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Joyce Clark Unfiltered

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It has been 17 years and 140 days since the city’s pledge to build the West Branch Library.

For the first time ever at the May 26, 2015 city council meeting the council will vote to set a recall election date of November 3, 2015. Councilmember Sherwood has got to be desperate. From the number of Sahuaro district registered voters willing and eager to sign a petition calling for his recall is a pretty clear indicator that he cannot win.

Instead of realizing his ambition to become Glendale’s next mayor he faces the humiliating prospect of a recall against him. Desperate people do desperate things. I am convinced that he, and most likely his strongest supporter, the Glendale Fire Union, will attempt some last ditch, legal maneuver to delay the election.  I wouldn’t put it past them. A legal effort to delay the election may cause some Sahuaro district voters to not participate if they know the regular election for that seat occurs in November of 2016. Sherwood hints of this prospect,“if there is this supposed ground swell of dissatisfaction with me, I’m up for reelection next nine months later in August ’16.”

Here is the link to the May 19, 2015 edition of the Glendale Star:  http://www.glendalestar.com/news/article_b6d4fd24-fe45-11e4-86a1-6f00d1c2d6ea.html

In an article written by Darrel Jackson entitled Sherwood faces recall, Sherwood states, “I’m very proud of my record and I have extended an inordinate amount of energy hoping to cover for the lack of leadership that has existed with my fellow policy makers these nearly past two and a half past years.” If I were the mayor or his fellow councilmembers I would be quite angry with Sherwood’s trashing of their performance. This is one seemingly arrogant fellow believing that he is Superman saving Glendale from 6 Jesters.

Sherwood in the Jackson article goes on to say , “he helped negotiate an agreement with the tribe (Tohono O’odham) worth more than $26 million for Glendale over 20 years.” He shouldn’t be quite so proud of that fact. That very same land had it not become a reservation and had been privately developed as offices, would have generated an estimated $4 to $5 million a year in various taxes. Since when is a little over a million dollars a year better than 4 or 5 million dollars a year?

Sherwood’s commentary in the Jackson article demonstrates that when Sherwood is backed into a corner, it seems he can be quite vicious as he blames the current council for the resignation of former City Manager Brenda Fischer (his buddy) and Assistant City Manager Julie Frisoni (another buddy). The current rumor is that Sherwood has hired Julie Frisoni’s new consulting firm as his campaign consultant. That shouldn’t surprise anyone as it appears that Sherwood met often with Frisoni on city business that met his agenda. We can add Frisoni to the list of supporters that appear to include the Glendale Fire Union, Mark Becker of Becker Billboards and Jason Rose of the Rose Law Group.

Look for Sherwood and his supporters to file something to delay the election before the council May 26th meeting and vote. How creative can they be? I expect we’ll find out shortly.

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

Today, April 24, 2015 at 11 AM the Recall Councilman Gary Sherwood Committee turned in Recall of Councilmember Sherwood petitions to the Glendale City Clerk Pam Hanna. The minimum required number of signatures is 2,752. The City Clerk based upon a cursory scan acknowledged 4,055 signatures. The committee had until the middle of June to complete the task.  Note that the committee turned in its signatures with 7 weeks to spare. Kudos to the three people who spear headed this effort: Anna Lee, Chairperson of the committee; Connie Kiser and Laura Hirsch.

What happens next? The Glendale City Clerk has 10 business days (2 weeks) to validate signatures. That also allows time for the City Attorney’s Office to find some technicality to invalidate all of the petitions. They have done it before and you can count on them to try to find something again. If the petitions make it through the city gauntlet the petitions move to the County Recorder’s Elections Department for further signature validation. The Recorder’s Office has 60 days. I suspect this time the petitions will make it through both processes. Look for the city council to call for a recall election date sometime after mid-September of 2015.

The ball then moves to Sherwood’s court. He will be offered the opportunity to offer a public statement on the recall or resign. Sherwood has already stated that he will fight to the bitter end. That is his right. Will he be able to pull the proverbial rabbit out of the hat? Not this time.

