Golly, can you believe that in a year from now, August 26, 2014 to be exact, Glendale voters will be casting ballots in its Primary Election? It seems we just went through this exercise. We did. Every two years, Glendale votes for 3 out of 6 City Council seats. In 2012, the 3 district seats were Yucca, Cactus and Sahuaro. In the 2014 election it will be Cholla, Barrel and Ocotillo districts. Candidate nominating petitions will be available this fall and are due for submission by the end of May, 2014. No candidate will wait until the last minute to pick up nominating packets or to submit petitions to run. So it begins.

While the political picture is still very murky some rays of light are just beginning to emerge. Vice Mayor Knaack was recently asked by the media if she would be running for her Barrel district seat again. Knaack was decidedly non-committal but bets are that she will run for her seat… but wait, there’s more. Many feel that her ambition runs far greater and that she will make a run for mayor in 2016. That may pose a real head scratcher for the Glendale fire union. To date they have supported Weiers (current mayor) and Sherwood (new councilmember) and Knaack (in every one of her elections). If this scenario comes to pass it will be interesting to see whom fire puts its money (which is substantial) on…Weiers? Sherwood? or Knaack?

Councilmember Alvarez has declared that she is not running for reelection but she also declared that she would resign after the results of the external audit were publicly released. Well, that hasn’t happened, has it? If she decides to leave her seat look for a “free for all” in the Ocotillo district. Candidates will be multiplying like rabbits. Ocotillo voters beware. Alvarez is sure to endorse someone and that almost guarantees more Alvarez-esk shenanigans for another 4 years. Lord, help us out here!

Councilmember Martinez has recently announced that he will not seek reelection in the Cholla district. He has been a good and faithful servant of the people and others – perhaps a future blog will be in order. He is in his 80s and there are subtle signs that his faculties are not as sharp as they once were. His announcement comes as no surprise. What is surprising is Robert Petrone’s announcement of his candidacy for the Cholla district council seat. Petrone is the current Chairperson of the citizen Planning and Zoning Commission. What is even more surprising is the story that was run by KPHO Channel 5 News on August 26, 2014. Here is the link:  http://www.kpho.com/story/23261106/glendale-city-council-candidate-looks-to-win-publics-trust . The story by Jason Barry reports, “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.” Petrone attributes his financial woes dating back to 2003 to the national recession but, excuse me, didn’t the recession start in 2007?

courtesy Channel 5 KPHO news

Robert Petrone
Courtesy of KPHO
Chennel 5 News

Petrone says in his interview, “one of his first orders of business is to stop the mismanagement of money that’s plagued the city.” Ahem. Isn’t that a little like the pot calling the kettle black? He then goes on to say, “I see money that was $5.5 million to $6 million of citizens’ money that was tainted, misappropriated, done without the knowledge of the City Council…How many fire trucks and police cars could we have bought with $5 to $6 million?” And the answer is….None, Mr. Petrone, absolutely none. Why? The money he refers to were transfers out of the city’s trust funds which if and when recovered, must go back into the trust funds for risk management and workmen’s compensation. The $5 to $6 million cannot be used to buy fire trucks or police cars…or anything else for that matter. This issue has been widely publicized and one would think Petrone would have a better understanding. Obviously, he didn’t read my “Mushroom” blogs! 

Manny, say it ain’t so. You couldn’t have really endorsed Petrone, could you? In the blink of an eye — no, make that a 2 minute story on Channel 5, Petrone’s viability as a serious candidate was obliterated. Their strategy was transparent. Martinez’ endorsement of Petrone was supposed to create a chilling effect and cause others to reconsider a run for the Cholla seat. Perhaps it would have succeeded if Channel 5 hadn’t reported that Petrone had been practicing a little mismanagement of his own. Let the games, political that is, begin!


©Joyce Clark, 2013

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