By Ted AYALA
The full Glendale City Council convened in the council chamber last Tuesday discussing, among other things, the success of the North Glendale Community Plan (NGCP) and the state of the city’s budget for this year thus far.
During the council comments segments, Councilman John Drayman thanked the director of Glendale Public Works Steve Zurn for the work he and his department have done in the Linda Vista area of Glendale. “There was an ongoing [traffic] problem in Linda Vista, in the Emerald Isle area,” said Drayman. “We’ve been asking for traffic mitigation and speed control [actions] which have been working. I wanted to take the time in a public session to thank [Zurn and his department].”
Mayor Ara Najarian addressed a complaint that residents of the Crescenta Valley area had in respect to big-rig trucks parked along Ocean View Boulevard north of the 210 Freeway.
“Those concerns [by residents] were passed along to Supervisor Mike Antonovich because [the problem] is in an unincorporated part of the county,” Najarian explained. “I’m told that the signs [that will help the parking problem] are on order, and as soon as they are received and manufactured they will be placed [along Ocean View] to prevent large vehicles from parking north of the 210.”
City Clerk Ardashes Kasskhian announced the 48th Mayor’s Prayer Breakfast for 6:30 a.m. on Thursday, March 11 at the Glendale Civic Center. Guest speaker will be singer and actress Lisa Bowman. Rosemont Middle School’s string ensemble will provide the musical entertainment. More information on the Mayor’s Prayer Breakfast can be had by calling (626) 298-3078.
The status of the city’s investment portfolio was discussed by City Treasurer Ron Barucki as of the end of the second fiscal quarter of 2011. “Property tax revenues of $15,700,000 boosted the city’s portfolio dollars to $411,000,000 for the second quarter ending Dec. 31, 2010. This total was $11,000,000 are than the previous quarter ending Sept. 30, 2010,” reported Barucki. “The year-to-date rate of return for the city portfolio is 1.47% through the end of December , with year-to-date earnings at $2,973,000. While there is no comfort in these numbers, the good news is that […] interest rates are appearing to bottom out. The city portfolio is safe, solid, and liquid.”
An update on the NGCP was presented by Director of Community Planning Hassan Haghani. “Our staff has released a first draft of the [NGCP]. [This] reflects the community’s vision and the policies they wish to see in North Glendale.”
Councilman Dale Weaver noted that he had not received a single negative email in respect to the matter. Councilman Drayman agreed and he also commended the parties involved. “I was very impressed with their level of dedication and also the level of the insightful questions that were asked [by the people involved],” said Drayman.
Councilwoman Laura Friedman held up the NGCP as an example of the “proactive planning that the city needs to really be doing – and [North Glendale] is particularly ripe for it. This will lay the groundwork for the community to … have a real say as to how they want their part of the city to look.”
The NGCP will also lay the groundwork for three important results, said Haghani. “One is the general portion planning for Glendale. The second [part] will be zoning changes, and a set of design guidelines.”
The city council voted unanimously for a motion providing direction for the NGCP.
Finally, Glendale’s Director of Finance Robert Elliot provided a brief update on the city’s budget. “Revenues are up a little bit from last year, but they’re
still under budget by about $3,ooo,ooo. Our expenditures are trending very well. We continue to have a hard hiring freeze. The savings from [the hiring freeze] are from $4,000,000 to $7,000,000.”
Challenges facing the city as noted by Elliot are, among other things, the loss of the Water Transfer to Glendale’s General Fund, PERS rate increases, revenue stagnation, unemployment and economic issues in the State of California.
The council voted unanimously to approve the second fiscal quarter update and adjustments to the approved 2010-11 budget.