There’s a witch-hunt on in Glendale with a small group of City Council gadflies and the Glendale News-Press hoping to lead an angry mob. Unfortunately, the man they’d like to burn at the stake is CV’s own John Drayman. It seems to be an American pastime to knock heroes off their pedestals, even when they don’t deserve it. In this case, it would be a huge mistake, as Drayman has been a good thing for Glendale.
Ever since John first entered the arena of city politics he has been a positive force. In Montrose he got us the historic streetlights, landscaping and new sidewalks, created the popular Montrose Harvest Market, brokered the Rockhaven purchase as well as the new Trader Joe’s. His presence on City Council has ensured that the Montrose and La Crescenta portions of Glendale finally have a voice, and are no longer the step-child to Glendale they used to be.
For the first time in decades, the Glendale portion of Foothill Boulevard is getting some long overdue attention. On a city-wide level, he has helped to calm the formerly contentious Council meetings, embarrassing circuses punctuated by temper tantrums and dominated by gadflies who drew power from the constant controversy.
Thanks to John the Museum of Neon Art is about to open on Brand Boulevard. He has ushered in a new era of public participation in the city planning process, and we now benefit from evening Design Review meetings, better notification of upcoming projects and story poles for additions. In fact, he is responsible for a complete reform of our city’s Design Review process. Drayman has a special place in his heart for our history, and we now have historic districts and Montrose as Glendale’s official Old Town.
I have known John personally since high school, and I consider him a good friend. Like any good friend, I know his quirks and failings, and believe me they’re minor. I trust him, and I believe he doesn’t have a corrupt bone in his body. He loves this city, and would never do anything on purpose to harm its reputation.
We all now know what happened with ADI, and how they scammed not just Glendale but also the cities of Long Beach, Sacramento, San Diego, Anaheim, Fresno and Los Angeles. They fooled professional politicians who have been in this game their whole lives, not just our group of citizen councilmen who are paid less than minimum wage for their service to Glendale.
Drayman got caught up further in the mess when his Montrose condo was flooded by broken pipes in 2009 and he hired a contractor who in turn hired sub-contractors (all long-standing Glendale companies) to do the repairs who had, at one time or another, done some work for ADI. None of this adds up to anything done wrong. People all over the state were fooled by these unscrupulous businessmen. It happens all the time. You learn and move on.
But all this has been a Godsend for that ever-complaining group of gadflies we suffer through at every City Council meeting. They feed off of negativity, and with Drayman in office their particularly ugly brand of politics has been blunted. They’d like him out. There are many unsavory characters waiting in the wings to take Drayman’s spot on Council, and not one of them cares an iota for our valley.
And the News-Press? They’re here to sell newspapers and stirring the muck sells newspapers. They would love to make a mountain out of this molehill. Remember, the News-Press is controlled by the L.A. Times, who this year did very well with their expose of the City of Bell. I’m sure the News-Press would like to emulate their big brother’s success.
John Drayman has been for us a very effective representative, this valley’s first native ever elected to the Glendale City Council. Shall we let a hysterical mob run him out? I think not. It’s time to support him, as he has supported us all these years.