El Mirage Officials Hire Political Pals; Refuse to Answer Questions

Categories: Westside
El Mirage.jpg
When El Mirage's current slate of elected officials campaigned for office, they promised residents change and transparency -- a politically popular word these days.

In some ways, El Mirage Mayor Lana Mook and her cohorts on the City Council have delivered -- they increased the water and sewer rates by about 10 percent, laid off employees and yet handed jobs to their political buddies.

Consider that City Manager Spencer Isom -- who refuses to answer any of New Times questions about why El Mirage inexplicably booted its artist-in-residence earlier this year -- was the assistant city manager before getting laid off by the former City Manager B.J. Cornwall.
Longtime residents tell New Times that during his time away from the city, the unemployed Isom spent time with Mook and her slate of political pals, meeting in his El Mirage home and attending council meetings and fundraisers with them, and meeting them for dinner at the Riff Raff Bar and Grill in El Mirage.

El Mirage officials did not return repeated calls from New Times. 

Once elected, Mook and company laid off Interim City Manager Rick Flaaen, the city attorney who was temporarily wearing the manager's hat. While city officials went through the motions of finding a new city manager, and even got some assistance from the League of Arizona Cities and Towns, the word is that they didn't actually interview any other candidates.

They handed the job to Isom.
 
Of course, El Mirage needed a city attorney since they dismissed Flaaen (also without explanation). The job wasn't advertised, but they agreed to bring in Robert M. Hall, an estate planning attorney from New Mexico.  That is, his office is physically located in Albuquerque, New Mexico.

One might wonder why would El Mirage officials have to go as far as New Mexico to find an attorney? And even then, why would they choose one that specializes in estate planning and probate cases?

Hall, it turns out, is also the attorney for Snowflake, Arizona ... the town where Isom served as city manager before coming to El Mirage.

The sweet deal that Hall has with El Mirage is this: He attends the city's regularly scheduled City Council meetings on the second and fourth Thursday each month and works Wednesday and Friday mornings of those meeting weeks -- essentially four days of work a month for a minimum of $7,000.

That doesn't include Hall's $160 per hour rate or his "reasonable out of pocket costs," according to his single page agreement with city.

Another interesting El Mirage hire is Leah Hubbard.

She and Phil Hubbard (relationship unknown), who used to work with Summit Consulting Group, ran the political campaigns for Mook and councilmen Joe Ramirez, Jim McPhetres, John Palladino and Lynn Selby.
 
Leah Hubbard's ex-husband, Shawn Hubbard, of Lihue, Hawaii, designed mailers for the political crew and set up their websites.

After their victorious election, Leah Hubbard was hired as an interim assistant to the city manager -- a newly created position, formed in December 2010.

The job was advertised and at least three people were interviewed for the post, including Hubbard. Although another candidate received a higher score -- 90 out of 100 possible points -- Hubbard, who scored a 70, was handed the job.

And then there is Bill Pupo, a familiar figure in the West Valley who served as former City Manager of Surprise.

While she was campaigning, Mook was telling folks that if she was elected, she was going to bring in someone to conduct a forensic audit. Apparently, that person was Pupo.

In a single-page memo dated January 5, El Mirage agreed to hire Pupo as a Special Assistant to the City Manager and pay him $38 per hour for up to 19 hours per week, without benefits.

Since those are the only terms outlined in the agreement, it's unclear how much the city shelled out to Pupo and exactly what he produced during the unspecified time. However, it may be a moot point since Pupo has since been hired full-time as Deputy City Manager. 

Pupo could not be reached for comment.
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83 comments
Bitterc123
Bitterc123

No one has brought up Kern doing other personal money making business using city property and city vehicles. He is a real estate agent and used city computers to look up properties and used city printers to print mls and used a city vehilce to escort female employees to Suprise to look at properties he was interested in bying (md,bc and cc to name a few). he was always talking to employees about properties and giving his card out. He uses city time to promote his telephone card buxiness. He uses city vehicle to do his telephone cards. His driving habits show a lack of respect for the law (public record shows at least 9 high speed ttraffic tickets and one crossing the median on a freeway plus some failures to do court protocol and i was suprised he was going to be a city cop). When he rusn for city of glendale counsel he will have a nother job so he can do counsel work on city of el mirage time.

citizens 4 new mirage
citizens 4 new mirage

so if you know this as fact where is the PROOF? bring it out into the open and show it unless you R like all the rest of the people hiding in the shadows and being feed BS. to bad you have not guts

ifonlyuknew
ifonlyuknew

He also ran a phone business where he tried to sell employees (on city time) phones, and to get them to sign up as distributors, for which in turn he would receive money for whoever he signed up (pyramid scheme????). He would hand out cards, go on the web site at his desk and show people what he could get them, etc.

He has promised various contractors that he would give them jobs with the city if they did work for him on his personal properties, then he doesn't pay them for the work on his personal properties, and contractors are afraid if they say something the he won't use them again at the city.

He has overheard conversations with a customer in the office and when he found out what the customer does for a living, he was hitting him up for a job and giving the customer the impression the he was a policeman for El Mirage.

There is so much more but my hands would cramp if I tried to write it all at once.  This guy needs to go - bad thing is management has known about this for years and covered for him - he must have something pretty good on them for them to keep this waste of city money.

citizens 4 new mirage
citizens 4 new mirage

wow talk about a tag team here one who talks and hides in the dark and the other of shovels the BS. to bad u have little inteligence to bring out proof in the open instead of being like all the rest and hide behind others like you frineds like those who drop their married name to hide from the truth

Bitterc123
Bitterc123

I heard kern has owd one vendor 3000 dollars for a year and refuses to pay.  Kern also told one vendor to submit a bid that would come in lower than the vendor he owes the 3000 to and shut the other vendor out on a big job. The lower bid came in after bids were closed.

citizens 4 new mirage
citizens 4 new mirage

and the BS rolls on one attack after another just shows you and others have no life.

guest
guest

He is safe. Wishful thinking though.

Phxnative1963
Phxnative1963

The best Code Enforcement Officer was laid off. Hopefully, soon the worst one (Kern) will be fired.    

Bethonwheels
Bethonwheels

Neighbors have complained about code enforcement officer KERN before and nothing was done. He must be one of the friends you are talking about. If Kern becomes a reserve cop or El Mirage posse member without a proper back ground (plus polygraph and psychological evaluation) then citizens are in trouble. He does not know how to talk to the citizens with some respect (rude would describe his method) and I am afraid he will use his police authority on a power trip. Time for another vacation.

Recallnow
Recallnow

Well you know that the Campbell was hired without going for a search because he was the BEST and had great knowledge of the city. Oh Ya here for 6 months and he knows all. I guess he did. Instructions foe getting job in El Mirage. 1. Be a FRIEND of the mayor or Isom. 2. Be willing to sell your soul to them. 3. Have a brown nose long enough to sit it up the city manager and mayors ass.

Bethonwheels
Bethonwheels

Perhaps the police department needs to be under scrutiny.

Bitterc123
Bitterc123

bj cornwall let the best code officer be laid off because she complained on Kern. She also reported his unethical behavior. Kern made her do extra work outside of her job description but she never complained, just kept working and proving shecould do her job and more. Kern wanted her gone and cornwall made it happen.

Recallnow
Recallnow

HEY mayor are you reading this...I sure you are...what happened to "I am getting rid of Kern as soon as I take office. I guess that also was one of your lies. I see it now you need to keep the BEST around you and he is the BEST CREAP out there. RECALL THEM ALL.

Samu1
Samu1

Management (MD, SA, BP) knew about this and said they didn't see where Kern did anything wrong. Hear no evil, see no evil, speak no evil (in other words management turns a deaf ear to employees using the city for personal gain, could it be because they do it too, hmmmmm!).

