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Proposed sales tax increase, South Glendale Community Plan draw writers’ ire

Glendale residents will be voting in the November election a proposed increase to our existing 9.5% sales tax that would take the sales tax to 10.25%.

According to the Glendale city manager, the measure will bring in an estimated $30 million of new funding. Those funds will be placed in the General Fund.

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Past city decisions would suggest these funds will not be used for Glendale residents or businesses. Glendale was successfully sued over past utility rate increases by Glendale Water & Power for the purpose of replacing old equipment to keep good service for the residents of Glendale. That money went into the General Fund.

For years I have been concerned about all the money governments pull out of residents’ pockets that could be spent locally to improve lives. California small businesses struggle to stay alive. I feel that government excesses sustained our long recession.

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The people of Glendale must not be fooled by false promises that sound great. I’m worried this money might not be used as promised but for the out-of-control city retirement costs.

According to a 2017 estimate by the California Policy Center, the state of California is about $1.3 trillion in debt. Don’t let government take any more from our pockets.

Ken Grayson

Grayson’s Tune Town

Montrose

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The approval of the South Glendale Community Plan demonstrated what I consider the dishonesty, ignorance and carelessness of at least three Glendale City Council members towards the objecting public. Even though plan is all about an increase in density, where its alternatives merely set the scope of such an increase, Councilman Ara Najarian, through his leading questions, forced the director of Community Development to state there is no such density increase involved. Interestingly, Mayor Zareh Sinanyan and Councilman Vartan Gharpetian, in what sounded to me like a rehearsed manner, confirmed it. And yet, the only difference between the “No Project” and the three alternatives for the community plan was increase of density. Shockingly, the above council members — two of whom are lawyers — reiterated the staff's illogical excuse for allowing such a dangerous plan by saying that “even with no project, Glendale will have those seven environmental impacts, albeit less.” Is that an excuse to make things worse? Najarian stretched it even further and stated that the plan will make Glendale “more enjoyable,” despite the seven adverse environmental impacts found under the environmental impact report.

The objective of a community plan is to accommodate the reasonably projected natural growth of the population and to prevent or mitigate its environmental impacts. The South Glendale Community Plan doesn’t do that. Councilman Vrej Agajanian confessed: “I don't understand what the issue is.” And yet, he imprudently approved the dangerous plan. Thankfully, Councilwoman Paula Devine voted against the certification and the EIR since she found that the benefit of the plan cannot outweigh its numerous impacts to the public.

Indeed, the Community Plan will affect thousands of people in South Glendale.

Naira Soghbatyan

Glendale

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