GCC Adopts Budget, Celebrates PRIDE Month



“People did not know that the plan for reconfiguring La Crescenta Avenue included taking out traffic lanes and parking,” said Councilmember Vartan Gharpetian as he continued to advocate for the reconsideration of the “road diet” of the road previously approved by the Glendale City Council. While the Council voted to accept funding for projects like what is proposed for La Crescenta Avenue, on Tuesday night June 25, the body balked and agreed to review the overall project at the Council’s July 16 meeting.

“Can’t we have our cake and eat it too?” Gharpetian questioned, hoping for a new proposal to make the street both safer and friendlier for pedestrians and cyclists, suggesting a bike lane on only one side of the street.

Also on Tuesday night, the entire Glendale City Council finally adopted its FY 2024-25 budget, an overall spending plan of $1.2 billion. According to city manager Roubik Golanian, the proposed budget is balanced with an estimated surplus of $591,000 and a reserve of 38%. Mayor Elen Asatryan refused to support the proposed updated fee schedule and insisted the subsidized fee for an appeal of a planning decision remain at $2000 rather than the proposed actual cost of $4600. There has been one such appeal filed this year, staff reported.

Councilmember Ardy Kassakhian said that the city “needs to be honest about what it actually costs to deliver services.”

In the coming months the Council will review the other 1500 or so fees the city charges for various services.

In other financial actions, the Council approved the temporary rehiring of Michele Flynn as the city’s interim finance director. Flynn retired from the city in 2021 following a 22-year career. Jason Bradford has been serving as both finance and IT director since then. The city is now in the process of hiring a new finance director; Flynn will fill in until a permanent director is hired.

At the beginning of the meeting, the Council unanimously approved a resolution recognizing June as PRIDE (Personal Rights in Defense and Education) month.

“Thanks for showing up,” Councilmember Dan Brotman addressed those in attendance for the proclamation. “It’s a beautiful crowd. We’ve stood up to the haters in our community. The more hatred that got thrown at the community, the higher we have to fly the PRIDE flag. With this we celebrate a community that had to hide in fear of losing their jobs, losing their homes, being imprisoned, being killed – for many, many years until a group of people at Stonewall said, ‘Enough is enough.’ At PRIDE events starting in 1970, the LGBTQ+ community said, ‘We’re here, whether you like it or not, and we deserve to be treated as equal human beings.’”

“The Commission on the Status of Women stands in solidarity with the LGBTQ+ community and groups doing the important work of raising consciousness and creating safe spaces for LGBTQ+ people in our city,” said chair Diane Lambillotte, noting that “the concept of human rights is that people have equal rights.”

Councilmember Kassakhian said that in “more than 60 countries in the world, homosexuality is considered a crime, a punishable crime. We are not one of those countries; we are very fortunate to live in a free country and the freedoms and rights afforded by the Constitution apply to all Americans.”

“Hate is not welcome here. There is no room for discrimination in Glendale. Fifty-six different languages are spoken here. It is a welcoming city,” Councilmember Gharpetian added.

The Council also issued a proclamation recognizing Juneteenth. Tasha Jenkins accepted the resolution on behalf of the organization Black in Glendale.

Councilmember Brotman acknowledged the grand opening of Paperback Brewery tasting room at 123 N. Artsakh Ave. He also commended the city’s sustainability team for its support of the city’s fourth repair café, explaining the idea: People bring in whatever they have that is broken and people at the event, called “tinkerers,” help fix, sew, sharpen, repair – whatever is needed. At this event at the Pacific Park Library, Brotman reported, 42 items were repaired, resulting in items not dumped into a landfill. The repair events are scheduled every three months.

“Don’t throw it away,” Brotman urged. “Chances are someone can fix it.”

Councilmember Ara Najarian acknowledged the opening of the new Montrose police substation. Councilmember Kassakhian offered a reminder about the upcoming fireworks show, this year held at La Crescenta Elementary School, “the de facto Glendale Independence Day celebration – tickets are available at https://www.cvfireworks.com/ now.”

The next meeting of the Glendale City Council will take place on Tuesday, July 9 at 6 p.m.