Points for the City Council to ponder

To the Glendale City Council, thank you for serving our city. It is up to hard-working, involved people such as yourselves who keep Glendale the “Jewel City” of California.

In this vein, regarding your selection of a new city manager, please consider the following suggestions:

1) Search beyond current city employees from Burbank, Glendale and Pasadena. Seek the “best,”' not just the “handy” and “known.”

2) Do not give any “extra credit” or “consideration” for current or past service in some capacity in any of the above cities. Don't bias the selection to a current manager. Have a level playing field.

3) Have as a criterion for consideration that the candidate be familiar with and have successfully implemented “metrics” in managing a City or operation similar to Glendale. Get examples.

4) Require “transparency” as demonstrated in prior positions, with a commitment to the future.

5) Due to current and anticipated budget problems, only offer 100% of the incumbent's fully burdened cost to Glendale after completion of a successful five years. No bonuses! Any “cost of living” clause should be positive and negative. Be fiscally prudent. Hold the line.

6) Provide an early termination clause for “cause” for both parties without penalty. Make the contract for a specified period of up to five years and “at will” (early termination without “cause” at any time may have a two-month termination clause) during this term. Do not provide for an early “buy out.”

7) Have the Civil Service Commission conduct the initial search giving your criteria, along with applicable terms and conditions. Appoint a five-member search board to winnow the applicants and propose further consideration of the top five by the full City Council, who will make the final selection of three with which to negotiate an offer and acceptance.

8) Require and practice openness in each step of the city manager selection process. Inform the public in a timely way.

9) Don't rush or feel pressured to act hastily. If the incumbent city manager has done his work properly, the city should continue to function effectively as though he were on sick leave or vacation. If this is not the case, then either he and/or you have not served our city properly.

10) Stress ethical and fiscal responsibility for all city officers and staff.

The above suggestions are intended to be of assistance to you in your efforts. Good luck and best wishes on your endeavor on our behalf.

Nick Friesen


Some suggestions on what could be cut

This is in response to Francis Adams’ letter on Aug. 7 in which she asks: “Why can't the government see that raising the debt limit is just pouring good money after bad? If that limit is not kept, then cut spending, which is often going where it is not appreciated.”

The scary thing is that the “tea party” Republicans in Congress mouth the same over-simplified platitudes, and they are willing and able to destroy the economy if they don't get their way. They all bow and scrape at the feet of anti-tax fanatic Grover Norquist and are believers in the bizarre philosophy put forth by Ayn Rand that businessmen are gods and should not be taxed or regulated.

As a senior citizen, I take strong offense at the notion that the money and benefits from Social Security and Medicare I receive as a result a lifetime of hard work are not appreciated and should be slashed.

Here are a few outrageous examples of wasteful spending by the U.S. government that could and should be slashed: The F-22 Raptor fighter plane that has cost trillions of dollars, but has not contributed to any of our war efforts; the war in Afghanistan, where we are propping up a corrupt government at a cost of billions; our War on Drugs, which has succeeded only in enriching street gangs and Latin American drug cartels.

And lastly, tax breaks for huge corporations, millionaires and billionaires, who most assuredly do appreciate them.

Steven Asimow



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