Header image alt text

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.

Bryce Alexander

The first mailer on behalf of my opponent arrived in district mailboxes on July 6th. Who paid for it? Guess. How about a specially created political action committee (PAC) called ‘First Responders for a Safe Glendale’ with major funding from the Phoenix Fire Fighters Local 493 Fire PAC? That would be a very good guess.

It should raise this question for every voter. Why is a Phoenix fire union PAC sending mailers out for a Glendale election? That one’s easy…because President Arick O’Hara of the Glendale fire union asked them to do so. This tactic is typical of every election in every jurisdiction in the state. By federal law, Glendale fire fighters are not supposed to conduct political activity in the city in which they work.  To get around that pesky federal regulation the Glendale chapter asks all of the other local chapters to do the work and finance the effort instead.  Whether it’s paying for and sending out a mailer such as this one; paying for and putting out campaign signs; or walking for their chosen candidate. ..that’s how they get around federal regulations.

Even though this mailer is classified as an independent mailer not authorized by the candidate, don’t be fooled. Wink. Wink.

The fire union comes out of the closet and blatantly identifies Mr. Alexander as a Democrat in the mailer. There is nothing wrong with that except for the fact that Glendale’s elections are non-partisan. Up until now, a candidate has typically not been identified with a particular political party.

I think the fire fighters union would get an A+ in “creative writing” or in plain English, fudging on the truth… lying. It says on the mailer, “As a successful Glendale business owner, he’s created good paying jobs right here in our community.” That’s a hoot! Mr. Alexander opened an art gallery in downtown Glendale that lasted for maybe, a year. That’s how “successful” his business was. It bled red ink and created not one “good paying job right here in our community.”

The fire union then trashes our police officers by implying that they have been unable to “build respect and support between officers and all residents.” Residents from diverse groups, over the years, have expressed to me and to the department, their respect for our officers and have often thanked them for the job they do daily “to protect and to serve” all of us.

The fire union then turns to the use of those buzz words again of “transparency” and “ethics.” Remember what I said. This is a typical ploy used for a candidate who has no platform and nothing upon which to run.

The fire union claims he will work for, “city budgeting that values parks, libraries and our unique quality of life.” They might just as well have used the slogan, “truth, justice and the American way” for all of the meaning that their phrasing promises. I have been doing those things for years witnessed by my successes in getting Phase I of Heroes Park Library built; successfully ensuring that Heroes Park Lake will be built next year; ensuring that Heroes Park completion is in the city’s Capital Improvement Program; and successfully gaining approval for a 4 year, $10 million a year program to upgrade every park in our city.

The fire union claims that I “vote the party line at City Hall.” What party? Perhaps they are confused and are referring to the Independent Party?  I don’t blindly vote for all things in the context of the fire union and what they want. I have supported parts of their agenda such as voting for advanced medical response units but I have never blindly supported all of their “gimmees.”

The fire union then claims I fired “Glendale’s independent government watchdog,” the city auditor. I have no authority to hire or fire anyone in Glendale government with the exception of the 4 direct reports to city council: the city manager, the city attorney, the city judge and the city clerk.

Lastly the fire union claims that I “rewarded political supporter with $5 million city contract.” There can be no response to this because it’s an outright lie. All contracts for more than $50,000 are awarded through a city Request for Proposal system administered by the city’s Procurement Division. When a contract is presented to this council for approval, I am the only councilmember to consistently vote against 5 year contracts because those contracts may last longer than council positions which are 4 years in length. I have said consistently that contracts should be 4 years or less and then put out for bid again. I have also opposed 5 year contracts for usual items and services that are not specialized. They should be put out to bid on a frequent schedule to insure the city is getting the best price possible.

I expected this election to be “no holds barred” for the fire union is desperate to get rid of the mayor and/or I. Why? I will be offering several future blogs in the coming days that may help you to understand why they are freaking out and throwing everything against the wall to see what will stick.

I’m not surprised by any of this for this is what the fire union is known for in every election. They fight dirty and try to smear the incumbent candidate especially if their chosen candidate is incredibly weak which happens to be the case with Alexander.

Just remember, the fire union is not pouring thousands of dollars and hundreds of hours of manpower to back Alexander (and mayoral candidate Robertson) out of the goodness of their hearts.  The fire union is racking up a lot of IOUs in backing Alexander and they will expect pay back.

Mr. Alexander, what are you willing to do to make good on those fire union IOUs?

Payback’s a bitch.

© 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.

For the past seven years I have blogged about Glendale issues…the good, the bad and the ugly. Whether on city council or off I do not plan to stop.

Cardinals Way Dedication

I am running for re election as your Yucca district councilmember because I love this city and I love its people. I love representing you and I am good at it. It is an honor and privilege to serve you. My experience as a councilmember has given me the advantage of understanding how to maneuver within the corridors of power to achieve objectives that benefit Glendale’s residents and especially Yucca district residents. I always do my homework and research on every issue that comes before council. Residents and staff alike acknowledge my strength in this area. I have always been accessible to all. I listen to all points of view and have been known to change my position as the result of a strong, well reasoned argument. I have always been mindful of my expenditures because the money I spend is yours, not mine.

This has been the strangest election campaign in history.  Candidates have not been able to approach voters to meet and greet and share their personalities and positions on issues. This campaign has been all digital. That works well if all have internet access but that is not always the case and that is very concerning.

I have tried to figure out why my opponent, Bryce Alexander, is running. He has no experience in participating in the Glendale community.  His background is that of a network architect. He dabbled briefly (for about a year) as a downtown Glendale art gallery owner and is currently an associate pastor at a local church.

On July 5th on his website he finally posted what he is for and against. There are several problems with his list. First, it’s too little and too late. The very things he offers are the very things I have championed for years and for which I have a proven record. We seem to hold similar views and the only difference is that I have extensive experience and leadership in each of them.

