Day to Leave Council; Door Open for Flood of Contenders
John F. Day, a member of the Glendale City Council for 12 years, announced this week that he will step down from the post, opening the door to a potential flood of candidates in the April election.
“I’ve been there long enough,” said Day, 69, who announced his decision Monday after returning from a two-week trip to Portugal and Spain.
Day, the only Democrat on the five-member council, said he decided not to seek a fourth term because he wants “to give someone else, with perhaps a different outlook, an opportunity to serve the citizens.”
Day has grown increasingly contentious in recent months, particularly toward council member Ginger Bremberg, who is quick to return the fire. But Day said his frequent disagreements with other members were not a factor in his decision to quit. “We disagree with each other--sometimes vociferously--but there is nothing personal in it,” Day said. “It’s disagreement on issues, rather than personalities, and that’s the way it should be.”
Up for Reelection
Two other council members whose terms are up--Bremberg and Mayor Carl W. Raggio--are seeking reelection.
So far, four challengers have entered the race for the three council seats since the candidate filing period opened Jan. 5. They are Robin Westmiller, Shirley Yap Griffin, Vito Cannella and Richard C. Diradourian. The filing period for the April 4 election closes Jan. 26.
Westmiller, 35, is a community volunteer and serves on the board of directors of Glendale’s Human Relations Council. A resident of southeast Glendale, she said she wants “to get government back to the people.”
Griffin, 50, represents the College Hills Homeowners Assn. for the Glendale Hills Coordinating Council, an umbrella group of homeowner activists. She is critical of rapid growth in the city and said council members have been too permissive toward developers.
Cannella, 60, a member of the Los Angeles County Human Relations Commission and a Glendale parking commissioner, picked up nomination papers last week but said Tuesday that he is considering dropping out of the race. A Montrose barber who ran unsuccessfully for the council in 1975, Cannella said he has been ill with the flu and unable to collect the signatures required for nomination.
Diradourian, 40, is an architect and treasurer of the San Fernando Valley chapter of the American Institute of Architects. He said he is seeking election because he feels that he “would add a dimension to the council with my expertise in a number of areas--the moratorium, toxic waste, housing for the elderly.” He said he is not a member of, nor is he endorsed by, a building industry coalition formed to oppose the existing construction moratorium. However, Diradourian was among a large group of speakers who voiced opposition to the moratorium before the council in October.
With one seat vacant, more candidates, who may have been reluctant to compete with incumbents, are now expected to enter the campaign, City Hall officials say.
“A lot of people have been just waiting” for Day’s decision, said Bremberg, who added that she has “heard as many as 15 names” of potential candidates.
Others Express Interest
Several community and civic leaders have expressed interest in running for the council but have yet to file papers. They include Gerald W. Briggs, 49, a 12-year veteran of the Planning Commission and Board of Zoning Appeals, and Richard Jutras, 49, former Planning Commission chairman who has led a citizens advisory committee on zoning.
Nida Solana Brown, 54, a former zoning and planning commissioner, announced her candidacy Wednesday. A probate attorney, Brown is a close friend of Day, who appointed her to the commission positions.
Also considering entering the race is developer Joe Ayvazi, who won the support of the council for his proposal to preserve the historic Goode House in Glendale.
Robert K. Holmes, a trustee of Glendale Community College for six years who was considered a likely candidate for the council, announced Wednesday that he will not be a contender, citing the amount of time required of council members. Holmes, an attorney, said: “It would not be fair to the voters to have me as a part-time council person. That is a full-time volunteer job which I am not ready for at this stage in my life.”
Key issues in the race are expected to revolve around growth and to focus on traffic congestion, parking limitations, overdevelopment and a moratorium on apartment and condominium construction.
Bremberg, the only woman on the council, said she is seeking a third term because “there are too many issues that have not been resolved and I would like to see them through.” She mentioned the proposed downtown hotel, construction moratorium and implementation of a traffic management plan.
Raggio, who is conducting his first reelection campaign, said: “I want to make sure the city of Glendale retains its quality of life.” He too is concerned about traffic management and development of the performing arts.
Voters on April 4 will also fill three expired terms on the boards of both the Glendale Unified School District and Glendale Community College. All six incumbents are seeking reelection, and only one challenger had requested nomination papers by Wednesday.
3 Incumbents Running
Seeking reelection in the school district, which governs elementary through secondary education, are Charles E. Whitesell, board president who is seeking his second term in office; June F. Sweetnam, a three-term veteran, and Jane M. Whitaker, in quest of her third term.
The sole challenger in the school district race is Richard N. Matthews, vice president of corporate communications for the Carnation Co., who has long expressed interest in politics in Glendale.
The incumbent candidates in the college district are Phillip C. Kazanjian, an attorney seeking his second term; Ted W. Tiffany, principal of Daily High School in Glendale who has served two terms, and Kenneth N. Sweetnam (no relation to June Sweetnam), a retired administrator of Cal State Los Angeles who is bidding for his third term.
In other races, Aileen B. Boyle, acting city clerk, is so far running unopposed for the position formerly held by Merle H. Hagemeyer, and City Treasurer Elizabeth W. Evans said she will seek reelection.
To be eligible, candidates must submit petitions with the signatures of 500 registered voters to the Glendale city clerk by 5 p.m. Jan. 26. Candidates are charged a $25 filing fee and must pay a $400 deposit for a ballot statement.