Bitterc123
Bitterc123

IT's Jose was doing business info exchange with Kern but I think Kern approached Jose first.

Bitterc123
Bitterc123

Another thought, why is he allowed to call a female employee an overtime whore and receive no punishment. When I read that to my wife she said firing him would have been appropriate but apparently this behavior is condoned and protected. Any lesser violation cannot be punished because the bar has been set.

Bitterc123
Bitterc123

The question begs, why is Kern untouchable? Even more so under the protection of the police department.

Shauna
Shauna

That is true.  They do not do a good job of hiding it.

ifonlyuknew
ifonlyuknew

You are right.  Kern would talk with him on city time all the time about him getting in on the phone business.  Some times they'd go to the employee parking lot to talk about it so people in the office wouldn't hear.

Bethonwheels
Bethonwheels

The finance director (Surprise is still trying to clean up his mess) will soon be a deputy assistant manager. He created a position in finance to enable him to hire his sweet thing and the two women who have kept finance afloat are laid off in order to bring in two part time people. Now no one will be watching what he does. 

WonderingWhatTheyAreThinking
WonderingWhatTheyAreThinking

So that explains why they got rid of or demoted several directors but yet have left that second city manager position vacant.  Trying to lull people to sleep so then they can just slide him in there and move his friend up into his position. That explains why they demoted the previous asst finance director and brought his friend in.  It makes sense now.

Vera
Vera

No wonder they laid off the old employees to hire their friends at a higher salary. This is how they balance their budget.  Makes sense now.

Hawaiiguy32
Hawaiiguy32

Don't forget they are getting rid of other jobs in areas like Finance and calling them something different at lower rates with almost the same job descriptions of the people they are letting go the end of the month .  Also remember the fiasco with the budget at Surprise, well that guy works at El Mirage now and he is moving people around to be paid by water funds instead of the general fund.  Then they raise the water, sewer, and trash rates10 % a year for the next two years to cover the extra salaries for people not directly supporting water or wastewater operations.  Didn't he get in trouble for being part of moving funds between accounts in Surprise to cover the new city hall?  Good luck El Mirage.  You are going to need it.

Bethonwheels
Bethonwheels

I understand they are making changes in order to run better but they let hard working and honest people go and keep a guy and move him into the Police Department in a civilian job.  The character now identifies himself as being with p.d. and the people are left thinking he is a cop.  Now he is trying to be a reserve police officer for the same city he works as a code enforcement officer.  How will he separate the two, how much overtime will he receive?  He is a bully code enforcement officer so will he be a bully police officer? This guy is scary. There are upper management and people who do the work with few middle management. Seems that money could be saved by reducing high paying upper management.  I hope El Mirage rises to the top because the new mayor and council do want what is best for the city they live in, that is only self serving and expected.  The other garbage is a distraction.

Shauna
Shauna

Actually the new Police Chief at El Mirage's wife was/is working at Surprise PD where the old former El Mirage Police Chief is now working.  Sounds like giving benefits to friends again which seems to be the theme in El Mirage any more.

Bethonwheels
Bethonwheels

Yes, I understand he is allowing Kern to walk the halls of the police department and Kern will become a police reserve. I hope Kern goes through an academy otherwise he is just a rent-a-cop, an unstable one at that.

uhavedoneenough
uhavedoneenough

Hey spelling has nothing to do with content. The truth is that YOU know what they are doing and by not speaking out you are part of them.

uhavedoneenough
uhavedoneenough

We have a chief who got the job without it being advertised to anyone else. Oh Yeh he is the BEST. If he allows Anthony Kern to walk the halls of the police department he is blind.

uhavedoneenough
uhavedoneenough

Oh yeah you are so happy you got canned, It is a love fest, please get your lips off Isoms butt, many before you have done the same and all they got were chapped lips. By the way the seniors are sick of the city doing nothing for them and giving them crap to eat. Crap I should say is served by another Isom FRIEND the Rib Shack guy.

