The Jake Files

April 19, 2006

The Republic Endorses Donovan and Weninger for Council

I missed this today, but Geo pointed out the opinion in Wednesday's AZCentral.com:

The Chandler campaign season is reaching its final stretch with a runoff election May 16. Voters are being asked to choose two council members from a field of three candidates: Trinity Donovan, Jeff Weninger and Becky Jackson.

The Republic Southeast Valley Editorial Board recommends Donovan and Weninger to join the dais.

Both candidates are knowledgeable on the issues of build-out, transportation, neighborhoods and public safety. Both have an energy and passion for our community that will stand them in good stead during late-night meetings.

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Freeway Endorsed in Ahwatukee

From AZCentral.com:

 3 SE Valley mayors endorse freeway in Ahwatukee

Betty Beard
The Arizona Republic
Apr. 20, 2006 12:00 AM

The mayors of Chandler, Mesa and Gilbert on Wednesday endorsed construction of the South Mountain Freeway in Ahwatukee Foothills, an action likely to irritate freeway opponents and many residents of the isolated Phoenix community.

Chandler Mayor Boyd Dunn, Mesa Mayor Keno Hawker, and Gilbert Mayor Steve Berman issued a joint statement calling the freeway "a critical part of our regional freeway system" that can cut travel times across the Valley.

"It's a key element in our regional transportation system and will alleviate a lot of traffic on our arterial streets," Dunn said in an interview. (snip)

Dunn, who said he has always supported the South Mountain portion, called it unfortunate that Phoenix allowed homes to be built in the alignment. Chandler did not allow such construction along Loop 202, he noted.

The proposed 22- to 26-mile freeway, which would run along Pecos Road and the southern end of Ahwatukee Foothills, has drawn opposition from residents there because at least 217 homes would have to be razed. Opponents also cite noise and pollution.

The Amazing Jake has two observations on this story.  (more…)

Frank Peake Clarifies Support for Jackson

Two different direct mail pieces hit Chandler mailboxes recently from Becky Jackson, both proclaiming endorsements from Frank Peake, Chris Stage, and Rick Heumann, the three council candidates not involved in the runoff election.  The three candidates endorsed Jackson as follows:

…That is why we are now urging you to join us in voting for Becky Jackson for council.  Becky is recognized as a fair and responsible leader who has the dedication and integrity to meet the challenges of the future.

One of those pieces made a comparison of public service credentials between candidates Jackson and Weninger, with the "evidence" weighted firmly in Jackson's favor.  It contained the tagline:

Becky Jackson has invested countless hours of community service and all of her professional energy to make Chandler a better city… Can Jeff Weninger say the same?

While not exactly a hit piece, it's certainly not the kind of message I would associate myself with if I were a 3rd party endorser of someone's candidacy.

I corresponded with Frank Peake today, and he has clarified his position on Becky Jackson's mail piece.  I'm copying the text of his email exactly:

For the record;While Becky and I do not always agree on every issue, she has in the past shown to work for what is in the best interest of the people she represents.  She has been passionate about the Chamber and I think she can do the same for
Chandler.  Do I think she is the best candidate for the job?  No, quite honestly I think I was the best candidate followed closely by Rick Hueman.  But of the three remaining candidates that I have talked to Becky and Jeff have the better grasp of the issues and what needs to be addressed now.  As to her mailer, her comparison to Jeff Wenniger is technically correct when it comes to community involvement, but I have characterized it to both Becky and Jeff as hit piece and.  I told Becky that she could use my name for support but no longer for hit pieces.

Any comment from Rick Heumann or Chris Stage?

John McCain Appearing in Sun Lakes Tonight

Filed under: Arizona,Chandler,John McCain — Amazing Jake @ 9:20 am

I haven't paid much attention to the potential expansion of Memorial Airfield on the Gila River reservation, but this may be of some interest:

Sun Lakes group eager to talk airfield with McCain tonight

Eugene Mulero
The Arizona Republic
Apr. 19, 2006 12:00 AM

Sen. John McCain is coming to Sun Lakes tonight.

Arizona's senior senator may tackle topics ranging from immigration to his presidential aspirations. But the main reason for the visit is by invitation from Concerned Residents About Memorial Airfield, a group worried that the Gila River Indian Community plans to expand the airfield into a commercial airport.
 

I guess if I lived IN Sun Lakes instead of near it, I might be concerned about the airfield.  I'm not really sure who was there first, the airfield or Sun Lakes.  But I'm pretty sure that most of the people living there, given the age restrictions, haven't lived there longer than the airfield, and should have known what was next door when they moved there.

Councilman Sepulveda to Appear at Sun Lakes Country Club Sunday 04-23

As reported on AZCentral.com:

Martin Sepulveda, a Chandler city councilman and a commander in the Naval Reserve who is recently back from active duty in Iraq, will speak at the breakfast meeting of the Jewish War Veterans Copper State Post 619 in Sun Lakes at 9:45 a.m. Sunday in the Mirror Room of Sun Lakes Country Club.

He will speak about his experiences during eight months working with Marines in Iraq. He has been called to active duty four times – Kosovo, the first Gulf War and twice for Iraq.

No word on whether he will discuss City issues, such as why he is entitled to salary continuation while called up to active duty, while rank and file City employees who are called to active duty are not.  Or whether he'll discuss his mishandling of the Pentz firing or the potential recall.  Not sure if there will be recall petitions circulated at the appearance – contact submit@chandleraz.biz to find out.

So, in all seriousness, let's keep one thing in mind.  Councilman Sepulveda should be prepared to discuss all these things, or anything else for that matter, any time he appears at a public event.  But the group he is appearing before is a veterans' group expecting to hear about veterans' and military issues.  If anyone shows up to protest, sign petitions, etc., please be respectful of the venue.  Councilman Sepulveda and the veterans he will address have served our nation and deserve our respect for that service.

Becky Jackson Fails to Take Position on Pentz

From today's AZCentral.com, by Edythe Jensen:

"It's like having your team win the pennant and you decide to fire the coach," Dunn said. "Things are going so well in this city and you have the majority of the City Council with two lame ducks telling Mark, 'You're out of here because we don't like the way you handled us personally.' That's upsetting a lot of people."
Councilman Bob Caccamo is leading the charge to rehire Pentz and getting into the e-mail volley. He has sent several to Pentz supporters urging them to vote May 16 for Jeff Weninger and Trinity Donovan for two open City Council seats. Weninger has said he wants to rehire Pentz and Donovan has been critical of the way the review was conducted. The third candidate, Becky Jackson, has not taken a position on the issue, but she has backing from the four incumbents who forced out the manager – Matt Orlando, Martin Sepulveda, Donna Wallace and Phill Westbrooks. (emphasis mine)

Those who pushed to fire Pentz are defending their position. The controversy has more to do with politics than fairness, Pentz detractor Martin Sepulveda said. He suspects the e-mails on the eve of an election "are part of an organized effort, the same usual suspects stirring the pot."

Why is it so difficult for Becky Jackson to form an opinion?  Is it because she doesn't want people to know how she truly feels?  Is it because she fears taking a contrary position to her supporters on the Council?  Or is it because she just lacks leadership?

Contact Becky Jackson at becky@jackson4chandler.com or becky@chandlerchamber.com to ask her.  Just don't expect a response. 

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