Header image alt text

Joyce Clark Unfiltered

For "the rest of the story"


NHL Deputy
Bill Daly

Here is the verbatim transcript of an April 29, 2013 interview with Deputy NHL Commissioner Bill Daly regarding Coyotes’ ownership from Sportsnet.com. I do not know the names of the two gentlemen that anchored the show on Hockey Central. I will refer to one as Anchor 1 (A1) and the other as Anchor 2 (A2). I refer to Bill Daly as BD. The link for the video is http://www.sportsnet.ca/hockey/nhl/bill-daly-on-hc-noon/ . It starts at about the 8 minute mark and the Phoenix Coyotes discussion lasts for about 3 minutes. My commentary follows the remarks made.

A1: “Couple of things we have to get to…Phoenix. Are you any closer?”

BD: “Yep. Look, it’s still a work in progress. There’s still a lot of work to be done. Um, but it’s still something that we’re diligent about trying to complete.”

A1: “Is it safe to say it’s not going to be a deal that’s ideal for you but it will be the best case scenario to keep the team in Phoenix?”

BD: “If we can get it done.”

A1: “It’s something…”

BD: “Again, we’re still trying to get it done and there’s a big, a big question mark still out there. We still have to deal with the City of Glendale.

This is an understatement. In the city council’s budget workshop of April 26, 2013 the figure that will be used in the approved Fiscal Year 2013-14 budget is $6M annually. There is still considerable doubt that this figure will be acceptable to any prospective buyer of the team.

A2: “This big notion that the team is essentially almost given to these people and they’re allowed to give it back in three years time. Is there any truth?”

BD: “Well, they’ll buy it.”

A2: “Yeah, they’ll buy it for peanuts.”

BD: “No. They don’t have the ability to give it back.”

The idea that the team would be given back has never surfaced. The question unasked is what is the NHL’s position on relocation of the team?

A2: “So, is this team going to be in excess of $150M, sold for?”

BD: “Yes.”

A2: “It will be sold for?”

BD: “Yes.”

A1: “Is there a guarantee that they play in Phoenix next year?”

BD: “Uh, no. There’s no guarantees.”

A2: “If this deal is done would they be in Phoenix?”

BD: “Yes. I mean, again, and I should clarify this. I mean, there’s no doubt that we’re dealing with Mr. Gosbee and Mr. LeBlanc and trying to work through and get to a deal with them but there are other interested people who continue, we’re working with at the same time as well. Nobody has exclusivity here. Um, but obviously we’re getting close to having to make some decisions and sign some documentation and you know, we’ve got to work on it. I was on a conference call again last night. It’s something we’re working on”.

The rumor that LeBlanc/Gosbee has a deal sewn up is just that, a rumor perpetuated by Mr. LeBlanc. Mr. Daly indicates that the NHL is talking to various groups and there is no exclusivity for anyone.

A1: “Are you ahead of where you were a few years ago when it looked like Phoenix was going to Winnipeg? I mean that was all but done. Are you ahead of that pace or about the same?”

BD: “I’m not sure how I answer that question. I mean, the, uh, I think, uh, we were very close to selling this team a couple of times and some unforeseen circumstances, uh, kept it from happening. Uh, that’s why I’m the first person who can’t give any guarantees on any result here. Um, you know and at some point in time, you beat your head against the wall enough times you have to try a different hole. You know I used to be a running back. I used to beat my head against the line a couple of time and then I had to try a different hole.”

That “different hole” that Mr. Daly is referring to appears to be consummating a sale with the NHL and then presenting it to Glendale, to accept or reject.

A1: “What happens first? The Olympics or Phoenix? Resolved?”

BD: “Um, well, the final resolution? Uh, I think we’ll in a position to make a recommendation to our Board before, on the Olympics, you know, before we have a closed transaction in Phoenix. That’s not to say there could be some announcements saying this is what we’re trying to get done in Phoenix before then.”

 It appears that the NHL still has a long way to go before any announcement of sale is made.

A2: “How much money has the League invested in Phoenix to this point? Like what would you have to sell that team for to break even? On what you’ve lost on this transaction?”

BD: “It’s a complicated question. I can probably take you through it and get to an answer.

A1: “The $25M a year from Glendale has helped.”

BD: “But I don’t intent to (referring to how much has been lost). Of course (in response to the $25M from Glendale).”

Glendale’s infusion of $25M annually for 2 years has virtually guaranteed that the NHL did not lose money in attempting to secure an owner.

Interview then moved on the Stanley Cup….


A bittersweet season

Posted by Joyce Clark on April 28, 2013
Posted in City of Glendale  | Tagged With: , , , | 3 Comments

Coyotes logoLast night I watched the last Coyotes game of this season on television. The team ended on a high note by beating the Anaheim Ducks. I am an unabashed “newbie” to Coyotes hockey. Although they had been playing in Glendale since 2003 I was consumed with my duties as a Councilmember. I barely knew they existed despite season after season of games played in our city-owned arena.

Then disaster struck in 2009 with the Moyes’ bankruptcy. Suddenly I was reading countless Memoranda of Understanding, meeting potential owners, and rereading old as well as newly drafted arena management agreements. Council meetings lasted long into the night as each potential owner was brought forward and Coyotes fans and opposition contingents spoke before packed Council Chambers. All failed. Still, even with my sudden immersion, I was not a fan—until April and May of 2012—playoff season. As a councilmember I had the opportunity to attend those games and to meet the players, the coaches and the support staff.

