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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.

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.

 

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.

Nearly four years ago, in May of 2015, in my blog entitled “Glendale Fire Department will have to wait” I first highlighted what had been acknowledged for years and that was Glendale Fire responded to calls into Phoenix far more than Phoenix responded into Glendale.

The situation is a result of the Valley’s Automatic Aid System. It mandates that central dispatch will send the closest available unit to a call no matter the jurisdiction responding. The imbalance was startling. Glendale answered more calls into Phoenix estimated to be 2,000 more calls a year than Phoenix’s annual response into Glendale. In essence, Glendale taxpayers were subsidizing Phoenix’s fire delivery to Phoenix residents.

When I returned to the Glendale City Council in January of 2017 it was a topic of conversation between the City Manager and me.

In November of 2018 a pilot program by Glendale and Phoenix began to dually staff Glendale’s Fire Station 154 with a Glendale fire truck and a Phoenix quad cab truck, which would carry medical gear and four firefighters. The Phoenix unit works daily 10-hour shifts during peak hours. See this link to an article by Grace Oldham in the Arizona Republic: https://www.azcentral.com/story/news/local/phoenix/2019/02/15/phoenix-glendale-fire-department-share-firehouse-city-border-emergency-response/2771826002/ .

It smacks of an unusual moment of common sense. Each city only has so much money to go around to cover all of its needs. By jointly using Station 154 Phoenix does not have to build another fire station in the area of 51st Avenue and Peoria Avenue and Glendale does not have to fund a second unit to man the station. It’s a win-win for both cities. It will reduce Glendale responses into Phoenix in that geographic area by an estimated 8%. If the program is ever extended to 24- hour shifts it would reduce Glendale’s responses into Phoenix by an estimated 20%. Phoenix has committed to continuing the program through 2019 but only with 10-hour shifts.

I don’t know who was ultimately responsible for its implementation but you can be sure the City Managers of Glendale and Phoenix had to approve the concept. Both Fire Departments had to work together to make the pilot project work. Lastly, the fire union had to agree and not put any road blocks to prevent it from working.

Kudos to all involved in making this pilot program a roaring success.

Now, on to my other major gripe with fire delivery service. In the same blog I brought up the issue of using fire trucks to answer medical calls.  It is acknowledged that 70% to 80% of all fire calls are medical calls for service. It drives me nuts to see a fire truck responding to those kinds of calls. Those big trucks are very, very expensive to maintain and operate.

The solution is yet another common sense approach. Greater use of quad cab trucks with paramedics on board. Many Valley cities are moving in that direction, including Glendale. In Glendale there is a program utilizing “low acuity” vehicles but these are for minor medical calls like a sprained ankle. They are not used for major medical calls like heart attacks. The solution is to implement “high acuity” vehicles that can respond to major medical calls all the time.

There has been resistance on the part of fire departments and especially the fire union but another hurdle to overcome is the cost to cities to establish “high acuity” units. In the long run it’s a system long overdue and just a matter of time before cities realize that the long-term O&M costs for “high acuity” vehicles will pay for themselves by reserving those big fire trucks to answer the calls for which the trucks were designed…fires.

 

 

 

 

 

© 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.

Who would you vote for today?

  • Emmanuel Allen (55%, 274 Votes)
  • Jamie Aldama (38%, 190 Votes)
  • Undecided (7%, 35 Votes)

Total Voters: 499

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If you were to vote today, who is your choice?

  • Bart Turner (50%, 204 Votes)
  • Ray Strahl (37%, 152 Votes)
  • Undecided (12%, 50 Votes)

Total Voters: 406

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

On July 13, 2018 a new political action committee (PAC) registered with the Glendale City Clerk. The PAC’s name is A Better Glendale. Sounds very benign, doesn’t it. Don’t let the name of the PAC fool you. The registered Chairperson is Tim Hill. Mr. Hill happens to be the Executive Editor of the Professional Fire Fighters of Arizona magazine and is Secretary-Treasurer Emeritus of the Professional Fire Fighters of Arizona (PFFA). The treasurer of the PAC is Mike Colletto. Mr. Colletto is Legislative Director for the PFFA and is a PFFA honorary fire fighter. Both men have a long history with the Phoenix fire union.

