Disclaimer: The comments in this blog are my personal opinion and may or may not reflect an adopted position of the city of Glendale and its city council.

Well, the dark side is at it again. The other day I received a hit piece mailer urging voters to vote against Prop 424, city council pay raises. Let’s review their claims.

Claim #1 “Sold city property purchased for over $700,000 in 2008 to the City Manager Kevin Phelps’ neighbor for $25,000.” Here’s the rest of the story. The city bought the parking lot and building in 2008. St. Vincent de Paul rented it as a thrift store until 2015. There were no infrastructure improvements or any money invested in the building between 2008 and 2018. In the ensuing 10 years the building became a run down, dilapidated mess and certainly was no longer worth over $700,000. If it had remained in the shape it had been when purchased by the city then perhaps a sale at $700,000 would have been justified. The city always intended to sell but there were no takers but one and he was strictly an investor who owned other properties downtown that to this day continue to remain vacant.

The building needed a complete renovation with new flooring, a new roof, a new heating and cooling system and above-ground plumbing. The city did not want to sell the building to an investor that would sit on the property and do nothing with it for years.

The Albright’s approached the city’s Economic Development department about acquiring the building only—not the parking lot. Discussion about the offer occurred in council’s Executive Session several times. The purchase price was low because the Albright’s committed to rehab the structure to city code with new flooring, a new roof, new heating, cooling and plumbing at an estimated cost of half a million dollars.

If you wish you can refer to my blog from one year ago, October 18, 2018 entitled “St Vincent de Paul Building: A package-in-a-bow deal or down at the heel deal?”

 Neither Councilmembers Turner nor Aldama expressed non-support of the offer until the night council was scheduled to vote to deny or approve. In fact, Aldama voted in favor. The Goldwater Institute said at the time, in 2018, that it was taking a look at the deal. A year has passed and Goldwater has not filed anything against the city.

As for selling to a neighbor of the City Manager’s, that statement implies because we have neighbors they must be close friends.  With the schedule our City Manager has I would be surprised if he even knows who his neighbors are, much less have the time to become close friends.

Oh really? This is bunk and the authors of this hit piece know it.

Claim #2Gave City Manager Kevin Phelps a $20,000 pay raise and a lifetime contract that automatically renews.” As reported by the media here are the base salaries for city managers of the Valley’s 10 largest cities. The dark side didn’t mention that Phelps ranks 7th in base salary.

  • Phoenix $315,000
  • Scottsdale $261,622
  • Mesa $260,666
  • Gilbert $248,519
  • Chandler $232,021
  • Surprise $230,000
  • Glendale $229,500
  • Peoria $222,600
  • Avondale $210,000
  • Tempe $208,046

As for an automatic renewal, as with any other city in the Valley, either side can give notice and terminate the contract. All city managers serve at the pleasure of their city councils. If a city council is unhappy with a city manager’s performance the council gives the city manager notice and then terminates. No city manager expects to have his or her job in perpetuity.

Oh really? This is bunk and the authors of this hit piece know it.

Claim #3 “Paid over $65,000 for the new city logo. Yes, the city paid Catapult Consulting $65,000 to develop a branding manual and guidelines for the use of the logo but the logo itself was gratis. Catapult created all of the technical specifications (including size, placement, fonts or alternative colors) for every conceivable thing the city has or uses from garbage trucks to signage to stationary so when equipment or material is replaced over time the manual delineates how the logo may be used.

I publicly stated that city staff squandered a major opportunity to engage the public and develop something that would be truly iconic for Glendale and it was very disappointing. To this day I dislike the new city logo and I refuse to use it. Instead I prefer to use the city seal. I said at the time, it is a spinoff of the Google “G” and confusing at best. A majority of council reluctantly approved the expense because they felt going back and starting all over would cost the city even more money.

Oh really? This earns half a ‘bunk’ because the money did not pay for the logo itself as the mailer states but rather for the guidelines and manual that would be used to implement the new logo.

Who sponsored this blatant hit piece that contains a smidgeon of truth wrapped in a web of untruths? The mailer states, “Paid for by Arizonans 4 Fair Government.” I checked with our city clerk and this PAC has not registered with the City of Glendale to reflect the expenditures made for this very recent mailer. I also checked the state and county websites and could not find any reference to or a filing establishing this PAC. A simple Google search reveals that a Twitter page, Arizonans for fair government, was established in May of this year (with 42 followers) and is all about Paul Boyer and only Paul Boyer. Mr. Boyer is a state senator representing Glendale and North Phoenix. One of this twitter page’s followers is Mr. Josh Zaragoza who appears to be the representative for Arizonans for Fair Government (a very recently created political action committee??). Mr. Zaragosa’s self explained info about him states, “Negative Partisanship Rules Everything Around Me.” All of the tweets thus far are strictly about Paul Boyer and begin on May 17, 21, 22 and 24. There is a union printing label (a union bug) on the mailer and that seems to suggest the fire union as the financial backers of this mailer.

What’s going on? There are many in Glendale disappointed with Mr. Boyer’s insertion into what is a local, Glendale issue, not a state issue. He’s very angry with Glendale and seems to be running a vendetta. He gained media attention when he protested the issue of a Glendale fire fighter with cancer having been denied coverage by the appropriate state agency. Subsequently Glendale instructed its insurance company to cover all of the fire fighter’s claims. That wasn’t good enough for Mr. Boyer and so began his heartburn with the city. He is still so angry that he will introduce a bill in the state legislature when the legislature reconvenes to limit the pay of all municipal employees in the state to a cap of $95,000 a year. Apparently this is a blatant, open attempt to punish our city manager for perceived grievances regarding the fire fighter issue that were rectified by the city. Yet Mr. Boyer represents all of us in Glendale? Apparently he acquired the services of Mr. Zaragosa of the Arizonans for Fair Government PAC to design and mail the hit piece and secured funding from the fire union.

These ‘dark money’ mailers do a major disservice to you, the voter. Words are plucked out of context and the verbiage used is deliberately designed to inflame you. Debate is healthy but only when it is grounded in true and complete facts, not half-truths spun for the greatest effect. As with the scads of other mailers you will receive when the national Election Day rolls around, check the facts for yourself before you cast your precious right to vote.

© Joyce Clark, 2019         


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 http://www.law.cornell.edu/uscode/17/107.shtml. 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.