All of a sudden I became a fan. One could not help but become one. I met young men filled with passion and pride for their sport. I’ve met football players, basketball players and baseball players and none meet the standard of grace and dignity that I saw in these men – these hockey players. (I will add one disclaimer. Larry Fitzgerald also epitomizes that same grace and dignity. Someday I will do a blog on pro athletes and their lack of respect for the very fans responsible for their status.) This Coyotes team showed me that they respect their sport and that their fans are an important part of the game. From Shane Doan taking time after a game to visit with fans, especially the youngest of them to Paul Bissonnette sponsoring a group of underprivileged kids to a game. I talked to Don Maloney and Dave Tippett, both highly skilled professionals and outstanding ambassadors of their sport. I talked to members of the support staff who come to work because they love their jobs and assisting these men in their quest for excellence. I got to know Mike Nealy and Jim Voss, who despite ownership uncertainty have incredibly increased the fan base and game attendance. I respect what they have been able to achieve.

Now it became important to me to insure that the Coyotes stayed where I believed they belonged. They are an asset to this community and can contribute to making a difference in the lives of many. I felt sure we were about to welcome Greg Jamison as the new team owner. The man impressed me not just with his business acumen but with his passion for the sport. Trust me; I have learned that it is an unusual combination. It was not to be and I left my office this past January with ownership still in turmoil feeling frustrated and angry that there was no resolution.

I do not know who the NHL will choose as the new owner but it discomfits me that the decision will be based on what I believe will be exclusively dollars and cents. There should be extra points awarded for intangible qualities that rise above the “bottom line.” Instead I see some potential owners-not all-who consider buying the team wholly as an investment opportunity.  They and their investors expect a substantial return on their investment. I have not seen their passion for the sport.

It is akin to a great chef or artist. They don’t become great because of their skill in the use of fundamentals. Thousands of people learn the fundamentals and never rise to greatness. Those that do become great do so because their passion for what they do causes them to transfer that passion to us in a tangible fashion that we can understand and appreciate. That is what a new team owner must also do – transfer that passion to us in a tangible fashion causing us to be as excited about the team and its future as we, once upon a time, had been. The promise is there, just below the surface, awaiting an owner who believes as we have always believed. It is awaiting an owner who can successfully transfer his passion and belief in the team’s greatness to us. Perhaps I am being Don Quixote-ish. Perhaps I am hoping for a miracle but miracles do happen.

We end this bittersweet season in limbo, not knowing if that was indeed the last game here for the Coyotes. I read the unspoken and unanswered question in recent expressions of fan appreciation for a season, too short, just passed. I read their bravado expressed in the belief that the Coyotes will return next season but underneath it all was a current of wistful uncertainty. I saw and heard it in the faces of and in the voices of Tyson Nash, Todd Walsh and Matthew McConnell, at the end of the last televised game. Not daring to talk about ownership. Not daring to wonder if the team would be playing here in October and acting as if this would be just the end of a regular season and not the end of our Coyotes.

Believe ringIt is as if everyone with a commitment to this team has suffered death by a thousand paper cuts and yet, all have remained resilient and survived. It has survived because of the indomitable spirit of the players, coaches and staff who daily rose above the uncertainty. It has survived because WE BELIEVE… that the Coyotes will stay here…in the desert.


sup ct 2I preface this recitation of the legal timeline of litigation regarding the casino by saying, that IT DOES NOT MATTER how any of these suits was decided- for or against either side – because in every case the decision was appealed to a higher court. In some remaining cases further appeals of lower court decisions will occur. Any outstanding legal decisions, mark my words, will also be appealed. I believe that the final decision will rest with the United States Supreme Court. I do not know which of the issues will make its way there but one of them will. It will be several years before this issue is decided in its finality. Quite frankly, it does not matter if you and I are for or against the casino. It does not matter if the Tohono O’odham promises a million jobs. None of that matters. What will matter is some highly technical legal issue that will be the determinant of a final decision.

  • 2001  The land in question is annexed by Glendale; later that year annexation repealed and abandoned by Glendale
  • prop 2022002  Voters of state approve Proposition 202, the gaming compact; members of the Tohono O’odham actively and publicly advocated for its passage
  • 2003  The Tribe, under a shell company, Rainer Resources, Inc. buys the 134 acre parcel within Glendale’s borders
  • 2009  The Tribe announces plans to build casino with a major, state-wide Press Release and on the same day visits Glendale City Hall to announce they are coming;  In July the Tribe sues Glendale over its claim of annexation of land
  • 2010  In March the Tribe sues Bureau of Indian Affairs to compel it to take land into trust for reservation; In July the Bureau of Indian Affairs approves taking 54 of 134 acres into trust provisionally for a reservation pending outcome of other litigation and gaming approval; In September Glendale sues stating the TO needs state officers’ approval and the Gila River Tribe sues because the Department of the Interior acted improperly in deciding land could be annexed by the TO
  • judge 12011  In May Judge Campbell rules that the TO can not build a casino until all legal actions exhausted; In July a state law allowing Glendale to block TO land through annexation is struck down upon appeal; In August The National Indian Gaming Commission rejects a casino ordinance for the Tohono O’odham Nation; In September  U.S. Rep. Trent Franks offers a bill to stop what he called an “illegal” Indian casino proposed near Glendale
  • 2012  In April the 9th Circuit Court to decide two legal issues initiated by the Gila River Tribe and the State of Arizona; In June US House of Representative  passes Rep. Franks’ bill; however, the bill does not make it through the Senate and the 9th Circuit upholds one suit in favor of the TO land into trust decision; other suit still pending their decision
  • bill2013  The Gila River Tribe files suit contending the TO violated the voter approved state gambling compact; In April oral arguments heard; The decision is pending; U. S. Representative Trent introduces another bill to stop new casinos from being established after 2013




John Kindt
Biscayne Times

Professor of Business Administration since 1978, John Warren Kindt from the University of Illinois, is perhaps one of our country’s foremost experts on the effects of gambling and casinos in the United States. He has a distinguished and creditable background. He received an A.B. in Business from William and Mary; an M.B.A. from the University of Georgia; a J.D. from the University of Georgia; an LL.M., International Law from the University of Virginia; and an S.J.D., International Law from the University of Virginia. Kindt has written numerous papers on antitrust, tax, commercial, environmental, and international law. However, his main expertise is the economics of gambling — from Internet poker games to lavish casinos.

