It has been 18 years and 73 days since the city’s pledge to build the West Branch Library.

The Oxford dictionary definition of a spendthrift is, a person who spends money in an extravagant, irresponsible way.” Sammy certainly appears to be the embodiment of that definition. It seems as if Sammy likes to travel…on your dime.

Chavira took office in January of 2013. From that date through January of 2016, three years, he has spent $25,574.49 on travel. Here is how it breaks down by year:

  • 2013               $2,954.14
  • 2014               $5,297.56
  • 2015              $11,876.62
  • 2016               $5,446.17

He appears to really, really like to travel. Then again, he’s not spending his own money. He’s spending your money, taxpayer dollars. Many of his trips have been to National League of Cities meetings across the country. However, some of his trips may be questionable. It appears that he traveled to the East Coast when Pope Francis visited the United States. He needs to explain how this trip served the best interests of Glendale residents. It seems he also traveled back to Washington, D.C. when his mentor, Ruben Gallego, was inducted into the Congressional House of Representatives. How did this trip serve the best interests of Glendale residents?

Sammy also likes to eat…on your dime and he doesn’t seem to bat an eye when he picks up the tab for his guests. On one of his many trips to D.C. on October 13, 2014 he spent $419.76 at Johnny’s Half Shell restaurant. According to Glendale’s Follow Your Money in October of 2015 he spent $120.28 at Cuff restaurant and another $120.45 at the Yard House restaurant.

Sammy also fancies himself a promoter of festivals. Remember his dubious involvement in the Hispanic Firefighters Association event when the association not only lost money but had to pay security and other vendors? Shortly thereafter he was invited to leave the organization. Well, he’s still at it. On June 6, 2013 he donated $8,000 of taxpayer money to sponsor the Glendale Watermelon Festival. Were you even aware that there was a Watermelon Festival? Apparently no one else was aware either. At your local supermarket during the year you can see cardboard cartons filled with watermelons. Sammy had the bright idea to do the same and there were cardboard cartons filled with watermelons on nearly every street corner in downtown Glendale. The problem was after the festival was over, all of those filled cartons remained on every street corner in downtown Glendale. They were virtually a symbol of a festival that bombed and an embarrassment.

On October 20, 2015 Sammy donated another $2500 of your money to sponsor the Dia de Los Muertos Festival in downtown Glendale. So did Councilmember Aldama. This was another winner…not. An audit of this event has never been publicly released by the city. The producer of the event…you guessed it…is a friend of Chavira’s and Aldama’s. Democrat candidates set up booths at this event yet the city is strictly prohibited from sponsoring events that advocate for a particular political position or candidate.

Sammy the spendthrift has no problem spending over $35,000 of taxpayer money in three years on questionable trips and festivals. More definitively than anything else these actions demonstrate his lack of fiscal constraint and questionable decision making. Be concerned. His decisions about use of taxpayer money within his council budget reflect future decisions regarding the city’s budget which affects all of us.

© Joyce Clark, 2016


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