MAILBAG

Information center needed in Glendale

It seems more and more out-of-towners are visiting our fair city, thanks to the Americana on Brand, for the first time.

If the city sets up an information center in or about the Americana area with maps and other publications, we might generate some additional business, a ripple effect from the Americana, for other areas of the city.

The center can be run by volunteers who know Glendale well enough to guide the new visitors. Count me in.

SARKIS S. ABRAHAMIAN

Glendale

GWP needs to get its act together

In the real world of shopping for what we need, we have the ability to shop elsewhere.

Glendale taxpaying citizens do not have that ability when buying city services.

Therefore, when it comes to the selection of city-paid service providers, it is the duty of the elected representatives, the City Council, to consult with the rest of us, the purchasing citizens.

We should not be treated as subjects when it comes to the selection of services that are paid for out of our savings.

Glendale’s population is treated by the dukes and barons of municipal government as if we are peasant subjects.

We can watch our council of impotent ombudsmen, who are satisfied to take what they feel they deserve, and console us, with the tired white-noise suggestions that they are trustworthy.

While this national standard is discouraging, it is amazing that there appears to be an anomaly in the form of the most-abused agency of Glendale government, namely Glendale Water & Power.

For some unexplained reason, this agency goes outside the pool of Glendale union employees in providing services to the population.

We have seen crews from Henkels and McCoy replacing parts of the Glendale electrical infrastructure.

These are outside union crews and their company, Henkels and McCoy, claims that the company is earning a good income while easily surpassing Glendale city crews by being efficient. A skill they seem to have learned by competing with other for-profit companies working in the private sector.

This proves that city operations need not be so exorbitantly expensive.

Presumably, other city operations could be negotiated with outside vendors in the same manner.

We can take it to the bank, that the threat of a good example likely will be removed when Glendale Management Services gobbles up any savings generated at Glendale Water & Power in a rush to subsidize the poorly guided agencies, by expropriating the Glendale Water & Power savings.

This thereby encourages the widespread public perception that all Glendale agencies, like the royalty of long ago, can only be trusted to be no good.

STEVE FOSTER

Glendale

Smog not nearly the same as smoking

I am very frustrated at the comment of Councilman Bob Yousefian, who stated everyone in Los Angeles County smokes because of the poor air quality (“Council eases up on smoking,” June 18).

Smog does not put me in a sudden broncho-spasm. It is not immediately life-threatening.

If you have ever felt seriously like you will not be able to get your breath and live another five minutes, you would never say anything so absurd.

I find this statement disrespectful and offensive, as if he feels others do not have a right to life.

CINDY ESTIPONA

Glendale

Governor ought to find budget answers

In “Gambling not the answer to budget woes” (Community Commentary, June 19),” Chuck Sambar once again shows that he is one of the more thoughtful and balanced writers to the Glendale News-Press.

I totally agree with him that to balance the California budget by mortgaging future hopes for increased lottery earnings is a rotten idea.

I also agree that fundamentally it is an unfortunate policy to enhance the state schools’ budget with lottery earnings, as has been done since 1984.

Gambling has moral undertones in the first place and, sadly, the lottery is mostly supported by those that can least afford it, making it a rather socially noxious source of school revenue. How to balance the state budget and secure the needed long-term funding for our schools is a singularly difficult problem to solve.

Only a truly bipartisan effort can make it happen and must have Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger’s support and direction. Everything must be on the table, including sacred cows (such as, no new taxes).

Doing away with politically atrophied thinking and begetting newfound creativity must be the order of the day.

Somehow this doesn’t jive with the California government that I’ve gotten to know, but let’s hope that maybe it can come together and create sorely needed permanent fixes.

Governors Ronald Reagan and Pat Brown found pragmatic bipartisan solutions to budget crises, including new taxes.

Why can’t Schwarzenegger?

ROBERT MORRISON

Glendale


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