Header image alt text

Joyce Clark Unfiltered

For "the rest of the story"

The Glendale City Council flirted with Public Comments occurring at the beginning of their meetings. It was a pilot project. After several months council voted to move Public Comments back to the end of the meeting citing that it got in the way and delayed council’s real business which is certainly not hearing from the public.

The biggest gorilla in the Valley, Phoenix, just had its council voting on February 5, 2014 to move its Citizen Comment Session to the beginning of their meeting. The move was in response to a citizen petition which claimed citizen input was not respected or valued.

It seems ironic that Phoenix has now done what Glendale rejected. If Glendale citizens submitted a petition to move the Public Comment period to the front of the meeting again would council acquiesce as Phoenix has done? What do you think? You can weigh in by voting in my informal poll to the left of this column.

A coalition on Glendale’s city council has emerged. Look for Knaack, Martinez, Sherwood and Chavira voting as a majority. That puts Weiers, Hugh and Alvarez on the losing side of most issues. I bet Alvarez rues the day she helped Chavira to get elected as he has voted in opposition to her positions since he started in office. The biggest issue was the vote on arena management and Alvarez may never forgive him for that one.

However, this November is election time in Glendale with 3 council seats up for grabs. This newly formed, rather fragile majority may not last long. Will Chavira, et.al, work behind the scenes to defeat Alvarez and get someone who is more simpatico? It would be a good move on his part as it would get rid of a problem before he stands for reelection in 2016. All he has to do is throw his support behind Jamie Aldama, Alvarez’s opponent.

Don’t forget, Knaack and Martinez are retiring. Martinez has anointed Robert Petrone but candidate Petrone’s past financial troubles may get in his way. Knaack appears ready to endorse Bill Toops, owner of the Glendale Star. Toops will have his own problems explaining how his ownership of the local paper does not conflict with serving on council. Look for more candidates to emerge as it gets closer to the end of May when nominating petitions are due. Historically in recent times there have never been less than 2 candidates for every open seat. It will be interesting to see how this election shakes out. Stay tuned…

© 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.

The January 21, 2014 afternoon city council workshop session was another “in and out” session. The agenda order was reversed to accommodate someone…probably Councilmembers Sherwood and Chavira as they left the session early.  There were 4 items: Public Comment; Selection of Vice Mayor; Annexation Policy; and the Annual Comprehensive Financial Report.

Councilmember Sherwood started the discussion on Public Comment at council meetings by suggesting that citizen comment be moved to the end of the meeting and that the comment period be reduced from 5 minutes to 3 minutes. You can see the coalition forming. Councilmembers Martinez, Chavira and Knaack agreed with Sherwood but Alvarez and Hugh dissented.  Citizen comments will be moved to the back of the bus once again and there will be less time to offer them. So much for encouraging public involvement.

Knaack was nominated by Martinez to continue to serve as Vice Mayor. Alvarez nominated Sherwood who immediately declined. Alvarez would have supported anyone but the one person she has clashed with continually and considers to be the devil incarnate – Knaack. The majority had no problem keeping Knaack as Vice Mayor for another year.

Annexation Policy was presented by Executive Director Jon Froke. After he presented council unanimously agreed to continue the policy as it currently exists with no changes. It apparently was too much for Alvarez to understand and she remained silent.

Executive Director Tom Duensing presented the Comprehensive Annual Financial Report (CAFRA). Eyes glazed over and Vice Mayor Knaack thanked him for bringing this item forward. She was reassured that the city’s finances are being reported properly by the current auditing firm. This must have been another topic too deep for Alvarez as once again she remained silent.

Under Council Items of Interest Councilmember Alvarez requested that the Arizona Sports and Tourism Authority (AZSTA) be invited to present to council at workshop on the current status of Camelback Ranch. Won’t that be an interesting discussion!

In less than an hour…badda bing…workshop was over. Results?

  • Citizen comments moved to the end of council meetings.
  • Citizen comments reduced from 5 minutes to 3 minutes.
  • Vice Mayor Yvonne Knaack will continue as the Vice Mayor for another year.
  • City’s annexation policy remains unchanged.
  • CAFRA finds no major financial faults in city’s financial reporting.

© 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: