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Joyce Clark Unfiltered

For "the rest of the story"

Would you like to attend a FREE spring training game at Camelback Ranch this month?
As your Yucca district councilmember I have 14 free tickets for each of the following games:

Sunday, March 12, 2017 at 12:05 PM

Sunday, March 19, 2017 at 1:05 PM

Monday, March 20, 2017 at 1:05 PM

Thursday, March 23, 2017 at 1:05 PM

Sunday, March 26, 2017 at 1:05 PM
 
  • The tickets will be distributed to a non-profit organization, i.e., church group, Boy Scouts, Girl Scouts, Kiwanis, Rotary, Glendale Ambassadors, Habitat for Humanity, etc.
  • Some members of the group must be Yucca district residents.
  • Groups of adults are welcome.
  • If the group is comprised of minor children, there must be 1 adult for each 3 children.
  • In order to be eligible please share a recent community-oriented activity in which your group participated or organized.
  • First come, first served.
Please contact Councilmember Clark via email at either of these addresses: clarkjv@aol.com or jclark@glendaleaz.com
What a great way to spend a spring afternoon!
This gift is just a small token of my appreciation for all that you do in support of our community.
Councilmember Joyce Clark
Yucca district, City of Glendale

ALL ARE WELCOME!

MY SPECIAL GUEST IS GLENDALE’S VICE MAYOR IAN HUGH

People always wonder and ask what a councilmember really does. Over the next four years of my term as the Yucca district councilmember I may be able to provide you with some answers. I was reelected as the Yucca district councilmember in August of 2016.

After the formal city council acceptance of the Canvass of Votes I began to receive phone calls and requests for meetings. Prior to officially taking office on December 13, 2016 I spent several hundred hours in October and November preparing for office and participating as a councilmember elect.  Since the beginning of October I have had approximately 30 luncheon meetings with community stakeholders, city staff and city councilmembers; more than a dozen “coffee” meetings primarily with residential development interests; and attended more than a half dozen city/community events from HOA annual meetings, to an COG airport open house to the Glendale Christmas parade.

As councilmember elect I began receiving council material for voting meetings and workshops. I spent hours reviewing the material and firing off memos to the city manager and staff asking for answers to questions I had as councilmember elect.  I also personally attended city council voting meetings and workshops on Tuesdays prior to taking office.

Much time was spent reconnecting with various stakeholders and rebuilding positive relationships with them. Another chunk of time was used to bring me up to speed on various city and Yucca district issues by meeting with city personnel. Yet more time was used to prepare for council meetings and to attend various city events.

I suspect since councilmembers are usually seen only on Glendale’s Cable 11 TV, most people think that is all that they do. Not true. It’s a major time commitment with irregular work hours. A simple lunch meeting can easily take 2 hours if you include travel time. A city function such as a public community event or a neighborhood meeting will also consume several hours and many are evening events. The same can be said for a formal council meeting or workshop. Preparation time for council meetings and workshops can easily take a day or more, especially if a councilmember requires meetings or communications with various city staff for further clarification on issues.

A city councilmember has three major responsibilities: to make decisions regarding the city’s public policy on a potpourri of issues; to represent the interests and points of view of Glendale’s residents, especially one’s district constituents; and to represent the leadership of Glendale not only at city functions but at local, regional, state and national venues and organizations.

To accomplish all of these responsibilities each councilmember has access to two taxpayer-funded budgets. The first is a Professional Development budget of $18,000 annually. These funds may be used for trips such as the state or national League of Cities and Towns annual meetings. The money can be used for dues/membership fees to organizations and or activities a councilmember needs to connect to the community, such as the local Chamber of Commerce or the WestMarc Annual State of the State Dinner. This budget can be used for subscriptions to publications such as the Phoenix Business Journal. These are activities that enhance the councilmember’s effectiveness and would not be an ordinary activity or expense as a private citizen. Lastly it can be used to support the ordinary functions of the office such as business cards, letterhead, a computer or tablet or activities such as contributions for flowers for a memorial service of a prominent Glendale personage.

The second councilmember budget is a District Improvement budget of $15,000 annually. It is to be used for minor infrastructure improvements within the councilmember’s district. It can be used in parks to plant trees, do minor repairs to park equipment, repaint park equipment. It can be used to make neighborhood improvements, such as repair of subdivision monument signage. It can also be used for examples such as landscape improvements to a public element within a subdivision or installation or repair of curb, gutter or sidewalks. Some councilmembers have used these funds to make contributions to non-profit organizations or to sponsor city events. I, personally, do not believe that these activities are an appropriate use of taxpayer funded public infrastructure improvements.

I plan on using my council Professional Development budget for 2 major functions: to support the rental cost of meeting space and refreshments for regular Yucca district meetings; and to create, print and mail a Spring and Fall edition of the Yucca district newsletter to every household that has a water bill. One newsletter mailing to Yucca residents is anticipated to cost between $5,000 to $7,000 (primary cost is postage). Even though it is a major expense, I believe it is important to provide this mailing because not everyone has access to a computer and some residents, especially seniors, may not be computer literate enough to access all city material available on the internet. I will continue to use social media, my Facebook page, Twitter and my blog page, www.joyceclarkunfiltered.com as major means of outreach to those Yucca district residents who are computer savvy and regularly visit these sites.

