It has been 18 years and 153 days since the city’s pledge to build the West Branch Library.

As I reported in my blog, City hall damage, sometime during the weekend of the Cinco De Mayo festival, one of the “B” meetings rooms was damaged. Estimates of the damage range from $30,000 to $50,000. On Tuesday, May 17, 2016, at the end of the city council workshop, City Manager Kevin Phelps gave his report. Here is the link beginning at 42:09 minutes: .

If you cannot access the link here is what City Manager Phelps said, “I apologize. I forgot to just notify you of one thing in my City Manager’s Report. If you’re OK. Recently, maybe you’re aware of, we did have some damage done here at the building and we received a couple of inquiries to our office. Basically, there’s an ongoing investigation. The Police Department is working on it. We believe we’ll have it resolved as to the issues. I think they’ve identified who potentially created the damage. We’ll then look at our options. Currently the damage will be covered under our insurance if we’re not able to get restitution from the people who caused the damage. But we’ll report back to you as soon as we get more detail. But it is an ongoing investigation. We feel like we will get, we’ve reviewed tape and we believe we can resolve the situation.”

The City Manager corroborated several facts: 1. Damage was done to City Hall. Although he did not indicate the dollar value of the damage or when it occurred. 2. The Glendale Police Department has an ongoing investigation.  3. There is a tape of the criminal damage being committed and they have identified who caused the damage. 4. The city will be seeking restitution from those who caused the damage. If the person(s) do not have insurance, city insurance will cover the damage.

This incident raises many questions about city policies for special events. Ordinance 2591, a city law, lists various requirements for sponsors of special events such as the Cinco De Mayo Festival.  As you may recall, this event was co sponsored by Barrio Breakthru Productions, an unregistered entity with the Arizona Corporation Commission. However Breakthru Community Church is a registered entity. Who was responsible and filed the application with the city? Breakthru Productions or Breakthru Community Church? If it was the church did the city violate federal law requiring the separation of church and state?

As you can see from direct quotes from Ordinance 2591 insurance and bonding was required. Were these requirements waived? By whom? And on whose authority?

