent $228,846.57 on the mayoral races; $107,907.12 was spent on the 3 city council races; and another $30,000 was spent by an Independent Committee. That totals $336,753.69. I suspect Sammy’s missing report will show additional expenditures of about $20,000 bringing the total spent in this round of Glendale elections to somewhere in the neighborhood of $350,000. That’s a surprisingly large amount of money to spend in a Glendale election cycle and has never occurred before.

I don’t have an answer to this escalation of political spending. A friend suggested that perhaps there should be a cap of maybe $50,000 for a mayoral race and $20,000 for a council race. It’s intriguing. It would cause the candidate to spend wisely and effectively. This person believes it would force candidates to have more interaction with voters and perhaps more reliance on social media which costs relatively nothing. What’s your take on the state of Glendale races?

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

Not only are we entering the intense portion of the national political season with the election of a new President but Glendale politics will soon heat up. Several have taken out nomination petition packets which are due in the City Clerk’s office between May 2, 2016 and June 1, 2016.

Current Mayor Jerry Weiers and mayoral contender Mark Burdick have already taken out nomination petition packets as have Vice Mayor Ian Hugh (Cactus district) and current Councilmember Ray Malnar (Sahuaro district) who recently unseated Gary Sherwood in a Recall Election. Neither of these current councilmembers, as of this date, faces a challenger. In the Yucca district current Councilmember Sammy Chavira has not taken out a nomination petition packet. Nor has anyone else.

On January 8, 2016 KJJJ radio aired interviews centered on the topic, “Is Glendale Bouncing Back?” It was a strange exercise as apparently Burdick had been interviewed by the station before talking to senior staff and Mayor Weiers and Vice Mayor Hugh. The consensus of senior staff and the Mayor and Vice Mayor is that Glendale has recovered but not completely. All felt there was more work to be done to achieve the holy grail of complete financial stability for Glendale. All believe Glendale is well on its way to doing so.

It was what mayoral candidate Mark Burdick said in this story that will trouble many. Burdick said the fire department needs more resources to reduce response times. The police department needs more detectives in north Glendale.” Despite the published fact that Fire Department response times have not increased in the past 5 years.

Everyone should be concerned that Burdick’s major agenda is throwing more money exclusively into the Fire Department. Burdick has acknowledged that the city is not in full financial recovery yet he is willing to take dollars…from somewhere…probably all other city departments…to throw to his favorite department…the Fire Department. What would one expect from a man who retired as Glendale’s Fire Chief? What else would one expect from a candidate who is counting on the tremendous financial and manpower support of the fire unions to try to capture the mayoral seat? He will owe them big time.

With regard to calling for more detectives in north Glendale Burdick is simply pandering to voter strength. It is no secret that the 3 north Glendale districts (Cholla, Sahuaro and Barrel) outvote the 3 south Glendale districts (Cactus, Ocotillo and Yucca) by a margin of 3 to 1. If he attempts to capture the majority of the voters in the 3 north Glendale districts he is going to have to promise them some goodies. Is it any wonder that he made a call for more detectives in north Glendale when more police personnel are needed throughout the city? It’s merely the first of what may be many goodies for north Glendale.

There is no doubt that every Glendale department is stretched thin as Glendale continues its path to full financial recovery. There is no doubt that every department has needs to be met. Allocating more money to the fire department must not occur at the expense of the many needs throughout Glendale.

The Fire Department and the Police Department must be thoroughly scrutinized under zero-based budgeting. Zero-based budgeting requires each department to begin with zero dollars and to justify the need for every dollar allocated to it. Explaining what dollars are needed and where they will be utilized provides openly transparent public knowledge to every Glendale taxpayer that must foot the bill.

Be careful of Burdick’s promises. His advisors, such as Julie Frisoni formerly embroiled in alleged shenanigans related to the $15 million dollar a year Coyotes contract, appear to be a very slick bunch not above promising those things that will garner him votes and using whatever dirty tricks are at their disposal. All signs point to a fierce fight for the mayoral seat and the fight has just begun…

© 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.

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