Phxnative1963
Phxnative1963 like.author.displayName 1 Like

Maybe, Mr. Isom becoming City Manager is one of the reasons why the Chief left.

Bethonwheels
Bethonwheels

Now I am concerned. The police department was improved from its former failure, and the Sheriff's department was not much better. The chief that accomplished the renewal of faith in our police department is gone. The new chief embraces characters like Kern. Where will our police department be in a year?

PrideinAmerica
PrideinAmerica

I am the female code person you are refering to and I must interject something here. It was hard to be laid off but good things have come from this experience. I have had time to complete (working on last class) my AA in Public Administration and received certification as a Building Analyst and Building Envelopment Professional (2 certs). What might be considered menial jobs to some are great opportunities for me. The experience adds to my resume and I have met and worked for the most important people of the El Mirage community, namely the senior citizens. Considering the wisdom of making lemonade out of lemons, the part-time temporary jobs have been a blessing. (psst, Bethonwheels, you need to work on proofing and correcting your spelling).  I do miss the citizens of the area I worked in and recognize that these are hard economic times. Hang in there!

Bethonwheels
Bethonwheels

Yes that Kern. He was demoted but his records sealed in a deal with disgraced BJ Cornwall. This move was underhanded at best. The code officers underhim (2 female, one male) all filed hostile work environment charges against him. The female he called an overtime whore filed the eeoc charges. Now Kern is the right hand man for the Sergeant supervising code enforcement, soon to have administrative superiority over the two remaining code officers. The female who filed the complaint against Kern which lead to his demotion was the one laid off in a move that was viewed as retaliation. If the layoff was to be considered cost saving then Kern, who makes 15k-20k a year more than the other code officers, should have been laid off. Rumor has it that Kern gets numerouis complaints filed against him but his less than exemplary behavior never gets questioned. The female laid off was brought back for menial, low paying part time temporary work (as if in apology, please don't sue us gesture) when my neighbors and I can attest to her willingness to work with people in violation of city codes but Anthony proceeds to harrass and tickets without warning.  Sad. Very Sad. The gestapo is alive in Mr. Kern with full support of the new city manager and the new mayor and the new council.

Phxnative1963
Phxnative1963

What you mean, lean mean Anthony Kern, the one who ran for a council seat in Glendale this past election and lost, or the one who doesn’t get along with the other code enforcement officers, or the Building Official Mary Dickson, or the Administrative Assistant Sharon Antes, the one who was not included in the lay-off’s last June, but was given a pay and position reduction by Mr. Cornwall, that was not offered to others who were laid-off. The one who strait out lie’s to your face, oh, that Anthony Kern?

Recallnow
Recallnow

You mean Anthony Kern. Yeah the same guy who has a EEOC complaint against him for how he treats woman. Yeah that guy is a real sicko. I hope they don't give him a gun.Think about it, the mayor and council are bringing in their friends, with the way they are spending money on their"friends", money they say we don't really have because we are in a money crisis, doing back door deals with Senator Nelson to try to raise our property taxes, raising our water and sewer rates, not answering public questions, not being seen out at any location in El Mirage so people could have a chance to ask them face to face,wacking people who will not go along with them (thank God they are just laying them off and not making them cement shoes) Wow I get it now Mook is the BOSS and the rest are her hench men. It looks like they now have Anthony The Sicko Kern as the hit man. PEOPLE OF EL MIRAGE KEEP YOUR DOORS LOCKED. That is if you will be able to afford your doors when they are through with us.

Phxnative1963
Phxnative1963

I believe he made significant changes and hid them from the Mayor and Council according to public records.  

