Jamie Aldama said he is seeking the Ocotillo council position “because I feel our community and city as a whole needs a representative who will be engaged and involved, attend many city and citizen events, parades and festivals, bands, a representative who will engage all constituents, and a representative that community members can have access to.”
Aldama said he brings the integrity of an experienced, elected official. He presently is a member of the Glendale Elementary School District governing board, and serves as its clerk.
“It has allowed me to bring consensus to that board,” he said, adding that it takes partnerships and relationships.
“When you are on a board or city council, you really have to create a relationship with those you serve with,” Aldama said. “You may not agree, but at the end of the day, you have to come to consensus. So, those relationships are important.”
Aldama said he has a passion and long residency in Glendale and is passionate about issues of the day.
Aldama said his vision for Glendale is a city that has a plan in place to address its debt; a city that prospers, that continues to be successful, no employee turnover, a city people want to come work for, but there are no openings “because everybody’s happy,” where people have trust in staff and councilmembers and transparency is the norm.
Glendale has many strengths, Aldama said, and one is its citizens. He said quality residents are assets to the city, “and if they don’t hold us accountable, who will?”
Aldama said the city’s second strength is its business owners, and he said for those businesses who remain open to citizens in a bad economy, “kudos to them.”
He said one of the city’s weaknesses, specifically, is in the past its lack of transparency, “and because of that, it is trickling over into our current issues.”
“We need more citizens believe in what our city and staff is doing, and that sediment in transparency is holding over,” he said.
He said for Ocotillo, he would be a representative citizens will have access to, “a representative that will visit business owners, guiding them and directing them to a resource; a representative who will be at their events, passionate, has integrity, is honest, and will work hard as their councilmember.”
Representation is Aldama’s top priority for the district.
“I feel we’re lacking representation and I want to bring more to our district,” Aldama said.
He said when elected, “I look forward to thanking all the voters in the Ocotillo district for the opportunity to serve them and the city as a whole. And I look forward to meeting with them – citizens, business owners, homeowners.”
Aldama said he would communicate with district residents through written correspondence, city mailers, verbal correspondence and meetings. He wants to attend events in the district, such as front porch meetings, and backyard barbecue meetings to meet and listen to the community’s concerns.
When elected, Aldama said he would do everything legally to support the Coyotes/arena lease agreement, “for the betterment of business owners around that place.”
He said he would try to renegotiate, but said it can only be renegotiated if both parties agree.
“I support it because it is in place now and we need to make it successful because we own it,” Aldama said. “If looking back, I couldn’t honestly say yes or no. I’m not happy with the amount we’re paying them, (but) I will work to support and make it successful.”
He said he was “very disappointed with Camelback Ranch. There are some things we need to do to make Camelback Ranch successful.”
He said he is not happy with that decision, “but it’s been voted on, and I will work tirelessly to make it successful.”
He said the city needs to talk with the City of Phoenix to work on annexation of the stadium land into Glendale.
Aldama supports the West Valley Casino and Resort, and said he has always supported the proposal because of the jobs it will bring. “I feel the Tohono O’odham nation will contribute to our community,” he said.
Aldama said he was in favor of the 2.9 percent sales tax, and explained that if the city “does not have that $27 million, we won’t make it.” He said he does not want to see the city contract out its services. He said when citizens he talks with tell him they are not for the tax, he explains the results if the city does not have it, and they understand.
“I will work hard to erase that (tax),” Aldama said.
Dist. 5 Maricopa County Supervisor Marie Lopez Rogers
Sheet Metal Workers Local 359
United Food and Commercial Workers Union
Peoria Police Officers Association
Dr. Kino Flores
Tolleson Mayor Adolpho Gamez
Manny Cruz (RIP) with blessing of his wife
Jamie Aldama statement
I am a fourth-generation Arizona resident, born to Andrea Aldama (NENA), raised in Glendale, where I have lived for 45 years, 35 of those years in the Ocotillo district. I have been married for over 26 years to my wife, Monica, am a father of three, and grandfather of four.
Currently serving as a Governing School Board Member (Vice-President/Clerk) for the Glendale Elementary School District, I also serve as Vice-Chairman of the Glendale Planning and Zoning Commission. I am a graduate of Glendale University, and served as Vice-Chairman of the Glendale Parks and Recreation Commission. I sit on the Board of Directors for the West Valley Foundation, and I graduated from the Hispanic Leadership Institute West (Valle Del Sol).
I have never woken up in the morning and wished the city of Glendale would fail. In fact, the opposite is true. Glendale is my home. I grew up here, raised my three children here, and my Grandchildren are growing up here.
