By Ted AYALA
The full Glendale City Council convened on Tuesday evening in its first meeting since daylight savings.
City Clerk Ardashes Kassakhian invoked the words of French novelist Marcel Proust – famous for his monumental, multi-volume literary epic “In Search of Lost Time” – before the council meeting commenced.
“The hour of death cannot be forecasted,” Kassakhian quoted the Frenchman, “but when we say that, we imagine that hour being placed in an obscure and distant future.” Then invoking for the council and Glendale’s citizens last week’s devastating Sendai earthquake in Japan, Kassakhian reminded everyone of the fleetingness of life.
“Let us pray for the souls of those who perished. Let us pray for those people who survived … and that time will help them heal this tragedy.” His message was one of condolence and unity for the Japanese community and for Glendale’s sister cities in Japan.
Some members of that Japanese community were also present at the council meeting by way of a student exchange program between the cities of Glendale and Higashiosaka, a city east of Osaka in the eponymously named prefecture.
Minoru Tanaka, representative from Nishin High School in Higashiosaka, and his students thanked the city for its hospitality and its words of solidarity during Japan’s time of crisis.
Barry Allen of the Glendale Vanguardians addressed the council during the oral communications period. City Attorney Scott Howard notified the council that Allen was required to sign a release from indemnity agreement. “This is to make sure that any … electronic data goes through a system to ensure that it does not have any viruses … or otherwise corrupts the [city’s computer] system,” explained Howard. Information violating the privacy of any person was not permitted and Allen had to admit in writing that he was indeed the owner of the electronic data he was presenting. Howard also reminded Allen that he could face civil prosecution if he violated those terms.
“This isn’t about me,” said Allen. “This is about building safety.” Afterward, a PowerPoint presentation showing pictures of alleged building violations committed by Councilman John Drayman was displayed to the public.
Afterward Lorraine Mohill, wife of city council candidate Mike Mohill, appeared on the council dais to answer Drayman’s revelations of her husband’s past criminal record involving trespassing and public indecency.
“It had never had occurred to us to expunge this from Mike’s record,” said Lorraine. She then proceeded to defend her husband and demonstrate gratitude for her marriage to him.
Mike Mohill himself finally approached the dais to respond to Drayman’s revelations. “I did not anticipate that I would [have to] publicly discuss the intimate aspects of my personal life,” he said. “Some 25 years ago, I went through a very stressful experience where, although I was a happily married man, I needed to confront my wife with the fact that I was gay.”
Mohill continued. “That time when society was less tolerant about alternative sexual orientations, I was ticketed twice for lewd conduct with a consenting man. Though the infractions were misdemeanors, I needed to address my public impropriety with my wife.”
Mohill then went on to praise his wife’s devotion and their mutual embrace of marriage. Explaining that his sexual orientation was a closely guarded family secret, he continued, “This past weekend we went through the painful process of sharing [matters] we had kept from our families for 25 years.” He hoped that his public statement would satisfy the public’s “lurid curiosity.”
“I will also continue my quest for transparent government,” summarized Mohill.
Also arriving in support of Mohill were his brother and niece, both who praised their uncle extensively.
Mayor Ara Najarian then reminded the speakers to not go off-topic. “This is a place to discuss issues about the city,” Najarian reminded.
Drayman answered Mohill’s communications with a terse statement that confronted not private issues, but rather Mohill’s own inaccurate allegations about Drayman.
“[Allen and Mohill] have thrown everything at me but the kitchen sink,” said Drayman. He then told the Mohills that he was not “concerned” about his private life, but rather the hypocrisy with which he handled himself on the council dais. He also praised the Crescenta Valley Weekly for not “editing” the reports of last week’s council fracas and praised the publication for “not editorializing.”
Then, addressing Mohill’s aggressive and continued campaign attacks, Drayman reminded him that he only defended himself once and that Mohill and the Vanguardians have been attacking him repeatedly and unceasingly. He also called into question Mohill and the Vanguardians ethics in light of their past libelous actions against the city and individual citizens. Drayman then dismissed Allen and Mohill and their publication as fringe extremists.
“Fanaticism and ignorance are ever busy and they need feeding,” said Drayman.