It has been 17 years and 148 days since the city’s pledge to build the West Branch Library. Many who have visited Westgate couldn’t help but notice the fountains spilling into the tiny lake on the south side of Glendale Town lake 3Avenue. Well, poof…it’s gone. With the development of the newest addition to Westgate, Dave & Buster’s and its requisite parking needs, this lake which the city deeded to Westgate was removed. It was a nice, upscale amenity…but heck…since when do those who live on the west side of the valley deserve an amenity?

Becker Billboards is coming back with a vengeance. Remember their failed attempt, supported by Councilmembers Sherwood, Chavira and Aldama to plant billboards along the Loop 101 and Bell Road? It was scheduled to be reheard by the Planning & Zoning Commission this fall. However, betting that a lot of people are out of town during the summer Becker was successful in moving it up to the Planning & Zoning agenda for next Thursday, June 4th at 6pm at City Hall in Council Chambers.

No matter what the P&Z recommendation is it will go before the city council for another vote on Tuesday, June 23rd at 6pm at City Hall in Council Chambers. (Note that citizen comments are again scheduled at the start of the council meeting.) If the Becker Billboards are allowed it will set precedent for additional billboards at other locations throughout the city. The city has worked hard to eliminate the visual blight associated with billboards. Allowing Becker Billboards is, frankly, taking a step backward.

Publicly the record has been Sherwood, Chavira and Aldama support the billboards. Weiers, Tolmachoff and Hugh oppose the billboards. The deciding vote will be that of Councilmember Bart Turner. Thus far, he has impressed as being reasonable and genuinely interested in hearing the opinions of Glendale residents. I urge you to send emails expressing your opinion to the mayor and council at:

I would also urge you to send emails to the Planning & Zoning Commission members. Please send their emails to: tritz@glendaleaz.com . It is his responsibility to copy all emails directed to P&Z Commissioners and to make sure that they receive them in their packets. Please make sure you address your opinion to the P&Z Commissioners. Lastly I urge you to attend one or both meetings. You do not have to speak unless you wish but your presence sends a very strong message.

On May 29, 2015 the city council voted to approve the calling of a Recall Election for Councilmember Gary Sherwood on November 3, 2015. However a funny thing happened on the way to the Recall Election. Are you ready for this? By state law after a sitting elected official is notified of his/her recall (done by the City Clerk on May 12, 2015) the person being recalled has 5 days (excluding weekends and holidays) to resign.

Sherwood chose not to resign. The official is also notified that he/she has 10 days (INCLUDING weekends and holidays) to provide a 200 word statement of defense that will appear on the ballot. Sherwood’s 220 word statement was due on or before May 22, 2015. Sherwood submitted his written statement on May 26, 2015. Oops…Sherwood appears not to be able to follow directions well.

On May 28, 2015 he received a letter from the City Clerk REJECTING his 200 word statement as not being offered to the clerk’s office within the proscribed time limit. Can you believe it? It’s like a remark made to me regarding his failure to be timely. The prosecution (recall committee) presents its case and the defense (Sherwood) is asked to present its and it says, ‘none.’ Talk about self-inflicted wounds…

In his latest e-newsletter Sherwood has announced that he is putting together a citizen advisory committee. Why now after nearly 3 years in office? Because he finally seems to recognize that he is going to lose his seat on council. One of the habitual complaints against him has been his arrogant dismissal of citizen voices. Unfortunately it’s too little and too late.

For those interested in the gristly details of the recall election in the Sahuaro district the first day to file nomination petitions is Aug. 5, 2015 (90 days before); the last day is Sept. 4, 2015 (60 days before); and candidate nomination packets available after June 1, 2015. People can register to vote by Oct. 5, 2015; Early Ballots go out Oct 7, 2015; and the Recall Election Day is Nov. 3, 2015. If I were anyone interested in running against Sherwood I would be forming a Political Action Committee (PAC) immediately and start raising money now.

© Joyce Clark, 2015

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