In December I have spent the following amounts from my Professional Development budget with an inherited starting balance from the former councilmember of $13,113.93:

·       $87.28 for Councilmember business cards

·       $299.21 for Councilmember letterhead stationery and envelopes

·       $45.86 for a Councilmember name plate and business card holder for my desk

·       $100.00 as my portion of the cost for rental of the Sahuaro fruit packing shed for a mayor and council sponsored event inviting all West Valley mayors and councils

I did not have to buy a tablet to conduct city business as I inherited the former councilmember’s city tablet. After deducting these December, 2016 expenses my Professional Development budget has a January 1, 2017 starting balance of $12,581.58. Councilmembers recently directed staff to publish their monthly expenditures and these expenditures can be found at: http://www.glendaleaz.com/CityCouncil/FinancialStatements.cfm .

I inherited an Infrastructure budget of $12,500 from the former councilmember. I need your help. This is where you come in. If you are a Yucca district resident I suspect you have seen many areas of our district that need repair. Have you seen subdivision monument signage in need of repair? Or have you seen one of our district parks that could use some further landscaping or repair/painting of equipment? Perhaps you have seen spots in need of curb, gutter or sidewalk repair? These funds can be used on city property or public right of way for improvements. Or do you have an idea for a public project with a cost of no more than $12,000?

I am soliciting suggestions from you until January 31, 2017. Any and all ideas are most welcome. This is your opportunity to participate in your local government. Please submit your suggestions with the following information, your name, and your return email address or phone number; the address of problem; description of the suggested improvement; and if you can, include a photo of the problem area. You may send the information to: clarkjv@aol.com; jclark@glendaleaz.com; post a comment to my Facebook page, https://www.facebook.com/joyce.clark.338  ; or post a comment to this blog topic.

I believe a councilmember’s Professional Development budget should be used primarily for outreach to either one’s constituents or to the community-at-large. That is why I intend to use it to hold district meetings and to publish district information. I also intend to use it for councilmember related memberships and activities. As a private citizen there are many events, local and regional, I would not be required to attend but as a councilmember I would be expected to participate. I will use this budget to attend local and regional dinners and conferences.

A councilmember’s Infrastructure Improvement budget was designed to allow a councilmember to invest in improving his or her district. The intent when it was created was not to grant money to non-profits. It is always possible that a councilmember could grant money from this budget to a non-profit that constituents could think was inappropriate. I will use this budget to make minor district improvements.

Next blog up…good news about the west branch library!

© 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.

A constituent asked me to post this video of a young man who attempted to burglarize a house in his neighborhood. The area is Desert Sunset in west Glendale, just north of 83rd Avenue and west of Heroes Park. If you recognize this young man, please call the Glendale Police Department at 623-930-3000. Thank you.

Update: Saturday, November 11, 2016. This may be the young person in the video of a possible attempted burglary suspect. I guess you could call him “a person of interest.” He was skateboarding on 83rd Avenue just south of Berridge Lane, Yucca district, Glendale. If you know who he is, please call the Glendale Police Department. Thank you.

possiblesuspectcropped

There is no doubt that Sammy raised a ton of money for his campaign. Upon review of his campaign finance report filed on August 26, 2016, 99.9% of his money does not come from Yucca district residents or even Glendale residents for that matter. Here is the link to his campaign finance report: http://glendaleaz.com/Clerk/documents/PrePrimary-ChaviraforGlendale.pdf .

Where did Sammy get his money? Can you say special interests? Here are a few that should be of interest. Jacob Long gave $750 and his family attorney, Jim Miller, another $500. They benefitted recently with the approval of Stonehaven (between 83rd and 91st avenues; Camelback to Bethany Home Road). Stonehaven is a planned residential subdivision of over 1,200 homes with 46% of the lots being 5,500 SF (less than Glendale R1-6 standard of 6,000 SF lots). Sammy approved Long’s development with gushing words of praise. Gee, I  wonder why?

There were 3 Glendale residents who contributed: John Phebus, an attorney with offices in north Glendale gave $1000 (I wonder who he represents?); Tom Schmitt with no occupation or employer listed (it is a requirement per Arizona campaign law) gave $200; and Reginald Martinez gave $50. That’s it. No other Glendale or Yucca district resident thought enough of him to contribute.

