GY Passes Super Employee Class Ordinance for Public Safety Employees

Against the advice of even the conservative Goldwater Institute, GY city council on Monday passed the Meet and Discus/Confer ordinance which according to some had been demanded by city public service unions as a quid pro quo for public service election endorsements and campaign contributions from other Arizona city’s public service union PACs. 2011 10 Ord

The vote was unanimous.

The new ordinance creates a special super class of GY public safety employees recognizing them over and above not only other GY employees but also regular citizens by giving them special access and treatment with the city manager especially on budget matters.  This is done even though only 30%, not 51% of the “Employee Groups” as defined in the ordinance need to be in favor and support the process to put it in place.

The mostly union member public safety employees will elect their own employee group representatives to develop their agenda and bring their demands to the city at budget time.

How about the rest of you employees and especially taxpayers out there?  Why don’t you get your own process and special meetings with the city manager where he is required to respond to in writing?  No, citizens get 3 minutes if they are willing to go wait around for hours at council meetings until it is their turn to speak.

And GY city council doesn’t even have to respond to you.

More from the Goldwater Institute on Meet & Confer.  GWI Article


17 Responses

  1. Could someone smarter than me weigh in on the possibility that if we were able to get the majority of this bunch voted out and break up their love affair with everything union, could we get this insane ordinance rescinded? Mayor Cavenaugh where are you? Please give us some advice on what we can do here.

  2. Come on citizens of Goodyear! The ship is sinking and the Council is taking away the lifeboats. Demand that they represent you not special interests.

  3. Thank you Howard for shining the light on this conspiracy.

  4. Super employees… just in time to wear their capes!!


    Why does this Gibb’s character continually give “Lord Mayor” an opportunity to beat him over the head with a stick? He must know she’s looking for every opportunity. She is clearly insulted that he has the temerity to challenger her both politically and professionally. She believes she has a birthright to that seat. She is not a very educated person so she has no sensible riposte (look it up). All she has in her repertoire is attack. He must like it! But Mr. Gibbs beware! The whole World knows what happened to Roger Matlin because of his continued challenges of Lord Mayor. Her LORDship was not so successful at keeping that from the press and Mr. Matlin is successfully silenced.

    I had an opportunity to review the video revealing Monday evening’s Goodyear City Council meeting and found myself witnessing all new depths of collusion and treachery. But the highlight of the evening was the lashing given Mr. Gibbs. He was chastised and criticized about his deficient business sense by a woman who has never worked a day in her life and has little higher education. She has lived on the back of a government employee and continues to do so. Perhaps that has its rewards; she appears to be well fed. But the vile, condescending and smug display of “Lord Mayor”, who takes every opportunity to exploit her “bully pulpit”, is frightening. I am offended for Mr. Gibbs.

    However,we must credit her, she does have cunning? Of course, most of it comes from her Pebble Creek cronies. But she did get herself elevated to mayor by making promises with other people’s money. And by golly, she is going to make good on those promises no matter what it costs you. Remember the campaign this past Fall? Several other candidates told you this was going to happen. And now you have it. And her ability to keep this all out of the news media is terrifying. They passed this ordinance while most of Goodyear’s citizens were kept in the dark.

    Lord, Lauritano, Osborne, Stipp and Campbell all received several hundreds of dollars and endorsements from fire unions throughout the State. (That is public information and easy to find, so don’t challenge it. You’ll look foolish.) Now it’s time to pay them back. The police and fire departments of Goodyear have already received generous salary increases granted by the “New” City Council, all of whom received their support. Now, all those beneficiaries of union support have given the public service unions the opportunity to hold the taxpayers hostage in negotiations. Then, Stipp had the bravado to look into the camera and say there is no quid pro quo. Maybe he doesn’t know what that means? Because by its very definition, what the City Council did Monday evening is clearly quid pro quo. Literally translated from the Latin, it means “this for that”. Colloquially it means “you scratch my back and I’ll scratch yours”. The legal profession likes to lay claim to cute catchy phrases like that. But actually it originates with the Romans.

    Goodyear’s next election will be March 2013. Lord, Campbell, Gelzer and Pizzillo will all be looking to renew their stature. Where do you think they are going to go for the majority of their support? The alter cockers in Pebble Creek are just so generous with their friendship and support. Their money is a different matter entirely. Three of those four future candidates have never worked for a real employer all their lives. They all have been or are now on the government dole.

    It appears from the video that most of the comments from both Lord Mayor’s “peanut gallery” (her reference, not mine) and the Council members in favor of this outrage (all of them) are that the unions need a right to talk. One buffoon had the arrogance to bring the First Amendment to the fray. Another ignoramus mentioned some nonsense about “a unified voice”. Simply put, all they want is the ability to talk.

    I talk every day. I talk to people and they listen. They talk and I listen. Neither of us needs a union to do it. Indeed, these people have a right to speak given to them not only by the First Amendment but by simple politeness and decorum. Unions do not want a right to speak. They know that everyone already has a right to speak. Unions want the right not only to be heard, but moreover they want compelled compliance. What unions want is the ability to say “This is what we want. Give it to us or we will… “ (fill in the sanction of your choice). And that is what the City Council gave them Monday evening.

