I am writing in support of Sam Engel's candidacy for City Council. I know Sam very well, as I began volunteering with the Committee for a Clean and Beautiful Glendale shortly after my election to the GUSD School Board in 1995. I am very familiar with the budget challenges the department has faced over the last 10 years.
I find it odd and not coincidental that the recent auditors report critical of the Neighborhood Services Division was released less than two weeks from the city council election. Was this a political move, perhaps?
At Wednesday night’s N.W. Glendale Homeowners Association forum, Engel, the former manager of Neighborhood Services, took full responsibility for an audit report that found “inefficiencies” and was conducted after he retired. He also pointed out that his department, due to budget cuts, was missing a critical supervisor for the previous 18 months, and that the computer system the auditor was critical of was a citywide issue, the waste on which being one of the reasons he chose to run.
What was left unsaid in the published report was the fact that Sam Engel was the only department head in the city who had a plan to reverse the budget decline. Engel worked closely with the all volunteer Committee for a Clean and Beautiful Glendale to supplement the budget by appealing directly to the community. Sam, his small staff and the volunteers raised the money needed to keep an effective anti graffiti program running, along with effective anti-litter and anti-smoking programs.
Sam is the only one running who knows how the city works, knows how to compromise to reach consensus and at the end of the day is the real deal — a really nice, down-to-earth gentleman.
Sam is exactly what Glendale needs and I hope you will join my family and I and vote for Sam Engel.