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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.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

© Joyce Clark, 2020         

FAIR USE NOTICE

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

© Joyce Clark, 2020         

FAIR USE NOTICE

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Glendale unions, what have you done?

© Joyce Clark, 2020         

FAIR USE NOTICE

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

© Joyce Clark, 2020         

FAIR USE NOTICE

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

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.

Integrity and ethics are important qualities when considering your vote

Bryce Alexander

for the Yucca district city councilmember. Mr. Alexander’s has been called into question. Before COVID struck he had plenty of opportunity to collect the requisite number of signatures needed to get on the ballot. I did it.

He fiddled around and then COVID struck and he could no longer go door-to-door. His new found buddies, the Phoenix Fire Union, said no problem, we’ll pay for and use the same petition collection company that is collecting Robertson’s signatures. The company they used had among their roster of petition signature gatherers convicted felons as well as those gifted in ‘creative writing’ of signatures.

Both Robertson and Alexander had the same convicted felon collect signatures for them. How would you have felt if you had known that the guy at your door was a convicted felon and for all you knew, could be casing your house for a future theft?

On the Democrat Presidential Preference Primary Day vote one of the locations was a local Glendale Church. Mr. Alexander was not there that day but a signature gatherer from the company was. For whatever the reason, it seems the paid gatherer forgot to sign the backs of two sheets verifying that he had collected the signatures. It appears that the problem was rectified when Alexander signed those two sheets – which is illegal.

Three Glendale registered voters swore in court that it was not Alexander who asked them to sign and witness their signatures on the two contested petition sheets. Alexander knew this and did not go to court and risk perjury by swearing that he did witness their signatures. He let his lie stand. Yet he is a local church’s Associate Pastor.

The question becomes, if he lied about this, how can you trust him?

© 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.

Recently the Phoenix Fire Union paid a company to drop door hangers throughout our community for Robertson and Alexander. They were, of course, printed and paid for by the Phoenix Firefighters Local 493 Fire PAC.

The canned messages on both door hangers are eerily similar and frankly, ironically sad. Both candidates’ door hangers have the theme of Public Safety. Here’s what they say:

Robertson: “Glendale’s Police and Fire Department budgets have been underfunded…”

Alexander: “Our city council has underfunded Glendale’s Police and Fire Department budgets.”

Robertson: “…make improving public safety...”

Alexander: “…will fully fund public safety…”

Fact: Here are the real funding numbers for each department for the past 5 years:

Fire Department

  • Fiscal Year 2017 actual budget                      $43,637,282.00
  • Fiscal Year 2018 actual budget                      $46,472,394.00
  • Fiscal Year 2019 actual budget                      $49,866.189.00
  • Fiscal Year 2020 budget estimate                 $52,127,595.00
  • Fiscal Year 2021 budget request                   $53, 501,963.00

In 5 years the Fire Department budget increased by nearly $10 million dollars or about 20% a year, far above any annual inflation rate.

Police Department

  • Fiscal Year 2017 actual budget                      $87,206,875.00
  • Fiscal Year 2018 actual budget                      $91,831,365.00
  • Fiscal Year 2019 actual budget                      $98,529,310.00
  • Fiscal Year 2020 budget estimate                $102,471,164.00
  • Fiscal Year 2021 budget request                  $104,742,510.00

In 5 years the Police Department budget increased by $17 million dollars or about 5% a year, again greater than the yearly inflation rate.

In addition, the Fire Department, in this year’s budget alone, received additional, one-time, supplemental funding of $411,000 and the Police Department received $100,000 in supplemental funding.

One final fact to consider is that both Glendale firefighters and police officers rank among the top three paid agencies in the Valley. And oh, by the way Glendale firefighters work 52 hours compared to every other agency in the Valley that works 56 hours.

Here’s something else to think about. Fire and Police are the largest consumers of the city’s General Fund operating budget coming in between 65% and 70% annually. This council can always give them more money but when is enough, enough?

More money to Public Safety means less money for every other city department funded by the General Fund. What are you willing to cut to increase Public Safety’s insatiable appetite for funding? Parks, Libraries, City Court, Community Development Services to the underserved and Transportation, including our streets repair program, all compete for the same funding as Public Safety. Each year’s budget is a balancing act through prioritization to fund as many departmental needs as possible. Clearly this council has been generous to both departments over the past 5 years.

Each door hanger for Robertson and Alexander use the theme of (pick your choice) accountability, transparency, or ethics.

