Yousefian loses city council race

One of the more controversial figures in Glendale city government will be exiting the scene as a result of Tuesday's election. Bob Yousefian finished fourth in the balloting for Glendale City Council with 6,654 votes, as a newcomer to the council ran first for the second election in a row.

Former city commissioner Laura Friedman topped the list with 8,497 votes in complete semi-official returns, topping incumbent Ara Najarian by 31 votes. Najarian received 8,466, while incumbent Frank Quintero ran third with 8,120 votes. Two years ago, now Mayor John Drayman finished first.

Friedman, who formerly chaired a design review commission, is a small business owner. She will be the first woman on the council since the retirement of Ginger Bremberg in 2001.

Yousefian, now completing his second term, was informally censured by his colleagues for public comments in the past. He had briefly considered running for treasurer before deciding to run for reelection.

He drew public attention for a verbal altercation with city manager Jim Starbird at the end of a public council meeting and proposed to his wife from the council dais during his first meeting as mayor. He also cast a symbolic “No” vote on the budget last spring.

Mayor John Drayman said Wednesday he was very happy with the election results. He praised Friedman for running a positive campaign, and saluted Yousefian for his eight years of service to the city.

Drayman said the Crescenta Valley was very active for the second election in a row, adding that he was pleased to see local residents recognizing the importance of city government in their lives.

Some of the more active candidates in the election didn't fare that well when city residents cast their votes for three seats. Former Pasadena police chief Bruce Philpott finished fourth, activist Chahe Keuroghelian fifth and Vartan Gharpetian sixth.

The rest, in order of finish, included Lenore Solis, Aram Kazakian, Michael Teahan, Edward Lafian and Aramazd Stepanian.

Former mayor Rafi Manoukian's bid to return to the scene as treasurer apparently fell short, as he lost by 823 votes to incumbent Ron Borucki after leading much of the evening. City clerk Ardashes Kassahkian was unopposed for reelection.

Measure U, a restructuring of the city utility tax, passed easily with 10,774 yes votes and 5,250 voting no. City officials maintain that the measure is revenue neutral and protects some $8 million in city revenues against legal challenge.

A total of 866 provisional ballots remained to be counted Wednesday morning, along with a number of mail votes dropped off at polls on Wednesday. A total of about 55,000 votes were counted Tuesday, representing about 18,000 voters casting their three votes for council.


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