Two incumbents, nine challengers vie for Glendale council seats

Eleven Glendale City Council candidates are one step closer to getting on the April ballot after they each turned in more than 100 signatures from local residents nominating them to run for three available seats.

The signatures must still be confirmed by the Los Angeles County Registrar-Recorder, and three other contenders could enter the fray if they take advantage of a five-day extension to turn in signatures because one incumbent, Mayor Frank Quintero, isn’t running.

State regulations allow for the extension if at least one incumbent isn’t running.

The candidates, so far, include incumbents, longtime City Hall critics, former employees, city commissioners and outsiders to Glendale politics.

While council candidates have until Tuesday, the deadline has passed for Glendale Unified school board candidates. Seven are running for three seats on the school board, including incumbents Christine Walters, Joylene Wagner and Greg Krikorian.

Two former Glendale Unified teachers — Daniel Cabrera and Jennifer Freemon — who campaigned for seats and lost in 2011 have turned in their paperwork to run.

Residents Armina Gharpetian and Ali Sadri are also vying for seats.

Several council candidates said in interviews this week that they plan to run vigorous campaigns to stand out among the large candidate pool, and at least one candidate, Zareh Sinanyan, a Community Development Block Grant commissioner, has already appeared on multiple Armenian television shows.

Councilman Ara Najarian said he plans to pull out all the stops.

“I am going all-out in this campaign like never before,” he said.

Candidate Aram Kazazian, an architect and longtime council critic, said the number of candidates has him feeling pessimistic.

“It’s going to really hurt the new people, and the incumbents will be guaranteed to win,” Kazazian said.

Councilwoman Laura Friedman said with Quintero leaving office, multiple contenders were expected.

“It’s not a surprise by any stretch of the imagination,” she said.

While most of the candidates said they’re running to improve quality of life and safety in the city, other prominent issues include pension reform, overdevelopment and a controversial multimillion-dollar transfer from Glendale Water & Power to the city’s General Fund, which pays for police, parks and other city services.

Jefferson Black, who has never been involved in city politics but has been active in Neighborhood Watch in his Adams Hill neighborhood, is focusing on the everyday issues such as street conditions.

“I’ve lived here long enough to know the L.A. side of my neighborhood gets treated better than ours does,” said the 20-year resident and math tutor.

The other Council candidates, so far, are Rick Barnes, Edith Fuentes, Roland Kedikian, Mike Mohill, Zareh Sinanyan, Sam Engel Jr. and Chahe Keuroghelian.

As most of the council candidates have turned in their nomination papers, only one city treasurer candidate, Councilman Rafi Manoukian, has turned in his forms.

Three others who have expressed interest have until Tuesday to try to get on the ballot since incumbent Ron Borucki is not running.

Even if a city treasurer is elected, though, they may not get the job if voters approve a measure that would make the position an appointed post rather than an elected one.

As for the city clerk position, incumbent Ardy Kassakhian and Planning Commissioner Stephanie Landregan will be the only candidates on the ballot if their signatures are validated. The two faced off in 2005 when Kassakhian first won the office.

Landregan said she would want to see the city permitting process digitized, more city documents placed online and greater transparency when it comes to elections.

However, Kassakhian said despite budget cuts at City Hall, he was able to place video archives from public meetings online and launch an election website last year that featured real-time updates.

In the Glendale Community College district, incumbents Ann Ransford, Armine Hacopian and Anita Quinonez Gabrielian have turned in signatures to run, and three people who pulled paperwork to run did not turn in their forms by the deadline.

Follow Brittany Levine on Google+ and on Twitter: @brittanylevine. Follow Kelly Corrigan on Twitter: @kellymcorrigan.

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