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Joyce Clark Unfiltered

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It has been 18 years and 63 days since the city’s pledge to build the West Branch Library.

Please Note: I have added a Contact form to my blog page. So far about a dozen readers have used the form. My apology to those of you who have used it. I am not deliberately ignoring you. I am taking it down until I get the bugs worked out. However, I am having problems with the app. It is not sending me your contact info or your message.

Councilmember Chavira when he first took office seemed bright-eyed and bushy tailed. How has his attendance at workshops, executive sessions and voting meetings been? I reviewed all of the city’s meeting minutes and it is possible that I could have missed some of his absences. Based upon a cursory review here are his absences since he took office:

2013

  • 4/9/2013       Special workshop followed by an executive session
  • 9/24/2013     Voting meeting
  • 9/24/2013     Special workshop followed by an executive session
  • 12/10/2013   Voting meeting

2014

  • 10/7/2014      Workshop followed by an executive session

2015

  • 2/24/2015      Voting meeting
  • 4/14/2015      Budget workshop followed by an executive session
  • 4/14/2015      Voting meeting
  • 7/20/2015      Special workshop followed by an executive session
  • 8/11/2015      Voting meeting
  • 8/13/2015      Special workshop followed by an executive session

2016

  • 1/28/2015     Special workshop followed by an executive session
  • 2/16/2016     Arrived late at 9:43 AM for a 9 AM meeting

There have been additional meetings, both workshop and voting, at which Sammy participated telephonically and was not physically present for the meeting. There is no way to determine an accurate count of his telephonic presence at meetings. These are more difficult to research by going through old council minutes.

Virtually every workshop is followed by an executive session. So not only has he missed workshops but at least 7 executive session meetings. Executive sessions provide information on contracts, land issues and personnel issues not available to the public. Keep in mind that a councilmember cannot and never participates in an executive session telephonically.

Over the course of the 3 years and 2 months of his term to date he has missed over a dozen meetings. In 16 years of service I probably missed less than a half dozen meetings. The councilmembers with whom I served also took their service very seriously and rarely, if ever, missed a meeting.

Every councilmember knows that it is critical to reserve every Tuesday for council business knowing that there will be a workshop meeting usually followed by an executive session or a voting meeting.

Is Sammy’s job conflicting with his ability to carry out his one major responsibility…his attendance at council meetings? Forget about participation and meaningful conversation. He is known widely for his habit of thanking people and not saying much else. If that is the case then he is doing a disservice to his constituency as well as all of the people of Glendale.

Sammy ran on a bogus platform of promises to the voters of his district…education, for which he had no policy making authority; his support of an out-of-state corporation’s successful bid to manage the city’s arena for $15 million dollars a year; his lack of representation of the people of his district and his failure to meaningfully reach out to his constituents; and his broken promise to not enter into sweetheart deals…unless it happens to be a quid pro quo with a fellow councilmember.

Sammy’s record of service as the Yucca district councilmember is a testament to his invisibility…at council workshop, executive sessions and voting meetings and in interacting with and representing the people of our district. The question is a valid one…Sammy, where are you?

© Joyce Clark, 2016

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It has been 18 years and 60 days since the city’s pledge to build the West Branch Library.

The general assumption is soon Councilmember Sammy Chavira of the Yucca district in Glendale will be running for his council seat. There are all kinds of theories floating out there as to why he hasn’t pulled a nomination packet already. One is that is he stalling to make his campaign season as short as possible. That leaves less time for voters to take a critical look at his record or lack thereof. The other is that he is going through the hiring process to obtain a lucrative paying job at the new Tohono O’odham casino in Glendale. Hmm…this could prove problematical for him. Remember his ouster from the National Hispanic Firefighters Association (NHFA)? One of the urban legends is that Sammy and his buddies drove around in a golf cart during the event collecting all of the event revenues for themselves. It is known that NHFA made no money on the event and had to cover event expenses in excess of $12,000.

It’s a good time to look at his campaign pledges and his record of delivery. Sammy ran on 4 central campaign promises revealed in an October, 2012 campaign mailer:

  • “Too many sweetheart arena deals for out-of-state corporations have left us deeply in debt. Sam will prioritize public safety, education and public libraries and isn’t afraid to say no to special interests.” 

Sammy was the deciding yes vote on the $15 million dollar a year arena management agreement with IceArizona. The irony is that yes, IceArizona is an out-of-state corporation but many of its owners are Canadian. In addition on June 11, 2015 Sammy and recalled Councilmember Sherwood were the only two votes against voiding the costly $15 million dollar arena management contract with IceArizona. It appears Sammy’s agenda was to support his good buddy Sherwood and IceArizona. It seems as if Sammy wasn’t afraid to say no to special interests but rather he supported them wholeheartedly.

