It is unfortunate when voters in a city council district hold the belief they are not being served well by their council representative. It is fortunate when those same voters have an alternative: recall.
There were questions at first if the recall committee could even gather enough signatures to ensure placement on the ballot. Once that was accomplished – successful with a second effort – the next move was to find a viable candidate to campaign against the sitting councilmember.
This is the process that resulted in the Nov. 3 recall of Sahuaro district Councilmember Gary Sherwood, and the election of Ray Malnar. When Glendale City Council met this week, Malnar was sworn in, and Sherwood gave up his office. He is the first and only councilmember ever removed from office by recall in the history of the City of Glendale.
There have been countless reports on the recall election and what it means for Glendale. The term “shakeup” has been used in various TV and radio reports. One TV station tied the recall result to the Desert Diamond –West Valley Casino. That same TV station referred to the casino license as a Class I, when it is actually a Class II casino license.
The “shakeup” of Glendale City Council, by Valley broadcast reports, could also affect the state of affairs with the Arizona Coyotes hockey team. Would this somehow mean the Coyotes no longer would have a home in Glendale?
My, oh, my. Talk about creating rather than reporting the news; there has to be someone on the outside feeding, or planting, a story of their own creation to the local TV stations. It is sensationalism rooted in an unrealistic desire to arouse strong feelings, positive or negative, among the viewing public.
But, this recall was not about the casino, nor the Coyotes. It was about Councilmember Sherwood and his actions the past three years.
It was about his character, his regular leaking of executive session discussions, his strange traffic citation fiasco.
It was also about his lack of focus when it came to getting his publicity pamphlet statement to the city clerk’s office before the deadline. He called it a technicality, when, in fact, it was because he turned it in late.
Even his car’s license plate reads “AMLATE.” That should be enough to let anyone with a lick of sense know this guy has little respect or accountability for those he represents or serves with.
Even with the overwhelming financial and political support of Valley fire and trade unions, their costly campaign of deceptive mailers and signs failed to fool the Sahuaro majority that boldly and clearly selected a new district representative to serve on their behalf.
Sherwood’s constituents finally got his attention, though the former councilmember continues to take no blame for his defeat. He alone is solely responsible for his recall, yet his blameless character and faultless conduct lingers on in a delusional view of reality.
Sahuaro residents have established a new standard for elected representation. They have shown their intellect and knowledge of both public and political issues and proved impervious to the insult and offense of deceptive campaign strategies targeted to play upon their ignorance.
Their voice and choice is loud and clear and should be a lasting testament to any official who would abandon, deceive and deny their constituents.