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Joyce Clark Unfiltered

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It has been 18 years and 105 days since the city’s pledge to build the West Branch Library.

In the March 31, 2016 edition of the Glendale Star there is a Letter to the Editor written by Bob Gonzalo. It was unsolicited and I am grateful for his expression of support for my candidacy as your Yucca district councilmember. Here is the link but I have taken the opportunity to reprint his entire letter:

http://www.glendalestar.com/opinion/article_b401961a-f5f3-11e5-8a1e-d769cdc773b5.html

Bring back a fighter who cares

“The City of Glendale has done extremely well with this city council in correcting the mistakes of Mayor Scruggs and all her cronies. Their spending habits put the city in an untenable situation. However, this next election is extremely important in voting the right people in to continue to improve the character and ethics of the city.

“My suggestions are to vote Sam Chavira out of the council. Every time you look in the newspaper, his character is being questioned. Look at the questions about his expense account. Look at the fact that he was investigated for breaking open meeting laws.

We have no library, no O’Neil pool, Hero’s Park is still not done and what has Chavira done? Voted for millions for the Coyotes. If this is the best the fire unions have to offer, we are in deep, deep trouble.

“I would vote for Joyce Clark, someone from the past, who has never stopped fighting for the Yucca district.

Read her blogs. She is intelligent, well versed in the law and truly cares about her district. She will fight for a library in Yucca, she will help open O’Neil pool, and she will improve our roads. More importantly, she will communicate with her community, unlike Chavira.”

Bob Gonzalo

Mr. Gonzalo is correct in his assessment of the choice facing Yucca district voters. He is correct regarding Sammy’s abuse of your taxpayer dollars and that Sammy was investigated for alleged violations of the open meeting law. Sammy in the past year has been absent quite frequently from city council meetings and workshops. He has also been late to meetings as well. Sammy is the Yucca district’s “invisible man.” His only claim to fame is his vote for a $12 million annual arena management fee payment to IceArizona.

There is a more serious question to consider. Mark Burdick, Glendale’s former Fire Chief, is running for mayor and at the same time Sammy, a fire fighter, is running for council. Ask yourselves, do you really want the Glendale fire union to run this city? Make no mistake. Each of these men has an agenda and that is to move more city money into the Fire Department budget. Unfortunately, the only way it can happen is by taking money away from other city departments.

Mr. Gonzalo is also correct when he states that I will fight for the people of the Yucca district. He is correct when he says I will fight for the reopening of O’Neil Pool, the completion of Heroes Park and the building of a permanent West Branch Library. Glendale’s south and west districts have been ignored, especially by Sammy, for the past four years. I will also restore honesty and integrity to the office of Yucca district councilmember. I can provide the leadership that our district has been without for the past four years. I will be accessible to all. I have never shied away from using my home telephone number as a point of contact for the people of the Yucca district. I was a good councilmember and I intend to be one again.

So, thank you Mr. Gonzalo for your letter of support.

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

PLEASE NOTE: To the left of this blog you will see how you can donate to my campaign. You may write a check and mail it to me or you may use the PayPal button. Sammy already has a war chest of $16,000+. The last campaign contribution he received was in December of 2015, 3 months ago, from…yep, Mark Becker of Becker Billboards in the amount of $5,000. Becker tried to get his billboards sited in north Glendale at Arrowhead.

Any amount is gratefully accepted from $5 to $5,000. You must include your name, your address, your employer and your job title. That is required by law. Donations from companies and corporations are prohibited. You do not have to live in the Yucca district, or Glendale, or the state of Arizona or even the United States to make a donation. Please take a moment to help me to regain the City Council seat representing the Yucca district and to “get their voice back.”

Sammy’s invisibility continues. Paul Giblin wrote an article on March 19, 2016, entitled Glendale expenses get more scrutiny. It is not online as of this date so no link to the story is provided. In it Giblin says, “Chavira declined to discuss the matter (of council’s plan to hold a workshop on travel expenses) after a City Council work session Tuesday, his first public appearance at City Hall since returning from another trip to Washington to attend a National League of Cities conference. Chavira previously said in an email that all of the trips he expensed were for legitimate purposes.”

In another Paul Giblin story he reports on the election rematch for the Yucca district council seat between Sammy and me, saying, “Chavira has been less public about his intentions (regarding his campaign for his seat). He did not return messages from The Arizona Republic and his campaign website and Twitter account were silent on the matter Monday.” Here is the link: http://www.azcentral.com/story/news/local/glendale/2016/03/15/sammy-chavira-joyce-clark-could-have-council-election-rematch-glendale/81590186/ .

Interesting observations emerge from Sammy’s quotes. He says his trips were for “legitimate purposes.” Of course he does. What else can he possibly say? It’s perfectly legitimate for Sammy to fly to D.C. and watch the Pope on a large screen TV…but not on the taxpayers’ dime. It’s perfectly legitimate for Sammy to fly to D.C. to watch his buddy and mentor, Rueben Gallego, get sworn in as a U.S. Representative…but not on the taxpayers’ dime. It is never legitimate to use one’s position and power to host a dinner and curry favor with one’s bosses…especially on the taxpayers’ dime.

Sammy requested and received City Attorney Michael Bailey’s opinion that Sammy’s expenses did not violate any law. I bet that statement was well crafted and carefully worded. Well, of course one would expect Sammy to request that from Bailey and Bailey would comply. After all, Bailey’s bosses are the councilmembers and he serves at their pleasure. It wouldn’t do to make one of them angry.

I have been an incumbent and I have been the opponent of an incumbent when running for the Yucca council seat. Let me tell you, City Hall does protect the incumbent in a myriad of very subtle ways. Be warned — City Hall, this election cycle. City policy is that a councilmember may not take advantage of city resources, such as appearing on the City’s cable channel, six months before an election. The primary election is in on August 30, 2016.  As of February 29, 2016 the six month restriction began. A councilmember may not use city resources, financial or otherwise, for district newsletters, any sort of mailing or event if it has not been the habit and practice of the councilmember during the entire course of a person’s term. Sammy cannot use city resources to send out a special mailing or newsletter or to host an event between now and the Primary because he has never done it during his term of office. He may continue his Friday e-newsletters as they have been produced for him since he took office.

The other observation is Sammy’s remarkable disappearance and utter silence. Many Yucca district residents are saying that since Sammy has no good defense for his actions he seems to be saying even less than his usual “thank you” and has disappeared.  That’s not a new stance for Sammy. In the past year he was AWOL from nearly a dozen council meetings or workshop meetings. There were some other instances when he participated telephonically or when he arrived late for a meeting. Sammy hasn’t exactly been on the job lately.

Other residents believe Sammy is scared realizing that he’s in a heap of political “do-do.” Some feel he is being deliberately invisible in the hopes that this will blow over by election time. That’s not going to happen. Every Yucca district voter deserves to know that Sammy’s travel expenses and his other decisions or actions, at the very least, constitute an abuse of trust voters placed in him. Yucca district deserves better. Residents want to “get their voice back.”

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

The media recently reported on Sammy’s questionable spending of tax dollars for trips and meals. Here is the link: http://www.azcentral.com/story/news/local/glendale/2016/03/04/glendale-councilman-sammy-chavira-charges-24k-trips-3-years-taxpayers/78857734/ .

During my 16 years of service as your Yucca district councilmember I spent your tax dollars on pilot projects for the benefit of the entire city and infrastructure improvements in the district. I always tried to be mindful of the fact that it wasn’t my money but the people’s money.

Councilmembers have 2 discretionary accounts. One is for communications/professional development  and the other is for district improvements. I can’t remember every project or improvement but here are examples of how I used your tax dollars:

  • In 1995 I spent $1,387.57 for street identification signs as a pilot project in my district. They are placed lower than most city signs and a hundred feet or so before
    Street identification signs

    Street identification signs

    major intersections. Their purpose was to announce to the driver what street they were approaching. I saw them on trips to Tucson and thought they were very useful while driving in an unfamiliar town. It was a pilot program adopted by the city and today you can see them all over town.

  • That same year I placed two, recycled plastic gazebos, benches and waste receptacles for approximately $2000 each; one in Windsor Park and one in Pasadena Park. The
    Recycled plastic gazebo

    Recycled plastic gazebo

    photo I am using is of a much more elegant gazebo than the ones from 20 years ago. They lasted for quite some time (approx. 15 years) but eventually after years of use they became beyond repair and were removed.