  • My opponent is against police defunding. When the issue first surfaced weeks ago I immediately stated publicly that I would never support defunding the police and rather I will continue to defend the police. It’s taken him several weeks to get to the same position. One of our children is a retired law enforcement officer and as a Mom I have heard far too many horror stories of the dangers he faced. I support law enforcement…always have and always will.
  • My opponent is against new taxes. I have a proven record of no property tax increases for the past 4 years.

    Bryce Alexander

    That, and my reputation as a fiscal conservative, is my record.

  • My opponent says he is strong on crime prevention. Again, my record proves my position. I have always supported the funding of the Glendale Police Department resulting in an agency that ranks among the top 3 agencies in the Valley in terms of officers’ pay and benefit package.
  • My opponent supports neighborhood revitalization. I guess he’s forgotten or maybe he’s not aware of the fact that it was my work that created the city’s Neighborhood Revitalization Program. This program, during its lifespan, awarded hundreds of thousands of dollars in neighborhood grants to upgrade some of our most disadvantaged neighborhoods.
  • My opponent says he is strong on parks and road infrastructure maintenance. It was my suggestion, adopted by the city council last year, to allocate ten million dollars a year for the next four years to upgrade existing parks and to add new amenities. My record of support for the residential street repair program is strong and has been appreciated.
  • My opponent claims to be strong on transparency and ethics in government. When you don’t have any issues to claim as yours, all politicians drag out these often used buzz words. They are platitudes. During my term, I have sent out 188 weekly E Newsletters; 6 semiannual district newsletters mailed to all 11,000 households in the district; posted innumerable times alerting residents to timely issues and shared my positions on current issues on Facebook, Twitter and NextDoor. I have also written this blog for seven years discussing Glendale’s issues. I am available via email, text or phone call. All of these means of contact are offered regularly.

So, that brings us back to why is he running?

I keep thinking about a statement he posted on Facebook on June 19, 2018 that stated, “I always get that special feeling when my name appears in print.”

Draw your own conclusion about such a statement.

If you conclude that Mr. Alexander is on an ego trip, you may be right.

© 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.

We all, well most of us, use some form of social media. It could be Twitter, Instagram, Facebook, etc. How do we use them? We post family and friends photos. We post about ideas or values we appreciate or admire. We use social media to update the world on our status. In other words, our use of social media reflects our personalities, what we value, and what we believe in. It is a reflection of ourselves.

Recently, an intrepid user of all social media sent me a series of screen shots captured from Mayoral candidate Michelle Robertson’s Facebook pages. Out of curiosity, I went to her Facebook pages to see these postings for myself. Amazingly, they were all gone. Not some of them, but all of them. Ms. Robertson, or perhaps her campaign team, seems to have carefully scrubbed (erased) any posting that did not reflect her current, carefully cultivated image as a moderate candidate for mayor of Glendale.

Now when you look at her Facebook postings from the past two years there are very few, perhaps as a few as a half dozen postings in each year. Those postings that kept are filled with unicorns and rainbows, puppies and babies…all very benign and extremely non-controversial…unless you hate unicorns or babies!

None of the Facebook screen shots sent to me was anywhere to be seen. So, I thought I’d peel back the onion a bit and share with you a sampling of the items Ms. Robertson deleted.

 

The first screen shot is from July, 2017 when she was a candidate for Maricopa County Superintendent of Public Instruction. Back when Robertsom was a Democrat activist she embraced a lot of Human Rights Campaign posts and it certainly looks from this post that she supported the Black Lives Matter movement.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

The second screen shot is from July, 2017 and expresses her support for the LGBTQ community and the Resist movement.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

This screen shot is from August, 2019 and clearly demonstrates her support for Elizabeth Warren as her preferred Democrat Presidential candidate. There’s no expression of support for Biden, the presumptive Democrat Presidential nominee.

 

 

 

 

  

 

I don’t have any issue with her positions but these are the ideas and values that are important to Michelle Robertson. You may agree with some of them, all of them or none of them. That is not the point.

The point is that these postings represent the real Robertson and you, the voter, have the right to know what causes and ideologies she supports and what her value system is. This is the real Robertson that was erased. Why?  Did she think the real Michelle Robertson would not get enough votes? Did she fear that these kinds of posts and these positions and causes  might alienate Glendale voters?

I don’t think Robertson gives Glendale enough credit for its diversity of thoughts and populations. Second, I can’t imagine running for an office while hiding the real me while pretending to be something that I’m not. I’m clearly the opposite. I write my blog so that my constituents can really know what I’m thinking on a variety of issues.

As I reviewed her current postings on her campaign page I noted that while she emphasized what she described as failings of our current mayor I didn’t see what she plans to do to make Glendale “good.”  For that is her campaign tag line, “Good for Glendale.” It sounds great but exactly what makes her good for Glendale?

 I didn’t see any positive action that she would employ should she be elected. What’s her platform? What does she want to accomplish for you? What does she intend to do to improve your quality of life?

What I did find on her Issues page were complaints about the current mayor and a sprinkling of aspirational goals without much meat on the bones. Here’s one example: “You can count on me to be engaged in working in partnership with our state and federal legislative delegations…” That’s dandy but the city employs a lobbyist in Washington, D.C. that lobbies for every possible dollar to which the city is entitled. Doesn’t she know that Mayor Weiers served in the Arizona State Legislature and as a result of that service he developed excellent working relationships, including our present delegation?

Other very generalized promises include restoring the city’s internal audit program. The only problem with her statement is that she ignores that the city has an internal audit committee that oversees the work of an independent auditing firm; ensuring city council transparency.  In order to be fully transparent, I wonder how she plans to get around confidentially protected Executive Session material; and supporting light rail.  Council abandoned the concept of light rail and used the savings generated for its beefed up Pavement Management Program,

Voters should pay attention to her lack of participation in and contributions to our community, Glendale.  While she says she’s lived here for most of her adult life, she doesn’t appear to have volunteered for any service on a citizen board or commission. She is not a member of Kiwanis, the Salvation Army, the Chamber of Commerce or any other non-profit organization devoted to Glendale.  I see no service to the community in her resume. I suppose she can claim any career work in the fields of social services and mental health but did these positions have any relationship to Glendale? If it did I would assume she would say so.

