If the notion of recalling four city councilmembers for cancelling a hemorrhaging and ill-fated arena lease agreement wasn’t absurd enough, the grounds given by their respective committees serve only to hide their single-minded motive and smack of the typical manipulation tactics that special interests routinely employ to intimidate Glendale voters and coerce their councilmembers.
Given the initial media hype and local broadcast attention, only two applications for recall petitions have formally been filed to date. And that only after the organizer’s own concession they could never convince a sufficient number of residents to recall the mayor. Furthermore, the reasons provided on the committees’ statements of organization for the recall of Councilmembers Lauren Tolmachoff and Bart Turner are identical.
The initial claim that both councilmembers have “demonstrated she/he is more interested in her/his own agenda then the wellbeing of the citizens and businesses that call Glendale home” is a complete contradiction to their actions in office. The cancellation of the contract, first and foremost as a matter of the law they were sworn to uphold, results in a direct and immediate benefit to Glendale taxpayers to the tune of $9 to $15 million annually, no matter how you slice it. That would go a long way in addressing the “eroding response times” so frequently cited as of late.
Next is the claim both councilmembers have damaged the reputation of the city and placed it in legal jeopardy that will result in “several hundreds of millions of dollars in damages.” Say $200 million? At least that was the opening salvo of the Coyotes’ charges against the council, even though the team has since gone curiously silent and maintained a defensive yet defiant posture.
It seems the strength of the city’s case is only gaining momentum, at least in the minds of their local media bashers and the executive offices of the National Hockey League.
Then there is the intriguing accusation of “poor judgment in being party to forcing the resignation of key female employees and diverting money earmarked for public safety into a rainy day fund (which has increased emergency response time).”
Well it’s easy to figure out where that came from. How dare anyone, least of all councilmembers, hold their city manager accountable for unprovoked, unprofessional public tirades and subsequent personal denials?
And don’t forget an all-knowing assistant city manager who routinely scripted and rehearsed city staff to ensure management’s desired outcomes from council.
With regard to the false claims of ever-increasing response times and the blatant fabrication about overt deprivation of public safety funding, Glendale Law Enforcement Association President Justin Harris made it abundantly clear to all at the June 23 council meeting that those allegations were in no way the belief nor position of Glendale police officers. Harris unequivocally stated his appreciation, respect and continued support of councilmembers Tolmachoff and Turner, as well as Mayor Jerry Weiers and Councilmembers Ian Hugh and Jamie Aldama, on behalf of the men and women that comprise his organization and make up our city police force.
Unfortunately, the fire union and its members have not yet provided the same level of public clarity to this destructive and deceitful claim.
Also at the June 23 meeting, Barrel district runner-up Randy Miller publicly expressed his praise, pride and confidence in Turner’s performance since his election to council last year. Miller enthusiastically endorsed his previous opponent and encouraged Barrel residents to rally behind their district representative. In addition, a letter of support for Tolmachoff and Turner has been circulated and signed by nearly every previous city council candidate from both the 2012 and 2014 election cycles. Their collective endorsement of both councilmembers is a convincing declaration that clearly exposes the illegitimacy of this tenuous and unjustified recall endeavor.
So there you have it. Oversimplified? Recall advocates may say so. But in a nutshell, it’s easy to see the veiled intent of this desperate, disjointed and deceptive abuse of public right.
Before you sign on to this manipulative measure, ask who’s really behind it. Since you can follow your money on the city’s website, ask recall organizers if you can do the same with their campaign. Ask who’s providing their funding, who are their candidates and what do they stand for?
If you get an answer, check it out. If you don’t, that may tell you even more.