Glendale confirmed its reputation as the Valley city with the greatest disdain for transparency. In the process, it assured itself of more time in court and less trust from residents.
And it was all avoidable, if only city leaders had allowed the public (and themselves) sufficient time to digest a deal with the potential buyer of the Phoenix Coyotes. Oh, and to finish all the documents that go with it.
The city posted the deal on Monday and rushed to vote on Friday. The Goldwater Institute sought to stop Friday's meeting, which Maricopa County Superior Court Judge Katherine Cooper turned aside as not possible. But she signaled she was likely to find any vote illegal.
When the City Council gathered Friday, members still had not received an economic study. Documents mentioned in the agreement were missing. Everything cried for taking a few more days to get everything in order and demonstrate this is the best deal the city could get.
Instead, the council approved the deal, 4-2. Never mind state law that requires documents be available for inspection 24 hours before a meeting. Never mind a public body's duty to be up-front with constituents.
This was pure arrogance. Goldwater will be back in court Monday, before a judge who handed it an engraved invitation. The city will likely lose. Why? Because leaders unnecessarily rushed a vote, instead of allowing the full public participation necessary in a democratic society.