It has been 18 years and 92 days since the city’s pledge to build the West Branch Library.

The media recently reported on Sammy’s questionable spending of tax dollars for trips and meals. Here is the link: .

During my 16 years of service as your Yucca district councilmember I spent your tax dollars on pilot projects for the benefit of the entire city and infrastructure improvements in the district. I always tried to be mindful of the fact that it wasn’t my money but the people’s money.

Councilmembers have 2 discretionary accounts. One is for communications/professional development  and the other is for district improvements. I can’t remember every project or improvement but here are examples of how I used your tax dollars:

  • In 1995 I spent $1,387.57 for street identification signs as a pilot project in my district. They are placed lower than most city signs and a hundred feet or so before
    Street identification signs

    Street identification signs

    major intersections. Their purpose was to announce to the driver what street they were approaching. I saw them on trips to Tucson and thought they were very useful while driving in an unfamiliar town. It was a pilot program adopted by the city and today you can see them all over town.

  • That same year I placed two, recycled plastic gazebos, benches and waste receptacles for approximately $2000 each; one in Windsor Park and one in Pasadena Park. The
    Recycled plastic gazebo

    Recycled plastic gazebo

    photo I am using is of a much more elegant gazebo than the ones from 20 years ago. They lasted for quite some time (approx. 15 years) but eventually after years of use they became beyond repair and were removed.

  • In 2002 for $14,356.52 a radar speed trailer was purchased and donated to the Glendale Police Department with the agreement that Yucca district neighborhoodsradar-trailers222[1] could request its use at any time. That same year $2,109.00 went for sidewalk installation and repair for Desert Mirage Park.
  • In 2003 $3,000 was used to purchase an Advanced Life Support Unit for the Glendale Fire Department.
  • In 2008 a surveillance camera was purchased for approximately $1,500 for use in the Grand Canal Linear Park. It was another pilot project designed to improve security and I worked very closely with the manufacturing company. Unfortunately, it did not live up to its claims and was returned with the money being reimbursed.
  • In 2010 in another pilot project, 6 e-book tablets, were purchased (I no longer remember the exact purchase price but it would have been approximately $600 each) and lent to Yucca district residents for several weeks at a time. The purpose was to find out how well they would be received and how easy or difficult they were to use to access the library system to download and read books. They were a hit and were donated to the Glendale library system. The concept was adopted but I am sure the original tablets are so out of date technologically that they are no longer in use.
  • That same year approximately $5,000 was spent to place a graveled gecko design in a retention basin along 83rd Avenue. There are 3 retention basins of just dirt that are the responsibility of the city on the east side of 83rd Avenue between Camelback and Bethany Home Road. Two of them remain as dirt basins to this day.

I did attend National League of Cities Conventions out-of-town or within Arizona. Travel costs averaged between $600 to $900 with the largest expense being a hotel room and registration for a convention. I also was on the League’s Public Safety Steering Policy Committee that generally met an additional two times per year.

I communicated with constituents on a regular basis. I issued two district newsletters per year (spring and fall) at a cost of approximately $5,000 per newsletter. The major costs were printing and postage. I also held a minimum of 2 district meetings per year. Costs for those meetings ranged between $50 to $300. If a school charged a room rental the cost was generally in the $250 range. No more than $50 was used to purchase refreshments for the attending citizens.

My expenditures of your tax dollars as a councilmember were used to promote innovation as pilot projects, to improve district infrastructure or to communicate with constituents on a regular basis. That is quite a contrast to Sammy’s use of your money to travel to D.C. to see the Pope on a TV screen or buying $400 dinners for his bosses including the Phoenix Fire Chief or spending $8,000 on a failed Watermelon Festival.

© Joyce Clark, 2016


This site contains copyrighted material the use of which is in accordance with Title 17 U.S. C., Section 107. The ‘fair use’ of any such copyrighted material as provided for in Section 107 of the US Copyright Law and who have expressed a prior interest in receiving the included information for research and educational purposes. For more information material on this site is distributed without profit to those who have not always been specifically authorized by the copyright owner. We are making such material available in our efforts to advance understanding of environmental, political, human rights, economic, democratic, scientific and social justice issues, etc. We believe this constitutes a ‘fair use’ of any such material. For more information go to If you wish to use copyrighted material from this site for purposes of your own that go beyond ‘fair use,’ you must obtain permission from the copyright owner.