Election 2024



Each week CV Weekly will examine the candidates running for a variety of offices. This week we present a partial list of the candidates running for Glendale City Council. The remaining candidates will be profiled next week.

James Clarke

James Clarke moved to North Glendale, where he has lived for eight years, after working in London as a marketing and communications expert. His desire to run for City Council stemmed from a need to offer his local and international experience, as well as his skills in strategic thinking and innovative outreach, to the Glendale community.

To Clarke, the role of a City Council representative is to engage the community.

“I want to listen to [the community’s] concerns, and I want to defer to them when it comes to making huge decisions,” he said. “I’m doing this because I’m passionate, I’m doing this because I feel like I have good ideas and I can make a difference.”


Clarke believes the City Council should put public hearings back at the beginning of meetings so people can attend after work and not have to sit for five hours.

Housing and Utilities

“There are plenty of empty houses and vacant units the city owns that could be turned into affordable housing,” Clarke said. He said that while housing quantity might not be an immediate issue in Glendale, housing affordability is, especially due to Glendale Water and Power rate increases.

“[Glendale] does have an affordability problem. Glendale is getting more and more expensive to live in, which is going to push [out] people who can’t afford [to live here]. One of the primary reasons that’s happening is because Glendale City Council gets a huge chunk of the income from Glendale Water and Power that goes into the general fund. And Glendale City Council this summer voted to increase the Glendale Water and Power rates by 50% plus 50% over the next five years. So it’s gonna get more and more expensive to be here.”


For Clarke, finding talent willing to step into roles in tech and advertising Glendale opportunities will be key to his campaign.

“What is the city doing to bring in talent, to bring in innovation? We’ve had Glendale Tech Week – that’s been going on for a while. It used to be bigger. We need to make Glendale Tech Week an event like South by Southwest that people from all around the world want to come to. And people [should] want to bring their technology, people [should] want to bring [their] talent and invest, like in London,” Clarke said.

Transportation and Safety

Clarke said that, if elected, he would support and expand efforts to curb rising crime in the city, including partnering Glendale PD with the Los Angeles Police Dept. to catch retail thieves like those who ransacked stores at the Americana. Clarke said the “catch and release” methods popularized by the current Los Angeles District Attorney encourages large scale retail theft, as well as residential thefts.

“For communities to feel safe, and for people to trust one another, we have to know there are people [who] are just recklessly committing crime repeatedly on the streets. [LAPD] has more resources. We have to use the resources available to us. We need to make sure we can catch criminals and not have them go back to targeting our neighborhoods,” he said.

As far as transportation and mobility plans, Clarke wants to work with the city to make Glendale a much more mobile city and decrease traffic incidents. However, he doesn’t believe the current speed camera initiative will stop people from speeding in high traffic areas because of the low fines and warnings required before punishment is implemented. He thinks more oversight and visibility of consequences could be a deterrent.

“Even when they see a cop, that doesn’t stop them. Because of the way people drive even on the streets where I live, which is pretty quiet compared to Brand, I would not feel safe riding a bike. So that’s also an issue – we need to address road safety because people … are too scared to cycle because they think they’re gonna get killed,” he said.

He would plan to work with community members and City Council to find a feasible solution.

Vartan Gharpetian

Vartan Gharpetian is a former employee of the City of Glendale and was part of the City Council in 2015. He is the current CEO of Glendale Commercial Inc., a Glendale-based real estate company. He is running to be re-elected to City Council because he is concerned about rising housing and electricity prices in Glendale, as well as Council transparency and safety on the streets.

He wants to keep his door open for residents to come speak with him in person about changes they want to see made.

“You have to be accessible,” he said.


Gharpetian is concerned about the transparency of budget funds because he said much of the city’s budget is being used for projects that have no set completion date. He said if elected, he will rebalance the budget to reflect community interests and ensure projects allocated in the budget will be completed.

“It takes the staff away,” he said. “They’re on this treadmill running 100 miles an hour all the time to bring all these reports back and many of them do not get to a point to vote [on them].”

