To date, library officials and Glendale Historical Society members — who have been actively involved in preservation efforts at Brand Library — say no one from the association has contacted them about their drive, which in of itself seems overblown, said Arlene Vidor, president of the historical society.
The City Council has appropriated more than $4.5 million for the upgrades the door-hanger fliers claim are at risk of not being funded, including seismic retrofits. A request for $2.75 million to fund cosmetic upgrades and a service area reconfiguration at the library is under consideration as part of ongoing capital improvement funding talks.
“To me, this urgent-sounding message about the Brand Library sounds like a ploy to get people’s names and addresses since the seismic upgrade is in process,” Vidor said. “To go to the extreme step of door hangers with an urgent message is highly misleading.”
Drayman agreed, and rejected Gharpetian’s assertion that his group spent $7,000 on the mailers as a way to do something positive for the community.
“What does this mean, ‘Save the Brand Library?’” Drayman asked as he held up a copy of the hanger. “There’s been no indication that money will be deferred or spent in any other way than to improve the library.”
Gharpetian insisted that the perception of the door hanger as a “bait-and-switch” trick was wrong.
Still, with a possible investigation from the city attorney’s office looming and Gharpetian’s seat up for reappointment in 30 days, Drayman said a determination could ultimately rest with the court of public opinion.
“This isn’t the court of law,” he said. “I guess timing is the question.”
Should the city attorney investigate whether a conflict of interest exists between Vartan Gharpetian and his role in the Glendale Property Owners Assn. LLC ? E-mail firstname.lastname@example.org or write to News-Press Community Forum, 221 N. Brand Blvd., 2nd Floor, Glendale, CA 91203. Please include your name and hometown and phone number for verification purposes only.
JASON WELLS covers City Hall. He may be reached at (818) 637-3235 or by e-mail at email@example.com.