I Told You So (Again)

Nearly $100,000 of Your Money

I told you last week it would finally come out that Georgia and the rest of the seven dwarfs on Goodyear city council gave Fischbach a new deal and an unentitled golden hand shake didn’t I?

And didn’t I also tell you that the West Valley View had it completely wrong and there was no provision for a severance for Fisch if he retired?

Well today I got a copy of the AMMENDMENT to Fisch’s employment agreement which is dated yesterday, March 29. In the first paragraph following all the “whereases”, the city waives the provisions of paragraph 4(e) of Fisch’s original agreement which is where the original agreement stated that he was NOT entitled to severance if he resigned.  As always in howardsgoodyearblog, here is the original agreement (CX-2031-12 John Fischbach) and here is the amendment (CX-2031-A1-12 John Fischbach) in case you want to read them for yourself.

But while we’re on the topic of the West Valley View, did you see my letter to the editor that they published in today’s (Friday, March 30) issue?  Here it is in case you missed it. 

And the WVV editor still says it ain’t so.

The editor(s) of the West Valley View just can’t bring him/herself to admit to their readers that they were wrong and that they made a mistake interpreting a legal contract. I think what is stopping them is that when they admit that mistake, much of the tone and spin of the article in which they made the mistake comes into question.  It serves to reinforce the questions on all residents’ lips which are  “why did council renew his agreement 3 months ago only to fire him and pay him a severance now?”  “What happened?”  The West Valley View was not asking those simple, obvious, questions and we can’t understand how they could miss them.

And that is the rub isn’t it?  They might be able to accept a mistake on their part, but when you and I can all see that their mistake reveals possible bias in their reporting, then it becomes a little more difficult for them to swallow.

They won’t do it even after they got a “clarification” from the city attorney (which they also initially misread) even after I completely and clearly and patiently explained to them that they asked a different question of the city attorney for clarification than what they misrepresented to readers in their original article.

Imagine that. I haven’t decided if that is funny or scary, or which is worse.

Oh, and one more thing.  You know how the West Valley View says they print whatever readers send them as letters to the editor?  Well here is the original letter to the editor that I sent them.  You compare it to what they actually printed above and then decide if these folks are on the level with you or not.

From: hdb <hdb@gmail.com>
Date: Mon, Mar 26, 2012 at 12:24 PM
Subject: Letter to the Editor
To: Jim Painter <editor@westvalleyview.com>
Cc: Sara Clawson <sclawson@westvalleyview.com>

In your Friday, March 23, 2012, issue you have incorrectly interpreted John Fischbach’s employment agreement language.  There is no language in the agreement giving the former Goodyear city manager the right to severance “in the event of a suggestion … (from) city council that he resign”, as you reported.

Instead, he only had the right to “meet and confer” following such a suggestion.

A correct and detailed explanation of Fischbach’s firing and city council calling it a retirement yet paying him near $100,000 in severance to which he was not contractually entitled is available at howardsgoodyearblog.

One benefit of this episode is that we all know now how costly “Meet and Confer” can be.

Howard Brodbeck

EDITOR’S RESPONSE; Competition is good, right?


12 Responses

  1. Howard, Thank you for your outstanding public service and due diligence while your friends are on the golf course. We greatly appreciate ALL your efforts. Goodyear looks like Bell, CA. — need I say more?

  2. I really need a government job!

    So If I understand, they renewed a contract in Dec, was accepted by Fisch, fired 90 days later and was allowed to amend the contract to include nearly 100K walk package 2 days before the end of the notice, last day of “official” work is April 1, hasn’t worked since the day of the release and has been on paid vacation @ nearly 700.00 a day of our tax payers money and we are now paying an interim City Manager during this period WOW how did he find to negotiate a severance package while on vacation?
    What is wrong with our City, and why is incompetence still a valued high paid treasure.
    We really loved this city, now we can’t wait to get our house to break even so we can get out of here

    • CL,

      You ask ‘WOW how did he find to negotiate a severance package while on vacation?’ These are the types of issues noticed during council mtgs in 2009 and 2010. City contracts w/unallocated funds (really prizes). I asked about these, but was told “the city would follow up with me.” Never happened except for the City having me arrested. In the Durrant contract for the City maintenance facility, they backed out knowing Goodyear was acting questionably. Unfortunately, very few people speak up or understand the dynamics of CIty finance/operations.

      Howard does excellent due diligence, but more citizens need to participate. Most mtgs, I was the only speaker.

      Roger Matlin
      Nazi Goodyear?

      • Roger, What happened to you is what unfortunately keeps people away. Once people feel like this, this is the time they MUST step forward. With AZ legislators wanting people to carry guns, if anyone has every been to a heated HOA meeting or City Council meeting, neighborhood watch hunters, gun carrying is the LAST thing that’s needed! What these officials did to you is a warning to everyone. This IS the “public’s problem”.

