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Joyce Clark Unfiltered

For "the rest of the story"

It has been 17 years and 171 days since the city’s pledge to build the West Branch Library.

I have not only read Glendale’s motion but printed it out. Here is the link if you wish to read the motion: City of Glendale motion June 18 2015 . I have read and reread the motion several times. I suggest that you pay particular attention to the footnotes. In some aspects they are as revelatory as the emails provided in the brief.

Glendale could not have chosen a better attorney to represent its interests in its decision to cancel its contract with IceArizona and subsequent litigation. Here is a link to Cynthia Ricketts’ biography: http://sacksrickettscase.com/our-team/cynthia-a-ricketts/ . She is well respected by her peers and has extensive expertise in the area of litigation that the city requires.

If you noted in state statute A.R.S. § 38-511 it refers to any person “significantly involved in initiating, negotiating, securing, drafting or creating of documents.” Many have focused on the word “negotiating” especially with reference to Julie Frisoni. Please go to Frisoni’s PR website (http://www.frisonipr.com/whoweare/). This is a direct quote from her site, “Crisis communications, including NHL Coyotes negotiations and the near bankruptcy of a city.” It appears that Ms. Frisoni can’t have it both ways. There seems to be a conflict (no pun intended) between her claim on her website citing experience in “NHL Coyotes negotiations” and her recent public denials that she was merely a Communications Director.

Based upon my personal experience as a councilmember from 2000 through 2012 Ms. Frisoni was a close confidant of Ed Beasley, former City Manager, and Craig Tindall, former City Attorney. I did not have a great deal of interaction with Ms. Frisoni for I lacked trust in her. While she may or may not have had a hand in direct, face-to-face negotiations of the currently cancelled contract it appears quite evident that she played an essential role in securing (and insuring) council approval of the contract.

Prior to the contract’s approval by city council, on June 26, 2013, she sent talking points in support of the contract to Councilmember Chavira. In fact, Councilmember Chavira, one of only 2 council votes (the other being Sherwood) that did not support the recent vote to cancel the contract, is using many of those same talking points in his current Glendale Today show on Glendale’s Channel 11. Frisoni also sent an email on June 30, 2013, to the four councilmembers in support of the contract with IceArizona: Councilmembers Sherwood, Chavira, Knaack and Martinez. She seems to have deliberately omitted those that did not support it. In that email she passes on Jeff Teetsel’s (Westgate manager) arguments supporting passage of the contract.

I am quite unhappy with the alleged actions of former city attorney Craig Tindall. When city council originally hired him I was quite pleased. He appeared to be competent and articulate. In 2011 I began to hear rumors that he was supportive of an outside group interested in buying the Coyotes. Back then no one could or would tell me who the group was. Reading the emails between him and Anthony LeBlanc, one of the current Coyotes owners, I was unaware of their obviously close relationship dating back to at least 2010.  Little did anyone know they were meeting at their “usual starbucks.” It is now very difficult to accept the current parsing of words in an effort to minimize Tindall’s involvement in negotiating the IceArizona contract. It appears he was involved up to his lips.

It made me recall an incident at the end of 2012. The city was in the process of negotiation with a Coyotes team purchaser, Greg Jamison. I called Mr. Tindall with some technical questions about the deal. Cryptically, at the end of our telephonic conversation he remarked that if the Jamison deal didn’t make there was another group waiting in the wings. When I asked who, he refused to respond. In hindsight it now makes perfect sense but it raises more questions for me. I remember Interim City Manager Horatio Skeete telling me that Tindall appeared to be stalling and would hold Jamison documents on his desk for days. Skeete would make repeated requests for them which eventually would be fulfilled. Did Tindall deliberately sabotage the Jamison deal in an attempt to make available the opportunity for LeBlanc, et. al.? I honestly don’t know. You will have to decide for yourselves.

