GLENDALE, AZ - MARCH 10: Fans of the Phoenix Coyotes hold up a sign against the Goldwater Institute during the NHL game against the Calgary Flames at Jobing.com Arena on March 10, 2011 in Glendale, Arizona. The Coyotes defeated the Flames 3-0. (Photo by Christian Petersen/Getty Images)
Some of you may have noticed that I pretty much skipping over the City of Glendale's argument against the Goldwater Institute's charges in the trial 2 weeks ago. The big reason I did that was because the City's arguments basically boiled down to this (note: minor cursing). Granted Glendale's lawyer phrased things better, like saying the GWI lawyer's argument was wrong as a matter of fact, of law, and of logic, but he seemed comfortable with his position and it seemed apparent to him that this was a waste of time and that the City did everything right this time, and besides one minor aspect Judge Fink agreed with him. As of right now the lease agreement for the Phoenix Coyotes to stay in Glendale is still going to go into effect.
Let's start with what needed to be changed about the lease agreement. First off this is older news, and it doesn't even equate to a loss for the City since they agreed to issue a statement beforehand, although they didn't really feel it was necessary and thought it may be a bad precedent. This is the final statement that was released:
IT IS HEREBY ORDERED pursuant to the stipulation of the parties, the Court finds that, in light of the 4 – 2 vote of the Glendale City Council adopting Ordinance No. 2904 NS, the emergency clause comprising sec. 7 of Ordinance No. 2904 NS is inoperative and the Court declares it to be of no force or effect.
Nothing big here, just a public statement that the thing that didn't take effect didn't take effect.
The Judge found that Complaint 1 was trivial. This was the argument I understood the least but it appears that the GWI was upset that the agreement was both a ordinance and a resolution. Anyways nothing is going to happen from it which is good.
This was the big one, the GWI was arguing that the City should have done competitive bidding to find an arena management group, while the City was saying it is a "professional service" which should be exempt. During the trial I noticed that the Glendale lawyer leaned heavily on the word "consultants" when listing the qualified professional services and this turned out to be more important that I initially thought. In the official ruling the Judge specifically mentions the inclusion of consultants. Consultants are included as a professional service even though there are no specific academic qualifications for being a consultant. The court confirmed that arena management is a professional service that is exempt from the competitive bidding requirement.
What This Means
Firstly it means that the deal is on track to go into effect. The next possible hurdle is the petitions that are being circulated if they get enough signatures it means the lease agreement will go on the ballot in November and that could very well have consequences for any deal. Please if you live in Glendale do not sign the petitions, and if you know people in Glendale advise them to refrain from signing the petitions. Inform Glendale has a lot of good information regarding the deal and why people shouldn't sign the petition.