By Julie BUTCHER
At a special meeting on Friday morning, June 21, the Glendale City Council voted unanimously to appoint former city councilmember Frank Quintero to fill the vacancy on the council caused by the June 7 resignation of Zareh Sinanyan. Sinanyan resigned mid-term to become Armenia’s High Commissioner of Diaspora Affairs. More than 47 Glendale residents submitted their names to be considered for the opening.
Quintero was first elected to the council in 2001 and served terms as mayor 2003-04; 2009-10; and 2012-13. He wrote in his submission pursuing the appointed spot that he would not be seeking the office at the next election in March 2020.
Several speakers at the meeting urged the council to change its mind and schedule a special election because “the people are the final judge and jury.” Others mentioned rumors that the council had a pre-determined choice in Sinanyan’s replacement.
Mayor Ara Najarian laid out his criteria for filling the eight-month opening concluding with the importance of appointing a person who is not “beholden to any particular councilmember or group or preset agenda.”
Dr. Annie Reed teaches law at Valley College and was one of the Glendale residents to throw her hat into the council appointment ring. The 15-year Glendale resident expressed her disappointment that Quintero “didn’t have the decency to write a proper letter or to show up here. As someone who teaches about democracy, this offends me.”
City Clerk Ardashes “Ardy” Kassakhian indicated his interest in filling the council seat and in running for it in the next election.
“I wanted to be honest with the council and the public. It’s critical that we save the more than a million dollars a special election would have cost. There are dozens of desperately needed ways to spend that money,” Kassakhian said.
He affirmed his intention to run for council in March 2020.
“I am passionate in my commitment to Glendale and to local government,” he added.
Quintero is expected to be sworn in before the next council meeting on Tuesday, July 9.
All 47 applications can be found online: https://tinyurl.com/y4tqhuey.