The Biscayne Times of Florida quoted him extensively in a February, 2012 article entitled The Casino Effect written By Erik Bojnansky on the issue of off-shore corporate interests building a mega resort/tourist destination with casinos in Miami, Florida. You can connect to the article here: http://www.biscaynetimes.com/index.php?option=com_content&view=article&id=1073:the-casi .

I have taken the liberty of quoting some of his remarks:

“Generally there is a bump lasting about two to three years,” says Kindt, who has studied casinos for two decades. ‘There are new construction jobs and a lot of activity as money is coming in’.”

“But Kindt warns that the bump won’t last: ‘Once the project is completed, and slot machines come in, [the casino] takes everything. After that Miami will lose jobs as businesses within a 35-mile radius of casinos… see their profits shrink…’. ”

slot machine“Kindt also says that casino games such as poker, blackjack, and roulette are merely ‘window dressing’ designed to draw in players. Slot machines, which include video poker and other electronic gambling machines, are at the heart of all casinos. ‘Every slot machine brings in a minimum of $100,000 a year,’ he asserts. ‘Slot machines don’t create jobs — you just dust them off. And that’s 90 percent of the money.’ According to Kindt, most of that slot-machine money comes from middle-class and poor individuals living near casinos.”

“Each slot machine costs the surrounding community one job per year, Kindt says. In a 2003 article for the Ohio Law Review, he reported that within a newly established casino’s ‘feeder market,’ business and personal bankruptcies increase between 18 and 42 percent, while ‘impulse’ business transactions in the area decline by 65 percent.”

“ ‘When billions of dollars are going into slot machines, where are those billions of dollars coming from’?” Kindt asks. ‘They are no longer buying cars, refrigerators, or even food and clothing’.”

Here are more quotes from scholarly publications and testimony before state and national fact-finding committees: The link is:  http://www.casinowatch.org/john_kindt/kindt_index.html

“Every video [slot] gambling machine takes $60,000 out of the consumer economy.”

“$60,000 spent in a consumer economy multiplies by respending into $180,000.”

jobs gone“For every slot machine you add, you lose one job per year from the consumer economy. Therefore 5,000 new video gambling machines costs the economy 5,000 lost jobs each year.”


gambling 2“Legalized gambling cost taxpayers $3 for every $1 in state revenue to government”

“Any legislator who says he doesn’t see the downside hasn’t done his homework”

“My bottom line is this is no time to be gambling with our economy”

“Gamblers spend 10 percent less on food; 25 percent less on clothing and 35 percent less on savings”
gambling 1
“Thirty-seven percent of gamblers dip into their savings to fulfill their habit”

“In 1993, 40 percent of Minnesota restaurateurs reported declines attributed to casinos”

bankruptcy“Bankruptcies and addictions increase in areas with casinos”

“An Osage tribal study found that between $41 million to $50 million left a 50-mile radius around their own casino”

“The gambling interests like to point to the construction jobs, but those jobs go away”

“Gambling interests hire lots of economists to do impact studies, but what you need is cost-benefit analysis, and you’ll never see the industry finance those”

“No reputable economist anywhere believes it’s [gambling] an economic tool”

“For every dollar of revenue generated by gambling, taxpayers must pay at least $3 in increased criminal justice costs, social welfare expenses, high regulatory costs, and increased infrastructure expenditures”

Courtesy Christopher B.

Courtesy Christopher B.

“Generally, traditional businesses were slow to recognize the way in which legalized gambling captured dollars from across the entire spectrum of the various consumer markets, but now they know”

“People will spend a tremendous amount of money in casinos, money they normally would spend on refrigerators or a new car. Local businesses will suffer because they’ll lose consumer dollars to casinos.”Quoting Donald Trump

“And as far as jobs go, for every one job that the casino creates, one is lost in the 35-mile feeder market”

“A study in Illinois in the mid-1990s found that 65 percent of businesses were hurt by the proximity of gambling”

From the travel math website , http://www.travelmath.com/cities-near/Glendale,+AZ,  one can find that the following cities and towns are within 26 miles of Glendale.

Cities, towns, and suburbs near Glendale, Arizona. The center of each city listed is within 26 miles of Glendale, AZ:



down the drainIf nothing else, this bit of information should give these cities pause when they learn that the economic impacts of a casino can affect anywhere from a 35 to 50 mile radius. I wonder if Mayor Barrett of Peoria would be so enthusiastically supportive of this proposed casino if he were to realize that the giant, economic sucking sound affecting Peoria was due to this casino?

As Professor Kindt suggests, it’s time for a cost-benefit analysis – not a fiscal impact study (having been fooled by previous fiscal impact studies I know they can be made to prove or disprove anything) – but an extensive and thorough cost-benefit study that proves or disproves once and for all, the impact of a casino in Glendale.  A local economist such as Elliot Pollack could perform such a study but who would pay for it? The Tohono O’odham? Not on your life. The State? Nope, again. Glendale? It’s tapped out. How about a consortium of the cities in the above list? After all, they would be affected… wouldn’t they?


Since the Tohono O’odham announced its 2009 plan to put a casino within Glendale on a county island I have done a great deal of research on the effects of a casino. In 2010 I found a series of columns from April and May, 2010 written by Jim Marino, Guest Columnist for the Santa Ynez Valley Journal, California. His findings are stark and troubling and so eerily similar to the findings of others that I wanted to share quotes from his series. My comments, relating to Glendale, follow the quote in red.

casino 1“These casinos were thrust into communities under the claim the federal Indian Gambling Act [I.G.R.A.] and the state compacts made them a “done deal” and the local communities had nothing to say about it.”

I.G.R.A. when all is said and done may be the nail in Glendale’s coffin.

“But if they didn’t oppose them, these local communities might get some of the gambling dollars in lieu of the many taxes local and state government could not collect. If the local government did not cooperate, on the other hand, they would get no money and often would be accused of being anti-Indian racists and insensitive to the plight of “Indians” in America. After wielding this political stick, these gambling investors and tribes would then wave the carrot, telling local government they would create “jobs” and thus be a great benefit to the community.”

I have been accused of being an anti-Indian racist insensitive to the treatment of Native Americans at the hands of the White Man because I have voiced my opposition to a casino within Glendale’s borders. Does any of this sound familiar? When all else fails to persuade use the promise of jobs.

“The tremendous costs of providing public services like police, fire, schools, jails, hospitals, public works, social services, etc., used regularly by Indian casinos and related businesses, and the demands placed on infrastructure like roads, bridges, public buildings, and other facilities, are all paid for by the non-Indian taxpayers because these tribal businesses are exempt from property taxes, bed taxes, sales taxes, personal property taxes, corporate taxes and state income taxes among others.”

Fact. City staff reported long ago that Glendale taxpayers would pick up the cost of another water treatment plant specifically needed to handle the increased demand that would occur because of the casino.

roads 2“The amount of money that trickles down into the local economy from the salaries of employees and the costs of goods and services is nowhere near enough to make up for lost tax revenues or to pay the tribe’s fair share of the costs to the community for increased demands on public services and infrastructure. Neither are the occasional gifts tribes like the Chumash make usually to the police or fire agencies which gifts are often less than the $2 million the tribe still receives in federal welfare and grant monies every year. “

8% of specified gaming revenues are required by law to be granted by the Tribes to non-profit organizations. Even if every dollar of that 8% could go to Glendale it would not meet the costs Glendale taxpayers will have to bear to support this casino.

“Another economic myth is that by calling the casino a “resort” it will somehow become a destination location for tourists. This myth is debunked by several studies showing the vast majority of gamblers come from a one- to two-hour drive or fewer than 50 miles and come to gamble only.”

This fact is borne out by many other studies. It also explains why the Tohono O’odham, upon their consultant’s advice, rejected the possibility of a casino in Buckeye.

gambling 1“Therefore, an Indian casino essentially siphons dollars from the immediate surroundings. Those are dollars and local monies not spent in other non-Indian businesses and entertainment venues where such discretionary income would otherwise be spent. Non-Indian businesses nearby often cannot compete with an Indian business that pays no taxes, is exempt from state and local laws, rules and regulations workers compensation and public liability insurance and cannot be sued for any of its misdeeds, no matter how outrageous they may be.”

Many have said that the casino will take business away from the hotels and restaurants in Westgate. Right now there is a television ad running for Fort McDowell Casino that offers a $7.99 prime rib dinner on Tuesday nights. There is no way a Yard House, Margaritaville or Gordon Biersch could compete with gambling subsidized meals offered at a casino.

construction“One of the common methods that gambling promoters and investors, using an “Indian tribe” as a front to introduce gambling casinos into a community, is the promise of “jobs.” Often they target communities that are economically depressed because they know local government, unions, Chambers of Commerce, businesses and others often jump at the chance for anything that creates ‘jobs’.”

The TO has done exactly that-with the promise of jobs in Glendale as a means of mitigating its current financial difficulties. It is a siren song the TO hope will not be ignored and uses consistently to gain support among the general public for its proposal.

RoveyFarmEstates“There are casinos that have ruined entire residential neighborhoods like the San Manuel Casino rising above single-family homes in a housing tract, which homes then lost most of their value because of the nearby gambling operations. Neighbors complained about noise, traffic, drunkenness, open drug trafficking and even having to pick up beer cans and used hypodermic needles from their front lawns.”

There are nearly 10,000 people living in the immediate vicinity of the proposed casino with over 600 apartment units immediately south and over 900 homes immediately east. Their property values are in jeopardy.

contract“ People who dealt with or entered into contracts with these casino tribes and businesses found out that if the tribe stiffed them for the bill, they could not sue, again based on the court-created doctrine of legal immunity for Indian tribes and their businesses discussed in last week’s article.”

Based upon the manner in which the TO purchased the land secretly and then held it for 6 years, I would be reluctant to trust any relationship with them. Add to that the fact that the TO’s sister tribes feel betrayed by the TO’s denial of a seven casino limit in the Phoenix Metro area as promised with the voter approved Gaming Compact.

“This use of the tribal legal immunity doctrine to evade legal responsibility is one of the most flagrant and outrageous impacts of Indian gambling and business expansion. This doctrine is exacerbated by the fact that these tribes, their casinos and businesses, can also operate outside of all state and local laws (except alcohol-control law). Laws that were enacted over many years to protect customers, workers, the environment and quality of life.”

In Arizona the only control over Tribal casinos is the state’s Gambling agency.

crime 1“Virtually every casino community has now experienced increases in crime ranging from shoot-outs, murder, theft, robbery, embezzlement, gang activity, substance abuse and drug trafficking, drunk driving, auto accidents and fatalities, gambling addictions, credit problems and bankruptcies, family neglect, even suicides, and the list goes on. Recently, Highway 154 ominously being called “the Chumash Highway” has experienced several auto accident fatalities, not to mention the officially unexplained suicide jumpers from the Cold Springs Canyon bridge. Only a few weeks ago, a gang shoot-out erupted amongst the slot machines at the Jackson Rancheria casino located in Amador County.”

While these experiences occurred in California, there is the common thread of increased crime resulting from casinos.

“Not long ago, Sheriffs deputies were involved in a running gun battle outside the Soboba Casino where at least two suspects, who were tribal members, were shot and killed and the Sheriff refused to respond to calls there anymore. One deputy Sheriff working a special overtime detail at the Chumash Casino in Santa Ynez arrested 36 drug violators in only six weeks time, most of them felonies involving methamphetamines being used, possessed and sold around the casino.”

