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Opinion

Commentary: Mailbag: City should review panel’s decisions in light of former member’s guilty plea

On Dec.14, Arthur S. Charchian, a practicing attorney and resident of Glendale, pleaded guilty to one count of money laundering and one count of making a false statement to the Social Security Administration. Charchian was also a member of the Glendale Design Review Board (appointed by Mayor Zareh Sinanyan) where he was a key player in making decisions about whether a particular design was in compliance with the Glendale hillside guidelines. Those were decisions that have had and continue to have a direct impact on the lives of some Glendale citizens.

Decisions coming out of the Design Review Board have raised many questions, especially as some decisions have been appealed to the Glendale City Council at a significant cost to the appellants and increased revenue to the city. These crimes for which Charchian has pleaded guilty go to the core of someone’s honesty and integrity. Does this current revelation into Charchian’s willingness to break the law not bring into question any decision in which he participated during his term on the Design Review Board? If he was willing to commit the crimes for which he’s pleaded guilty, what else could he have been capable of doing while serving within local government? Shouldn’t we as citizens be demanding answers from our city officials? Shouldn’t the DRB revisit any decision he was involved in for projects whose construction has not commenced?

Lee Straus

Glendale

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The Glendale City Council places Measure S on the Nov. 6 ballot to increase the sales tax collected in the city of Glendale by 0.75%, raising the 9.5% sales tax to 10.25%. It passes.

The measure was placed on the ballot to insure that the 0.75% increase would remain in the Glendale General Fund, raising an estimated $30 million dollars in additional revenue that would be spent on expanding funding to protect essential services such as fire, paramedics, police, parks, recreation, senior services, library, arts and culture, and affordable housing programs and services, and to improve streets and sidewalks. So far, so good.

Now we see in an article in Wednesday’s News-Press that the city is facing a potential $4.1-million deficit in 2019 and if you read further the potential of $17.5-million deficit in 2023-24 due to unfunded pension liabilities.

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Every city council member, county supervisor and California state legislator knows about these unfunded pension liabilities and they keep kicking the can down the road just like Councilman Vrej Agananian, who said, according to the article, “I will wait until I face the issue and then come up with the best solution.”

Just to be clear, Vrej, the issue is now, and I can hardly wait to hear your “best solution.”

Jim Kussman

Glendale

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Wouldn’t it be wonderful if Glendale drivers would make a resolution to be nice instead of naughty in 2019? Here are four wishes I would like to see come true:

1. If you can’t find a parking space, please don’t use your emergency flashers to park in the red next to a fire hydrant so you can run into the bank to use the ATM.

2. If you are approaching an intersection to make a right turn on a red light, please just once in 2019 try to stop before the limit line and not roll through, causing cross traffic to slam on their brakes to avoid hitting you.

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3. When making a left turn at an intersection, how about pulling all the way into the intersection first so at least one person behind you can safely turn before the light changes?

4. After you have curb parked, please don’t sling open your driver’s door before looking back at the bicycle rider you might impale on your door frame. And, above all, use the curbside doors to take your children in or out of the car. It’s much safer.

Driving is all about courtesy, and 2019 could be the year to change Glendale’s reputation as one of the worst cities to drive in.

Peter Rusch

Glendale


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