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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 felt compelled to react to Bill Toops’, Glendale Star’s Administrator, editorial of November 15, 2018, regarding downtown Glendale. Here is the link: https://www.glendalestar.com/glendale-star/downtown-dissidents-nix-city-manager%E2%80%99s-vision . Mr. Toops said, “In a Nov. 2, 2018 letter to the mayor and City Council, Glendale City Manager Kevin Phelps said he’s had enough opposition from downtown merchants to shift the focus of city resources elsewhere. While detailing a number of significant accomplishments since his hire in February 2016, the continuing frustration from a vocal band of naysayers has effectively halted his efforts to pursue a new strategy for the city’s downtown district.”

I support our City Manager’s take on downtown Glendale.  Here is the link to his comments regarding Glendale and downtown: https://www.glendalestar.com/glendale-star/city-manager-shifts-economic-focus-away-downtown .

 There is an old saying, “the definition of insanity is doing the same thing over and over again and expecting a different result.” For years…no, for decades… the city has underwritten 3 major festival events downtown – Glendale Glitters, Glendale Glow and the Chocolate Affaire. Granted these festivals bring shoppers to downtown for a brief period and I suspect during those few weeks they generate as much as 70% of a downtown merchant’s annual net. But at what point do diminishing returns set in? I contend they already have.

The downtown merchants have been content to allow the city to do the heavy lifting. In what other area of the city does our government finance any major festivals especially for the benefit of private businesses? Arrowhead Mall area? Westgate area? Nope.

Successful businesses and downtowns are constantly reinventing themselves by changing what they offer and how they do business offering the customer a new, fresh, convenient and relevant experience. If downtown merchants don’t embrace change they will be swept aside by, among other things, internet shopping. The change required for downtown is to offer experiences that cannot be acquired by shopping on the net.

Has it occurred to anyone that as Westgate grows always seeking new entities within it, that it has a direct impact on downtown? What will motivate anyone to go downtown when they can go to a sporting event, a movie, shop at Tanger Outlets or dine at a dozen different restaurants? What will downtown offer to attract those very same people? To make them want to visit downtown as part of their Glendale experience?

The city manager came to Glendale three years ago and offered a fresh look at many things, including downtown. His proposal was designed to create a destination location all year long. Instead a small group of perhaps twenty downtown merchants, newly created as the Historical Downtown Merchants Association, protested in horror at the very thought of change. I should note that there are over 250 downtown merchants yet this small handful was silently allowed by the majority to determine the destiny of all.

Mr. Toops goes on to observe, “While many downtown merchants prefer to hang their financial solvency on a handful of mega events they say ensure throngs of visitors over two weeks’ time, city management sees greater value in scaling events back and adding frequency, up to 150 annually. Further, merchant perspectives tend to support little or no change to the traditional festival concept with the exception of additional funding, yet city management contends downtown Glendale needs an entirely new direction for long-term prosperity.” The city was willing to invest in innovation and change while using its success as a catalyst to attract new, vibrant business entities. A relatively small group killed the concept.

So the city will continue to pour $1.2 million annually into the downtown sieve but it has also announced that this amount will remain constant and not increase. Mr. Toops rightly observes, “While many merchants may be pleased with this decision for now, rising costs within a fixed budget will only serve to erode the glitz and glitter of every event and the commensurate draw from each.” Add to this observation that other cities have created their own events that now directly compete with the 3 events hosted by Glendale government.

Downtown saw its last “hey day” when it had over 100 antique shops. It was the antique capital of the west. Visitors could be seen going from one shop to another, even on the hottest days of summer. But that is long gone with only a few antique shops remaining.  It has become stale and tired with no destination to attract those same visitors.

Make no mistake. I want a proud downtown bustling with visitors and shoppers. We all do. I want to able to boast about its vibrancy instead of apologizing because a visitor went to a restaurant during the week only to find it closed because there was not enough business to warrant it being open. What a sad state of affairs.

When will a majority of its 250 merchants embrace change? When will they reclaim their voice instead of allowing a few, very vocal merchants clinging to the status quo determine their destiny? When will they realize the insanity of repeating the same thing expecting a different result? When will they realize that we’re all in this together eager and willing to work toward reinventing a vibrant, successful and proud downtown?

© Joyce Clark, 2018         

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.

On November 3, 2018, I was invited to attend a very special event. Aspen Dental opened an office in Westgate earlier this year and was host to the national Aspen Dental’s Healthy Mouth Movement. Since 2014, Aspen Dental has sent a specially equipped van throughout the county to provide free dental care to veterans and people in need.

On that day, the Westgate office and Midwestern students offered free dental care from 9 AM to 5 PM to about 34 patients. It was amazing to see the compassion and care offered not just in the two spaces within the van itself but also in every space within the Westgate office. The total amount of care donated that day was $20,701.00.

Why is this important service so needed? We are a nation of about 320 million people and last year nearly 150 million Americans did not visit a dentist. That’s almost half of our entire population! Some of us with relatively healthy teeth don’t go until we have a toothache or similar problem…even though we should have a yearly check up. Many simply cannot afford to go because of the cost, lack of insurance or downright fear of the dentist.

Our teeth are probably one of the most critical factors in determining our quality of life. Bad teeth means no smile, no interaction with those around you, leading to social isolation.  Bad teeth means that you can’t eat properly affecting your diet and overall health, leading to illness that may not have needed to occur.

Hence Aspen Dental’s initiative to give back to our communities nation-wide. In addition to the mobile van Aspen hosts a Day of Service. Local Aspen practices throughout the county host veterans exclusively and offer care at no cost. They also try to connect the vet with free or low cost future services to take care of their dental needs. Since 2014, over 4,300 vets have received service.

For more information go to: https://www.aspendental.com/about/healthy-mouth-movement .

© Joyce Clark, 2018         

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.

About a month ago we all received our latest property tax bill from the Maricopa County Treasurer’s Office. Included in the billing are the amounts in your individualized bill that are received by various governmental and school institutions.

My bill went up by 6.7% due to a strong economy that is increasing property valuations. Take a look at the graphics that are provided in every bill:

I happen to live in the Pendergast Elementary School District and the Tolleson Union High School District. In 2018 I will pay the Pendergast Elementary School District $1,261.57 or 44% of my entire property tax bill. I will pay another $835.84 or 29% to the Tolleson Union High School District. The Maricopa Community College District gets $258.63 or 9% and West-Mec receives $28.10 or .009%. Education represents about 82% of all of the property tax that I pay.

Maricopa County’s General Fund and Special Districts account for $391.23 or 13%. The City of Glendale receives $371.64 or 13% of my total property tax bill. Since the city has not increased the property tax levy my payment to the city decreased by 36 cents. Surely it’s not much but at least the city is holding the line while the school districts and county levies have increased from .4% to a high of 29.4% (Tolleson).

 In Glendale your property tax payment goes into its General Fund. The General Fund supports Public Safety and represents a minimum of 75% of the entire General Fund. So, 75% of your property tax payment supports the police and fire protection you receive. The remaining 25% supports Parks and Recreation, Code Enforcement and a myriad of other services you, as a Glendale resident, receive. It is also used to pay off bond debt for projects that may have been completed years ago as bonds usually pay off in 20 or 30 years.

In the Yucca district of Glendale, which I represent, I was surprised that neither the Pendergast Elementary School District nor the Tolleson Union High School District objected to the tremendous increase in their student enrollment that will come as a result of the city approval of Stonehaven, a residential community of about 1,360 homes. I used an estimated average figure of $1,000 for the elementary district in annual property tax per home and $800 for the high school district. To my surprise the Pendergast Elementary School District will receive an estimated $1.3 million dollars annually in property tax from the Stonehaven residents and the Tolleson Union High School District will get an estimated $1 million dollars a year. No wonder both school districts didn’t object to the horrible density in Stonehaven. Each home represents about $800 to $1,000 a year in property tax.

I think there are questions for these school districts. If, on average, they receive an average of $1,000 a year in property tax from each and every home and they receive funding from the state as well (Remember RED for ED?), where is all of the money going? And for what?

