By Ted AYALA
The full city council assembled last Tuesday night to discuss a variety of issues. Pertinent to the Crescenta Valley community was Mayor Ara Najarian’s award of a commendation to local pharmacist Al Pineda of the CVS Pharmacy in Montrose for his good work for the community.
“[This commendation is awarded to you] in appreciation for your time and effort in organizing the enormously successful unused drugs event; your willingness to work with the Glendale Police Department, Fire Department, and Public Works for the betterment of our community is to be applauded,” read Mayor Najarian from the commendation for Pineda.
“I’ve been working in the city of Glendale for about 16 or 17 years,” said Pineda as he received the commendation from Councilman John Drayman. “[…] I’ve worked in about 23 different cities, and by far this is the best city I’ve ever worked in so this is why I’ve been here the longest.”
Councilman Drayman praised Pineda’s community spirit enthusiastically. “Mr. Pineda’s work goes far beyond [the unused drug] event. Al has been a friend of the Crescenta Valley and the city of Glendale for years. Any time there is a need, he always has one phrase he has to give to the city: ‘What can I do for the city?’ Al Pineda and CVS have always been there for the city. [The unused drug event] was such a successful event.”
“We’d like to have more of these events,” said Pineda. “It keeps people from dumping [their unused drugs] in the trash and gutters, prevents someone else from getting a hold of them [such as] a child – [the consequences] could be very drastic.”
Upon receiving the award, Pineda was applauded by the city council and the audience.
Councilman Drayman later urged the city to review the city’s policy on placing signage on the sidewalks in front of and on windows of local businesses. Addressing a recent city sweep of signage violations in the Montrose Shopping Park, Drayman said, “I’m extremely concerned about the reports I’m receiving [from Montrose merchants]. I wonder if our Neighborhood Services folks [who conducted the violations sweeps] understand that in a post-Christmas time in any retail district – let alone in this economy – that it is make-or-break time for small businesses and in particular for mom-and-pop businesses throughout the city. The Christmas season is over and now folks are sitting at home figuring out how they’re going to pay the bills for the things they purchased at Christmas [time], preparing their income taxes, and so on. You wonder what on earth our city is thinking when they conducted a district-wide sweep of mom-and-pop stores at this particular time. Does our Neighborhood Services Department not remember that [Glendale] contracts with a board of directors in this business improvement district to help with compliance issues of this very sort? [Were] they public safety related? No, they were not.”
With barely concealed sarcasm, Drayman drilled into the Neighborhood Services Department.
“[They] seem more concerned how a restaurant incorrectly posts its daily specials on their daily specials board, and – catastrophe of catastrophes! – finding that the local pet store had displayed a bird cage for sale in its doorway.
So my message to the city – the Neighborhood Services Manager in particular – is: use some common sense. More importantly, keep in mind that our fellow citizens are struggling to keep their businesses and their jobs right now. I would like to ask [the council] to ask our director of planning who has inherited this section of the city to please conduct some outreach to the merchants [of the Montrose Shopping Park]. These ordinances were put into place in 1972. Retail has changed a little bit since then. So can [city planning] please contact the [Montrose Shopping Park Association (MSPA)] board and get on their agenda to set up some kind of meeting. Perhaps its time to [review] this ordinance.”
Councilwoman Laura Friedman seconded John Drayman’s request and it was unanimously agreed upon by the council.