On Wednesday, February 28, 2013, several Glendale elected officials made comments worthy of note. Mayor Jerry Weiers delivered his first State of City address at the Chamber of Commerce Annual Business Appreciation Dinner. His remarks were more notable not for what he said but for what he did not say.
He recognized the need for West Valley cities to cooperate with one another on regional issues and extended the proverbial “olive branch” to them. Since he was speaking before many business interests his announcement of a Mayor’s Business Advisory Council hit the right note with the group. He also indicated his desire to bring more major events to downtown Glendale.
The two most pressing issues facing this council – the budget and the Coyotes- were absent. His lack of commentary on the council’s upcoming budget setting for the next fiscal year was an elephant in the room ignored. I’m sure he has his own agenda regarding the city’s budget and his failure to speak publicly to the issue should be of concern.
The second veil of silence was placed over the Coyotes issue. On the same afternoon, hours before the Mayor’s speech, Councilmember Gary Sherwood was interviewed off-air by the principals of the Roc and Manuch radio show. He told them that they should expect the mayor to make a “positive announcement” about the Coyotes. Didn’t happen. Was Sherwood sandbagged by the mayor? Or did he assume the “positive announcement” was related to the Coyotes? Either way, it was the first step in the destruction of Sherwood’s credibility.
Has Beacon Sports been hired to negotiate with potential buyers of the Coyotes? We don’t know because the mayor was silent. Are there “mystery buyers” as the mayor has claimed? We don’t know because the mayor was silent. Does the mayor still want to issue 4 separate management contracts for the arena? We don’t know because the mayor was silent. Does the mayor want to keep the Coyotes in town? We don’t know because the mayor was silent. Is time of the essence to settle the Coyotes issue? We don’t know because the mayor was silent.
Last, but certainly not least, was Vice Mayor Knaack’s reaction to the resignation of City Attorney Craig Tindall. Paul Giblin, in an Arizona Republic article, reported that Knaack said she had no warning of the impending action and was surprised. She felt Tindall was doing a good job and she was blind–sided by the mayor’s action. Giblin goes on to confirm what I had surmised – that this council is split right down the middle, 3 to 3. Look for polite warfare between Knaack-Sherwood-Martinez vs. Alvarez-Hugh-Chavira with Weiers playing both sides against one another to his delighted advantage.
By the way, the mayor at the end of the evening auctioned off Coyotes items. Wonder what they sold for? Let’s hope this does not portend the future of the team in Glendale!
For political junkies such as myself the mayor’s speech sent signals reverberating throughout Glendale. My advice is hang on. It looks like it’s going to be a bumpy ride!