March 19, 2015….17 years and 78 days without a West Branch Library

Please note: From now on my header will contain the length of time West Glendale has been waiting for its long promised library.

It’s only been a few weeks since former City Manager Brenda Fischer resigned and her “publicists” remain hard at work. I have no doubt there will be more positive stories planted in the local media about the “great job” Fischer did in her 17 months in Glendale.

On March 13, 2015 Eric Jay Toll authored an article entitled “The two sides of the Fischer-Weiers split” in the Phoenix Business Journal. Unfortunately unless one has a paid subscription one cannot read the entire article as the website only posts a paragraph or two. As luck would have it, my neighbor does subscribe and gave me his copy.

There was one very notable quote in the article. “Brenda Fischer was good to employees, and she was good for business in the city,” said Glendale Firefighters Association President Joe Hester. “When she left, it was an extreme disappointment. I’ve worked with a number of city managers and she was the first one I’ve worked with who was fully transparent, operated with integrity and had a word that could be trusted.”

Is Joe Hester implying that Interim City Manager Dick Bowers is not “fully transparent,” does not “operate with integrity” and his word is not to “be trusted?” After all, Hester states categorically that she was the first city manger that he worked with who embodied those qualities. Dick Bowers, former City Manager of Scottsdale for many years, is a person with an impeccable reputation of the utmost integrity, transparency and trust. If I were Mr. Bowers I would be none too happy with Mr. Hester’s remarks.

Hester has only been President of the Glendale Firefighters Association for a few years. As president of the union he did not work with Dr. Martin Vanacour, Glendale’s City Manager from 1985 to 2001. If he worked with Glendale’s next City Manager from 2001 to 2012, Ed Beasley, it was for a very brief time prior to Beasley’s departure. So who did Hester work with? That leaves Horatio Skeete, City Manager for about 4 or 5 months in 2012; Dick Bowers for approximately 8 months in 2012 to 2013; Brenda Fischer for 17 months from 2013 to 2015; and now Dick Bowers again. It appears that the number of city managers with whom Hester has worked is three. His characterization of a “number of city managers” would lead one to believe that there have been scads of them. Hmmm.

Then again, of course Mr. Hester was delighted to have Fischer as Glendale’s city manager and why not? Ms. Fischer’s husband was, and may still be for all I know, a firefighter in Henderson, Nevada. It is understandable that Ms. Fischer’s natural bias would be in favor of the firefighters. Wouldn’t Hester feel he had a sympathetic ear when it came to firefighter goals and issues?

Mr. Hester also stated that Ms. Fischer was “good for business in the city.” Perhaps he should have checked with Robert Heidt Jr., President and CEO of the Glendale Chamber of Commerce. I don’t think anyone has forgotten Ms. Fischer’s temper tantrum directed at Mr. Heidt at the Yard House restaurant…a very public place.

Mr. Toll’s headline for his article, “The two sides of the Fischer-Weiers split” implies that Mayor Weiers was responsible for her leaving. Not so. Ms. Fischer was capable of causing it all on her own. Her actions including promoting Julie Frisoni as Assistant City Manager when she was unqualified for the position at the time; her very public berating of the Glendale Chamber President; her perceived advocacy for one councilmember’s (Gary Sherwood) agenda; and her brazen request for three sitting councilmember’s emails were more than enough to sour a majority of council on her leadership.

Many have come to the conclusion that Ms. Fischer orchestrated her own demise as Glendale’s city manager.

© Joyce Clark, 2015


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