But guess who did? Why, the fire fighters, course. Three individual fire fighters, from Mesa, Phoenix and California contributed a total of $500.  The big money ( a total of $11,300) comes from Fire Political Action Committees (PACs):

  • International Association of Fire Fighters          $6250 (the maximum allowed)
  • Avondale Fire Fighters                                           $ 500
  • Casa Grande Fire Fighters                                      $ 500
  • Gilbert Fire Fighters                                               $ 500
  • Glendale Fire Fighters                                           $2000 (violation of federal Hatch Act?)
  • Los Angeles, CA  Fire Fighters                                 $ 500
  • Prescott Fire Fighters                                             $ 250
  • Sedona-Verde Valley Fire Fighters                           $ 250
  • Surprise Fire Fighters                                            $1000
  • Tempe Fire Fighters                                              $1000
  • Mesa Fire Fighters                                                  $ 750
  • Peoria Fire Fighters                                                $ 500

I decided to run a grassroots campaign. If district residents and Glendale residents wanted me back they would support me. Here is the link to my campaign finance report: http://glendaleaz.com/Clerk/documents/PrePrimary-ClarkforCouncil.pdf . My campaign donations came from:

  • 21 contributions of $100 or more were from Glendale/Yucca district residents.
  • 10 contributions of $100 or more were from outside of Glendale. They were from friends, former colleagues and retired Glendale employees.
  • 22 contributions of $50 or less were from Glendale/Yucca district residents.
  • 5 contributions of $50 or less were from outside of Glendale. Again, they were from friends, former colleagues and retired Glendale employees.
  • I did receive 3 unsolicited PAC contributions totaling $1200 from 3 police associations that came with the endorsements I received from the Arizona Police Association and the Arizona Fraternal Order of Police.
  • No special interest money or PAC money was sought.

In terms of Sammy’s campaign expenditures, they paint a picture. He paid Ben Scheel of Bright Consulting another $5,570.85. Sammy did not plan or participate in his own campaign. He paid someone else to do it. He paid the LA Machine $7324.00 for field operations. Sammy did not walk his district. He paid someone else to do it.

Just as Sammy has been invisible as a councilmember and unresponsive to the people of his district who he is supposed to serve, he has been invisible as a candidate. He paid to have someone run his campaign and he paid someone to walk his district. In his three campaign reports now filed, he has not received a single donation from a Yucca district resident.

Sammy is about big money from special interests. That is who he will vote for and represent. Not you, not the people of the Yucca district.

© 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.

CHECK OUT THE VIDEO TO THE LEFT OF THIS COLUMN. IT IS A VIDEO INDEPENDENTLY PRODUCED. IT WAS NOT PAID BY OR AUTHORIZED BY CLARK FOR COUNCIL.

I have offered my biography and my platform of 5Es: Equity, Environment, Engagement, Economy and Ethics. I have shared some of the accomplishments I achieved in my previous service to you. I have honed in on Sammy’s unethical record as a councilmember. Yet you may not be ready to vote for me.

For the years that I served as your councilmember I was honest and ethical. I never abused your trust. While some councilmembers charged mileage or their cell phone expenses to the city, I never did. All of the Sammy mailers implying that I mismanaged city money is simply a lie. I have already stated why he is using these lies. It’s his only path to reelection for his record is a shameful one.

I am not the type to brag about myself but it seems now is the time to offer some instances of my service to you. There was a constituent who had a front yard full of weeds, knee high. City Code Compliance had cited her repeatedly and she was facing a deadline. She was unable to do the work and furthermore did not have the money to rectify the problem. I used my own money, not a dime of city or taxpayer money, and had rock delivered and spread on her front yard. She didn’t ask for help other than my intervention with the city. That I could not deliver. So I delivered a permanent solution instead.

There was another instance out of so many… the time when a small neighborhood had a problem neighbor. Lots of teens/young adults, late parties, constant noise, cars parked everywhere, perhaps drugs, refusal to acknowledge a problem…you get the idea. After I met with the neighborhood to learn the extent of their problem, I called my “go to” Glendale police officer. Within a matter of days the problem was solved. I was a facilitator. Once I knew what the problem was, I knew where to go to get it solved.

There was a time when an entire apartment complex’s water was about to be turned off. The tenants called me desperate for a solution. The owner of the complex owed back payments and was refusing to pay. I contacted the media who then ran stories on TV about the situation. Within 24 hours the complex owner had made arrangements to pay his bill in full.

There was my request to council, approved, for the first 50,000 Christmas lights in Murphy Park. Today those first Christmas lights have grown into over a million lights for Glendale Glitters or my tour of my district for senior management resulting in the Neighborhood Partnership Program.

Another instance that comes to mind was the battle of the burned out house. It took constant prodding of various city departments, including the city attorney’s office, to finally have the house demolished, perhaps not as quickly as nearby residents expected, but I did get the job done.

Land use and zoning was a constant battle. Although I did not win all battles, I won 90% of them. I believe, as many Yucca district residents do, that Yucca is a prime location for large lot development. If you travel along 83rd Avenue you see many large lot developments…Desert Sunset, Missouri Ranch Estates and Missouri Ranch are just a few. I am especially proud on my work on Rovey Farm Estates with lots from 7,000 to 9,000 SF on its western side to one acre lots on its eastern side. On each of these residential developments, I worked closely with the residential developer and the city’s Planning Department, insisting on larger lots and making a successful case for them.

I have not bragged about any of my accomplishments because I felt it was just part of my job as your councilmember. Sammy Chavira has no such record other than a string of unethical actions.

