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Joyce Clark Unfiltered

For "the rest of the story"

Disclaimer: The comments in this blog are my personal opinion and may or may not reflect an adopted position of the city of Glendale and its city council.

I asked city staff to research a series of questions regarding expenditures for Glen Lakes over the years. Much of it was historical data which they could not provide. However, I am sharing the information I did receive.

I asked what the 1979 purchase price was for Glen Lakes. The amount the city paid in 1979 was $1,418,113. I would only remark that the 1979 price was remarkable considering that it was purchased over 40 years ago. It would be considered a remarkable amount of money today as well.

I asked if there were any expenditures required after the land was purchased prior to opening the course to the public. Staff could not find any information.

I assumed the course operations and maintenance would have been a line item in the city’s budget over the years but that was not the case. Costs of operation and maintenance for all city parks and facilities were lumped together so there is no method to determine what would have been expended on the course until 2019. In 2019 the city implemented a new financial software system that now enables the tracking of individual facility expenditures across all departments.

It is fair to assume the city did spend money on operations and maintenance of the course between its purchase date and 2019 when the city could actually begin tracking expenditures. We just don’t know how much was spent each year so I find it puzzling when supporters opposed to the sale of Glen Lakes claim the city deliberately underfunded the operations and maintenance of the course in recent years when they have no factual information to prove it. As can be seen below with regard to attendance figures available attributing the decline in attendance to lack of maintenance seems unrealistic when nationwide golf course attendance declined.

We do know the city paid Golf Maintenance Solutions $120,500 in 2018. We do know that city expended $394,537 in 2019; another $166,691 in 2020; and another $65,000 in 2020. I asked what the city has spent on course maintenance since its closure. That figure is $261,634.

Factually, it can be documented that between the purchase price and the expenditures identified since 2018, the city has spent approximately $3,164,841.00 plus whatever expenditures there were between 1979 and 2018. Over 40 years, it is fair to say the expenditures were considerable and could be considered in the millions of dollars but there is no means of verification.

I asked what the attendance at the course had been since 2005. I have heard Glen Lakes advocates say repeatedly that in 2005 the course was very popular. I asked staff if they had any data on attendance and they provided:

  • 2005 47,469
  • 2006 46,947
  • 2007 42,999
  • 2008 39,455
  • 2009 39,999
  • 2010 33,577
  • 2011 25,104
  • 2012 21,377
  • 2013 22,788
  • 2014 19,196
  • 2015 18,420
  • 2016 15,483
  • 2017 unknown
  • 2018 12,240

I discovered many 9 hole municipal golf courses throughout the country whose annual attendance is twice that of Glen Lakes at its peak in 2005.  By 2016 users of Glen Lakes had declined by 67% from the 2005 figure.

An article entitled Course Correction published in September of 2019 sums up the current issues associated with municipal golf courses, “But over the past 15 years, golfing participation has fallen by 20 percent, from 30 million in 2005 to 24 million today. Now, according to the National Golf Foundation, there are more municipal courses than ever—some 2,800 across the country—but they are serving far fewer golfers than they once did. As a result, course costs are cutting into city budgets. One-third of public golf courses don’t make enough to cover annual operations. That number goes up when taking into account other expenses, such as debt and employee retirement benefits.”(https://www.governing.com/topics/finance/gov-golf-courses.html).

There is another issue that has surfaced recently with regard to Glen Lakes and that is, the issue of the park space to be reserved for public use. Currently, other than the view provided to adjacent neighbors, to actually be on the golf course one would have to pay a fee to use it so consequently the only benefit to neighbors is the view.

It should be noted that there is quite a bit of established park space in this area. Close by are Butler Park and Manistee Ranch Park. A little further is one of Glendale’s premier parks, that of Sahuaro Ranch Park.

I attended the public meetings for neighborhood residents. At one of those meetings conceptual plans were offered for proposed park space and the amount of improved park land is to be + or – 10 acres. The attendees were the ones who chose the final conceptual plan and they made it quite clear that they did not want a park with active amenities such as basketball courts that would attract users from outside their neighborhoods. Now to hear complaints about the configuration of the park space is quite baffling.

The city council will be voting on this issue sometime in October. I have no idea how the vote will go. There are several issues to consider. Does the city need two 9 hole municipal golf courses? Is it cost effective to maintain a view for the adjacent neighbors? Should this course be preserved no matter the current and future costs to be borne by all of the city’s taxpayers? Would the funding to operate and maintain 10 acres of useable, neighborhood, public park space be a better investment for the city?

I understand the Glen Lakes advocates’ position. Their request is to restore the course. I represent all citizens of Glendale. Is it fair, just and equitable to ask every taxpayer in Glendale to subsidize millions of future dollars to completely renovate, operate and maintain this course? Even if the course were renovated, it is anticipated the revenues earned by players’ fees would not cover the annual costs of operation and maintenance. The reality is that this course will be a financial deficit to the city in perpetuity.

It is always jarring and upsetting to residents when they are confronted with the fact that a once vacant parcel of land nearby will be developed. Their first comment is on the loss of their unimpeded view enjoyed for many years.

As Planning Chairperson Gary Hirsch said at a recent meeting, if this were a parcel owned by a private entity wishing to develop, it would be recognized and acknowledged that the private entity has the right to so as it wished with its investment. He drew a line in the sand when it came to a public entity, namely local government, and its desire to develop or to repurpose land that it owns. I’m not sure I agree with his premise. Taxpayers constantly question whether its local government is making sound financial decisions and operating in the most cost effective manner possible. Doesn’t local government have the obligation to stop throwing good money after bad?

I understand the anguish of nearby neighbors and the loss of their view of 40 acres of green space but at what cost do the rest of the taxpayers preserve the neighbors’ view?

© Joyce Clark, 2020         

FAIR USE NOTICE

This site contains copyrighted material the use of which is in accordance with Title 17 U.S. C., Section 107. The ‘fair use’ of any such copyrighted material as provided for in Section 107 of the US Copyright Law and who have expressed a prior interest in receiving the included information for research and educational purposes. For more information material on this site is distributed without profit to those who have not always been specifically authorized by the copyright owner. We are making such material available in our efforts to advance understanding of environmental, political, human rights, economic, democratic, scientific and social justice issues, etc. We believe this constitutes a ‘fair use’ of any such material. For more information go to http://www.law.cornell.edu/uscode/17/107.shtml. If you wish to use copyrighted material from this site for purposes of your own that go beyond ‘fair use,’ you must obtain permission from the copyright owner.

Disclaimer: The comments in this blog are my personal opinion and may or may not reflect an adopted position of the city of Glendale and its city council.

