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.

For many years I have been a member of the Glendale Chamber of Commerce. For 22 years I believed in the mission and goals of the organization and to demonstrate that, I paid my dues from personal funds and not my City Council funds. I attended countless Chamber Ribbon Cuttings, Ground Breakings and events and have been supportive of the Chamber’s efforts.

My position changed dramatically last Fall when Mr. Heidt publicly solicited a candidate to run against Mayor Weiers. I support Mayor Weiers. I believe he and this council have done an outstanding job in managing the city and “If it ain’t broke, don’t fix it.” I immediately resigned my membership and have not participated in Chamber activities since then.

It seems Mr. Heidt’s appeal for someone to run against Mayor Weiers was successful and former State Legislator Paul Boyer has answered Mr. Heidt’s call. Heidt is doing all that he can to support Paul Boyer by dragging him along to city events and trying to make him more visible by introducing him to every Chamber member possible. Paul Boyer is not good for the City of Glendale but more about that later. Make no mistake, Robert Height seems to be on a personal vendetta to get the Mayor out of office. Keep an eye on this situation.

Most of us assume that the Chamber is a 501C3 organization, but it is not. Rather it is a 501C6 organization. The distinction is that a 501C3 may have members that belong to all kinds of membership groups. But with a 501C6, it is strictly a membership organization where its members pay annual dues to belong. Both categories are non-profit. One of the differences between the two is in their ability to get politically involved. In a 501C3 there is an absolute prohibition from directly or indirectly participating in, or intervening in, a political campaign (or opposing) any candidate for political office. With a C6 organization, lobbying is allowed as long as it discloses to its membership the % of their annual dues that is for lobbying as well as reporting it on its annual tax filing. While the Chamber may permissibly lobby for a political candidate or position if it has the common interests of its members, that lobbying must reflect the position of a majority of its members. Makes one wonder if a majority of all 1400 (publicly claimed) members want to get rid of the current Mayor and replace him with Boyer? I think not.

I checked the 2019 filing of the Chamber (the latest available online) and the Chamber declared no lobbying in 2019. What was more interesting was its 2019 declaration of salaries with the declaration of just one, Mr. Heidt’s of $144,992. Others have worked for the Chamber for quite some time but I could find no filing for their salaries. Hmmm…

Mr. Heidt’s war began when Covid hit. Mr. Heidt, in his position of President and CEO publicly berated Governor Ducey and the City for not adopting his position regarding mask mandates and the closure of local businesses by producing a video that he posed to Facebook. While Mr. Heidt was advocating for radically doing so, our Mayor and Council took a more measured position refusing to close local businesses. This was the first publicly open rift between the city and Mr. Heidt created by Mr. Heidt but it was not to be the last. Over time, in hindsight, not closing local businesses turned out to be the right course of action for our city.

In August of 2022 the Chamber’s Military and Veterans Affairs Committee (MVAC) had requested an audit of finances raised for the benefit of veteran’s causes which it was holding in a reserved account. At that time, the Mayor was an Ex-Officio board member of the Chamber and Co-Chairperson of the Chamber’s MVAC. Mr. Heidt balked but eventually produced an “accounting”, not an audit, at the follow up meeting in September. This accounting omitted several key fundraising efforts led by the Mayor for his two personal events, the Mayor’s Big Dog Run and the Annual Military Induction Ceremony. It also omitted key items that are seen in normal audits such as specific expenditures and where funds/monies came from, such as donations and sponsorships. A committee member motioned to have these funds moved from MVAC to the VFW Post 1433. This was rejected by Mr. Heidt as he stated the money belonged to the Chamber exclusively, even though two of those events were started by and belonged to the Mayor and were outside the purview of the Chamber. It should be noted that in the past, motions were made, seconded, and approved within the MVAC on financial issues many times before, but now Mr. Heidt claimed they must go to the Chamber Board to be approved. After the September meeting, the Mayor along with several key members who had supported this vote were removed from the committee by Mr. Heidt by not being invited back to any future meetings. Keep in mind the Mayor was the Co-Chairperson along with Mr. Heidt of this committee when this occurred.  Both meetings were recorded. Add another salvo in Mr. Heidt’s war.

Other signs of Mr. Heidt’s ongoing war with the city were not publicized by the city but I will mention one in very general terms. Both the City Manager and the Mayor served as members of the Board of Directors. Recently, when one of the usual monthly board meetings was scheduled, the day before the meeting, both gentlemen received an email saying the meeting was canceled. Only to learn in the ensuing days it had not been canceled. This action seemed to be a deliberate attempt to make sure that neither gentleman attended while specific city issues were being discussed.