Yucca district residents could always reach me. To this day, I readily offer my home phone number and my personal email address. While I could not successfully solve all constituent problems with the city I did solve an overwhelming number of them. I listened respectfully to all and occasionally there were arguments that changed my mind on an issue. I did not pander to people. If I could not solve their problem, I told them so. They may have gone away unhappy with me but I did not play games with them and promise something I could not deliver.

I have always been active and engaged. To this day, I know the problem areas in our district and welcome the opportunity to address the city’s attention to them. I have demonstrated over and over again that I cared about people and offered my services to help them.

There is still so much to do for our district. It’s time to complete Heroes Park as designed. Even though it is not in my district (I lived in this area for 30 years), O’Neil Pool in the Ocotillo District must be repaired or replaced. It is a disgrace that this economically challenged area has lost its only major recreational amenity.

There is still so much to do for our city. The major focus must be the city’s financial position. While the city has begun its financial recovery there is more to be done.

I have shown that I was an active and engaged councilmember. I want to continue to be that councilmember. I want to help you. I want a fiscally healthy Glendale. I want what you want, safe neighborhoods, the availability of good-paying jobs within Glendale, and a variety of recreational amenities for your families. If you want the same things, then I ask for your vote on Tuesday, August 30th. Together we can make Glendale better.

© 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.

CHECK OUT THE LATEST VIDEO TO THE LEFT OF THIS COLUMN. IN JULY JOYCE CLARK INVITED HER OPPONENT, SAMMY CHAVIRA, TO A DEBATE. HE REFUSED. IMAGINE IF IT HAD HAPPENED…

My opponent, Sam Chavira, has sent many campaign mailings.

  • FACT:  The money fuelling his campaign is from special interests, Mark Becker of Becker Billboards, Arizona Pipe Trades Union, The fire union, and the United Food Workers Union.
  • FACT:  My opponent, according to his 2016 filed campaign reports, has not received one campaign donation from a single person in Glendale or from our district, the Yucca district.
  • FACT:  Nearly every campaign donation I have received has come strictly from people like you, residents of the Yucca district or Glendale. This fact demonstrates a level of support from the district that Sammy simply cannot command.
  • FACT:  A few donations I received from outside of Glendale have been from friends.

You have a choice in this election on August 30th. My opponent, having received his campaign money from special interests, will have to make good on their agenda. 

I owe no one except the residents of Glendale. My pledge is to represent you and to “get your voice back.”

 Do you have a direct question for me? Call me at 623-772-9795 or send me an email at clarkjv@aol.com. I am always available to talk to you and to answer any question or concern you may have. 

This election is so important and your choice will be decided in the Primary on August 30th. I ask for your vote.

 Together we will “get your voice back.” 

We all want safe neighborhoods, more good paying jobs right there in Glendale, abundant recreational opportunities and a well maintained city with excellent service delivery. I want what you want.

 My pledge to you is to work hard to achieve these goals. I humbly ask for you and your family’s votes by Early Ballot or at the polls on August30th.

Banner vote for Aug 15 2016

© 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.

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

The countdown is on. Today is August 10, 2016. In 20 days all Early Ballots will have been mailed or will be turned in to voting sites and on August 30, 2016 voters will go to the polls to vote.

As did all candidates, I have walked and telephoned, delivered campaign fliers, had Meet ‘n’ Greets, participated in media interviews, planned the design of campaign mailers and mailed them out. I have posted on every social media site and even posted mini-videos. Campaign signs have been planted in residents’ yards and on nearly every street corner in the district. I exhausted the first supply of yard signs and had to order more.

I raised $9,640 – just $360 shy of a goal of $10,000. If you can give just a little bit thermometer w new numbers July 28 2016more I will have enough to cover bills still coming in. All of your $25, $50 and $100 donations added up and are a testament to the power of the people. Please send whatever you can to Joyce Clark, 8628 W. Cavalier Drive, Glendale, AZ 85305. Please make your check out to “Clark for Council.” If your contribution is over $50 by law I must have your name, address, employer and job title. My thanks to all who have donated as well as those who send me a contribution now, when it is needed the most.

The most amazing thing happened during this campaign. Not only have I had an opportunity to renew old friendships but nearly every contribution I have received has come from Yucca district residents or city-wide residents. I am so proud of that accomplishment but I am also very humbled and grateful to see the level of faith and trust so many of you have placed in me.

There are so many differences in our candidacies for the Yucca district city council position. I haven’t raised nearly the campaign cash that my opponent, Sammy Chavira, has raised but his first two filed campaign committee reports show that his money has come from only one source — special interests – the majority of cash and independent mailings from unions. Nearly all of my campaign donations have come from people like you.

There are stark differences in our campaign styles as well. Sammy has relied on his job as a fire fighter to provide you, the voter, with a reason to vote for him. But that is exactly why you should not vote for him. His full time job as a fire fighter has caused him to fail to carry out his responsibilities as a councilmember. Sammy has offered you, the voter, a laundry list of generalities in terms of his goals and accomplishments. Sammy has not bothered to list anything factual. Sammy can’t point to his record because it is so blemished and unethical.