No project as large in scope as this one is simple or easy to create. This project is wide-ranging and complex reflected by the fact that it has taken over a year to put all of the pieces in place. There are 5 different agreements:

  • Development Agreement with ECL Glendale, LLC. (approved by city council on Sept. 8)
  • Government Property Improvement Leases with ECL Glendale, LLC. (approved by city council on Sept. 8)
  • Purchase and Sale Agreement with ERD Glendale, LLC. to purchase approximately .2942 acres of city-owned land (scheduled to come before city council on Sept. 22)
  • Option Agreement to purchase real estate with ERD Glendale, LLC to purchase approximately 4.154 acres of city-owned land (scheduled to come before city council on Sept. 22)
  • Parking Agreement(s) (scheduled to come before city council on Sept. 22)

The Development Agreement acknowledges that this project qualified as a business expansion economic development project. The term of this agreement is 25 years. The agreement spells out the terms of a 25 year “partial” Government Property Lease Excise Tax (GPLET). Under Arizona Revised Statutes (A.R.S. 42-6208) a GPLET may be applied only to amusements and their related retail and restaurant concessions. It allows for a 25 year partial exemption of lease excise tax for recreation and entertainment uses. Once the project has completed all construction (October, 2022) the company sells the project to the city for a token amount. The city becomes the lessor (owner and landlord) exempting ECL from paying property tax.  ECL becomes the prime lessee (renter) paying the city a token annual rental payment and pays annual lease excise tax instead of property tax. After 25 years the GPLET terminates and cannot be renewed. At that time the project reverts back to ECL, becomes private property and pays property tax rather than a lease tax.

The Government Property Improvement Lease further refines the terms of the 25 year partial GPLET. The terms remain as represented above but they are spelled out in excruciating legal detail. It’s a 50 page document (yes, I read it all) that only an attorney would love. It even covers what happens if there is “an act of God” that destroys the project.  It’s a very detailed, boring, yet important document.

The company is obligated to operate and maintain the project for at least 25 years continuously. The company agrees to completion of construction of the entire project on or before October 31, 2022. The city recognizes the right of the company to develop, construct and use the property under its current Planned Area Development (PAD) zoning. The city will provide expedited plan review. The city will provide a Fee Waiver in the amount of $1M in permit, plan review and inspection fees but this waiver does not include Development Impact Fees (DIF) which is estimated to be a one time payment of $4.4M.

Purchase Sale Agreement for 0.29 acres allows ECL to purchase for $10 a square foot, totaling $126,000. This small sliver of city-owned land is situated on the southwest corner of Montebello Avenue and 95th Avenue. It enhances access to the project site.

Option for Purchase Sale Agreement for 4.15 acres allows ECL to purchase for $10 a square foot, totaling $1.8 M. This land would be used for water retention, employee parking and maintenance operations for the project.

Parking Agreement(s) provide for the project’s overflow parking needs at the city-owned Black lot on all days but football game days and mega events at the stadium (attendance must be 40,000 minimum). ECL will maintain the black lot and pay for all associated utilities. This agreement will also be approved by the Arizona Sports and Tourism Authority (AZSTA) and the Cardinals. Additional agreements between the Bidwill family and ECL may provide alternate parking should the city decide to develop the Black Parking lot. Obviously, with this project and others within Westgate and Zanjero, at some point the Black Lot parking land becomes so valuable for development that its use as a parking lot no longer makes financial sense.

The Return on Our Investment (ROI) is substantial. Keep in mind the city always uses conservative figures and I think it is fair to assume the numbers provided could be higher. Over 25 years the county earns $60.4M or $2.4M a year; the schools earn $90.6M or $3.6M a year; and the state receives $309.3M or $12.3M a year. What does the city earn? Over 25 years $240.5M or $9.6M a year. During construction of the project the city earns construction sales tax of $5.9M; $1.8M for the sale of remnant land parcels; and DIF fees of $4.4M. I personally think the annual revenues will be higher, especially during and after the Super Bowl in 2023. This resort project is sure to be heavily promoted during the Super Bowl generating a ton of viewer interest and a spike in tourist visits to Glendale.

All of these revenues are generated because the city, in order to attract this project, was willing to forego $1M in fee waivers, agree to accept excise lease tax rather than property tax and already had an abundance of available overflow parking constructed. In return for which, the city will generate almost $10M a year in new revenue. The city did not have to pay a dime to entice the project. The city does not write a check as an incentive to the developer for anything. I think that it is a win-win for Glendale and ECL. That’s why it won my immediate and enthusiastic support from the time I first learned of the project.

There are cities across this country that will never have this kind of opportunity but Glendale has spent the past several years positioning itself to attract just such a project.  As I said in my last blog there are intangible benefits as well. This experiential retail, entertainment concept is a brand new concept and will be the very first anywhere in the world. It will claim the attention of both the retail and entertainment industries and provides a blueprint for marrying the two concepts together. Glendale was on the map as a host city for the Super Bowl and the Final Four but this project moves Glendale to a new level of prominence.

I thank ECL for choosing Glendale as its partner and for hanging in there for over a year to execute tedious, legal, governmental documents that can be frustrating at times. It’s a challenge for all concerned to bring a project such as this to reality. Kudos to Glendale and ECL for making it happen. I am very proud to welcome them as the newest member of our Glendale family and the Yucca district.

© Joyce Clark, 2020         

FAIR USE NOTICE

This site contains copyrighted material the use of which is in accordance with Title 17 U.S. C., Section 107. The ‘fair use’ of any such copyrighted material as provided for in Section 107 of the US Copyright Law and who have expressed a prior interest in receiving the included information for research and educational purposes. For more information material on this site is distributed without profit to those who have not always been specifically authorized by the copyright owner. We are making such material available in our efforts to advance understanding of environmental, political, human rights, economic, democratic, scientific and social justice issues, etc. We believe this constitutes a ‘fair use’ of any such material. For more information go to http://www.law.cornell.edu/uscode/17/107.shtml. If you wish to use copyrighted material from this site for purposes of your own that go beyond ‘fair use,’ you must obtain permission from the copyright owner.

Disclaimer: The comments in this blog are my personal opinion and may or may not reflect an adopted position of the city of Glendale and its city council.

This is a blog I have been dying to write for the past year. I simply couldn’t wait to announce this project until tomorrow. So, I will write for a couple of hours and post it in the wee hours of tonight. In this first blog I will give you the big picture regarding the project and in my next blog I will go into detail for those of you who may be nerdy like me.

A year ago our City Manager shared with me that there was a possibility that a Crystal Lagoon project could be coming to Glendale and specifically to my district, the Yucca district at the southwest corner of Cardinals Way and 95th Avenue. I had no idea what the concept was so the first order of business for me was to do my research. What I learned made me anxiously hopeful that Glendale could land such a project. I was excited about the prospect and periodically asked our City Manager Kevin Phelps about the success of the negotiations always ending with, “Can I announce it yet?” For months the response was always, “Not yet.”

The concept was born with Fernando Fischmann, a trained biochemist and a real estate developer. His first project was in San Alfonso del Mar, Chile. The obstacles in the creation of a large lagoon as an amenity to his real estate development project were immense and frankly, solutions were non-existent.  At the time there was no cost effective technology available that could be utilized to maintain a large body of water.