Tindall’s seeming self dealing is quite disappointing. As far back as April of 2010 in an email exchange between Daryl Jones of Ice Edge (precursor to IceArizona) Jones says they enjoyed working with Tindall and Tindall responds with “Now that’s an offer.” Was that Tindall’s subtle signal that he was angling for a job with them? Who knows? You decide. Or what about Tindall’s March, 2011, email exchange with LeBlanc urging LeBlanc to take a look at investing in a local medical device company? That action would seem to reinforce the notion that they had a close relationship. Or how about LeBlanc’s asking Tindall in October of 2011 if it was time to have a “confidential chat with Ed” (Beasley) as well as an email exchange between Tindall and LeBlanc about LeBlanc’s May, 2010 meeting with Steve E(llman)? What were these all about? We now know that LeBlanc wanted to buy the Coyotes even before the Jamison offer. We now know through more emails of Tindall’s effort to break a roadblock on July 26, 2013 (after the contract is approved) regarding the city’s paying IceArizona’s lenders directly? He emailed the newly hired City Manager (now former City Manager) Brenda Fischer apparently asserting that it was a simple administrative matter and appears to be urging her to take action.

The email exchange between former Mayor Scruggs and former City Manager Beasley are revealing as well. It appears as if the mayor was determined to get LeBlanc’s Lakehead Yale Sports Holding LLC “Plan B” before the city council in March of 2012. Once again Tindall’s name comes up when she says, “I have checked with Craig Tindall and Mr. LeBlanc’s letter is eligible for discussion under the items as posted.” Tindall seemed to be advocating for any LeBlanc deal.

The emails provided in the city’s motion to modify the Temporary Restraining Order are troubling. They are facts. They are the words of the principals involved. They are damning and not easily explained away.

I end with excepts from an email memo to the entire city council dated June 25, 2013 (a few weeks before council approval) from then Interim City Manager Dick Bowers:

  • “Contrary to what might appear in the papers I don’t see this as a ‘done deal’. Far from it. Discussions continued over the weekend and we have come only slightly closer to comfortable than before. Gary B(irnbaum) has helped to illustrate to the Renaissance group’s (eventually IceArizona) attorney the concerns we have. I suspect this has given them a degree of discomfort.”
  • “Glendale cannot afford a failure. The potential of failure exists as a dark shadow in the absence of the investors standing by their own numbers with confidence enough to simply take them for themselves and do the deal for 6.5.”
  • “While there are many ways to describe the Renaissance’s reluctance I keep coming back to that same discomfort of Glendale having all the risk in this deal. My concerns could mean nothing or they could represent an existential question that must be considered. Will this work for the benefit of the City of Glendale and what makes us firmly believe that it will?”

Mr. Bowers’ crystal ball was certainly working that day yet a few weeks later, 4 councilmembers, Yvonne Knaack, Manny Martinez, Gary Sherwood and Sammy Chavira voted in favor of the IceArizona lease management deal. I can understand Sherwood and Chavira’s approval votes. They appear to have been blindly joined at the hip with each other as well as IceArizona. The pro votes of Knaack and Martinez are not so easily understood. Each cited the well being of Westgate as a motivator for their decisions. It is troubling that they appear to have put the well being of Westgate over the well being of the City of Glendale. Why did they not heed the words of Interim City Manager Bowers?

No matter. What’s done is done. The discovery of Tindall’s and Frisoni’s actions provide the city with an opportunity to rectify one source of its annual bleeding…whether one uses $15M or $8.7M a year as the loss figure for the city. Many point to the annual debt payment for the Camelback Ranch Spring Training Facility (CRSTF). They say why focus on the arena when CRSTF is just as much of a financial drain. It is. I suspect in due time that financial albatross will be addressed. Development that should have occurred surrounding this facility never materialized as a result of the national recession. Without any promise of current economic development it is an issue the city must address in light of the fact that this council continues to fail to rein in city expenditures.

The pity of it all is the devastation caused to the coaches and players of the Coyotes team. They have been through so much since Moyes declared bankruptcy in 2009. None of it was of their making. They have become undeserved collateral damage. I hope and pray that their futures will once again become whole and they can take pride in playing under the Coyotes banner.

