Six vie for two council seats

GLENDALE — Incumbent City Councilmen Dave Weaver and John Drayman will likely face four challengers in the April 5 election for City Council, according to a list of candidate filings.

Weaver and Drayman were among six residents who filed paperwork by Thursday's deadline, according to the city clerk's office.

Former Councilman Rafi Manoukian — who lost his seat in 2007 after raising more than $200,000 in campaign funds — perennial council candidate Chahe Keuroghelian, self-proclaimed City Hall gadfly Mike Mohill and Garen Mailyan round out the candidate list.

An official list is expected early next week after required signatures are verified by the Los Angeles County registrar-recorder. Candidates for City Council and the Glendale Community College Board of Trustees need 100 valid signatures, and those for the Glendale Unified school board need 20, according to state election rules.

In the school board race, incumbents Nayiri Nahabedian and Mary Boger filed to keep their seats, which will be challenged by Ingrid Gunnell, Jennifer Freemon, Vahik Satoorian, Ami Fox, Daniel Cabrera and Todd Hunt, who ran unsuccessfully for the board in 2007.

Former City Council candidate and city commissioner Vartan Gharpetian was the only challenger to file papers against Glendale Community College trustees Tony Tartaglia and Vahe Peroomian, who both filed to retain their seats.

Also on April's ballot will be Measure S, a $270-million school bond that district officials say is needed to help the district maintain classroom sizes and upgrade competitive technology in the face of state budget cuts.

"We can't rely on Sacramento or Washington, D.C., alone to provide the funding we need for our kids to have these tools and also our infrastructure," said school board President Greg Krikorian. "This bond measure is 100% local. That's the most important thing is every dollar is going to be spent to help our students, our teachers and our facilities."

If passed, the bond would build on Measure K, which financed projects such as the refurbishment of Clark Magnet High School. Local property taxes would remain the same, about $46 per $100,000 of assessed property value through 2050, according to district officials.

The Glendale Teachers Assn. recently voted to not endorse the April ballot measure, citing a lack of assurances from district officials that a chunk of potentially freed up money would be earmarked for classroom instruction.

Meanwhile, the Glendale Council PTA voted to support the bond, which is also benefiting from a grass-roots organization Yes on S.

Budget constraints are expected to dominate all three races this election season as the city and school districts continue to face financial uncertainty amid the protracted recession.

"I think the heading for this upcoming term, no matter who is serving, will be 'How do we do more with less?'" Drayman said.

Glendale officials are already bracing for a General Fund deficit of as much as $8 million for the next fiscal year as pension and health-care costs continue to rise amid stagnant city revenues.

The budget crunch will likely mean another year of tough and potentially contentious negotiations with the city's employee unions.

"You're going to have to make decisions that aren't going to be popular," Weaver said.

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