Since the land in question is a County Island and if the TO are successful in establishing a reservation neither the County Sheriff’s Office or the Glendale Police Department would have authority to respond to any criminal activity on the reservation unless specifically requested by the TO. I suspect the TO will not do so as it would provide an opportunity for negative publicity.

thief“In another case, an elderly couple were walking in the parking lot of another Southern California Indian casino near San Bernardino and a thief whizzed by on a motorcycle and snatched the woman’s purse in the parking lot. The motorcycle grazed their car during the theft. They reported the incident to casino security guards, expecting that the crime would be reported to the Sheriff’s Department. They found out later, when they made an insurance claim for the damage to their car, this incident was never reported to the police. This is but another of the many negative impacts of Indian casinos, the fact that the primary duty of Indian casino security staff is to conceal any negative incidents that occur or insinuate the false claim that some kind of “sovereign status” permits them to deal with criminal acts when it does not.”

When you enter the reservation you do so at your own risk.

tv“Another problem is the failure and refusal of many local media outlets to report the crime, corruption and negative incidents occurring regularly at Indian casinos because those casinos are the biggest television, radio and newspaper advertisers they have. So the so-called “free press” has in effect, been co-opted by the fear of offending these gambling casinos who are their best advertising customers.”

This is a genuine concern. The Tribes advertise their casinos on television incessantly. One of our television stations, Channel 12, is connected to the Arizona Republic. Neither of these two giants of media are going to jeopardize their revenue streams by going negative. When was the last time you remember any media reporting on the use of the Tribal land, just north of Arizona’s southern border, as an open conduit for drug smuggling or illegal border crossings?


medicalAn “atta boy” goes out to the Mesa Fire Department. The Arizona Republic’s April 21, 2013 edition ran a story written by Maria Polletta. This past August Mesa began a pilot project placing a physician’s assistant and a paramedic on a smaller response vehicle (called a Transitional Response Vehicle or TRV) equipped with nearly everything necessary to handle “low level” emergency medical calls. Tom Morris, a physician’s assistant says, “There’s not much I don’t have here that I wouldn’t have in a traditional (urgent care or ER) setting.”

This concept frees traditional fire vehicles to respond to more serious calls for service. It also offers an unanticipated benefit of greater partnership with police. This type of unit can determine if an arrestee needs medical treatment or can be cleared for custody of an officer at the scene of the incident. It saves the police department time, manpower and costs associated with taking suspect to a major medical facility for minor treatment or clearance.

Mesa Fire spokesperson, Forrest Smith, said, “It basically costs an average of 32 cents a mile to run a TRV, as opposed to $2.76” to run a traditional fire engine.  That cost per mile includes fuel, maintenance and labor, as miscellaneous costs.

truck 1This is an idea whose time has come. With cities facing rising costs to deliver service to their residents innovation that works and delivers cost savings is a “no-brainer.” I can’t begin to count the number of times I remarked to Glendale’s Fire Chief that there had to be a better way to respond to medical calls than using expensive 4 man fire trucks and ladders. Of course major equipment is needed to respond to a medical call such as a vehicle accident but for minor calls such as cuts and sprains the use of large trucks is a waste of money and manpower.

This Mesa pilot project is still under evaluation but cities in other states have expressed interest in and are learning about this project and Scottsdale is considering starting a similar program. It’s time cash strapped Glendale get on board the TRV.


Coyotes logoThe entire Coyotes ownership saga began with the Glendale city council’s decision to accept Steve Ellman’s proposal for a sports and entertainment district that included the construction of an arena for the express purpose of having the Coyotes as its anchor tenant. Their first game was played in the new arena in 2003. The original lease management agreement did not require a payment to the manager of the arena. That concept died with the Moyes’ bankruptcy in 2009. I was part of the drama until January 15, 2013 as a councilmember. I speak for myself and not for any Glendale elected officials, past or present.

homework 1During my 16 year service on Glendale City Council one of my imperatives was to make decisions that were fully informed. As a councilmember one does that by “doing one’s homework.” That means a commitment to read the material you are provided. Ascertain all of the facts of the proposal. Question staff by asking follow up questions on material not always presented. Talk to people in the industry and talk to the stakeholders, i.e., prospective developers and business owners, and last but certainly not least, one’s constituents by informing them of the facts of the proposal and asking for their comment. You take this vast amount of information and process it through a personal sieve. One overriding parameter is to make a decision that you believe to be in the very best interest of your city, economically and socially.

diff people 2Just as all people are different so, too, are all councilmembers different. During my time on council, I have met some councilmembers who were lazy and didn’t bother to do their homework or who became wedded to a position immediately and would not budge and let facts get in the way. I have even observed some who let personal prejudice determine their position. I have also observed councilmembers who did, in fact, do their homework. Their final position may have been different from mine but that was because their personal framework of reference led them in a different direction. No matter, they earned my respect because they were not swayed by personal prejudice or preference.

city hall 2I was first elected in 1992. I think I can be considered as a Councilmember Emeritus. There are very few of us still living much less living in Glendale. In fact, there are less than a dozen. There are former Mayors Renner and Scruggs, Councilmembers Heatwole, Tolby, McAllister (living out-of-state), Eggleston, Frate, Goulette, Lieberman (living out-of state) and myself. Former Councilmember Hugh is serving once again and former Mayor Klass and former Councilmember Huffman are deceased.

mallarrowhead02From that perspective one has to appreciate Glendale’s recent history. Prior to the 1980’s Glendale was an unremarkable town that offered residents a quiet, hometown quality of life. In the early 1990’s we had an opportunity to create the first major economic engine in the city – the Bell Road Corridor to be anchored by Arrowhead Mall.  I was present for the signing of the beam that was used in the construction of Arrowhead Mall, the anchor tenant for the area.   Glendale had its first major economic engine.

Glitters_lightsGlendale’s second major economic engine became its downtown in the mid 1990’s with the advent of its first, annual major festival, Glendale Glitters and its synergy as an antique center in the state. Since then, downtown commercial has diversified. It is still not all that anyone envisions it can be but it continues to make progress. Its major anchor tenant could be considered City Hall, the Civic Center and the investment the city continues to make in hosting major downtown events. Glendale has its second major economic engine.