We are judged “by the company we keep.” Sammy’s best buddy on city council was former Councilmember Garry Sherwood, recalled and disgraced. Many to this day believe that Sammy flip flopped on his campaign pledge and voted for the Coyotes deal so that Sherwood would support the casino.

  • Sammy has been invisible and failed to do his job as your councilmember.
  • Sammy has abused your trust in him by abusing taxpayer dollars on lavish trips.
  • Sammy thinks he’s above the law.
  • Sammy has offered a campaign platform devoid of anything concrete.
  • Sammy has presented only platitudes and generalities.
  • Sammy has a full time job as a fire fighter and no time to be a full time councilmember.
  • Sammy is offering the same, tired promises of 4 years ago and will fail to deliver on them just as he has done during his one term.

You deserve better than this. I pledge my accessibility and accountability. I’ve done it before and will do it again. I offer you my 5 E’s of Ethics, Economy, Engagement, Environment and Equity. I will post every taxpayer dollar spent from my councilmember budget. You deserve no less.

You have a choice. You can choose between Sammy’s years of inaction and my proven record of action. You can choose to “get your voice back” or you can have councilmember silence on the issues that concern you the most.

Here’s a simple comparison for your consideration:

  Sammy Joyce
Presented Biography No Yes
College graduate ?? Yes
Listed accomplishments while serving No Yes
Listed community involvement Yes Yes
Presented specific platform No Yes
Source of campaign contributions Special Interests The People
Current job full time fire fighter retired
Abused taxpayer dollars with travel Yes No
Held district meetings 1 in 4 years Min. of 2X a year
Attended neighborhood meetings No Yes
Returned your phone calls No Yes
Attended council meetings Missed 12 in 1 term Yes, faithfully
Active participant at council meetings No Yes
Failed to appear in court, driver’s license suspension as a result of a traffic ticket Yes No
Flop flopped on Coyotes vote Yes No

 

I have done all the things necessary in a campaign to convince you to support me…walked and talked, mailed and met. Now it is up to you. All I can do is wait and hope that you, the voter, recognize the real, basic differences between us and how we will represent you. I ask for your vote by Early Ballot or on August 30th.

Can you afford Sammy any longer?

© 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.

Another Sammy mailer arrived today. All that special interest money allows him to mail out a gazillion campaign mailers. That’s ok. He will pay them back big time should he be elected.

This one touts his primary occupation as a Phoenix fire fighter. If you were electing a fire fighter then perhaps this campaign mailer would be pretty effective but he’s running as a councilmember. He’s hoping his fire fighter status will do the job that he can’t and get him elected.

His full-time, six figure job as a fire fighter is exactly why he has no time to fulfill his responsibilities as your district councilmember. After all, he collects $35,000 as a councilmember and that amount is not persuasive enough to get him to show up for council meetings and workshops. He missed a dozen of them, more than any Glendale councilmember in history. That’s why he doesn’t return your phone calls. That’s why he doesn’t hold district meetings. That’s why he hasn’t done anything.

Sammy has no record to fall back upon other than a record of abusing $25,000 of taxpayer money, his invisibility as a councilmember, and his flaunting the law with his Glendale ticket, failure to appear in court and his driver’s license suspension. Don’t forget his recent violation of federal law by placing campaign material with no postage (did not mail through the postal system) in citizen’s mailboxes. Complaints have been filed with the U.S. Post Office.

Many of you no longer get the Arizona Republic and may not have had the opportunity to read Paul Giblin’s story about Sammy’s taxpayer abuse published on March 4, 2016 in the Arizona Republic. I am offering the complete article to you now. It’s fairly long. Grab a cup of coffee or a Pepsi and sit down to read.

Chavira headline_Page_1AGlendale Councilman Sammy Chavira charges $24K in trips in 3 years to taxpayers

Paul Giblin, The Republic | azcentral.com 9:47 a.m. MST March 4, 2016

On Dec. 17, 2014, Glendale City Councilman Sammy Chavira received a cheery email from his friend Ruben Gallego, who had just been elected to the U.S. House of Representatives.

Gallego and his wife invited him to attend Gallego’s inauguration in Washington, D.C., via an email sent from Gallego’s campaign account to Chavira’s personal account.

Nineteen days later, Chavira arrived in Washington — and the charges started piling up: $1,282 for airfare on US Airways; $685 for two nights’ lodging at the JW Marriott hotel near the White House; $78 for a room-service steak burger and other meals; $30 for a couple of cab rides.

Chavira’s bills totaled $2,075. He expensed it all to Glendale taxpayers.

A few months later, Gallego invited Chavira back to Washington to watch Pope Francis’ address to Congress. Chavira expensed $1,933 to Glendale taxpayers for that trip.

Glendale allots thousands of dollars to each council member for travel annually. Its travel policy dictates that expenditures should only be incurred for “clear business needs” that benefit the city.

Those trips were among 13 out-of-state trips that the first-term councilman expensed to Glendale taxpayers since taking office in January 2013, according to documents obtained by The Arizona Republic through public-records requests.

