Header image alt text

Joyce Clark Unfiltered

For "the rest of the story"

PLEASE CHECK OUT THE LATEST VIDEO TO THE LEFT OF THIS COLUMN AS SAMMY CHAVIRA AND ANTHONY LEBLANC, CEO, SHARE A MOMENT PRIOR TO CHAVIRA’S FLIP FLOP VOTE FOR A $15 MILLION DOLLAR A YEAR ARENA MANAGEMENT CONTRACT.

My family has always been law enforcement. One member is a retired officer. I am proud of the deep and lasting relationships I have with many in the Glendale Police Department. That is why I am particularly proud to share two law enforcement endorsements with you. One is from the Arizona Police Association and the other is from the Fraternal Order of Police. In addition I received an unsolicited endorsement from a retired Commander of the Glendale Police Department.

FOP EndorsementAPA endorsement June 19 2016

 

August 3, 2016

I have known Joyce Clark since she first became a council woman.  She immediately jumped into her duties as a council woman full time. She continually met with the Police Department Staff on crime issues and held neighborhood meetings to bring neighborhood and district issues to the attention of city staff and police department.

She studied issues and asked very in-depth questions of all city staff to ensure every angle of the issue had been reviewed and it would be in the best interest of her constituents and the city as a whole.

I can honestly say that with my 36 years at the police department, I have never seen any councilmember more dedicated to representing her district and its citizens. She is truly amazing in her love for the city and her district and I, without hesitation, endorse Joyce Clark as councilmember for the Yucca District.”

 John E. Krystek,

 Commander, Glendale Police Department

Retired

The Glendale Star, Thursday, August 4, 2016 ran several Letters to the Editor that I share with you now.

Letter to the Editor

“Very disappointed in The Glendale Star’s non-recommendation for the Yucca District Council nomination. In all other races, the paper gave clear reasons as to why the other positions and candidates were qualified for office and named the person whom they recommended. Not the Yucca district.  

For some reason The Glendale Star chose to state the candidates “are a classic dilemma of choice with no clear or substantive advantage between the candidates.”

That’s a bunch of baloney. They are different as night and day and The Glendale Star must be blind not to see that.  You’ve been writing for weeks about a number of problems Sam Chavira has incurred. He has provided very little, if any, support to the people of the Yucca district in his tenure. Because of that, he has received no financial backing for his race from the residents of the Yucca district. All of his support comes from special interests and unions. On the flip side, Joyce Clark’s campaign is based solely on donations from Yucca district residents who trust and believe in her.

Joyce Clark has been a person of action and will continue to work for the citizens of Glendale. I’d say there’s a vast difference between the two candidates. One understands all facets of the job and the other has no clue.

I could cite more reasons why Sam is not qualified but your paper and the Arizona Republic have done a better job over the past months. Four more years of Sam Chavira would be a disservice to the City of Glendale. We all know it and I still don’t understand why the Star couldn’t say it.”

Bob Stratton

Letter to the Editor

“I will tell you why you should vote for Weiers and Clark by telling you that the fire department needs to stick to fighting fires and stay out of politics.

Before I start, I would like to say I have always supported the firemen and police of Glendale. Safety has always been my concern. However, when they push candidates like (Mark) Burdick and (Samuel) Chavira upon the community, it is time to take a second look at their candidates. The fire unions have put a lot of money into the elections in Glendale and look what we have gotten.

We have Councilmember Chavira, who sold the farm to Coyotes and put the city in debt. He spent city money to see the Pope in Washington; not in person, but on a screen. He has no district meetings with the voters, misses meetings and it seems the only time he talks is when salaries for firemen are on the agenda.

Mr. Burdick is not much better, since in 2012, the fire department was audited while under his watch. It was found that policy was broken in regards to procurement.

Lastly, if you read The Glendale Star’s interview with him last Thursday, you will see that he said he has to lie to win. If this is the best the fire department has to offer, the city will be in deep trouble if they are elected.”

Norma Alvarez

Former Glendale City Councilmember

Letter to the Editor

“Sammy Chavira says to vote on his record. What record?

1. One meeting with his district voters in four years.

2. He, along with best buddy, Sherwood, gave money away to the Coyotes. That is why we have potholes in our streets.

3. He spends money on frivolous trips to Washington D.C. to see the Pope on a screen.

4. When the apartments on 75th and Glendale were condemned and people had nowhere to live, Sammy was not there to help.

5. He supports the fiestas, but when you want to know what the money went for, he never produces receipts.

6. He has missed more meetings than any other councilmember. Not that that is a great loss.

7. He supported the Cinco de Mayo fiestas, along with Jaime Aldama. Again, no receipts, but we did get vandalism to the tune of $50,000. He should be in the newspaper every day, demanding that people be arrested and that restitution be made. Not Sammy; those are his buddies’ kids.

8. Sammy is a planted fireman, who was asked to run to get more money for the fire department. He is all show, but no go.

Vote for Joyce Clark and get someone that will show up for meetings, get our streets fixed, get decent libraries in the Yucca District, and above all, will be a workhorse, not a show horse like Sammy.”

Bob Gonzalo

© 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.

Quentin Tolby is a former Councilmember and a former Mayor of Glendale. He left his position as mayor to accept an appointment as a judge. He is currently retired. For years he has written a column called Lessons from the Bench for the Glendale Star. Usually his column focuses on legal issues in an effort to educate the public. Every once in awhile he strays from that concept and opines on other issues. On May 22, 2014 he penned an article entitled, When city unions lobby council, is it a fair fight?

