By Mary O’KEEFE
Glendale City Council began its meeting on Tuesday on a positive note by honoring the Glendale High School (GHS) volleyball team’s CIF (California Interscholastic Federation) championship win. Coaches Marji Keyfauver and Bill Whiting were at the meeting along with the girls’ volleyball team to receive the proclamation.
The GHS team is the city’s first ever to win a statewide CIF State Division IV Championship Section title.
Councilmember Paula Devine, who was once a girls’ volleyball coach in San Gabriel, praised the team for its success.
“I know first hand how much work it takes to get to your level, to get to that championship,” she said. “You should be so proud of yourselves as all of Glendale is.”
There was a discussion then about the trees that will be part of the San Fernando Beautification Project, Phase 1. The city will put out to bid the plan work. There was concern from Mayor Dan Brotman that some of the new planting of trees near some railroad tracks would affect future bike routes. He did not want to plant then have to move mature trees.
Yazdan Emrani, director of public works, said his staff would review the area again but did not think the trees would affect a bike route.
After many community outreach meetings and revisiting the issue several times during City Council meetings, the Glendale Water and Power rate hike was approved by all present members of the Council; councilmember Elen Asatryan was absent from Tuesday’s meeting.
The new rates will go into effect on Jan. 1, 2024.
Mayor Brotman said he understood this rate hike will be a hardship for many people but the increase was needed to keep GWP solvent.
All present councilmembers then voted in favor of an adjustment to the Glendale Care Program, a program that offers a monthly discount to GWP customers who meet low-income guidelines. The adjustment would increase the funds offered to those who qualified for the program to mirror the percentage basis of increased prices for utilities.
Councilmember Ardy Kassakhian requested staff to come back with more information and include data on how many people have had their power shut off due to non-payment. The discussion will continue in future meetings on how to help those who “may have fallen on hard times” concerning utility payments.
CVW will next week cover the Council’s discussion on an ordinance amending the City’s rental rights program.