The Republic also found:

Chavira expensed six trips to the nation’s capital. During one, Chavira, who works as a Phoenix firefighter, charged Glendale taxpayers for a $420 seafood dinner for several guests, including two of his Phoenix Fire Department supervisors and a supervisor’s spouse.

Chavira made three trips to the Los Angeles area, including two for economic-development purposes, though documentation of those ventures is vague.

The councilman regularly racks up hundreds of dollars of airline fees for late changes to his flight plans and for baggage — doubling, tripling and quadrupling original charges. One postponed flight allowed Chavira to attend a party that then-Councilman Gary Sherwood hosted the night of his recall election. Sherwood lost the recall.

Chavira and Sherwood shared the lead as the most frequent fliers on the council. They charged taxpayers for 13 out-of-state trips each since 2013, though all of Sherwood’s trips were to attend conferences.

Glendale has lax controls over council members’ travel expenses, allowing each member to spend as much as $18,000 a year to attend conferences and to cover office expenses, with few restrictions. 

Chavira and his assistant scheduled and canceled three interviews with The Republic to discuss the matter. Finally, Chavira agreed to answer emailed questions, but instead he outlined the goals of his travels in general terms and did not address specific questions about the expenses.

“I’ve never hidden these trips. I’ve documented each and every trip, per city policy. I believe the trips are consistent with my role as an advocate for our city, Glendale residents and our business owners.”

Councilman Sammy Chavira

“I made these trips on behalf of the city for legitimate purposes — to pursue economic development opportunities; to cement valuable relationships; to help improve Glendale public safety and to secure our city’s share of federal funds and grants,” he stated in the email.

Overall, he billed $24,307 for the 13 trips.

Council members police their own expenses

Each council member controls an $18,000-a-year expense budget, according to Glendale’s City Council guidelines. One stipulation is the money must be “for city business only.”

Ultimately, each council member is responsible for certifying that his or her travel expenses are for city business, said Brent Stoddard, the city’s director of intergovernmental programs.

Vice Mayor Ian Hugh said elected officials should be prepared to defend their spending.

“The council has a lot of leeway how they spend it, but you then have to answer to the public on the rationale why,” he said.

Hugh is one of two sitting council members who haven’t expensed any out-of-state trips since 2013. Ray Malnar, who replaced Sherwood in November 2015, is the other.

Kevin McCarthy, president of the Arizona Tax Research Association, questioned how Chavira could justify the Gallego and pope trips as official city business.

“It’s staggering to me that people don’t get it — that taxpayers not only aren’t going to support it, but it undermines their confidence when this sort of stuff happens. It should be a given that it’s inappropriate to use taxpayer money for personal travel,” he said.

Inauguration trip

The invitation to Gallego’s inauguration included these events: an all-day open house at Gallego’s congressional office in the Longworth House Office Building, a ceremonial swearing-in at the Jones Day law office, a televised swearing-in back at the Longworth building and a happy-hour reception at the Hawk ’n’ Dove restaurant and bar.

It wasn’t clear from emails which events Chavira attended.

Gallego, a Democrat, is serving his freshman term in Congress. His 7th Congressional District covers parts of Phoenix and Glendale, including approximately 8 square miles of Chavira’s district.

Chavira’s expense report noted that the purpose of the trip was “Congressional Swearing in for Ruben Gallego.” In his email to The Republic, he stated that he was invited as an elected leader.

“With that said, my trip to Washington was about far more than the inauguration. That trip also included numerous meetings related to the Urban Area Safety Initiative, a program meant to help urban regions like Glendale and the Valley work to combat terrorism and lower crime,” he stated in the email.

He did not provide documentation for those meetings, but he would have been on a tight schedule.

According to his expense report, he was scheduled to arrive at Ronald Reagan Washington National Airport at 7:47 p.m. the day before the inauguration, and leave at 10:25 a.m. the day after.

Seeing Pope Francis

Eight months after the swearing-in trip, Chavira accepted an invitation from Gallego to travel to Washington again to watch a broadcast of the pope’s address to Congress. Chavira expensed a $1,933 trip from Sept. 23-25, 2015, records show.

An assistant for Gallego offered Chavira a ticket for a seat to watch the broadcast on the West Terrace of the Capitol.

Chavira responded, “Thank you! I am very blessed and honored to have you think about me!”

The next day, Chavira’s assistant asked Gallego’s assistant if a second ticket was available, because Chavira wanted to bring a guest. The emails did not specify whether Chavira was given a second ticket.

Chavira’s expense report stated that the purpose of the trip was “Invited to see the pope in D.C. by Congressman Gallego.”

In his email to The Republic, Chavira stated: “While my trip to Washington D.C. in 2015 included attending the pope’s appearance in the Capitol, this was not just ‘a trip to see the Pope.’ My agenda for that trip included multiple meetings focused on using fire fighters to impact the prevalence of sex trafficking and to help victims of sex trafficking.”

His meetings included those with Gallego and U.S. Rep. Kyrsten Sinema, D-Ariz., he stated in the email.