He did what any other genius entrepreneur would do. He did the research himself by setting up his own laboratory to invent the technology needed for his project. He successfully patented his newly created technology allowing him to build major residential/lagoon projects worldwide. Today there are at least a 100 Crystal Lagoons throughout the world — in every South American country; southern European countries like Spain and Greece; the Middle East from Egypt to Jordan; Canada and dozens of lagoons in the United States. The list of projects is extensive.

But it was time to apply the concept to not just residential projects but to a commercial/retail/office/hotel concept.

One of the first such projects will be in Glendale. The developer is ECL Glendale, LLC.  The project site is 48+ acres and will host 9 complimentary components:

  • an 11 acre lagoon style water park planned to include scuba diving, windsurfing and water jet packs
  • 175,000 square feet of retail space
  • 130,000 square feet of office space
  • 3 hotels offering a total of 630 hotel rooms
  • amusement rides
  • family entertainment center
  • fly and 4D theaters
  • restaurants and bars
  • a performing arts and film venue space

There will also be the first ever “aero bar,” a 135 foot elevated bar in the middle of the lagoon with a 360-degree view. It also will include the world’s largest helium balloon. The balloon will be on a tether with a gondola that raises riders 400 feet in the air offering a bird’s eye view of the entire Valley. Some of the newest elements have yet to be announced and you will learn of them in the coming months.

ECL Glendale, LLC. plans to begin construction this year, probably late Fall with a target completion date of October of 2022. That gives them a few months of operation to work all the bugs out before the Super Bowl comes back to Glendale in 2023. It’s an ambitious schedule but as all elements will be constructed simultaneously, it is doable.

So, how much will this plethora of entertainment cost the visitor? I understand that an All Day Pass will be $20 per person. That seems to be a competitive price compared to other water venues in the Valley.

Why am I so excited about the project? It’s a one-of-a-kind attraction for not just the State of Arizona but for the entire Southwestern United States. But even more importantly, it forever ensures that Glendale is the premier sports and entertainment destination in all of Arizona. Now, all we need is basketball and soccer to capture the entire sports market. Maybe if the Coyotes Hockey team actually leaves Glendale as they have threatened to do for several years we could repurpose the arena for basketball? Or perhaps the property owners of the “Vision 4” properties on the west side of the Loop 101 might try to lure additional sports venues such as basketball and soccer to their site? Who knows?

This soon-to-be resort site compliments and adds to all of the existing and soon-to-be constructed development in the Westgate and Zanjero areas. It causes Glendale to become a year round tourist destination, similar to Disneyland or Disneyworld. It also increases Glendale’s viability as a host city for mega events such as the Final Four. Lastly, it will generate slightly less than $10 million a year in new revenue for the city and will create an estimated 1,800 jobs.

This was a difficult and complex project to bring to reality. It has a lot of moving parts and I will get into those moving parts in my next blog.

I don’t believe anyone else, other than our City Manager, Kevin Phelps, could have successfully concluded this project. He is a master at development and exactly what Glendale needs to become eminently successful in a highly competitive market as cities out bid and jostle one another to land mega projects. Mr. Phelps has also put together an outstanding team of senior management responsible for the success of this project. It includes Brian Friedman, Director of Economic Development; Lisa Collins, Planning Administrator; Vicki Rios and Jack Friedline, Assistant City Managers; and Craig Johnson, Director of Utilities. If I omitted anyone please accept my apology. Michael Bidwill, representing the Bidwill family, also contributed to the project’s success by working with ECL Glendale, LLC. to craft a parking agreement.

I don’t think I can express the momentous effect this project will have not just for Glendale and the Metro Valley but for the entire state. This project is in the forefront of a new type of retail. As was expressed today, people no longer just want to buy things. We are entering a new age where people want experiences…memories that are invaluable. That is the promise of this new concept for Crystal Lagoon and the new buzz words are ‘experiential retail.’

© Joyce Clark, 2020         

FAIR USE NOTICE

This site contains copyrighted material the use of which is in accordance with Title 17 U.S. C., Section 107. The ‘fair use’ of any such copyrighted material as provided for in Section 107 of the US Copyright Law and who have expressed a prior interest in receiving the included information for research and educational purposes. For more information material on this site is distributed without profit to those who have not always been specifically authorized by the copyright owner. We are making such material available in our efforts to advance understanding of environmental, political, human rights, economic, democratic, scientific and social justice issues, etc. We believe this constitutes a ‘fair use’ of any such material. For more information go to http://www.law.cornell.edu/uscode/17/107.shtml. If you wish to use copyrighted material from this site for purposes of your own that go beyond ‘fair use,’ you must obtain permission from the copyright owner.

Disclaimer: The comments in this blog are my personal opinion and may or may not reflect an adopted position of the city of Glendale and its city council.

In about 75 days Glendale’s voters will be asked to consider approval of the city’s request for $187.9 million in bond authorization. In order to understand this question I am offering a primer of everything you ever wanted to know (or didn’t want to know) on city bonds.

Let me answer one question up front that will be repeated elsewhere in this blog – approval of this bond authorization will not raise your taxes – not your property tax or sales tax.

The type of bonds being offered for authorization are called G.O. (General Obligation) bonds used for paying for the city’s Capital Improvement Program (CIP). In an upcoming blog I will discuss the CIP in further detail. The city uses G.O. bonds to pay for facility, infrastructure and equipment improvements valued at over $50,000.

These bonds are paid back with your property taxes. There are two categories of your property tax: your primary tax levy and your secondary tax levy. By state law, the primary property tax revenue the city collects can be used for anything but the secondary property tax levy can be used for one thing only – to pay off bonds and interest for a specific capital purpose.

In Fiscal Year 2020 the total of the city’s primary tax levy amount is $5,856,524 and the secondary tax levy amount is $20,408,799. Keep in mind the city never collects the full amount of either the primary or secondary tax because some people don’t pay their property tax.

That is why the city has a Capital Improvement Program. The CIP identifies every project that must be funded through the 6% and 20% bond categories from its secondary property tax levy.

To complicate things a bit further there are two separate categories of General Obligation, secondary property tax funded projects. These categories are based on a percentage of the value of a city’s total secondary property tax value. One category is the 6% category (of the total value of the city’s secondary property tax value). Projects that fit in the 6% category are:

  • Economic development
  • Cultural facilities
  • Government facilities
  • Libraries

Then there is the 20% category based upon the same formula – 20% of the city’s total value of its secondary property tax. Projects that fit in this category are:

  • Flood control
  • Open space and trails
  • Parks
  • Public Safety
  • Streets and parking
  • Water and sewer (the city doesn’t use G.O. bonding but instead debt is paid with water and sewer revenue – your water and sewer bills)

What is the city asking for? Your permission to allow the city to issue G.O. bonds at a ceiling of a certain amount.  While you would grant permission that doesn’t mean the city would use it right away. The city council has voiced its refusal to raise property taxes. Property taxes and sales taxes are the backbone and lifeblood of the city’s General Fund. The city’s General Fund pays for two primary things: 1. operating and maintenance costs of running city government and 2. the debt on city issued bonds. Each year the city council must balance these two competing interests seeking funding. The greater the cost of operating and maintaining city government the less there is available to issue bonds for capital improvement projects.

