The Grayson repowering project seems to be viewed from a fiscal, managerial and legislative sense. These are important for the structure and function of the project, but there is one issue that supersedes them: the damage to human lives.
Our citizens who are most at risk are those who will suffer the most. I was born visually impaired and with the help of people in my community I was to learn to advocate for myself. Now, it is my duty to bring a voice back to the voiceless. We have disabled people that are in far tougher positions than I am, children that are growing up and just starting to learn about the damage that we are doing and our elderly citizens that deserve to at least have clean air.
I know that sometimes when we make decisions like these, we forget why we can do so. It’s because people entrusted us with the power, and we must serve those people. There have been many cities that have a greater population and substantially higher power demand that have shifted away from using fossil fuels in their power plants. The time for fossil fuels is up and now is the time for Glendale to stand up and say no!
City Council and Glendale Water & Power are making a big mistake on the direction of replacing the Grayson Power Plant. Having managed that power plant for 20 years before my retirement, I can say it was old when I started. But those who worked there knew what it took to keep the old plant reliable, which we did. It was very reliable.
The reason it is not today is because no one cares or knows how to keep the old plant running. Installing a big battery is not the answer, nor are five large internal combustion engines.
A big issue is the fact the city only has one substation to bring all the power from the outside into Glendale, the Kellogg substation. If it fails at any time all of the lights will go out in our city for some time, except at properties where locals have installed their own backup generator at their home or business, which I highly recommend everyone consider doing.
Three or four simple cycle gas turbines is what the city needs to install at Grayson. It will be the cheapest, most reliable and efficient way to go for our city and customers. Also GWP should be looking at another way in addition to Kellogg to bring at least some of the outside power into Glendale. I hope our GWP staff and City Council will eventually understand this and get on with the job of providing good reliable power for our city.
This is in response to Joylene Wagner’s column “Brainstorming needed on affordable-housing shortage,” July 20-21. First we should all support SB 532 authored by state Sen. Anthony Portantino. This bill would allow the city of Glendale to use $27 million in bond proceeds that was locked up during the Great Recession when redevelopment agencies were abolished for affordable housing including the acquisition of affordable housing.
Affordable housing is what’s needed. We don’t need more housing at “market rates” that will do little if anything to keep young parents who have grown up here and city and school district employees living in Glendale. SB 50 would have done next to nothing to ensure that affordable housing would be built and nothing at all to provide the infrastructure that additional housing requires. Meanwhile central Glendale is packed with newly constructed high-rent apartment buildings.
So here’s my brainstorm: Glendale should use the recovered money to buy some of those new apartment buildings, modify them as necessary to make them appropriate for families with children and rent them at reduced rates to young families with ties to the city and city and school district employees. If the buildings cannot be purchased at a fair price, the city should investigate taking them by eminent domain. This would probably be faster than building from scratch and would avoid increasing density.
No system is perfect, but Glendale voters should demand a change by our elected officials. Good character and a strong record should matter most so we can be confident we have trustworthy officials.
It is my hope Glendale voters will demand the City Council place council districts (five or seven) and an elected mayor and elected city attorney, voted upon by all Glendale voters, on the March 2020 ballot.
Having small council districts would create a more representative and accountable form of government. Small districts would make it easier for council candidates to walk their district and raise campaign money. A district council person would be closer to the needs of his or her constituents.
Having an elected mayor voted into office by all Glendale voters would make the position more important than the present ceremonial mayor we have today. The elected mayor would vote on council issues, hold office for four years (unless reelected), conduct all council meetings and be the spokesperson for the city.
Presently, the city manager and City Council appoint the city attorney, who becomes responsible to the council first and then the voting electorate. Having an elected city attorney would make the person that holds that office responsible to the voting electorate first and not the City Council.
Having a strong elected mayor and elected city attorney would help the most to eliminate some of the shenanigans we have seen over the past two decades at City Hall and would be a good start toward healing old wounds.
The writer is a former candidate for Glendale City Council