The annual Quality Counts report by Education Week study found Arizona ranked No. 46 in 2018. The ranking earned the state a D+ grade, according to the Arizona Daily Star. Arizona’s ranking has remained pretty consistent in the last 10 years, sometimes moving up or down by a number or two in ranking. We continue to throw money at public education and nothing seems to change. Everyone is willing to contribute to educational funding but that support diminishes over time when the results remain consistently abysmal. When we actually see the money going toward teacher pay and the students?

There are many other factors other than money that affect the quality of education in Arizona. Too many to discuss here. They need to be addressed.

Glendale residents you get a lot of bang for your property taxpayer buck. The average of $300 to $400 a year that you contribute provides the services upon which you rely every day. Looks like a good deal.

© Joyce Clark, 2018         

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.

Recently the Arizona Republic aired a story about the city’s sale of the St. Vincent de Paul building implying that something nefarious occurred. Expect me to post a blog very soon laying out the facts behind that sale.

The latest story from the same news media implies that the city may be preparing to enact the same methodology of sale with the Brown lot. The Brown lot, located south of Kellis High School and east of 91st Avenue, is called that because it had been used by the city to provide color coded parking for the State Farm Stadium. With the development of the Black lot south of the stadium the Brown lot is no longer needed.

In a recent story a reporter says the following with regard to the Brown lot, “A City Council member said she expects a developer to build apartments on the high-profile corner near the city’s sports and entertainment district.” The reporter went on to say, “About a month later, Councilwoman Joyce Clark wrote a blog post about how she expected apartments to come to the site of the old parking lot, which is on that intersection’s southeast corner”.

 Here is what I really said in a September 18, 2018 blog entitled,  Apartments in Yucca district? “Another possible site for an apartment complex is the city-owned Brown lot north of the Provence subdivision. In this case an apartment complex is appropriate for the location.” I did not say that apartments would be built on the Brown lot. I speculated that it is possible…not a certainty.

Since there are apartments to be constructed on 95th Avenue across from the Super WalMart, I expressed thoughts in my blog about the possibility of any other locations within the district that might be suitable. The only one I could think of was the Brown lot. Does that mean it is happening? No. It means I thought it could be a possibility. Do I have any definitive knowledge that there will be apartments on this site? The answer is a simple ‘no’.

Then the reporter says, “Clark told The Republic that, at the time of her blog post, the council hadn’t discussed the site in executive session. But that contradicts a statement she made on her Facebook page as she responded to someone about her blog post. She wrote there that she couldn’t give details about the asking price of the land because ‘that is executive session information’.” 

This one is on me because I didn’t make myself clear in a response to a Facebook query. Someone asked what the sale price of the Brown lot was with this question, “Its 17 acres. What are we asking for it Joyce?” My answer was, “I am sorry that is Executive Session information and under state law I may not discuss.” My answer was not precise or clear. In my mind I was answering broadly and generally to indicate that prices of any city owned land are executive session discussions. It was not intended to be a confirmation (or a denial) that a Brown lot sale price had been discussed in executive session.

I contend that the reporter was also not precise in reporting on what I said, wrote or didn’t say, write.

I bring these items to your attention because the news media often slants a story. It’s understandable. They need a “hook” to entice the reader. If you have ever been interviewed by a reporter and then see the subsequent story, you might have remarked, but I didn’t say that.

 I didn’t say that apartments are coming to the Brown lot in my blog. It was mere speculation.  I didn’t affirm or deny in answering a Facebook question that the price of the Brown lot had been discussed in executive session. Those were inferences made by the reporter. Unfortunately they were not accurate inferences. What’s new? It happens all the time. I guess we might understand when the news media is called the “fake news.”

© Joyce Clark, 2018         

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.

If you see a disclaimer come up that indicates that my site is not safe it is because I have not yet procured an SSL certificate recently required for internet sites. I am in the process but I assure you my site is safe.

Late on Thursday afternoon, October 11, 2018 the following was delivered to Mayor Jerry Weiers as well as copies to the entire Glendale City Council, Glendale’s City Manager and the entire Phoenix City Council. It is not marked as a confidential document.

It is a Press Release for immediate release to the media and copied to the respective parties named above.