There is also an incident that occurred at the city’s suite in the arena when Mr. Heidt appeared to have had too much to drink and acted inappropriately. As a matter of prudence, he was not invited to attend functions at the city suite for quite some time. That is all that I will reveal about the incident but note, it has never been publicly brought up, especially not to embarrass Mr. Heidt…until now.

The latest salvo, caused by Mr. Heidt, has been his support of a small group of downtown merchants expressing their displeasure over the city’s plans to renovate the city hall complex. Some of you may remember when the city installed the café lighting on Glendale Avenue, Mr. Heidt and a few downtown people showed up in “Save Murphy Park” shirts and when the Mayor spoke, they made a point of vigorously waving their signs with the same message.

Or what about the time last August at a council workshop when Mr. Heidt appeared with a few downtown people once again sporting their “Save Murphy Park” shirts. Mr. Heidt disappeared for a while apparently to talk to the press. Subsequently Mr. Heidt sent an email to the city council claiming one of the media characterized our city council as dysfunctional. Staff attempted to clarify Mr. Heidt’s assertion and the following day sent this email.

“Mayor and Councilmembers,

In an email you received yesterday from Robert Heidt, he said, ‘even the reporters said to us outside what a dysfunctional group of elected officials we have.’

We wanted to let you know that immediately after the email was sent, one of the reporters cc’d on the email proactively contacted our media relations team to deny having made any such remarks. They did not want the Council, who may have seen them at the meeting, to infer or attribute that comment to them.

Subsequently, this morning, all the other reporters in attendance who were not cc’d on the email but have now seen it communicated to our media relations team that they did not call the Council dysfunctional. Each of them reiterated their desire to report objectively on the issue and wanted you to know they did not and would not make such remarks.

We agreed to pass along their comments to you.”

Mr. Heidt lied. What else has he lied to you, the public, or to city council or even to his membership about?

In the past few days, David Mitchell, the same gentleman who spoke at the March 14th council meeting, on his Facebook page, posted an article recently in the media related to the Peoria and Glendale Chambers’ relationships with their respective Chambers. Heidt just couldn’t let it pass and the following exchange ensued:


“This article doesn’t take sides but it gives the public information of the current situation between the Cities and the Business Centric Chamber of Commerce Organizations.

Glendale, Peoria battel local chambers”


“The reality is, Dave’s remarks pertaining to Glendale furthers how out of touch he is, and his lack of knowledge regarding everything, very disappointing to witness Dave adding to this nonsense rather than rise above, be a person who unites and a peacemaker of the very organizations which helped him to build his business.”


“To Robert Heidt: First of all I thank the Lord for his many blessings to our 42+ years of business. Through the years our business has come thru many sources, one being the leadership of the Leadership Mayor Weiers, the people of Glendale, surrounding cities, including the Glendale Chamber, where we’ve been a member since 1994. We plan to renew our membership again with the Glendale Chamber of Commerce and will continue to support the Glendale Community. My comments and post is simply to uplift the Mayor who’s done a fantastic job. The article is public knowledge and we simply are being informative – where everyone has their right to their own opinion. We’ve proved over many years that Ideal Insurance Agency is a peacemaker and we continue to help our customers with their insurance needs.”


“Again, you certainly can uplift whomever you wish, however when it comes to the nature of these situations related to the Chambers, you are not informed and just because someone does something nice does at times does not mean they don’t do things harmful or bad. You really shouldn’t’ let yourself be a pawn in the mayors nonsense. But then again, you are free to do what you wish, very unfortunate if you ask me!”

Heidt then personally attacks his long standing, 30-year Chamber member by calling him “out of touch, lacking knowledge regarding everything, not informed, and a pawn.” Is this taking the high road as a leader of a major organization by publicly calling a member names? You be the judge.

Note that this has been Mr. Heidt’s war. In some instances, he has acted publicly to make known his personal and social grievances. Not so with the city. Some references I made to certain events have never been made public by the city…till now and only in very general terms. Over the many years of the relationship between the two entities, there have been occasional differences. But never has such a public display of animosity been made.

The Mayor and City Council made the decision to withdraw from the Chamber. It was generally felt that Mr. Heidt’s public comments and actions were not in the best interest of the city. It is ironic. When you look at the Chamber’s federal tax returns, under line 14, Activity Description, the response is “Promote the City of Glendale.”