What about attendance at Glendale 101 University? It’s available free to any resident and provides in depth knowledge about the how and why of the operations of nearly every City of Glendale department. That would have been great preparation for someone considering a run for mayor of the city.

She appears to have no legislative experience. Her only experience seems to be within the Cartwright School system. I’m not sure that would prepare anyone to take the reins of a city of 250,000 people. Her career is exclusively in education, largely as a kindergarten teacher. Her first campaign for office was for an education position because she said that was her passion. Now, suddenly, she is passionate about a Mayor’s position that has no authority over the school districts within our city? The decisions made regarding your children’s education is made by your school district’s board, not by the city.

She appears to be what many would call a “perpetual candidate.” Two years ago she ran for the Maricopa County Superintendent of Public Instruction. She lost. Well, that didn’t work out so well, so why not take a shot at running for Mayor?

There are those who seek recognition and adulation as a public figure. It makes them warm and fuzzy all over and provides validation of their self worth. Is that part of her persona? We don’t know because she has only chosen to offer platitudes, not substance. She is a ghost candidate.

Your reason to vote for her should be grounded in truths. What can you learn from her social media? Has she shared her plan for Glendale? Do you even know what her plan is? Do you value her previous experience in contributing to Glendale? For she seems to have none. Do you know where she wants to take Glendale? What exactly, makes her good for Glendale?

What she is against is irrelevant.

Ask yourself, what does she stand for? Do you share her values?

She doesn’t deserve your vote if you can’t answer those questions.

© 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.

 

NOTE: I have over 2,000 subscribers (it’s free!). When I post a blog I get anywhere from 200 to 2000 reads. Since my blog started I have had half a million people read my posts! Be part of the latest news about Glendale, Arizona. Subscribe today. Check the top of the left column and simply enter your email address. Your email address will not be put on any other list and never on a paid list.

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 the last blog of this series I have to throw Mayor Weiers’ opponent, Michelle Robertson, into the mix. The minimum number of signatures needed to become a mayoral candidate is 1,267. She submitted a little over 2,300 signatures.

The County Recorder invalidated a substantial number of them. I don’t know exactly how many but it was a bunch. In addition, approximately half of dozen of Robertson’s circulators presumably admitted to Robertson’s attorneys that they had done some creative writing and had filled out sheets with bogus information. Her defense team, once they knew that Weiers’ attorney was preparing to call these circulators as witnesses, agreed those signatures were no good and withdrew them. When the dust settled Ms. Robertson had only 57 more signatures than the minimum of 1267 needed.

The same convicted felon that collected 43 signatures for Bryce Alexander also collected signatures for Ms. Robertson. I believe he collected in the neighborhood of 65 to 70 signatures. Invalidation of him as a circulator was as important to the Weiers campaign as it was to mine. Again, I remind you neither Weiers nor I prevailed on getting the convicted felon’s petition sheets invalidated as the judges ruled he had all of his civil rights restored and was a valid circulator.

The same paid circulator, the convicted felon, worked for both campaigns and signed the back of these 2 petition sheets. The yellow highlighting and notations are mine. I erased the photos and ask you to figure out which one is Robertson’s and which one is Alexander’s. They are eerily similar, aren’t they?

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Another paid circulator signed the back of these two petition sheets. Which is Robertson’s and which is Alexander’s? They seem to be identical.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

I bring all of these anomalies up for a reason. There are questionable practices being performed by some petition gathering companies and in turn, by the candidates themselves who knowingly submit questionable signatures.

When a local candidate for office turns in petition sheets to the city’s clerk, the only function of the city clerk is to certify that enough signatures have been turned in. The clerk’s office does not validate signatures. Most candidates don’t know this and therefore, don’t check their opponent’s signatures for the required number of signatures as valid. Some of us do. I did.

When a candidate believes the opponent does not have enough valid signatures the only recourse is to file a suit in Superior Court. That is the mechanism that requires the county recorder’s office to check and to validate or invalidate signatures. But it is more complicated than that. The candidate challenging signatures for validity must list every sheet number, line number and reason for challenge for each signature being questioned. The county recorder does not and will not check every signature. It will only check signatures identified by the complainant. I found somewhere in the neighborhood of 70 signatures I believed to be invalid. The county recorder agreed that 43 of those were invalid.

Another aspect of collecting signatures is the use of petition signature gathering companies. A few are reliable and honest but there are others that are not. The unreliable ones will hire any warm body willing to do the work and often do not check backgrounds. That’s how we get convicted felons going door to door to collect signatures…amid the most unusual event in our country’s history…a pandemic. I doubt that the paid circulators wore masks, gloves or social distanced when going door to door, offering the same pen for people to use when signing the petition. How many signers were put at risk? We’ll never know.

The less reputable petition companies do not validate the signatures that are collected. Why would they? In today’s market, a candidate must pay from $1.00 to $3.00 per signature. If the company had to strike invalid signatures before submitting them to the candidate, it would eat into their billing to the candidate. Some candidates have paid for sheets that are garbage…filled with invalid signatures.

The petition signature gathering process has been corrupt for years by practices such as these. That is why we see 40 or 50 challenges in court per election cycle. These practices are not conducive to good government. Filing and defending suits in court for suspected petition wrong doing are expensive and clog the courts diminishing their ability to deal with legitimate cases.

 Alexander and Robertson used paid circulators to go door to door during the worst pandemic this country has ever experienced. To pursue their goals of getting on the ballot they were willing to put the public’s health during CoVid 19 at risk.

Particular to my challenge is the fact that Mr. Alexander never took the stand on his behalf to swear that he was, in fact, the circulator of the challenged petitions. He can state publicly, now that the challenge has been decided, that he did circulate those petitions. How can you believe that what he may say now is not just political expediency? One can say anything when one doesn’t have to swear to it in court. There will always be this little, grey cloud of doubt hanging over him. It should cause everyone to consider his ethics.