I have no comment at this time as either an elected official of Glendale or a private citizen. I have no idea if the allegations offered are true or false. However, this is a public document and within it is the representation of serious allegations that have been provided to all media. As a public document released to the media I believe that the citizens of Glendale and Phoenix are entitled to view the Press Release and the allegations contained therein.  It is up to you to draw your own conclusions about its veracity.

All of the parties who received the Press Release also received a copy of an interview by the young lady making the allegations. I am not releasing the video copy at this time until I have had an opportunity to consult with the Glendale City Attorney.

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 many of you know I have previously stated that this will be my last term of office. From the very start of my term as the Yucca district councilmember I have been asked repeatedly to run again. Lately the pressure to do so has become very intense and has caused me to reconsider. If I were to decide to run again I would need to make that decision soon in order to begin fund raising for another election run.

To assist me in making that decision let me share factors that I, and you, should consider in making the decision. Perhaps the most important is my age as that is determinant of my mental and physical acuity. This October I will celebrate my 77th birthday. Every year I take an executive physical and the most recent results are that my health is excellent. The only medication that I have taken for many years is for my low Thyroid. I take nothing else. My eyesight and hearing are excellent. Physically the most challenging aspect for me is walking. I no longer climb stairs. My knees are not in good shape but are not drastic enough to require surgery.

It’s not as if I would be the first elderly councilmember. Councilmember Lieberman and Councilmember Martinez each served well into their 80’s. Each had physical challenges but they were not an impediment to service.

In terms of my mental acuity I have no signs or symptoms of any Dementia or Alzheimer’s. I am still as sharp as ever. With regard to council deliberations I continue to do my homework by reading all materials as well as questioning staff incessantly. I still enjoy the work as no two topics are ever the same. I possess a great deal of city/council historical memory which has proven invaluable to me and stood me in good stead on issues that come before us.

What about the political aspects to be considered? In my last run in 2016 my campaign was funded exclusively by the citizens of Glendale, many of whom resided in the Yucca district. I raised in the neighborhood of $15,000 while my opponent out raised and out spent me at a ratio of about 5:1. I suspect I would need to raise at minimum the same amount I previously raised and probably more.

Some of the current councilmembers have urged me to run again. I enjoy and respect my fellow councilmembers.  It’s been a breath of fresh air and the way in which previous councils should have operated.  I wish I had had the same experience in the early terms of my service. Alas, that was not the case.

Library stem walls Sept. 5, 2018

My priority continues to be the completion of Heroes Park, long, long overdue. I am pleased and grateful that the current council has funded Phase I of the West Branch Library. As I write this it is currently under construction and we should see the walls go up within the next few weeks. But there is so much more to be done to complete the park. My next goal is to secure funding for the design and construction of the long awaited water feature that is planned to be sited just east of 83rd Avenue. Then there are still the ball fields, Phase II of the library, a dog park and a Recreation/Aquatics Center yet to be built.

I have been accessible and transparent in my service. I reinstituted district meetings and twice a year I sent out district newsletters to every household in the district. I use Facebook regularly to post information about city and district issues.

There is certainly more to share in the coming months but for now in order to make my decision I need to hear from you, the people of the Yucca district, for if I do not have your support then it becomes a moot issue.

 I am not going to run an informal poll because I have learned that it may not always be accurate. Instead, please comment to this blog. Please take the time to express your point of view. Your reaction is extremely valuable to me and I can’t make a final decision until I hear from you. If you do not wish to comment publicly, please send a personal email to me at clarkjv@aol.com .

Thanks. I look forward to comments…the good, the bad and the ugly!

© Joyce Clark, 2018         

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 this week’s Glendale Star there is a story on all three of Glendale’s incumbent councilmembers winning reelection. Let’s share some of the conspiracy theories Aldama claims in the article. Let’s begin with:

  • “As I have said before, to each his own (in their support) but when there are five current councilmembers supporting a new candidate, it says to me that there is a will to remove democracy and add a dictatorship, and that is not how we function.”
  • “I don’t see any reason why five would want me out, but I don’t answer to the five. I answer to my constituents in my district.”
  • “…And to those who opposed me, I am sorry that I fell short if that is what they feel, but I hope I can work with them to build a better relationship and work together to continue to improve the city.”
  • “The four councilmembers who endorsed my opponent was an attempt to curry favor with the Mayor,”
  • “The attempt by Mayor Jerry Weiers to unseat me and Councilman Turner was a purely political attempt to create a ‘dictatorship.’ His desire was to have a ‘yes’ council that would remove any objections to his political goals and aspirations.”

