Note: I said that I was taking a hiatus for about a week but this blog begged to be written before my hiatus. It is timely now. See you back here after July 15th.)

Norma Alvarez

Norma Alvarez

There are two words that apparently are not in Councilmember Alvarez’ dictionary — grace and dignity. On July 3, 2013 the Glendale Star published a story entitled Alvarez sets deadline for departure by its Editor, Carolyn Dryer. Here is the link:

Norma publicly exploded after the affirmative vote by a majority of council for the RSE arena management deal. She laid the blame for the lease management’s acceptance at the feet of the entire council by saying,“It’s our fault, letting them (Coyotes prospective owners) do what they want to do.”

The city paid approximately $500,000 for an external audit. In the minds of some councilmembers such as Alvarez, it’s purpose is to fix blame. In the story Alvarez claims the audit will reveal all kinds of dastardly deeds performed by ??? and she says, “I’m waiting for the audit. You’re going to be surprised.” She also hinted that she will resign after the results of the audit are made public and said further, “It’s going public. So, I’m going to wait for that.” She claimed that she told the auditors an ear-full and she probably did but how much was hearsay and how much had a factual basis? You can be sure the audit will be fact based and may not include all of Norma’s titillating tales. If that is the case, you may see a second eruption from Mount Norma.


Gary Sherwood

She then went on to trash her fellow councilmembers. She claimed discrimination by her peers because “I have never been included in this council from the first day I’ve been in. I’m not ‘one of the boys.’” She accused Councilmember Sherwood of usurping the Mayor’s role during the month-long Coyotes negotiation process with, “I’m tired of this person walking around and talking like he’s the mayor. Jerry (Mayor Jerry Weiers) has been courteous to him.” Sherwood did take the lead on the Coyotes negotiation and his rubbing elbows with the likes of NHL Commissioner Gary Bettman, Assistant NHL Commissioner Bill Daley, RSE’s Anthony LeBlanc and Daryl Jones and attorneys Grant Woods and Nick Wood (no relation) had to have made Sherwood feel warm and fuzzy all over. I’m sure his ego was stoked as all of these principals whispered sweet nothings.  She also accused Sherwood of inserting himself into the search for the City Manager process by “When Sherwood got the applications, he called her (new city manager hired Tuesday, Brenda Fischer),” Alvarez said. “We didn’t call anybody; that’s why we have HR. He (Sherwood) came back and told us this is the best person.” While not illegal, as far as I know, it is a highly unusual action by a councilmember.

Chavira photo

Sammy Chavira

There were no kind words for Councilmember Chavira either. A little past history is in order. When Sammy ran in 2012 Norma stood “toe to toe” with Sammy’s bid. She funneled money and workers to his campaign and did everything in her power to assure his election.  With regard to Sammy’s positive vote for the Coyotes’ deal she said, “But he’s a disappointment to the people of Glendale. I know people in Glendale who say they are going to make sure he never wins again.” (More about Sammy’s vote in a future blog.) I would think Norma feels betrayed by the very person she was instrumental in getting elected. If nothing else Norma has a long memory and the resources to make good on her promise about Sammy’s future.

There’s more but you will have to read the article for yourself to capture the full flavor of the outrage Norma expresses. Every councilmember, in any community, has at one time or another, experienced back stabbing, betrayal and countless other unpleasant actions from their peers. It’s not usually aired in public because most have a sense of grace and dignity and realize that it’s part of politics. Alas, they are not words in Norma’s vocabulary.