Two recent news stories can have you scratching your head and saying, “What the heck?” Just when you think Glendale has its act together it trips over itself and acts either incomprehensibly or incompetently.

It appears the NFL is still miffed with Glendale. I don’t buy it. Glendale successfully hosted one Super Bowl and is using the same model, only updated, to host the next one. Supposedly the NFL is in a stew about three issues: parking, Glendale hoteliers’ refusal to join the NFL’s room bloc and lack of Glendale leadership.

What about parking? Glendale provided the necessary parking at the last Super Bowl and will do so again. It has the requisite parking lined up already. It’s a non-issue.

What about the room bloc? Glendale cannot tell private businesses what to do and what to charge for room rates. Perhaps if the NFL sweetened the pot a bit for Glendale’s hotels there would be incentive for joining the room bloc.

What about Glendale’s leadership? It appears that the current city council has sent numerous signals that they are on board and willing to take whatever action necessary to make the Super Bowl a success. It is a smoke and mirrors issue apparently being jinned by two entities: the Arizona Host Committee and the Bidwills. On nearly all levels of Glendale must communicate with the NFL executives through one or both of those entities. Remember the kid’s game of post office? By the time the original message went through several people the final message was nothing like the original. Glendale’s message is filtered by two, not-so-friendly entities.

The Host Committee has got to be walking around with a bag full of guilt knowing that all events but two are sited outside of Glendale and that Glendale will get the bill for the Super Bowl and probably lose money again. They have been very reluctant to assist Glendale in legislatively crafting a mechanism to make Glendale whole. Apparently Glendale’s losses are not a concern.

The Bidwills apparently are not giving the NFL kudos about Glendale because they are angry about NFL Super Bowl unrelated issues. They are angry that they didn’t get their way about putting up a training tent on Glendale’s Youth Sports Fields adjacent to the stadium and they are angry (perhaps in this case justified) that their partnership with SMG to bid on managing was ignored. Glendale did handle that badly by accepting bids and then letting them hang out there in limbo while it brazenly accepted IceArizona’s deal to manage the arena. The entire situation was strange to say the least. Another issue may be one of the lack of a parking garage. The Bidwills know that Glendale cannot afford to build one at this time. Soooo….the Bidwill’s land on both sides of stadium already has approved zoning (including the right to build a parking garage or two) as Sportsmen’s Park, East and West. If the Bidwills want a garage so badly why don’t they take out an incredibly low interest loan from the NFL and build one on their land??

It’s time that the Host Committee and the Bidwills stopped stewing and accepted the fact that Glendale is the host city. To make this event successful it’s time they lifted Glendale up rather than attempting to stomp it into the ground. They say publicly that they want Glendale to be a full participating member of the team but behind the scenes Glendale is virtually ignored. When another successful Super Bowl is over it will be in great measure because of Glendale’s efforts to insure its success.

Glendale is showing that its methods of operation haven’t changed much, if at all, under new City Manager leadership. It appears that Glendale missed the FEMA deadline for submitting paperwork regarding its flood prone areas in the city. A special council meeting had to be scheduled last Tuesday despite the fact that Weiers, Sherwood and Chavira were attending the National League of Cities convention in Seattle. They participated telephonically, something the Surprise city council just voted to abandon as a practice.

It was only discovered after several citizens called the city to complain that they were denied coverage. Don’t believe the disclaimer that it’s not a big deal because most of Glendale’s flood plain is in its river beds. There is also substantial land along Grand Avenue that has historically flooded and is in the flood plain. How could this fall through the cracks?

And the City Manager’s remedy? Expect another firing of some employee becoming the latest “fall guy” in the string of recent firings. Glendale hasn’t changed under new leadership. It still fudges on transparency. It refused to publicize its investigative report generated from the half million dollar external audit until the Arizona Republic made a Freedom of Information Request. It continues to follow the philosophy of omission; leaving out the negative, in an effort to spin any issue positively. Sometimes Glendale, you just have to say that you screwed up.

© Joyce Clark, 2013

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