Trash Talk at Council Meeting


The first Glendale City Council meeting of 2023 covered a variety of issues, many that will be brought back to the council when all members are present. Councilmembers Paula Devine and Ara Najarian were not present at Tuesday’s meeting.

Council did introduce the appointment of the new Glendale police chief Manuel Cid who comes from the Culver City Police Dept. where he served as chief of police.

“We are excited to appoint Chief Cid as Glendale’s new police chief. His background and leadership experience make me feel confident that our city will continue to be one of the safest cities in the nation,” stated Glendale Mayor Ardy Kassakhian in a release.

Cid spoke at the Glendale City Council meeting and shared his excitement and honor to be appointed to the position of GPD chief. He thanked interim chief Andrew Jenks and former chief Carl Povilaitis for their service.

“I consider this opportunity to serve the Glendale community to be a great privilege and responsibility that I don’t take lightly,” he said. “One that I will … approach with a great deal of professionalism, passion, a tireless work ethic and a great deal of humility – all to ensure that our city, organizations and this police department provide the highest level of professional services while preserving the quality of life for our residents.”

Councilmember Dan Brotman added that the process to find a chief of police was extensive, lasting about about six months. There were three separate panels whose members chose their top three candidates for the job.

“This time all three panels put the candidates in the same order and that is pretty rare,” Brotman said of the three “strongest” candidates who were presented to the city manager.

Councilmember Elen Asatryan welcomed the new chief and hoped that he would be as involved with the community as was former chief Carl Povilaitis.

During councilmembers’ discussion, Brotman asked for the city’s park departments to respond to questions on how the unhoused were doing after the recent rains.

The Glendale police and the city’s homeless services stated they reached out to unhoused individuals. Those who were interested have found shelter either in Glendale or the shelter located in Pacoima.

The issue, however, is those people who are service resistant, although city service staff continues to reach out to them on a regular basis.

Mayor Kassakhian said he had been contacted by residents who were concerned about the condition of Rockhaven sanitarium. He said that he was “keeping an eye” on the structures.

“We are concerned as well,” he said.

There was also a presentation on the Glendale Peace Walk and Festival that will be on Jan. 16 from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. Participants are asked to meet at the First Baptist Church of Glendale, 209 N. Louise St. in Glendale. Participants will walk the streets of Glendale in memory of Martin Luther King Jr. then gather for a festival of food and music.

One of the topics that inspired the most concern, and the most community participation, was the proposed increase of waste management services that in some cases will increase over 300%.

During a presentation, the city’s initial rate adjustment was to a proposed monthly rate of $27.76 effective Feb. 1, 2023. That would be an increase from the current rate of $11.72 for a standard 64-gallon cart. The adjustment would be an increase of $16.04, which equals a total adjustment of 137%.

For a multi-family (two to four units), the monthly rate for standard 64-gallon cart is proposed to rise from $14.82 to $27.76, an increase 87%.

The largest proposed increase was additional pickups using the front-loading bin service of the three-cubic-yard bins. It would increase 491% from $22.63 to $133.80.

For many residents who opposed the hike the argument that there had not been a rate adjustment since 2010 did not appear to be a legitimate reason. Callers/speakers asked why the increase was not done prior to this proposal, providing a slower increasing scale, and many commented on the financial difficulty this high an increase would cause residents.

Mayor Kassakhian asked for the possibility of offering a senior discount of the proposed fees. Councilmember Asatryan added she would like to see low-income families also offered a discount.

Most renters and condo owners, and businesses, have already seen their prices go up.

Brotman said the major failing is that the increase was delayed so long. In fact, after the increase the City of Glendale is still less than many other cities, he added.

“It’s just the abruption of the rate [increase],” he added.

Kassakhian said he didn’t want to label as mismanagement that the rates were not raised by past Councils over the years.

“But the decision was deferred,” he said.

He added he does not see the solution as continuing to “kick the can” down the road, and that the reality is this Council now has the tough decision to make.

Brotman agreed. “Really folks – I don’t see an alternative.”

The Council approved the hearing on this issue to continue to Jan. 31, and to extend the period for the public to file a protest to Jan. 31 as well.