Glendale First! is participating in recall efforts in Glendale in our capacity as an independent expenditure committee as a sponsoring organization for Glendale councilmember recall committees.
Glendale First! does NOT endorse any boycott of Glendale businesses and, in fact, discourages that tactic.
It is the opinion of Glendale First! that the recent actions of the Glendale City Council regarding their vote to cancel the arena management agreement with IceArizona (the Arizona Coyotes) was hasty, ill-conceived, politically motivated, and fiscally irresponsible.
Glendale First! supports the contention of the recall committees objecting to the current Glendale budget and the lack of support therein for public safety, despite across the board salary increases and pension funding required by the AZ Supreme Court.
Glendale First! feels the City Council acted inappropriately when it reclassified the inter-fund advances used to fund payments to the NHL, essentially removing that nearly $40M liability from the City balance sheet with the stroke of a pen and a vote for the budget. In effect, what had been a loan from several enterprise funds was made to disappear with no requirement for repayment. Glendale First! is of the opinion that, while this may be common accounting practice, the people of Glendale would object strongly to no longer being able to “follow the money” in this case.
We have taken some heat from local citizens and union officials and plan to respond to their statements and accusations as we find time. One recent silly criticism, unrelated to anything, regards Glendale First! members and guests attending a hockey game in the City of Glendale suite is answered here.
At the June 9 budget approval meeting (video here, 58:40 mark), Councilman Jamie Aldama seems to agree with that assessment:
I, too, am passionate about public safety, both police and fire. And, while I am and while there’s not funding this year for public safety I urge the City of Glendale and I urge this council and our mayor to address public safety needs, and to do it immediately.
We talked about a comprehensive plan for public safety and we truly, truly need to do that. I’ve heard a lot of the councilmembers here talk about it, and I just want to see that implemented as soon as possible.”
Aldama closes his words with:
I am, again, urging this city to have that comprehensive plan for public safety, let’s not forget about them, they don’t forget about us. No matter what it costs, they get to our home when we need them most.”
Glendale First! agrees with Councilmember Aldama, and the money is already available to the City if they chose to utilize it to improve public safety with personnel and equipment instead of channeling those funds to a contingency fund that is slowly being replenished anyway.
A May 22, 2015 Arizona Republic piece entitled “Glendale Fire Department ‘dangerously understaffed'” details the problems the Glendale FD is facing. In that article.
Glendale Mayor Jerry Weiers said he doesn’t believe the city can afford more resources for the Fire Department in this year’s “conservative” budget, which he said he supports because it meets the city’s obligations and will put money in the bank.”
Will the mayor be accused of “outright lies” for saying the same thing Glendale First! has said about budget dollars going to savings instead of public safety?
Glendale First! is a grassroots citizen action group that was originally formed in 2012 as a political action committee in opposition to a referendum (R-12-01) that would have resulted in the Phoenix Coyotes leaving Glendale.
Since then, we have been involved in three other similar actions.
We won four out of four times.
Glendale First! and it’s members remain extremely active in the community.
We will continue to be active in Glendale. There are opportunities in Glendale for concerned citizens to volunteer their efforts to make a difference.