By Ted AYALA
It was a quiet Glendale City Council meeting that Mayor Frank Quintero presided over on Tuesday. The meeting was one that had a dual significance for the mayor. At the meeting’s start the YWCA of Glendale bestowed upon Quintero a certificate of appreciation for his work on behalf of the Glendale Veterans’ Coalition. And, an hour later, when he adjourned the meeting, another milestone had been marked: Quintero’s last meeting as a member of the city council.
After 12 years in public service, Frank Quintero will be stepping down from office, having committed to a promise made last year not to run again for his council seat. Leaving along with him will be Rafi Manoukian, who left his position on the council to run for treasurer in the April 2 election. The incumbent in that position, Ron Borucki, declined to run.
With Quintero retired and the most likely contender to assume the role of mayor uncertain, questions have arisen as to how the mayoral succession will occur this time.
The system of mayoral succession in Glendale differs from cities like Los Angeles and Pasadena where the office of mayor is an elected position whose occupier is determined by a general election. In Glendale the chairperson of the Redevelopment Agency, who would also be a sitting councilmember, would traditionally succeed the outgoing mayor. But with the demise of redevelopment last year, that process is no longer possible.
Instead, the City Council on Monday night will directly appoint Quintero’s successor, choosing the holder of the office from among their own.
Who will assume the office is still uncertain in the face of the approximately 3,500 provisional ballots still being counted today by the City Clerk’s office.
Councilmember Ara Najarian, holds a comfortable lead over his rivals, all but assuring him victory. But his having held the office in the recent past, serving during 2010, makes his appointment to mayor unlikely. Still less possible would be the naming of Friedman to assume the role, given that she is Quintero’s immediate predecessor.
Adding uncertainty to the final outcome is whether Friedman will manage to hold onto the lead she currently holds over her challengers Zareh Sinanyan and Chahe Keuroghelian. The razor thin margin between the candidates will make the results from the counting of the provisional ballots all the more crucial. In the event that one of them or both manage to crack into the second and third place slots, they will be likely contenders for mayor.
The opening of Manoukian’s seat also leaves the make-up of the next City Council up in the air.
According to the City Clerk’s office, the city charter states that council must appoint somebody to take the seat within 30 days of its being vacated. If they decline or are unable to do so, then council must call for a special election. The winner of that election would then hold the position until the next county election. That would occur either November 2013 or June 2014. At that point they must run again. If successful, they would serve until April 2015.
The process to replace councilmembers was enacted per the recommendations of the 2005 Charter Amendment Committee, which were later approved by voters.