This Tuesday, March 17, 2015 at 9:30 AM at Glendale city hall in the Council Chambers the city council will receive an update on the proposal to sell the building to Midwestern University and to relocate Foothills library to the Foothills Recreation & Aquatic Center. Since it is a council workshop the public does not have any opportunity to speak at this meeting but citizens can still make their voices heard silently by showing up in large numbers.

By all rights it should be DOA (dead on arrival). Hundreds of Glendale residents have voiced their disapproval by either contacting members of the council or speaking at public meetings. The three citizen commissions, the Arts Commission, the Parks & Recreation Commission and the Library Advisory Board, heard staff presentations and unanimously voted to send city council advisory recommendations of denial. It is undeniably clear that there is no citizen support for this idea and it deserves a merciful death. Let’s hope that March 17, 2015 will be the last day of consideration for this proposal.

A neighborhood meeting is scheduled for this coming Wednesday, March 18, 2015 at the Arrowhead Elementary School at 6:00 PM. Mark Becker is the host as he once again seeks city approval to place billboards at the Loop 101 and Bell Road. Glendale planning staff will be in attendance to listen and take notes.

This issue has returned like a bad penny. Almost a year ago to the day, March 24, 2014, Glendale city council voted 5-2 (Sherwood and BeckerMaps_Page_3Alvarez voted in favor) to deny the Becker billboard proposal (ZON 13-04). Glendale’s current ordinance only allows new billboards to be placed in M1 and M2 (light and heavy industrial) zoning areas. Perhaps it is time to revisit the ordinance and prohibit any new billboards anywhere in the City of Glendale. The current ordinance also restricts billboard height to 25 feet. Yet Becker billboards is asking for approval of 85 foot tall billboards.

You would think the issue died with the March, 2014 council denial. Not so. In October of 2014 Councilmembers Gary Sherwood and Sammy Chavira attempted and failed to resurrect the proposal by asking for a special council meeting for the purpose of rescinding the council’s March, 2014 votes. Their motives could be considered questionable. Did Sherwood push for a rescinding of the original billboard vote because Mark Becker and his family members donated to Sherwood’s election campaign? Did Sherwood push for a rescinding of the original billboard vote because Becker’s attorneys on the matter, nearly a dozen attorneys of the Rose Law group, contributed to Sherwood’s election campaign? And what about Sammy? In March of 2014 he voted against the billboard proposal. By October, 2014 he was actively supporting it. Was it at the request of his good friend, Gary Sherwood? Sammy and Sherwood seem to share the same record of flip-flopping on issues.

Now, a year later, Becker billboards is back with a more egregious proposal than the first one. This time they don’t want static billboards but a combination of digital and static and they want them to be 85 feet high. There’s an old adage, ‘don’t take no for an answer.’ Mark Becker and Gary Sherwood certainly didn’t. I guess Glendale’s residents are going to have to convince them once and for all, that no means no.

This information is courtesy of Rodeane Widom, former Glendale Library Director:  For readers who would like to get their opinion to the Mayor and City Council, here is a great link:

The Friends of Glendale Public Library have made the process very simple! Just add your name and send your letter off via email or snail mail.

© Joyce Clark, 2015


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