I can’t believe what a disaster Glendale is
If you've been reading What We Learned every Monday here on Puck Daddy pretty much since the lockout began, you've probably noticed that the Phoenix entry each week has more or less served as a chronicle of the city of Glendale's woeful fiscal irresponsibility.
Let's take the time, right off the bat, to remind you how broke Glendale actually is: very broke. Like, crazily broke for a city of its size. The city's outgoing mayor, Elaine Scruggs, left the guy who's taking over from her with a deficit— and I can't even believe this is a real number — of $1.2 billion. With a frickin' B.
And that's not including the $16 million a year on average over the next two decades the city council just voted to give Greg Jamison and the Phoenix -- I mean Arizona -- Coyotes. (Scruggs, to be fair, voted against the deal, along with one councilwoman, though that was a reversal of her previous position.)
The reason the vote took place now, by the way, is that the current mayor and more than half the city council got voted out of office pretty convincingly. And, in an attempt to pass through unpopular legislation by a lame-duck legislature not seen since Lincoln hit theaters, they decided that now was a perfect time to give a bunch of rich dudes millions of dollars per year in public funds. Which, by the way, they could ill afford to dole out.
Because, I don't know, having a hockey team is good for your civic self-esteem, even if (relatively) nobody goes to the games or cares about them. Libraries and public services not so much.
Mike Sunnucks, who has absolutely killed it for the Phoenix Business Journal in covering this entire mystifying debacle, told Marek and Wyshynski the other day that if the decision to fund the Coyotes with that much money for that long a period was put to a public vote, it would have an incredibly hard time passing. Which is why opponents of the decision, including many incoming city councilors, want to get it to just such a public referendum.