    Further, they did it at your expense. This is not a private corporation that can bargain away its own money. This is your money with which the Council is bargaining. The Goodyear public safety unions have already demonstrated their willingness and ability to hold Goodyear citizens hostage with boycotts. What other demands are in our future now that they have predisposed compliance?

    The same union promoter that mentioned “a unified voice” also said (Goodyear has) “…some of the best police officers and firefighters and I’m very proud of that.” I am not sure on what he formulates that assumption or what his superlative comparison is based. But let us assume it is true for the moment.

    Does the Goodyear City Council action of Monday evening make them better than best? Are the citizens of Goodyear now safer because the unions have a “meet and confer” ordinance? If passing of the ordinance makes the police and fire people more “happy employees” (Council’s and commenter’s reference, not mine), are the citizens of Goodyear better off? If the answer to any of those three questions is YES, then every one of the police and fire persons of Goodyear are guilty of malfeasance to duty up to and including Sunday, October 23, 2011. And what magical thing happened?

    In response to Mr/Ms GYwatchdog at another post. Indeed, the ordinance can be rescinded. “The Council giveth and the Council taketh away.” But it will take removing at least four of the liberal democrats on the Council. What a coincidence! That is the number of union shills running for re-election in 2013. But it will take a diligent campaign working against their efforts for reelection. Keep in mind, they are all deep in bed with the unions Statewide and will be looking to them for more financial and endorsement support. They clearly are all quite willing to compromise their values and the values (and money) of the citizens of Goodyear to continue to sit at the rostrum of prominence.

    Come to us Jim. If ever Goodyear needed a clear head, it’s now!

    • Where’s the love, Clayton? At least I have the cojones to make my remarks on two feet directly to council, rather than simply typing away from the relative security of my home or office. And for that, you make me out to be some sort of chump for putting myself in a position to be browbeaten by Georgia.

      You may think me delusional, but there is method to the madness. It creates opportunity for Georgia to demonstrate, on the record, her mean spirited inadequacies for the job and the cronyism and backscratching she represents. And as you have witnessed, she doesn’t disappoint.

      In my three minutes Monday evening, delivered in a room filled with more than three dozen police officers and firefighters, I said I understood why the unions wanted the Meet/Confer ordinance to pass, It gives them greater standing and more leverage with the city over wages, hours and working conditions. I said I also understood why many on council were in favor of the ordinance, having been the recipients of endorsements, campaign cash and sweat equity (you did’t think Stipp, bad back and all, pounded all those campaign signs in the rock hard dirt by himself, did you?).

      I then asked council two simple questions — how would passage of the ordinance benefit me and the other 65,000 taxpayers and how would this make Goodyear a better place to live? Needless to say, I did not receive an intellectual, measured response to those questions, but an emotional outburst accusing me of ingratitude and lavishing praise on our “heroes.”

      And then there was the business lecture. Georgia said, given my experience, I should understand the value of happy employees. Well duh. But when I was in the game, we didn’t keep them happy by giving them the keys to the executive washroom. Rather, we focused on appreciation and recognition programs, which worked quite well. And we were also smart enough not to elevate the standing of one employee group over another. If you toil in the city’s public works or park and rec departments, you must feel really good when council chooses to worship at the police/fire altar.

      I don’t have a probelm the the city’s police officers or firefighters. If I were one of them, I’d strive for the same goals. I also don’t have a problem with the other professionals who work for the city. My issue is with the politicians, and whether you consider it bad strategy or not, Clayton, I will continue to speak when the occasion warrants. Perhaps instead of pining for the “good old days” of Mayor Jim, you should consider supporting those with the spine to fight the good fight out in the open, even when elections are months and years away.

      • Tous Chez Mon Ami. But you are misdirected. We’re on your side. If you don’t mind it, keep up the good work.

        Just as a side note. Did you notice that Lord Mayor and the six other dwarfs kept asking Massey and Fischbach about the ordinance? What are the terms and how does it work? They all voted to pass it but it is sixteen pages long and not a single one of them read it nor do they know what they approved or what they are getting the citizen into.

      • I think I’m with Gary on this one. I appreciate his effort and as he says “getting it on the record” has benefits. They can’t just say one day that they didn’t know anyone opposed it so they didn’t say anything so as not to “intimidate” anyone.

  6. Remember that there are only two organized labor organizations within the City of Goodyear. Police and Fire. There are no other “unions” working within the cIty. I’m not sure it has a significant impact on day to day operations. Perhaps during the drafting of the city budget, but I wouldn’t think this would have an impact budget wise. My understanding is, this policy allows one person to represent each organization before the upper management of the city. I don’t see this as being a tremendous impact, but maybe I’m missing something…

  7. Regarding the vote for meet and confer. This is not the first time the public safety union(s) have brought forward a request to incorporate meet and confer within city policies. It was voted down during a meeting several years ago while I was on the City Council and I’m told that it was voted down several years before that (don’t know about that report). To Mr. Koch, meet and confer has potential for major impact during budget deliberations but only if a city council steps up and seriously questions the necessity of public safety requests and demands the presentation of spending and revenue alternatives from the city manager.
    Regarding the dialogue between Clayton and Gary. Both state their views quite eloquently. They are on the same track. I did not interpret Clayton’s comments to disparage Gary but rather to support a difficult and trying endeavor.
    Regarding Gary’s comment on fighting the good fight out in the open and having to await years for elections. I found that when a majority of council routinely votes in support of staff initiatives whether city manager, finance director or police and fire initiated, there is very little a person fighting the good fight in the open can do to serve the public. I can show you tens if not hundreds of pages of council meeting minutes in which I spoke openly (and hopefully respectfully) in opposition to council majority. The solution to the existing untenable situation we find ourselves in within Goodyear may be to continue fighting the good fight but not waiting a couple years for the next scheduled election.