Moving forward, Glendale must have a predictable revenue stream, while working to re-structure, and reduce, our current debt. This while maintaining core city services.
Glendale’s success benefits us all, resident and business alike. Representing our community is my top priority.
Please join me in making Glendale successful.
Norma Alvarez, incumbent in Ocotillo district, is seeking her second four-year term on Glendale City Council. She has lived in the district all her life.
“I didn’t change districts to be in Ocotillo,” she said. “My parents worked really hard to make it a good place to live.”
Alvarez said she initially wanted to serve one term, but “there are so many things happening, no answers.” After reading the contracts the city has signed, she was not comfortable and started questioning, and eventually went to the Arizona Attorney General for help.
“The city wouldn’t pay attention,” she said. “This is the only way I can complete my work.
“It’s important. We’re spending taxpayer money like lay money. Taxpayers are suffering. We’re ninth in the nation, second in the state for crime. Graffiti all over the place, kids with nothing to do.”
Alvarez said she is running again on the same issues as the first time. She said the city has to renegotiate contracts. She pointed to the Arrowhead Hummer, Saab, and Cadillac dealership, saying they received $105 million in sales tax rebates, and after they reach $10.5 million, they start paying.
“Everything they wanted, we gave them,” she said.
Camelback Ranch pays $1 per year (from each team).
“That’s a gift,” Alvarez said. “It doesn’t make sense. We’re not hurting; it’s the residents who pay the taxes.
“I’m here for letting taxpayers tell me what they want. We don’t decide for the taxpayer; they decide for us.”
Alvarez said her experience makes her the best candidate. She said the position is not a job, but something a person has to want to do.
“Listening, talking with people – that’s what I have. I really feel I have to explain what we have in Glendale and what we need to bring back.”
Although it cannot go back to what she called “the good old days,” Alvarez said the city can still offer “good old days services.” She said it is good to have new businesses come to the city, “but what about the businesses here.”
She wants the city to be accountable and cooperate with local businesses, help them do things to bring people into the city.
Alvarez said the city’s strength is the people, and its weakness is a council that wants to control.
“We are the policy makers,” she said. “We need to be in touch with our city manager, city clerk, city attorney, and city judge. They need to be accountable to us.”
Alvarez said citizens know her, and “I’ll always prove to them I won’t lie. People need to trust, and I know they trust me.
“They may not like me, but they know I tell the truth.”
Alvarez said the top priority for the district is finance, and the city’s need to get contracts renegotiated, “get them off taxpayers’ backs.” She said public safety is also a priority, but also city employees. She said churches and nonprofits are ready to work with the city to make it not only look good, but a place people can enjoy.
Alvarez said there needs to be district activities for families, and she wants to fix district streets.
She wants to hold small meetings, one at the district office at Glendale Elementary School District. Those would be to learn what constituent needs are. She also wants to hold meetings in different parts of the district, and make every effort to help meet the needs of constituents.
Alvarez is opposed to the Coyotes/arena management agreement, and she voted against it.
She is also against the investment in Camelback Ranch.
From the beginning, she has been in favor of the West Valley Casino and Resort.
“We need it,” she said. “We are going to make money.”
Alvarez is also opposed to the 2.9 percent sales tax continuation.
Norma Alvarez statement
I was born and raised in the Ocotillo District along with my 11 siblings. My parents, Alfredo and Maria Silva, always worked to improve the neighborhood, schools and churches. They inspired me to get involved to keep Glendale as a good place to live.
Receiving proper education was very important to my parents. They were concerned for their children and the well-being of others in the community. If my father had seen a person in need, he found a way to help that person.
I met my husband, Fernando Alvarez, in 1965 and had two sons (Fernando Jr. and Jeff), four grandchildren and one great-grandson. I started my career as a nurse in 1972. Ten years later, I went into the social crisis services field.
I promised to protect and conserve taxpayers’ money. I support programs that benefit the community. I don’t support spending taxpayers’ funds on sports and big businesses. I do support bringing the casino to Glendale because I believe there will be job opportunities for Glendale residents.
I have kept my promises and with the help of your votes, I can continue to make Glendale the best place to live.
Michael Hernandez said there needs to be change in the city.
“For the last five or six years, the budget has been getting out of control, a lack of transparency,” he said. “I felt new members for the council needed to be elected to bring new ideas, opinions, and get pride back in the city.”
Hernandez said he brings about 15 years of leadership to the position.
“I was a deputy warden, an administrator over 200 staff, a budget of $2.2 million, motivation, holding people accountable and getting things completed on time,” he said. “Time management is key.”