Mr. Alexander has this quote as a part of his banner on his Facebook page, “I am a champion of truth. I hate lies. That means I tick people off when they repeat political lies.”

Oh really?

You should judge Mr. Alexander’s declaration in the light of his quest to get on the ballot…any way possible.

P.S. On May 7th the City of Phoenix announced that for its November, 2020 election it will require candidates to use online petition signature gathering. See here:https://patch.com/arizona/phoenix/city-phoenix-launches-new-online-candidate-nomination-petition-process . Will this action remove some of the corrupt practices currently in place?

© Joyce Clark, 2019         

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.

Let’s begin with a story. It is Tuesday, March 17th, St. Patrick’s Day. It also happens to be the Democrat Presidential Preference Election Day. CoVid 19 is in full force so many voters that day chose to drop of their mail in ballots at a polling location. One of the polling locations was the Westside Church of God on Bethany Home Road just east of 83rd Avenue.

One of the favorite haunts of paid petition circulators is any place that is hosting an event or where people visit on a regular basis, such as a grocery store. For the same amount of time and effort they can maximize the number of signatures they can collect.

At least one was standing at the Westside Church of God location on March 17th. When people showed up to vote or to drop off their mail in ballots they were asked to sign one and/or both of two petitions. One petition was for a candidate for a local school board and the other petition was…wait for it…for my opponent. Many people signed that day. Here are the two petitions with a total of 20 challenged signatures that were the subject of my court challenge.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

I contended in court that Mr. Alexander, although he signed the backs of the petitions, did not collect the signatures or witness the signatures. In fact, Mr. Alexander appears to have signed the backs of those two petitions. I think it is fair to say it is his signature when compared to his signature on the Candidate Statement of Interest form presented here.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

We were able to make contact with several of the petition signers. To protect their privacy, I will not refer to them by their names.  For the sake of brevity I am offering the relevant portions of only 2 of the 3 witnesses’ telephonic testimonies from an official transcript. I have never met them and do not know them. They agreed to testify of their own volition when asked to do so by my attorney.

I personally think their testimonies would have been more compelling if they had been able to appear in court in person. That was not able to happen because of CoVid 19 and proved to be disadvantageous to us.

Clark Attorney (CA): “…You’re a Glendale resident; are you not?”

Witness #1 (W1): “Yes, I am.”

CA: “…do you recall signing a petition sheet for a candidate for the – for a Glendale Council race?”

W1: “Yes.”

CA: “Do you remember the name of that individual?”

W1: “No, I do not.”

CA: “…was it for a council race?”

W1: “Yes, it was for city council.”

CA: “Did you sign more than one petition for a city council race?”

W1: “No, not for the city – I just signed one for city council. There was another one that I signed for, that was for a school board; I believe it was.”

CA: “Were you sent a petition sheet with your signature on it?”

W1: “Yes.”

CA: “Did you review that petition sheet?”

W1: “Yes. I did.”

CA: “Did that appear to be the petition sheet that you signed?”

W1: “Yes, it was.”

CA: “Did that petition sheet – did it have a photo of an individual on the upper left corner?’

W1: “Yes, it did.”

CA: “Was the person whose photo was on that petition sheet, was he the one you signed for?”

W1: “No.”

CA: “Now, in terms of the person who you saw on the petition sheet that was sent to you, that bore your signature, do you ever remember seeing that individual at that time?”

W1: “No at all.”

****************

Clark Attorney (CA): “Do you recall signing a candidate petition sheet for a candidate for Glendale City Council?”

Witness #2 (W2): “I do recall.”

CA: “When was that approximately?”

W2: “I think St. Patrick’s Day, so it was the 17th.”

CA: “…have you seen a copy, since that time, of the petition sheet you signed?”

W2: “I have, yes.”

CA: “Did you recognize your signature on that petition sheet?”

W2: “Yes, I did.”

CA: “And on that petition sheet did you see a photo of a man in the upper left corner, for where the candidate goes?”

W2: “Yes.”

CA: “Do you ever recall seeing that man before?”

W2: “No, I don’t.”

CA: “In terms of who was present when you signed on St. Patrick’s Day, I take it that means that that man was not present?”

W2: “Yeah.”

CA: “So, in other words you’re certain that he was not the circulator?”

W2: “Yes, I am.”

The Superior Court judge in her oral ruling at the end of the hearing that day stated, “The Court also has heard the testimony of the three people who testified here at this hearing. They indicated they were qualified electors. They indicated that they did sign the petition, and the Court does find that their testimony fails to establish by clear and convincing evidence that the circulator improperly verified these signatures, and so those 20 signatures at issue, the Court finds to be valid.”

The only question that needs to be asked and answered is, why didn’t Mr. Alexander testify on his behalf that he did circulate and witness those signatures? It would have put to rest all speculation about his being the circulator or not.

I suspect, although I cannot prove,  it was because Mr. Alexander’s attorneys did not know exactly what my witnesses would say and in not knowing, they advised him not to appear that day in case he was called upon to answer questions that he would not have been able to answer truthfully.

There is one more element to this tale of petitions and petition circulators and that will be the subject of my third and final blog on this issue.

*Please accept my apology if the graphics do not appear lined up correctly. No matter what adjustments I make it doesn’t seem to help the situation.

© Joyce Clark, 2019         

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 am writing this particular blog on Tuesday, May 5, 2020. As of this date I had already challenged the validity of some nominating petition signatures of my presumptive opponent for the Yucca district city council position, Bryce Alexander, in Superior Court. I did not win the case and so, I appealed to the state Supreme Court. It has not yet been decided and I may not know their decision for several more days. Whether I win or lose at the Supreme Court level, once the decision is made I will post this blog.

I want to share the under belly, the nefarious side of signature gathering for nominating petitions. There are as many petition gathering companies in Arizona as the number of fingers on both of your hands. Some are very reputable…and some not so much.

I, along with many candidates throughout this state, work hard going door to door collecting the needed signatures. You can usually tell when a candidate has done so because the signatures will reflect people who all live on the same street. For example, I went door to door on several streets so I have an entire sheets that have signatures from people who live on those streets.

 I started to collect signatures immediately after I filed to run last winter. I had already gathered the minimum number of signatures needed to file when Covid 19 hit. Just like any other candidate I wanted to obtain the maximum number of signatures (which is usually double the minimum amount required). Then I would have a cushion in case any signatures were declared invalid for any reason.

I did use a petition gathering company for those extra signatures. I used a person I know to be reputable and honest, especially since the person has a relative who was elected and had served in local, political office. This person knew the importance of and valued the need to obtain valid signatures. Before giving me the signatures collected, that company went through each sheet and verified the signatures and struck all those that were invalid. Being careful, I did my own verification after I received the petition sheets. I knew the signatures that I turned into our city clerk were indeed valid.

There are some petition companies out there that don’t necessarily operate in this fashion. They will hire anyone. In some instances, the petition signature gatherers may have a criminal history including felonies. These companies claim to do background checks. However if they are doing so, they are doing a lousy job of it. I am certainly not accusing but I suspect Mr. Alexander (and Michelle Robertson, a presumptive mayoral opponent) used such a company and you will understand the basis of my speculation shortly.

The minimum number of valid petition signatures required for nomination in the Yucca district is 160. Mr. Alexander turned in 210 leaving him a cushion of 50 signatures should any of his signatures be challenged. My challenge at the Superior Court consisted of some of Mr. Alexander’s petition signatures as invalid and I contended that only 134 of his signatures were valid. That was well below the 160 signatures required to get on the ballot.

The County Recorder agreed with me in part and did invalidate 42 of Mr. Alexander’s signatures leaving him with a maximum number of 168 signatures – only 8 over the minimum required to become a candidate.

The balance of my challenge would be decided by a Superior Court judge and my challenge was twofold: I contended in my suit that while Mr. Alexander signed the backs of two petition sheets (totaling 20 signatures) as the circulator, he did not witness those signatures and he was not the circulator of those sheets. On the back of a petition sheet the signer is attesting to the fact that he or she was the circulator and witnessed the signatures. When a person signs as having collected and witnesses those signatures and in fact, did not do so, those signatures are struck from the total count of signatures.

We were able to secure 3 witnesses, all Yucca district residents, who had signed the Alexander petitions and testified in court that it was not Mr. Alexander who asked them to sign the sheets and that they had never seen him before. I did not know any of the witnesses. They were not friends, acquaintances or supporters. They were principled strangers who wanted to do the right thing.

Mr. Alexander did not appear in court. He did not get on the stand and swear on the bible that he circulated those petition sheets and witnessed their signatures. Why didn’t he? The Superior Court judge ruled that the witnesses’ testimonies were not “clear and convincing” and validated those 20 signatures.

The other basis of my challenge was that 43 signatures should be declared as invalid because they were obtained by a convicted felon who had not had all of his civil rights restored thereby disqualifying him from being a petition circulator. On this issue the judge ruled that his civil rights had been restored and therefore his signature collection was also valid. This was a more of a technical issue and rested on the interpretation of previous Arizona Supreme Court decisions which apparently the Superior Court judge did not consider important enough to shape her ruling.

That is why I sit here today as I write this, waiting to hear the decision of my appeal by the Supreme Court. Bryce Alexander may end up on the ballot as a candidate for the Yucca district council seat by the skin of his teeth…8 signatures over the minimum required for nomination.

However, I want to bring up something Bryce Alexander wrote on his Facebook page on April 29th:

“Update: I have received notification that the incumbent has filed a notice to appeal the ruling that the petitions signed by voters was valid.

I do not yet know the basis for the appeal, nor do I wish to speculate on the motivation of Joyce Clark to drag this out at this time. Time will reveal and clarify her intentions.”

Mr. Alexander cannot possibly be as ignorant or uninterested in his fate as he portrays himself to be in this post. He had two attorneys from a very pricey law firm representing him in Superior Court. It would have been a dereliction of their duty to not inform their client of the action and my basis for challenging the validity of his nominating petition signatures.  By the way, I wonder who paid those high priced attorneys? And how much was their fee?

For the record, my campaign is paying my attorney’s fees. Unfortunately, we won’t know the answers about his campaign finances until after July 15, 2020, when the next campaign filings are due. Early ballots will have already been mailed out to voters and the Primary occurs two weeks later on August 4, 2020. So much for a timely full disclosure. Perhaps Mr. Alexander will be willing to share that information on his Facebook page.

Of course he knew my motivation in that I was challenging on the basis that he did not personally circulate those two sheets and that a convicted felon who may or may not have had his civil rights restored circulated his petitions. He just didn’t want to reveal the basis for my challenge as doing so might raise some questions among his followers.

Anyone who knows me even remotely knows that I can be feisty and sometimes I have “a take no prisoners attitude.” If I had been challenged as not being the circulator after I signed the back of sheets attesting that I had, I would have been incredibly angry. I would have marched right into that courtroom, taken the stand, sworn on the Holy Bible to tell the truth and then testified that I did, in fact, circulate and sign the backs of those petitions. Yet, Mr. Alexander did not. Again, why not?

It is now late Thursday afternoon and I just learned that I lost the appeal before the state Supreme Court. I do not have the details yet. I suppose those details are irrelevant. I would be lying if I said I was not disappointed.

In my next blog on this topic, I will be sharing some of the petition sheets Mr. Alexander submitted and some that Ms. Robertson submitted. Once the petition sheets are submitted to the City Clerk, they are a public record. There’s more to this story because not all petition sheets are created equally.

© Joyce Clark, 2019         

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 have published two blogs on “What’s great about Glendale” and there will be more to come over the next few months but I wanted to take a break from that series and share other events and issues happening in Glendale.

