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Joyce Clark Unfiltered

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It has been 17 years and 221 days since the city’s pledge to build the West Branch Library.

So much for hiring an Afro-American as an Interim City Manager along with his side kick as the Interim Police Chief. Andre Anderson, on leave from Glendale, Arizona is Ferguson’s Interim Police Chief. On August 9, 2015 as he was being interviewed by CNN shots rang out once again in Ferguson on the anniversary of Michael Brown’s death. Here is a link to the less than 30 second video: http://www.theblaze.com/stories/2015/08/10/video-flurry-of-gunfire-interrupts-interim-ferguson-police-chiefs-interview-about-being-patient-with-protesters/ . As the gunfire erupts Anderson looks like a deer caught in the head lights while saying, “We’re explaining them their rights and we just want to be as patient as possible.”

As new violence hallmarked the anniversary St. Louis County Police Chief Jon Belmar estimated that more than 40 rounds had been fired last night. An 18 year old man, Tyrone Harris, has been charged with assault on officers and remains in critical condition at a nearby hospital.

St. Louis County Supervisors have declared a state of emergency in Ferguson as the police prepare for the possibility of further violence tonight. In fairness, Anderson has only been in charge for a few weeks but it appears that his direction to his department in terms of community outreach is not working.

There were lessons to be learned from that awful period in Ferguson one year ago. One of those lessons should have been that appeasement of a mob does not work. The minute looting started it was time to clear the streets and to arrest the looters. Instead it seems as if police officers were directed to “track and observe.” Apparently Interim Chief Anderson failed to give direction to his officers that the minute laws were broken, arrests should be made and the streets cleared. Laws are created for everyone’s general welfare and safety and are meant to be obeyed. Yes, everyone has a right to peacefully protest but no one has the right to disobey the law. The minute the event got out of hand, the event should have ended. Sadly we witnessed an eruption of violence in Ferguson again. Is that to be Ferguson’s legacy?

© 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.

It has been 17 years and 208 days since the city’s pledge to build the West Branch Library.

Please note: It seems that when one takes a short vacation all hell breaks loose. Glendale and IceArizona have resolved their differences for now. I will be posting a future blog on that event. In the meantime, I noted that the Glendale Star reported that it had attempted to contact me for a comment for their story. Thank goodness for digital phones. Having checked all calls for the past several weeks I can confirm that I received no phone call from the Glendale Star.

On July 22, 2015 the Glendale Police Department issued a press release confirming that Commander Andre Anderson has been hired as Ferguson, Missouri’s Interim Police Chief. In my blog entitled Beasley may have company in Ferguson dated June 25, 2015 I announced that it was possible that he would take the job as well as issues that both Beasley (hired as Interim City Manager) and Anderson could face.

Several nagging questions remain. I had heard that Anderson was reluctant to take the job because of the pay disparity between Glendale and Ferguson. Ferguson is a much smaller community, about 1/10 the size of Glendale. I had also heard that that Glendale might make up the disparity in pay between Anderson’s current salary and what he was offered in Ferguson. Would Glendale do such a thing? The rational answer is ‘no’ but we have certainly seen Glendale do other irrational acts. It doesn’t seem that it would be legal. So…the question for Glendale officials is this…is Glendale subsidizing Anderson’s pay while he works for Ferguson? It is a question that deserves a public answer from Glendale because Ferguson isn’t telling.

Anderson is on a six month loan from Glendale. He will be using up all of his vacation time and when that runs out, he will be on unpaid leave from Glendale. However, that explanation doesn’t answer the question of whether Glendale is subsidizing Anderson’s pay.

Another question…what is the city’s reasoning in allowing Anderson to serve as a paid administrator in Ferguson? Was it a favor to Glendale’s former City Manager Ed Beasley? It’s eerily similar to Beasley’s allowing Alma Carmicle, Glendale’s former HR Director, to telecommute from Mississippi.

The Glendale Police Department has, in a fashion, loaned personnel to various state task forces. They remain on the Glendale payroll and their salaries are not subsidized. Although it may have happened I do not recollect in Glendale’s history a Commander taking leave to serve as a Police Chief or in the administration of another municipality. More answers should be provided by the city than has been offered to date. Come on Glendale, come clean.

