By Mary O’KEEFE
The six candidates running for the two seats on the Glendale City Council once again went into the political forum fray on Monday night.
All appeared to have changed a little since their first debate about four weeks ago at the Dunsmore Community Center. The tone was more restrained by some, campaign slogans seemed to roll off the tongue easier but all seemed a little forum battle weary.
The forum was sponsored by the Montrose Verdugo Chamber of Commerce, the monitor was Alfonso Milanese. Candidates were allowed one minute to answer questions that were posed to them by the audience.
This was the 10th forum the Glendale City Council candidates had faced. The candidates include two incumbents, John Drayman and Dave Weaver, and four hopefuls Chahe Keuroghelian, Mike Mohill, Garen Mailyan and former councilmember Rafi Manoukian.
In past forums some candidates have been vocal about their oppositions not to an issue but to another candidate. Monday night’s forum seemed to control those spontaneous outburst of pointed attacks by adding one simple rule.
“If any candidate calls out another candidate by name. That candidate will have 30 seconds for rebuttal,” Milanese said as he explained the rules.
It only took a few times of “calling out” and the following rebuttal before the practice of personal attacks stopped.
“That was something no other forum had done,” Drayman said after the forum.
He added he liked the rule because the focus was then one the question.
The night did see the candidates agree on some issues like rent control. Incumbent John Drayman and Dave Weaver cited that rent control discourages the property owners to keep their property standards up.
Another question posed to the candidates concerned how the city could help small businesses.
Mohill took the stand that lower energy costs to help the small businesses.
“Glendale has the highest rates of the cities around us,” he said.
This statement was disputed in later answers by both Weaver and Drayman who said a recent study shows Glendale being in the middle for utility rate averages.
Manoukian said the city’s planning process could be made easier for small businesses.
“I will propose a one stop shop,” he said.
His plan would have small business have one central city office with one signature to be obtained for permit plans.
Keuroghelian said that as a business owner this issue was very important to him. He suggested to promote shopping locally to city employees.
The proposed 710 freeway extension was another issue that directly affects Crescenta Valley residents. Most candidates opposed the extension. Weaver said that he was not making a decision on the issue until he had seen more information including an environmental impact report.
Mohill, who had been in favor of the extension, changed his position. In the first forum at the Dunsmore Community Center Mohill stated the 710 extension may not be what the residents of the area wanted but was necessary. He changed his opinion, he said, because at the time of the earlier forum he wasn’t aware of the noise issue that accompanies a large freeway project. He spoke to several people in the area and decided to change his position.
“I oppose it as well,” Mailyan said. “People in the area do not want the [extension].”
He added that anyone who would be representing the area would respect what the people want. He also pointed out that if the 710 was that important the government would use their imminent domain.
“But they didn’t and the issue is left up to you.”
Keuroghelian, Manoukian and Drayman also oppose the freeway project.
Keuroghelian said there had been a misunderstanding of his position on the issue and wanted to clarify that he was opposed to it.
Manoukian said his concern was for the environmental impact as well as the addition of big trucks in the area.
Drayman said the proposal would affect the quality of life and reminded residents of the area the problems and environmental impact they lived through during the 210 freeway construction.
The forum ended with more civility then had been in the past forums.
The incumbents simple stated their accomplishments and asked for a vote to continue their work. Challengers asked for support of their vision for the city of Glendale.