Goodyear Admits $35 Million in Overspend, Admits Funneling Over $3 Million Per Year in Excess Funds From Utilities to General Fund


In a September 26 email* to howardsgoodyearblog in response to questions asked but not answered by Georgia Lord at a Sept 6 Pebble Creek Republican Club meeting, city of Goodyear officials admit in writing that since 2008, General Fund spending has exceeded revenues by $35 million dollars or more which is the reason (as this blogger has been telling readers) that Goodyear’s General Fund Beginning Balance has dropped from over $55 million dollars in 2008 to $20 million or less in the most recent budget.  This admission is contrary to the ongoing claims by the current Goodyear city council that they have, “lived within our means” and “reduced spending” while managing taxpayer money since the recession.

In the same email, Goodyear admits that it has funneled in excess of $3 million dollars in each of the past several years from various utilities (water, wastewater, sanitation) in order to continue to fund the excessive spending in the General Fund.

IT ONLY TOOK THREE WEEKS TO ANSWER FOUR QUESTIONS
On September 6, I attended a Pebble Creek Republican Club meeting where it was publicized in advance that Goodyear mayor Georgia Lord, would be in attendance to answer questions of attendees in a round table setting.  In over 2 years of writing this blog, I have never seen an opportunity to directly ask questions of the mayor or any of her city council except at city council meetings.**

So I decided to take full advantage of the opportunity.

I took over 30 questions with me.  I got to ask only 4 over about a 45 minutes time period during which I and others at the table were excoriated by Georgia as “enemies” armed with “gotcha” questions.  After my fourth question, (none of which Georgia could address effectively) Georgia said, “I would be happy to have city staff answer your questions at a later date” and she said she would get back to me.  After that, I left her table and went to other tables to ask questions of other public officials in attendance.  You will be glad to know that none of the other public officials insulted me or anyone else at their tables.

Later in the parking lot, Georgia and her husband screamed insults at me as I left the meeting as Wally Campbell looked on.

You can read my three week history of emails with the city of Goodyear in order to get four questions answered at the bottom of this article. I submitted four simple clarifying questions as well, which are also included in my last email to them.  I’m still waiting for answers to them, but I’m not holding my breath.

What follows is a timeline summary of my exchange with the city of Goodyear until they finally admitted what I have been telling you for the past two years and what your elected city council continues to deny.

TIMELINE

  1. Sept 6 PCRC meeting.
  2. Sept 13 email from Romina Khananisho offering to answer questions, “at the request of the mayor”.  At this time they are also willing to set up a “30 minute” meeting with me too. You might recall that Romina is the girl who was working with GEO to bring the prison expansion to Goodyear, who just happened to be in a local restaurant having lunch with Georgia, Wally, and perhaps others, when the GEO rep was also there, but they never discussed the prison and Georgia and Wally knew nothing about it in advance.  Romina is NOT Georgia’s $80,000 assistant, she is not council’s new $96,000 assistant, nor is she the city manager’s $141,000 executive management assistant, or the city’s $92,000 intergovernmental grants co-ordinator, or any of the other dozen or so $63,000 per year administrative assistants (secretaries) that the city of Goodyear employs. Romina is the $114,000 per year Intergovernmental Programs Manager for the city.  I guess all the assistants and others were so busy that poor Romina got stuck with answering my questions.
  3. Sept 13 (within hours) like any good journalist, since they didn’t specify what questions or how many, I sent all 30 something questions to them to answer.  Here they are. Questions for Goodyear
  4. Sept 14. Oops, Romina didn’t expect all these questions, and “most of these questions, city staff can’t answer”.  So Georgia wasn’t offering to answer anything, she just put Romina in charge of dealing with the nasty blogger.  They still say they’ll sit down with me but only for “specific” questions, whatever that means.  I thought all of them were pretty, “specific”.
  5. Sept 14, again, within hours, I tell Romina, to just answer whichever ones they think they can.
  6. Sept 20.  Email from me asking, “are you going to answer any of the questions?”  Reply, we’re working on it.
  7. Sept 26.  Here are answers to the four budget questions that were asked. See ‘ya later.  No meeting, no other questions mentioned, be gone! (they hope).

MORE ON MONDAY

*All emails that are referenced in this article are included in the attachment at the end of this sentence if you would care to read them for yourself. Emails re Georgia Questions

** It is no use asking Goodyear city council any questions at council meetings because they either refuse to answer any meaningful questions or they use the time following the unfortunate citizen speaker’s three minutes to lob hand grenade responses at the citizen speaker which include no supporting facts and which are designed to dismiss, demonize, or otherwise communicate to the audience that you, the unfortunate, uninformed citizen speaker, has no idea what he or she is talking about. And of course, the unfortunate citizen speaker who has the misfortune to disagree with anything Goodyear city council does or says has no opportunity following city council’s public defamation to respond or Georgia will “have you removed” from the council meeting.  Also known as having a citizen “Matlined” after Roger Matlin’s ordeal.

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8 Responses

  1. Ignoring that they are on their way to being like Glendale-in-crisis? Poor government, poor decisions as they busy lining their pockets and pensions. Meanwhile the carpetbaggers got theirs and left. Truly sickening. These are the people who belong in prison they build for “others”.

  2. Slash the PR / Marketing budget. The taxpayers cannot afford to pay for propaganda!

  3. The city’s diversion of funds and concealment through falsification of public records would seem to be enough to warrant a criminal investigation by the state Attorney General and grand jury. Oh, I forgot, this is Arizona.

    • Is it illegal to transfer city money between these funds like they did and/or not disclose that they transferred it? I’m not familiar with those laws.

      • I think there are certain accounting limits on what cities can use for what spending but I am not suggesting anything illegal has occurred, just that council are either unaware of what is going on or they simply don’t understand or don’t want to know what is going on.
        In my face to face discussions with Georgia, I don’t think she has the first idea of what is happening and she may not even comprehend what I am talking about even now.
        Ditto for at least Wally, JoAnn, and Stipp, probably Gelzer, but in his case I would suggest he doesn’t want to know and maybe Lauritano.
        Pizzillo has to understand this, he worked in GY Finance for years.

  4. Once they become politicians, they all leave truth at the door and begin to line their own dirty pockets.

  5. People need to take action and contact the DOJ Public Integrity unit. The elected officials are trying to protect one another while lining their pockets. The people have NO representation!

    This culture has put Arizona in the position it finds itself. Truly shameful.

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