© Joyce Clark, 2015

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This site contains copyrighted material the use of which is in accordance with Title 17 U.S. C., Section 107. The 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.

City Manager Brenda Fischer announced that effective March 3, 2014 Julie Frisoni and Jennifer Campbell will become Assistant City Managers in Glendale. Let’s begin this exercise by reviewing the Human Resources requirements for the position. As of July 1, 2008 the last time the position was reviewed it required a “Master’s Degree in Public Administration, Business Administration, Management, or a related field and ten years of progressively responsible administrative experience in a municipal government organization with five of those years being in a municipal management position. Any equivalent combination of training and experience that provides the required knowledge, skills, and abilities, is qualifying.”

Jennifer Campbell has a master’s of education degree with an emphasis in leadership and public administration from Northern Arizona University and a bachelor’s degree in recreation management from Arizona State University. Campbell has more than 16 years in municipal government positions at the Cities of Peoria and Goodyear and, most recently, at the City of Maricopa as community services director.

Frisoni holds a bachelor’s degree in communications from Arizona State University and since 2002 (12 years) has worked for Glendale rising to Executive Director of Communications and Marketing. You will note that a master’s AND a minimum of ten years experience is required. Frisoni may have the years but she has no master’s.

Some will make the case that they are qualified due to the numbers of years of experience each has accrued for it certainly won’t be due to their educational qualifications as neither has a master’s in the requisite areas of public administration, business administration or management. It will be argued that both meet the minimum qualifications with a combination of training and experience. They may or may not but the kind of experience that both have amassed is of consideration.

Their Assistant City Manager functions include:

  • Provides administrative direction to the Deputy City Managers for their areas of responsibility in working towards the achievement of goals for the individual department(s) and the City of Glendale.
  • Manages the daily operations for the City of Glendale.
  • Serves as a member of the City’s top management team in establishing and maintaining good management policies and procedures.
  • Reviews the activities of the general operation to determine efficiency; confers and assists the City Manager in formulating a business strategy.
  • Advises the City Manager of issues and operational progress through oral and written reports.
  • Interprets and implements policies received from the City Manager and the City Council.  Provides administrative direction and support to staff in analyzing, developing, implementing and evaluating policies, programs and procedures.
  • Advises staff on major projects and in resolving conflicts and problems.
  • Represents and supports the policies of the city to members of the public, press, and civic groups.
  • Represent the City Manager during his/her absence.
  • Reviews annual city budget and makes recommendations to the City Manager

 “With these two appointments, the city is continuing to embark upon a continued direction of stability in our senior management organizational structure with seasoned professionals who have demonstrated a dedication to serving the public,” said Fischer. “Both Ms. Frisoni and Ms. Campbell share my vision and approach to local government management, including fiscal responsibility, open and transparent government, collaboration and excellent communication skills.”

The stage is now set and the cast of characters complete. At the helm is Brenda Fischer from the Town of Maricopa. Directly under her is Jennifer Campbell from the Town of Maricopa and Julie Frisoni, a member of former City Manager Ed Beasley’s “inner circle.” To round things out Michael Bailey is the new City Attorney. Bailey had or has close ties to former City Attorney Craig Tindall who sent the alleged and now infamous email solicitation on a city computer requesting consideration of his son when making a school tuition tax deductible donation. One of those on his recipient list was none other than…Michael Bailey. Add to this mix the new Executive Director of Finance, Tom Duensing, who also comes from the Town of Maricopa. The consolidation of power continues. Fischer has surrounded herself with former allies from Maricopa and others with ties to former City Manager regime. Those who have demonstrated records of competence and expertise, such as Stuart Kent, Jon Froke and Erik Strunk, are ignored. Palace intrigue has a new home and off with the heads of anyone who dares to challenge their agenda.