The last time the city asked voters for bond authorization was in 1999, 21 years ago. For example, in the last bond election voters approved bond authorization in Open Space and Trails in the amount of $50,459,000. The city has never used this full amount and still has $38,653,005 left of bond authorization. Obviously this time around, the city is not asking for any bond authority in Open Space and Trails or any other capital project categories where there is still adequate bond authority left.

Can the city just switch the $38+ million left in Open Space and Trails to another capital project category like Public Safety? The answer is by state law, no. Will your approval of the bond authorization sought raise your taxes? Again, the answer is no. The city policy is to issue bonds that can be paid back without raising taxes.

Last fall the city council authorized a citizen bond committee to review all requests for increased spending authorization. These Glendale residents were on the city council approved Bond Committee. These 7 citizens represented every district within Glendale:

  • Jon Froke, Chair
  • Lisa Baker, Vice Chair
  • Michael Boule
  • John Guers
  • Gary Hirsch
  • Ryan Wesselink
  • Michael Socaciu

After careful consideration and having received comprehensive information they have made the following recommendations for voter consideration on November 3rd. Each question requires separate voter approval:

  • Question 1 in the amount of $87.2 million for citywide park improvements, updated playgrounds, upgraded restrooms, Heroes Park completion and the O’Neil Splash Pad.
  • Question 2 in the amount of $81.5 million for street construction and reconstruction of major streets including 59th Avenue, 63rd Avenue, 83rd Avenue, Bell Road, Thunderbird Road and Bethany Home Road.
  • Question 3 in the amount of $9.9 million for our landfill’s expansion and to meet mandated environmental protections and compliance. Normally, these items would be covered by rate payers but the costs are just too high and raise rate payers’ bills dramatically.
  • Question 4 in the amount of $9.3 million for storm and drainage improvement projects.

In an upcoming blog I will go into greater detail about each of these questions.

Remember, just because voters authorize spending in these amounts for these listed items, does not mean the debt will be issued all at once. It will be issued as the General Fund can afford to pay back the debt without raising taxes.

© Joyce Clark, 2020         

FAIR USE NOTICE

This site contains copyrighted material the use of which is in accordance with Title 17 U.S. C., Section 107. The ‘fair use’ of any such copyrighted material as provided for in Section 107 of the US Copyright Law and who have expressed a prior interest in receiving the included information for research and educational purposes. For more information material on this site is distributed without profit to those who have not always been specifically authorized by the copyright owner. We are making such material available in our efforts to advance understanding of environmental, political, human rights, economic, democratic, scientific and social justice issues, etc. We believe this constitutes a ‘fair use’ of any such material. For more information go to http://www.law.cornell.edu/uscode/17/107.shtml. If you wish to use copyrighted material from this site for purposes of your own that go beyond ‘fair use,’ you must obtain permission from the copyright owner.

 

Feral Cats

Posted by Joyce Clark on August 18, 2020
Posted in City issue and actionsCity of Glendale  | Tagged With: , , | 5 Comments

Disclaimer: The comments in this blog are my personal opinion and may or may not reflect an adopted position of the city of Glendale and its city council.

Over the years as a councilmember one of the most frequent calls I receive is regarding feral cats. There are free or little cost ($25) services available to deal with the feral cat problem in your neighborhood.

Most of the programs are called TNR or Trap, Neuter, Release. You are loaned a trap(s) to get the cat. You transport the cat to a clinic. They usually want you to arrive around 6 AM. They spay or neuter the cat that day. You are then required to pick the animal up at the end of the day. What do you do with it then? They ask that you keep it in its cage for 2 days so that the animal has a chance to recuperate. You can keep the animal in your garage, bathroom, wherever it’s convenient for you. Just make sure to feed and water the animal. After 2 days the animal can be released. Yes, it may still be in your neighborhood but it can no longer produce kittens thereby bringing an end to the problem over time.

It may not be the ideal solution for some of you but it’s the only game in town right now. If you are desperate enough you will take advantage of the services that are out there. For those of you who are animal lovers, it’s an easy action to take and worth the effort.

Here are some of the resources out there available to you:

  • Altered Tails. 602-216-1160 or Az Defense League 602-265-7729. You pay $25.00 per animal. They put you in touch with a person ( volunteer) that loans out the traps. You take the cat to the clinic on 73rd Ave. and Indian School. They spay or neuter the animal. You pick it up at the end of day. Leave it in trap overnight then release. More detailed info is available on their websites. Info@alteredtails.org or org
  • Free (or low cost) Spay and Neuter Clinic: West Phoenix. Their address is:7342 W Indian School Rd UNIT 108, Phoenix, AZ 85033 and their contact number is: (623) 846-3979. This clinic is associated with the Arizona Humane Society, Altered Trails, the Arizona Defense League and virtually all non-profit groups that deal with stray cats. I would not call the clinic. I would call one of these agencies, arrange to get the traps and use the agency to make an appointment at the clinic.
  • Cool Cats Rescue. I have no information about this group or what it provides but you can always give them a call and check it out. They are located at: 2525 E. Roosevelt St. Phoenix, AZ. Contact numbers are: (480) 659 5253; Cell: (512) 431-3874 .
  • I could not find a public address or contact number for this group but it is on Facebook. It appears the only way to make contact is to post your question or message on their Facebook page. Their primary focus seems to be rescuing lost dogs but they do have  a program called “Captured, Spayed, Neutered and Released.” They offer traps and it’s the same drill as the other programs— bring the trapped cat in the morning and pick it up at the end of the day. The only difference is if the female cat is pregnant, they will keep the cat, raise her kittens and adopt them all out. If the cat is not pregnant you must pick it up and release it.

These are the only resources with which I am familiar. If you know of any other group please comment on this blog and I will add it to this list. I hope this information has been of some help.

© Joyce Clark, 2020         

FAIR USE NOTICE

This site contains copyrighted material the use of which is in accordance with Title 17 U.S. C., Section 107. The ‘fair use’ of any such copyrighted material as provided for in Section 107 of the US Copyright Law and who have expressed a prior interest in receiving the included information for research and educational purposes. For more information material on this site is distributed without profit to those who have not always been specifically authorized by the copyright owner. We are making such material available in our efforts to advance understanding of environmental, political, human rights, economic, democratic, scientific and social justice issues, etc. We believe this constitutes a ‘fair use’ of any such material. For more information go to http://www.law.cornell.edu/uscode/17/107.shtml. If you wish to use copyrighted material from this site for purposes of your own that go beyond ‘fair use,’ you must obtain permission from the copyright owner.