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

Another blog milestone: 250,000 reads of my blog. My thanks to everyone who has taken the time to follow me. It is appreciated.

Ed Beasley, Courtesy City of Glendale

Ed Beasley, Courtesy City of Glendale

On June 9, 2015, the St. Louis Post Dispatch ran a story by Stephen Deere announcing that Glendale’s former City Manager Ed Beasley has been hired as Interim City Manager for 6 months in Ferguson, Missouri. The first reaction from many in Glendale has been absolute speechlessness followed by a stunned “Wow!” Here is the link:  http://m.stltoday.com/news/local/govt-and-politics/ferguson-about-to-hire-an-interim-city-manager-accused-of/article_399ec201-78c8-5acc-883b-d5ad6b21f718.html?mobile_touch=true .

I didn’t know much about Ferguson demographically although it is nationally known as the recent birthplace of Afro-American civil unrest characterized by the false chant of “Hands up…don’t shoot.” According to the census bureau (here is the link: http://quickfacts.census.gov/qfd/states/29/2923986.html) the comparisons of Ferguson and Glendale are stark:

  • Ferguson has a population of 21,111; Glendale has a population of 230,000.
  • Ferguson’s racial makeup is 67% black and 29% white; Glendale is 67% white and 6% black.
  • The median value of a home in Ferguson is $93,700; Glendale is $144,300.
  • Ferguson’s median household income is $38,685; Glendale’s is $47,474.

Ed Beasley had a long and storied 17 year career with the City of Glendale. He began his tenure in Glendale in 1998 as Assistant City Manager under Former City Manager Dr. Martin Vanacour. In 2002 Elaine Scruggs became the council appointed mayor after Mayor Quentin Tolby resigned. From the start of her tenure as mayor she seemed to butt heads with Vanacour and shortly thereafter he resigned and Beasley was appointed by the city council as the new Glendale City Manager. He served in that capacity for ten years until 2012. At the start of both their tenures in 2002, Scruggs supported Beasley during his DUI trouble. See link: Beasley DPS .   But as time passed, Beasley’s and Scruggs’ relationship became rocky as each vied to become the ultimate power broker in Glendale.  As their working relationship soured over the years she was never able to garner enough council support to have him removed.

Alma Carmicle Courtesy Glendale Star

Alma Carmicle, Courtesy Glendale Star

In 2012 he announced his retirement to city council and left. A year later information would become public that would tarnish his reputation. Beasley ran his administration with an “inner circle” of advisors from within Glendale’s ranks. He apparently was not shy about helping his friends, witness Glendale’s former HR Director Alma Carmicle’s job retention with her $140,000 salary despite her permanent move to

Art Lynch, Courtesy Glendale Star

Art Lynch, Courtesy Glendale Star

Mississippi and former Director of Finance Art Lynch’s overly generous $930,000 three year compensation as a consultant. Rumors also flew about Beasley’s attempt to secure the purchase of the Coyotes for John Kaites and Jerry Reinsdorf after Jerry Moyes declared the Coyotes bankrupt in 2009. See this link: http://www.phoenixnewtimes.com/news/something-smells-in-glendale-did-the-city-steer-the-phoenix-coyotes-franchise-to-an-insider-6430691 . Then there was Beasley’s choice of Andrew Kirkland as chief of police. In less than 5 months after his having been hired he was under investigation and resigned. See this link: http://www.bizjournals.com/phoenix/stories/2005/04/04/daily63.html .

Beasley seemed to surround himself with some seemingly ethically challenged employees. Those employees in upper management unafraid of pointing out that “the emperor had no clothes” soon recognized the futility of doing so and left city employ. It didn’t take them long to figure out the landscape as they became marginalized by Beasley and his friends.

Beasley was golden during Glendale’s run-up to become the sports mecca of the state. He was riding high as he was courted by some of the largest cities in the nation to become their city manager. Although he had left Glendale’s employ it wasn’t soon before a publicly released city audit revealed fiscal mismanagement of the Risk Management Trust Fund and the Workmen’s Compensation Trust Fund – all of which occurred on his watch. He was one of the most highly compensated city managers in the state earning a six figure salary as well as a generous benefit package. In May 2012, Beasley formed his own consulting business, Ed Beasley and Associates LLC. Less than a year later by February 2013, he became vice president of Colliers International Government Solutions division.

Ferguson’s hiring of Beasley as its Interim City Manager follows a steady stream of 3 other city managers in quick succession – in the span of 3 months. His contract amount is $84,500. That’s quite a come down and embarrassing. He had applied with other governmental jurisdictions but his services were declined. Ferguson has its own set of problems, a Department of Justice investigation whose findings demand compliance and a rising number of lawsuits. It’s make or break time for Beasley. Ferguson faces so many challenges. If Beasley demonstrates an inability to solve them his career as a city manager anywhere will die. Those are pretty high stakes for a man seeking rehabilitation. His seeming deal making, his reputed willingness to insure the financial futures of his friends and his questionable approval of irregular financial arrangements may or may not serve Ferguson’s interests well. Ferguson, heed these words, “Alas, poor Yorick, I knew him well.” (Hamlet Act 5 Scene 1). Glendale thought it knew Ed Beasley well.

© 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.

The truth shall set you free

Posted by Joyce Clark on November 26, 2014
Posted in National issues  | Tagged With: , , | 5 Comments

But not in Ferguson, Missouri. Facts and the truth of those facts was obliterated by emotional rhetoric – the rhetoric of President Obama and Attorney General Holder. Their understandable but imprudent empathy impelled them to sympathize. They forgot or chose to ignore that their national positions and the words they used would have a tremendous impact. Sensation seeking black leaders such as Al Sharpton deliberately inserted themselves and used these situations to further their ambitions. The national media mouthed an unending mantra depicting an unarmed, innocent, young black man shot to death by a racist, hate-filled, white police officer designed to further inflame.

Yet a grand jury composed of 7 men and 5 women, 9 of whom are white and 3 of whom are black made a reasoned decision, based on facts not immediately available to the general public, and did not indict the officer. Grand juries may vary from state to state but generally they have broader powers than that of a jury one would see in a trial. Generally they can directly ask further questions of testifying witnesses and can make requests for evidence that may not have been directly introduced. They have the power to review any and all material presented to them. They can recall witnesses for further questioning.

The Ferguson grand jury met 25 times on the case of the Officer Darren Wilson charges. Think about it. In terms of a 5 day work week they met for the equivalent of 5 weeks. That action, in itself, is extraordinary. They made their decision despite their concerns that their action could further infuriate the black community.

The residents of Ferguson, Missouri are now victims as well. They are in the epicenter of a whirlwind not of their making. No parent should ever have to bury a child and our hearts go out to the parents of Michael Brown. Yet in their fog of loss they inflamed the assembled mob to riot. The step father repeatedly told the crowd to “burn the bitch down.” The mob obeyed.

Two dozen small businesses were destroyed, cars were set on fire and gunfire erupted. One black resident likened it to Beruit.  Businesses earn about 70% of their annual revenue during the holiday season. Small business owners watched helplessly as their livelihoods evaporated in an instant of gleeful mob rampage. All who worked at these businesses no longer have jobs…and Thanksgiving is a few days away. What will they give thanks for? What will their Christmas be this year?

There is yet more blame and shame. Where was the Missouri national guard on the night of the grand jury verdict? Why didn’t Missouri Governor Nixon call them up immediately?  He had three months to prepare for such an eventuality.

There is a silent, subtle war occurring in America but it is not what you think. Here are some sobering facts. In a 2007 special report released by the Bureau of Justice Statistics, about 8,000 blacks are murdered annually. Sadly, that is more than the 6,500 troops killed in Afghanistan this year. 93% of these black murders are committed by other blacks. Black on black violence and murder is a national disgrace. Where is national black leadership to lead the fight on America’s unspoken war?

© 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.

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