Courtesy Christopher B.

Courtesy Christopher B.

In the early 2000’s another opportunity for a third major economic engine was created with the relocation of the Coyotes Hockey team and the construction of Jobing.com arena for the team. The national economy was humming and I and the rest of council were planning for Glendale’s future. The city created a new zoning classification, “Sports and Entertainment District” and Westgate was born. Nearly all of the land surrounding the original core of Westgate to date has been approved with the Sports and Entertainment zoning classification and with Westgate’s and the arena’s stability there will be a surge of development. I won’t relate the history of the arena and the team from 2003 to the present for that has been covered in my other postings.

question 4Today uncertainty about Coyotes ownership and the fate of Jobing.com arena still swirls. Many have asked me for my personal assessment. There is the Beacon RFP and how it plays. There is the current crop of prospective owners: Jamison, LeBlanc/Gosbee, Pastor, Hulsizer and Reinsdorf/Kaites. Do not ignore the non-hockey bids to manage the arena: Global Spectrum, AEG and IFG. They cannot be discounted as players. I am not going to comment at this time and when I do it will be through the prism of what I, personally, believe is good for Glendale. There will be plenty of time to dissect the situation after decisions are made. It’s time to let this situation play out. I think the NHL has come to a decision and it would not surprise me to hear the announcement next week. That much is logical. Whomever the NHL has blessed must get a submission together to respond to the Beacon RFP by May 24. The finish line is in view and the winner is…?


BeaconToday the Beacon RFP for arena management was made public and is posted on the city’s website at  http://www.glendaleaz.com/purchasing/bidopportunities.cfm. You can read the entire document for yourself.

One of the most important elements of the RFP is the duties of the manager. There is one that is the most telling and confirms that the new manager perhaps may not be the owner of a team/anchor tenant, “Act as agent for the City in executing the operational requirements of any license/lease agreements with professional sports team(s) and/or anchor tenant(s) (i.e. manage day of game activities and interact with the sports teams regarding use of the Arena).”  As you can see, the city is seeking an entity to be its agent in dealing with any sports team that wishes to use the arena.

This manager would be responsible for booking all events, be a party to all marketing efforts and have control over the concessions.

In terms of qualifications, the manager must be a nationally recognized company (this banishes the very thought of the Phoenix Monarch Group forever); have three years experience in managing a facility with an NBA or NHL team; and “The Manager must have current experience in operating such a facility on behalf of a public entity, such as the City of Glendale.” Two entities immediately come to mind: AEG, which is managing the arena now for the NHL or Global Spectrum, which manages the University of Phoenix Stadium for the Arizona Sports and Tourism Authority (AZSTA).

The preferred term of the arena manager contract is 5 years with 2 options to renew for additional 5 year terms. It is up to the prospective candidate to bid on the cost the city would pay for such management. It is clearly understood that it contains an “at-risk” provision meaning any losses would be borne by the manager. The city is also asking for an alternative compensation plan that would enhance revenues that the city gets. The city is also asking that the arena manager plan to invest in the arena, “State the amount of a proposed investment in the Arena that the respondent Manager is willing to provide (please review the Proposed Additions and Capital Repairs Schedule for the Fiscal Year ending June 30, 2014 for further details). Describe any restrictions/repayment requirements on any such investment. Also, describe any additional fees, restrictions, or incentives that may apply to any investment.”

The evaluation criteria are as follows:

  • Business/Marketing/Transition plan worth 30%
  • Compensation price worth 30%
  • Experience and organizational structure worth 15%
  • Personnel worth 10%
  • Investment worth 10%
  • References worth 5%

All responses are due no later than May 24, 2013 at 5 pm EDT. But perhaps the most interesting element of the proposal is, “INQUIRIES OR OTHER CONTACT WITH ANY OFFICER, AGENT, OR EMPLOYEE OF THE CITY OF GLENDALE REGARDING THE ARENA AND/OR THIS REQUEST FOR PROPOSAL, INCLUDING CONTACT BY PROPOSER’S CONTRACTORS, AGENTS, REPRESENTATIVES AND CONSULTANTS, COULD RESULT IN A PROPOSAL BEING DISQUALIFIED.”  The very first question that occurs is why is Mayor Weiers scheduled to meet with Pastor and his group on Friday, April 19th? Either Pastor has no intention of managing the arena or he is not aware that such a meeting could disqualify him.

Well, there you have it. The RFP is pretty much what we expected it to be. Although at this point, Beacon and the RFP seem to have no relevance in an owner’s attempt to acquire the team. The NHL has staked out that territory and will let the city know whom it has chosen. With city council still holding fast to the notion of a $6M annual management fee to any prospective owner I dare say when they see current average annual revenues of $6M and current annual expenses of $12M, they may very well say Hmmmm.

Expect more commentary on this RFP after you and I have had more time to digest it. I thought it important to made public as quickly as possible so that it receives the widest public scrutiny and commentary as possible.




cit mtg 2Congratulations are in order to city staff. At the City Council workshop of April 16, 2013 working in an atmosphere where the current city council is loathe to make any budget cuts that are associated with layoffs and in fact wants to add additional police and fire positions is difficult, to say the very least. The cuts that this council will not accept remain necessary even as they collectively stick their heads in the sand.

Staff, knowing that cuts to the budget will not be accepted, took the obverse approach and has offered this council revenue enhancement. It seems that raising property taxes and collecting additional revenue from the Enterprise Funds for services provided by the General Fund may be the answer. This is not the final solution, however. As Ms. Schurhammer stated today, budget cuts, albeit more modest ones, are still needed and the sooner the better. As she and the rest of staff have said repeatedly the city’s budget has a structural deficit. In other words, more is spent than is taken in.


