Best Wishes for Mayor Lord Following Stroke

Editor’s note 4 pm Friday; According to AZ Republic, mayor Lord was released from the hospital without surgery as symptoms subsided, will take a few days off and then go back to work.  Ozborne will handle next council meeting this Monday.

Best wishes for a full and speedy recovery to Goodyear Mayor Georgia Lord. (Lord Hospitalized)

Lord apparently suffered a mini-stroke, or a “TIA” (transient ischemic attack) at Monday’s, Jan 23, Goodyear city council meeting (meeting video 30:04).  The only symptoms that she has reported have been, “feeling poorly” when she excused herself from the council meeting.  After being admitted to West Valley hospital, Lord was later transferred to Barrow Neurological Institute for surgery to her carotid artery for TIA. Here is more information about the surgery procedure and risks of a TIA.

You may believe that Lord and the rest of Goodyear city council are incompetent, vindictive, narcissists who you hope will eventually be held accountable for their misguided actions (or in-actions), but no one wishes another personal ill will and in this spirit we hope that Mayor Lord completes a successful surgery with no complications and will at age 74 in April, return to a full and healthy life.  The address of the Barrow Neurological Institute is listed here for your reference, should you care to send get well wishes.

350 West Thomas Road

Phoenix, AZ 85013-4409

Does This Change Politics in Goodyear?

Will Lord’s illness coming just as budget season arrives in Goodyear change the outcome of events without her influence on council?  Probably not. Goodyear’s council is working together like a well oiled machine and it is likely they have already agreed exactly what they all want to do regarding Goodyear’s budget and will go along willingly with whatever Fischbach and Lange provide them.  Each council member certainly feels that they are doing a public service and making decisions in the best interest of the citizens of Goodyear and will continue to do just as they have been, even if they don’t appear to have a firm grasp especially on financial issues.

Is it any wonder to the casual observer that Lord, at 73,  would have a stroke after all the pressures of being mayor of a city that has seen economic and management turmoil as well as a long list of law suits against the city during her terms on council and as mayor?  One has to wonder what the recommendations of her doctors and family will be regarding the wisdom of Lord returning to the city of Goodyear pressure cooker following an illness of this type.  TIA references say high blood pressure is a stroke risk factor.

Others who attend Goodyear city council meetings or watch council meeting videos (I usually only read the agenda and minutes online and based upon that, sometimes watch some parts of work sessions) tell me that it does not look like much fun lately to be on GY city council.  They tell me that grim faces and negative body language are evident, especially during the 3 minute citizen comment period.  While this stress may appear to some, in my opinion, there is still little to no dissent from any of the current council members, and I believe council meetings are heavily scripted and agreed upon up front after coaching from Fischbach to each council member.

Following Lord’s episode, will other city council members re-evaluate the reward/benefit equation of currently being a Goodyear council member? What are the rewards? I hope none of them are doing it for the money; $750 per month for members and about $2,000 per month each for mayor and vice mayor.  There are a lot easier ways of earning that amount of money for anyone with any skills.  In fact, given GY’s current dire financial situation, multiple lawsuits, and recent police department scandals, it is difficult to imagine why anyone would “want” to be on GY city council.  Be that as it may, in this writer’s opinion, whether Lord returns or not, whether other council members tire of the grind or not, nothing changes until some dissenting voices are again present on GY city council.

In the meantime, once again, sincere get well soon and best wishes for a speedy recovery to Georgia Lord.


Maybe I’m Getting Close to Something. Thanks a Bunch, Wally

On October 17, GY city council had a work session.  In it, the finance department presented a scheme to council to refinance about $25 million of current debt in order to reduce payments now by about $900,000.  This would allow GY to “get over a hump” that GY has in their stadium debt service payments between 2017 – 2022.

That’s quite a “hump” five years, wouldn’t you say?

As part of finance’s presentation, they first went through a rather involved “long term financial review” with council which they said was based upon the GY finance department’s “financial modeling tools”, ie, spreadsheets.  They also told council that they, “were not extending” the final payment of the debt, only “restructuring” it.  The current debt goes out until 2032 (~20 years) which coincides with when the Indians and Reds use agreements for the stadium run out.  However, in the ordinance that finance presented to council a few days later in the following council meeting allowing finance to do the refinancing, the ordinance allows finance to restructure the bonds in question for “up to 30 years”.

As a result of this revelation, on October 26, I submitted a Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) request with the city for the “actual electronic files” including the power point presentations as well as all of the finance department’s “financial forecasting models” (spreadsheets) which were used to present in the public meeting on October 17.  I carefully explained in the request that I wanted the actual electronic files, that I already had the pdf files of the power points from the city’s web site and I wanted to see the formulas, assumptions, and numbers that were used to generate the presentations.

TWO WEEKS LATER my FOIA request was “fulfilled” with pdfs of paper screen shots of some spreadsheets as well as the power point pdfs that I already had.  Not very productive, I thought.

I wrote a letter to GY legal council Roric Massey and told him that I did not get what I asked for.  He replied, “our policy is to only give out pdfs” and that, “finance has told me that GY has fulfilled your request”.

I wrote a letter to Wally Campbell, one of my elected council members and asked her to intervene.  She wrote back (with copy to Roric), “the law department has told me that your request has been fulfilled”.  Thanks, Wally.*

I then contacted someone I know over at the Goldwater Institute and asked for the name of a local lawyer who specialized in FOIA request law.  I also included the emails back and forth that I had from the city.  That afternoon, Goldwater’s own FOIA attorney wrote back citing the Arizona case law under which I was entitled to the “metadata” that I had requested.  I re-wrote her information in an email to Roric Massey, copied the Goldwater attorney on it, and VOILA, 6 hours later the files that I had requested magically appeared in my email from the city of GY.

But that’s not the end of it.  I received the files on Thursday.  A quick perusal of the files that I had been sent showed several indications that these were in no way “original” files.  These were tampered with, altered, and otherwise amended files.

On Friday, I emailed to Mr. Massey again, explaining my concern that I did not get original files and that I still wanted the city to comply with my request.

Today is Saturday.  According to the company who hosts my blog, someone tried to hack into my blog last night and change the password. Coincidence?

What is in those files?  More to come.

* As a favor to Wally Campbell, after I watched the video of the October 17 council work session I sent Wally an email with the following document attached 2012 10 Fin Summary .  I told Wally I was only sending it to her in order to help her better evaluate the request from the finance department because I thought that there were still a lot of unasked and unanswered questions and that the presentations to council did not appear to be focused on explaining but on confusing the issue and that I simplified some of it in the document.

Wally chose not to reply.  She (and the other six) did vote to approve the refinance, however.  With the exception of perhaps Pizzillo, I don’t think any of the rest of them have the first clue what they are even looking at.


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