The Jake Files

April 18, 2006

Why I Will NOT Vote for Becky Jackson

Becky Jackson will not get the Amazing Jake's vote for the following reasons:

1.  Her continuing involvement with the Chandler Chamber of Commerce presents a clear conflict of interest for a sitting City Councilmember.

2.  She avoids taking clear leadership positions.  See links here and here.

3.  Ms. Jackson is unresponsive to the public, which seems to be (at least for me) a deal breaker for a City Councilmember. 

1.  Ms. Jackson is the President and CEO of the Chandler Chamber of Commerce.  This is an important position with the mission of promoting Chandler business.  Ms. Jackson has made it clear in the press (I apologize, but I cannot find the link to the article, but it was in the past month or so.  If anyone can send me the link, I will update the post.) that she will NOT resign this position if she is elected to the city council.  This presents a clear conflict of interest.  Imagine that a member of the Chamber of Commerce has a conflict that is being discussed in Council.  Ms. Jackson would have to recuse herself, leaving the possibility of a 3-3 tie vote.  Given the matters that come before the Council, can anyone imagine this not happening frequently?  How effective of a Councilmember can she be if she must continually recuse herself?

2.  Ms. Jackson seems to be the Hillary Clinton of Chandler politics.  She seems to want to take the middle of the road position on all issues, or reveal as little as possible on her view of the issue. 

Ask yourself, "What does Becky Jackson stand for?"  Does this help?  Does it tell you what her priorities are? 

Read her responses to the Riggs Residents for Retail Diversity questionnaire that was sent out to all candidates.  Compare her answers to those of the other candidates.  Does she seem to be giving a full and complete answer on her views?

Regarding the Mark Pentz firing/resignation, Ms. Jackson had the following comment:

 Jackson, who has backing from three of the four Pentz detractors on the council, declined to weigh in on the public review and ouster, saying it should have been done in private.

"I wasn't the one making the decision; it's difficult to make further comment," said Jackson, president and chief executive officer for the Chandler Chamber of Commerce. "If I'm elected, I will make sure we select the best (city manager) candidate to serve the city of Chandler."

Asked whether she would try to lure Pentz back to the post, Jackson said, "Should Mark Pentz desire to reapply, I would accept his application with an open mind."

What matter of consequence has Becky Jackson stood up to be counted for?

3.  My comments on responsiveness are completely personal and anecdotal.  In my personal experience, Becky Jackson does not return calls or emails asking for an opinion (related to point #2?), both in her capacity as Candidate and her capacity as President/CEO of the Chamber of Commerce.

Prior to hosting this website, the Amazing Jake was a regular person with an actual name, address, and phone number.  And when the community struggle with the developer of the proposed Wal-Mart at Riggs and Arizona Avenue was raging, I attempted to contact Ms. Jackson at the the Chamber of Commerce, to determine if the Chamber had an opinion as to the viability of a Wal-Mart at that location, and the appropriateness of the location, given conflicts with the Chandler General Plan.  I left 3-4 phone messages and 3-4 emails.  Any guesses as to Ms. Jackson's response?

On April 11th, I sent emails to Becky Jackson, Trinity Donovan, and Jeff Weninger requesting their positions on the Mark Pentz issue with the City Council.  Trinity Donovan responded here, and Jeff Weninger responded here.  Because of my previous experience with Ms. Jackson, I wanted to make sure she received my email, so I sent them to both her campaign email address and her Chamber email address.  Ms. Jackson's response is here.

So, I won't be voting for Ms. Jackson.  I was already planning on voting for Jeff Weninger, so this means I'm officially throwing my support to Trinity Donovan as well.

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4 Comments »

  1. Jake,

    I appreciate the support and I will continue to be responsive to the citizens of
    Chandler. You may not agree with me on every issue, but
    I will always take the time to answer questions and listen to citizens input.
    Thank you for your service to this community.

    Sincerely,

    Jeff Weninger

    Comment by Jeff Weninger — April 18, 2006 @ 7:28 pm | Reply

  2. Hi Jake,

    I completely agree with you on points 1 and 3.

    On point 2, I’m tempted to admit that Jackson was not too far wrong. You know where I stand on this, but my sense is that when Jackson says that, as an outsider, she doesn’t really have the information to be able to make a definitive statement on the Pentz affair, that sounds to me like wisdom. Of course, it could just be a way to weasel out of taking any kind of stand on the issue. She’s right that the thing should have been handled privately, but it was public at Pentz’ own insistence. Obviously, there is a lot of highly charged emotion on the issue and Jackson is trying to avoid getting any of that on her by appearing to take sides.

    On point 3, I completely agree that people in her position should be much more responsive. I’d also note that this was one of the concerns raised by some on the Council regarding Pentz (that it took him, in some cases, months before he would respond to their questions and concerns). If it’s reason to reject Jackson, then it probably is reason to be concerned with Pentz. Of course, I have no way of knowing whether Pentz’ delays were legitimate, which undermines making a judgment call on his situation.

    In any event, I’m also thinking I won’t be supporting Jackson.

    However, I don’t see where Weninger earns my vote, either, frankly. I’m not impressed with his minimal experience in municipal issues and public service. And I don’t think his insights on issues like the new City Hall location or the Pentz brouhaha have been either very informed or very constructive. Respectfully to Mr. Weninger, I’d prefer to endorse someone in whom I have a greater degree of confidence.

    So, I’m inclined to follow Geoff Esposito’s suggestion to endorse Trinity Donovan as the only clearly qualified, fit candidate in this race.

    Comment by Geo — April 19, 2006 @ 7:27 am | Reply

  3. You make very valid points here, many I never took into consideration, especially the unwillingness to work with the public. If you don’t mind, I may use these arguements for myself later! Don’t worry I’ll give you credit.

    Comment by Geoff — April 19, 2006 @ 8:25 pm | Reply

  4. Nicely put. So glad you pointed out the conflict of interest regarding her position with the Chamber of Commerce. I’m surprised I don’t hear more mention of this!

    Comment by A.M. — April 19, 2006 @ 8:59 pm | Reply


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