Breaking up: Whats Behind Brenda Fischers Exit in Glendale
by Glendale Chamber of Commerce on February 16th, 2015

Feb 13, 2015, 1:42pm MST
Mike Sunnucks: Senior Reporter-Phoenix Business Journal

It appears Brenda Fischer's hasty and surprising exit as Glendale city manager yesterday was a mutual parting of the ways. But others say Fischer was forced out by the City Council

The city and Fischer are quiet on what transpired during private council meetings yesterday that prompted her resignation.

Did Fischer quit or was she pushed out by councilors?

"Both," said an official clued on theFischer-Glendale divorce.

Fischer could stay until May and is more likely to land a new private sector job rather than stay in local government, according to the official.

So what prompted the pre-Valentine's Day break up 18 months into Fischer's tenure?

Glendale Star Publisher Bill Toops believes the council may have threatened to fireFischer if she didn't step down.

"I think she probably overstepped her authority," said Toops whose newspaper's editorial page has been critical of some ofFischer's actions.

Toops and other sources familiar with the situation said there were turf battles betweenFischer and the council that prompted her exit.

Relations between the changed-minded Fischer and the city's elected council may not have been on the best of terms lately.

Glendale has had plenty of financial and political stress with Fischer inheriting budget problems, bad deals and decisions from former city manager, Ed Beasley.

The Glendale City Council approved a deal with the Arizona Coyotes in 2013 that has the city paying the hockey team's owners $15 million annually.

Mayor Jerry Weiers had a very public spat with Arizona Cardinals President Michael Bidwillover hotel rooms being blocked off and whether the West Valley city loses money when University of Phoenix Stadium hosted Super Bowl XLIX earlier this month.

Glendale also is getting plenty of scrutiny for a proposal to sell the Foothills Library Branch to Midwestern University for $5 million. The city would move some library operations into what are now community rooms at a nearby recreation and aquatics center.

Fischer also had an alleged run-in with Glendale Chamber of Commerce President and CEO Robert Heidt at local restaurants.

A Glendale Star story in January claimed the city council held private meetings last month about the alleged run-in and Fischer's performance.

Heidt did not respond to telephone calls or an e-mail seeking comment.

Toops — who serves on the chamber's board — said the chamber dust up may have played also played a role in the exit.

A city spokeswoman said Fischer was not yet ready to discuss her exit with the media.

Other Valley cities — especially Scottsdale — have seen major turnover in city management in recent years. It's just that Glendale with its controversial sports deals and past problems tends to draw more attention.

Posted in Glendale In The News    Tagged with Brenda Fischer, Glendale, Glendale Chamber of Commerce, Glendale City Council, GlendaleAZ, Phoenix Business Journal


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