News-Press endorsement for Glendale City Council: Friedman, Najarian and Engel

Glendale is on track to become an even more vibrant city in the coming years as developments get underway throughout the community — all happening at a time when several other cities are still struggling to climb out of a crippling recession.

There are still serious budget issues that must be dealt with, but three City Council candidates from a pack of 12 stand out.

We endorse Laura Friedman, Ara Najarian and Sam Engel.

Incumbents Friedman and Najarian have been part of a team that has steered Glendale away from a financial collapse, kept the downtown area a strong business hub and maintained the quality-of-life services that make it an ideal place to live and raise a family.

A few years ago, they approved a policy change to address one of the biggest challenges facing the city — pensions for city employees. They supported creating a two-tiered retirement system for new hires that increases the retirement age and evens out the pay benchmarks for pensions.

Among the other contenders, there are some very good candidates. However, we think Engel, the city’s former neighborhood services administrator, would be the best choice to join the council.

He knows how the city works and can bring his knowledge to hopefully suggest ways to make the services that Glendale provides to residents even better.

In his former post, he had to deal with residents’ concerns on a regular basis, a skill that will serve him well on council.

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