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         


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