City on Target for Providing Renewable Power


This week the Glendale City Council approved two 25-year agreements with the Southern California Public Power Authority (SCPPA) purchasing 30MW and 12.5MW of geothermal energy at a reportedly affordable $68 per megawatt hour, taking another significant step towards advancing the city’s goals to move toward more renewable power.

SCPPA is a nonprofit joint powers agency formed in 1980 to facilitate joint power and transmission projects for the benefit of Southern California municipalities. The agreements are with Open Mountain Energy, LLC, a Delaware-based company with over 60 years of experience developing, constructing and operating geothermal, biogas, PV solar and other clean energy projects.

According to Glendale Water and Power (GWP) general manager Steve Zurn, the advantage of geothermal energy is that it “runs around the clock.” The approval of these contracts puts the city ahead of state mandates for renewable energy and improves the city’s percentage of renewables by 11% by 2022.

Also in GWP news, the council confirmed the appointment of Nina Jazmadarian to the commission responsible for overseeing the city’s utility. Jazmadarian is the general manager of Foothill Municipal Water District in La Cañada.

The council heard its last election update before Election Day on Tuesday, March 3. For this election, there will be a total of 21 vote centers open across Glendale, with seven already open and 15 more opening on Saturday, Feb. 29. The new vote centers are open every day from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. and will be open from 7 a.m. to 8 p.m. on Election Day.

Voters can vote at any of the centers open in Los Angeles County and can locate the most convenient locations on the county’s elections website and Glendale-specific election information at

“It is important to remember,” city elections officials briefed the council, “these ballot-marking devices are not internet-based. It’s a paper-based system using image processing technology.”

Mayor Ara Najarian raised a concern about the way voting locations were identified, explaining the criteria the city used, and criticizing the late addition of a site not listed by the city.

“We’ve met a brick wall at the Registrar’s Office,” Najarian reported. “The city should be in charge of its nominating decisions as to where our voting centers should be. I’ll be speaking to five [LA County supervisors] on Thursday to get an answer. It’s unfathomable how voting centers can be nominated outside the city’s process.”

The mayor added that he would be introducing legislation to keep it from happening again, “without a back door, end run.”

Speaking of elections, Councilmember Vartan Gharpetian expressed his interest in limiting independent expenditures from “special interests” in local elections. City Attorney Mike Garcia briefly explained the 2010 U.S. Supreme Court case known as Citizens United that “limits the ability of any governmental entity to control independent expenditures as protected first amendment activities.”

The council approved $83,775 for consulting services to review the city’s recycling and organic waste hauler work to ensure compliance with state requirements.

Mayor Najarian announced that Glendale will be part of a transportation pilot, pending approval by the Metro board later this week, for a new Micro Transit program.

“It’s different from Uber in that the drivers are fully certified, fully trained, Metro employees,” Najarian explained. “And it’ll be much cheaper than Uber. For instance, an $8-$9 Uber trip from my house to the transit center will cost $1.75 … anywhere in a five-mile radius.” The pilot is expected to begin next year.

“Other cities wanted it,” he added.

Representatives of the Glendale Police Foundation joined by K-9s Eddie and Mike announced a fundraiser and evening of comedy called “Howl at the Moon,” supporting Glendale’s K-9 program, on Saturday, March 7 starting at 6 p.m. at the Glen Arden Club. Tickets start at $95 and can be purchased online at

Finally, the Glendale Youth Orchestra invited the community to hear “Russian Romantics” at the Alex Theatre on Sunday, March 8 at 7 p.m. Ticket purchase information and other details can be found at