By Mary O’KEEFE
A step forward took place in the realization of the Armenian American Museum and Cultural Center of California in Glendale at the Glendale City Council at Tuesday night’s meeting.
“We have reached a point tonight where a historical decision will be made,” said Councilmember Paula Devine.
The Council voted unanimously on the Museum items before them, including finding the project exempt from the California Environmental Quality Act in accordance to state guidelines, approving the standards variance permitting the loading area to be partially located off-site, approving the stage II design and the ground lease agreement.
All members of the Council thanked those involved for working since 2014 on this project.
Berdj Karapetian, a member of the museum’s board of directors, shared how this project was a collaborative effort. The board is composed of members from 10 organizations from the Armenian community. Councilmember Ara Najarian voiced his hope that in the future a member of the Council could be included on the board.
“My support for this project was firmly based in the fact that the governance and the operation and the management was going to be shared by the different Armenian political parties, cultural organizations and churches,” Najarian said.
Karapetian said the by-laws did not have language to include a member of the City Council, but he would bring that issue up with the board for discussion.
Najarian stressed the Council had not officially asked for this seat but wanted to put the subject out for discussion. Devine added that it was her hope as well that others outside of the Armenian community would be part of either the board of trustees or the board of directors. Karapetian assured the Council that the board did plan to expand to include members of other organizations as the plans for the museum move forward.
The Council also confirmed the appointment of Jason Bradford as the City’s chief information officer.
“[He] is by far the most prepared individual,” said Yasmin Beers, city manager.
Bradford has been with the city for 19 years and has a strong financial and technical background. His job will include overseeing the IT department for the city including network security.
“Jason is a proven leader and I am pleased to appoint him as Glendale’s chief information officer,” Beers stated. “He brings a wealth of financial and technical experience, which makes him uniquely well-suited for this position.”
While budget administrator, Bradford’s main responsibility was to prepare the City’s annual budget. Most recently, he was one of the lead implementers on the City’s new payroll system that went live in March 2017.