  8. I have to remind Jim again of his short term memory loss. I would like to address a few of his points.

    As a long time resident I do not recall meet and confer ever going before council. I remember several other ordinances related to employees but never this particular topic. I believe that can be confirmed by viewing the video from last Monday’s meeting.

    Jim goes on to talk about the “good fight” and being the only opposition to the rest of council. However, lets not forget who got us into this mess. It was Cavanaugh who championed the spring training facility with his buddy Jack Rose. If not for the stadium Goodyear’s financial outlook would be great. The city starts off around $8million in the hole because of this huge fiasco. Jim also pushed for the annexation of Mobile, I would love to see the cost benefit analysis on that joke. Lastly, lets look at Jim’s other “good fight.” Had council not fought against King James we would be in an even larger mess than we already are. Cavanaugh was the one who wanted to build the city center at all costs (an additional $85 million) and wanted to subsidize ASU or any higher education to the tune of another $40million.

    HE then has the audacity to hint at a recall of the people the Goodyear voters chose to put in office? Not only does that attempt to do an end around on the voters will but it will cost more money that the city can not afford.

    Maybe JIMBO can “fight the good fight” and just talk all of council into quitting like he did….

    And is this seems personal, it is…I don’t like wasting my vote on quitters!

    • It is personal for a lot of us Al, especially the good people who don’t live behind the gates of PebbleCreek and are stuck with a bunch of council members who scared you old folks into voting for them and catered to the unions to rap up their vote. What is really a crack up is that you really think the citizens of Goodyear voted them in??? Their votes came from three places: Tuscany Falls, Eagles Nest and La Loma. Get out from behind the gates Al and you will find that everyone outside of old folksville are appalled by the fact that people old enough to be our great grandpa’s and grandma’s are running the city. Clearly I don’t feel that Lord, Gelzer or Campbell care one minute what will happen to Goodyear ten years from now because they know they won’t even be here! Their thirst for power was so great they sacrificed our city at the expense of young families. Yes it is personal and I would LOVE to see ASU and the city center in Goodyear.

    • I disagree with your comment that everything would be great if only for the ballpark.
      I know we hear that from council all the time and every time they mention it Fisch nods his head emphatically but that is just not true in my opinion.
      First, GY’s general fund revenues have dropped from over $80 mil in 08 to $57 in the 2011 budget. That’s $23 mil. GY total departments expenses have been flat at about $60 mil in that same time. I think that is the biggest problem.
      Second, the GO bonds cost us near $12 mil per year. The stadium about $3 since only interest is being paid.
      Third, the Westcor project is a huge risk (currently the bonds are BBB rated, which according to Larry means, “don’t ask any questions”) and any projections that GY uses going forward always have all that sales tax revenue in them to “balance” things. A few more delays and that is over with. Nobody’s going to build a mall out here for a very long time unless the economy turns on a dime in the next 12 months.
      Fourth, GY has all those lawsuits, with another one coming from Roger. I would not bet against all of them being turned aside.
      Fifth, GY has not yet demonstrated that they have the discipline to budget without the CST. They’ve been relying on it.
      I have a feeling we’ll all learn more about this in the next few weeks.

  9. The Westcor bonds are insured and Westcor has been making payments on those bonds. If Westcor walked away, the insurer of the bonds pays them off.

    To point the finger at one person on council is not fair, it took at least four to pass anything. To say only Mr. Cavanaugh is at fault is out of line. Keep in mind financial times were entirely different in 2007, when many of these agreements were passed by council.

    At least Goodyear isn’t Harrisburg, PA…

    • Listen to Lange on Oct 17.
      He says, and I agree, that if there were a default on the bonds GY gets the property and improvements and insurance (if there are any left since most went bankrupt in 2008) would look to GY to recover.
      I think GY is exactly Harrisburg, PA. Harrisburg threw in the towel at 5:1 debt to revenue and that is where GY is right now.

  10. Yes, their debt to income ratios may be similar, but moving in different directions.

    Goodyear has development potential and a decent outlook for the future in terms of growth. Harrisburg is going the other direction. Urban blight, the movement of higher income individuals to the suburbs and top political management that has social issues with each other. Strangely enough, the entire council is from the same political affiliation.

  11. […] over the objections of even the Goldwater Institute they created a super class of city employees when they awarded Meet/Discuss/Confer on the police and fire unions whose brother and sister union PACS from around the state funded most council members’ campaigns last year… […]

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