During the April 14, 2015 city council meeting the Insight Technology contracts were on the agenda for approval. It was the height of irony that Interim City Manager Dick Bowers was absent and at that time, still Assistant City Manager Julie Frisoni (she has since resigned) whose husband is a VP at the company, was tasked with the introduction of both Insight agenda items. Councilmember Lauren Tolmachoff, as each item was presented, asked the City Clerk if Frisoni had filed a Disclosure Statement. To which the City Clerk responded that Frisoni had not. It was a strategy by Tolmachoff to get that fact on the record. Hmmm.

Earlier in the week Tohono O’odham (TO) Nation Chairman Ned Norris Jr. held a press conference in reaction to the news that the state Gaming Department will not issue a gaming license to the tribe in order to open its temporary casino in Glendale later this year. He did not serve his tribe well in TV news coverage the following day. He seemed positively rabid. Outrage oozed out of every pore. It’s a wonder there was no foaming at the mouth.  I wonder how he likes it when the tables are turned. He went back on his word at the time all of the state’s tribes were seeking voter approval of a state gaming compact. Now the state will not grant the tribe a license claiming fraud on the tribe’s part. What goes around comes around. Norris insists they will continue with the temporary casino’s construction. The TO does so at its peril. This issue is sure to end up in court with an uncertain decision looming and at some point the Keep the Promise Act of 2015 will see a Congressional vote with the promise of stopping the casino permanently. It’s a shame really. The TO is willing to bet over $200 million dollars on what many view as a losing proposition. If they lose that’s $200M that could have been used for all kinds of services for its tribal members.

**GeonGracie….I need a better email address to reply.

© 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 Recall Councilman Gary Sherwood finally has its website up and running. Here is the link: http://www.stopsherwood.com .If you live in the Sahuaro district please share this site with your friends and neighbors. Below you will note an upcoming meeting on Becker billboards. Sherwood has been an ardent advocate for Becker billboards and that issue is just one of the reasons for his recall.
  • On Tuesday, March 17, 2015 at 9:30 AM at Glendale City Hall in the Council Chambers city council will hold a workshop meeting. Item #1 on its agenda is to receive the recommendations of the three citizen commissions. There is no opportunity for public comment. City Council does not vote at a workshop meeting. They discuss an issue and present their positions. A consensus if formed and further direction is given to staff by council. There are only 3 possible directions that can be given by council tomorrow: rejection of the proposal to sell the Foothills library building and its relocation to the Foothills Recreation & Aquatic Center; tabling the item for further information and discussion; or direction to move forward with the proposal.
  • A neighborhood meeting hosted by Mark Becker of Becker Billboards is scheduled for this coming Wednesday, March 18, 2015 at the Arrowhead Elementary School at 6:00 PM. He is again seeking city approval to place digital and static billboards at the Loop 101 and Bell Road. Glendale planning staff will be in attendance to listen and take notes.
  • On March 4, 2015 I made a Public Records Request for costs associated with three recent events held at the University of Phoenix Stadium in Glendale – the Fiesta Bowl, the Pro Bowl Records request Mar 4 2015and the Super Bowl. What you may or may not know is that preparation for the Super Bowl began the day after it was announced that Glendale would be the host city. Glendale personnel were involved in visiting the previous year’s Super Bowl; were involved in countless hours of preparation; met with various Valley city agencies in joint preparation; and met with the Host Committee and NFL representatives. City supplies and vehicles were used. There were times when the hours used by employees went beyond the standard 40 hour work week and time and half pay or special pay was used. Many employees were involved from the City Attorney’s Office to the Zoning Department. Here is the text of my Public Records Request:

“The total cost of hosting the Pro Bowl, Fiesta Bowl and Super Bowl to the City of Glendale to include the following:

  1. The cost attributable to each event of planning for, preparation for, game day hosting and after actions.
  2. A list of all departments that contributed, by event, in any way, including but not limited to Public Safety but any and all departments involved from the Attorney’s Office to Zoning (A to Z).
  3. The number of employees used for each event from all departments you list, including but not limited to consultants, contract employees or regular (salaried and at will) employees.
  4. The number of hours attributable to each event, by department, including but not limited to planning, preparing, acting upon and after action review of these 3 major events.
  5. The total dollar figure for employee costs attributable to each event, including but not limited to, straight time pay, overtime pay, special pay, time and half pay. List of all employees by job title and department, dollar amount for each of those employees who received overtime pay, special pay, assignment pay, time and a half pay, bonuses, Police & Fire to include sworn and non-sworn administrative staff from those departments. Separate list for each of those three events.
  6. The total dollar figure attributable to each event, for use of all equipment by department from but not limited to vehicles to trash cans whether a city asset or rented.

