By: Rodney Glassman & The San Tan Times Staff
Why are you running?
I am running to restore integrity at the Arizona Corporation. For more than a decade the residents of San Tan Valley have experienced, firsthand, the effects of a Corporation Commission filled with regulators concerned more about their next election. My platform is focused on adopting the judicial code of conduct and putting ratepayers first, as well as championing Arizona’s water future. The Corporation Commission was created specifically to protect Arizona residents who, like those in San Tan Valley, would be receiving public services from private corporations instead of municipalities. The current commission has failed to fulfill its duties and that’s why I am running to replace the current commissioners and put ratepayers and their families first.
What would you like San Tan Valley residents to know about your previous experience (career, military, public positions)?
I am an Eagle Scout, husband, father, practicing attorney, hold my PhD in Arid Land Resource Sciences (water) and I am proud to serve as a Major in the United States Air Force JAG Corps Reserve. I am the only candidate running with a background in natural resources, private sector leadership experience, and the only candidate running with experience as both a policymaker (former Tucson City Councilman) and experience running water/waste water services (former Town Manager of Cave Creek, Arizona.) I serve as Vice President of the Grand Canyon Council Boy Scouts and as Arizona Department Judge Advocate for the American Legion. I am a family man, business man, and community volunteer.
With the problems surrounding the San Tan Valley area and how it relates to Johnson Utilities, what are your thoughts on the history surrounding this problem and how it has been allowed to persist for over a decade?
For years and years, residents of San Tan Valley have been plagued by issues of water quality, low-water pressure, billing mishaps, and sewage bubbling up at various times. Meanwhile, during that same time period, the Commission has lost its way with commissioners more concerned about their currying favor with donors for their next office than protecting residents. Lobbyists and utility owners have been able to effectively over-power residents at the commission. The current chair of the commission (one of my opponents) spent the past 18 months running for Treasurer instead of focusing on resolving issues for San Tan Valley. Another incumbent commissioner kicked off his campaign with a party co-hosted by a half-dozen corporation commission lobbyists. I am the only candidate with a real plan to restore integrity and get the commission back to putting ratepayers first because I would like the Corporation Commission to adopt the same code of conduct that is followed by every other judge in the State of Arizona. It would raise the bar on integrity, get utility and lobbyist money out of commission races, and force the commission to start putting ratepayers first!
What could the ACC have done differently in your eyes? Both how it is being handled now and how the situation has been handled in the past?
The Commission should have demanded accountability and made rulings based on how proposals improved reliability, resiliency, safety, and affordability for the ratepayers as opposed to how they impacted the pocketbooks of the utility owners. Sadly, now the corporation commission and the resources that should have been spent straightening out the mess impacting San Tan Valley customers are being invested in a bribery trial. An incident that that would have never occurred if the judicial code of conduct would have been in place. My proposal to restore integrity is an easy fix that will force commissioners to focus on putting ratepayers first.
What are your thoughts on ADEQ when it comes to their management and oversight of Johnson Utilities?
So long as the residents of San Tan Valley are unable to receive the basic public services necessary to enjoy their neighborhoods and raise their families, I believe there is more that must be done by ADEQ, the ACC, and the state legislature to set standards, drive accountability, and right the wrongs that have been perpetrated on the residents of San Tan Valley.
When it comes to the wells that were shut down due to high nitrates, what are your thoughts on Johnson Utilities and ADEQ taking so long to provide measures and solutions to bring those wells back online?
It’s sad, unfair, and begs the question… where was the Corporation Commission? The Corporation Commission, which is supposed to regulate Arizona’s private water companies, is made up of 5 statewide elected officials with direct access to Governor Ducey, the state legislature, and every state department head. Yet, some current commissioners more worried about campaigning for their next office, San Tan Valley neighbors have suffered from a crisis of integrity!
Many San Tan Valley residents do not expect anything to actually happen and no changes to be made when it comes to the problems residents face in regards to water quality, customer service, and billing practices. What can you tell the residents about getting the change they are looking for?
I am committed to representing the neighbors of San Tan Valley on the Corporation Commission and making change. As a private businessman I worked for Waste Management and was called upon by Mayor Tom Schoaf in Litchfield Park to help improve service. I accomplished that goal and he is supporting my campaign. As Town Manager of Cave Creek, I was called upon by Mayor Ernie Bunch to complete infrastructure planning for the towns water and sewer companies, streamline customer service, and maintain operational efficiencies. I accomplished these goals and he is supporting my campaign. I am not just another former legislator that couldn’t win my next office, I am a private sector attorney, with a background in water and natural resources, a veteran, and a community volunteer with a track record of accomplishing goals. I will bring my successful track-record of accomplishments to the Arizona Corporation Commission.
Some media outlets are questioning the timing on the resignation of ACC Executive Manager Ted Vogt and how it relates to Forese, Ducey, and Burns. What are your thoughts on the situation and how would you have handled this?
My proposal to adopt the judicial code of conduct has created a flurry of activity by current commissioners to appear as though they suddenly care about integrity. So long as commissioners refuse to adopt a code of conduct that prohibits campaign contributions from regulated utilities and eliminates the food and entertainment funded by the lobbyists who appear before the commission, it is hypocritical to pretend they are focused on restoring integrity. Rather, every decision made by this commission remains tainted by a cloud of corruption. I would lead by example, adopting the judicial code of conduct, and then demand the same standards for those who work at the Corporation Commission.
Due to the immediate safety concern regarding the extremely low water pressure from San Tan Valley fire hydrants, Commissioner Olson and Tobin wanted to expedite the timeline in the Johnson Utilities case. Commissioner Burns disagreed with that direction. Who is correct isn’t the key point. What is concerning is that the ACC is offering a poor public perception and is creating doubt that the ACC can properly create a plan and handle problems effectively. This is after the ACC claimed that they never received complaints from San Tan Valley residents regarding the water utility until recently and blamed Staff for not providing the commissioners with the information. What can be done to correct, what appears to be, poor organization and questionable infrastructure when it comes to Staff and commissioners?
Elect new commissioners with a track-record of accomplishing goals. I am an Eagle Scout, practicing attorney, Major in the United States Air Force, former Town Manager, former City Councilman, and successful businessman. We need new blood on the commission and that means a vote for Rodney Glassman in the Republican Primary this August!
What can San Tan Valley residents expect from you if you were to be elected?
San Tan Valley residents can expect a commissioner who will put their families first. A commissioner who comes from the private sector, has a background in natural resource management, experience running a municipal company, who is an Air Force Veteran, and who understands that the number one job of a corporation commissioner is to protect Arizona ratepayers by putting ratepayers first!
For more information about Rodney Glassman visit: www.rodneyglassman.com
Rodney Glassman is an attorney and Republican candidate for the Arizona Corporation Commission and can be reached at: