Today it will be 114 degrees and as we continue to plant campaign signs we will be dripping within 5 minutes…sigh. Arizona politicians are probably tougher than any others. Who in their right mind would campaign in the summer in Arizona? Only in Arizona, I guess.

Last night I held the first Yucca district meeting since Sammy held his one and only meeting in May of 2013. About two dozen hardy souls attended. Unfortunately we were competing with Trump’s acceptance speech (reportedly over 30 million viewers). That’s OK. It was a very good meeting. Many questions were asked of both Mayor Weiers and me and as a result, the meeting lasted for two hours. Mayor Weiers did an excellent job demonstrating his breadth of knowledge on city issues as our Mayor. Interestingly, there were 4 gentlemen from Phoenix in attendance. Obviously they were there on behalf of either the Burdick or Chavira campaigns. We hope they had a good time.

I had planned to post the video of the meeting but due to its length of 2 hours I don’t have the capability to do so. We may try to figure out how to edit it down to something manageable and post snippets.

One of the questions was about the “temporary” sale tax increase. I was the councilmember who insisted that it be temporary at the time of its passage. It was due to sunset in 2017. Chavira, in an Arizona Republic interview of July 25, 2012 (almost 4 years ago to the day) said this about the sales tax increase, “Hopefully, the new council can expedite the five-year sunset.” Enter the sound of crickets…just another empty campaign promise made by my opponent. He made no call for council’s action on this issue.

That Arizona Republic interview of Sammy was full of his insistence on transparency and communication with his constituency. Here are just a few of his more memorable comments on the subject:

  • “Firefighter prepared to listen to residents.”
  • “Chavira, 47, thinks increased transparency and a greater willingness to involve residents, businesses and neighboring cities in decision making can help Glendale come out of its difficult times.”
  • “Many of the city’s latest problems stem from a lack of input from residents.”
  • “Chavira said he’s committed to getting resident input.”
  • “People seem to forget politicians are here to serve the citizens they represent.”

Sammy ignored his very own premise that he was elected to serve the citizens he represents. When is the last time he contacted his constituency to seek their input? How about never. He’s had only one district meeting during his entire term.

In that same interview, Chavira was asked what can the City Council do to help make education better in Glendale? His answer was, “We need better and more after-school programs, park and recreation programs and we need to bring back, we don’t have Little League anymore. We need to be more accessible to our children.” Not sure what he means by being more accessible to our children. Perhaps you can figure that one out.

Let’s not forget Sammy’s promises in a 2012 campaign mailing, “We need excellent schools to prepare our children to compete for high wage jobs and to attract companies to our region. I will fight to fully fund Head Start, promote education tax credits, and make city-provided after-school programs more academically focused. We also need to keep our parks and library programs strong to provide activities that keep our youth off the streets (emphasis is Chavira’s).

Keep in mind that a local city council has absolutely no authority over local education in its community. That is the job of local school district boards. They make the decisions about where funds will be expended, what their curriculum will be and they make policy and procedure decisions for the schools within their district. As for the pledges he made in his 2012 campaign, enter the sound of crickets chirping once again.

Chavira chooses buzz words to define his campaigns. He chose a hot button issue that is decidedly important to all of us knowing full well that he, as a member of the city council, could do nothing about it with the exception of city-funded, after school programs. He has not advocated for and has done nothing to fulfill his pledges regarding education. It implies that either he is truly ignorant and doesn’t know that he has no impact on educational issues or it is a deliberately cynical use of an issue as he relies on the voter to be ill informed. Beware of his use of the same themes and tactics in this election.

© Joyce Clark, 2016


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