in English. For people who request translation, the city prints
ballot information in another language or can provide translation,
The city has already allocated $168,000 for the special election,
which will determine the fate of the Americana at Brand, a proposed
$264.2-million retail and residential project in downtown Glendale.
The City Council will discuss three additional costs tied
specifically to translation for residents who might need it.
According to reports, the city could spend $5,400 to print arguments
and ordinance analyses in Armenian and Spanish on the sample ballot;
$2,900 to print copies of the ballot in Armenian and Spanish in the
sample ballot; and $4,500 to print the full text of the downtown land
ordinances in Armenian, English and Spanish.
The city would have paid $130,000 to lump the project vote into
the general election ballot. Council members agreed that the issue of
downtown development was important enough to warrant its own local
election, officials said.
"We need to let people know what it is they are voting on," Mayor
Bob Yousefian said. "I have read both arguments and I'm not happy
with either side. They are assuming a lot of these things everybody
knows, but people don't. We need to explain in common languages, not
in legalese. However, I'm not in favor of spending our money to
translate all that information. It's not our responsibility, it's the
responsibility of the campaigns."
In June, the council voted 4-1 to schedule the citywide election,
triggered by three referendum petitions challenging the zoning
General Growth Properties, which owns the Glendale Galleria and
opposes the Americana, funded the referendum petitions that triggered
the election. The company claims the project will hurt downtown
businesses, including the Galleria, and it criticizes the city's
"We applaud any effort the city makes to increase voter turnout
for this election," said Arthur Sohikian, spokesman for General
Growth. "If they come back and suggest that we pay for [ballot
translation], we would certainly look at the request, and assume that
[Americana developer Rick] Caruso would be given the same request."
Caruso was not available for comment.