More than 600 community, business and civic leaders filled the hotel for the event, which also marked the 100th anniversary of the Glendale Chamber of Commerce.
In addition to annual awards given at the luncheon, the business advocacy organization honored the chamber’s 10 longest continuous members. Glendale Water & Power and the city’s police and fire departments, which have also been around for at least 100 years, were also honored.
During his address, Quintero also heralded a new positive attitude among his colleagues on the dais, which he said has helped the council make hard decisions during tough economic times.
“Since the last election, the City Council has become a very positive, cohesive and cooperative working group . . . The distractions of the past are behind us,” Quintero said in one of his last public statements before the City Council appoints his successor April 6.
He said he was especially excited about the reorganization of four key city departments, which he has pushed for since soon after his election.
“The goal was to provide a more efficient deployment of city services,” he said.
But Quintero did not mention one of the year’s biggest events — the Station fire, which charred nearly all of Deukmejian Wilderness Park’s 709 acres and resulted in the evacuation of north Glendale residents.
In the wake of the fire, city officials and residents were forced to prepare against the threat of potential debris flows, placing hundreds of concrete barriers throughout north Glendale neighborhoods.
Quintero did acknowledge the financial difficulties of the past year — namely months of budget deliberations that left City Hall on edge for months as the City Council shaved $9.7 million off the general fund budget — but said that the city was in much better shape than other cities, which were forced to institute layoffs or mandatory unpaid work furloughs.
The City Council will begin meeting in special study sessions next week to begin the process of next year’s budget cycle. City officials have projected another $10-million shortfall, but say much of it will be made up by a current citywide hiring freeze.
Still, Quintero urged the many city executives in attendance to get ready for another arduous budgeting process.
“We will once again have to work with our employee organizations and city departments for what is certainly going to be a weak economy,” he said.