Perhaps the most important events yet to occur this year are the Glendale and national elections. The Primary Election is in August of 2020 and the General Election is in November of 2020. The people of the United States will choose who will be the President of the United States for the next four years.

Perhaps what may be of more importance to you is our local election selecting  3 councilmembers and the mayor of Glendale. Those elected will determine the direction of Glendale for the next four years. Those running for reelection are:

  • Mayor Jerry Weiers. As of this date in January one person has taken out a nominating petition packet with the intent of running against him.
  • Councilmember Ray Malnar. As of this date in January one person has taken out a nominating packet with the intention of running against him.
  • Councilmember Ian Hugh. As of this date in January one person has taken out a nominating packet with the intention of running against him.
  • Councilmember Joyce Clark. As of this date in January three people have take out a nominating packet with the intention of running against me.

These possible opponents must do the following to get on the ballot. Each must form a Political Action Committee (a PAC) and register it with the City Clerk. In March each must turn in their citizens’ nominating signatures to the City Clerk. Those signatures must be verified and then accepted by the City Clerk in order to have their names placed on the ballot. The signatures presented must be of a minimum amount and the number required varies by district and also must be verified as registered voters.

Then the fun begins. Each candidate must make their case to the electorate over the next 4 months – April to the Primary Election date in August. That takes cash for signs and mailers. It may sound like there is lots of time but there really isn’t.

This is where I need your help. If you think I’ve done a good job as your representative please make a contribution to my campaign. I can’t succeed without your help. There are two ways that you can contribute:

  • Please go to my campaign website,www.joyceclark2020.com, click on the “Donate” page and follow the prompts to make an online donation.
  • While you are reading this, make out a check payable to Joyce Clark 2020 and mail it to:

      Joyce Clark 2020                                                                              8628 W. Cavalier Drive                                                                      Glendale, AZ 85305                                  

Thank you for your support. I deeply appreciate it.

Now, on to other things….recently I had the opportunity to meet one on one with Arick O’Hara, the newly elected President of the Glendale Fire Union. We had a thorough and frank discussion and for the first time in many years I believe that this President of the Glendale Fire Union is someone I can work with. Only time will tell but I am very hopeful.

The City Council will begin budget workshops in March for the upcoming Fiscal Year 2020-21. As I have said on previous occasions, in fighting between staff and city council on allocating funding only occurs when the economy is good. When there is no money there is nothing to fight over.

One of my goals is to secure the funding to complete construction of the remaining elements of Heroes Park. Another is to secure some funding for the Scalloped Street program and for upgrading bus stops. I’m sure you’ve driven on a street like 83rd Avenue between Glendale and Northern Avenues. The street is 2 lanes wide in both directions on some portions and not on other portions. That’s because city policy is to have the developer of a new project such as the newly constructed church on the northwest corner of 83rd and Northern put in the new lanes adjacent to their property.  It becomes a safety issue as the second lane appears and disappears along the street. We are at the point where I do not expect much more development, if any, on 83rd. With the Scalloped Street Program the city constructs roadway where it is lacking and no further development is expected.

There are many bus stops that have only a bus stop sign planted in the dirt. These locations need a shade structure with seating, a concrete pad and a waste receptacle. If we are going to not only work on beautifying Glendale and to encouraging bus ridership, upgrading bus stops should be a priority.

Recently on NextDoor, a website application that connects neighbors and neighborhoods together, there was a great deal of comment about New Year’s celebratory fireworks. In my opinion they were excessive and long running. People in my neighborhood started shooting them off in the early evening and they persisted until several hours after midnight. For about 8 hours my neighborhood sounded like a war zone. In addition, I know darn well a lot of them were illegal, shot into the air. I kept waiting for embers to start some kind of fire in my yard. It has become ridiculous.

I’ve read and reread the Arizona Statutes on fireworks. The state legislature has pretty well prohibited cities from regulating them in any way but I think I have found a tiny loop hole. The state legislature mandates the times of year when fireworks are legal to use. OK.  So far the legislature has not messed with the daily time period when fireworks are legal. I have asked our Intergovernmental Department to work with several legislators making for example, the hours from 11 PM to 1 AM, as the legal time period for using fireworks.

Last year I introduced the concept of having a municipal representative on the state liquor board. Many liquor licenses that are granted end up have a detrimental effect in a neighborhood. Having a municipal representative on the board will perhaps make it more sensitive to the concerns of neighborhoods.  The legislation  made it through all of the legislative hoops until it hit the Governor’s office where he vetoed it. State Representative Anthony Kern sponsored the bill last year and has announced that he will introduce it again this year. “If at first you don’t succeed, try, try again” or “the second time is the charm?”

I don’t usually make this offer but if you have a topic about which you would like to know more or a topic that needs further discussion or explanation I urge you to post your suggestion as a comment to this blog. No promises but I’ll see what I can do to fulfill your request.

© 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.

The blog with no attribution of authorship or sponsorship has surfaced again. It refers to an audit issued on March 21, 2019 performed by the former City Auditor, Candace MacLeod. It appears Ms.MacLeod’s intent was to get this audit publicized three months before her position was riffed on July 1, 2019. She seemed to know that her position with the city was in jeopardy and this audit is presented in such a way that it seems to be payback.

Once again, dear reader, it’s time for another Glendale history flashback. When former City Manager Dr. Martin Vanacour retired, Ed Beasley became the City Manager of Glendale and retained the position until 2012 when the news media exploded with the scandals of the juicy consultancy pay Beasley authorized for the former City Finance Director Art Lynch as well as Beasley’s authorization allowing Alma Carmichel, former HR Director, to commute telephonically from Mississippi.

With Beasley’s departure, two city factions arose. One faction supported appointing former City Attorney Craig Tindall as the Interim City Manager. The other faction supported appointing Horatio Skeete to the position. After the blood had dried, in June of 2012, Mr. Skeete was appointed Interim City Manager. He remained until Brenda Fischer was hired as the new City Manager in June of 2013. She lasted less than 2 years and almost brought the city to its knees, fiscally and internally. In 2015, after Ms. Fischer’s departure the former Scottsdale City Manager, Dick Bowers, in retirement, was appointed as Interim City Manager during the search for a new permanent City Manager. In 2016, the current City Manager, Kevin Phelps, was hired and he remains City Manager to this day.

Why all the history on City Managers? Because they play a role in the city auditor saga. When Beasley reigned, and he did indeed reign, there was silent and tacit recognition that he had an ‘inner circle’. Many believed this inner circle (all now gone) included:

  • Art Lynch, former City Finance Director and subsequent financial consultant to the city
  • Mark Burdick, former Fire Chief and former mayoral candidate (perceived as a fire union advocate)
  • Julie Frisoni, former Marketing & Communications Director and then a former Assistant City Manager appointed by former City Manager Brenda Fischer
  • Craig Tindall, former City Attorney and subsequent (albeit simultaneously) legal counsel for the Coyotes
  • Candace MacLeod, former City Auditor

One would assume that people in these senior positions would be the epitome of ethical behavior by adhering to strict neutrality and serving all within the city equally. It now appears that was not the case. For example, when Tindall and Skeete sought the Interim City Manager’s position, several of those identified above actively lobbied the councilmembers for Tindall’s appointment. I know because I was lobbied and was asked to support Tindall. I was not approached by anyone on Skeete’s behalf.  I also know of their political bias because I was ‘sandbagged’ by some members of this inner circle during my 2012 election (but that’s for a future blog).

A city auditor is required to be ethically neutral. Yet her past actions seem to belie that neutrality as demonstrated by her support of Mr. Tindall’s quest for the Interim City Manager’s position.  Her present activities also seem to belie neutrality. Since I returned to city council in 2017, she seemed to perform audits the production of which appeared to be deliberately designed to diminish the work of City Manager Phelps and senior management.

In addition, Ms. MacLeod is a Canadian who had been working with a green card as the City of Glendale City Auditor for about the past dozen years. The first question to arise, Was there no qualified American citizen who could do this job?

A succession of city managers appeared unconcerned about the former auditor’s perceived bias, political activity or job performance because she was on the right side, seemingly their side.  

What does all of this have to do with the blog in question? It’s a trashy, hit piece aimed squarely at the current City Manager and the motive seems to be because the City Auditor’s position had been in jeopardy for several years and there was consideration of replacing the position with an audit committee. Apparently Ms. MacLeod may have thought of this (and another audit she performed) as an insurance policy.

It also takes another swipe at the mayor’s late reimbursement of his spouse’s expenses on a Sister Cities trip. The audit fails to acknowledge the mayor’s misinterpretation of reimbursement polices corrected after the City Attorney’s guidance was sought.

MacLeod’s audit covered from June 14, 2018 to September 13, 2108. Sloppy and inadequate Pro Card practices had been going on for many years, under the administrations of Beasley, Skeete, and Fischer. Pro Card use was never addressed as an audit in the 10 years previous.

The writer(s) of this wacky blog were selective in what was chosen to share about the audit. There is no mention that 90 cardholder statements (22%) out of 392 cardholders were selected for review. While eagerly relating the statistics of failed practices, it neglects to mention the conclusion of the audit. The City Manager and all departments concurred with every recommendation (except one by the Budget and Finance Department regarding interpretation of standards) and those recommendations were implemented in late 2018 or mid- 2019, under the current City Manager’s watch.  

A timeline of six months to a year to adopt best practices does not give me any cause for concern as I have expressed repeatedly that city governments are slow to react. I’ve used the analogy of turning a battleship around…it’s slow, deliberate and careful.  Since the blog failed to share the responses of management, here is the list of recommendations provided in the auditor’s report and management’s concurrence: Audit Appendix A

It is obvious that the blog is selective in what it chooses to use. Why? It is also becoming obvious that it will be used to sway voters in the upcoming 2020 election for elected officials in Glendale. You should treat it as such. Make no mistake, it will advocate for their selected candidates and work to diminish their chosen candidates’ opponents.

It takes money to publish on the internet if for nothing else, for domain registration and a web hosting company. Without knowing who is behind this effort it’s fair to consider this a ‘dark money’ effort. It will never achieve legitimacy until those who are behind the effort are unmasked. Nothing remains a secret for very long. It’s only a matter of time until the identities of those behind this effort are exposed. Then we will know their biases and will consider their effort in that context.

In the meantime we can wonder what garbage will be offered next…but is it worth our time? I think not. Only cowards or those who would be embarrassed to be revealed because of their biases would write stuff like this. Anyone who takes liberties with and shades the truth cannot be trusted. Remember, unattributed hit pieces like this are only fit to be used as a puppy poo training aid.

© Joyce Clark, 2019         

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 week an anonymous blog about Glendale surfaced claiming to provide “independent oversight.” It’s no more than an anonymous hit piece whose only use is to line the bottom of bird cages.

Let’s compare blogs. Mine has been up for six years and has nearly reached the half million mark of readers. You know who I am and what I do. When I started the blog in 2013, I had been defeated for reelection as councilmember. Four years later in 2017 I returned to city council. I have never made a secret of my biases. Sometimes I write an explanatory blog; sometimes I compliment someone or some initiative; and sometimes I go after an issue or a person. I have a track record and you know where I am coming from. I liberally use quotes with attribution to the author, publication and date. I use a lot of data and facts and often provide a link to or republish within my blog a copy of the material from which my citations are made.

The blog in question is anonymous, and the initial piece is written by “admin.” Now, who the heck is that? If he/she or they are so proud of their work why not disclose who the author(s) is or what group or person has initiated this blog? Anonymity is a sign of cowardice. For if you knew who the writer or group is you would know their biases. How can one be “independent” when his/her or their identity could reveal obvious biases?

As I have stated previously we are already in an election season. These days it seems a new season starts as soon as an election is over. This writer is obviously slanted toward defaming Glendale’s current mayor, up for reelection. Expect that there will be hit pieces on the city council candidates up for reelection in 2020.