Once I was able to pick myself up off the floor after having laughed so hard that I slipped out of my chair, I decided that among other things, Aldama thinks an awful lot of himself. Does he really believe we are obsessed with him? OMG!

Poor Jamie, he’s really angry and can’t seem to figure out what happened to him and why. If he’s such a nice guy why would 5 out of 7 other councilmembers endorse his opponent? In a bout of apparent paranoia (or perhaps he’s been listening to Councilmember Turner too much) Aldama has convinced himself that Mayor Weiers is destroying democracy and had ordered the rest of us to endorse Aldama’s opponent.  Sorry Jamie. There’s no “will to remove democracy and add a a dictatorship.” I’m still grinning over that one.

For those who don’t know me very well I have a reputation of taking orders from no one. I have never been a ‘yes person’.  I have never felt the need to “curry favor” with the Mayor or any other member of this council. I never had a conversation with the Mayor or any Councilmember before I made my decision to endorse Emmanuel Allen or Ray Strahl. Both endorsements occurred after in-depth interviews with each and were published in my previous blogs.

Aldama can’t “see any reason why five would want me out.” It’s really quite a simple explanation. He never expressed opposition to council’s collective decisions when he had abundant opportunity to do so. Yet he would turn around and publicly oppose those very same decisions without alerting council or staff of his intentions. Aldama has lost the trust of this council. That is something very difficult to regain and occurs with action, not with words of platitude.

Several councilmembers were dismayed by Aldama’s abusive treatment of council staff leading to three council assistant resignations over time. One assistant was brought to tears. Since council assistants serve two councilmembers the situations often resulted in the leaving of a council assistant valued by the other councilmember. For a period of time the council office included a set of revolving doors. His actions created a decidely unstable atmosphere.

In his four years of service, what tangible results has Aldama produced for the people of the Ocotillo district? None. Nada. Zip. In his four years of service did you see him really push for action with regard to O’Neil Pool? When I came back into service a year and a half ago, I started to advocate not only for the completion of Heroes Park but for action regarding O’Neil Pool, abandoned in 2011. The O’Neil area was part of my council district for many years until the last city council redistricting which occurred in 2011 and the area remains important to me as I lived there for 30 years.

 I resumed my council service in 2016 and as a result of my efforts, council will shortly take up the issue of the abandoned pool and allocate CDBG funds to remove it. I am not happy with staff’s proposal that provides only passive recreation on the former pool site and will continue to press for active recreational opportunities such as a splash pad where the pool once stood. Jamie had four years to make O’Neil pool a priority and failed to do so.

I noted at the Womens’ Club Candidate Forum Aldama spent almost all of his introductory speaking time thanking everyone for everything – a penchant of his at nearly every public speaking opportunity – conveniently leaving very little, if any, time to speak to the issues.

He often takes credit for successful council decisions and actions whether he supported them or not. Code enforcement is perhaps one of the most critical issues for the Ocotillo district yet it is Councilmember Malnar that has taken up the challenge of code, not Aldama. Another critical issue for Aldama’s Ocotillo district is advocacy for small businesses yet I successfully won approval from council to initiate a council business subcommittee, not Aldama. Yet Aldama has the hutzpah to say, “he is ready to continue improving the district…” How exactly Jamie? And please be specific.

Lastly, I would remind the reader that several weeks ago at a Glendale Chamber breakfast, Aldama stood before God and the breakfast attendees and accused the council of “corruption.” That wasn’t a smart move designed to ‘win friends and influence people’. It’s time Aldama came forward with facts to support his allegation or to apologize to this council. As of this writing he has not done so.

I feel sorry for Aldama for all of his decisions and actions appear to be politically motivated. If it’s good for him politically he’ll support the issue or action. He seems to have failed to learn that his job is really about representation and giving voice to the people he represents. When residents disagree it’s time to listen rather than devise payback. Goodness know the people of the Ocotillo district can use a lot of help. Unfortunately, it doesn’t appear that Aldama can provide it.

© Joyce Clark, 2018         

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.

Another Primary Election in Arizona is now history. For those of you who don’t follow politics very closely here are the match ups for the General Election this November:

Governor

Doug Ducey R (Republican)

David Garcia D (Democrat)

U.S. Senate

Martha McSally R

Krysten Sinema D

Secretary of State

Steve Gaynor R

Katie Hobbs D

Attorney General

Mark Brnovich R

January Contreras D

State Treasurer

Kimberly Yee R

Mark Manoil D

Superintendent of Public Instruction

Frank Riggs R

Kathy Hoffman D

Did you know that the State of Arizona has 3.6 million registered voters? Guess how many of us voted this past Tuesday throughout the state…505,470. Roughly half a million voters. That’s a turnout of 14%.

In Glendale voters chose to return all three incumbents:  Vice Mayor Tolmachoff in the Cholla district; Councilmember Bart Turner in the Barrel district; and Councilmember Jamie Aldama in the Ocotillo district. All it took was 21% (6,297) of the registered voters in the Cholla district; 19% (4,393) of the registered voters in the Barrel district; and 12% (1,556) of the registered voters in the Ocotillo district.

 In Glendale there are 116,965 registered voters. Broken down by district:

Cholla district            24,499 registered voters

Sahuaro district        23,199 registered voters

Barrel district            20,594 registered voters

Yucca district             18,318 registered voters

Cactus district            17,426 registered voters

Ocotillo district          12,929 registered voters

For purposes of this exercise in statistics I have taken one district, the Ocotillo District, and broken it down even further:

Bethany Park Precinct               1,121 registered voters               102 or 9% voted

Bonsall Park Precinct                     853 registered voters              2 or .002% voted

Challenger Precinct                    2,952 registered voters              212 or 7% voted

Manistee Precinct                      2,708 registered voters               351 or 13% voted

Montebello Precinct                  2,272 registered voters                143 or 6% voted

Peck Precinct                               1,980 registered voters            168 or 8% voted

Tuckey Precinct                         1,774 registered voters               139 or 8% voted

The reason for presenting all of these statistics is really quite simple and can be summed up in two words…Voter Apathy. But what exactly is apathy? It is lack of interest or concern. In other words, indifference. People have no problem asking for help or complaining whether it’s calling a congressional representative with help with your social security or calling a councilmember for help with a code complaint. 90% of the time that representative is there for you, assisting you to solve the problem, often successfully. That representative, whether congressional, state or local, is there to listen to your complaints and opinions. But where are you when it comes time to vote for that representative who assisted you? Nowhere. You’re usually AWOL.

We often accept the excuse that people are busy living their lives, working to take care of their families, participating in church activities, recreating or volunteering. If one can make time for these life activities surely one can manage to schedule an hour once every several years to vote. My gosh, you don’t want to physically go to a voting site? Then take 5 minutes to register online to become an Early Permanent Voter. The ballot comes to you in the mail. You fill it out and mail it back. You don’t even have to cough up 50 cents for postage. How simple can it get?

We hear that voting is our right and privilege and it is. It’s also our responsibility. I remember my Mom telling me to, “Clean my plate. Do you know how many starving kids there are in China who would love to have this meal?” It’s the same analogy with voting. Do you know how many people on this planet do not have free and fair elections? Countries like the United States are a rarity, not the norm. In order to protect what we’ve got it is incumbent upon us to protect it by our participation in the electoral process.

In November we have the opportunity to vote again. This may be the most consequential election of our lifetimes. What will you do that day? Will you vote or be indifferent? Apathetic and pathetic.

© Joyce Clark, 2018         

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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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.

On Wednesday, August 8, 2018, the Glendale Women’s Club hosted its biennial candidate’s forum. Present were: Barrel District candidates Bart Turner and Ray Strahl; Ocotillo District candidates Jamie Aldama and Emmanuel Allen; and Cholla District candidate Lauren Tolmachoff (unopposed).  Each candidate was given three minutes to introduce him or herself. Their responses often mirrored their campaign mailers including how long they have resided in Glendale, their backgrounds, etc.