The total of revenues earned by the City of Glendale directly attribute to each of the 3 events, including but not limited to sales tax, fees, in-kind contributions and reimbursed costs.

All information to be included from April 1, 2014 to March 4, 2015.”

Tom Duensing, Glendale’s Finance Director, has publicly stated that the cost of the Super Bowl was about $2 million dollars. I believe when all of the information and data I requested is researched and made available to me, the cost will be way over the $2 million dollar mark. You will note I also requested the city costs associated with the Fiesta Bowl and Pro Bowl. Those are additional real dollars and real costs borne by the city. I suspect the numbers will surprise everyone.

I asked for an extensive amount of data and do not expect the information to be supplied in a week. I do expect it within a reasonable time period — a month. After all, Mr. Duensing is already claiming a number but I don’t think he has included all of the hidden costs. I will advise readers of the date that my Public Records Request is fulfilled.

This is the kind of hard data that should have been provided to every councilmember and the public. I hope that the results of my request will be shared with them and with the public-at-large. It’s our tax dollars and we surely have a right to know.

© 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.

On February 25, 2015 the Recall Councilman the Gary Sherwood Committee issued following press release:

“The Recall Councilman Gary Sherwood Committee announced today that it has reinstated its campaign calling for a Recall Election to unseat Gary Sherwood, Councilmember from Glendale’s Sahuaro District. Committee Chairperson Anna Lee said, ‘Gary Sherwood has forgotten who elected him. He has turned his back on the people he is supposed to represent and they won’t stand for it. Throughout our new campaign, we will be publishing details of Sherwood’s actions that enraged his constituents and precipitated this action.’  Lee filed a second Application for Recall Petition with the Glendale City Clerk’s office at 10 am on Friday, February 20, 2015.

“This is the committee’s second effort to unseat Councilmember Sherwood; the first was filed in August, 2014. ‘We followed all the rules,’ said Lee, ‘but when we submitted the signatures we’d gathered, they were rejected because, according to the clerk, they were entered on an old version of the petition form. The legislature had changed the requirements, but the new form reflecting the changes was not made available until after our Recall team had finished collecting its signatures.’ She concluded, ‘We won’t let anything like that happen again. This recall is far too important to the future of the citizens of Glendale and the Sahuaro District.’

The Recall Councilman Gary Sherwood Committee is reaching out to Sahuaro District constituents who share its concerns about the voting history and other activities of Councilmember Sherwood, and who fear how he may vote on issues that impact them in the future.

“For more information about Stop Gary Sherwood, call the committee message phone at 602.657.0303, e-mail info@stopsherwood.com or visit its website: www.stopsherwood.com. Contact: Anna Lee, 602-657-0303 / info@stopsherwood.com .”

Please note at this time the committee’s website is still under construction. I would suggest contacting Ms. Lee at the phone number provided in their press release until the website is completed.

It is clear that Sherwood and Becker have not given up on their effort to plant billboards in north Glendale.  A review was conducted of contributors to Sherwood’s initial campaign effort in 2012. In the fall of 2012 Sherwood received contributions from:

  • Mark and Erin Becker $860
  • Joyce Becker $430 and
  • Amy Becker $430 for total of $920
  • Rose Law Group 10 contributions from attorneys within the group totaling $1,960.00

The Rose Law Group represented Becker Billboards on its first, March 25, 2014, attempt to gain council approval for its proposed billboards. Hmmm…did nearly $3,000 in political contributions to his campaign buy advocacy for Becker Billboards? That is something you must decide.

After the original denial of the billboards by city council, Sherwood brought up the billboard issue again on October 7, 2014 and October 21, 2014. From the minutes of the October 7, 2014 meeting, Councilmember Sherwood spoke for an absent Councilmember (Councilmember Chavira) regarding the recent discussions about the Palm Canyon billboards. He asked the Councilmembers to vote at the October 27th meeting on rescinding the previous denial based on this recent information on the Becker Boards case at the Loop 101 and Bell. He said if the rescission vote is successful, then too immediately at the same Council meeting on October 27th vote on approving the billboards request of Becker Boards and direct staff to notify all parties as required by law at the expense of the applicant.”