Robertson: “No-bid contracts, political perks like foreign travel and hotels…”

Alexander: “…no-bid contracts, taken international trips with taxpayer dollars…”

Fact:  Have you noticed that these phrases are very generic? What no bid-contracts? They haven’t been specific because they can’t name one with facts and figures. I have voted ‘no’ on more city contracts than any councilmember, ever. I am opposed to 5 year long contracts, especially when they are for usual and ordinary goods and services. I have always been in favor of issuing contracts for no more than 2 or 3 years. Times change and markets change often offering an opportunity to get those goods and services at a more competitive price.

Exactly what international trip have I ever taken, much less at taxpayer expense? That was our former disgraced Councilmember Chavira. I travel the least of any current councilmember. I think I attended two state League conventions in four years but only because they were sited locally and I could commute every day.

Shame on the use of catch-all, fuzzy accusations designed to try to make something nefarious out of nothing. The Phoenix Fire Union has tried desperately to make two undistinguished candidates into something that neither is and have failed miserably. Poor Phoenix Fire Union, they didn’t have a lot to work with this time.

I noted that they have changed the wording on poor Bryce’s campaign material from “a successful business owner within the community and creating jobs” to a “local business owner.” What a hoot. Could it be because Alexander’s downtown art gallery went bust after a year, bleeding red ink and he certainly couldn’t afford to hire anyone for a job?

You’d think with all of the tens of thousands of dollars the Phoenix Fire Union is pouring into backing Robertson and Alexander they could have done a better job in portraying these people or at least have refrained from making them appear to be identical twins.

However, it’s not all their fault. After all, Robertson and Alexander were not exactly household names recognized for their outstanding service to Glendale. If the Phoenix Fire Union hadn’t printed and planted all of those campaign signs for both you wouldn’t have a clue as to who either is…neither is a remarkable political figure.

Lastly, what the heck is the Phoenix Fire Union doing using its muscle and money, inserting itself into a local Glendale election? I call it blatant interference in the affairs of Glendale.

By voting ‘no’ on Robertson and Alexander and ‘yes’ on Weiers and Clark you will be sending outstanding leaders back to city council and sending the Phoenix Fire Union a strong message and that is…BUTT OUT!

© Joyce Clark, 2020         

FAIR USE NOTICE

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

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

In my previous blog I’ve described the various groups that have coalesced supporting the candidacies of Michelle Robertson and Bryce Alexander. Why? It seems to be an “anyone but the current leadership” kind of moment where these groups are encouraging voters to support a rock, a clown or a zero rather than leadership that brought the city off the cliff of possible bankruptcy.

What is the union’s beef in this election cycle? Arick O’Hara is the Glendale chapter President of the International Fire Fighters Union (IAFF). Justin Harris is the President of the Glendale Law Enforcement Association (GLEA) and Julie Pendergast is the President of the Glendale chapter of the Fraternal Order of Police (FOP). All of them are leading the charge to unseat Mayor Weiers and/or me. There is no polite way to say that they hate us, have declared war and will use whatever is necessary to get rid of us.

Did you know that you, the taxpayer, pay union representatives to conduct union business during their working hours instead of paying them for their duties as a firefighter or police officer? It’s called union “release time.” What other cities in the Valley pay for union release time? Only Phoenix. No other city, not Scottsdale, Chandler, Mesa, Tempe, Peoria or Surprise pay employees to conduct union activities during that employee’s work day. If you think they are not heavily involved in Glendale’s election activities, you are mistaken. Even though such election activities are in violation of the federal Hatch Act.

Every two years the city negotiates a renewal of an agreement on the pay and benefits for all public safety employees (commonly known as “represented employees”). When the previous agreement (2017) was negotiated and accepted, it included two union release positions for the fire union and two union release positions for police unions, one for GLEA and one for the FOP.

Think about this. You, the taxpayer, pay for union representatives to negotiate enhanced fire and police pay and benefits agreements with the City, which is, in essence, you. So you’re paying both sides of the table. You’re paying city employees to negotiate on your behalf and to protect your interest as a taxpayer and you’re paying for union representatives to negotiate for their union members getting the best pay and benefits possible for their membership – at your expense.

