Watch Your Six, Part II

November 9, 2012

Gather your beanbag chairs around the screen, boys and girls, and let’s try some predictions for the next couple weeks regarding our favorite hockey team, the Arizona Coyotes.

There was a blog post this morning on a local business web site that was predictable. As faithful readers will remember, we predicted somebody (we didn’t give a name, only cleverly hidden clues to her or his identity) would continue mounting an effort to sabotage the Coyotes in Glendale. As you also remember, the now lame duck yet unfiltered councilmember Joyce Clark regaled us with warnings of impending obstructionist moves yesterday in her interview on the Roc & Manuch show. (Click here for the podcast.)

Ask Me Anything, I’ll Tell You

While I have recently refused to “click” on the aforementioned blog posts for some time now, this morning I took one for the team and subjected my eyeballs to the task of reading it. No surprises were found. The slant of the story is that the current council and mayor “could try to approve” the renegotiated lease agreement before the end of the year. Well, duh, Joyce Clark stated that there would be a vote on November 27. Rather than contact the person making THAT statement, the writer instead chose to quote the PR mouthpiece for the city, Julie Frisoni, who stated the obvious that there was no “vote set”. She could say that honestly until the meeting agenda is published on or about Friday November 23. Of course, pursuing the obvious NEXT question “Why would CM Clark say there was to be a vote on November 27?” is apparently not within the purview of that blogger.

The slant of the post is that, because the current council and the current four votes for the lease agreement will not be available in January, the four “yay” voters are trying to rush a deal through. To support this argument, the writer quotes Ken Jones, an octogenarian with a high water bill that has opposed the Coyotes from the jump and has also called my daughters thugs. A reliable source, indeed.

This would be laughable if we Coyotes fans haven’t seen some really strange things happen to our team at the hands of the Glendale government and a group of people and organizations using delay tactics for more than three years. It wouldn’t be much of a stretch to say that the biggest supporter of the Jamison deal, Joyce Clark, lost her job because of that support. She knew it was very likely to happen, yet continues to battle in the corners as we speak. The most vociferous supporter of the prior, much more expensive, deal with Hulsizer has flipped (her opinion and maybe, some city hall employees that are NOT Joyce Clark say, her lid). Be that as it may, the writer of the blog post has been a reliable outlet for the people that want the Coyotes gone and he continues his streak.

The blog post and the subject thereof was very predictable. I won’t spill too many beans at other possibilities I see as the opposition strategery unfolds, but I’ll go out on a limb a little and hazard a few guesses at what we might see BEFORE the next city council meeting. The timing is crucial because the revised agreement, in ready to execute form, must be published a week before a vote takes place. This was court ordered some time ago. So, the lease agreement text will be publicly available by November 21, probably right after the November 20 City Council meeting. The agenda for that meeting will be published, undoubtedly, on Friday, November 16. What THAT means is that the “three matters” needing to be resolved between the City and Mr. Jamison’s group will be finished shortly, in time for the lawyers on both sides to vet the paperwork.

I imagine that the misguided evil side might take a swipe at delaying BOTH the final negotiation of the “three matters” and the generation of the necessary paperwork. We’re pretty sure that something as simple as neglecting the distribution of paperwork from one desk to another has already been, somewhat effectively, employed as a delaying tactic. I’m sure that won’t work this time, but there are other means of delay possible.

As time passes between now and November 27th, two “stories” will gain momentum in the AZ Republic, on the aforementioned blog site and in the Glendale Star. The facts supporting these missives will be sourced from certain people within city government, old dudes with bad attitudes and high water bills and, of course, the Canadian hockey press. Okay, the Canadians never provide information, they’re the receivers and “enhancers”.

The first “story” we already outlined, the argument to allow the incoming council to deal with the arena lease agreement instead of the council that is entirely more familiar with the nuances of the deal. The new council will even include a guy that can’t do the basic math of a campaign finance report, so making the argument that the new council will be more capable would be a stretch. Stretch or not, expect it to happen.

Of Course It’s Her

The second “story” will involve the Risk Management Fund shortfall story that was carefully timed for the Saturday before Election Day so Sammy Chavira could print it on biliously colored paper to hand out at the polls. Makes you proud to be an American, doesn’t it?

A lame duck person in city government, who will remain anonymous but careful decoding of clues may provide the identity, immediately scheduled a meeting for the day before the election. The purpose of the meeting was, ostensibly, to “get to the bottom” of an audit that was available for well over a month. While most rational people realized the transparency of the workshop and the schedule and also the extreme unlikeliness of getting to the bottom of anything in one workshop, it did take place.

Expect the Risk Management thing to gain momentum. The upshot of the logic will be that monies that had been diverted in essentially full view of the city government, must be replaced. I believe that is true, the funds should be replaced. Since the millions must be replaced, there is only one place where there is enough “extra” money and that is, of course, in the arena lease agreement. Therefore, the lease agreement must be nullified regardless of the true numbers. The person we speak of will be prominent before she vacates Glendale for California to be MAYBE “available by phone”. Not like there’s anything important to stick around for anyway, I guess.

More later when free time and inclination strike. There’s a new appearance of the fabled Phoenix Monarch Group coming up. There may even be an appearance by the National Hockey League. If Ken Jones shows up as he seems to be threatening, it will be interesting to see if he is in the company of the Goldwater Institute that abandoned him out in roasting hot library parking lots.

Stay tuned, boys and girls, and use your Orphan Annie decoder rings (yes, like Ralphie’s) to figure out who the main antagonist is.