Joeg
Joeg like.author.displayName 1 Like

The City lost big time when they removed Flaaen. He at least had a clue!

newfuture
newfuture

If you have done nothing wrong then run as fast as you can tomorrow at 8:00 a.m. when city hall opens and call Monica. Come on people you can't hide forever. By the way the new up dates with links to the "one sided information" is on the blog for people to read. Please speak up and be heard, defend yourselves,other wise I fell like the biggest a**h*** for supporting you all.

Just wondering
Just wondering

They will never respond.  They know they are busted.

2Cents
2Cents

As a relatively new resident of El Mirage I am saddened by the majority of responses to this editorial. In case those reading weren't aware this is not news, it's an editorial which is an opinion piece. And it appears this writer did not feel obliged to check her facts or rely on credible sources. The idea that my neighbors are running for pitchforks and torches and talking about a recall distresses me.

There are two questions we should be asking ourselves when we read these opinion pieces. What useful information does it provide and what is the writer asking us to draw from it? As for information, it makes an effort to claim the hiring practices within our cities government have been improper. It doesn't directly come out and say that, but instead it alludes to it with rumors. Monica used the term “the word is..." and I’d like to know when "the word" became a credible source for journalism.

Monica's allegations of hiring misconduct are not uncommon practices in corporate America, small businesses, and within branches of government. It's called networking, Monica. Turn on the real news and you’ll see it happening all around you. People hire people they have firsthand experience or knowledge of either through working with them directly or having them referred by someone they respect and trust. HR or other resources wade through impressive, but sometimes misleading resumes to find the ideal candidate.

Whether you like it or not Monica, the fact is this Mayor and Council (as elects) had numerous opportunities to work directly with Dr. Isom as Asst. City Manager and were impressed with his credentials, manner, and management style and ideas. The real “word” is the League of Arizona Cities and Towns identified Dr. Isom as a top candidate for the City Managers position after reviewing applications from across the US. In addition to being a top candidate Dr. Isom was already an active resident of El Mirage, had experience with the current staff and departments, was well respected in neighboring cities and by local business owners and investors, and was not considered to be a member of the “crew” from the previous administration.

The fact is the Mayor and Council were “transparent” in their effort to bring Dr. Isom back, but Monica doesn’t seem interested in those facts which are included in the council meeting minutes and are available to all on the cities website.Another fact Monica seems to dismiss when referencing the layoff of Rick Flaaen, is while “temporarily wearing the manager's hat” he was unable to resolve the cities “fiscal crisis,” refused to bring back all firefighters, and managed to put his own contract in place so when he left he was paid a hefty sum, just like the one he approved for BJ. But why waste ink on those facts. Instead raise issue that the city hired a capable attorney at a much reduced rate (savings) than the high salary and benefits Flaaen received (nearly $150k per year). Hiring the guy from Snowflake was a sound fiscal decision given the “fiscal crisis” created by Cornwall and Flaaen.

The second question we should ask is what has this administration done since taking office? Well to start, the city is no longer in a “fiscal crisis” and its budget is balanced. Yes, I said balanced. The firefighters were reinstated and the reputation of El Mirage has significantly improved. The hike in sewer prices began with the prior administration and although not liked, was warranted based on other comparisons to other cities and to balance the budget. I’d say the Council and Manager have made some good hiring decisions if it’s been able to produce all these and other results within 6 months.

Monica doesn’t believe you should consider hiring people you know who have demonstrated their skills and proven they can produce results. She suggests these facts should be excluded when reviewing the candidates. Monica’s been at the New Times for 1 year and 3 months. I wonder how she went from the AZ Republic to New Times…I’ll bet she dropped a name or two…it certainly couldn’t have been for her ability to write a neutral or factual article.

Waterguytoo
Waterguytoo

2cents - Thanks for your thoughts "Dr." Isom.

anywherebutelmirage4me
anywherebutelmirage4me

Considering you are "new" to El Mirage explains your limited and one-sided opinion.  If you really want to know what the people in management have accomplished and how they treat people, ask the employees that are still there and the ones that have been let go (some because they didn't agree with what is going on, and some because they knew too much of what went on).