Hernandez said, “My community vision for the Glendale City Ocotillo District is to:
“Develop an economic development plan that works with business partners to bring business and employers to downtown Glendale, it is vital that council members and city planners understand the importance of having a solid vibrate downtown. I want to create more jobs right here in the downtown district and build a stronger middle class.
“It is important to continue working with the school administrators to ensure that our children are being taught the Common Core Standards, along with critical thinking and problem solving skills to prepare a strong educational background for success.
“ Work with the other councilmembers and city administrators by cooperation, collaboration, and transparency to make sure the voters’ tax money is being used efficiently.
“Work with Business partners to sponsor events to downtown Glendale such as Special Olympics, veterans parade, or festivals for each ethnic group that wishes to celebrate their heritage
“Part of that vision is if we’re going through with the casino. If the vote of city council is to work with the Tohono O’odham, we need to have a partnership and work with Maricopa County Workforce Connection and draw up a memorandum of understanding that they’ll hire a substantial percentage of Glendale residents.”
Hernandez said the city’s greatest strength is itself, its location.
“It’s always been the leadership of Glendale in the past, a small town atmosphere with leaders who make a difference,” he said.
The city’s greatest weakness, Hernandez said, is it has lost its connection with its citizens.
“We’ve disregarded our services, our community involvement for services,” he said. “Right now, citizens are paying for the services, but only getting the minimum.
“We’ve taken things back from citizens and given to others. We pay for libraries, but they’re only open so many days.”
Hernandez believes he fits the leadership role that’s been missing.
“I communicate with people and follow up,” he said. “It’s that void of not having trust and transparency with the citizens. People don’t trust. And our economics are what, that ‘shock and awe,’ some bill that’s due, some contract we overlooked. People need to stop being surprised by shock and awe.”
Hernandez said the top priority for the district is economic development of downtown Glendale; bringing jobs to our youth is key. He wants to develop a partnership with Harkins Theatres to build a theater on Glenn Drive between 57th and 56th avenues at the former adult center.
“That would bring traffic and jobs to our youth,” he said. “These high school kids, where do they go to find work? Arrowhead Mall? That’s quite a distance. It would bring revenue, too.”
He said his first official act would be to develop partnerships with the businesses.
He said, “What are the Coyotes and Cardinals giving to the city? The Coyotes should sponsor Special Olympics for the City of Glendale. The Cardinals should be building football fields, not only for Ocotillo, but for every district in Glendale. That would be something to give back to the kids.”
Hernandez said he would communicate with constituents through e-mail, a webpage, cell phone, bi-weekly town hall meetings at certain locations, and just walk around.
He is against the Coyotes/arena management agreement as it now stands. He said the contract should be renegotiated to make it taxpayer-friendly.
He is also opposed to the investment in Camelback Ranch.
He said, “The last three years, we’ve gotten $60,000 or $70,000 in taxes.”
He is for West Valley Casino and Resort as long as the city makes partnerships to have the Tohono O’odham employ a substantial percentage of Glendale residents.
He is opposed to the 2.9 percent sales tax continuation.
He said, “I’m against it, because I think it’s a get-out-of-jail free for council. They’ve known since 2009. They haven’t really cut anything, and spending has increased. You cut everything to the minimum, yet give $15 million a year to the Coyotes.”
Michael Hernandez statement
My name is Michael Hernandez and it is an honor and a privilege to be running for Glendale City Council for the Ocotillo District. As a native son of Glendale for the past 54 years, I am thrilled to take this opportunity to ask for all the readers of The Glendale Star and the citizens of Glendale for your vote and support.
From working in law enforcement for over 25 years, to two years with the Glendale Police Department, to being an educator for an ASU field Instructor for BSW interns, I have consistently served the citizens of Arizona with honor and integrity. Building a better tomorrow requires a strong leader with deep compassion and strong convictions and that is why I currently am a Coordinator for USVETS because I believe no veteran should be homeless and unemployed. These are the principles I have continued to fight for and I have been truly blessed to have my wife by my side for 34 years and my four sons.
Bud Zomok has lived 33 years in Glendale. He is the director of volunteer resources and spiritual care for Banner Estrella Medical Center.
He has served as chair of Glendale Historic Preservation Commission, vice chair of the city personnel commission, and as a member of Glendale Water Resources Advisory Commission.
He said he is running because he thinks he can make a change.
“The current member in this position has caused a divide in the council,” Zomok said. “ It doesn’t take a lot of skill to just say no all the time. It takes a lot of skill to form partnerships. I believe I have that skill. It takes more people to make that happen.”
Zomok said he brings communication, dedication, and commitment to Glendale.
“I lived outside of Glendale, and I chose to purchase a historic home downtown and spent more than $100,000 to rehab it,” he said. “Glendale’s my home.”
His vision for Glendale is getting back to basics, takng care of its citizens. Infrastructure, funding public safety and fire.
“It doesn’t mean we can’t be in other business,” he said. “Get back to focus, providing for its citizens and its public safety.”
Zomok said the city’s greatest strength is its people, its resources.
“When I worked with city personnel, having gone through as many cuts as they’ve gone through, years of furlough, they’re tired but still willing to serve, bending over backwards for the city’s citizens,” he said.
“If I had to say the city had a weakness, vulnerability, is its debt,” Zomok said. “Not so much overspending, but overburdened with debt. Twenty-five percent of expenditure is going to debt, and until we get that debt managed, we’re gong to continue to struggle.”
Zomok said the reason voters should look at him as a viable candidate is because he recognizes the differences in Ocotillo district. He said it should not have to rely on the city for its growth, or success.
“I want to bring in opportunities, businesses that allow Ocotillo residents to thrive,” he said, “so the district doesn’t struggle waiting for the next dole-out from the city. I want to remove the red tape it takes to get business and partnerships. I want to get out of the way.”
I think what I would do for the district,
He said Ocotillo was a very complex, historic community and the barrio, you can’t put a blanket over it. He would spend some time creating committees within distinct areas, create specific plans instead of one to fix everything. He said some areas need road and sidewalk work, but do not have what the historic district deals with.
Zomok said his first act would be scheduling several meetings within the district. He would also call on the police, and other public safety entities to identify areas of high crime, work with different city departments to try and identify those areas in the district and reach out to the community in forums.
He would communicate with constituents “the basic ways - e-mail, cell phone, facebook, Twitter.” In addition, he would communicate one on one. “The whole idea is to get government out of their back yard,” Zomok said. “Have those different groups and have them come up with the strategic plan for their areas, not the city.”
He is against the Coyotes/arena management lease agreement.
He said, “When the Coyotes sat down a negotiation with Glendale, they had attorneys. We tried to do this with local people, but not negotiators. Glendale needs to swallow its pride and say we need help; pay to bring them in and get the best deal. They need to renegotiate where terms are better for both.”
Zomok is also against the city’s investment in Camelback Ranch.
“Again, that’s the elephant in the room nobody talks about,” he said. “We over bought the belief the economy was going to go crazy and expanded. That debt moving forward is the elephant. We need to go back and see if we can partner with other cities for potential future growth and profit. We need to go back and re-explore options instead of every year (ask) will we be able to pay?”
He is opposed to the West Valley Casino and Resort.
“I’m not against casinos or gambling,” he said. “What I do support is the compact. There are ways to do that through the Legislature. This latest meeting council had put together hastily. It was different from other council meetings, makes one think something was hidden.
“It takes someone great to say, ‘Do it in public.’ We can work legislatively. And if it comes back, change the rules. But, the compact does exist, which the Tohono O’odham signed. This was done in daytime when most of the general public is working. They could have done that in an evening session the same day.”
He is also opposed to the 2.9 percent sales tax.
“My word is my bond,” he said. “I walked out to merchants, sold this, we all came to those meetings in support of this. I made the comment, ‘This will end.’ We need to honor that piece.”
Zomok suggests a separate tax dedicated to public safety that would take that card off the table every time there’s a downturn.
“Glendale will never tax its way to prosperity,” Zomok said, “and so it comes back to what do we create to fund those entities that have to be funded? To me, the hardest thing to swallow here, I can hear in my ear from ex-Mayor Elaine Scruggs saying, ‘This will never go away.’”
Zomok is endorsed by Arizona Culture, a special event organization.
Bud Zomok statement
Common sense, courage and accountability are qualities Glendale citizens deserve in their next city councilman.
I am that candidate.
I have a passion for the City of Glendale. I understand it takes hard work behind the scenes to make a difference.
I'm the candidate who is personable and professional in business meetings, creating key relationships, searching for common ground and understanding that we are supposed to listen more than we speak. I surround myself with people who have creative and outside-the-box solutions.
I love this city and at my core, believe Glendale’s best days are still ahead.
It's time for the city of Glendale to refocus on the business of being a city. That means providing basic services to its citizens, ensuring public safety, rebuilding its infrastructure and stopping the loss of opportunities and talent to other valley cities.
It's time to elect a leader who will work to create partnerships and find ways to bring jobs and economic opportunities back to the Ocotillo District. I want to ensure that the Ocotillo District is never again overly dependent on the city but instead stands strong and proud in its foundation of heritage, family and community spirit.
I will work to remove barriers and obstacles for businesses to relocate and open in our district and let those businesses do what they do best - create jobs and opportunities for the residents of the Ocotillo District.