Council Responds at Contentious Meeting


Last week’s Glendale City Council meeting was contentious. At one point Mayor Dan Brotman called for a time out to calm the situation.

When the meeting resumed, due to ongoing interruptions by several audience members, City Attorney Michael Garcia suggested that the mayor had been patient and advised it was time to think about clearing the chamber. The mayor gave the audience one more chance to act respectfully; however, the audience did not respond and the chamber was cleared.

Speakers during the public communication portion of the meeting primarily focused on Glendale Unified School District issues; however, the city council did discuss other issues outside of comments.

Discussion was held regarding the awarding of a contract to MV Transportation, Inc. (MVT) for the Beeline fixed-route and Dial-A-Ride Transit Services. The discussion began with a question by councilmembers, mainly Elen Asatryan and Ardy Kassakhian, on why the Council was not given more time to review the contract recommended by staff. The contract, if awarded, would amount not exceed $76,000,000 for a six-year term. MVT has been the Glendale transit company for about two decades.

The staff recommended awarding a six-year, plus two-year extension, contract to MVT to operate the Beeline fixed-route bus and Dial-A-Ride paratransit services and maintain their fleets.

Asatryan said this issue reminded her of her first meeting on Council when Glendale Water and Power had brought a request for proposal (RFP).

“This contract is due June 30 and we are getting it just weeks before it’s up,” she said. “I am trying to process, when we knew this was coming to us and we were supposed to vote, why are we getting it a couple of weeks before the contracts is [set] to expire.”

She asked again why councilmembers were getting the contract on June 13 when the due date was June 30.

Yazdan Emrani, director of public works, said they knew the contract was going to expire at the end of the fiscal year and that staff began working on the RFP six months ago.

“Any RFP we work on takes about six months from inception to completion,” he said.

The RFP was issued in January 2023, the report was released on March 2, 2023, and then staff took a month to evaluate. That was extended to the end of April due to the extensive number of transportation services for staff to review more and now “here we are,” Emrani said.

Both Asatryan and Kassakhian had questions about the bidding process and why only two companies applied.

Emrani responded that there were not that many companies that could bid that would meet the city’s requirements.

There was more discussion covering several issues from how the companies were ranked to why there were only two that submitted bids.

Mayor Brotman said he was in favor of MVT, citing the company had not “significantly increased” its bid from the last contract submission.

He did, however, share councilmembers’ frustration on the timing of the contract being given to them for review.

“We get these at the last possible moment,” he said. “There is not time to go back to look at anything different.”

City Attorney Michael Garcia noted that the city did go through a legal process with the RFP, and that MVT successfully went through and completed that process.

Councilmember Paula Devine voiced her concern that if this vote is delayed it would cost the city more money as another contract would have to be negotiated.

In the end Asatryan made a motion for staff to negotiate with MVT for extending the contract for a year, allowing councilmembers more time to review the RFP and the transit process. Kassakhian seconded the motion and in a vote of four to one, Devine being the no vote, it was approved. On June 27, staff will bring the information on the one-year extension back to Council.