Gallego’s assistant Christina Carr told The Republic that Chavira and Gallego met briefly in the congressman’s office on the day of the pope’s speech to discuss local issues and the papal visit.

Sinema’s assistant Macey Matthews said Chavira and Sinema did not have an official meeting, but they talked briefly at the Capitol on the day of the pope’s visit. “She doesn’t remember the specific details of what they discussed,” Matthews wrote in an email.

Chavira’s expense reports show he was on a tight schedule then, too.

He was scheduled to arrive at Reagan National at 4:08 p.m. the day before the pope’s speech, and leave at 10:30 a.m. the day after.

“Clearly, any travel that an elected official does on behalf of the city should be related to city business.”

Ken Strobeck, League of Arizona Cities and Towns executive director

Cities use various guidelines to define legitimate travel, said Ken Strobeck, executive director of the League of Arizona Cities and Towns, an organization that represents municipalities before the state Legislature.

“Clearly, any travel that an elected official does on behalf of the city should be related to city business,” he said.

“I take kind of a biased view on this. I think a lot of people say, ‘Oh, you shouldn’t be traveling,’ ” Strobeck said. “You don’t find a whole lot of wisdom just if you go into the same office every day and don’t ever get any outside ideas.”

State and national conferences offer valuable training and educational programs, he said.

Strobeck declined to comment about whether the Gallego and pope trips should be considered city business.

Dinner with Phoenix bosses

While Chavira serves as an elected city councilman for Glendale, he works as a firefighter for Phoenix. He’s also involved with the Urban Area Safety Initiative, a federal program that provides grants to further municipal and regional preparedness for terrorism and major disasters.

Chavira expensed a $3,236 trip to Washington on Oct. 8-10, 2014, for meetings associated with the grants program.

During the trip, he charged Glendale taxpayers for a $420 dinner for himself and several guests at Johnny’s Half Shell, a seafood restaurant with views of Capitol Hill. They had four orders of shrimp cocktail, 1½ dozen oysters, four orders of seafood stew, halibut, scallops, gumbo and more.

According to Chavira’s expense report, the dinner party included Phoenix Fire Chief Kara Kalkbrenner and Assistant Chief Scott Krushak, plus Kalkbrenner’s husband, Phoenix Director of Homeland Security and Emergency Management Kevin Kalkbrenner.

“If he was traveling as a Phoenix firefighter, I don’t know how you charge any of that to the city of Glendale. I’m not really sure what the details were of that trip — and yeah, a $400 meal is ridiculous.”

Glendale Councilwoman Lauren Tolmachoff

Other dinner-party guests included Phoenix Police Executive Assistant Chief Dave Harvey and Phoenix Councilman Daniel Valenzuela. Former Glendale Fire Chief Mark Burdick, who has since resigned and announced his candidacy in the Glendale mayoral race, also attended.

Phoenix Fire Deputy Chief Shelly Jamison said Kara Kalkbrenner felt there were no improprieties in allowing a subordinate to pick up the bill.

“The group did accept Chavira’s offer to pay and apparently understood that it would be reimbursed by city expenses,” Jamison said.

Glendale City Councilwoman Lauren Tolmachoff said she has several questions about the matter.

“I don’t really know what that was about. If he was traveling as a Phoenix firefighter, I don’t know how you charge any of that to the city of Glendale. I’m not really sure what the details were of that trip — and yeah, a $400 meal is ridiculous.”

Trips to California

Concerning the California trips, Chavira noted in expense records that the purpose for a trip to Montebello, Calif., in November 2015 was “Economic Development-grid projects & special events in CA.”

He wrote that the reason for a trip to West Covina, Calif., in October 2015 was “Light Rail and bring LA restaurant to CB Ranch in CA,” a reference to Glendale’s spring-training park Camelback Ranch.

In his email to The Republic, Chavira stated that the trips combined multiple opportunities.

“I met with the Los Angeles Cleantech Incubator (LACI), which is an excellent model for innovation and entrepreneurship that I hope to implement in Glendale. Additionally, these two trips involved meetings with a number of political and sports-world leaders concerning the possibility of partnerships back home in Glendale,” he stated.

Chavira did not include names of business, political and sports leaders with whom he met. Officials with the clean-tech concern did not return messages about the matter.

The October 2015 trip followed an introduction Chavira facilitated between Glendale resident Luis De La Cruz and officials at Glendale’s spring-training stadium.

De La Cruz is the majority owner of Manuel’s Original El Tepeyac Café, a Los Angeles restaurant known for its five-pound burrito. During the meeting, De La Cruz proposed the idea of El Tepeyac selling items at Camelback Ranch stadium, according to De La Cruz and stadium President Jeff Overton.

The group met at Camelback Ranch on Sept. 1, 2015, but no deals were struck. In October, Chavira sampled the food at El Tepeyac in Los Angeles and De La Cruz introduced him to officials at the clean-tech incubator, De La Cruz said in an interview.

The Los Angeles Dodgers and Chicago White Sox play spring-training games at Camelback Ranch.

