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Custom narrows Glendale mayoral field

Informal rule bars City Council from choosing candidate up for reelection as the next Glendale mayor

April 02, 2012|By Brittany Levine and Megan O'Neil

When it comes to selecting the next mayor Tuesday night, City Council members will decide whether to follow an unofficial rule aimed at ensuring the appointment doesn’t mix with the upcoming election, or go against the grain.

If they follow the rule, which keeps sitting council members up for reelection out of the running, it would leave two possible contenders: Councilmen Dave Weaver and Rafi Manoukian. Both have served as mayor twice before, but often differ on city policy.

Council members said giving the title of mayor to someone up for reelection may increase their clout at the polls, an unfair advantage over others trying to run for office. But the rule isn’t a formal one, so council members are free to select whomever they choose.

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Mayor Laura Friedman, who completes her one-year term this week, will be absent during the meeting as she visits Glendale’s sister city of Goseong, Korea to attend a dinosaur exposition. Every three years, the mayor of Glendale is invited to the event, which Friedman said is important to Goseong.

Without her, that leaves four on the dais to make the selection, which must prevail on a 3-1 vote. The mayor conducts council meetings, sets the agenda and represents the city at events for one year starting in April.

“We’re going to try and vote for a mayor, if we can get three votes,” Councilman Ara Najarian said Monday. “Three votes is not easy to get.”

If the council can’t agree, they will have to vote again at another meeting.

There’s a second unofficial rule that also impacts the decision: Council members who chair the Housing Authority or Redevelopment Agency are typically first in line for the mayor’s seat.

Councilman Frank Quintero chairs the Housing Authority and Manoukian chaired the Redevelopment Agency before it was dissolved in February by a state mandate. Quintero could not be reached for comment Monday.

Najarian said he was taking himself out of the running.

Of the two council members not up for reelection next year, Manoukian said he would like to serve as mayor, pointing out that he received more votes — 10,197 — than Weaver’s 9,903, according to city records.

Weaver declined to discuss his position on who should be the next mayor.

At last week’s council meeting, Friedman said her first term as mayor has helped her get to know the community on a deeper level.

“It’s been a very humbling experience,” she said.

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