More disturbing is that these actions signal the end of an era in Glendale. For the 46 years that I have lived in Glendale, even when it experienced tremendous growth, it still retained a small, intimate hometown atmosphere. A good example is citizen volunteerism for city Boards and Commissions. For years council had no problem filling those positions and often had a waiting list. Why? Because people felt that they had the power to actually effectuate change. Their councilmembers and senior management staff were accessible to them and very responsive. They were not necessarily satisfied every time but response was immediate. There was a genuine connection between those who ran the city and those who lived in the city. Senior management staff often had lived in the city for years and had developed strong roots and a genuine interest in their community. All of that is gone. Today we have citizens with no deep ties to Glendale, expecting to move on because of job circumstances, familial reasons or simply with an itch to go someplace new to them. There is no cultivation of appreciation for Glendale and what it means in their lives. There is no waiting list to serve on a Board or Commission any longer. In fact, some volunteer positions go unfilled for extended periods of time.

Today we have senior management in positions of leadership with no historical memory of Glendale. You can see it when Tom Duensing is asked about transfers in previous years from the arts fund into the general fund and he has no clue, responding that he will have to get back to council after he has done some research on the issue. Gone are the Charlie McClendons, Paula Illardos, Grant Andersons, Jim Devines, David Prescotts, Ken Reedys, Rodeane Widoms, Lillian Hamiltons…who had a genuine love of Glendale, deep roots and vast historical memory.

Now those running Glendale consider it a “business.” The bottom line is paramount without any genuine sensitivity for how their decisions will impact the quality of life of its residents. Yes, they will probably dig Glendale out of its current fiscal crisis but at what cost to the heart and soul of a once great city renowned for its connection to its residents?

What about the current city council? So far they have abdicated their leadership roles to senior staff as they appear unable to come to grips with the fiscal crisis. Mayor Weiers tailors his actions to a reelection bid. Vice Mayor Knaack attempts to appease all. Councilmember Sherwood embraces the new “business” model. Councilmember Chavira is silent. Councilmember Alvarez is full of bitterness and negativism. Councilmember Hugh damaged by his close ties to Alvarez is ineffectual. Councilmember Martinez, as a lone voice, has flashes of remembrance of the essence of Glendale. None question or challenge deeply allowing themselves to be swept by the tide of fear that engulfs them. After all, it far easier to let senior staff make the decisions and simply accede to their recommendations. Ultimately council is responsible for the demise of Glendale as long time residents have known it and loved it. It is sad and deeply disappointing to watch events unfold. That is not to say change should not be embraced for change is necessary to survive. Will it be done with sensitivity and a velvet glove or bludgeon the city with a sledge hammer?

© Joyce Clark, 2014

FAIR USE NOTICE

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

As a result of an external audit that cost Glendale in excess of a half million dollars four city personnel either resigned or were terminated. Diane Goke, Budget Director and Sherry Schurhammer, Executive Director of Finance resigned. Horatio Skeete, Assistant City Manager (at the time in question he was a Deputy and Pam Kavanaugh was Assistant City Manager) and Don Bolton, Assistant Financial Officer were terminated by newly hired City Manager Brenda Fischer.

In an Arizona Republic article of October 21, 2013 entitled Appeals board: Staying quiet wasn’t option for ex-Glendale bookkeeper City Manager Brenda Fischer said, “City employees are duty bound to find a way to speak up when warranted.” Here is the link: http://www.azcentral.com/community/glendale/articles/20131018appeals-board-staying-quiet-wasnt-option-for-exglendale-bookkeeper.html . She goes on to say, “Whether it’s going around the management, whether it’s going to the (Attorney General’s) Office anonymously. We had an ethics hotline. They could have anonymously informed the media, put some public pressure on it. They could have written letters to the editor. They could have — if they were uncomfortable being asked to do something inappropriate or illegal — they could have resigned from their employment.” Uh, excuse me but rarely, if ever, are anonymous complaints considered legitimate by the media or Attorney General’s Office and followed up. Since when is a whistle blower required to resign to report wrong doing within the organization?