 

Disclaimer: The comments in this blog are my personal opinion and may or may not reflect an adopted position of the city of Glendale and its city council.

Please note: the statistics I am using are from the 2016 election cycle as currently there is no compilation of information on fire unions’ involvement in this 2020 cycle.

“31 firefighter union PACs donated more than a quarter-million dollars to 59 city council and mayoral candidates in Arizona. More than half of the donations went to 10 individuals, eight of whom are active or retired firefighters, according to an Arizona Republic analysis of local and state campaign finance data.” (https://www.azcentral.com/story/news/local/arizona-investigations/2017/03/28/arizona-firefighter-unions-donated-hundreds-thousands-local-elections/99603914/).

For some local candidates firefighter PAC money is their major source of funding for a campaign. While police unions can and do contribute the firefighters unions generally contribute more than seven times better than any police union PAC.

Here is a list of fire union PACs that made campaign contributions in the 2016 cycle. It is by no means a complete list of all of the union chapters in the state of Arizona. For example, there is no Chandler or Scottsdale on this list.

  • Arizona Firefighters
  • Avondale Firefighters
  • Buckeye Firefighters
  • Casa Grande Firefighters
  • Central Yavapai Firefighters
  • Daisy Mountain Firefighters
  • El Mirage Firefighters
  • Flagstaff Firefighters
  • Gilbert Firefighters
  • Glendale Firefighters
  • Goodyear Firefighters
  • International Association of Firefighters
  • Lake Havasu Firefighters
  • Los Angeles Firefighters
  • Mesa Firefighters
  • Peoria Firefighters
  • Phoenix Firefighters
  • Pima Firefighters
  • Prescott Firefighters
  • Sedona-Verde Valley Firefighters
  • Sun Lakes Firefighters
  • Surprise Firefighters
  • Tempe Firefighters
  • Tucson Firefighters
  • United West Valley Firefighters

That’s not all the fire unions contribute to a candidate’s campaign. “Firefighter political involvement doesn’t end with money. Fire groups across the state and country are known for their grassroots support of candidates. Hayden said he participated in elections his entire career by acquiring signatures and placing campaign signs for candidates.” (Arizona Republic article cited above).

Why do the fire unions insert themselves into local political races? The answer is really quite simple. It increases the fire unions’ chances of gaining better pay and benefits. That’s it. It’s naked power for the sake of greed. In Glendale, the fire union would prefer that you ignore the fact that their members are one of the best paid in the entire state. For them, that is irrelevant…for it’s always about more.

How do the unions get their money? Each PAC collects donations from every union firefighter. Each local union collects maybe $5 or $10 from every chapter member’s paycheck. Some of that money is then passed on to the state union PAC. The state PAC focuses primarily on local candidates. The maximum donation to a local candidate is $6,400 and often the limit is given to a candidate by multiple fire union PACs. In a short time the money becomes big money with strings attached.

What are the effects of a fire backed local candidate losing a race? Let’s use Glendale as a real time example. I have been in seven election cycles…all had fire union backed candidates. I won six of them and the fire union won one…Sammy Chavira. How did that work out? In all of my previous winning contests I continued to treat every fire union request with a fair hearing and decided any issue on what I considered to be best for the entire city.

I hope the rank and file of the Glendale chapter of the fire union reads the remarks I am offering. Your union President, Aarick O’Hara, has failed you in this election cycle. I thought I was working toward building a good, working relationship with Mr. O’Hara. We had discovered common ground on several issues. Prior to the run up to the election, Mr. O’Hara offered the following deal. The union would stay out of my race if I would disavow and not support or endorse Mayor Weiers. My answer to Mr. O’Hara was that I could not accede to his request. He then implied that he would be advising the executive board to endorse my opponent and that the executive board would comply with whatever he recommended. I bet none of you knew that.

I want the rank and file to know that Mr. O’Hara’s actions in support of Michelle Robertson and Bryce Alexander in an effort to take both of us off the Glendale City Council may well have repercussions. One of the questions you, as a dues paying firefighter, should be asking is did Mr. O’Hara vet either candidate and if he did, did he ignore the baggage that each candidate carried? If he did not vet them or ignored their questionable histories then he did a disservice to you. Another question for the rank and file is how much voice do you actually have when it comes to backing or not backing a local candidate? Did you, the rank and file union member, get to vote on the issue of endorsements or did O’Hara decide?

The troubling outcome is that I cannot and will no longer work with Mr. O’Hara. He has done irreparable damage to the hope of creating any positive and healthy relationship with the local fire union. That is a shame when I thought we were finally making progress.

Finally, I am sure that in the aggregate the fire unions spent upwards of $150,000 on the two Glendale races. To what end? To end up flushing that money down a toilet by backing losing candidates.

Why isn’t that money better spent to provide services to the rank and file members or using it to benefit the disadvantaged within our communities? Think of how much good could have been created with that $150,000+. Now your chapter, the Glendale chapter, owes every other fire union that contributed to the candidates in the Glendale race. You will be asked to repay the debt by putting up campaign signs and walking neighborhoods in Peoria or Tempe or wherever as payback for their contributions in the Glendale races.

I can tell you the relationship has been set back considerably. I don’t know about the internal workings of your union. Perhaps it’s time for the rank and file to decide if your current leadership is building a positive and healthy relationship and working for your best interest or for that of others.

© Joyce Clark, 2020         

FAIR USE NOTICE

This site contains copyrighted material the use of which is in accordance with Title 17 U.S. C., Section 107. The ‘fair use’ of any such copyrighted material as provided for in Section 107 of the US Copyright Law and who have expressed a prior interest in receiving the included information for research and educational purposes. For more information material on this site is distributed without profit to those who have not always been specifically authorized by the copyright owner. We are making such material available in our efforts to advance understanding of environmental, political, human rights, economic, democratic, scientific and social justice issues, etc. We believe this constitutes a ‘fair use’ of any such material. For more information go to http://www.law.cornell.edu/uscode/17/107.shtml. If you wish to use copyrighted material from this site for purposes of your own that go beyond ‘fair use,’ you must obtain permission from the copyright owner.

Disclaimer: The comments in this blog are my personal opinion and may or may not reflect an adopted position of the city of Glendale and its city council.

As I’ve remarked previously, due to the COVID pandemic this has been one of the strangest campaigns I’ve had. People must wear masks and socially distance. Bars and gyms are still not open. Tubing on the Salt River, a long-held, dearly loved outdoor activity is not allowed. The traditional, annual Glendale Women’s Club candidate forum was cancelled. Going door to door was frowned upon. Holding a campaign event was impossible. The life blood of a political campaign is reaching out to as many voters as possible in person. That was not to be.

