After I lost my reelection bid in 2012, I was offered several opportunities to work but I declined them. I had given 16 plus years to the city I love and I knew it was time to pay attention to my family and to take some time to “smell the roses.”

blog symbol 3Several people suggested that I write about what I knew best – the city of Glendale and its players, past and present. I have always enjoyed writing. I took a hiatus from my council duties in 1996-2000 to take care of my Mom and during that time I wrote opinion columns on Glendale issues for the Arizona Republic and was paid the princely sum of $50 per column. I got a kick out of it even though some of my subjects, I am sure, did not appreciate my skills.

I continued to think about the idea for several months knowing that writing nearly every day is a major commitment – but at least I figured I could do it at home while also doing the ordinary tasks of life. It also requires extensive research if one expects to retain credibility and that is something I learned how to do eons ago in college.  As I celebrated Christmas and New Year’s the notion was always there like the proverbial itch, waiting to be scratched. Yet, I continued to hold off.

I think what made me finally decide to write was watching the first meeting of the newly constituted Glendale City Council.  I saw people flying by the seat of their pants, offering no probing questions on any topic and holding personal agendas just waiting to be realized. We’ve all heard the story of the emperor with no clothes. Well, occasionally I feel that I get to be that little boy who made everyone realize that the emperor wasn’t wearing any clothes. No matter how much some may tell you the way things are, doesn’t necessarily mean that’s the way it really is  and that’s where I come in. I offer a different perspective on the very same situation or set of facts. I could be right. I could be wrong. Hopefully I will have offered you a different way of looking at an issue.

On March 11, 2013 I will celebrate the first month’s anniversary of my blog. I expect to have received about 9,000 hits by that time. I don’t know if that’s ablog symbol 2 good number or bad. I do know that as a result of my blog I am getting a lot of email-the good, the bad and the ugly. That’s OK because at least I know that people are reading and responding. I find that I am enjoying blogging and I guess that’s what counts, even if no one ever reads it.

I’ve decided that I will occasionally run one of the emails I receive in response to my blog. If you would like to respond directly to my commentaries I can be emailed at clarkjv@aol.com.  Who knows? In the coming months your comments may strike a chord and I email symbol 1may choose to use your commentary in a future blog posting. I don’t have to agree with your point of view but I do require that no profanity be used and that your comments are meaningful to the topic and as articulate as you can make it. This is the first commentary I’ve chosen. It comes from a Glendale resident living in the Cholla district (far north Glendale). I have never met this person. The name of the writer is being deliberately withheld upon request. I have contacted this person and found, to my delight, that this person has been following my blog since I started it.The following was emailed to me:

email symbol 2“I’ve watched many of the Glendale City Council meetings on Glendale’s channel 11 over the last few years. At  first, I was not really sure that I would have supported you if I lived in your district but as time went on, I saw that in many cases, you seemed to be a lot smarter than your fellow council members. During the last year, I came to enjoy the fact that there was someone on the council who would stand up to the Mayor when needed.

City Manager: I guess you can say we were charmed by the debonair Ed Beasley, the way he conducted Council business, he could speak and be understood. The first few meetings after Mr. Skeete was appointed interim City Manager, I had to keep turning the volume up on my TV and even that did not help in understanding everything he was saying. I watched him present information to the council that seemed only half done and missing information that most people would have included in the presentation. At the end of last year as the “what ifs” were being discussed regarding possible additional cuts to the city budget if the voter initiative for the sales tax was overturned, he seemed unprepared and then distanced himself from the other departments (that were technically reporting to him) when errors were discovered or procedures questioned. Horatio was definitely no Mr. Beasley.

City Attorney: Mr. Tindall seemed to be qualified for the position and prior to the new council being installed, always seemed to work well with the Council in providing legal direction as needed or answering the legal questions about procedures. I did notice that there seemed to be friction with Mr. Tindall and some of the new council members recently and was quite surprised to hear that he ‘submitted his resignation’.

Council Member Alvarez: For the longest time, I did not know who CM Alvarez was since she was absent from many of the council meetings and workshops. It seems that she has been around the City of Glendale operations for some time and is quite familiar with many of the departments within the city. Many of her comments and objections during the recent financial workshops made it sound like she was the council member representing the employees of Glendale rather than her district constituents.

Management Titles: I found it strange that a city like Glendale that was facing difficult financial challenges would have managers with some lofty sounding titles. Why does a director level position need to be called Executive Director? That department should have a Director and then one or more managers as based on the number of employees in that department. While the city is pinching pennies everywhere it can, it seemed out of place to have an Executive Director. (It also seems that many of the tactical errors that have turned up with city finances were done by these Executive Directors.)

I miss the spirit you brought to the Glendale City Council. Thank you for your commentary and insights into the happenings of our city.”

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