Mayor Laura Friedman baffled by colleagues' indecision

Mayor Laura Friedman didn’t expect to be the deciding vote when it came to appointing a new mayor, but now that she has to be, she’s disappointed with her fellow council members.

“I think it’s unfortunate they couldn’t come to a decision without me,” she said. “I don’t think it should be such a trauma.”

Last week, the four other council members hit an impasse, failing to reach an agreement on whom among them should be the next mayor. The one-year term begins next month. Friedman was absent on a trip to Glendale’s sister city in Goseong, South Korea.

Councilmen Rafi Manoukian, Frank Quintero and Dave Weaver were all nominated and each received two votes. Each council member can vote for more than one person. Quintero and Weaver nominated and voted for themselves and each other. Councilman Ara Najarian nominated Manoukian, who voted for himself.

With the 2-2-2 split, Friedman has the deciding vote tonight.

“I’m sorry they haven’t been able to choose a new mayor,” Friedman said in an interview Monday. “Why the big deal?”

The mayor represents the city at events, decides the council agenda and conducts council meetings.

All three nominees have been mayor before and have “done a fine job in the past,” she said.

Typically, council members up for reelection aren’t appointed mayor due to an unfair advantage the title can give. Quintero is up for reelection in April 2013, but said last week he wouldn’t run if given the post.

Manoukian said since he’s not campaigning next year and he received the most votes during the last council election he should get the job.

“I’m hoping that my colleagues will find it good to vote for me for mayor,” he said in a phone interview.

Weaver declined to comment about the selection, and Quintero could not be reached.

As for Friedman, she’s ready to hand over the title.

“It’s been a wonderful experience being mayor,” she said. “It’s time for someone else.”

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