By Ted AYALA
In August 2011, the Glendale City Council adopted a plan to adopt fare increases on its municipal Beeline bus system. On Tuesday, it moved forward to cancel the fare increase that would have taken place on July 1.
“At this point, based on fare-box revenue and our [revenue] projections going forward, we believe that the fare increase can be deferred or even cancelled at this time,” said City Manager Scott Ochoa.
A combination of service cuts, outsourcing, and better than expected revenue increases brought on by the approval of Propositions A, B, C, and Measure R, as well as positive projections for the next fiscal year, moved city staff to recommend the cancellation of the fare increase.
Staff also explained that the recommendation for deferment or cancellation of the increase follows a recent decision by the Metropolitan Transportation Authority (MTA) to defer its own proposed rate increases.
“Everyone who drives would benefit by having less cars on the road,” said Herbert Molano, who spoke in support of cancelling the fare.
The council also reviewed the city’s participation in next year’s Rose Parade entry. If the city were to participate in the 2014 Rose Parade, it would make the 100th anniversary of its participation in the event – the longest running outside of Pasadena.
Staff commented that in the past the Glendale Rose Float Association would oversee fundraising. This year would consist of fundraising by way of community outreach, grassroots donations, as well as corporate sponsorships from local businesses.
Last year, after the debacle of 2011’s design controversy, council designated a committee to oversee the float’s design. Staff recommendations were to continue this method, with corporate sponsors comprising the committee.
Council approved the project, moving to appropriate $155,000 to fund the construction of the float, while authorizing the execution of a $150,000 contract with Phoenix Decorating Co., Inc., renewing a long-standing relationship between the company and the city.
Before discussion of the agenda began, council spent part of its personal comments portion discussing the recent controversy surrounding city council candidate Zareh Sinanyan. He also currently serves on the city’s Parks, Recreation, and Community Services Commission.
Uncovered earlier this month were a series of posts on YouTube from a user with the same name attacking other users with homophobic and racist threats. Personal information disclosed by that user appears to link that user with Sinanyan.
“The evidence I’ve seen is very compelling,” said Councilmember Laura Friedman, who is running against Sinanyan in the April 2 election. “We do need to give this commissioner a chance to respond.”
Councilmember Ara Najarian, who is also running for re-election, seconded Friedman’s motion to place an inquiry into the matter through the council agenda.
“I learned about these possible actions,” he said. “I think it’s only fair to agendize this in order to give Mr. Sinanyan a chance to respond.”
Rebuffing the proposal for agendizing the item was Councilmember Rafi Manoukian who has officially endorsed Sinanyan in the election.
“I would prefer [discussing the matter] after election,” he said. “This is the first I’ve been hearing of this.”
“It is disturbing,” said Mayor Frank Quintero of the accusations.