The September 10, 2013 meeting of the City Council has nothing earth shaking on its agenda but there are several items of note. There are 11 actions on the Consent Agenda (out of a total of 17 items) and 3 are note worthy. Item 7 is a Memorandum of Understanding with the Mesa Police Department. In it Glendale will pay $500 each ($1,000 total) for 2 police officer training slots. Typically Glendale sends its recruits to the Arizona Law Enforcement Academy (ALEA) at no cost to Glendale. With the recent economic recession ALEA reduced its program capabilities; hence the need to find an alternative training facility. The good news is that Glendale has already reserved training slots at ALEA for future recruits. But it brings up an interesting question. Glendale has a great deal invested in its Public Safety Training Facility. Perhaps it’s time to assess its functionality and to make plans for its use as a AZPost certified training facility for its police officer recruits as well as those from other NW valley jurisdictions.

Items 10 and 11, also on the Consent Agenda, deal with changes to council meetings and council guidelines. Item 10, if approved, will institute a prayer/invocation rather than a moment of silence at the start of council meetings. In an informal poll hosted on this blog site asking whether council meetings should begin with prayer, 67% polled said, “No” and 33% said, “Yes.” Humm…So much for representing the people. Unscientifically a majority of the poll respondents preferred continuation of a moment of silence. Item 11, if approved, formally institutes the Vice Mayor’s term running according to a calendar year, from January to January; term limits of 2 years for council service on council subcommittees; and staff will have 60 days rather than 30 days to respond to council items of interest.

The last item, Item 17, is an action I suggested would take place rather quickly and it has. On August 13 and August 23, 2013 a council approval of update of signature authorization occurred. After the removal of 4 city staffers and the appointment of Julie Frisoni as Interim Assistant City Manager this item will formalize those changes. If approved, authorized signators will be City Manager Brenda Fischer; Interim Assistant City Managers, Julie Frisoni and Jamsheed Mehta; City Clerk Pam Hanna; and Executive Director Stuart Kent. The City Manager will also be appointed as City Treasurer. It was just a matter of time. Remember the decks had to be cleared first.

Recently council moved its start time for evening meetings to 6 PM. This should prove interesting to all those who show up at 6 PM only to discover that council has called for an Executive Session at 6 PM and that the regularly scheduled meeting will occur at 7 PM after the Esession. It could make for some very confused, unhappy people.

Sometimes the best part of the meeting is the section allowing for council comments. Often they are quite ordinary – thanking someone or some organization or the offering of special recognition. Every once in awhile a councilmember gets off script and throws a bomb. Will there be any bombs at this meeting? Ya never know!

Two other events have occurred recently – IceArizona’s hiring of former Glendale City Attorney Craig Tindall and council’s alleged rapprochement with the Tohono O’odham. They deserve blogs of their own. Look for them in the coming days.

©Joyce Clark, 2013

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