By Ted AYALA
With the attention of Glendale citizens diverted to election night and its expectant results, the Glendale City Council called together a very brief meeting on Tuesday. Important issues that would excite much attention and opinionating from the public were moved over to the next meeting.
In his comments, Councilmember Dave Weaver encouraged the audience to make sure they voted if they had not done so already. Councilmember Laura Friedman praised her colleagues and all city council candidates for “engaging with the city in an important dialog.”
“Every candidate brought something special,” she noted.
Mayor Ara Najarian took time to criticize the 710 extension where in La Cañada the MTA – on whose board he serves – and CalTrans were holding a scoping meeting.
“The cracks are beginning to show here,” said Najarian. “There was a recent opinion by the state legislative office which opined that the funding mechanism for this $10 billion plus tunnel may be an illegal funding plan. The Public/Private Partnership (PPP), in their opinion, is a non permitted type of funding because public resources are being given to a private company and that private company is obtaining profits from that funding and management. This isn’t the death blow to the 710 tunnel, but it’s one more punch to the gut for [this project].”
Najarian then deplored the amount of money already spent on the project. He also vowed to bring up the matter with the MTA board of directors next month calling for them to cease all operations on the 710 until the matter has been cleared.
Closing his remarks, Najarian called for dusting off the city’s ethics ordinance that was imposed on local candidates for public office.
“Included in that ethics ordinance I would like to include in our discussion a lobbyist registration program. I would like to see fees charged for people who are lobbying for programs. I’d like to see some blackout dates where, registered or not, no lobbyist can approach a mayor or councilmember with their lobbying.” City Manager Jim Starbird tentatively scheduled the discussion for the ethics ordinance on the city council agenda for April 26.
The only consent item of note was the unanimous passing of the purchase of a new software system for the GWP’s electrical distribution atomization project.
So ended last Tuesday’s city council meeting. After a strikingly colorful campaign season, the last council meeting before the end of the election closed off happily until next week.