        • Unfortunately, truthseeker13, Arizonans talk about the heated mtgs more than participate. Many people have watched the 2007-2011 mtgs which I attended and spoke during. Most are completely confused. They say these mtgs are like pre-school sessions before nap-time. Not heated mtgs. The media made me into a violent killer, international terrorist living in Goodyear, but the mtgs, all of which are video taped, display calm mtgs in which some people/government employees are irritated.

          I moved to a neighborhood with nice people, some background diversity (I say “some” because I’m from Los Angeles), but many good decent, honest, hard working individuals. I liked that. Having heard stories of war and concentration camps from relatives and friends, Goodyear and Arizona make me concerned. When those friends, relatives, attorneys, business execs, etc. also question the “character of Arizona and Goodyear’s leadership”, a reasonable person must wonder. These are people from all over the world, not L.A. only as my detractors will claim. Male, female, black, white, Asian, Catholic, Jewish, young, old, bridge players, surfers, dog lovers, cat lovers, etc. To me, it’s the quality of the person that matters.

          I have always desired to live in a nice community with nice neighbors. I left the So. Cal, Malibu, Hollywood, Manhattan, Tokyo, Irvine type environments because I believe in good, decent people. Wave to the neighbor or pick up their paper when they are out of town. I still have many neighbors in Goodyear that show that character and I sincerely appreciate them.

          I hope we can return Goodyear to a quality community before the “war or play ground fight” gets out of control. Thanks for your comments and Go Howard for City Manager!

          • One last comment to truthseeker13. I asked many people outside AZ before writing my above comments. Many contacted me after seeing newspaper articles and blogs with my name or city. You are correct about people carrying guns, etc. I have known many responsible gun owners. Guns don’t kill, stupidity does. Unless in battle or an “operation”, none of my contacts have shot or killed anyone.

            AZ has an image throughout the US, North America and Internationally of being “the wild, wild, super wild West, yehaw, jump on Trigger”. AZ also has an image, like Goodyear, of not supporting the US Constitution. Seems odd as we are free people that often act differently. Regardless, my contacts in NY, Wisconsin, Minnesota, Texas, Washington, California, Illinois, Asia, Europe, Canada, as some examples that responded to me, view Arizona as out of control, bull riding, horse roping, shoot’em, desert open space. The only thing that can change that image is reasonable folks like you and our neighbors.

            • Roger, Your comment is very informative and I have every reason to believe you since I’ve been attending and taking action at the state Capitol and legislature, as a concerned and responsible citizen. You describe what we were looking for coming to Arizona. We would like to meet someone like you and have you as our neighbor. Most live hidden behind walls, afraid to “get involved”. Those who don’t want to get involved have something to hide.

              I’ve witnessed unqualified, uneducated officials, in high positions of power to influence the media, laws and who gets arrested (a SOP to take down those they do not like and do not want in the “voting” pool). Once one has a record they no longer can vote, get a job or have credibility. This is the sick game played in Arizona daily — until people like you and Howard and others I do not know, speak truth to power. They do not like to hear the truth. They create “labels” to target groups they do not to hear from. They split and divide the people. They target those with assets they can use in their legal and criminal justice system. People like you who can live in nice neighborhoods and from out-of-state with little to no roots in the community are the perfect target. Labels such as “terrorist” are now being applied to everyone possible. We knew once they got that word in their “legal” vocabulary and the laws this is what was going to start happening but we truly didn’t believe it would apply to someone like you, a neighborhood concerned city speaking out at a city council meeting.

              At the state Capitol the legislators are busy writing laws to muzzle the “people” like writing laws against bull horns and speaking out at the Capitol or entering the Capitol hearings, etc. Why? When they to refuse to answer calls or letters for months and years ignoring the citizens, constituents and taxpayers. Try speaking out there at a committee hearing.

              What is going on in Goodyear (a city hidden under the radar) and what they’ve done to you, is the tip of the iceberg. google: Bell, CA or Vernon, CA.

              We support Howard for City Manager!!

              • correction: We knew once they got that word (terrorist) in their “legal” vocabulary and into the laws, this is what was going to start happening. But, we truly didn’t believe it would apply to someone like you, a neighborhood concerned CITIZEN speaking out at a city council meeting.

  3. Who are these people?
    Keep letting us know Howard.

  4. The key to making a statement at council meetings is making it regarding an item on the council agenda. It forces the council to respond to your question. When you make statements regarding an item not on the agenda during the communication portion of the agenda, the council is under no obligation to respond.

    Roger Matlin is an expert at this and has brought forward some excellent questions over the years on numerous items.

    That is huge way of staying active in your local government.

    • Good point, Ed, but you could wait a long time for the council to put certain items on the agenda — Fischbach’s departure and the double dealing on the prison expansion to name a couple. And sometimes the lack of a response speaks louder than anything the council might have to say.

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