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Editorial:

New mayor may already be on the right track

April 12, 2008

Congratulations to Glendale’s newest mayor, John Drayman.

After last year’s council stalemate over who should be mayor, Drayman’s colleagues made the right move Tuesday by unanimously appointing the longtime Glendale resident, who started coming to council meetings with his father when he was 6.

Drayman’s track record as a community leader in Montrose coupled with the success of his freshman council year is proof that he can lead and make informed decisions to get things done. We hoped for as much when we endorsed him for the council last year. And that is why he deserves this shot to steer the city as its mayor.

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He’s a good fit at a time when this city is drastically changing, presenting city officials with big challenges.

Drayman will guide the agenda of a city where dwindling resources in the midst of a sagging economy make funding for local services scarce. There will be tough budget sessions, and he might very well lead deliberations over campaign contribution limits.

Multimillion-dollar mixed-used developments, long in the planning stages, will come on-line during his term, with others waiting to be approved.

The corresponding traffic congestion and how to deal with it in a city becoming more dense will certainly remain an issue. So will presiding over a revamped design review process.

There are issues out there waiting to be resolved by leaders with cool heads who aren’t afraid to deliberate and face a community that is often divided.

If recent history tells us anything, Drayman has some hope and momentum on his side.

It was only a year ago when a constantly squabbling council, replete with petty differences and political posturing, was barely able to pick a mayor. This year, things were much smoother on mayoral-appointment night, after a year of council accomplishments, even amid some heated moments.

Drayman leads a council that, under former Mayor Ara Najarian, decided on a wide-ranging list of capital improvement projects to be done, expanded the city’s affordable-housing stock, reformed the city’s design review process and approved major infrastructure and development projects.

All this while also faced with galvanizing issues such as passing a controversial absentee ballot application ordinance and figuring out how to tweak the city’s tree-trimming ordinance.

It was one of the most productive years the council has had in quite a while, and a hearty kudos and thank you goes to Najarian for his leadership and to his colleagues for their ability to hone in on the issues, get past their differences and get things done.

There’s no reason why that kind of success can’t continue with Drayman.


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