The forum was about two hours in length and can be viewed following this link:

http://www.glendaledailyplanet.com . There was time enough for each of the candidates to give one minute responses to the following questions. Since I am not a professional stenographer I am paraphrasing the questions:

  • Question 1: Blight is a concern for many cities. How would you address blight in Glendale?
  • Question 2: Would you vote to support the current downtown festival budget?*
  • Question 3: What are your thoughts about the newly created Historical Downtown Merchants Association?
  • Question 4: Since light rail has been cancelled what should be done with those transportation sales tax dollars?*
  • Question 5: List two major achievements in your district.*
  • Question 6: What is your position on Glen Lakes Golf Course?*
  • Question 7: Should there be a citizen’s commission on city charter review?
  • Question 8: Many residents still believe there is north versus south when it comes to the allocation and use of city funds. Do you concur?*
  • Question 9: What is your position on the city construction of the new parking lot by the Cardinals Stadium?*
  • Question 10: How have you allocated your council budget resources?*
  • Question 11: Would you change the current vision for downtown?
  • Question 12: Do you support raising the mayor and council salaries?
  • Question 13: In 2012 a .7 sales tax was instituted. Should it be eliminated?*

As you may note, I have placed asterisks on seven of the questions. These questions can only be answered competently based upon in depth information received through the actual experience of serving on city council. These particular questions were loaded in favor of the incumbents.

I love the Women’s Club Candidate Forum and hope the organization continues to provide this valuable service to our community. But there may be ways to make it even better. All questions are submitted by the public at large. As nearly everyone knows, the questions are usually submitted by each candidate’s supporters, often at the request of the candidate.  In addition, the questions seem to reflect geographically localized Glendale issues (i.e., downtown Glendale) rather than broader policy issues affecting all of Glendale.

Perhaps there is a better way to craft questions that do reflect broad policy issues. Maybe it is time to consider using questions that come from some kind of independent panel. Some questions that could have been used:

  • If you are elected what are your three priorities for your district? for all of Glendale?
  • How would you work to decrease the city’s debt?
  • The city’s budget determines expenditure priorities. For example, public safety versus parks and recreation. How would you balance competing needs for limited available funding?
  • What attributes do you have that would make you a better representative than your opponent?
  • Do you believe public transportation is a priority for Glendale? Why or why not?
  • Have you ever received a traffic ticket, been charged with a DUI, been charged with a felony? had a bankruptcy?

I would also note that answers provided by both incumbents and challengers at this forum were generally the same. There was nothing offered that provided major distinctions between the candidates. This election may well be decided on several things: a candidate’s personality; a candidate’s ability to get out the vote; and I kid you not, since some voters have no idea about the candidates, it comes down to position (first) on the ballot and whether they like your last name.

It was an interesting evening and I am glad that I took the time to attend. Seeing who was in the audience was very instructive. There’s also nothing that can surpass seeing candidates in person because it helps one to get a feel for their characters and personalities, something that just doesn’t come through on TV.

© Joyce Clark, 2018         

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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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 morning, Friday, August 03, 2018 started out as any other day. The Chamber held its First Friday breakfast with its usual compliment of about 100 attendees. Everyone in attendance is given about 30 seconds to say something about the business they own or represent. Usually the Mayor attends and occasionally a councilmember or two will be there. I was not there but my phone starting ringing the minute the breakfast broke up.

Emmanuel Allen, candidate for the Ocotillo district council seat, was there and during his brief remarks announced that he was endorsed by 5 councilmembers; the Mayor and Councilmembers Hugh, Malnar, Tolmachoff and me.

It so happened that the current Ocotillo councilmember Jamie Aldama was also in attendance this morning. His allotted 30 seconds turned into a 3 minute speech. During his remarks Aldama referred to the action of five councilmembers endorsing his opponent, Allen, and accused us of “corruption.” Everyone in the room sat in stunned silence. Mayor Weiers did respond to Aldama’s accusation saying that he took exception.

Aldama is desperate and running scared that he may not be reelected. However, when he makes that kind of accusation he better damn well be able to prove it.

© Joyce Clark, 2018         

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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