Do you know what your neighbors do behind closed doors or what they are really like?  How can you say anything when you don't know firsthand what has happened for the past several years in the operations at City Hall?

Look at who is in management and there is the problem!  One of the problems (Isom) was gone, and somehow he convinced people he was good for the City and they actually believed him. Isom uses people and their knowledge to make him look good and takes all the credit.  Isom was part of the budget crisis which began years ago.  Ask people that worked with him the first time around about "his" accomplishments (not what other's did that he took credit for) and you may be surprised. 

How do you know the budget is balanced?  Did you help prepare and verify where the numbers came from?  No - Robert Nilles the Finance Director did and oh yeah, he's the one that played with numbers for Surprise and look where they are - they probably thought everything was balanced too!  Just because the numbers add up doesn't mean what you see is what you get. And again, he was around during the making of this budget crisis - go figure! 

Rick Flaaen was not Acting City Manager long enough to straighten out all the messes left behind for him, both financial and personnel wise.  He was the only one that treated employees with dignity and respect, and allowed them to be a part of the solutions and he valued their knowledge and input, he didn't use it to toot his own horn.  At least he earned the money he was paid, you can't say that for Isom.  Many employees wanted Rick Flaaen to stay permanently as City Manager because he was doing a great job at getting things in line.  The day they said Isom was coming back as City Manager was not a day of celebration at City Hall, but you wouldn't know that because you weren't there!

You think you're saddened now, wait til this group gets through with El Mirage, but they won't care because their salaries and their buddies salaries have been protected through all the budget cuts, and all they had to do was increase costs to residents, cut services to residents, and get rid of employees that work hard for the city.

One last thing - are you serious about HR "wading" through resumes to find the ideal candidate?  HR (Sandra King) does what management tells her to do - she doesn't represent anyone but management and herself, and does (or doesn't) do whatever she has to keep her job safe.  Ask how many complaints have been lodged about how she treats employees and her practices in "following policy".  Completely different in how she deals with management from how she deals with employees.

Welcome to El Mirage!

Rick Flaaen
Rick Flaaen

I have stayed out of this and intended to do so until I saw this remark.  It is obviously from a member of the city council as they would be the only ones to know some of the material and are too cowardly to use their real names.  

I did not create the fiscal crisis in El Mirage.  I was only the Acting City Manager after BJ left for only about two and one-half months, and long after the fiscal crisis was declared.  The two people managing the city then were BJ and Spencer Isom.  When I took over, I looked at the firefighter thing very carefully and found the mony to bring back 3 who were laid off by BJ, within 2-3 weeks of being acting city manager.  I did not focus on the other 2 (one was brought back within 48 hours of being laid off in August), because the two were in Iraq or Afghanistan and I wanted to give them the chance to come back once they were finished.  They did nothing wrong and should not have been punished because they took the only jobs they could find (out of the country) after being laid off.

Regarding my contract, that is common for City Attorneys to have contracts to try to avoid the vaguries of politics.  The new City Council gave Spencer Isom a contract that will pay him over $75.000 when he leaves, even if he leaves within the first year.  The new City Council did not have to pay me anything, but chose to when they decided to terminate my contract.  I did not give myself a contract, that was done by the council in November.  As I recall, the vote was unanimous, including three of the current members of the council.  I also did not approve the contract for BJ.  That was also done by the City Council as they are the only ones who could approve such a contract, just as the new council has done for Spencer Isom.  The contract was between BJ and the City Council.  But, again, common practice just as this council gave Spencer Isom a contract that will give him more than I got if he ever leaves the City.  And, the way it is written, by him, not me, a new council will have to pay him even though they don't want to keep him.

As for hiring the "guy from Snowflake," I'm not going to comment on his qualifications as I don't know him or his work.  What I do question is the failure of the council to do a request for proposals to obtain bids/quotes from local law firms who focus on city work.  After 6 months, they should have (good practice) put out a request for proposals, but have not.  Also, and I don't know what they are paying this attorney, but if the blog is correct and they pay him $7,000 a month for just 4 days of work a month, that works out to $1,750 a day.  I was only paid about $575 a day and wish I had been paid $1,750 a day.  Not bad work if you can get it. Since they have not gone out for bids or quotes, how do they know they are getting the best deal?  The simple answer is, they don't.

2Cents
2Cents

Mr. Flaaen, I am not a council member, nor do I work for any government body of El Mirage or any affiliate, but I do read the council meeting minutes. Your contract did not exist prior to you becoming "acting City Manager."  Perhaps this excerpt from the AZ Republic article...a more credible source... will refresh your memory.

Immediately after hiring Isom, the council held a closed-door discussion over the performance of City Attorney Rick Flaaen, who had also served as interim manager. They voted 6-0 to fire Flaaen without cause. Councilman Roy Delgado abstained.

Mook and council members contacted by The Republic refused to give their reasoning for terminating Flaaen.

"His contract stipulated he could be let go without cause and that's exactly what we did," Councilman Jack Palladino said.

Flaaen said the council's decision caught him off guard. He said he suspects they thought he was too closely associated with the previous council and former City Manager B.J. Cornwall.

"I really, really think that they're wanting to get rid of people associated with the prior council and manager," Flaaen said. "My perspective: I was just doing my job."

Full article here.http://www.azcentral.com/news/...

You're right, you did not create the fiscal crisis, but you did nothing during the 2 1/2 months to restore our cities reputation. But that's just my perspective.

citizens 4 new mirage
citizens 4 new mirage

what an event coordinator at $55.000 dollars for a year. guess it will be another one of there friends again how much goes into there pocket afterwards? just like the CULVERTS they are going to spend your money to the tune of over $200.000 thousand dollars when the city had an offer of just over $50.000 dollars last year? now who gets the kick back, will it be a former mayor and councilman who had the power in 2001 to have them put in when they were built and did'nt? guess that's one poem missed? not likely after all who do you think they recieved there information from, and what did poem give them when they were at the fund raiesers for poem? just how far do their pockets run?

citizens 4 new mirage
citizens 4 new mirage

hew 2cents here is your change back, 7cents. just for your information a certain council member wanted to call for a vote from behind close doors to appoint isom? back door politicing at its best, they said they intervied 40 people for the job? well then where is all the paper work showing the results? there had to be at least 5 to 7 who were asked for a final interview well from your so called perspective were are those results? oh since your perspective lacks merit did you know that mr Flaaen has not only the knolwedge, but the experiance 2 times comparied 2 mr isom. guess you did not know that? so I guess you like the fact that they hired someone they could control and tell what to do which all he can do since he needs the money. 

anywherebutelmirage4me
anywherebutelmirage4me

It doesn't matter who you are, but what you are is clueless.  When the rest of us are saying "told you so", which won't be long from now, you'll finally get the full picture.

Some of the best speakers and seemingly caring people have turned out to be the most deceitful self serving people.  You are looking at 5 of them in top positions in El Mirage, and doing very well for themselves at the expense of the City and employees, and they would be Isom, Pupo, Nilles, King and Mook.

Isom is so great and able to accomplish so much, yet he needs 2 Deputy City Managers, an Assistant to the City Manager, and an Executive Assistant, all at a hefty cost to the City.  Their salaries exceed larger City's and larger City's don't have 2 Deputy City Managers, some don't have one.

Now they want to hire a Special Events Coordinator at a high price and for what - they already have high priced employees that were hired to manage events that fell apart.  El Mirage is not ever going to be the hotspot to hang out in the valley - they need to quit wasting money to window dress and concentrate on doing good for the residents.