Subsequent to the agreement accepted two years ago, there was a rash of school shootings. Council wanted to make sure every high school in Glendale had a school resource officer. A few schools did have a resource officer and paid for the position. Others did not and chose to use their school funding for things other than a school resource officer. So the city council stepped up to the plate and with each high school’s approval placed a resource officer on each high school campus, paid for by the City of Glendale.

The funding had to come from somewhere else as the yearly budget and its expenditures had already been approved by council several months earlier. Council decided to eliminate one taxpayer funded fire union release position and one police union release position leaving each union with one release time position. No one lost their job. With each release position there were also extra hours of release time. The cost of each release position and the extra dedicated hours is in the $200,000 to $250,000 range per representative. Four union release positions and additional hours came to between $750,000 to a million dollars a year.

Each union went ballistic. How dare the city eliminate a release time position! A release position in fire was eliminated and the person occupying that position, Tony Butch, left and went to another city. FOP President Julie Pendergast’s release time position was eliminated. Julie remains in a non-patrol position within the department and has never forgotten or forgiven the loss of her use of release time.

There is more to this story. Here are the real funding numbers for each department for the past 5 years:

Fire Department

  • Fiscal Year 2017 actual budget                      $43,637,282.00
  • Fiscal Year 2018 actual budget                      $46,472,394.00
  • Fiscal Year 2019 actual budget                      $49,866.189.00
  • Fiscal Year 2020 budget estimate                  $52,127,595.00
  • Fiscal Year 2021 budget request                   $53, 501,963.00

In 5 years the Fire Department budget increased by nearly $10 million dollars or about 20% a year, far above any annual inflation rate.

Police Department

  • Fiscal Year 2017 actual budget                      $87,206,875.00
  • Fiscal Year 2018 actual budget                      $91,831,365.00
  • Fiscal Year 2019 actual budget                      $98,529,310.00
  • Fiscal Year 2020 budget estimate                 $102,471,164.00
  • Fiscal Year 2021 budget request                  $104,742,510.00

In 5 years the Police Department budget increased by $17 million dollars or about 5% a year, again greater than the yearly inflation rate.

In addition, the Fire Department, in this year’s budget alone, received additional, one-time, supplemental funding of $411,000 and the Police Department received $100,000 in supplemental funding.

One final fact to consider is that both Glendale firefighters and police officers rank among the top three paid agencies in the Valley. And oh, by the way Glendale firefighters work 52 hours compared to every other agency in the Valley that works 56 hours.

Here’s something else to think about. Fire and Police are the largest consumers of the city’s General Fund operating budget coming in between 65% and 70% annually. This council can always give them more money but when is enough, enough? More money to Public Safety means less money for every other city department funded by the General Fund. What are you willing to cut to increase Public Safety’s insatiable appetite for funding? Parks, Libraries, City Court, Community Services to the underserved and Transportation, including our streets repair program, all compete for the same funding as Public Safety. Each year’s budget is a balancing act by city council through prioritization to fund as many departmental needs as possible. Clearly this council has been generous to both departments over the past 5 years.

Why go after the mayor or me for the elimination of union release positions? We are running opposed and Councilmembers Hugh and Malnar have no opposition. They would have taken out these councilmembers as well if the opportunity existed. It is a given that they would support anyone running against any of us. If any opposition was talking and breathing, that was good enough reason for the unions to support them. 

Their goal is to get rid of the mayor, or me, hoping that there will no longer be council majority support for decisions not to their liking.

What is disappointing is that the police unions have joined the fire union is this political warfare. They should heed this warning: the fire union will stab you in the back if it is in their best interest. They come first. Police unions, you are a distant second and you know this. A stunning question to ask is why would the police unions support Democrat candidates whose presidential nominee has finally come out in favor of ‘defunding the police’?

If they succeed they will acquire political influence with the installation of Robertson and Alexander, willing to grant the fire union its agenda. Glendale could repeat the debacle of Ed Beasley and a fire union influenced administration, plunging the city into debt once again. After all, who will Robertson and Alexander owe if they win? Both are relative unknowns and neither has historically been part of community leadership or been involved in Glendale’s affairs by serving on a city board or commission and has no real working knowledge of Glendale’s affairs.

Anyone can run for any elected office as long as they meet the minimum qualifications such as being of a certain age and living in the jurisdiction to be represented. You, the voter, should expect more than that. What experience within the community do they possess? What do they plan to do to make your life better? Where do they stand on raising taxes? If Robertson and Alexander are not offering that kind of information perhaps they don’t deserve your vote. How long can they hide behind the buzz words we have heard ad nausea…like ‘transparency’? What the heck does that mean anyhow?