  • “Sec. 29.2-26. – Code compliance; additional application requirements. To ensure that the public health, welfare and safety are protected, applicants shall comply with all city plumbing and electrical code requirements; provide for public safety personnel and resources (police, fire and emergency medical), sanitation and sewage disposal facilities, and indemnification and insurance. If the event will be held during hours of darkness, the applicant shall comply with lighting standards prescribed in this city code for streets and public property.
  • “Sec. 29.2-27. – Indemnification agreement.                                                                           (a)“At the time of application, the applicant shall enter into an indemnification agreement with the city under which the applicant assumes full responsibility and liability for and indemnifies, defends and holds the city harmless against:                                                                               (1) “All liability, claims for damages, and suits for or by reason of any injury to any person, including death, and damage to any property for every cause in any way connected with the holding of the large special event, including the preparation, set-up, holding and closeout; and
    (2) “All expenses incurred by the city for public safety, sanitation and transportation personnel and resources required to preserve public order and protect public health, safety and welfare, together with any other expenses or costs that may be incurred by the city as a result of the large special event. The applicant shall indemnify the city against all charges, expenses and costs, including the city’s legal department services incurred on account of or by reason of any such injuries, damages, liability, claims, suits or losses and all damages growing out of the same.
  • “Sec. 29.2-28. – Insurance.                                                                 (a) “The applicant shall deliver to the city manager, within fifteen (15) calendar days of the submission of a completed application or within two (2) calendar days of the event, whichever occurs first, proof of insurance in the amounts and types of coverage as determined by city manager regulation. All issuers of insurance shall be authorized to do business within the State of Arizona and carry an A.M. Best Company, Inc., FSR rating of at least B++. Minimum coverage shall include, but not be limited to: commercial general liability; automobile liability; and liquor and aircraft coverage as the type of event may necessitate. The city may also require special coverage that would protect against liabilities in case of the provision of activities involving child care. All such insurance shall be endorsed to provide for a waiver of underwriter’s rights of subrogation in favor of the city. Prior to commencing any work on the event, certificates of insurance approved by the city’s division of risk management demonstrating the maintenance of the required insurance shall be furnished to the city. The certificates shall provide that no material alteration or cancellation, including expiration and non-renewal, shall be effective until fifteen (15) business days after receipt of written notice by the city. If one or more cranes or similar heavy equipment pieces are used for any activity associated with the large special event, the proof of insurance will clearly demonstrate that the general liability coverage includes coverage for such equipment and has no limitation specific to use of the equipment. If fireworks displays or pyrotechnic displays are included in the large special event, the proof of insurance will clearly demonstrate that general liability coverage is provided to include coverage for such display(s) with no limitation specific to the display(s). Such evidence must be provided by the organization(s) responsible for such display(s). The failure by the applicant to provide or the failure of the city to demand an insurance certificate as required in this section shall not relieve the applicant’s obligation to provide the required insurance.                        (b) “All coverages are to be provided on a “per occurrence” form. If coverage is only available on a “claims made” form, the insured shall agree to maintain extended reporting coverage for a minimum of two (2) years past the expiration of the annual policy term.                                        (c) “The coverage(s) required under this section shall survive and not be terminated, reduced or otherwise limited by any expiration or termination of particular policies for insurance coverages.                                       (d) “All coverages shall be primary and non-contributory with respect to all other available sources. Where the city is named as an additional insured, it shall be by endorsement and not solely as a listed party on the certificate of insurance. The city shall be an additional insured to the full limits of coverage purchased by the applicant even if those limits are in excess of the minimums required by this section.                                  (e) “Federal, state and local government agencies may submit a statement of self-insurance or proof of eligibility for sovereign immunity allowed by the applicable state or federal statute. Such statement will be acceptable in place of insurance requirements defined herein.                             (Ord. No. 2591, § 3, 10-9-07)
  • “Sec. 29.2-29. – Surety bonds and payment for city resources.               (a) “The applicant shall deliver to the city within fifteen (15) calendar days after the submission of a completed application or within two (2) calendar days of the event, whichever occurs first, surety by a cash bond, payment and performance bond, or a continuing letter of credit in an amount equal to the costs of providing public safety, sanitation and transportation personnel and resources at the event. The surety shall be released if no claims are made against it no later than fifteen (15) business days from the last date of the large special event. Such surety shall be conditioned upon the applicant faithfully observing, fulfilling and performing all obligations under the application, contract and provisions of this chapter, and shall be in a form approved by the city’s legal department according to the standards set forth in this section. The purpose of such surety is to insulate the city from financial loss due to the large special event. Cash bonds shall be deposited into a non-interest bearing account designated for such deposits by the city.                                                               (b) “In addition to the requirements above, the applicant shall pay the city by cash, cashier’s check, certified check, wire transfer or money order within fifteen (15) calendar days after the submission of a completed application or within two (2) calendar days prior to the event, whichever occurs first, fifty percent (50%) of the total costs for city resources as listed in paragraph (a) above. The balance due shall be paid to the city in the same manner by no later than thirty (30) calendar days following the conclusion of the event. If the applicant is unable to obtain surety as required above, then the applicant must pay in advance by cash, cashier’s check, wire transfer, certified check or money order within ten (10) calendar days of submission of a completed application, the total costs for city resources as listed in paragraph (a) above.                                     (c) “The city may seek recovery of the costs listed in paragraph (a) above for large special events conducted without a permit.                              (d) “If the event a large special event is cancelled due to a state of emergency declared by the Governor or the Mayor of the city, the city, at the applicant’s request, shall refund to the applicant all deposits paid hereunder to the extent the costs have not already been incurred by the city, and shall release the net remaining surety posted as soon as practicable.
    (e) “Costs for city resources shall be determined by the city pursuant to city manager regulation.                                                                  (Ord. No. 2591, § 3, 10-9-07)” My apology for the terrible formatting of the Ordinance.

This incident of criminal damage to city hall during the time period of a special event demands a full, investigation and a publicly issued report by the City Manager to city council. The elephant in the room is this: did Councilmembers Jamie Aldama and Sammy Chavira, each of whom donated $2,500 of their council budgeted funds (taxpayer money), create an atmosphere of tacit, unspoken influence on staff? Did their contributions to the Cinco De Mayo Festival cause pressure to be placed on staff to waive many legal requirements of Ordinance 2591? The public deserves a full explanation after having $5,000 spent by councilmembers to support this event.

© Joyce Clark, 2016


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