By Ted AYALA
Last Tuesday night the council room of the Glendale City Council was filled to capacity and then some. The seats and aisles were swarming with people clad in red; their faces laden with anxiety and worry. At the heart of the their concerns was a proposal from the city treasurer’s office to close the Glendale’s budget deficit by cutting costs with its employees. Some of the more contentious parts of this proposal included a 1.5% salary cut and additional employee sharing of costs for CalPERS and health insurance. After months of negotiations with the Glendale City Employees Association (GCEA) without resolution, the city council was faced with the difficult task of whether or not to accept the treasurer’s proposal.
Before the council voted on the proposal, some 30 people – most of them members of the GCEA – rose to the rostrum to urge the council against instituting the cuts. One by one they arrived to the podium: some coolly composed; others wracked with despair. Each had their own reason for the council to vote against implementing the treasurer’s proposal.
After all the speakers were given their due, the city council thanked the GCEA and its members for attending the meeting. Councilwoman Laura Friedman praised the GCEA, but acknowledged that the cuts must be made.
“Private businesses are vicious to their employees,” she reminded the audience as she made it clear that the city took these steps only out of dire necessity and that these cuts were preferable to the lay-offs endemic in the private sector. In the end, amid murmurs of dissatisfaction and anger, the council voted unanimously to implement the cuts effective as of Nov. 2.
Other matters discussed that were pertinent to the Crescenta Valley was the success of the Montrose Shopping Park Association’s (MSPA) Halloween Spooktacular event on Oct. 31. Councilman John Drayman reported that the MSPA’s Halloween night was “busy with children and families enjoying their neighbors and businesses” and that approximately 12,000 people attended the Spooktacular.
Commendations were also awarded to this year’s sponsors of the Glendale Youth Association (GYA). The awardees were the Glendale Adventist Center, Department of Community Services and Parks, Glendale Public Works, Glendale Water and Power, and the Walt Disney Company. The GYA helps local youth receive job training and skills. Through the combined efforts of the GYA sponsors, 780 youth received assistance this last year.