Unfortunately this column cannot be seen online as the Glendale Star has not included it under its opinions tab.

Some of his comments are worth sharing, such as, “The problem is the strongest city union gets the advantage. It’s not a fair fight; which union can promise the most money in the next election or the most votes? Can a councilman truly be voting what he or she thinks is fair when they have taken money or support from a city employee union?” Or this, “We tend to think that public safety issues are our highest priority, but what would be your highest priority tomorrow morning if no water came out of your faucet, or you flushed your toilet and it did not flush. What would be your highest priority if no one picked up your trash?”  And this, “All city services are important and one department should not be given more just because their union can produce more political pressure and votes at election time than some other city department.”

He offered some good observations. Let’s apply them to Glendale.  There are only three unions of note in Glendale: The International Association of Firefighters (IAFF), Glendale chapter; the Fraternal Order of Police (FOP), Glendale Chapter; and the Glendale Law Enforcement Association (GLEA).

The main chapter of the National FOP has a legislative Political Action Committee (PAC) and here is the link: http://www.fop.net/legislative/pac/index.shtml . The organization’s focus is on presidential and congressional races and candidates and it will often support candidates for an individual state’s Attorney General office. It does not seem to focus on local races.

It’s fair to say the police unions have never been very strong politically in Glendale. For years the two police unions, the FOP and GLEA, have vied with each other to be the paramount police union in Glendale. That struggle was their primary focus rather than mounting a major effort to elect local officials sympathetic to their agenda. The two unions attempted to join forces during the last election cycle in 2012 to support certain mayoral and council candidates but their efforts paled in comparison to that of the local Glendale fire union.

The national chapter of the IAFF is extremely politically active all the way down to the local level. Check out these two links to see the extent of their involvement: the first site highlights their local political activism at http://www.iaff.org/Politics/PA/localaction.htm ; the second site is used to actively elect firefighters to local office at http://www.iaff.org/Politics/PA/electing.htm . They have successfully elected local candidates in the Phoenix Metro area and throughout the state. Currently there are 3 Phoenix firefighters serving on the city councils of Mesa, Tempe and Glendale. A Glendale firefighter serves on the Phoenix city council. Cities and towns throughout the state have a firefighter or firefighter’s relative serving on their councils.

The Glendale chapter of the fire union controls Glendale politics. For years, John Holland, the chapter’s former President, was THE power broker in Glendale. Former Mayor Scruggs’ as well as others’ electoral successes can be directly attributed to John Holland’s efforts. John Holland reputedly managed at least one councilmember’s successful bid for office. Then he disappeared, suddenly, after it was alleged that he used union money for personal expenses. The Pinal County Attorney General’s office was charged with investigating the allegations and to this day it remains buried deep within the bowels of that office. Hmmmm.

How did the local fire union become so powerful and remain so? Money and people. The federal Hatch Act forbids city employees from participating in their city’s election. The fire unions created a successful work-around the Hatch Act. The Hatch Act does not prevent firefighters from other cities from participating in an election in another municipality, other than their own. It’s perfectly legal. Firefighters from other towns will walk and circulate a candidate’s nominating petition and campaign literature. It’s perfectly legal. They will also work the polls on election day. It’s perfectly legal. Once on the ballot fire fighters from other cities (as well as spouses and relatives) will contribute to a candidate’s campaign along with contributions from other local union chapter PACs.  It’s perfectly legal. Then independent expenditures kick in and a specific PAC is born chaired by firefighters from another community. The PAC will spend big money on campaign signs and mailers. It’s perfectly legal. All of the union’s methods are perfectly legal but it seems to smack of gaming the system.

With all that money and manpower it shouldn’t come as any surprise that the newly elected official is beholden to the fire union. The official will offer the usual rhetoric that all the union gets is access but they know if they wish to be reelected they had better carry the water. In Glendale a majority of the current council, debatably, owes its election/reelection success to the fire union. Add to that some of Glendale’s senior management have relatives who are firefighters. Just one example: current City Manager Brenda Fischer’s husband was and may still be a firefighter in Henderson, Nevada. Is it any wonder that council approved additional revenue to offset the fire department’s overtime deficit? Is it any wonder that the union finally prevailed on getting their fire truck without a formal bid process?

Former judge Tolby is right on the money (no pun intended) in saying that every city department is valuable and provides services residents cannot do without. They are the unsung, under belly of city services. Their jobs are invisible. Their jobs are not sexy or exciting. Every week sanitation workers pick up the garbage that we are often too lazy to separate into recyclable and genuine trash. Every day our water treatment plants are monitored to make sure the water we take for granted is clean and safe.  Every day sewers are repaired, city vehicles are maintained, Gus the Bus and Dial-A-Ride deliver people to their destinations, meters are read, streets are repaired, library books are checked out and parks and their restrooms are cleaned. There are so many essential services that we never think about or recognize. These honorable men and women silently work to keep our city functioning and are not part of a very powerful and vocal union who has figured out a system to wield enormous local, political power.

When we think of layoffs it’s never in public safety. There may be vacancies in public safety that go unfilled or eliminated but never layoffs. Immediately we are told that public safety delivery will suffer if there were to be layoffs. Layoffs are for the rest of the city’s employees. After all, they are not essential and are expendable. Really?

It’s time for Glendale voters to check out who is making independent expenditures for candidates in its local elections. Does the organization making that independent expenditure represent what you believe and your agenda? Realize that the candidate receiving a group’s election support will advocate for and support with their vote, that organization’s agenda. It had better be yours as well.

© 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.

%d bloggers like this: