My vetting of the Cholla district candidates is done. I congratulate them for their willingness to put themselves before the voters to be weighed and measured on the issues of the day.

While each candidate may have developed campaign literature that they pass out or mail to the voters, it is just that, voter specific, and may not reach the entire Cholla district voter universe.

All 4 of the Cholla council district candidates share some commonalities. All are articulate. Sometimes a candidate will pop up and immediately your radar says there is something that is off. Not so with these candidates. My belief is that they want to be part of the solution with regard to Glendale’s financial difficulties. My choice of 2 among the 4 candidates will be based on the information publicly available to date used in my previous blogs about each candidate; plus my personal interviews.

All are self funded to date and have done minimal fund raising. Deardorff and Petrone are the gorillas having loaned their campaigns at least $10,000 each.  DiCarlo and Tolmachoff have made more modest loans under $2,000 each. Does a larger loan indicate more commitment? No, of course not.  It is surprising that none of the candidates appears to be reaching out to their constituency for campaign support to date with the exception of facilitating campaign donations through their websites. But my guess is that political strategy may mean that the candidates prefer to reveal their contributors in later Finance Reports as a means of keeping that information from their opponents.

It is difficult for the voter, based upon publicly available information, to determine how each candidate stands on a particular issue. Deardorff and Petrone have no issues information available on their websites. DiCarlo has taken up one issue, that of Glendale’s finances. Tolmachoff has the most robust site and clearly takes a stand on Glendale’s finances.

All of the candidates acknowledge that Glendale has financial problems. Deardorff, DiCarlo and Tolmachoff support the sunset of the sales tax increase in 2017. Petrone has made no public statements regarding the sales tax and as mentioned above has no issues on his web site as of this date. Petrone has also had a series of past personal financial problems which leads me to question his ability to make sound financial decisions for Glendale. His personal financial decisions have led to court cases and documented judgments against him. His judgments and personal history led to my decision not to interview him as I do not see him as a viable candidate.

All 4 candidates seek to reduce Glendale’s debt burden. Deardorff wants to look at personnel costs and believes there is room to cut those costs. DiCarlo and Tolmachoff believe that selling Glendale’s assets is a viable course of action. All point to Camelback Ranch and want to explore ways to deal with its massive debt.

Deardorff and Dicarlo oppose a reservation, and hence the casino, in Glendale.

Deardorff, DiCarlo and Tolmachoff state that the relationship between staff and council is broken and seek more staff transparency as well as a council united in exploring and solving Glendale’s current crop of problems.

All candidates understand that Glendale has no responsibility or power over local school districts. A Glendale candidate or elected councilor cannot impact education. That is for local school boards. Be wary of any district council candidate promising to “fix” local education for that is simply not true.

All are married and have lived in the Cholla district from 9 to 40 years signaling that they all have roots in Glendale. All are self employed and that does provide them the flexibility they need to fulfill a councilmember’s responsibilities. Only Petrone has served on Glendale’s boards and commissions.

Of Note; Deardorff has received the support of former mayor Elaine Scruggs listed as a member of a Host Committee fund raiser. It was under her watch that Glendale assumed the massive debt with which it must deal. There is an old saying that you are judged by the company you keep. With no other apparent Glendale involvement to balance her influence there is the risk of a second coming of an old strategy…a strategy that drove Glendale over the fiscal cliff. It is because of this issue that he was not picked as one of the two final candidate choices.

Councilmember Martinez has endorsed Petrone and it appears that he will have the endorsement and financial support of the fire union. Fire opposes the sunset of the sales tax. That signals a candidate who agrees with the fire union’s agenda. Another concern with Petrone is related to his service on Glendale’s boards and commissions and it may not play in his favor. His interaction with staff may make him more sympathetic to the current staff agenda. These issues are grave enough to eliminate him as a council candidate pick.

Di Carlo has the experience of a prior campaign. He has experienced the subtleties of staff in dealing with candidates and may have developed a more confident manner in dealing with Glendale staff and current Council.

Tolmachoff has the most informative website with issue specifics in her blog available on that website. She is the only candidate to publicly express her support of the casino.

It seems safe to assume that with 4 candidates no one will take the Cholla councilmember seat out right in the Primary Election. The two top candidates will face off in the General Election in November. It is not an easy decision for any voter but based upon information publicly available to everyone, this writer’s picks for the Cholla district are:               

                                           Gary Deardorff

                                  checkmark__bottomheavy_140 Van DiCarlo  


                                           Robert Petrone

                                 checkmark__bottomheavy_140  Lauren Tolmachoff

Please be sure to check the straw poll to the left of this column and vote for your choice as the Cholla district city council pick. You do not have to live in the Cholla district to participate.

© Joyce Clark, 2014


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