The Jake Files

May 10, 2006

Geo’s Exchange with Councilman Orlando

If you haven't read Geo's email interview with Councilmember Orlando yet, you can find it here.  His followup phone conversation can be found here.

As I've stated before, I am not in favor of the recall.  I understand Orlando's and Sepulveda's reasoning for wanting Pentz out as City Manager, I just don't agree that those reasons are grounds for terminating him.  What I really disliked, however, was the tone and manner of the meeting, and the fact that it appeared to be a predetermined agenda that Pentz would be fired after the review.  THAT's what got me fired up, yet I STILL DON'T SUPPORT THE RECALL.  Recalls are supposed to be for malfeasance or illegality in office, not for unpopular decisions.  And, it's only one decision among many more that the council makes.

Don't sign the recall petition.  Don't vote for the recall if there's an election.  It's divisive and unwarranted.

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Local News Roundup for Wed May 10

Raises to Bring Workers' Pay Up to Standards – Edythe Jensen, AZCentral.com

Just a thought: How enthusiastic were the councilmembers to increase pay PRIOR TO the Pentz forced resignation?  I know this has been a study in the works for a while, but it was the first thing I cynically thought of when I saw the headline.

GOP Spins Democrats' Signs – Paul Giblin, East Valley Trib

Haven't paid much attention to Pederson yet, as I think he's going to get pasted in the election.  The whole slogan "No one's senator but ours" is, I think, a loser, as it turns on the electorate feeling like Senator Kyl's in someone's back pocket, a la Duke Cunningham. 

Workers Welcomed as Long as They're Legal – Sarah N. Lynch, East Valley Trib

Huge Intel Layoffs 'Unlikely' – Mike Burkett, Chandler Independent

Notice how they say "Huge" layoffs, and don't say "NO layoffs?"

Budget Reflects Changing Focus – Mike Burkett, Chandler Independent

Anger to Draw More to Polls? – Mike Burkett, Chandler Independent

Downtown's Future to Rely on Past – Mike Burkett, Chandler Independent

KTAR Gains AM-FM Simulcast – Diane Arthur, The Business Journal

It will be interesting to see how this impacts the talk radio market in Phoenix.  We already had Stern on FM prior to his defection to satellite, and now they're advertising Tom Leykis for the afternoons.  Will the KTAR simulcast prompt KFYI and/or KKNT The Patriot to do the same?  Personally, I hope so.  KFYI has a great signal, but KKNT960 could really use the additional audience that FM would provide. 

New Poll: Napolitano, Kyl Maintain Leads in Re-election Bids – Mike Sunnucks, The Business Journal

AOL to Layoff 300 in Tucson Call Center – The Business Journal

Residents Begin Recall of Sepulveda, Orlando – Laurie Fagen, San Tan Sun News

Council Runoff Election Q&A – Laurie Fagen, San Tan Sun News

Enjoy!

Google Video of Mark Pentz City Council Meeting

Regular reader A.M. alerted us to the following video clips on Google Video that contain the infamous April 10th City Council meeting.

Part 1 (6 hours 14 minutes)

Part 2  (3 hours 50 minutes)

Part 3 (3 hours 18 minutes)

Enjoy!

May 2, 2006

Recall Petition Location

For those interested in signing a recall petition, I got this emailed update from Ray Pilara:

Petitions will be available for pickup and signing Thursday evening from
6:00PM through 8:00PM at the Chandler BMX Track.   The track is located on
the northwest corner of Frye and McQueen Roads.  The track can only be
entered from  McQueen, so you will need to be heading south on McQueen to
enter.  (U turns are allowed on McQueen.)

This is also posted at chandleraz.biz, where there is a note that petitions can be signed at Arizona Cactus Sales, 1619 S Arizona Avenue.

Just a clarification:  I have NOT changed my opinion on the recall (it's a bad idea), but I will continue to link to information about it.

April 27, 2006

Analysis of City Council Debate

I'm watching last night's debate and will be documenting my thoughts as I watch it (also known as liveblogging, although I don't think watching a taped replay qualifies as "live"), then followup with analysis at the end.  NOTE:  This is a VERY long post, so you might want to get a snack.  Go ahead, I'll wait. (more…)

April 25, 2006

Fundamentals of Recall Elections 101

I was musing recently about what the implications of the pending recall would be, namely, how would someone else be seated on the council in the event that the recall was successful.