How does a candidate campaign in this environment? Everyone is going digital and using the internet. Major candidates are running TV ads but the cost is prohibitive for a local council race. I think more mailers have been used in this campaign than in any previous one. By my count and I’m not sure I acquired all of them, at least 30 mailers from the 2 contested races—mayoral and Yucca council seat—hit your mailboxes. I estimate their collective value at about $65,000. In addition, the fire union dropped 2 door hangers for Robertson and 1 door hanger for Alexander, representing another estimated $5,000 and that does not include the manpower used by the union to deliver them. Add the cost of political consultants, polling, digital advertising, campaign signs and the expenses become even more significant. This may turn out to be the most expensive campaign cycle that Glendale has ever had.

I did note one very strange set of campaign finance reports – those of Corey Bowen. Mr. Bowen filed a statement of campaign committee organization on September 9, 2019. Candidates’ nominating petitions were filed at the end of March, 2020. Mr. Bowen never submitted nominating petitions and was therefore out of the Yucca council race at the end of March, 2020.

In his first campaign finance report filed on January 1, 2020 which reported financial activity through December 31, 2019, Mr. Bowen reported contributions of $2,950.00 and expenditures of $1,086.42 leaving him with a balance of $1,853.58. In his second report covering the period through March 31, 2020, he spent $266.51 leaving him a balance of $1,596.82. Here’s where it gets strange. By the end of March, 2020, he and we know he is not on the ballot and is no longer a candidate for the Yucca council seat.

In his next campaign finance report covering through June 30, 2020, Mr. Bowen spent another $828.29 as if he were still a viable candidate:

  • On 5/21/2020 $98.01 to Lyft for “campaign transportation.”
  • On 6/1/2020 another $53.01 went to Lyft for “campaign transportation.”
  • On 5/2/2050(sic) he spent $491.28 to WalMart for “campaign event supplies.”
  • On 6/1/2020 he spent another $255.99 at WalMart for “canvassing supplies.”

In his last campaign filing report covering through July 18, 2020, he continues to spend $658.89 as if he were a viable candidate:

  • On 7/2/2020 $56.50 to Lyft for “campaign transportation.”
  • On 7/13/2020 $42.01 to Lyft for “campaign transportation.”
  • On 7/2/2020 he spent another $226.89 to WalMart for “campaign event supplies.”
  • On 6/1/2020 to WalMart $33.49 for “canvassing supplies.”
  • On 7/03/2020 to Adelina’s wedding venue for $300.00 for “campaign event venue.”

Mr. Bowen, the non-candidate for the Yucca district council seat, now has a balance in his campaign committee account of $39.62. How can this be? How could he spend over $1,500 for campaign expenses when he is not on the ballot? It’s not the amount of money spent but the principle involved. I know that some of the readers of this blog work in the Maricopa County Attorney General’s Office. I would hope one of them would bring this to the attention of the Attorney General.

In my race with my opponent, I ask you, the voter, to consider several issues. He has declared himself to be a Democrat. Part of the Democrat agenda is to “defund the police” or at the very least, reprioritize police expenditures. That seems to be a nice euphemism for saying defund them. In his campaign material he says, “…we need to reduce the tax burden on each citizen…” One way to reduce that burden is to reduce or reprioritize police funding. How could the two police unions support this man when this is part of his agenda?

My opponent’s major support comes from the fire union. As I’ve stated previously, they poured money into his campaign with signs, a mailer and a door hanger, not because he’s an outstanding candidate but because of the mere fact that he is my opponent. I did a blog on union release time and the fact that city council eliminated one of two union release time positions for fire and police. This action angered them to the point where they would have supported cardboard cutouts of candidates in opposition to the Mayor and myself.

Most disturbing is his Facebook comment, “I get a special feeling when I see my name in print.” This is an unusual remark to make. It seems my opponent is in this race to become more recognized, more important within our community. That’s not a valid reason to run.

Keep in mind I took him to court to challenge the validity of his nominating petition signatures. I produced witnesses, registered Yucca district voters, who swore that it was not he who witnessed their signatures on his nominating petitions. My opponent never went to court and swore on a Bible (remember he’s an Associate Pastor) that it was indeed he who witnessed those signatures.

Lastly, my opponent is cerebral, a thinker…not a doer. His entire platform is comprised of initiatives I have done or I am currently doing. He offers no new ideas. I have a proven record of successful performance. I get things done. I have helped countless Yucca residents to resolve problems. I am accessible and take calls and texts from residents all the time. I have been there when you needed help.

My opponent’s motive for running is questionable. I will always harbor doubt about his nominating petitions and their validity. He has not contributed to the life of our district or community. His only support comes primarily from the fire union and I think it’s fair to assume he will support their extensive agenda. He has offered no new initiative that you can support or would be excited about. He really is a cardboard candidate.

The big gorilla in this race is the mayoral contest. There’s an old saying, “the past is prologue.” That means the past will inevitably be repeated. That certainly raises concerns with regard to the mayoral opponent Robertson. We know from publicly available records she accused her ex-husband of sexual molestation of their daughter and the court found her accusation to be invalid. We know that she accused the former Chief Financial Officer of the Cartwright District of sexual harassment. From her publicly available emails it appears that it was she who encouraged a mutually sexually charged relationship. I was disturbed to see the email photo of her breasts that she sent to him with reference to “the girls are oiled up.” Now that is disgusting.

Her scrubbing of her Facebook past demonstrating those causes she supports including “Black Lives Matter” should give you pause for concern. Her action appears to be intentional with the removal of controversial issues.

Another issue for your consideration is her commitment to retain her current job at the Cartwright School District while trying to be mayor. I, as a councilmember, can confirm that it is a full time job to serve and the mayor’s position is exactly the same. Promising to be a part time mayor does a disservice to every Glendale resident.

Again, the unions in their haste to back any opponent for mayor either did not vet this candidate or did and chose to ignore what they discovered. Either way, it screams of a naked power grab to run the City of Glendale to their advantage.

Having worked with the current mayor I know that the allegations the unions made against him are not true. It’s a tried and true tactic to take a snippet of fact and twist it until your opponent appears to be a monster. The fire union is very good at it.

Remember how you could go to your local polling location? It might be a school like Desert Mirage Elementary School or a church like Faith Baptist Church. No more. Thanks to COVID, this time you have a choice of five “Voting Centers” in Glendale.

For the August Primary Election, Maricopa County voters can cast a ballot at any Vote Center. Locations are open from July 8-August 4, including some nights and weekends. All Vote Centers listed are open on Election Day:

  • Arrowhead Mall 8/1/2020 Open 11am to 7pm; 8/2/2020 Open 12pm to 5pm; 8/3/2020 Open 11am to 5pm and 8/4/2020 Open 6am to 7pm.
  • ASU West Campus 8/1/2020 Closed; 8/2/2020 Closed; 8/3/2020 Open 8am to 5pm; 8/4/2020 Open 6am to 7pm.
  • Glendale Market Square 8/1/2020 Open 9am to 7pm; 8/2/2020 Open 12pm to 5pm; 8/3/2020 Open 9am to 5pm; 8/4/2020 Open 6am to 7pm.
  • Glendale Civic Center 8/1/2020 Open 7:30am to 6:30pm; 8/2/2020 Closed; 8/3/2020 Open 7:30am to 5pm; 8/4/2020 Open 6am to 7pm.
  • Glendale Christian Church 8/1/2020 Closed; 8/2/2020 Closed; 8/3/2020 Closed; 8/4/2020 Open 6am to 7pm.

