By Ted AYALA
Those Glendale citizens expecting a fireworks finale in the Glendale City Council (GCC) chamber in the meeting before the election were probably disappointed. Tuesday’s meeting turned out to be surprisingly easy going. No dramatic revelations, no burning accusations, no swarms of citizens storming city hall with torches and pitchforks.
In keeping with the general civility of public discourse here in Glendale, the GCC meeting of March 29 turned out to be a quiet meeting.
Referring to the Metropolitan Transit Agency’s (MTA) push to make the 710 Freeway extension a reality, Councilman John Drayman deplored the scheduling of the next MTA 710 scoping meeting in La Crescenta, on April 5 at 6 p.m. – election night in Glendale. “[It’s] pretty interesting that the proponents of this extension couldn’t find any other night to hold a community meeting in the La Crescenta area other than election night. Pretty cynical; pretty unbelievable,” said Drayman. Making clear his position on the matter, Drayman reaffirmed his opposition to the 710 Freeway extension. The MTA 710 Freeway scoping meeting will be held at La Cañada High School.
Highlighting one of the Redevelopment Agency’s key projects, the housing of the Museum of Neon Art in Glendale and the execution of a 15-year lease for its proposed location on Brand Boulevard, came up for vote at council. The Museum of Neon Art, formerly residing in West Hollywood, has been searching for a new home. The city of Glendale has proposed setting the museum as the cornerstone of its proposed Cultural Arts District that will run along Brand Boulevard. As it turned out, the item had been pushed off the agenda, but citizens still came to voice their opinion on the matter. Citizen Gabrielle O’ Sullivan stepped up to the dais to proclaim her opposition to the project. “The city is proposing to spend millions of dollars on renovating [the mu- Brand Blvd.,” said O’ Sullivan. “There are many small, non-profit organizations in this city who struggle to keep alive. The Opera Guild, for instance, provides a wonderful introduction to classical music and brings their accomplished singers to schools. There are youth orchestras with huge enthusiasm and talent, but lack funding. Here in Glendale there is no historical or science museum, yet there will be a neon museum. It is not elitist to hope for the city to consider long term goals for its future generations to help them aspire to experiences beyond their immediate scope and give them opportunities for cultural enlightenment. It seems to me the council members are more concerned with their legacy to the city than the city’s legacy. I would prefer to spend see money spent in a more community centered manner.”
With gas climbing above $4 a gallon with no sign of stopping, bicycles have become highly sought after as an economical alternative to driving. The city of Glendale has been pushing hard for the implementation of its Bicycle Master Plan. Applied Eco Solutions (AES) of Mission Viejo was awarded a $141,352 contract to design, obtain, and install bike racks across Glendale in accord with the new Bicycle Master Plan. Grants from the MTA and Caltrans are helping to make the new plan a reality. Jane Baghdanian, Glendale’s Transit and Traffic Administrator, spelled out what the contract would mean for the city. “Currently we have about 100 bicycle racks throughout the city. We anticipate with the funding that is available we s anticipate to build another 250 – 280 racks throughout the city. The installations will begin in June of this year and is due to be completed by September.” Councilman Frank Quintero gave his approval to the project and said, “This is going to work out real well for the citizens of Glendale.” Councilwoman Laura Friedman, too, was very approving of the project. “I’m happy to see this [project] going forward,” said Friedman. “I try to bicycle around when I can. But if I don’t know if there’s a rack where I’m bicycling to, I won’t go there. We want to do a good thing for the environment and a good thing for health.” The contract award pedaled by fairly quickly. It was unanimously approved.