She must of course be referring to a world peopled by Mother Theresa. Not the real Glendale world as it existed four years ago. There is no such thing as a perfect world, not then and not now – the one that Fischer apparently believes existed at the time. Fischer acted upon her lack of knowledge and her inability to understand a Glendale ruled by City Manager Beasley. She came in as the new City Manager and felt that she needed to make a point.

It was a time of pervasive “Big Brotherism.” If any city personnel had any kind of interaction with a councilmember they were required to report it and its content. Former Councilmember Lieberman’s and my Council Assistant, Perry Baker (now deceased), was terminated because he refused to follow that City Manager directive. It was a time when the atmosphere was heavy with fear and intimidation for all personnel.

 Mr. Skeete and Mr. Bolton graciously shared their submitted correspondence to the city regarding this matter. Mr. Bolton, on page 5 of his correspondence stated, “At this time I would also like to point out that the CM (City Manager) and the executive management team controlled what items were placed on Council agenda’s (sic). The CM and executive management team also performed extensive reviews of all council reports and could slide presentations brought forward by any department. Therefore, all information regarding what to include or not include in any Council presentation had to be reviewed by the CM and executive management team before it could be presented to Council. These CM and executive management team reviews also include multiple ‘dry runs’ where presenters were asked to rehearse their verbal presentations of the content being present to a presenter’s planned ed. It was not uncommon for the CM and executive management team to request modifications verbal and/or slide presentations or the council reports.”

That comment leads to a question long unanswered. Why were these four people targeted exclusively? We know part of the answer. Beasley, Kavanaugh, Tindall, Lynch and Carmicle had left the employ of the city. But other executive management team members stayed and are still there to this day. On page 2 of Gallagher & Kennedy correspondence representing Mr. Skeete it says, “…the City Manager’s Executive Team, including the City Attorney, discussed the ERP (Early Retirement Program) on numerous occasions over the course of several months in 2008-09. Any notion that the staff supposedly tried to hide the ERP from the City Attorney is flatly incorrect.” On page 3 of Mr. Bolton’s correspondence he states, “My email on Exhibit 6 (dated December 15, 2008 used in the external audit) explicitly states…’Sherry, here is the file I received from Craig (Tindall) for the retirement incentive’.” It can be assumed that City Attorney Tindall as part of the Executive Management Team knew of the ERP and its implications. Yet he did not speak up in 2008-09. Why did he wait until 2012 when he was vying with Mr. Skeete for the job of Interim City Manager?

Who were the other members of the Executive Management Team, what did they know and when did they know it? Julie Frisoni as the City’s spokesperson was undoubtedly part of the Executive Management Team and there are emails in the external audit that reflect her knowledge of the Early Retirement Program. Her emails asking for clarification of the factual financial information to be publicly released indicate that she had knowledge of the ERP. Why did she not say anything? According to now City Manager Fischer, she had an obligation to report — to the press, the Attorney General’s Office or the employee hotline. Yeah, right. Keeping quiet got her an appointment by Fischer as an Interim Assistant City Manager, as unqualified as she may be.

The sad part of all of this is that those who appear to be primarily responsible remain unscathed and those who did their bidding at their direction took the pipe. Is life unfair? We all know that it can be but it hits home when it happens to people you know.

Staying quiet in Glendale was an employee’s only option then and guess what? It hasn’t changed. Staying quiet in Glendale is a smart employee option today unless you believe in Fairy Godmothers or Santa Claus.

© Joyce Clark, 2013

FAIR USE NOTICE
This site contains copyrighted material the use of which has. In accordance with Title 17 U.S.C. Section 107, the material on this site is distributed without profit to those not always been specifically authorized by the copyright owner. We are making such material available in our efforts to advance understanding of environmental, political, human rights, economic, democracy, scientific, and social justice issues, etc. We believe this constitutes a ‘fair use’ of any such copyrighted material as provided for in section 107 of the US Copyright Law 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.

Skeete

Interim City Manager
Horatio Skeete

Several sources have related that Interim City Manager Horatio Skeete is resigning. No news on who will take his place while City Council continues search for permanent City Manager.  House cleaning by a majority of this council continues.