Yvonne Knaack

It was noted that Vice Mayor Knaack, a member in good standing for many years, of the “gang of four” (voting bloc of the former mayor), now repudiates the former mayor’s imperative to keep the city’s property tax rate low. She actually had the temerity to say that she never supported the former mayor’s desire to keep property taxes artificially low. Too bad she never spoke out publicly or demonstrated her beliefs in a vote.

Chavira photo

Sam Chavira

Councilmember Chavira once again, embarrassingly and obviously, carried fire’s water bucket in an attempt to get this council to support granting the 15 fire fighter positions (at a cost of $1.5M every year) coveted by the fire department. If one didn’t know his agenda all one had to do was watch his performance in feeding positive questions to the Fire Chief to immediately figure it out. Every once in a while he would throw the police department a bone by including them in the discussion but his sole objective was to advance the cause of his brother firefighters. Mr. Bowers, Interim City Manager, made it very clear that the staff recommendation is to deny any supplemental requests this year including those of fire and police. His reasoning was straight forward and quite clear, “The city simply does not have the money.” This time, at least for now, council listened and it appears that these supplementals will not be granted. This council is not quite done with this subject. I suspect they will look for other means to grant, at the very least, fire’s supplemental.


Gary Sherwood

Councilmember Sherwood once again raised the question as to whether a figure of $6M was adequate for the arena costs. He became a little confused in attempting to get the figure of annual revenue the arena generated (not all of Westgate…and the western world…thank you) out. Well, we, dear readers, already know what that figure is from a previous blog where I conveyed the average numbers reported by the NHL as the manager of the arena. Ta Da! That revenue figure averages $6 to $7 million annually. No one else on council seemed interested in a workshop on arena costs and revenues so it died as a future topic.

musicCouncilmember Alvarez appears to have only two songs in her repertoire. One is the siren song to support the Tohono O’odham in its quest to plant a casino in Glendale less than a quarter mile away from Westgate. Again she called for a public forum (read free favorable publicity for the Tohono O’odham) before council. Again, she was rejected by a majority of the council. Does she not understand that the city is a party to state and Tribal interest litigation against the casino?

Norma Alvarez

Norma Alvarez

Her other one-note song is blaming others for her belief in the city’s continual waste of money. Please note it is a waste of money to her if it is not being spent to increase the salaries of its low wage employees. Her public definition of low wage employees is anyone making under $130,000. My goodness…reminds me of Obama’s definition of the rich ($250K annually, for tax purposes)!  Today’s rant on city waste was twofold: the absolute waste of the city’s involvement in Camelback Ranch and the car dealership coming finally to Bell Road with the city’s incentive to forgive a portion of sales tax for a specified amount of time. She refuses to understand that the dollar a year rental of Camelback Ranch for the teams is in exchange for their picking up the tab for operating and maintaining the facility year round (saving the city a cost of easily a million dollars a year). Instead of taking the time to truly understand the issue we hear her accusations of the city being too busy thinking of the glory of sports and not realizing that sports bring the city nothing. What she fails to realize that as part of this new council she bears the same baggage as the rest of them. On her watch the dealership will come in. Therefore on her watch the dealership will receive the sales tax incentive.


Casino…good, bad or indifferent? Part 3

Posted by Joyce Clark on April 16, 2013
Posted in Casino  | Tagged With: , , , , | 1 Comment

We know the proposed site of the casino. We know about the state voter approved gaming compact and how the Tohono O’odham acquired the land.  Is a casino is healthy for an urbanized area?

There is one disclaimer however. I am not commenting on the casino as a social justice issue. For this discussion this issue is not about the white man having treated Indians badly over several hundred years. It’s not about owing Tribes for past wrongs. Today’s society has crafted many solutions for ameliorating social injustice. What this is about is whether a casino, whether owned by Las Vegas interests, Atlantic City interests or the Tribes, is a good thing within a major city. Glendale is a major city with a population of nearly a quarter of a million people. It is the fourth largest city in the state. It definitely qualifies as an urban area within the Phoenix metropolitan area.

threaten 2How is crime related to a casino? Does crime go up, go down or stay the same? The following is an Abstract entitled Casinos, Crime and Community Costs by Earl L. Grinols and David B. Mustard, originally published in 1996 but this excerpt is from the Review of Economics and Statistics (February 2006). The authors say, “We examine the relationship between casinos and crime using county-level data for the United States between 1977 and 1996. Casinos were nonexistent outside Nevada before 1978, and expanded to many other states during our sample period. Most factors that reduce crime occur before or shortly after a casino opens, whereas those that increase crime, including problem and pathological gambling, occur over time. The results suggest that the effect on crime is low shortly after a casino opens, and grows over time. Roughly 8% of crime in casino counties in 1996 was attributable to casinos, costing the average adult $75 per year.

“Casinos increased all crimes except murder, the crime with the least obvious connection to casinos. Most offenses showed that the impact of casinos on crime increased over time, a pattern very consistent with the theories of how casinos affect crime. The crime-ameliorating effects of casinos through increased employment opportunities and wages for low-skilled people will be concentrated shortly after opening. Between 5.5% and 30% of the different crimes in casino counties can be attributed to casinos.

“This translates into a social crime cost associated with casinos of $75 per adult in 1996. This figure does not include other social costs related to casinos, such as crime in neighboring counties, direct regulatory costs, costs related to employment and lost productivity, and social service and welfare costs. Overall, 8.6% of property crime and 12.6% of violent crime in counties with casinos was due to the presence of the casino.

crime 1“According to the study, five years after a casino opens, robbery in the community goes up 136 percent, aggravated assault is up 91 percent, auto theft is up 78 percent, burglary is up 50 percent, larceny is up 38 percent, rape is up 21 percent and murder is up 12 percent, compared to neighboring communities.

“Crime-lowering effects, like additional police and the new jobs represented by a casino are overwhelmed by rising crime increased by the presence of the casino, according to the study.”

