It has been 17 years and 145 days since the city’s pledge to build the West Branch Library.

On May 23, 2015 the Tohono O’odham Nation published the results of their May 23, 2015 election for all leadership positions within the Nation. Being far more circumspect than we “white eyes” there are no vote totals only a certified announcement of the winners for Chair and Vice Chair and the various districts that comprise the TO Nation. The new Chairperson is Edward D. Manuel and the new Vice Chairperson is Verlon M. Jose. Here is the link: . Newly elected Chairman Manuel previously served as Tribal Chairperson from 1995 to 2003.

How will this election affect the temporary casino in Glendale? Probably not much. Events are in play that are yet to be decided such as the 9th Circuit Court case and the congressional Keep the Promise Act of 2015 yet to be voted upon by the full House and Senate. Then there is the State of Arizona’s decision to deny a gambling license for the new casino.

Ned Norris Jr.’s reputation took a big hit over the Glendale casino issue. He is viewed by many of his sister tribes as having lied to them during the 2002 campaign to pass the voter approved State Gaming Compact. His demeanor in dealing with Glendale has been generally very abrasive. As the face of the Tohono O’odham Nation he appeared to be arrogant and rather uncompromising.

This result could have a far greater effect upon Councilmember Gary Sherwood and the Recall Election he faces this November. Sherwood and Norris were very closely aligned and in fact, testified together in support of the casino at Senate Indian Affairs Committee hearings. There is probably an expectation by Sherwood that after all that he has done to further their agenda that they owe him. However, the Tohono O’odham got what they wanted out of Sherwood and now he is just negative baggage. He may not get a healthy dose of their financial support that he appears to accept as his due for his recall campaign.

On to another note. Mayor Jerry Weiers announced on May 21, 2015 at a Glendale Chamber of Commerce “Business after Hours” event that he is seeking reelection as mayor. It certainly wasn’t done with any fanfare or press conference. Rather his announcement came in the form of a tweet. Oh well, if he and his campaign manager thinks that it does the job, so be it.

He is sure to have one or more challengers. Look for Jamie Aldama, Gary Sherwood or someone completely out of the blue. Let’s hope he is challenged for that puts pressure on a candidate to lay out goals and expectations. It helps the voter to be better informed.

His first term was generally unspectacular…no major initiatives, no major goals other than care taking of existent government. That’s not a bad thing but one would hope that he might express his vision for Glendale as well as his priorities for its future. No matter what the future for Jerry Weiers or any opposition he may face I wish him and any challengers well. Let the political games begin!

© Joyce Clark, 2015


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