Header image alt text

Joyce Clark Unfiltered

For "the rest of the story"


It has been 18 years and 190 days since the city’s pledge to build the West Branch Library.

June 24, 2016, marks another milestone of 350,000 reads of my blog since I began in February of 2013. That averages about 100,000 reads a year. I am pleased and very grateful to all those who have become faithful readers. Thank you. In addition, in 3 months, over 1,000 people have viewed my 3 Chavira videos. Again, thank you for taking the time to view them.

In Sammy Chavira’s latest weekly e-newsletter of June 24, 2016, he said, “After serving 17 years as a Phoenix firefighter and Glendale City Council Member, Chavira helped bring a Super Bowl to Cardinals Stadium.” Gosh, in addition to all his other misdeeds now we can add embellishment and exaggeration.

While Sammy may have served 17 years as a Phoenix firefighter, he certainly, thankfully, hasn’t served as a Glendale councilmember for 17 years. He has only served one term of 4 years. As for “Chavira helped bring a Super Bowl to Cardinals Stadium.” Really? And how might he have helped? The bid for a Super Bowl and the choice of the stadium for the last Super Bowl was made long before Sammy became a councilmember.

We have just another example of Sammy’s misdirection of the facts and an attempt to give himself recognition for something he did not do.  Add to his practice of embellishment, his lavish trips at taxpayer expense, his failure to attend council meetings and to hold district meetings and his failure to appear in court with a subsequent suspension of his driver’s license while he claimed it was “a minor glitch.”

While we’re at it, let’s take a look at some of the promises made by Sammy in the campaign mailings he sent to voters in his first run for office in 2012. In one campaign mailing Sammy said, “On the City Council, he’ll fight to protect funding for local schools and excellent, academically-enriched after school programs.” Or how about this from another campaign mailing, “Sam understands that good jobs and good schools go hand in hand. He will fight to fully fund Head Start, support education tax credits for our local schools, and make after school programs more curriculum based.” These statements represent one of two positions – take your pick. Fact: The Glendale city council has no authority over federal or local education policies, curriculum or funding. That is the responsibility of your district school board whether it is the Pendergast Elementary School District or the Glendale Elementary School District. Sammy either didn’t know the facts — which makes him ignorant or he knew the facts and he chose to be deceptive.

Here’s another promise from Sammy.2012. “Too many sweetheart arena deals for out-of-state corporations have left us deeply in debt. Sam will prioritize public safety, education and public libraries and isn’t afraid to say no to special interests.” Or how about, “No more sweetheart deals. The city needs to be a tough negotiator, making smart planning decisions that preserve Glendale’s future.” It would appear that Sammy never met a “sweetheart” deal that he didn’t like. He apparently traded votes with former Councilmember Sherwood, flip-flopping on his promise to protect taxpayers from exorbitant, $15 million dollars a year arena management fees with…you guessed it…an out-of-state corporation.

He seems to favor those who contributed large sums of money to his campaign such as Mark Becker of the Becker Billboard issue that surfaced in Glendale last year.

How has he “prioritized public libraries” by supporting a 7,500 square foot modular building as west Glendale’s branch library? It’s insulting that he thinks so little of his constituency that he throws them this kind of bone.

How has Sammy made “smart planning decisions?” By allowing a residential project like Stonehaven in the Yucca district? A residential project in which 43% of the homes will be on 5,500 square foot lots (smaller than that which is required by the city’s standard R1-6 zoning that requires a minimum of 6,000 square foot lots). That kind of “smart planning decision” devalues all of the homes that surround this project.

There’s more, so much more of Sammy’s deceptions…for another blog, I think. Sammy promised a lot and delivered…nothing. Sammy earns a fire fighter’s pay check as well as a councilmember’s pay check of $35,000 a year. Yet he has failed to do his job as a Glendale councilmember. He’s often absent from council meetings and can’t seem to find the time to reach out to, much less listen to, his Yucca district constituents or their concerns.  It’s time to let Sammy go back to being a fire fighter and not a double dipper. It seems as if he can handle only one job at a time.

© 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 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.

Repeatedly Councilmember Alvarez’ mantra is “I am an honest person.” She says it publicly over and over, at council meetings, workshops and recently reiterated the sentiment in a Glendale Star story. It’s time for the Truth Meter.truth meter 1

  • Norma’s home is a two story structure yet County Assessor’s records do not show that improvement and her home is still valued without the addition of the second level. One would think that in the name of honesty this would have been corrected years ago when the improvement was made or at the very least, recently, as this issue came to light.
  • At the last council meeting on July 2nd which included the Coyotes discussion and vote Norma was cautioned about speaking about the Beacon bids because they were Executive Session material. She said she didn’t care what others told her to do and that she would speak her mind. Yet revealing contents of a council executive session is a violation of the state’s Open Meeting Law.
  • truth 2What about her “District Meetings?” In no way can her “district meetings” be considered open to the public. One must RSVP to an announcement of her meeting by calling her office and then, to add insult to injury, one must be approved by Norma, in order to attend.
  • Norma is a “double-dipper.” Obviously she receives a monthly Social Security benefit and for all we know, she may also claim disability making that monthly check even sweeter. She also worked for the City of Glendale for twenty some years and retired as its Administrator of the Community Action Program (CAP). CAP is the city department that is used as a pass-through for Community Development Block Grant (CDBG) funding the city receives annually. She is used to giving away city money to the poor. That job earned her a sizeable pension and accounts for monthly check number 2. As an elected official when she retires she will receive another pension check from the state’s Public Safety Retirement System—check number 3. Not bad, eh? Her retirement pay is probably more than most of her constituents make. Norma is doing quite well for herself in retirement and it’s no wonder she can afford to say that part of her agenda is urging the city to give more to the poor.
  • Norma has been an avid supporter of the Tohono O’odham’s plan to build a casino in Glendale. Why? She will say she does not support the city’s discriminatory acts toward the TO but what she does not acknowledge is that the TO have heftily supported not only her election bid through political mailings and solicitations of campaign contributions but those of her allies like Sammy Chavira. At some point she has to “pay the piper” and pay-back can be a bitch. We have every right to question her motives in her avid support of the Tribe’s agenda.
  • truth 3Norma has spent more time failing to make council meetings than attending them. Norma has failed to be honest with her constituency with regard to her health. Since joining council she has had at least two hospital stays with long recovery periods that precluded her attendance at meetings and conducting city business. Her constituents had the right to know that she could not perform her duties as expected of her. She has also on numerous occasions refused to attend because she did not like what was on the agenda and she sometimes walked out of meetings when she did not agree with a majority of council. Like a petulant child who does not like the way the game is being played she picked up her marbles and went home. Norma’s leadership and representation has been woefully inadequate and her constituents deserve better.

What Norma has failed to realize that we are judged by our actions and not exclusively by our words.  Norma’s actions point to a repeated pattern of deception…failing to report a major improvement to her home that would have resulted in a larger tax burden; failure to follow the state’s Open Meeting Law because it didn’t fit her agenda; failure to hold real district meetings open to all of her constituency; failure to acknowledge the financial support of the TO made to her and her allies; failure to acknowledge her physical inability to perform her job as an elected official; and failure to acknowledge her “double-dipping.”

It’s not surprising that Norma’s public rhetoric of honesty are not backed by her actions and that Norma and honesty are not kissing cousins – in fact they are complete strangers.