Since this study was published in 1996 many pro casino interests have attempted to debunk it. Be that as it may, this is a definitive study that has been repeatedly cited by many reputable public policy groups in attempting to determine the benefits and negatives of a casino.

The New Hampshire Center for Public Policy Studies in its April, 2010 report entitled Impact of Expanded Gambling in New westgate 1Hampshire concluded in part, that negative impacts could be substantial:

  •      Decrease in meals and room taxes away from other, traditional sources (a shifting of tax revenue away from hotels and    restaurants such as Westgate, toward gambling facilities)
  •      Visitors and residents spend money on gambling that would be spent on other goods and services (known as “substitution”)
  • The state will have increased expenses related to expansion of personnel to accommodate the new facility
  • Creates an atmosphere of increased competition for state investments and subsidies
  • Shifts workers currently in one industry to the gambling industry (known as “displacement”). This new development may take workers from other industries and moves them into the casino industry
  • Social costs increase related to increased crime and pathological gambling
  • Significant potential political influence from a single industry

This New Hampshire study also offered, “For a standard casino, most patrons come from within 30 miles and participation declines exponentially as distance increases. These markets do not conform to state or other political boundaries.”

casino 1Another issue identified by the study said, “In casino markets like Las Vegas and Atlantic City 8-10% of casino patrons are ‘problem gamblers” (National Opinion Research Center, 2000). A person is not going to have a problem unless they have access to gambling. Proximity to a casino impacts propensity to gamble. Proximity to a casino (e.g. within 50 miles) increases the risk of pathological problems (National Opinion Research Center, 2000). Problem gambling will impact communities closest to the gambling venue and decrease the further away you are.”

In addition, “An analysis by the New Hampshire Lottery Commission shows that scratch ticket sales have declined in the last six months of 2012 in the region of New Hampshire closest to the Oxford County casino.”

This New Hampshire study raises issues not previously discussed publicly such as a diminishment of state lottery sales in the geographic region closest to a casino or that pathological gambling increases in the geographic area closest to the casino.

roads 2What about the issue of traffic? The Connecticut South Western Regional Planning Agency issued a Casino Traffic Impact Study in 2009.  “The purpose of this study was to estimate the possible traffic and air quality impacts of the development of a casino in Bridgeport.” The study concluded, “that the development of a casino would have a significant impact on traffic congestion in southwestern Connecticut. Casino traffic is not seasonal because the number of trips to and from casinos is relatively consistent from month to month. Casinos operate 24 hours per day; there is no peak travel period to and from casinos thus traffic impacts of casinos may be experienced at all times of day.” Many transportation agencies in many states where casinos have located have done similar studies. All recommend new transportation infrastructure whose costs are borne by taxpayers.

roads 1The increased traffic in the area will not just be due to the number of visitors to the casino. Add to that, traffic from employees as well as vendors and suppliers making deliveries with their semis at all hours of the day and night. In Glendale a traffic impact analysis study was done for Westgate and the University of Phoenix Stadium. As a result of those studies, additional traffic mitigation was created and paid for by the developers of those projects. There is no mechanism to compel the Tohono O’odham to enhance road infrastructure in the area. As a sovereign nation there is no local, state or federal mechanism to compel another nation (think of it as another country) to reimburse the costs of enhanced transportation infrastructure to and from their site.

constructionIn return for the problems created by a casino in an urban area, supporters of the casino continually use the mantra of (1) it will pump up business in the adjoining local area. They say that customers will leave the casino environment and move to Westgate to eat and to shop.  I doubt the restaurants and hotels, or Tanger Outlet Mall in Westgate would agree with that notion. More likely, customers with limited disposable income will make choices and it will be one or the other – Westgate or the casino – not both; and (2) it will bring jobs – temporary construction jobs and later, permanent jobs servicing the casino. Keep in mind, 25% of the jobs created, whether temporary construction jobs or permanent service jobs later, are reserved for Native Americans. At Talking Stick Casino, “Chanen Construction, which has worked with Casino Arizona for 14 years, divided the enormous job of sheet-rocking the interior and exterior into 10 different bid packages. This resulted in five firms getting the work, instead of one, which is the norm. But Chanen wanted ‘to maximize opportunities for different project participants,’ the company told McGraw-Hill Construction in a profile of Talking Stick published last fall. ‘We have a process where we let tribal members who own businesses participate as subcontractors, so we want to make the packages in smaller bites so more participation could occur’.”

The Tohono O’odham has said repeatedly there will be 6,000 construction jobs. The Maryland Live! Casino is a 332,500 square foot facility (twice the size of the proposed TO casino) and anticipates creating 2,750 construction-related jobs (half that number would be approximately 1,400 jobs and reportedly a much more realistic number for this facility). In an effort to “sell” the benefits of the casino, it is quite possible numbers have been inflated. It is a subtle form of deception, no doubt, but not unexpected considering the TO’s actions with regard to Proposition 202.

Problems throughout the country related to casino construction have surfaced. Here is but one example – a Press Release from a coalition of unions in California issued on January 15, 2013, “ROHNERT PARK, CA: Graton Rancheria’s (my note: a coalition of Indian tribes) promises to Sonoma County union workers have been dashed by lay-offs of local union members as out-of-area workers are being brought in to take their places. Sonoma County union construction workers report that workers are being brought in from “Nevada and the L.A. area” and even as far away as Alabama to work on the Graton Rancheria casino/hotel project in Rohnert Park.

Reports started as early as November, as a local member of the Carpenters Union raised the first alarm about locals being replaced by out-of-area workers.   Now the complaints are coming from a union cement worker who believes that approximately 70% of the casino workforce is made up of the out-of-towners.”

Those who think the casino is the answer to Glendale’s problems, will dismiss the arguments made in this blog and take this as an opportunity to respond in the negative. As long as comments are respectful of one another and deal with the issue at hand, they will be posted as responses to this blog.

In the next blog we will look at the legal issues and a basket full of attorneys involved in the casino issue.