By Ted AYALA
After competing in one of the most highly polarizing and negative municipal elections in recent memory, the members of the Glendale City Council returned to business last Tuesday where the work of civic governance awaited them impatiently.
Though a week since it had occurred, the tension of the April 5 municipal election had yet to dissipate as a very narrow margin of votes separated the top three most voted candidates: incumbents Dave Weaver and John Drayman, and former councilperson Rafi Manoukian. Addressing the matter before the city council, City Clerk Ardashes Kassakhian stated that a final count had yet to be produced. “There remains 3,153 ballots to be processed,” said Kassakhian. “These include vote-by-mail and provisional ballots. The process to verify these ballots is open to the public and interested parties may visit the election center located in the Glendale Police Department’s community room to observe what will take place next. The counting of all remaining ballots which will be verified for the final tally will begin Thursday, April 14 at 9 a.m. Results are expected to be announced the same day. For more information, people may visit www.glendalevotes.org.” Drayman, in a later comment during the meeting quipped about the past election: “They’re always interesting aren’t they, folks?”
At the opening of the meeting, Mayor Ara Najarian issued a proclamation designating April 2011 as Annual Commemoration of the Armenian Genocide Month in Glendale. Representatives from the Armenian community were on hand to accept the proclamations. Among those accepting the proclamations was Diane Acosta of the Glendale Philharmonic Orchestra, which will be performing a concert later this month in tribute to the lives lost in the Armenian Genocide. “We’re honored that [the city of Glendale] has given us the opportunity this year to provide you with a musical program for the Armenian Genocide commemorative event. We are promising that what we will be performing will be reflecting the seriousness of the event, as well as inspiring hope to all Armenians,” said Acosta.
On the action items needing the approval of the city council was an item regarding the overhaul Police Computer Aided Dispatch (PCAD) and Records Management System (RMS) under an early adopter program. Mayor Ara Najarian recused himself from the hearing and decision on the matter as he has holdings in Dell Computers, which is involved in the deal. “I do have a financial interest in Dell, though the contract that they are entering into [with the city] may not have any effect on my investments, out of an abundance of caution I will recuse myself from this item.” Councilperson John Drayman serves as Mayor pro tem for the hearing.
Edward Fraga, Glendale’s Director of Information Services, summed up what the deal would mean for the city as follows: “This is simply a matter of acquiring an upgrade from our existing vendor for a PCAD and RMS that also includes jail management and mobile data computers. This has financial benefits to the city.” The city council voted unanimously for the item; Mayor Najarian being recused.