Your expectations for Rick Flaaen are unreasonable.  In 2 1/2 months I dare you to fix this kind of mess, a mess that took years and most of us saw coming, but when we spoke up and tried to do right by the City, we were labeled as non-supportive to the organization.  I guess when they tell you to jump off a cliff and you don't you are non-supportive then too!

The only chance El Mirage had was to keep Rick Flaaen in and Isom out.  You'd better hope by the time they are done that the City can come out of this mess, but I wouldn't count on it.

The problem is not the people speaking up - the problem is people like you aren't listening.

Phxnative1963
Phxnative1963 like.author.displayName 1 Like

So you stated you are fairly new to the valley and think Mr. Isom is the answer, then you need to do a Google search and learn (the real reasons) why Mr. Isom left Bullhead City, The City of Bisbee and The Town of Snowflake. You may also want to see his real demeanor on line at http://apps.supremecourt.az.go... type his name in the search box and you will see what happened at the Navajo County Appeals Court. As far as his assistant Mr. Pupo, a Google search will show you why he left The City of Spokane, The City of Surprise, The Town of Chino Valley and The City of Surprise again. I think it’s a real dishonor how people can screw up on a number of occasions, and somehow continue to find a job they are not capable of.

Just Wondering
Just Wondering

Pupo is rude and degrading to employees.  No wonder he is not working for Surprise or other cities anymore.  He had to sell his soul to some group to get in somewhere.

Phxnative1963
Phxnative1963

I think they call that “small man syndrome”.

2Cents
2Cents

My decision to speak out on this editorial is based on the lack of facts and the innuendos this “reporter” mistook and portrayed as facts. She neither insured her sources were reliable, nor researched public records. Her statement that no one she incriminated would return her calls could be because of how she handled her last editorial; the artist-in-residence. I must admit I was elated to see the responses from the readers on that topic. Full story with comments here - http://blogs.phoenixnewtimes.c... Yes, Monica provides tantalizing stories with lots of inferences, but her stories offer no facts to substantiate her claims. They rely solely on her opinion which in this case she formed from “longtime residents” and “the word”. The fact she did reveal was her obvious contempt for the people she wrote about.  Your response is just as troubling if not worse, because it represents what’s wrong with a society that is able to hide behind an alias and blog on topics, not because they matter, but because of an ulterior motive. You suggested I Google Dr. Isom and others listed in the editorial. As a citizen involved in the political process, of course I Goggled Dr. Isom, the Mayor, the Council and any senior staff member added of late. I also read the council meeting minutes, newspaper articles, and I try to attend the city hosted events. Nothing I’ve read or seen would change my position. To the contrary, what I’ve read and seen firsthand of Dr. Isom and the others has only reinforced my belief that they are committed to this city. As for the link you provided, this appears to be a personal matter. It’s obvious you are either familiar with Dr. Isom on a personal level or connected to others in his personal life. You should be ashamed of yourself. Its true there is no blogging etiquette, but the fact you feel justified in using a public forum as your personal platform still surprise me. It’s obvious it’s not the content of the story that matters to you, but who the target is.  The only judgments I feel justified in making of the Mayor, the Council Members, Dr. Isom or his staff relate to their professional standing in the community and their ability to perform their jobs with integrity and keep the interests of the citizens of El Mirage in the forefront of their actions. From what I’ve seen so far, I’m giving them two thumbs up.

Again, Phxnative1963, you should be ashamed of yourself for using this venue to air what must be a personal bias.

citizens 4 new mirage
citizens 4 new mirage

so what is your reason who do you know and what other than the BS you have been feed by these so called people. once again your 2cents is as wortless as those who you are defending so how much are you worth to them? hopefully more than 2cents.

Phxnative1963
Phxnative1963

Yes something Spencer did was in his personal life, but remember, he is a city official and should represent the city with the highest of standards, personal handicaps often become a work and social policy that the general public perceive of the city represented by such. Integrity…not from his personal actions, just read the sites, I have not told anything but the truth. And if the truth hurts, well so be it.

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