It is not uncommon in any local election to have various big money, interest groups create a temporary PAC for the purpose of influencing an election by supporting a specific candidate. In the opposite, the PAC will go after that candidate’s opposition.

The political function of this PAC, A Better Glendale, is candidate-related independent expenditures. What that means is that Their PAC has one purpose only. They are about to flood the voters of the Barrel and Ocotillo districts with pro Aldama and pro Turner political mailings and anti Strahl and anti Allen mailings.

The problem with these fire union mailers is that they often massage the truth. They look for something, anything with which to denigrate the opposing candidate. They often take a phrase or sentence out of context and then use the exaggeration to smear the opposing candidate. By the time they are done they would have you believe the opponent was the Devil himself/herself. Mailings such as these are rarely grounded in the truth.

So be forewarned. When you receive those political mailings and you will, look for who is paying for it. If it says A Better Glendale now you know it’s the fire union spending PAC money in our Glendale election to support candidates who will support their empire building agenda or to trash candidates who have indicated that they will give everyone a fair hearing.

Take my advice and place them in your circular file otherwise known as your trash can. I ask all voters to do their homework. Ignore the spin. Ignore the hyperbole. If you can, call the candidate and ask what his or her position is on the issue in which you have an interest. In a local election that is easy to do. Local candidates are readily available and eager to talk to voters.

Speaking of fire fighters, as many of you know, Glendale fire fighter Danny Valenzuela is running for the position of mayor of Phoenix. This past spring I had the opportunity to have coffee with Danny. I asked if he was going to resign as a Glendale fire fighter if he were elected. His response was ‘no’.  He believed he could do both jobs adequately. Both are full time positions.

I can tell you as a councilmember of Glendale I am required to attend a lot of events and meetings, both regional and local. Can you imagine the schedule of the Phoenix mayor? Did you know the Phoenix mayor has security at all times? I would love to see members of Valenzuela’s security detail riding on a fire truck with him. You and I know that’s an unworkable situation on so many levels. No matter what responsibilities are assigned to Valenzuela as a Glendale fire fighter he will have a security detail with him. In addition, he will have so many commitments as mayor he cannot adequately fulfill all the hours in his firefighter work week.

It is totally unrealistic for Valenzuela to remain as a fire fighter if he is elected. It’s not as if he will be penniless. As Phoenix mayor he would pull a salary of $87,998 and the job is recognized as a full time job. If Valenzuela continues to believe that he can perform two full time jobs then voters should be questioning his decision making capabilities. If he makes that kind of decision on this issue, what else can he make poor or reckless decisions about?

© Joyce Clark, 2018         

FAIR USE NOTICE

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

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

A little over a week ago a ribbon cutting occurred for the newly renovated downtown alley connecting Glendale Avenue and Glenn Drive between 57th Drive and 57th Avenue. It is always welcome when the city completes projects like these to continue to improve downtown Glendale.

Downtown Glendale continues to have a difficult time getting its ‘mojo’. I can remember 20 years ago when I participated in the “Miracle Mile” citizens’ committee to envision what downtown Glendale could be. Since then there have been many iterations of the same visioning process with the latest being Centerline, courtesy of consulting professionals from ASU. Yet progress remains static. There is no one factor that inhibits the renaissance of downtown Glendale. There are multiple factors.

One factor is the inability, to date, of the downtown merchants to form a cohesive group determining their own destiny and putting skin ($$) in the game. One faction believes that it is the city’s sole and exclusive responsibility to revitalize the downtown. Another has accepted that their destiny lies in their active participation. Another faction is composed of mom ‘n’ pop owners who set their own — often casual and inconsistent – hours of operation. Another faction, more professional, not only keeps consistent hours of operation but tries to stay open a few evenings a week. Until these factions coalesce downtown is destined to remain basically the same — struggling to survive.

Another factor is the city’s lack of funding to use to remove vacant buildings on city parcels or simply to renovate a city owned vacant building. There are just so many needs competing for the limited city funding available. Witness the residents who are pushing the city council to save the city owned Glen Lakes Golf Course for a little under a half million dollars a year…or west Glendale’s residents’ urging to finish Heroes Park, now languishing for nearly 30 years.

