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Joyce Clark Unfiltered

For "the rest of the story"

It has been 18 years and 47 days since the city’s pledge to build the West Branch Library.

On January 29, 2016 the Wall Street Journal (WSJ) ran a story about Jerry Moyes entitled When a CEO Borrows on his stock by Ted Mann, Robbie Whelan and Theo Francis. For those who don’t know or may have forgotten, Jerry Moyes is the founder, chairman and former CEO of Phoenix-based Swift Transportation, one of the largest trucking companies in the United States. Moyes is also owner of the charter airline Swift Air and a marina at Lake Powell. Moyes is the controlling owner of SME Steel Contractors Inc., a steel erector company based in Utah. He was a majority owner of the Phoenix Coyotes of the National Hockey League before he filed bankruptcy and the team was sold to the NHL in 2009, and the Arizona Sting of the National Lacrosse League. Moyes is also a limited partner in the Arizona Diamondbacks, and was once a minority owner of the Phoenix Suns.

Moyes is a Glendale resident best known for his bankruptcy filing of the NHL Coyotes in a failed attempt to sell the team to Jim Balsillie, one time CEO of Research in Motion (RIM), makers of the Blackberry cell phone. As a result of these manoeuvrings the team was eventually sold to the NHL and then the NHL sold the team to IceArizona resulting in a $15 million dollar a year management fee paid by the City of Glendale until recently.

The story relates the fact that Moyes has borrowed heavily against his shares of Swift Trucking. Demands for additional loan collateral were made and three times Swift’s board has taken action beneficial to Moyes in dealing with his loans. The board policy had been that senior directors could pledge no more than 20% of their stock for margin loans. In 2013, the cap was lowered to 15% as of July 2014 and then lowered once again to 10% as of July 2015.  The board then amended the 10% limit from taking effect until the end of 2016. In 2015 Swift stock lost 52% of its value and as the stock value he had pledged as collateral declined he needed to pledge even more of his stock as further collateral.

However, his use of his stock as collateral exceeded the board’s limits. Other investors including the Teamsters’ Union are concerned with the board’s actions and accused Mr. Moyes of, “using Swift as his personal bank.”

According to the WSJ, “Swifts’ board is unusually small, just six members. To analysts of corporate governance, boards size matters: While too-large boards can be unwieldy, too-small boards can turn into echo chambers and foster an eagerness among directors to get along in the face of tough decisions.” It goes on to say, “the Phoenix-based company has just four independent directors, as defined by New York Stock Exchange rules. And one of those deemed independent, Mr. Dozer, spent years helping run a business that was partly owned by Mr. Moyes, the Arizona Diamondbacks. Mr. Dozer was the baseball team’s president from 1995 until 2006, and Mr. Moyes was a minority owner from 1996 until last year.” Hmm…It looks as if you own a company you can use it as your personal bank just a long as your close friends on a very small board approve.

© Joyce Clark, 2016


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A disclaimer is in order. I neither support nor reject the current RSE bid to manage Jobing.com Arena. I cannot make an informed decision until I have had the opportunity to review the proposed lease management agreement and that document is not yet publicly available.

Boy, thanks to SRP, leave a person without power…or the Internet…or air conditioning… for not just a day but 5 hours on the first day and 10 hours on the second day can make a person very grumpy and very testy. In an effort to play “catch-up” on today’s Coyotes’ news I was sent a link to KTAR radio’s Karie Dozer opinion piece entitled Final Word: Phoenix Coyotes aren’t the economic engine Glendale needs posted on June 25, 2013. Here’s the link: http://ktar.com/100/1644653/Final-Word-Phoenix-Coyotes-arent-the-economic-engine-Glendale-needs?fb_action_ids=566353163423827&fb_action_types=og.recommends&fb_source=other_multiline&action_object_map=%5B504510449622426%5D&action_type_map=%5B%22og.recommends%22%5D&action_ref_map=%5B%5D#

baseball 1hockey 1Dozer, Dozer, mmmm, that name sounds awfully familiar. Is Karie Dozer the wife of Rich Dozer, one of the Arizona Diamondbacks’ former Presidents?? I think so. I am sure Ms. Dozer is an expert on baseball, especially the Arizona Diamondbacks but an expert on anything hockey related?? I don’t think so. She made some amazing statements that certainly warrant comment. One was, “Look, I like hockey. What great fun, especially in Phoenix, IN JUNE, to go into an ice palace for sports. But I don’t like it enough to pay for it.” Of course she wouldn’t like hockey enough to pay for it. It is a sport in direct competition for your sports entertainment dollar with her husband’s business, the Arizona Diamondbacks.  If she were to attend any sports event you can bet it would be baseball. Does she get the best seats in the house? Are they free of charge? Could there be a conflict of interest on her part?

In an effort to show genuine concern for the residents of Glendale and her perception of the drastic loss of services because of hockey she goes on to say, “This in a city where 911 service was at risk last year.” What bunk. As a councilmember until January of 2013 I can tell you that the city’s 911 service has NEVER been at risk. Chief Black spoke at several council meetings in the past few months reassuring everyone that police service and most specifically, 911 service (especially Priority One calls involving imminent bodily danger or loss of life), would remain at the same level of service that Glendale’s residents have enjoyed for years.

She then opines, “I know, a lot of people’s jobs depend on the Coyotes. Shops at Westage (sic) and security jobs all could go away if the Coyotes leave.” First, it’s WESTGATE, not Westage. Second, how about a minimum of 1600 jobs in the immediate Westgate area (restaurants, hotels and retail)…and that does not include the almost 2,000 jobs at Tanger Outlet Mall, Cabela’s or Humana. Throwing 1600 jobs out the window doesn’t seem to bother her but what the heck, she’s got a radio hosting job.

Lastly, she said, “I think sports teams CAN be a great economic engine. This one just isn’t.” Really, Ms. Dozer? Of course she thinks sports teams are a “great economic engine.” She appears to enjoy the financial benefits of one of those “great economic engines.” To say that the Coyotes are not  shows her lack of history or knowledge about the Coyotes since they came to Glendale in 2003. For she would know that the team, through circumstances not of its own making, has never had the opportunity to demonstrate its ability to become a “great economic engine.” Stick to baseball, Ms. Dozer.