By Ted AYALA
The Glendale City Council faced some interesting issues at Tuesday night’s council meeting. As the meeting was called to order, the council chambers swarmed with employees from Glendale Water and Power (GWP). Their concern was that they be allowed to represent themselves in future negotiations with the city.
Rising to the podium was GWP employee Alan Case who urged the city council to grant this to the employees of the GWP. “Why doesn’t the GWP … as a unit have the freedom to vote for the freedoms and desires that represent the city of Glendale? I … ask that this be [put on the agenda] for the next meeting.”
City manager Jim Starbird addressed the concerns of the GWP by noting that the city had “indeed … been served with a petition by the International Brotherhood of Electrical Workers (IBEW) representing the … GWP. We have prepared a response to that. All that we’re waiting for is for me to suggest a date, [a] meeting. We’ll be communicating with the reps of the IBEW.”
A boon to the community was had with the issue of a revenue note (not to exceed $10 million) to the Verdugo Hills Hospital. Starbird urged the council to grant the revenue note and added that, “We serve as a mechanism for the hospital to ensure [it keeps its tax exempt status]. It’s a very common practice. This comes at no debt; no cost to the city.” The issuance of the revenue note to the VHH was approved unanimously.
A measure that should interest the city’s bike riding community was the city’s plan to update Glendale’s bicycle riding master plan. This would call for the creation of new bicycle lanes, new bike racks and lockers across the city, and various other amenities for cyclists. Councilperson Laura Friedman waxed enthusiastically about the city’s plan. She also noted the importance of having bike racks accessible to riders all across the city as their availability encourages cycling. “One of the things that stops me from [cycling more often] is I don’t know if there’s a bike rack [available]. You’re not going to ride around a bike around if you don’t have anywhere safe to put it. She also urged the council to show restraint when deciding on a new model of bicycle racks. Practicality, not fashion, should be key.
The contract for redesigning the city’s bicycle master plan will be awarded to Ryan Snyder and Associates, LLC of Los Angeles. Their contract is not to exceed $66,531 plus another $10,000 for contingencies. The council unanimously approved the measure, which further cements Glendale’s reputation as a regional leader in the “green” movement.
Finally, the responsibility of who has final responsibility over Montrose’s Vietnam War Memorial was debated. Inaugurated in 1968, the Montrose Vietnam War Memorial was the first war memorial in the state of California dedicated to fallen soldiers of the Vietnam War. Lately the issue of dispute between the Montrose Shopping Park Association and the Montrose/Verdugo City Chamber of Commerce, the city assessed which association was deemed more fit to hold responsibility. James Starbird said that, “it’s important to choose one group to be responsible. Frankly, my view is that the MSPA be generally responsible for the memorial. As staff we need to have one point of contact.” The city agreed with Mr. Starbird’s assessment and voted unanimously in favor of granting the MSPA control over the Montrose Vietnam War Memorial.