  • “Sam understands that good jobs and good schools go hand in hand. He will fight to fully fund Head Start, support education tax credits for our local schools, and make after school programs more curriculum based.” 

This is the biggest lie of the century. Local city councils have no control over local education. That is the job of local school boards. The council can be supportive of local schools but it cannot create policy for any local school. So why did Sammy use this? Many voters, but not all, are unsophisticated. They are busy with their lives and don’t follow school or city issues unless it directly affects them and their families. Did he fight to “fully fund Head Start,” a federal program? No. Did he support “education tax credits for our local schools,” either state or federal? No. Did he “make after school programs more curriculum based?” No.

  • “Sam will go to the city council to represent the people, not a particular ideology, because he knows that results are what’s important.”

Has Sam represented you? Unless you are a political junkie you couldn’t pick him out of a line up. He’s had one…just one… district meeting back in 2013. The only other scheduled district meeting was cancelled at the last minute. Have you ever met him? Talked to him about issues that concern you? I think not. If he knows that “results are what’s important,” why hasn’t he delivered any to the people of his district?

  • “No more sweetheart deals. The city needs to be a tough negotiator, making smart planning decisions that preserve Glendale’s future.”

Sammy’s entire term of service seem to be based on sweetheart deals. Apparent deals with recalled Councilmember Sherwood; apparent deals with the Tohono O’odham, supporters of his campaign in return for his support of the casino; apparent deals with the fire union, supporters of his campaign in return for his support of their agenda. Deals in support of his constituency…not so much.

Sammy Chavira made a lot of promises to the voters of the Yucca district. He didn’t deliver. He made a lot of promises to special interests. He did deliver. He made a lot of campaign promises to the voters of the district and he broke them all.

© 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 17 years and 145 days since the city’s pledge to build the West Branch Library.

On May 23, 2015 the Tohono O’odham Nation published the results of their May 23, 2015 election for all leadership positions within the Nation. Being far more circumspect than we “white eyes” there are no vote totals only a certified announcement of the winners for Chair and Vice Chair and the various districts that comprise the TO Nation. The new Chairperson is Edward D. Manuel and the new Vice Chairperson is Verlon M. Jose. Here is the link: http://www.tonation-nsn.gov/uploads/announcement/General%20Election%20results%20-%20T.O.Nation%202015.pdf . Newly elected Chairman Manuel previously served as Tribal Chairperson from 1995 to 2003.

How will this election affect the temporary casino in Glendale? Probably not much. Events are in play that are yet to be decided such as the 9th Circuit Court case and the congressional Keep the Promise Act of 2015 yet to be voted upon by the full House and Senate. Then there is the State of Arizona’s decision to deny a gambling license for the new casino.

Ned Norris Jr.’s reputation took a big hit over the Glendale casino issue. He is viewed by many of his sister tribes as having lied to them during the 2002 campaign to pass the voter approved State Gaming Compact. His demeanor in dealing with Glendale has been generally very abrasive. As the face of the Tohono O’odham Nation he appeared to be arrogant and rather uncompromising.

This result could have a far greater effect upon Councilmember Gary Sherwood and the Recall Election he faces this November. Sherwood and Norris were very closely aligned and in fact, testified together in support of the casino at Senate Indian Affairs Committee hearings. There is probably an expectation by Sherwood that after all that he has done to further their agenda that they owe him. However, the Tohono O’odham got what they wanted out of Sherwood and now he is just negative baggage. He may not get a healthy dose of their financial support that he appears to accept as his due for his recall campaign.

On to another note. Mayor Jerry Weiers announced on May 21, 2015 at a Glendale Chamber of Commerce “Business after Hours” event that he is seeking reelection as mayor. It certainly wasn’t done with any fanfare or press conference. Rather his announcement came in the form of a tweet. Oh well, if he and his campaign manager thinks that it does the job, so be it.

He is sure to have one or more challengers. Look for Jamie Aldama, Gary Sherwood or someone completely out of the blue. Let’s hope he is challenged for that puts pressure on a candidate to lay out goals and expectations. It helps the voter to be better informed.

His first term was generally unspectacular…no major initiatives, no major goals other than care taking of existent government. That’s not a bad thing but one would hope that he might express his vision for Glendale as well as his priorities for its future. No matter what the future for Jerry Weiers or any opposition he may face I wish him and any challengers well. Let the political games begin!

© 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.

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