  • In 2002 for $14,356.52 a radar speed trailer was purchased and donated to the Glendale Police Department with the agreement that Yucca district neighborhoodsradar-trailers222[1] could request its use at any time. That same year $2,109.00 went for sidewalk installation and repair for Desert Mirage Park.
  • In 2003 $3,000 was used to purchase an Advanced Life Support Unit for the Glendale Fire Department.
  • In 2008 a surveillance camera was purchased for approximately $1,500 for use in the Grand Canal Linear Park. It was another pilot project designed to improve security and I worked very closely with the manufacturing company. Unfortunately, it did not live up to its claims and was returned with the money being reimbursed.
  • In 2010 in another pilot project, 6 e-book tablets, were purchased (I no longer remember the exact purchase price but it would have been approximately $600 each) and lent to Yucca district residents for several weeks at a time. The purpose was to find out how well they would be received and how easy or difficult they were to use to access the library system to download and read books. They were a hit and were donated to the Glendale library system. The concept was adopted but I am sure the original tablets are so out of date technologically that they are no longer in use.
  • That same year approximately $5,000 was spent to place a graveled gecko design in a retention basin along 83rd Avenue. There are 3 retention basins of just dirt that are the responsibility of the city on the east side of 83rd Avenue between Camelback and Bethany Home Road. Two of them remain as dirt basins to this day.

I did attend National League of Cities Conventions out-of-town or within Arizona. Travel costs averaged between $600 to $900 with the largest expense being a hotel room and registration for a convention. I also was on the League’s Public Safety Steering Policy Committee that generally met an additional two times per year.

I communicated with constituents on a regular basis. I issued two district newsletters per year (spring and fall) at a cost of approximately $5,000 per newsletter. The major costs were printing and postage. I also held a minimum of 2 district meetings per year. Costs for those meetings ranged between $50 to $300. If a school charged a room rental the cost was generally in the $250 range. No more than $50 was used to purchase refreshments for the attending citizens.

My expenditures of your tax dollars as a councilmember were used to promote innovation as pilot projects, to improve district infrastructure or to communicate with constituents on a regular basis. That is quite a contrast to Sammy’s use of your money to travel to D.C. to see the Pope on a TV screen or buying $400 dinners for his bosses including the Phoenix Fire Chief or spending $8,000 on a failed Watermelon Festival.

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

IMG_1171

This newspaper clipping is an old headline from 2000 when I won an election for my council seat. In that election I was the only elected official in the state to run as a write-in against an incumbent and to win.

Imagine my surprise last week when I received a call from the Star editor, Carolyn Dryer, telling me she had received a Letter to the Editor from former Councilmember Norma Alvarez who represented the Ocotillo district. She told me Alvarez has publicly asked me to consider running for the Yucca district council seat. Here is the link to the Alvarez letter: http://www.glendalestar.com/opinion/article_93660af6-e088-11e5-8fca-07da10ddf430.html . Here is my response to Dryer’s question asking me if I intended to run: http://www.glendalestar.com/news/article_a08de88c-df3b-11e5-9b98-8749566839f1.html .

I have been asked repeatedly by my former constituents of the district since 2013 to do so. The reasons they offer are various. They would express their appreciation of my accessibility, my problem solving of their complaints and my representation of their voice. For years I had resisted even consideration of their pleas. But no longer.

They have also expressed their frustration and disappointment in their current representative. He is inaccessible. In fact, he is often AWOL. They cite his flip-flopping on issues and the exorbitant amount of money he has spent on travel, especially on trips that they contend are not city business.

I will spend the next week picking up the phone and talking to Norma to listen to her reasons as to why I should run again. I will also talk to my family and close friends to hear their thoughts on the subject. It is not a decision to be made lightly for it requires a major time commitment. It requires councilmembers (such as I was) to spend weekends “doing their homework” as council material for consideration and discussion at workshops and meetings is usually provided on Friday afternoons. I have the stamina and the intellect but do I have your support?

I would like to hear from you – readers of my blog, many of whom live either in the Yucca district or live in Glendale. The answer I seek is not only do you think I should run but are you willing to give of your time and talents in my campaign? I cannot take on a major commitment such as this without your support. You may contact me at: clarkjv@aol.com or leave a comment on this blog. Obviously your email response will remain private but any comment you leave on this blog will be instantly public.

Here is an excerpt of an email I received this morning in response to Norma’s call for my running for the Yucca district council seat. “I read the article about you in the Glendale Star and I also read Norma’s editorial, endorsing you! I say YES, go for it!! The Yucca and Glendale residents deserve a councilmember like you who cares about the community.”

This much I promise. I will seriously think about it. I will talk to others. I will wait to hear from you. After that, I will make a decision and publish it on this blog. So the question is: Will Clark do it again?

© 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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