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Glendale voters reject Measure A, ensuring Manoukian as next city treasurer

April 03, 2013|By Jason Wells and Brittany Levine
  • A 'No on Measure A' sign on Kenneth Road in Glendale.
A 'No on Measure A' sign on Kenneth Road in Glendale. (Raul Roa/Staff…)


City Councilman Rafi Manoukian successfully defeated Measure A on Tuesday, preserving his successful bid for city treasurer.

While Manoukian was the sole candidate for city treasurer, he wasn’t without some opposition in the form of Measure A, which was defeated on vote of 11,602 against and 4,001 in support.

Manoukian mounted a strong campaign against the proposed Charter amendment that would have changed the city treasurer into an appointed, not elected, position — thereby nullifying the outcome of his uncontested quest for the office. He spent $12,965 against the measure, but raised just $2,100 — all of it from himself and his parents, according to the latest campaign disclosure forms.

The heavy spending came despite a history of Glendale voters rejecting three previous attempts to convert the city treasurer into an appointment.

Manoukian could not be reached for comment.

A number of other changes to the city’s Charter faltered on Tuesday.

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Measure C, which failed 8,248 to 6,537, would have allowed officials to bypass the typical open-bidding process for city business and gone directly to bond issuers. Federal regulators have expressed concern that the practice opens up municipal government officials to the potential for pay-to-play.

And Measure B, which generated considerable controversy in the lead up to the election, appeared too close to call. The measure was teetering on a vote of 7,482 in support to 7,439 against.

The measure would essentially modernize antiquated accounting language dealing with the city’s practice of transferring millions Glendale Water & Power revenues to support public services like police, fire and libraries.

Officials contend that without the transfer, the city could not afford to maintain current public services and framed the Charter changes as updating outdated language to streamline the allowed accounting process.

Critics argued the revenue transfer acts like a backdoor tax because city officials backfill by raising rates on consumers. They also charged that the measure was far more extensive a change than what officials were letting on.

Then last week, the Los Angeles County Civil Grand Jury released an interim report warning that the transfer may be in violation of state propositions that limit taxes. City officials said the propositions do not apply to Glendale and took the civil grand jury to task for politicking.

City officials have said they intend to carry on with the transfers, arguing Glendale is within its rights to do so.

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Follow Brittany Levine on Google+ and on Twitter: @brittanylevine.

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