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.

FYI: The council discussion of the issue of renaming Bethany Home Road to Cardinals’ Way is now scheduled for a February council meeting as this Tuesday’s workshop has been cancelled.

I still remain opposed to the new schedule of Glendale city council meetings. The new schedule calls for city council to meet only two Tuesdays a month (instead of four) with its workshop starting at 12:30 PM and its regular voting meeting following on the same day at 5 PM. While it is extremely convenient for some of the councilmembers, I doubt it’s very convenient for the people who voted for us. They want access and this schedule of meetings robs them of yet another opportunity to attend.

It’s not enough just to say that this schedule is difficult. What is required is taking a look at council meeting schedules of other cities in the Valley. I found some cities’ schedules online. Let’s see who thinks what of their constituents. These cities retain schedules that insure their citizens greater access:

  • Phoenix, the big gorilla in the room, meets on Tuesdays at 2:30 PM for their workshop/policy meetings and Wednesdays at 2:30 PM for their formal voting meetings
  • Chandler has their workshop/study sessions at 7 PM on 2 Mondays a month and their regular voting meetings at 7 PM on 2 Thursdays a month
  • Mesa hosts its workshop/study sessions at 7:30 AM every Thursday and special study sessions at 4 PM and voting meetings at 5:45 PM on the first and third Mondays of the month
  • Tempe has its workshop/study sessions at 4 PM on 2 Thursdays a month and their E sessions at 4 PM and voting meetings at 6 PM on alternating Thursdays
  • Scottsdale has its workshop/study sessions on Tuesdays at 4 PM and their voting meetings at 5 PM on alternating Tuesdays
  • Gilbert has its workshop/special sessions at 7 AM on Tuesdays and its voting meetings at 6:30 PM on Thursdays

There are only a few cities that think so little of their public’s convenience. I could only find 3 cities that have their meetings on the same day:

  • Peoria has its workshop/study sessions at 5:30 PM and its voting meetings at 7 PM on two Tuesdays a month
  • Surprise has its workshop/special sessions at 4 PM and its voting meetings at 6 PM on two Tuesdays a month
  • Goodyear has its workshop/study sessions at 5 PM and its voting meetings at 6 PM

And now add Glendale to this list. The current meeting schedule an affront to our citizens…when was this proposal offered to our public? Where was the opportunity offered for public comment? It also robs councilmembers of the requisite time to prepare and to perform their due diligence on a myriad of issues.

Chandler, Gilbert, Tempe and Scottsdale are most comparable to Glendale and they continue to retain the wisdom of splitting up their meetings and alternating their meeting days. Apparently these councils reject the idea of squishing their meetings together to better serve their convenience and realize that not only do they need time to prepare but their citizens deserve a reasonable opportunity to attend these meetings.

Now, I understand at a future workshop, council will discuss the possibility of a new start time for its voting meetings. It’s really starting to get confusing and schizophrenic. Rumor has it that some councilmembers want to go back to the 6 PM start time but the mayor prefers retaining the new 5 PM start time. I suspect a compromise will occur and a new start time of 5:30 PM may be adopted. Talk about confusion…first it’s 6 PM, then 5 PM…and now perhaps 5:30 PM.

I know that every time I ran for my council seat I pledged to represent you. I pledged to be accessible to you and to work for greater transparency for you. I knew full well that when I was elected I had taken on a job that required, at the very minimum,a commitment every Tuesday of the month for council meetings and responsibilities. That’s four days a month. Apparently for some it has become an inconvenience.

My apology to all. It is certainly not of my doing. If I had a magic wand I would go back to alternating Tuesdays between workshops and voting meetings. What’s the old saying? “If it ain’t broke, don’t fix it.” Well, nothing was broken and nothing needed fixing.

It reminds me of the electronic voting fiasco. Council spent what? $60,000 on an electronic voting system that never worked from the day it was installed. They poured money down a rat hole only to go back to the old system of voice vote. I wasn’t around at the time but I sure hope they were able to get the taxpayers’ money back.

If the start time is changed (once again) to 5:30 PM it doesn’t make much of a difference, does it? So, I hope you don’t work in downtown Phoenix or in the east Valley and you ever must attend a 5:30 PM Glendale council voting meeting for you will never make it on time. Oh, but you could take off work early. Ask yourselves when was it decided to make local government less convenient for you? And who decided to make it less convenient for you?

© Joyce Clark, 2018         


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