Brian Friedman, the city’s economic-development director, said he did not accompany Chavira on the trips and that the councilman didn’t coordinate with him about them. Friedman said he is unfamiliar with the term “grid projects.”

By comparison, Mayor Jerry Weiers coordinated with Glendale economic-development officials on three of his five business-recruitment trips. Those three trips were affiliated with the Greater Phoenix Economic Council, while the other two were associated with Lockheed Martin, the aerospace company that manufactures F-35 fighter jets that are based at Luke Air Force Base in Glendale.

No other council members expensed similar trips.

Additional costs for late and change fees

Chavira frequently incurs charges for changing his flights and rebooking them at higher fees on short notice. In addition, he nearly always checks two pieces of luggage, incurring $120 or more in luggage fees, even on short jaunts.

For example:

On a trip to Nashville, Tenn., for a League of Cities conference on Nov. 4-6, 2015, change fees and other fees increased a $394 airfare to $895.

On a trip to Montebello, Calif., for light-rail meetings on Dec. 4-5, 2014, change fees and other fees pushed a $342 airfare to $652.

On a trip to Austin, Texas, for a League of Cities conference on Nov. 19-22, 2014, change fees and other fees jacked up a $243 airfare to $1,039.

On a trip to Washington, D.C., for another League of Cities conference on March 7-12, 2014, change fees and other fees elevated a $425 airfare to $1,436.

Since taking office, he has charged taxpayers a combined $3,136 in rebooking fees and other airline fees, records show.

Fellow council members have noticed that Chavira is a heavy traveler, Tolmachoff said. For example, he arrived a day after most other council members on the Nashville trip, but checked at least two pieces of luggage.

“It’s like, how in the world can you even bring that much stuff with you? I mean, I don’t know. Maybe he needs a lot of hair products and that sort of thing,” she said.

Chavira did not submit baggage-fee receipts for the Nashville trip. Instead, he submitted three documents for lost or missing receipts, a common practice for him.

One document for the Nashville trip accounted for $60 in baggage fees for the outgoing American Airlines flight on Nov. 4. A second document noted an additional $75 in baggage fees for the same flight. A third document logged $60 in baggage fees for the return flight two days later.

American Airlines typically charges $25 for a single checked piece each way, $35 for a second and $150 for a third.

Nothing in Chavira’s expense reports account for the discrepancies.

Chavira stated in the email to The Republic, “I’ve never hidden these trips. I’ve documented each and every trip, per city policy. I believe the trips are consistent with my role as an advocate for our city, Glendale residents and our business owners.”

Tolmachoff, who is in her first term, said she was surprised by the city’s lack of controls over travel expenses.

The city has covered three out-of-state trips for Tolmachoff since she took office in December 2014. All were for conferences.

“We have to turn in our receipts and sign for everything, but it’s not like other places where I’ve had expenses that I turned in where people were actually reviewing it,” she said.

Good for you. You read the story to the end.

We can’t afford Sammy or his ethics.

PLEASE CHECK OUT THE LATEST CHAVIRA VIDEO TO THE LEFT OF THIS COLUMN ABOUT HIS RECORD AS A COUNCILMEMBER

I have shared Sammy’s record with you based upon facts reported publicly or from city council meeting minutes: his failure to fulfill his duties as a councilmember and to be accessible and to represent his constituency; his speeding ticket and subsequent actions; and of course his abuse of taxpayer money with his lavish trips. He has abused the trust voters placed in him and has shown himself to be ethically bankrupt.

What do I stand for? Why vote for me?

  • Completion of Heroes Park with a permanent West Branch library
  • Location of a grocery store within the district
  • New business attraction with quality jobs
  • Creation of a business incubator
  • Streamlined city business codes and regulations
  • Adoption of zero-based budgeting
  • Equitable use of all city resources and redress for areas long neglected
  • Continued emphasis on street repair and reconstruction
  • Continued fiscal emphasis on our core city services
  • Adoption of technology that keeps city government lean and effective
  • Refocus on code compliance
  • Accessibility to constituents in-person, by phone, email or other social media
  • Regular posting online of every cent of taxpayer money I spend with who, what, where and why
  • Restoration of integrity and ethics to the position of Yucca district councilmember
  • Will “do my homework” on all issues coming before council and consistently and regularly attend all council meetings
  • Will represent you and “get your voice back”

Here are a few previous accomplishments

  • Hosted a tour for senior management of the Yucca district sparking the creation of the Neighborhood Partnership Program
  • Successfully gained council approval for the first 50,000 Christmas lights in Murphy Park now known as Glendale Glitters
  • Loan program for E-readers
  • Adoption of Care Program providing discount prescription drugs for people and their pets
  • Piloted street identification signage for motorists later adopted throughout the city
  • Successfully gained basketball courts, water play feature for children, tot lot, X-Court and ramadas for Heroes Park
  • Insured that new residential development  such as Rovey Farm Estates, Missouri Ranch and Missouri Estates, incorporated large lots designed to raise property values in our area

© Joyce Clark, 2016

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