In steps the Glendale Chamber of Commerce does what it can to inject new life into the downtown. There is no doubt that under CEO Robert Heidt’s leadership the Chamber has become a highly successful gorilla. With over 1,200 members it has developed a political power base that surpasses that of Glendale’s fire union. While the fire union is viewed with distrust by many in the community who disagree with its political motives, the Chamber enjoys a more benign relationship. However, as with any entity that wields tremendous power comes an equal responsibility to be use it judiously and wisely. The Chamber would be wise to be mindful of the admonition.

Perhaps that is why I received commentary from some residents after they read an article in the Your Valley edition of May 25, 2018. Here is the link: https://yourvalley.net/yourvalley/news/renovated-alleyway-step-toward-livelier-nightlife-downtown-glendale/ . Their concern seemed to center around the tone of the article creating the inference that the alley renovation project was funded by the Chamber. That is not the case. It was a city funded project and in attendance to celebrate its completion were Mayor Weiers and Councilmembers Hugh, Turner and Aldama. Perhaps their concern centered around the fact that nearly every quote was attributed to either Chamber CEO Heidt or Downtown Director (city employee) Katy Engels, whose work is directed by the Chamber under a city paid contract. In passing there was one statement attributed to Councilmember Aldama and two attributed to Mr. Higgins of the city’s Economic Development department. However the bulk of the article was all CEO Heidt.

Make no mistake, the Chamber is not just a business organization but is a political one as well.  Among other things it interviews and endorses local candidates for city council and mayor. To date, their long standing policy has been to automatically endorse the incumbent. That action does a disservice to its members and to the residents of Glendale. Endorsements should be given on the merits of a candidate’s policies in continuing to grow a Glendale that is business and job creation friendly — for that is the Chamber’s base of membership.

Make no mistake, a healthy Chamber signifies a healthy Glendale. The Chamber’s efforts in the areas of downtown development and vet outreach are most welcome but it would be wise not to over reach. For years the Glendale fire union was a political gorilla. Glendale cannot afford to replace one gorilla with another.

© Joyce Clark, 2018         

FAIR USE NOTICE

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

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

I haven’t done one of these types of blogs in quite awhile but there is so much occurring politically it’s a good time to throw one out there.

Vice Mayor Lauren Tolmachoff filed her nomination paper and petition signatures with the City Clerk’s office on Thursday, May 10, 2018. She is now an official candidate for the position of councilmember representing the Cholla district. It appears as of this date she will have no opposition thereby assuring her of another term.

Also on Thursday Ray Strahl of the Barrel district obtained a candidate packet and filed a statement of organization. Should he turn in enough petition signatures by May 30th he will become an official candidate for the position of councilmember representing the Barrel district. It appears likely that the current councilmember, Bart Turner, will have an opponent in the August primary election.

On April 30, 2018 Councilmember Jamie Aldama of the Ocotillo district filed his nomination paper and petition signatures with the City Clerk’s office. His likely opponent, Emmanuel Allen, has until the end of May to turn in his paperwork to become an official candidate.

Aldama’s campaign manager is Chuck Foy. It’s appears that Jamie likes to keep his distance from nasty stuff and that is apparently part of Mr. Foy’s usefulness. On March 13, 2018 Mr. Foy filed a first Freedom of Information Request seeking any and all information with regard to the city and Emmanuel Allen, a possible opponent of Aldama’s for the Ocotillo city council seat. I guess the city’s first response was either disappointing or Foy and Aldama haven’t found any dirt to throw at Allen yet. Foy made another request for more information on Thursday, May 10th. They seem to be trying to find something nefarious about Allen’s ROOTS organization, the successful bidder for providing after-school programming at two city locations.  Allen’s organization bested the current operator, Breakthu Barrio, who appears to have had a long and fruitful relationship with Aldama.

Yet another fascinating Freedom of Information request was filed with the City Clerk on Thursday, May 10th by Bryan Willingham. Mr. Willingham is a Glendale resident but also just happens to be a Phoenix Fire Captain and Executive VP of the United Phoenix Firefighters Association, Local 493. What was the nature of his request? He requested information on the recall process for all councilmembers as well the procedures and requirements for filing a citizen’s initiative proposition. His action seems to be for the purpose of firing a warning shot at the mayor and all councilmembers.

