City Manager Starbird: Not My Fault Management
On Tuesday evening, Sept. 13, I came before Glendale City Council to inform the public that former city manager Jim Starbird had filed a $1 million claim against the City.

“Jim Starbird claims while pushing his wife in a wheelchair the chair hit an uplifted sidewalk, thrusting her head onto the concrete. It caused a severe concussion, and she died shortly afterwards,” [I said].

Starbird’s attorney, Steven Glickman said, “You cannot have these dangerous conditions, especially with disabled people in wheelchairs.”

After the incident, city officials spray-painted the roughly one-and-a-quarter inch sidewalk elevation bright orange. Glickman said, “If something that simple had been done earlier the tragic accident never would have happened.”

Years ago, concerned citizens Herbert Molano and Richard Espiritu came before  council week after week after week asking for an aggressive policy for sidewalk and road repairs. Mr. Espiritu was very passionate on ADA compliances.

Council members Friedman and Najarian, who bestowed accolades upon Mr. Starbird at his retirement, would often remain silent when these two gentlemen came before council with complaints and generally waited for a reply by former City Manager Jim Starbird. Mr. Starbird generally stated all was under control, not to worry and did nothing.

It appeared that Mr. Starbird was a miser when it came to finding money for sidewalk and road maintenance, but never had a problem finding money for generous salaries and pensions for his beloved CALPERS union workforce.

We are sorry for the loss of Mr. Starbird’s wife, a very respected person in the community, but the claim against the city brought on by Mr. Starbird and family is both appalling and unconscionable.

As the former city manager, he had plenty of time and opportunity to fix our sidewalks and roads. Mr. Starbird will be suing the taxpayers of Glendale for his mistakes.

Mr. Starbird and his attorney might want to review the videos of Mr. Molano and Mr. Espiritu before going forward.
Mike Mohill     

Shredding Reduces Stress
Last Wednesday evening, over 200 families in the Crescenta/Cañada Valley area were able to feel relieved after seeing their outdated documents destroyed. More than a few senior citizens expressed their gratitude and relief to be rid of files dating back 30 years, old bank statements, tax returns and mortgage statements.

SCORE of Greater Los Angeles, along with local chambers of commerce and Republic Services, offered as a community service free shredding to all comers. This is the ninth year the service has been offered in conjunction with the tri chamber Expo at the USC Verdugo Hills Hospital.

Pat Anderson, LCF Chamber president, assisted by Dick Mader and Bob O’Brien, SCORE mentors and longtime La Cañada Flintridge residents, and Explorers from the Glendale Police Dept. worked together to keep traffic flowing and things cool on a warm fall evening.
Richard Mader

229 Years of American Exceptionalism
It had been a hot, humid Philadelphia summer in 1787 when 42 Founding Fathers debated for months to create the United States Constitution. Thirty-nine Founders signed it on Sept. 17 and sent it to the states for ratification. On Saturday, Sept. 17 it was the 229th anniversary of that historic event.

It is the Constitution that makes the United States an exceptional nation. Under the Constitution, the United States government is the most successful and longest running government in the world today. Put another way, every single country in the world has created or changed their governments since 1787. We are the envy of the world.

We are also exceptional because our Constitution is the foundation for self-government. The Preamble starts with, and I quote, “We the People.” It is a document that recognizes that we are a responsible group of hard working people who elect representatives to govern us. We expect these representatives to respect us and govern us in a manner that lets us solve our challenges and take care of each other. This rugged individualism built our nation.

When you go into the voting booth in November, remember the important people in your life and reflect on your family, friends and neighbors when you cast your vote. Your vote is very important.
Lynn McGinnis

An Answer for the Publisher
Regarding [publisher] Robin Goldsworthy’s asking, “What does that even mean?” [From the Desk of the Publisher, Sept. 15] to the intellectually-challenged excuse scratched out by some megamind at Occidental College for why the almost 3,000 American flags that were up at that school to remember the Americans who were murdered on Sept. 11, 2001 were vandalized, the answer is quite simple.

It’s not meant to mean anything.

A mealy-mouthed, trendy buzzword-filled meme like that, no doubt crayoned out over enough Red Bull to float a battleship, isn’t meant to mean, a thing. The nameless, faceless, accountable to no one except themselves youngsters who tapped it out did so only because their stunt got too much press, and nothing else. Notice what isn’t included in that mumbo-jumbo explanation: Any kind of even tacit apology.

In part, their statement says, “We were unclear as to the fact that each flag represented each life…” Yea. Almost 3,000 American flags just happen to pop up right around 9/11. Talk about not being able to connect the dots. I’m not sure those Einsteins could spell “Ohio” if you spotted them the “hi.” The person who wrote that has access to sharp objects. Be afraid.

Fact: The American college campus today is a safer space for Palestinian flags, or rainbow flags, than it is for American flags. The intellectual giants at Oxy aim to keep it that way. If a few American flags have to be broken along the way to do so, so be it. Even on 9/11.
Shawn Flanagan                                                  

Regarding Devine and Najarian: Broken Promises
I wish to thank Mr. Mohill for stating in his Letter to the Editor [Viewpoints, Sept. 8] that I led the effort to “downzone” the area on Brand, north of Glenoaks. For the record, what I actually tried to do was initiate a change in the height district requirements in C3 Zones adjacent to residential areas so that buildings would be limited to three or four stories, instead of the now permitted six-story buildings. Although my initial effort was defeated, I am continuing to pursue that goal.

Unfortunately, my thanks to Mr. Mohill must stop at this point because the remainder of his letter contains untrue and/or misleading statements. For example:

He stated that I “broke my promise” because I “approved a couple of hotels and mega construction projections” (I believe he meant projects). This is not true.

During my tenure on Council, with the exception of a new low-rise medical building (not a “mega construction project”), all so called “mega projects” that came to Council, including the hotel on Brand at Dryden, had either been “approved” by previous Councils or were permitted “by right” and did not require approval by Council. My votes on these projects concerned only “design review” or “environmental issues,” which did not impact, change or negate the fact that the projects were already “approved” to be built. To the contrary, a review of my record will show that I “kept my promise” to try and slow down development by initiating and approving code changes which removed or reduced incentives that were previously granted to developers.

In supporting his contention that I should have recused myself from voting on the Aloft Hotel project, he stated that “the property owner of the Aloft Hotel was my next door neighbor who bought my former house.” This is not true. The owner of the Aloft Hotel property is not and never has been my next door neighbor and did not buy my former house.

I must remind Mr. Mohill that not too long ago he publicly apologized to me for making untrue statements regarding my receipt of campaign contributions from unions. It appears that another apology may be due.
Paula Devine
Glendale City Councilmember