MAILBAG

Recession is not the time for tennis

If things go as planned, the city of Glendale is going to destroy four perfectly good tennis courts at the Adult Recreation Center on Colorado Street, and they say they are going to be replaced somewhere else in the future (“Bid protests delay project,” Thursday).

Ha — and will it take as long as it has taken to plan for the new Adult Recreation Center building? If so, the kids who are using the courts now (and there are a lot of them) will probably be married and long gone.

I see plenty of land at this location to build a new center without destroying the great tennis courts that, if left alone, will save Glendale a bunch of money.

I know they have to save a big space on the lawn to put a nice brass plaque with all their names on it.

With the economy the way it is, you’d think they would be trying to save money instead of spending another gazillion dollars on four or two or one new court.

The one good thing about all this is that it is election year.

Don’t they know we are in a full-blown recession? Anyway, thank goodness it’s election year. Oops. Hope they don’t charge me extra for saying that twice.

MIKE DE SANTIS

Montrose  

Stick with city’s experienced treasurer

The candidates forum hosted by the League of Women Voters was an excellent showcase for the attractive, talented people running for City Council (“Challengers urge change on dais,” March 13). The questions were relevant and crisp. The candidates’ answers, for the most part, were focused and thoughtful. We are fortunate to have so many highly educated, well-qualified residents to choose from in a council election.

The forum was also a showcase for the candidates running for the office of city treasurer. The present treasurer, Ron Borucki, described his responsibility as management of the city’s investment portfolio and banking relationships. He protects Glendale’s capital investments of taxpayer dollars and earned interest. He stated that the accounting and financial management of the city’s agencies and daily business affairs is the responsibility of the city’s finance director.

Lots of residents do not know that. Possibly his challenger doesn’t, either. Rafi Manoukian described himself as an accountant with superior knowledge of city financial affairs because he was once a City Council member. He wants to be a voice for the people. It sounds as if he could do the finance director’s job as a civil servant, but I heard nothing to suggest he is qualified to be city treasurer.

We are in a recession where genuine expertise in capital preservation is a pearl of great price. Borucki built the appropriate background as a solidly conservative banker. He has a record of successful performance of his duties as city treasurer. This is a really poor time to exchange an expert for an amateur.

Manoukian would be a fish out of water in the office of city treasurer. If he wants to be a voice for the people, he entered the wrong race and instead should be competing with others for a City Council position.

SUSAN N. STEPHENSON

Glendale

Bases are loaded for Glendale schools

I read with interest the opinion submitted by Alicia Harris (a teachers union board member) that incumbent school board members need to be tossed out for the sake of democracy (“Vote out the incumbents for sake of democracy,” Community Commentary, March 12). I’m curious why she does not mention the incumbents’ track record of successful leadership related to student achievement and financial responsibility.

Despite declining resources and the present budget crisis, which has led to thousands of teacher layoffs in neighboring districts, our Glendale schools stand academically and fiscally strong to weather the storm.

She also forgot to mention that as a result of the sound fiscal management of the district by the present board, teachers such as Harris will have jobs in Glendale. Glendale Unified is one of the few or maybe the only district in the area not proceeding with teacher layoffs.

Could it be that Harris is bitter over the fact that the 15%-plus salary demand made by the teachers union in the recent past was turned down by this board? This board has been insightful in acting to protect the future of our students, teachers and community.

I clearly understand that Harris and the union leadership would be pleased to deal with rookie board members like Christine Walters and Eric Sahakian, whom they have endorsed and spent thousands of dollars on as challenging candidates. I know how unions work, and I clearly understand their effects on the Los Angeles Unified School District as well as the automobile industry that I work in every day.

When the pressure is on, as it is it now due to our debacle in Sacramento, we need to do as a winning baseball coach does when he finds himself in the 9th inning and down by one run. You keep your starters in the game and don’t substitute them with untested rookies — in this case, ones who are blinded by special interests like the union. We need our home run hitters with a proven batting average coming to the plate. We need players like Chuck Sambar, Joylene Wagner and Greg Krikorian up to bat for our Glendale schools. They have proven themselves to be all-stars.

HOWARD HAKES

La Crescenta


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