With resignation of City Attorney Craig Tindall and now possibly Interim City Manager Horatio Skeete it appears Glendale will be adrift for awhile. This is occurring as the council prepares to take up budget discussions for Fiscal Year 2013-14. The two persons most knowledgeable about crafting a lease management agreement for Jobing.com Arena and keeping the Coyotes in Glendale are now or soon will be gone.

 

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Glendale City Attorney Craig Tindall

Glendale City Attorney
Craig Tindall

On Tuesday, February 26, 2013, the City Council held an Executive session for the express purpose of meeting with and discussing the performance of Craig Tindall, City Attorney. Oh, to have been a fly on the wall!

As with all E sessions we will never know exactly what took place and what was said. We do know that Tindall agreed orally to tender his resignation and we now await his formal letter of same. I suspect in the coming days leaks will pour from the City. It’s happened many times in the past and I expect it to occur this time.

Weiers

Mayor Weiers

Mayor Weiers announced that he had asked for Tindall’s resignation and today the Arizona Republic reported Weiers “citing a need to move in a different, more business-friendly, direction.” Weiers is trying to position himself as a strong mayor. Don’t be fooled. In Glendale the City Charter has established a Mayor-Manager form of government. It still takes four votes, or a majority, of the City Council to issue policy or to take any action, including that of asking the City Attorney for his resignation.  As much as Mayor Weiers would like to wave his scepter and make unilateral policy, he still needs to gather 3 more supporters from those pesky councilmembers.

Martinez Knaack Sherwood

Martinez-Knaack-Sherwood

Coalitions are forming among the City Council and their outlines are beginning to emerge. In the same news article, the Arizona Republic quoted Vice Mayor Knaack as saying, “Seriously, I’m going to cry.” One can read into that statement that the Vice Mayor was probably not in the coalition to boot Tindall out. It went on to quote Councilmember Gary Sherwood, “What I don’t like are the people who wanted him to be gone hiding behind a veil that said we’re going a different direction.” Hmmm…don’t think Sherwood was in favor of getting rid of Tindall either. Can we add anyone else to this emerging coalition? How about Councilmember Martinez? It’s no secret that he and Councilmember Alvarez have often clashed publicly. So Coalition #1 is comprised of Knaack, Sherwood and Martinez.

Norma Alvarez

Norma Alvarez

Hugh Chavira

Ian Hugh, Sam Chavira

Coalition #2, almost by default, is Alvarez, Hugh and Chavira. Make no mistake; Councilmember Alvarez is leading this coalition’s parade. Councilmembers Hugh and Chavira owe Alvarez for her marshaling of support for their successful runs, especially from the Tohono O’odham. Norma has said that Tindall “disrespected” her publicly. Why? Because he didn’t give her answers/opinions that supported her statements or her agenda? Which leads one to surmise that if one doesn’t support her point of view or agenda then one is being “disrespectful.”

What then about Mayor Weiers? Right now he’s in the catbird seat. Pick any issue and right now he has the luxury of jumping from one side to the other. He also has the luxury of furthering the animosity that already exists between the two coalitions. He can play both sides against the middle. Wow! All this from a guy who said he was a fence-mender and would work to create harmony on council.

I think what disturbs me about the situation as it played out is the absence of professionalism and the sense of urgency. Why? In four months Tindall would have faced his annual performance review by Council.  That time would have been appropriate for a parting of the ways and the avoidance of embarrassment to a Council appointed employee. Tindall, no matter your opinion of him, served this city for 12, almost 13 years and earned professional action regarding his employment.

I suspect the other Council appointed officials still standing, namely the Interim City Manager and the City Clerk, should be forewarned. A house cleaning appears to be occurring. Why only clean half your house when you can do it all?

