Over the past week you may have noted there were no blog posts. I took a much needed vacation. I enjoyed it very much, thank you, and came back renewed and reinvigorated.

In public statements with regard to his candidacy for the Cholla district council seat Mr. Petrone said he has “lived in the Cholla district 40 years.” While that may be factually accurate, it is fair to ask if he ever attempted to move out of Glendale. The answer to that question would be “yes.” In a Maricopa County Recorded document dated 2006 Petrone attempted to buy 8368 West Spur Drive in Peoria from Desert Highlands Residential Properties LLC. The deal died when Petrone failed to make any payments on the property. This may not be such a big deal to some readers. I’m sure there are those who signed a contract to buy a home and then backed out or perhaps he intended it to become an investment property. But a case could be made that Mr. Petrone was not that enamored with Glendale and may have been ready to move on. Perhaps he never got over the $500+ lien the City of Glendale placed upon his property for failing to pay a City of Glendale Utility Bill in August, 1990 (Here is the link: Again, for some this may not be a big deal. I know in the 45 years I have lived in Glendale I have had lapses of memory two or three times and forgotten to pay my bill. That is something that many of us have done inadvertently…but for 99% of us never to the tune of $500.

All of the information contained in this blog is in the public realm and can readily be found on various websites.  The Maricopa County Recorder’s website (link is: http://recorder.maricopa.gov/recdocdata/GetRecDataPaging.aspx?biz1=&biz2=&fn1=Robert&mn1=&ln1=Petrone&fn2=&mn2=&ln2=&begdt=1/1/1974&enddt=4/1/2014&doc1=&doc2=&doc3=&doc4=&doc5=. Beware…there are at least 4 pages of documents. Well over 80 entries); the Arizona Superior Court website under Civil cases (link is: http://www.superiorcourt.maricopa.gov/docket/CivilCourtCases/caseSearchResults.asp?lastName=Petrone&FirstName=Robert&bName=. There are 14 cases from 1998 to 2008); and the Maricopa County Assessor’s website (link is: http://mcassessor.maricopa.gov/?s=233-03-003) for verification of home ownership information. Type in Robert Petrone on any of these websites and see what you come up with.

According the Maricopa County Assessor’s website Nicholas Bigelow owns (a link to the deed is on the site) and has been paying the property tax on the current home in which Mr. Petrone lives. It may have some relationship to the fact that Petrone’s wife’s previous last name was Bigelow.

In August of 2013 CBS5 TV did a story on Petrone. Here is the link: http://www.kpho.com/story/23261106/glendale-city-council-candidate-looks-to-win-publics-trust . They reported, “CBS5 did some digging and found a long history of financial problems in Petrone’s past, dating back to 2003, including not paying credit cards, bounced checks and thousands of dollars in unpaid debt. CBS5 uncovered more than 20 civil and criminal cases in Valley justice courts, all connected to Petrone or his landscaping business.” When questioned by a reporter, Mr. Petrone admitted his financial setbacks and said that he had overcome them and went on to say, “I managed to survive and get back on the right track. It’s a pretty good reference to fall back on.” Well-l-l-l, maybe not so. On the Superior Court website and the County Recorder’s website there are pages and pages of documents, including civil cases, associated with Mr. Petrone. In all fairness, it appears over time, he satisfied many of the judgments against him but apparently not all. There are quite a few Renewal of Judgments: a 2008 Renewal for Greenwood Trust Company; two Renewals in 2010 – one with Midland Credit Management Company and one with Palisades Collection; one in 2011 with Unifund CCR Partners; and one, last year, in 2013 with Capital One Bank. Apparently these judgments have not been satisfied by Mr. Petrone and are still on the Superior Court’s books. There were no recorded documents on the County Recorder’s website that showed that these judgments have been released as paid.

How can one expect a man with a history of financial mismanagement of his own affairs to handle the city’s financial affairs? With a city council that already has shown itself impaired when it comes to financial decision making, Petrone’s financial judgments could serve to worsen the situation. It is a serious question that deserves careful consideration by the voters in the upcoming election.

Mr. Petrone then goes on to say that he is at a point in his life when he can work for a councilmember’s salary of $35,000 a year. Really? Based upon his financial history perhaps Mr. Petrone needs this salary more than he would lead the voters to believe.

Then there is the issue of the proposed casino. Mr. Petrone has indicated that he is anti-casino but there are those who think his statements on this issue are not convincing and at the very least, self serving. Some believe that he is electioneer pandering and could very well do a Councilmember Sherwood flip-flop on the issue.

Mr. Petrone carries some weighty baggage that should give voters pause in their consideration of support for him. Two of the biggest issues facing Glendale are the proposed casino and Glendale’s financial issues.  There may be better candidates out there that merit your vote and your support. Current Councilmember Martinez may want to seriously rethink his endorsement of Petrone and pull it. After all, one is judged by the company one keeps.

In a little over a month,, by May 28, 2014, all candidates must submit their nominating petition signatures to get on the fall ballot. Over the course of the next 6 months this blog will take a long, hard look at all of the Glendale councilmember candidates. When one runs for public office, one becomes a public figure and past actions, opinions and comments are grist for voters’ decisions.

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