Glendale City Council candidates explain why they should be elected

The 12 candidates vying for three seats on the Glendale City Council outline what makes them the best choice.

Jefferson Black
What City Hall needs is a diplomatic problem-solver. I’m open-minded, willing to listen to both sides of every issue. I’m unbiased, owing zero political favors to any group or union.

I’ll serve with integrity in the most effective manner possible, tackling every problem head-on, always considering Glendale’s best interests as a whole.

I’m compassionate but unafraid to fight for what’s right — not just for today, but for Glendale’s future. I’ll evaluate how any council decision may impact the city down the road.

Let’s “Vote4Jefferson” and make Glendale an amazing place to live, work and play.

Rick Barnes
When the time comes to consider your taxes, utility costs and permit fees, I will ensure that the City Council first consider if we’ve done all we could to allow business to flourish without undue restrictions and regulations; whether we’ve done all possible to attract businesses that generate tax revenues so our residents don’t bear such a heavy burden.

I want to represent you on a council that embodies accountability, common sense and transparency.

Edith Fuentes
I deeply care for this city and everyone in this community. I have more than 30 years of hands-on city management and administrative experience, 20 years of which was inside Glendale.

I am that candidate who knows where the problems are and what solutions are needed, and I am up to the challenge. Again, what matters to you is important to me, and what's important to you matters to me.

It is time that I fight for this community to give back its voice, dignity and respect. I want the best for Glendale. Please vote for Fuentes on your ballots.

Laura Friedman
I have proved that fiscal responsibility is my top priority. I voted to reduce salaries and negotiated for employees to pay a higher share toward pensions. I helped downsize the city workforce and reform pensions by raising retirement ages and lowering payouts for new employees.
Despite the recession, Glendale is fiscally sound. We have maintained excellent service levels, added new parks and improved infrastructure.
I led the transformation of the San Fernando Corridor into a business and job engine for Glendale. I play a key role in promoting traffic safety, furthering historic preservation and protecting our hillsides and open spaces.

Ara Najarian
I am the best candidate to continue serving on the Glendale City Council because I also serve as a Metropolitan Transportation Authority director, where I continue to fight the construction of the Long Beach (710) Freeway tunnel and bring millions of dollars for transportation projects to Glendale.

My service on the council will continue to make Glendale a stronger city and a safer community. I helped to bring new businesses in, built new parks and pools, passed campaign contribution limits and kept our hillsides green. And with four more years, we can do much more.

Zareh Sinanyan
My continued dedication to public service has been constant because I really love this city. I’ve served on the parks and recreation commission for two years and the Community Development Block Grant Advisory Committee for four years.

During my CDBG chairmanship, 100% of the votes were unanimous and that is because I am a consensus builder.

For me, it’s not about politics, it’s about the issues like affordable housing, green space, the arts, friendly business policies and how we can work together to create a better Glendale for all of us. I know we can do better. With your support, I can get us there.

Mike Mohill
Absent connections or large donors, I’ve persistently pounded the pavement since October to personally ask for votes.
Firsthand, I’ve shared concerns about council-approved lavish employee salaries, pensions and benefits, high utility rates with infrastructure needs ignored, and intensive downtown development without constructing code-required parking.
Hundreds of small businesses displaying my posters and my many small donors who’ve heard me know I’ll stand up for them. I’ve no big-money campaign. I’m a person of modest means who’s concerned for his city. I’m like most of you and you can believe I’ll be your voice on the council.

Herbert Molano
For the past 12 years I’ve studied the city’s finances and confronted city councils on the high level of expenditures and debt they accumulated.

I know why Glendale Water & Power is structurally weakened, why our roads are not reconstructed, why utility rates increase and why traffic and parking continue to be a surging problem.

This City Council blamed Proposition 13 and the economy, but I know that the problems were self-inflicted, and often, reckless.

I believe that prudent voters can defeat the special interests who want to bend the city to their will.
Together, we can fix this.

Aram Kazazian
We need to save our schools, our children and our seniors.

For more than a decade, I have raised concerns about the financial well-being of the city. As citizens may be aware, the city has borrowed almost $180 million in the last four years due to mismanagement to bail out Glendale Water & Power. It will fall to the younger generations to repay this, with interest, for a total of almost $300 million.

We can no longer turn a blind eye to the destruction the current councils have caused. We need leaders who are capable of curbing the reckless spending.

Chahe Keuroghelian
Born in Lebanon, I migrated to the United States where I received my post-graduate education in public administration and political science.

During the past 30 years of service in the Glendale community — in both private and public sectors, and currently serving on the Design Review Board as an advocate for environmental, economic and societal justice — I have supported the full participation and engagement of concerned stakeholders in decisions that impact our lives and the lives of our children.

My advocacy has been recognized by the Democratic Party and Sheriff Lee Baca, who is endorsing me in this race.

Roland Kedikian
Let's embrace this election as an opportunity to set Glendale on a path of prosperity and excellence.
I bring my background in two professions, engineering and law, as a resource to our City Council.

I am committed to smart growth, water and electric revenues that rebuild our utility infrastructure, a balanced city budget that emphasizes efficiency, and support for small businesses.

I will work in a methodical, logical way, using all the facts, and will successfully mediate disputes, negotiating solutions that create consensus and an effective and efficient city government. I have the experience and skills to guide Glendale upward.

Sam Engel
I have published a statement of my priorities and approach to the issues facing our city.

It is a fiscally responsible plan for Glendale’s future that focuses on efficient services. But there’s more to picking a candidate than agreeing with their platform, so in addition to those priorities, here’s a list of my unique skills:

• Knowledge of the city and its processes

• Steadfast resolve to be fair and equitable

• A talent for bringing people together to find consensus

• Genuine concern for our residents, neighborhoods and businesses

• Ability to apply common sense to City Council decision-making

-- Brittany Levine,

Follow on Google+ and on Twitter: @brittanylevine.

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