Parks and Zero Emissions on Council Agenda


The Glendale City Council meeting on Tuesday began with recognition of the Glendale Public Works Dept. as part of National Public Works Week.

GPW focuses on preservation of the City’s infrastructure including maintaining the roads, potholes, sewer system and storm drains.

Community member Mike Mohill added his praise to public works recounting an incident over a decade ago when his wife tripped on a city sidewalk. He said he did not sue the City but requested the City pay the few medical bills and, more importantly, that portion of the sidewalk be repaired.

“Within 30 days it was fixed,” he said.

Two items on the consent calendar were taken out for discussion. The first dealt with the proposed widening of the freeway onramp at Mountain Street off the Glendale (2) Freeway. This improvement had been a project that had been carried over for many years so all the information was not readily available to staff. The staff will review and return to the Council with information on the project.

Mayor Brotman also asked for review of the plan for improvements in the area of San Fernando Road and Sonora Avenue. He said he had been contacted by a parent who walks his child to school and crosses those streets every weekday. He wanted to make certain pedestrian safety was in place.

Another item discussed was how Human Resources and workers compensation and other issues were being dealt with in the City. Both Councilmembers Ara Najarian and Ardy Kassakhian had been contacted by a local business owner who had questions as to how third party companies were chosen to help in these areas.

During a presentation by Chief Human Resources Officer Paula Adams, she alluded to a vote that had been taken to approve Adminsure Insurance, which has worked with the City regarding workers comp issues, to continue their services. In addition to the processes that were already covered with Adminsure, staff suggested the company handle the internal claims as well.

Adams said that over the years, in-house claims had been steadily declining. At present the City has five employees to handle internal employee claims that, due to the decline, were not needed. The staff suggested the claims process be passed to Adminsure, the third party insurance company, so the City can retrain the five employees in other areas where they are most needed.

The concern Najarian and Kassakhian shared was the process of “voting” on the present insurance company.

A request for proposal (RFP) should have a resulted in a scoring process where companies that bid on the project would be ranked by their scores, Najarian said. He asked why a vote was taken as opposed to deciding a winning bid via ranking scores.

Adams said she had misspoken and that they had a ranking score, and had not taken a vote.

In terms of how we have communicated with the others [in the bidding process] this doesn’t sit well with me, Najarian said.

Human Resources staff will gather more information and share with the Council at either the June 6 or June 13 meeting.

Park construction and remodeling were discussed by Council. The Emerald Isle Playground Replacement and ADA Improvement Project is a plan to repair and replace equipment in the park that is over 20 years old. The costs will not exceed $864,628.

Councilmembers voiced concern about spending that much money in a North Glendale neighborhood instead of South Glendale; however, the grant funding for this park is for this particular area and must be used soon. There are other funds earmarked for South Glendale.

The park construction was approved.

A presentation on the future of public transportation in Glendale was made with the goal of having all buses be zero-emission producing by 2035. California’s Zero-Emission Vehicle Program requires all transportation bus systems in the state be zero-emission by 2040. The zero-emission bus rollout plan for the City is due on June 30.        

The City staff determined that battery-operated buses are a better choice than hydrogen fuel cell technology. The City will only be purchasing these types of zero-emission buses in the future and is working on the infrastructure to support the new fleet. It has grant funding but will need more funds in order to continue.