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SkeeteEver since former City Manager Ed Beasley left, and perhaps before then…whoTindall knows?…there had been polite distain between Interim City Manager Horatio Skeete and City Attorney Craig Tindall. It came to a head when both men were considered for Interim City Manager. Each had their supporters among the then sitting Council but it was Skeete who prevailed and captured the assignment. As a former councilmember I had opportunity to see the divisiveness first hand.

It now appears that their mutual disdain may have grown to the point where it impedes the operation of the City. Rumors have flown that documents – think Coyotes documents – that needed confusion 3timely action often languished on a desk denying one or the other an opportunity to take action. Some say these actions, if occurring, are designed to make one or the other “look bad” and to destroy the current Council’s reliance and confidence in one or the other. It may have also provided an opportunity for certain people, within and without the organization, to use this circumstance to further their own agendas. These men need to visit the woodshed and be made to understand that such actions are unprofessional at the very least.

Many within Glendale government rely upon these men to insure that operations run smoothly. Theconfusion 2 City Council relies upon their work for information in their decision making processes. If two of the City’s most important managers are unable to work as a unit it creates confusion for everyone.

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Cornfields rippling

Posted by Joyce Clark on February 19, 2013
Posted in City of Glendale  | Tagged With: , , , , | 5 Comments

Rumors are like ripples in a cornfield. They are ephemeral, but they do indicate which way the wind is blowing. This little gem of thought comes from the book Aliens Adored by Susan J. Palmer.
In the absence of fact rumors grow and develop a life of their own. It must be Newton’s or somebody’s law that when a vacuum is created it will quickly fill with rumor and speculation.

Skeete

Horatio Skeete

The newest…well as of this morning…rumor has it that Interim City Manager Skeete may be using Beacon Sports Capital, www.beaconsportscapital.com, as the City’s negotiator with any and all groups/individuals who wish to buy the Coyotes and secure the arena management contract.

Sherwood

Gary Sherwood

It was clear in the February 5 City Council workshop that Councilmember Gary Sherwood called for a negotiator but there was certainly no audible support offered by the other Councilmembers and there was absolutely no direction given by a majority of Council. If it turns out to be true, the use of Beacon Sports may have been an independent action by Interim City Manager Skeete, as there was a plea by CM Norma Alvarez to Mayor Weiers to relinquish his information about the many potential buyers with which he claimed personal contact.

Or perhaps direction may have been given in the less than transparent executive session following that workshop. Rather oddly, objection to executive session decision making has been a recurring theme championed of CM Norma Alvarez and the notion of transparency was a campaign platform for newly elected CMs Ian Hugh, Sammy Chavira and Gary Sherwood. Go figure.

If this latest speculation has indeed occurred where is the public announcement coupled with  revelation about the cost to the City for this new consultancy contract? As a former CM, I seem to remember the need for a vote to hire a consultant unless public direction at workshop is given. I also seem to remember Councilwoman Alvarez’ two years of railing about the City’s use of consultants. Where is her outrage now or was she missing from Council yet again?

Why Beacon Sports? A long standing rumor is that they were involved in the BeaconMoyes bankruptcy. If that is true then what was their role during the bankruptcy? The sports industry is a tightly knit community and there is more than one source out there suggesting that Jerry Reinsdorf’s son Michael, International Facilities Group (IFG) Managing Director, www.ifgroup.cc, may have suggested the use of Beacon Sports to either Mayor Weiers, Interim City Manager Skeete or City Attorney Tindall.

IFGIFG was hired by the City to manage the construction of Jobing.com arena. Beacon Sports was hired by the City to prepare a report issued on February, 2011 that provided a rationale for the Hulsizer deal and the City’s purchase of parking rights for $100M. It almost sounds incestuous, doesn’t it? Does Michael Reinsdorf’s suggestion to use Beacon Sports, which might have been acted upon, give Jerry Reinsdorf and John Kaites an inside track on purchasing the Coyotes?

If any of the above speculation turns out to be true, I ask you.. is this any way to run a circus…er…City?
Check back later today for more rumor mongering after I winnow through the sudden spate of opinions and secret whisperings.

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