Di Ciccio doesn’t dismiss petition, still takes credit
To the non-victor goes the press release ... On Tuesday, a citizen petition seeking to create a civilian oversight board for Phoenix police failed by a City Council vote of 8-1.
Though council members had signaled the petition was doomed, police supporters and protesters weighed in on the matter into the late evening hours.
After the meeting adjourned, Phoenix City Councilman Sal Di Ciccio circulated a news release, tweet and Facebook post: “BREAKING: Di Ciccio Puts Stop to Panel Investigating Police”.
But Di Ciccio was the lone holdout in the vote that dismissed the citizen petition. The motion to do that was made by City Councilwoman Debra Stark. A substitute motion from Di Ciccio actually failed, 6-3.
At the meeting, Di Ciccio had explained that he thought the council’s action should go further.
“I’m going to make a secondary motion that we end the process for the civilian review board today,” he said. “That’s my motion.”
The motion would not — and could not — prevent more citizen petitions on the matter. It would have, however, called off a study underway via Phoenix City Manager Ed Zuercher’s staff. Stark’s motion doesn’t go that far.
Despite clashing with Phoenix police on pension pay, DiCiccio recently has made support of Phoenix officers a key platform.
In the days before the vote, DiCiccio used a petition handwritten by liberal gadfly Leonard Clark as a call to action to his thousands of social-media followers. He labeled it a “new attack on our police planned for mayor’s policy agenda,” leveled by the “radical left.” He urged police supporters to attend.
City charter requires that city council act on any citizen petition within 15 days. So that it was added to the policy agenda isn’t itself significant.
Asked about the news release Friday, DiCiccio acknowledged that he shouldn’t have claimed all the credit.
“It happened quickly, it just came from the staff,” he said.
“It went out literally minutes from the vote,” he said, adding that he’s been the most “vocal” supporter of Phoenix police.
Ken Crane, president of Phoenix police’s rank-and-file union, said there may have been some “exaggeration” in DiCiccio’s claims of victory. He does, however, believe DiCiccio’s support is beneficial.
“What I think he’s saying is, ‘ Let’s knock off these frivolous studies where we’re trying to placate,’ ” Crane said.
Mark your ballots ... Almost a year before the next election, incumbent Democrats in deep-blue central Phoenix are teaming up to fend off potential rivals.
Legislative District 24’s standard bearers, Rep. Lela Alstonand Rep. Ken Clark, have announced they are running as a “slate” with John Glenn, an architect and activist. The district, which encompasses Phoenix’s historic neighborhoods and parts of Scottsdale, has an open spot given incumbent Sen. Katie Hobbs’ plans to leave next year to run for Arizona secretary of state.
Alston is switching chambers to run for Hobbs’ Senate seat while Clark and Glenn vie for the area’s two seats in the Arizona House of Representatives.
Their slate announcement displeased several well-known Democrats who are running against them. One challenger described the race as a contest between party insiders and outsider candidates.
“The slate is the establishment folks who are running for office,” said John Barwell, an attorney and former Marine running for the House. “The rest of us are largely newcomers and we are the voters’ alternative choice.”
Other candidates for the area’s two House seats include Jennifer Longdon, a writer and advocate; and Amish Shah, a doctor. More candidates could emerge.
Alston also faces a primary challenge from Nate Whitten, a real-estate agent, in the race for the district’s Senate seat.
Who said Arizona Republicans will get to have all the primary-fight fun next year?
And your little dog, too! ... Let this be a lesson to you, cities: Tucson got grounded last month for thinking it was too big for its britches. Now, it’s losing some of its allowance as well.
Tucson has agreed to pay the state $100,000 in legal fees after losing a suit over whether Arizona cities have the right to ignore state laws in matters of local interest.
The state high court put the city in its place, at least when it comes to destroying guns.
Tucson had argued that the state Constitution gives it, as a charter city, control over local matters, regardless of state law. The court narrowed that control, saying it doesn’t apply to police matters.
It said Tucson’s 12-year-old gun ordinance allowing for the destruction of confiscated guns conflicts with a 2016 state law that requires cities, towns and counties to assure their local ordinances comply with all state laws. Another Arizona law requires such weapons to be sold.
Tucson attorney Richard Rollman, who represents the city, sent a letter to the Attorney General’s Office Tuesday confirming that the city has agreed to a settlement over legal fees.
Over the past five years, Tucson had destroyed about 4,800 unclaimed or forfeited guns, according to court records.
Quote of the week
“The history books will write of this convention that on this historic date we gave rebirth to a new nation.”
— David Guldenschuh, a constitutional law attorney and delegate to the Balanced Budget Amendment Planning Convention that concluded Friday in Phoenix.