By Ted AYALA
A resolution transferring $20,607,000 in operating revenue from Glendale Water & Power (GWP) to the city’s general fund was approved by Glendale City Council Tuesday night amidst reservations from Mayor Zareh Sinanyan.
The transfer is in line with a previous council resolution to scale back the amount of such funds transferred to the general fund.
Mayor Sinanyan reaffirmed his previous opposition, saying that he is still against such transfers in principle, but is unable to do anything to prevent it.
“It is what it is,” the mayor said.
Councilmember Frank Quintero said that he found “nothing wrong” with the transfer, adding that he felt it was what the founders of the city had intended in the charter.
City Manager Scott Ochoa warned that if the transfer was not approved, the city would lose its fourth largest revenue source for the general fund. According to him, the annual transfers have long been an established part of its revenue structure. Removing it now would deal a crippling blow to many city services.
“What it ultimately means is that you end up mixing and matching significant wholesale diminutions in the level of service you provide,” he said.
Earlier in the meeting, the city announced the appointment of Roubik Golanian as director of Public Services. Golanian would be succeeding Steve Zurn at the head of the department.
Zurn had intended to leave the department that he previously served for 28 years after being appointed to lead the GWP in September 2012. But he held on to his role in Public Works pending the appointment of a permanent successor.
Ochoa said that Golanian’s appointment was a great day for the future of Public Works. He also praised Zurn’s tenure as its head, saying that no other employee had left a deeper stamp on it.
“He has been the kind of guy that Glendale can depend upon,” he added.
Golanian worked with the city for 14 years. During that time, he was a senior civil engineer, a city engineer and, more recently, deputy director of Public Works. Ochoa called him “a leader in engineering.”
“He is a well-rounded man who will lead this department into the future as [Zurn] makes that hand-off,” “[Golanian] is a big believer in our values-based management.”
Golanian, who was in attendance with his family, had very few words of thanks for the city and council.
“I am deeply honored to be appointed [as] your new director,” he said. “Our department has many dedicated and hardworking employees. I thank you for putting your trust in me.”