You can drop off your ballot or vote in person on the days and times that these 5 Glendale locations are open. I can’t see how this scheme aids people in avoiding COVID but it’s the system that will be used on August 4th.

No matter what you do – drop off your ballot or vote in person, I urge you to vote on August 4th. Your vote matters…your vote counts.

© Joyce Clark, 2020         

FAIR USE NOTICE

This site contains copyrighted material the use of which is in accordance with Title 17 U.S. C., Section 107. The ‘fair use’ of any such copyrighted material as provided for in Section 107 of the US Copyright Law and who have expressed a prior interest in receiving the included information for research and educational purposes. For more information material on this site is distributed without profit to those who have not always been specifically authorized by the copyright owner. We are making such material available in our efforts to advance understanding of environmental, political, human rights, economic, democratic, scientific and social justice issues, etc. We believe this constitutes a ‘fair use’ of any such material. For more information go to http://www.law.cornell.edu/uscode/17/107.shtml. If you wish to use copyrighted material from this site for purposes of your own that go beyond ‘fair use,’ you must obtain permission from the copyright owner.

Disclaimer: The comments in this blog are my personal opinion and may or may not reflect an adopted position of the city of Glendale and its city council

Alexander and I turned in our Pre Election campaign committee financial reports on July 22nd. Mine has not changed as I had no contributions or expenses between July 1st and July 18th, the period covered by this filing.                 

Alexander reported spending another $3,439.55 during those 18 days. He has $2,775.52 as a remaining balance. He received an in-kind contribution of $306.25 from Bryan Daws for the design of (presumably) his campaign mailer and he paid $1,394.36 for campaign sign printing. Remember the fire union also paid $3,335.64 for his campaign signs as well. He spent another $2,020.19 for the printing and postage of his campaign mailer.

Keep in mind we still do not know who paid for the three very expensive attorneys from a very expensive law firm that defended his petition signatures in court…Hmmm.

Alexander has declared the following as his campaign platform. The only problem is that everything that he proposes as his platform is something I have already done or have supported for years. Where are his new, fresh ideas to make “Glendale Better?” He has none. I have a proven track record and the experience needed to make ideas become reality. Many of my pilot projects are in use throughout the city.

 

The choice is clear. I ask for your vote as Yucca district councilmember on Aug. 4th. 

 

© Joyce Clark, 2020         

FAIR USE NOTICE

This site contains copyrighted material the use of which is in accordance with Title 17 U.S. C., Section 107. The ‘fair use’ of any such copyrighted material as provided for in Section 107 of the US Copyright Law and who have expressed a prior interest in receiving the included information for research and educational purposes. For more information material on this site is distributed without profit to those who have not always been specifically authorized by the copyright owner. We are making such material available in our efforts to advance understanding of environmental, political, human rights, economic, democratic, scientific and social justice issues, etc. We believe this constitutes a ‘fair use’ of any such material. For more information go to http://www.law.cornell.edu/uscode/17/107.shtml. If you wish to use copyrighted material from this site for purposes of your own that go beyond ‘fair use,’ you must obtain permission from the copyright owner.

Disclaimer: The comments in this blog are my personal opinion and may or may not reflect an adopted position of the city of Glendale and its city council.

I reviewed mayoral candidate Michelle Robertson’s campaign filing and it confirms much of what I had said in previous blogs. The campaign is reporting $52,565.00 in contributions and $26,800.00 in expenses leaving a balance of $25,765.00. As I have indicated this is only a partial snapshot in time. The next campaign financial filing, due after the election, will fill in the rest of the picture. Don’t forget this filing only represents through June 30, 2020. A lot of receipts and expenditures will occur during the month of July.

There are several interesting observations about campaign contributions received. One is that PAC contributions of $34,400 are double that of individual contributions of $17,740. Here is the current roster of PAC contributions:

  • Phoenix International Firefighters Assn Local 493 $5,000.00
  • United Phoenix Firefighters Tempe Chapter $5,000.00
  • Surprise Firefighters $4,000.00
  • United Phoenix Firefighters Chandler Chapter $4,000.00
  • International Assn of Sheet Metal Workers Local 359 $1,000.00
  • Arizona Pipe Trades PAC     $12,900.00
  • Arizona List PAC                                                           $1,000.00
  • United Food & Commercial Workers Local 99 $1,500.00

It is a veritable ‘Who’s Who’ of unions in Arizona. Expect to see more unions listed or additional contributions from these PACs in her next filing after the election.

Individual contributions reflect many of the same players who have endorsed her or represent those disaffected groups coalescing around her candidacy. Here are the more notable, whose names you may recognize from previous blogs:

  • Cheryl Knappes (downtown Glendale merchant)       $50.00
  • Jane Bachman (Save Glen Lakes)                                                 $50.00
  • Yvonne Knaack (former Glendale councilmember)    $100.00
  • Jim Colson (former Glendale employee)                               $100.00
  • Bruce Heatwole (friend of Councilmember Turner)    $150.00
  • Payam Raouf (downtown Glendale property owner) $1,500.00
  • Bart Turner (current Glendale councilmember) $250.00
  • Julie Frisoni (member of Ed Beasley inner circle)    $250.00
  • Mark Burdick (former mayoral candidate, fire chief) $500.00

The campaign has expended $26,800.00 to date. It is interesting to note than more than half of that amount, $16,544.41 was in consultancy fees:

  • Ben Scheel $4,085.19
  • Brian Irvine $6,026.60
  • Bright Phoenix LLC $2,182.62
  • Todd Landfried $4,250.00

Let’s add in what the Fire union PAC, First Responders for a Safe Glendale, spent on Robertson’s behalf. It is a total of $17,820.77 for campaign signs ($14,485.13) and campaign door hangers ($1,515.62).

Recently Robertson has had to respond to a series of allegations. Although to date she has been silent. I guess she hopes if she does not respond they will go away. One allegation has been made by the former Chief Financial Officer of the Cartwright School District. He contends that after he refused to approve a ‘no-bid’ contract and was, in essence, constructively discharged from his position Robertson filed a sexual harassment charge against him. There is plenty of material out there in the public domain that you can consider. In the public domain are a series of rather sexually inflammatory emails Robertson reportedly sent to the former Chief Financial Officer.

