City Council needs a shift in attitude

The members of the Glendale City Council don’t seem to understand the reason behind why residents show up on Tuesday nights to their meetings.

These residents show up to speak up on issues they feel strongly about. It is the job of an elected official to listen to their constituents, and it is disrespectful to laugh at certain points made or to criticize others whom they share a different opinion with.

They are practicing their constitutional rights by showing up to the City Council meetings and voicing their opinions.

The council clearly didn’t see eye-to-eye with the majority of the speakers over the absentee ballot application issue (“Application ordinance passes,” Feb. 20).

It’s clear that the constant majority of speakers against the ordinance did not get through to the City Council. The council seemed to believe it was simply an Armenian and Korean cause. But the truth of the matter is, aside from a few exceptions, the people who spoke up on either side of the issue were the same people there every single week giving the same arguments for both sides.

The best way to settle this issue for both sides would be to let the citizens choose by placing it on a ballot, but alas, it seems Councilman John Drayman does not believe in allowing citizens to vote on highly controversial issues, as he immediately rejected this idea.

The truth of the matter is, this debate will rage on until it is placed on a ballot for the residents of Glendale to decide. That way, no later council can change it, and it will not have to be dealt with again.



  Agree about fairness at council meetings

Carole Weling made an important observation in a recent letter (“More fairness is needed at meetings,” Mailbag, Wednesday).

I am not a regular at City Council meetings, but on two occasions that I attended to testify, persons who, for no obvious reason other than they arrived late, were given priority over other speakers. This behavior pales in comparison to the time I witnessed the city clerk wave up a speaker to testify against one of the sitting council members. More fairness toward all speakers is needed, and we need a city clerk who is impartial.



  Residents must not treat meat cavalierly

Last Sunday’s recall of 143 million pounds of beef by the U.S. Department of Agriculture should provide a loud and clear wake-up call that federal inspection is not adequate to ensure a safe meat supply.

This largest meat recall in U.S. history was actually brought on by an animal rights organization’s undercover video showing a California slaughterhouse workers using kicks, electric shock, high-pressure water hoses and a forklift to force sick or injured animals onto the kill floor. USDA regulations prohibit sick animals from entering the food supply, because of the high risk of contamination.

About 37 million pounds of the recalled meat went to school lunch and other federal nutrition programs since October 2006, and almost all of it is likely to have been consumed, according to a USDA official.

Parents must insist that USDA stop using the National School Lunch Program as a dumping ground for surplus meat and dairy commodities.

The rest of us must learn to treat all meat, and particularly ground beef, as a hazardous substance to be consumed at one’s own peril.



Caruso Way cartoon absolutely said it all

When is an image worth more than a thousand words? When the image is a political cartoon.

No sooner had the Glendale News-Press hit the stands on Feb. 9 when people started calling me to check out the cartoon that depicted our city council to a T: Obsequious, if not shameless groveling to a major campaign contributor. The Times may have Paul Conrad, but we have Bert Ring.

The syrupy chorus of councilmen trying to top each other at pleasing Americana at Brand developer Rick Caruso followed his own over-the-top flag-waving, video montage of the construction process of the Americana at Brand.

What originally appeared as a challenge to the Excelsior street name was only a prelude to a servile homage to name the street after him — Caruso Way. What an exquisite way to capture the tenor of the moment.



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