Glendale residents who have attended a City Council meeting in the past decade may already know candidate Mike Mohill, who has often made his presence known speaking up during the public-comment portion of the meetings.
Others may know Mohill from his three previous attempts to win a council seat or, simply, as a neighbor who has lived in the east Glenoaks Canyon area for decades. Mohill is a Vietnam War-era veteran who served with the U.S. Army after graduating from Cal State Los Angeles.
Mohill’s current run for one of three open council seats is the the latest gesture of a civic-minded local resident who became involved in local politics after retiring from a career selling industrial chemicals to manufacturing plants all over Southern California.
“I've always had an interest in business and government and, since I was retired and I had the time — one issue after another brought me down to City Hall, and I started talking about the issues,” Mohill said.
The state of Glendale's finances “has and always will be” Mohill’s No.1 concern, he said, particularly pension reform.
Mohill disputes with city government over what he says are “outrageous” salary and pension obligations to public employees as determined by participation in the California Public Employees’ Retirement System, known as CalPERS.
“[The city of Glendale keeps] raising fees and taxes and creating new fees to balance the budget,” Mohill said. “The reason why they keep doing that is because we have more expenses than we have revenue, and it’s because of the obligation to CalPERS that we have this problem today. Our council people never want to address that and neither do the candidates who run.”
As an immediate action, Mohill said he would place a temporary freeze on all salary increases and pay raises tied to the issuing of new job titles for city employees.
Mohill said he’d also like to counteract the traffic congestion in downtown Glendale, which he said is a result of overdevelopment and inadequate parking in the area. As a solution, Mohill proposes rezoning parts of the city, for less dense and less developed use.
Other issues that are part of Mohill’s campaign include lowering utility rates, creating more parks and open spaces as well as investment in the city’s infrastructure.
“People will decide what they want to do on April 4 and, if they want the status quo, there are nine other candidates running for council,” Mohill said. “And if they want to see their electric and water rates increase it’ll happen again. But nobody else wants to balance the books.”