Also in the public domain are the results of Robertson’s divorce. During the case Robertson claimed her husband sexually abused their daughter. There was a lengthy investigation by a psychologist whose findings were that the allegation was not based in fact. Her ex-husband subsequently was granted visitation rights of the minor child.

If you go to the Arizona Corporation Commission website and search for Empire Holdings LLC you will discover Michelle Robertson was their Statutory Agent from 2014 until 2020. The principal member of Empire is someone name Ara Debroghossian. Mr. Debroghossian was convicted in 2011 on criminal charges related to a drug ring sting and received a 31/2-year prison sentence (New Times, July 21, 2012).

Robertson filed to become a mayoral candidate in March of 2020. I can’t provide the exact date as the city website for campaign filings is down right now.  If I remember correctly she filed her committee on or about March 16, 2020 just several days after her resignation on March 11, 2020, as Statutory Agent of Empire Holdings. Was it another attempt to wipe her past clean?

In her resignation statement she states she never agreed to be the Statutory Agent for Empire Holdings. The timing of her resignation is questionable as is her statement that she never agreed. If that was truly the case as she received correspondence for Empire over that six year period she could have resigned at any time if she never agreed to be their agent.

Here’s what’s troubling about all of this. Glendale citizens did their own research and came up with the public documents related to the current lawsuit filed by the former CFO of the Cartwright district, her divorce case and the Empire Holdings registration. They shared those publicly available documents with me.

 Why didn’t all of the unions, including the Glendale chapters of the fire union and police unions do their due diligence and check her background? Instead in their blind rush to back anyone, including a candidate with a questionable background, they supported her with endorsements, money and manpower. They let their anger over the issue of removal of release time positions by the city council cloud their judgment.

I am dismayed that the Glendale police unions chose to back an apparent Democrat activist with sympathy for the Black Live Matter movement and its advocacy for defunding police departments. It appears that they are backing someone who is sympathetic to their ultimate destruction.

This election has been one of the strangest in Glendale’s history. Black is white and red is green. Nothing is as it appears.

I do know one thing. This city council has tried to meet the funding demands of the unions while also meeting the financial needs of all of the other city departments. As I have said previously, it’s a balancing act. Not every department gets everything that it wants.

Glendale unions, what have you done?

© Joyce Clark, 2020         

FAIR USE NOTICE

This site contains copyrighted material the use of which is in accordance with Title 17 U.S. C., Section 107. The ‘fair use’ of any such copyrighted material as provided for in Section 107 of the US Copyright Law and who have expressed a prior interest in receiving the included information for research and educational purposes. For more information material on this site is distributed without profit to those who have not always been specifically authorized by the copyright owner. We are making such material available in our efforts to advance understanding of environmental, political, human rights, economic, democratic, scientific and social justice issues, etc. We believe this constitutes a ‘fair use’ of any such material. For more information go to http://www.law.cornell.edu/uscode/17/107.shtml. If you wish to use copyrighted material from this site for purposes of your own that go beyond ‘fair use,’ you must obtain permission from the copyright owner.

Disclaimer: The comments in this blog are my personal opinion and may or may not reflect an adopted position of the city of Glendale and its city council.

All candidate committees as well as Political Action Committees such as the fire union PAC, First Responders for a Safe Glendale, were required to turn in their finance reports on July 15, 2020. This report covers the period from April 1, 2020 to June 30, 2020. Many campaigns will deliberately arrange payments for mailers, etc. to occur after June 30th because the next finance report is due after the Aug. 4th election. In that way you, the public, may not see campaign donors and activities that could appear controversial to the voter. Here is the link to the city website where all campaign committee and PAC finance reports can be accessed: https://docs.glendaleaz.com/WebLink/CustomSearch.aspx?SearchName=Elections&cr=1 . In the ‘Content’ bar choose from the drop down menu ‘Campaign finance reports’ and in the ‘Committee type’ select from a drop down menu the name of the campaign committee report you wish to view.

My campaign report shows contributions to date of $35,524.05 and expenses of $15,942.56. The most notable of my expenses is $4,131 in attorney’s fees to challenge Alexander’s petitions in court and $10,000 to a political consulting firm for the design and printing of campaign signs, all mailers and additional campaign related political activities.

Let’s take a closer look at Alexander’s financial campaign filing. In this election cycle to date he has raised $6,740.00. Of that amount $4,700 is Alexander’s own money. He received a total of 5 campaign contributions from individuals: Payam Raouf for $500; Bruce Heatwole for $150; Glendale Councilmember Bart Turner for $250; Richard Vangellisti for $600; and Jessica Koury of $200. Total contributions from these 5 individuals are $1,700.

To date he has spent $1,094.53 of his total $6,740.00. His expenses are not unusual for a campaign – bank fees, website creation and internet costs, and Facebook ads. In this report he finally acknowledges that he paid for petition signature gatherers in the amount of $500 to Field Corps LLC. His next campaign financial report will reflect where he spent the rest of the money and any other campaign contributions he received.

His declared expenses, or lack thereof, raise a curious question. In April I challenged his petition signatures in court. I paid $4,131 in attorney’s fees out of my campaign resources. I had one attorney that I shared with Mayor Weiers as our claims were identical. Alexander had 3 high priced attorneys from a pricey legal firm that he shared with mayoral candidate Robertson. Is he waiting to declare payment of his share for those attorneys in the next campaign filing by having the billing dated after June 30th? Or did he accept a monetary gift from someone to cover the cost? It’s still an expense that arises out of his campaign effort and will have to be declared somewhere, sometime.

You can’t look at Alexander’s finance report without also looking at the First Responders for a Safe Glendale PAC filing as well. They declared the receipt of $19,500 from the Phoenix Firefighters Local 493 Fire PAC. You can be sure there will be more dollars from Phoenix Fire PAC in the next financial report. They paid 100% of $3,335.64 for Alexander’s design and printing of signs. They also paid for Alexander’s design and printing of his door hangers and their distribution. Even though the door hangers are out on the street they are not reflected in this report because the billing may have occurred after June 30th. It’s neat how that works, isn’t it?

Again, this is information that helps to educate voters while making their decision. Sometimes candidate committee financial reports are as notable for what they do not disclose as opposed to what they do disclose.

© Joyce Clark, 2020         

FAIR USE NOTICE

This site contains copyrighted material the use of which is in accordance with Title 17 U.S. C., Section 107. The ‘fair use’ of any such copyrighted material as provided for in Section 107 of the US Copyright Law and who have expressed a prior interest in receiving the included information for research and educational purposes. For more information material on this site is distributed without profit to those who have not always been specifically authorized by the copyright owner. We are making such material available in our efforts to advance understanding of environmental, political, human rights, economic, democratic, scientific and social justice issues, etc. We believe this constitutes a ‘fair use’ of any such material. For more information go to http://www.law.cornell.edu/uscode/17/107.shtml. If you wish to use copyrighted material from this site for purposes of your own that go beyond ‘fair use,’ you must obtain permission from the copyright owner.

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