The City of Glendale owns 2 adjoining suites at Jobing.com arena and a suite at Camelback Ranch. The City Manager’s Office developed the original policy for their use in 2005 with a policy revision in 2010.
The criteria for their use, in order of importance, are listed below:
2. Conducting City Council city business
3. Activities for youth and recognized, non-profit organizations
The City’s Marketing Department keeps records of suite use. In 2012, various city departments requested use of the Jobing.com suites 5 times during the course of that year. For the Coyotes 9 playoff games spanning April 12 – May 22, 2012, the Mayor and all City Councilmembers were invited. Only 4 councilmembers accepted. They were myself, former Vice Mayor Frate, Councilmember Martinez and Councilmember Knaack. Former Mayor Scruggs and Councilmember Alvarez did not participate. Former Councilmember Lieberman did attend playoff games on several occasions. From attendance records it was pretty obvious that a line in the sand had already been drawn among Council regarding what would become the Jamison deal to buy the team.
Many corporate interests were also invited to the playoff games and it was understood that the councilmembers would meet and greet these corporate and media representatives. Councilmembers would use this opportunity to reinforce Glendale as a great community in which to locate or relocate. All councilmembers in attendance did exactly that, although some were better at it than others.
For the majority of dates in 2012 the suites at Jobing.com were awarded to non-profit groups. It included many non-profits with a presence in and service to Glendale residents such as Big Brothers, Big Sisters, Heart for the City, Special Olympics and Crosspoint Christian Church. It is a small but significant way of recognizing their service to our community.
The Mayor and Councilmembers were not usually notified of non-profits’ use of city suites on the 26 occasions it occured in 2012 and consequently did not attend. There may have been a rare time when a councilmember may have sponsored a particular non-profit’s use of the suite and may have attended. I, personally, am not aware of any such occurrence but it could have happened.
Since January 15, 2013, a new pattern has emerged. every non-profit awarded use of the city suite/s has been joined by Mayor Weiers and a guest (usually his spouse). The suite/s have been used 12 times from Jan. 15 to Jan 28, 2013, and 10 of those uses were for Coyotes games with Mayor Weiers in attendance and used by non-profits such as the Salvation Army, St. Mary’s Food Bank, Central Christian Church and the First Southern Baptist Church. On two occasions of Mayor Weiers’ attendance, the suite/s use was requested by the city’s Economic Development Department – The Feb. 6, 2013 WHO concert and the Feb. 18, 2013 Coyotes game.
Do his actions signal that he is committed to keeping the team in Glendale? After all, he’s attended the team’s home games – therefore, he MUST be a hockey fan. He’s said publicly that he wants to keep the team but with the caveat that it must not be on the backs of Glendale’s taxpayers. Sounds good, doesn’t it? Then why does he continue to advocate for 4 separate contracts for the arena? Surely he’s aware that there isn’t a potential buyer out there that would participate in such a scheme? In fact, Anthony LeBlanc, assumed to be in the running to buy the team, has been quoted in the media as saying that any future deal to purchase the team would have to look very similar to the deal that was on the table for Jamison.
Mayor Weiers appears to be a very committed and an eager elected official enjoying his new role. That’s extremely commendable and should be applauded. His style appears to be attendance at every Jobing.com event including Coyotes games (often seen wearing his #1 Mayor jersey) and concerts. There have been at least 12 events through the end of January, 2013. The assumption is that he takes those opportunities to thank the non-profits for their service and to pitch Glendale to future business and corporate locates.
Who is paying for his and his guest’s attendance in the City suite/s? I assume it’s the City. Several sources have said that Mayor Weiers has standing tickets to every event in Jobing.com Arena. I don’t have any information related to the Mayor’s use of the city suite at the city’s baseball venue, Camelback Ranch. I find his prolifigate use of the suite/s to be troubling. In all my years of service on City Council I know of no such standing tickets being offered or accepted by any of the Mayors or Councilmembers with whom I have served. There is certainly nothing illegal about the Mayor’s acceptance of tickets to use the city suite/s. Glendale elected officials’ gift policy mirrors that of the State’s gift clause policy.
The Mayor’s actions may be entirely altruistic and worthy of praise or he may be joining non-profits in the city suite/s for his own gain. It’s a matter of judgment and perception… yours.
PS . Have you ever heard of a “cop card?” If anyone out there knows what this refers to, please share with me.