A majority of council did not support his request. At the October 21, 2014 meeting Councilmember Sherwood continued to pursue the issue by attempting to clarify the circumstances under which a special council meeting could be called. From the minutes of that meeting, “Councilmember Sherwood said so if it was a special meeting, there would be two agenda items and there would still have to be a vote of four to rescind the March decision and then an actual go through the whole process of presenting the ordinance again.” Sherwood was seeking rescission of the original council vote denying the billboards. This is part of the exchange between Sherwood and City Attorney Michael Bailey at the same meeting:

“Mr. Bailey said his reading of Robert’s Rules of Order is that when there is an affirmative vote on a rescission, it brings the item back live again, it revives it. He said at that time, there would be a more robust discussion or additional information provided by planning and zoning. He said if there was a desire to make a different decision that decision could be made then.”

Councilmember Sherwood asked if that was something that could be done in the same meeting.”

Mr. Bailey said yes.”

A year after the original vote denying the billboard proposal it’s back again. The first salvo is Mark Becker’s neighborhood meeting and “Crane Study.” Since when doesn’t “no” mean “no?” Apparently, Councilmember Sherwood, Mark Becker and Jordan Rose have decided that a council “no” vote means “maybe.” Insider assumption is that Chavira is supportive of the billboard issue and will support his good buddy Sherwood. That’s two votes in favor. All Sherwood has to do is to find two more councilmembers to vote in the affirmative…who will it be? Mayor Weiers? Vice Mayor Hugh? Or Councilmembers Aldama (probably a yes as he seems to vote with Sherwood and Chavira), Tolmachoff, or Turner?? That’s a probable three votes in favor. Oh my gosh…Glendale residents will make best use their time contacting Weiers, Tolmachoff, Hugh and Turner with their opinion.

© 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 seems that Glendale’s City Clerk, Pam Hanna, is stressed this holiday season. Today, December 19, 2014 was the day of submission of recall petitions for Glendale Councilmember Gary Sherwood by the Recall Councilman Gary Sherwood Committee.

In her usual fashion Ms. Hanna made yet another election mistake. She formally notified everyone that the requisite number of petition signatures required was 3,851. Oops…wrong. The actual number of signatures required is 2,752. Apparently basic math is not her strong suit. Ms. Hanna made the rounds of visiting every councilmember in person with her mea culpa. She also sent out an SOS to all city departments asking for help to process the signatures. Here is her plea for help: GLendaleCityClerk&AlvarezOMCLetters-2pages_Page_1 How many signatures were turned in? The recall committee prior to their submittal counted 404 petition sheets. At 15 signatures per sheet the maximum total could be as high as 6,030 signatures. The City Clerk’s office counted 398 sheets x 15 signatures per sheet for a possible high total of 5,970. There’s that pesky math again. No matter. Whether it’s a possible 6,030 or 5,970 signatures turned in that is far more than the 2,752 signatures required.

In Sherwood’s run for council in 2012 he captured 1,615 votes. The total number of votes for all Sahuaro city council candidates totaled 4,005.  No matter what the final signature tally is it is clear that twice the number of registered voters signed the recall petition than voted for Sherwood in 2012 and they will be valid signatures. There is no doubt that the City of Glendale will be scheduling a recall election in 2015.

This recall effort is only one of the problems Sherwood faces. He ended his campaign with a balance of $1,330.51 on hand. In terms of running a recall campaign that amount will hardly do. It should also be noted of the $19,000 from his last campaign he loaned his campaign $8600 or nearly half of the money he raised. He may find it very difficult to obtain campaign funding this time around. It should also be noted that on 8/29/2014 his campaign paid $380 as a fine for his not signing the campaign finance report he submitted on 6/302014.

He still remains under investigation by the Arizona Attorney General’s office for alleged allegations of Open Meeting Law violations. His track record of following through on his campaign pledges has alienated him from his constituents.  He ran in opposition to the proposed casino and then was the swing vote to support it. He opposed making the temporary sales tax permanent and then supported it as a councilmember. Perhaps the issue that angered his constituency the most was his ardent advocacy of the Becker billboard proposal. He attempted to push it through not once but twice.

It is time for Mr. Sherwood to cut his losses and resign while his reputation is still fairly intact.

© 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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