He said that in order to find the issues he should budget for the first step is going to the community.

“Going to community members is always the key,” he said. “You have to always meet with them, listen to them and really take into consideration their desires. There has to be a desirability to not only have a plan but a real plan that can be implemented, that can be budgeted for. But if you cannot achieve it, you cannot implement it, you cannot budget for it to be built – what’s the cost?”

Housing and Utilities

Gharpetian said raising trash fees and property taxes for residents and small businesses in Glendale is not the correct way to manage the budget.

“Trash fees and sewer fees have gone up by 250%. That is putting a lot of pressure on on residents, especially for low income people,” he said.

During Ghapetian’s time on Council, from 2015-2020, 43 units were completed for veterans in Veterans Village, 72 units for artists on Louise next to the YMCA, affordable housing was created for seniors on Broadway, and on Fifth and Sonora, there are 520 units of affordable housing. He wants to dedicate more of the budget to turning empty units into affordable housing, and adjusting the budget to do so.

Transportation, Mobility and Safety

One of the projects he would work on, which he sees as increasing mobility and beatification of the city, is to allocate $8 million to rehabilitating the Rockhaven Sanitarium Historic District in Glendale. He also wants to work with the Glendale Police Dept. to advertise and fill police jobs so the force has enough manpower to address crime. He wants to work with them to ensure they receive funding to decrease vacancies in the department.

“If they need funding they should have funding. Our message as a Council member [is] that you’re welcoming [to] police officers, welcoming to public safety and all the other City of Glendale employees who make the city run,” he said.

He expressed frustration with the Bike Transportation plan process, and the way Council delayed implementation.

“You have to have a short and long term plan for connectivity,” he said, “and not something that takes so long to implement.”

Denise Miller

Denise Miller was born in Glendale and has lived there her entire life. She was appointed to the Commission on the Status of Women in Glendale, and worked for Glendale Adventist Medical Center before moving to other parts of the health care sector.

Miller believes her role in City Council, if elected, would align with her mission as a health care professional ­– to help people navigate complex systems and feel listened to.

“We have to partner with them so it’s meaningful to them – that we’ve got the right treatment, the right doctor, the right diagnosis to move them forward to the right place. And it’s that kind of very specific focused and practiced approach that I’m going to bring to all the greater issues within Glendale,” she said.

Housing and Utilities

Miller has a long history of regulatory leadership and budgeting that she would draw off of to address rising costs of utilities and housing, she said. She will meet with City Council and residents to see what is best for them.

“[We will need] to go into a budget session and will have to look at these essential services of gas and electricity and waste management. And we are going to have to be hearing from the residents of the rising costs and they’re going to have to weigh that with other services that are within the budget to see what, in fact, can be done. So I’m actually looking forward to rolling up my sleeves and getting into that budget with the other Council members,” she said.

She also plans to look to small businesses for innovation and job creation in order to stave off rising costs. Miller said she would also look to community members and small businesses to direct innovation that will bring jobs.

“I want to see the reality of our small businesses and to look at avenues to help them thrive, look at avenues of job creation, and look at how we can foster innovation. And next … is that we have residents in Glendale – in entertainment, arts [and] culture sectors – that are looking at innovation, that they are well versed in. There are opportunities to really look at the expertise that we have in Glendale, and for the voters to help us see what that process looks like,” she said.

Transportation and Safety

Miller, who was on the Glendale Police Foundation for many years, would use her connections to address traffic and safety concerns. When Laura Friedman’s speed cameras are implemented, she would sit down with Chief Manny Cid to discuss which areas were most affected by speeding then target them.

“We know that in Glendale we live in one of the best places, but we also know that we have a speeding issue and we also know that pedestrian safety is at stake,” she said. “That would be something that would rely on the leadership of our police chief…”

She would work with Walk Bike LA and Walk Bike Glendale to find where bike paths work, where they don’t and where improvements need to be made.

“This is another example where you have the subject matter experts who live in these communities, in these organizations, [ready to help] guide.”