A longtime resident, retired educator and member of numerous local nonprofit boards has announced her plans to run for City Council, a move that would make her the sole woman in the race.
Paula Devine announced her plans this week to fill the seat vacated when Rafi Manoukian was elected city treasurer. She joins Chahe Keuroghelian and Vartan Gharpetian, both of whom stated their intent to run in the June 3 special election late last month.
Keuroghelian is, so far, the only unsuccessful candidate from last April’s election to decide to run in June. Due to city rules, the winner of the June election would have to run again in April 2015 for a full four-year seat. Because of this, several candidates from the previous contest said they would be sitting this one out.
Devine acknowledged she has never run for office, but pointed to her long experience on various boards and a city commission.
The former teacher and coach at San Gabriel High School serves on, among others, the boards of Glendale Adventist Medical Center, Glendale Healthy Kids, and Glendale Police Foundation. She is also a member of the Glendale Commission on the Status of Women.
She said she’ll bring new ideas and active listening should she win in June.
“I feel I have a good sense of what is happening here in the community,” Devine said. “I’m a good decision-maker and I plan to listen to the citizens of Glendale. I want to encourage a dialogue between me and the community.”
The Pittsburgh native, who holds a master’s degree from Cal State Los Angeles, said the biggest issues facing Glendale are shared by many communities.
“Traffic, safety and congestion are big problems, and overdevelopment, [a lack of] affordable housing, the city budget … it’s a wonderful city, but we have issues like every other city in California,” she said.
Devine and her husband Arthur married in 1982. They have no children, except as a teacher, she joked, “I had 350 children every day.”
She said the timing was simply right to run.
“I’m retired, so I have plenty of time to do this and listen,” Devine said. “And make good decisions for the community. It’s exciting to try and do something out of the box, something I’m not used to. But I’m up for the challenge. I have a good reputation in the community and I’ll ask the right questions to get the best results.”
Though Devine, Keuroghelian and Gharpetian have announced their intent to run, they can’t formalize this until after an official City Council declaration. Although city rules require it, that may not come until later this month or in February, City Clerk Ardy Kassakhian said recently.