I will flesh out the reasoning behind Mr. Willingham’s query on behalf of the fire union in an upcoming blog but suffice it to point out initially that Glendale fire fighters are among the best paid fire fighters in the Valley. Did you know they work 502 hours less per year than nearly every fire fighter in the Valley? Yet it seems the Glendale fire union is very unhappy over this year’s negotiations with the city on pay and benefits. How and why is something every citizen in Glendale deserves to know and will in the near future.

© Joyce Clark, 2018         

FAIR USE NOTICE

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

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

Councilmember Jamie Aldama, currently running for reelection as the Ocotillo district representative in Glendale seems to have problems with ‘process’.  Just a few weeks ago, if you will recall, he opposed the city’s decision to place SROs in all nine of Glendale’s high schools. His stated reason was his disagreement with the process. In reality, many suspect he was receiving his marching orders from the fire union (whom it is assumed will support him in his bid for reelection) which vehemently opposed the action because it removed one city paid fire union representative. Politically it was ill advised and a mailer was sent by American Free Enterprise Club, a Political Action Committee (PAC), to all Ocotillo voters. See here:

Two weeks ago, Aldama, at the regular voting meeting of the city council once again opposed an action due to ‘process’. This time it was the city’s award of a Request for Proposal (RFP) to R.O.O.T.S. to run after-school programs at two city locations, O’Neil Recreation Center and the Glendale Youth Center. Once again, Aldama voiced his opposition due to ‘process’ just as with his previous action.  As before it is important to understand the situational sub context and his assumed political motivation to do so.

R.O.O.T.S. is run by Emmanuel and Belinda Allen. So what? may be your answer. Here’s the dilemma for Aldama. Emmanuel Allen is running against Aldama for the Ocotillo city council position. That, in and of itself, provides Aldama with the presumed motivation to use a velvet hammer to neuter his political opponent.  In yet another twist Breakthru Barrio would be losing their contract for running the Glendale Youth Center programming. This is the same Breakthru group responsible for damage to Glendale City Hall during one of their events and a group to which Aldama, in the past, has contributed tax payer dollars to help sponsor their events. Make no mistake; Aldama appeared to have been subtly working to support Breakthru’s retention of the Glendale Youth Center after school programming contract.

The problem with his opposition to ‘process’ this time was his apparently deliberate misconstruing of the R.O.O.T.S. application and the city’s process for award of the RFP. When Belinda Allen spoke before city council that night she clarified Aldama’s misrepresentations.

 It should be noted that this RFP process was far more rigorous than any previously used. The publicly available background material regarding the issuance of the RFP stated, “In June 2017, the City engaged Harvard University’s Kennedy School of Government Performance Lab (GPL) for the study of results driven contracting. GPL, in partnership with What Works Cities, focused on improving the RFP process for the applicant, outcomes of after-school programming Glendale. Responses from the RFI indicated the model was sustainable.”

“In December 2017, the City advertised a Request for Proposals (RFP #18-32) to engage one or more community partners to provide after-school services at four city owned recreation/community centers. The objectives of the RFP were to engage a partner/partners who could: 1) Increase participant access and sustain free after-school programming; 2) Improve academic achievement and decrease at risk behaviors; 3) Sustain programming through stakeholder commitment (families, neighborhood schools, funders, and community-based organization); and 4) Advance the City’s mission of improving lives by providing services that align with our values.”

“In January 2018, department staff assembled and evaluation team of professionals that included representation from Arizona State University, the City of Phoenix, and the City of Glendale’s Police, Community Services, and the Public Facilities, Recreation and Special Events departments to objectively evaluate each proposal to determine which provider(s) would best fit the need of the community.”

The process worked but Aldama apparently could not accept the results because it would result in the loss of the contract belonging to yet another political ally. What should concern Ocotillo voters is Aldama’s apparent motivations for rejecting two decisions that are in the best interest of Glendale and its residents seem to be purely political.

© Joyce Clark, 2018         

FAIR USE NOTICE

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

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