In today’s economic climate, it would seem that the primary goal of Mr. Heidt would be the promotion of the interests of small, Glendale businesses, some of whom continue to struggle in this volatile economic environment. Rather, Mr. Heidt’s agenda seems to be focused on social issues which is fine in a healthy economy when your membership can afford to take stances that could alienate some of their consumers. It is never permissible as the visible leader of a large organization to air grievances in public especially those of a personal nature. It is simply not professional.

I have transcribed Mr. Heidt’s remarks made at the City Council voting meeting of March 14, 2023. Here they are in their entirety:

Robert Heidt transcript from regular council mtg of March 14, 2023\

35:53: “Good evening. Robert Height, President and CEO of the Glendale Chamber of Commerce. While heated discourse between the Glendale Chamber and the City of Glendale has sometimes occurred, this is the very process that has led to some of the most productive outcomes for both business and community.

“Most recently, it has become abundantly clear that Mayor Weiers has moved well beyond discourse. Instead he has intentionally engaged in tactics and behavior designed to damage me personally and to bring financial harm to the Glendale Chamber of Commerce Mayor Weiers has used his position and his perception of power to both craft and lodge a crusade of destruction. While his attempts to contact and negatively influence chamber members, investors, key partners, community members has (sic) largely failed.

“We will weather this storm. His intentional actions has (sic) impacted the good work of a nearly 100 year old institution. An institution that ultimately drives sales tax revenue for the businesses of our community…your budget.

“You may ask, how we know this. Quite simply, several of our members have reached out to me, our board of directors and other (unintelligible) partners after his attempts at sabotage. Furthermore, past attempts by Mayor Weiers to interfere with my personal employment contract have resulted in failure.

“As President and CEO of the Glendale Chamber of Commerce and as a representative of the business community there are times when opinions may differ. However, the Mayor’s underhanded maneuvers to jeopardize the stability of the organization I represent and my personal welfare are nothing more that the tactics of a bully. I would like to remind you of similar bullying situations where a parking attendant lost his job due to mayoral tactics The same attendant that later sued and prevailed. “After consultation with other professionals including those in the legal field, defamatory behavior such as this may jeopardize you personally, Mr. Mayor, or the city if we must take legal action. It is my desire and that of the Chamber Board of Directors, that bringing this situation to light, that further slanderous behavior will cease and desist. In closing, it is my hope that the safety and security of both me and the organization I represent remain top of mind of all of you here tonight. I remain optimistic. At the end, we are stronger together. And you know the saddest part, Mr. Mayor? I actually once believed in you. I no longer do.”

I should note that the parking attendant which Mr. Heidt referenced has been extremely nasty to me as well. When I attempted to get assistance to find a handicapped parking space, he refused to assist and made disparaging remarks. Others using the parking garage during his time of service have related similar instances to me. This person had no business working in such a publicly oriented position. So, it came as no surprise that the Mayor stood up to this bully. I would also clarify that Mr. Heidt left the impression that the city was sued. That is not true. Once again, he lied by omission. The parking attendant’s employer was sued, not the city.

Mr. Heidt’s remarks were highly personal and inflammatory. No specific facts were offered. Rather there is a lot of mudslinging and innuendo as well as threats of legal action.

Yet the same evening, other speakers came forward in a highly professional manner. Yvonne Knaack, former Glendale Councilmember and Vice Mayor, who has been with the Chamber for many years did direct her remarks to the city’s leaving the Chamber. She took the high road and cited the mutual benefits of both organizations working together and suggested that the city reconsider its position.  David Mitchell, a Glendale resident, and another respected, long-time member of the Chamber commended the city and Mayor Weiers, for past actions and long-standing participation in the Chamber. Both spoke without accusations or the use of inflammatory rhetoric. They are to be commended for their comments.

The worst part was Mr. Heidt’s closing. He claimed optimism and unity and then undermined that sentiment by rejecting the Mayor and any attempt to rebuild the relationship. It appears that Mr. Heidt joins the Mayor only when it aligns with Mr. Heidt’s personal agenda. It is not appropriate for such a publicly visible leader to use the organization to foster his personal, social agenda.

He has so alienated some Glendale business leaders as well as some former employees that they have simply left the organization. He has moved the goals and mission of the organization to one of a social and political agenda no longer in the best interests of his membership or the city he professes to promote. It makes one wonder, is he still the right person for this job?

© Joyce Clark, 2023     


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.