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Two more elections loom

Council, school board will vote to choose leadership in coming meetings.

April 15, 2011|By Melanie Hicken,

CITY HALL — With results of the April 5 municipal election finalized, attention in local political corridors now will turn to picking leaders for the City Council and school board.

There will be little time to mull it over, with the decisions scheduled for after the winning candidates are sworn in on Monday.

For the City Council, Rafi Manoukian will rejoin the dais with incumbent Councilman Dave Weaver after losing reelection to John Drayman in 2007. He took his seat back from Drayman as the highest vote-getter in the April 5 election.


After they are sworn in, members of the newly-reconstituted City Council will vote among themselves to choose a new mayor, which outgoing Mayor Ara Najarian said could turn out to be a process.

“Amazingly enough, I’ve heard either directly or indirectly from my other four colleagues expressing interest in serving as mayor,” he said. “I think everyone wants to be mayor this year. So I’m not sure how we sort that out.”

And with no rule barring a councilmember from filling the position for consecutive years, Najarian said he has not yet ruled out being tapped for a second term.

“I am first going to speak to my colleagues,” he said. “I am certainly going look to each and every one of them as a potential nominee first.”

As the outgoing chairwoman of the Redevelopment Agency and the only council member not to have yet filled the role, Councilwoman Laura Friedman is a likely front-runner.

Fresh off her 2009 election, Friedman had withstood pressure from Najarian and Drayman to throw her hat in the mayoral ring, but last year she indicated she was ready to serve as mayor in one of the next two years.

While the position differs from elected mayors in cities such as Los Angeles, a Glendale mayor still has influence, controlling the weekly council agenda and the public comment period.

Citing ethnic tensions that were enflamed during the recent campaign cycle, Najarian said whoever fills the center seat on the dais needs to be willing to “be a very broad and welcoming mayor to bring groups back together and heal some of the nicks and cuts that occurred.”

The Glendale Unified School District will also hold a reorganization ceremony Monday, although there will not be any new faces involved, with incumbent candidates Mary Boger and Nayiri Nahabedian both returning for another term.

In the past year, the board has overseen the transition of a new superintendant, the ever-constant threat of state budget cuts and especially contentious negotiations with the teachers union, said outgoing President Greg Krikorian.

“It’s actually been a rewarding year for me and our team that we have weathered the storm, and there’s still turbulent roads ahead of us,” he said. “That being said, I’m confident that whoever moves into president and vice president will be able to help direct the spirit of the team and set direction for the district.”

The City Council reorganization will take place at 8 p.m. Monday in the City Council chambers, 613 E. Broadway.

The school board reorganization will take place at 4 p.m. in the Glendale Unified School District board room, 223 N. Jackson Street.

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