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Glendale Rising

If Phoenix Rising is capturing the Valley’s attention as its dynamic new minor league soccer team, it’s the notion of Glendale Rising that should be getting major league notoriety.

That’s because it wasn’t too long ago Glendale, Arizona was considered too financially ruinous to succeed.  It was even a municipality that considered bankruptcy.

That was then.  This is now.  Look what an insightful article in the Arizona Republic this week had to say about Glendale’s improved financial condition.  Here is a link.  Quite an accomplishment indeed.  It’s a real testament to the tenacity of Mayor Jerry Weiers, the Glendale City Council and top city staff from City Manager Kevin Phelps on down.

So it makes sense with more public stability comes greater private investment.  Like BMW deciding to set up shop in the city, a business that will contribute mightily to Glendale’s sales tax revenues.  Or Conair’s one million square foot expansion.  Or Pulte, Arizona’s top homebuilder, wanting to invest nearly $400 million for a new master-planned community near Westgate.  According to a city economic impact report that project, known as StoneHaven, will pump $49 million into Glendale’s coffers.  The city certainly appears to be on a roll, except for a voice from the past, that’s gone back to the future.

We have great respect for Glendale Councilwoman Joyce Clark.  She’s different and serves with a sass not often found.  That can be refreshing.  So it’s not disrespectful for us to scratch our heads about Clark’s opposition to StoneHaven.

The community, on farmland long owned by the John F. Long Company, one of Arizona’s great community benefactors, would be a bastion of young families.  The plan includes no apartments.  But it does include a grocery store, something the area has coveted but needs more rooftops to support.  Right now the shopping dollars of area residents often travel across the street or down the road into Phoenix benefitting that city but not Glendale. 

Clark is the only person on the council who voted for the Arizona Coyotes hockey deal(s) and the Camelback Ranch spring training complex for the Los Angeles Dodgers and Chicago White Sox.  Both of those deals have taxed the city’s financial resolve to the limit.

Not if but when the Coyotes leave Glendale who will be left to fill restaurants and stores at Westgate and elsewhere?  Crickets, or the kids, parents and community at StoneHaven?

How’s the famous saying go? Those who ignore history are doomed to repeat it?  Clark, unfortunately, seems to be falling into this trap.

That’s too bad.  The good is rarely the enemy of the great and projects like StoneHaven have and can play a vital role in continuing the Glendale comeback, and to keep the city rising.

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