Glendale is the 7th largest city in the state with the adoption of this fiscal year’s budget of $747 million dollars…nearly ¾ of a billion dollars. It is the country’s 88th largest city out of nearly 20,000 incorporated cities in the United States. Glendale is no longer a small, ‘podunk’ city. It is a large suburban community reflecting the diversity of our country. You, the voter in Glendale, deserve to know each candidate’s position on a variety of issues that are important to you. Yet all Robertson and Alexander have offered is what’s wrong with Glendale. How about some positivity by sharing their vision and plans for Glendale and you? That’s not what you are getting from them.

Glendale deserves better than two liberal Democrats, whose seats were bought and paid for by the unions. Two politicians willing to sacrifice your needs for those of the unions.

Unfortunately that is politics.

Now you know who is backing Michelle Robertson and Bryce Alexander and their motives for doing so. It is important information that every voter in Glendale deserves to know.

© Joyce Clark, 2020         

FAIR USE NOTICE

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

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

In my blog of June 23, 2020 entitled “Will the real Robertson please stand up?” I shared typical Facebook postings of Mayoral candidate Michelle Robertson now publicly available only to friends and family, I am told. They represent the causes and values in which she believes. Why wouldn’t she want everyone to see these? Why suddenly limit them only to friends and family? In this blog I will take a look at who is supporting and backing her candidacy and their likely motives for doing so. Even though Glendale elections are officially nonpartisan, Michelle Robertson is a Democrat activist who reportedly reached out to local Democrat groups to ask them to help her “capture” the Mayor’s office.

Unions: It appears the largest backers are the ones with the most money and manpower to spend on her behalf and that would be…wait for it…the unions, with their bottomless bank accounts and deceptive attack ads. The list is the Who’s Who’ of unions and most of them are from outside Glendale and they really have no interest in or connection to Glendale.

When I shared screen shots from her Facebook page one that was not included was this one. It demonstrates her long standing support of unions. Is that why you, an interested voter, can no longer see it?

Downtown dissidents: There are others who have decided to back Robertson, because they are angry with the current leadership of the City and have their own axes to grind. Let’s begin with the most visible representative of the downtown Glendale merchants, Cheryl Knappes. She represents a small coterie of merchants who continue to fight any changes to downtown, to the detriment of the entire downtown area and efforts to revitalize the area.

Save Glen Lakes: Another group that is unhappy with Glendale’s leadership is the ‘Save Glen Lakes’ group, one of whose leaders is Jane Bachman. The fact that the council had given approval to the city manager to sell the Glen Lakes property guaranteed their opposition. It had become a financial sinkhole at nearly a million dollars a year to maintain and operate and it needed very costly updates.

Past political losers: Then there is, for want of a better term, the political group. These are people who have run and lost, or who used to work for the city and lost their positions. The most currently visible among them is Mark Burdick, former Fire Chief, who never produced a balanced budget and ran against the mayor in the last election cycle and lost.

I must digress to show what happens when the fire union calls the shots. Our former City Manager, Ed Beasley (city manager from 2002 to 2012), was advised on major issues by our fire union. They were members of Beasley’s inner circle. Due to the influence of the Glendale fire union when Beasley left in 2012 Glendale was heavily in debt and teetering on the verge of bankruptcy. Is this what we are to expect if Robertson is elected and controlled by Glendale’s fire union?

Burdick has made a formal endorsement of Robertson. Add to this mix former Councilmember Yvonne Knaack who has always been an ally of the fire unions because of their support in every one of her elections; and current Councilmember Bart Turner who has made no secret of his absolute disdain for the mayor and our city manager. He has also formally endorsed Robertson. Bruce Heatwole, former Councilmember, and close friend of Bart Turner, offered an endorsement as did Sammy Chavira, disgraced former Glendale Councilmember and a Phoenix firefighter.

Everyone is entitled to their opinions and free expression of them. That the beauty of our system. They are free to support any candidate of their choosing but it is important for voters to to know the reason for their position/opinion causing their support of Robertson.That is how democracy works. There is a world of difference between supporting a candidate because you have the same positions or supporting a candidate to settle a grudge with his or her opponent. We all deserve better than that. 

In my next blog we’ll take a closer look at the unions’ motivation for supporting Robertson and Alexander…and it ain’t pretty.

© 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.

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.

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.

 

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