Geo did some research and came up with the following (long post, but read it all): (more…)

Ray Pilara Pulls No Punches

From the Chandler Independent:

 “Frankly put, I was (so upset) after seeing how these two council members treated Mark Pentz,” Mr. Pilara said. “What really got me was listening to the diatribe these two men and two lame duck council members launched against him. When I heard them going after Mr. Pentz for no logical reason I smelled a rat. I believe they had a plan to nail Mr. Pentz during his review no matter what. I got ticked when I saw them overtly trying to screw him.” Mr. Pilara said he saw no reason other than politics as the driving force behind the two council members’ criticism of Mr. Pentz’s performance. “There were no valid grounds,” Mr. Pilara said. “He didn’t make any major mistakes. He kept the city in control budget wise. He was well accepted by the majority of his employees. What happened with Mr. Pentz is a charade.” (more…)

April 24, 2006

Precint134 on the Recall Effort

George Gregg of Precinct134 corresponded with the organizer of the recall effort against Councilmembers Sepulveda and Orlando, and posted the exchange here.  As I've stated before, I don't think this (the recall) is a good idea, and Geo seems to agree.  Ray Pilara also clarifies in the email exchange questions that arose regarding funding for the recall.

April 21, 2006

Matt Orlando Contacts The Jake Files

I got the following from Matt Orlando yesterday, both by comment on the About page, and via email:

Jake,

I’ve been reading you files for sometime and enjoyed your writings.
Like to talk to you. Can you provide a telephone number?

Best Regards,

Matt

Comment by Matt Orlando — April 21, 2006 @ 5:04 am |Edit This

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Here is my response, sent via email a few minutes ago:

Dear Councilman Orlando,

Thanks for contacting me.  In regards to your request for a contact number, I don’t think that would be in anyone’s interest. 

Since you didn’t elaborate in your email, I can only presume you would like to discuss either A) your reasons for seeking the dismissal of Mark Pentz from the City Manager position, B) my position on a potential recall petition, C) an apology from me for referring to you as an “idiot,” or D) my thoughts on city government.

For reasons that I outlined here, I have no desire for my identity to be known.  I am neither a candidate for office nor a public figure, and I’m under no obligation to make my identity known.  I have no special insight to any particular issue beyond what any other person would have.  I choose to be as well-informed as I can, given what is reported in the media and through public sources. 

Regarding Item B above, I have publicly posted that I am generally opposed to recall on principle.  Given what I know about this situation, I would be content with letting the electorate in the next election cycle decide whether they want you to continue in office, based on your entire record while in office.  I’ll keep an open mind, based on what information is presented by advocates of the recall, but I can’t imagine what would persuade me to change that position at this time.

Regarding Item C, use of the word “idiot” was regrettable.  I like to distinguish myself from those blogs that frequently and routinely use insults and putdowns to make their points, and I let my anger get the best of me in the moment.  Given that public officials generally don’t succeed without having a thick skin, I don’t really expect that you’re seeking an apology, but you have it nonetheless.

Regarding Item D, tune in to this blog for my periodic thoughts on issues both local and otherwise. 

So, regarding Item A, I would certainly like to hear from you what could justify the interrogation that Mr. Pentz received, but I’m not sure what you could say to me privately that you haven’t said, or couldn’t say, publicly.  I’ve read your “My Turn” column in yesterday’s

Chandler
Republic (unfortunately I can’t seem to find it online).  I also watched the City Council meeting and came to the same conclusions that most other people watching likely did.  I felt the treatment was belittling and petty, and I’m not sure what you could say that would be persuasive in changing that opinion.  If there is something that I have posted that is factually inaccurate or you feel is distorted in some way, I’d be happy to correct the matter.  You are welcome, as is anyone else, to post a comment on my site if you would like to correct the record or add any other insight.

Thanks again for contacting me.  I’m glad that elected officials are listening when the public is talking.

Regards,

Amazing Jake

April 19, 2006

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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