Things to think about before the election

With the April elections fast approaching, I wanted an opportunity to ask voters some questions. It's all about how we can change our city’s image and choose our representatives more wisely.

And what do I mean by this? Do we want to consider reelecting those that have served our city in the past, maintain the current makeup of our city’s representation the way it is, or possibly consider choosing new candidates that might be able to move our city forward in the right direction?

We all know our city of Glendale, including our school district, is having some very difficult times that I believe are not entirely due to the current economic conditions, but partially due to some bad decisions made over the last two decades.

Why is our school district in need of another bond issue to raise funds for our local schools? I don't recall our school district ever having to sell bonds for any reason prior to 1997. For the most part, our school district was always self sufficient and able to weather many economic storms.

What I hope for when voters decide on who they’re going to vote for on Election Day — whether it's for City Council, the Glendale Unified school board and the Glendale Community College Board of Trustees — that they put more thought into the candidates. I hope that they not base their decision on how much money a candidate raises, but by their ability to serve all of us, as one community.

One thing we desperately need to do is change our city’s image. From a community riddled with out-of-control drivers with unsafe parks and dirty streets, to a community we can all be proud of. Unless we do, our city will never be able to attract or retain enough businesses that can provide adequate jobs for local residents, and lower the average commercial real estate vacancy rates to acceptable levels.

So what can we all do to help with this transition? We can start by supporting our local law enforcement officials and encourage them to continue their aggressive approach toward unsafe drivers.

However, I have a very hard time understanding the merit of painting “Look” in three different languages on the streets. We already have very large street signs and lights, in universal colors accepted throughout the world. Red means stop. Yellow means caution. Green means it's OK to proceed. How simple is that?

So what would the impact of having cleaner, safer streets mean to local merchants, shops and eaters? More people willing to come to Glendale to shop and spend their hard earned money.

And what would that mean to our city? Higher tax revenue.

John Stevenson


Some good reasons to hit the pink stuff

There is much I could write about the “get the government out of our lives” craziness that seems to be the foundation of the Tea Party and their Conservative ilk. But instead of composing, I'm going to start by quoting from an article I recently unearthed that my grandmother wrote sometime in the early 1900s (probably somewhere in northern Ohio).

“If there were no government, imagine a country with no post office, no rural delivery, no guard (national), no lights, no water works, no gas, no streets paved, no sidewalks, back to tallow hospitals, no schools, or prisons, no homes for wounded veterans....”

How prescient she was regarding nearly 100 years in the future and those who presently rant and rave about government interference in their lives — those who are either unwilling or cognitively unable to understand the multitude of benefits for everyone that our government provides.

Is our government perfect? Most assuredly not, but just take a minute to imagine what life would be like without it (as my grandmother did). Don't disguise the reality of this truly disturbing picture with an impenetrable screen of self-obsessed “freedom” and selfishness.”

What probably bothers me the most are those who are fortunately financially comfortable, but strenuously object to having any of their wealth used to assist the unfortunate poor, the hungry, the disabled, the uneducated, the unemployed, the homeless or the sick. Then there are the Scroogiest of the Scrooges who suggest eliminating Medicare and Social Security, the life safety net for millions upon millions.

The rampant selfishness and insensitivity of so many causes me to constantly reach for my Pepto Bismol.

Robert Morrison


Golf course provides a place to relax

This is in response to Paul D. Carney's Feb. 22 letter, “Close that open space and put people to work.”

Sadly, it is Carney who needs to get a life, or at least a clue, and understand that many, if not most of the residents of Tujunga and the Crescenta Valley, indeed do care about the Verdugo Hills Golf Course and preserving it as a valued aspect of our community.

I live in the area and work in downtown Glendale. I take my kids, every Saturday morning, to the golf course for a golf lesson. I look forward to the days when my son and I can spend a morning together, walking the course, and spending some relaxing, quality time together.

Unless the residents of the area stay vigilant in their opposition to tearing our golf course down, it will be just a matter of time before “bulldozers move in and [we'll] have new apartments, a Target and a Starbucks.”

It’s not that I don't love Target or Starbucks, I do. Why, I am even fond of bulldozers. It’s just that we don't need them, or any new apartments in that part of town, and they will do nothing for our property values.

Maybe we should drive those bulldozers over to Carney's home and see what they can do. I hear the Americana at Brand wants to expand.

Armen G. Derian


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