Ten candidates are vying to fill three open seats on the Glendale City Council on April 4, with one of the posts left vacant when former Councilwoman Laura Friedman was elected to the state Assembly this past November.
Among the candidates are incumbents Ara Najarian and Zareh Sinanyan.
Najarian, a three-time Glendale mayor and current Metro Transportation Authority board member, said he wants to extend his 12-year tenure on the council as an opponent of over-development while also pursuing new businesses and improved public transit.
Sinanyan, who served as mayor once since first being elected to council in 2013, said in a campaign statement that his policies have "improved the quality of life in Glendale," adding that the number of affordable-housing projects completed and approved while he was mayor was unprecedented.
There are three candidates who have run for council in the past.
Vrej Agajanian has been a Glendale resident for 34 years and has discussed politics on his local broadcast talk show for more than half that time. Agajanian, an engineer, is pushing his candidacy on several issues, including government transparency and support for small businesses.
Rick Dinger, president of Crescenta Valley Insurance in La Crescenta, is a Glendale Salvation Army board member and former president of the Sunrise Rotary Club. Dinger said he wants to increase public safety and balance the city budget without placing a burden on residents.
Mike Mohill, a retired businessman and Vietnam War veteran, has been active in city affairs for more than a decade. Mohill says he'll focus his efforts on cutting down high-density developments, reducing utility rates and support creating more open green space.
Several first-time candidates are also looking to win a council seat.
A candidate for state Assembly last year, retired U.S. Army Gen. and business owner Mark MacCarley said he will focus on helping small businesses and slowing down "rampant" development, a move that will "make Glendale liveable again," according to a campaign statement.
Onnik Mehrabian is a car dealership owner in Glendale and previous member of the city's transportation and parking commission. Mehrabian will gear his campaign toward government transparency, supporting local businesses and maintaining the city's green spaces.
Neighborhood compatibility, city development and collaboration on budgetary issues is what Grant Michals, information technology consultant, said are the main challenges facing the city. Michals is also the president of the Glendale Homeowners Coordinating Council and is on the city's parks commission.
The youngest hopeful at 31 years old, professional photographer Mike Van Gorder said city officials need a working-class perspective and representative. Van Gorder wants to curb the growth of luxury apartments, provide more affordable housing and support public schools.
Susan Wolfson, an account clerk for the city of La Cañada Flintridge, is a sustaining member and volunteer for the Glendale Historical Society and was part of the Glendale Educational Foundation. In a campaign statement, Wolfson said she wants to continue the quality of Glendale's services by adhering to municipal codes, conduct resident outreach and financial transparency.
City Clerk Ardy Kassakhian and City Treasurer Rafi Manoukian, both incumbents, are running unopposed.
The Glendale municipal election will be held on April 4.
Jeff Landa, email@example.com
MORE CIVIC NEWS & POLITICS