I and others have some assumptions. Since the piece was written in defense of soon-to-be (as of July 1, 2019) former City Auditor Candace MacLeod many people are assuming that her city cronies may be behind this. That could include the most visible and notorious members of that group such as former Fire Chief Mark Burdick and former (very briefly) Assistant City Manager Julie Frisoni. If you remember, former Chief Burdick ran against incumbent Mayor Weiers in 2016.

There is also the assumption that at least one unhappy and disgruntled Glendale councilmember is feeding information to this anonymous person(s) or group. The reason for this particular assumption is that there is reference to 7 current, open positions on city boards and commissions. All of council is aware of the openings as we are periodically provided a list but it is not a fact that would be common knowledge. So who offered this seemingly insignificant detail to our anonymous writer(s) or group?

The writer(s) uses no quotes from any sources and quite frankly, misstates the essence of much of the unsupported material used. It would also help if the writer(s) were factually accurate. The writer(s) states that our current City Manager was “(hired Feb 1st 2015 to date).”  Actually the Arizona Republic reports that the City Manager was hired in November of 2015. If the writer gets a simple fact such as this wrong, what else is wrong? Actually nearly everything but I simply don’t want to waste my time listing every inaccuracy or outright lie. There is so much that is exaggeration and misrepresentation of fact leading to incorrect conclusions that it would take a small book to identify everything. Now that’s a true waste of time.

While the writer(s) is at it, a simple spell check seems to be necessary. There are misspelled words such as “procurrment” (correct spelling is procurement) and “Manger” (correct spelling is  Manager). I guess the writer(s) doesn’t see any value in spell check…so sad.

So, it is a piece of writing with inaccurate and misleading information and misspelled words… written anonymously. Under those standards it’s not even worthy of lining a bird cage. Perhaps it’s more fitting to use it as a puppy training aid as the stench coming from it would certainly encourage any puppy to use it.

© Joyce Clark, 2019         

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 April 26, 2019 Jen Fifield had a story in the Arizona Republic about Mayor Weiers’ trip to Norway and France.  Here is the link to the story: https://www.azcentral.com/story/news/local/glendale/2019/04/26/heres-what-glendales-mayor-did-his-5-k-european-trip-taxpayers-dime/3562785002/ . There is so much about this story on which to comment.

The reporter, Jen Fifield, calls herself “a city watchdog reporter covering Surprise and Glendale.” Others call her a “muckraker.” This term is usually applied to journalists who intentionally write (for profit or personal gain) about alleged corruption of public officials. Take your pick…watchdog or muckraker?

Any story about any event or person is fair game for any reporter but the tone of an article can always be the subject of debate. Journalists always tout being fair and unbiased but often the words, especially descriptors, used in an article will reveal any bias. In addition, Fifield’s use of Mark Burdick, Weiers’ opponent in the last mayoral election, is suspect. Did she really expect Burdick to be unbiased on the issue? If your answer is ‘yes’, I have a bridge in Brooklyn for sale. Another person, Yvonne Knaack, quoted by Fifield in her article, was an ardent Burdick supporter and who knows, may run for Mayor this time around.

The information chosen by the reporter to use with respect to the audit is also suspect. I believe this trip occurred in the summer of 2018 and the mayor reimbursed the city for his wife’s expenses in the fall of 2018. The audit occurred in the spring of 2019 with the auditor calling Weiers’ wife’s expenses as “disallowed” many months after the fact, even though the auditor knew that those expenses had been fully reimbursed many months earlier. The auditor’s use of the term “disallowed” implies that the action was purposefully illegal.

Fifield then refers to former Councilmember Chavira and cites his more than a dozen frivolous trips to Washington, D.C. at a taxpayer expense of over $25,000 during his term of office. Citing Chavira’s well known and notorious antics in a story about Weiers implies that Weiers is a bad actor like Chavira. That implication leads the reader to accept the bias in the article. Chavira abused the use of taxpayer funds repeatedly. Linking Weiers’ one trip to Chavira’s repeated abuses is certainly suspect in terms of bias.

To be clear, all members of the Glendale Sister Cities organization received the same blast email advertising the trip. All councilmembers who are members of the organization received it including me. I chose not to go for a variety of reasons both ethical and financial as I assumed I would be paying for my trip. Whether to go or not to go on any trip using taxpayer funds is a personal and ethical decision as a public official. For the hundred or so elected officials throughout this Valley, one could expect multiple decisions to go or not to go and to charge the city or not to charge the city as varied as the councilmembers themselves based upon each councilmember’s experience and standards. Some would have chosen to go considering it valid representation of a city. Others may not have chosen that option. There is no hard and fast rule in any city in this Valley. Should there be? You should be letting your elected officials know where you stand on this issue.

Did Mayor Weiers do something wrong and underhanded? That’s for you to decide. I have worked with him personally for the past several years and in my judgment that was the furthest thing from his mind. Having observed his actions he is a man who genuinely cares about Glendale and especially the least fortunate among us including our veterans’ community. His non-profit work is well known throughout the Valley.  This man would not deliberately cheat the taxpayers of Glendale. It was a decision Weiers chose to make in good faith. I would have made a different choice. Does that make him right and me wrong or vice versa? No.

I am not joined at the hip to Mayor Weiers. We have had our differences. The most important one to me was his vote in favor of Stonehaven while I was adamantly opposed. I see a distinct difference between Chavira who blatantly and repeatedly abused his office and Weiers one trip to Norway when he genuinely believed he was going as a representative of our city.

I am always concerned when we enter a political season. We are in one now for the 2020 election. It’s early I know but election cycles now seem to start almost immediately upon the completion of the previous election. This story appears to have been shared with the reporter in an attempt to bloody Weiers’ nose politically by linking him with Chavira’s abuses. This happens all the time and every politician is fair game during an electoral season but it is important that you, the reader, understand the context in which the story is framed.

© Joyce Clark, 2019         

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.

%d bloggers like this: