New Mayor and Dethroned Incumbent Highlight Glendale City-Wide Elections

Troy Cornell

The citywide elections held earlier this month brought change to Glendale in the form of a new mayor and the defeat of a controversial incumbent.

Ara Najarian was the top vote getter totaling 9,473 votes, edging out newcomer Laura Friedman by a mere 236 votes.
Comfortably in third place was newly nominated Mayor Frank Quintero with 8,857 votes.

Defeated was incumbent Bob Yousefian, who has served on the city council for the past eight years.

It has been rare for Glendale to have a mayor serving a second term.

In years past, it has been a dog fight amongst council members as to who should hold the post.

“It’s never rosy to be mayor,” John Drayman said.

Initially, Friedman was Drayman’s nomination with Najarian following up Drayman’s nomination.

Friedman, who would have taken the title of mayor by confirming her own nomination, politely declined stating she wanted to learn to be a “good council member” before becoming mayor.

Council members Quintero and Dave Weaver did not budge on their own self-nominations and with the nomination of Friedman stalling, the other two votes were then tipped to Quintero.

Leaving the position of mayor is Drayman, who will now head the Redevelopment Agency.
In his farewell speech he said that “Glendale has not met the limits of its greatness,” in regards to the tough economic times that the city faces in the next 4 years.

Ardashes “Ardy” Kassakhian, who ran unopposed for a second term, remains Glendale’s city clerk and also referenced the economic challenges facing Glendale in his oath of office saying that “so little opportunity for reflection or to rest on any laurels as we look ahead to the next four years.”

City Treasurer Ron Borucki finally breathed a deep sigh of relief after finding out on April 17, 10 days following the election, that he defeated former Glendale Mayor Rafi Manoukian for the city treasurer position after city officials tallied the remaining mail-in ballots.

In the Glendale Unified School District board elections, Greg Krikorian, Joylene Wagner, and Christine Walters joined each other in the winner’s circle.

Armine Hacopian and Anita Quinonez Gabrielian joined top vote-getter, Ann Ransford, as the GCC Board of Trustees was set for the next four years.

Measure U, approved by a staggering 5900 votes, is a tax on utilities including electricity, water, natural gas, cable television and telephones. Glendale, like many cities throughout California, has used its 7 percent UUT as revenue to assist in funding a variety of important community services.

Last year, the City of Glendale’s telecommunication portion UUT provided over $8.9 million for crucial city services such as police, fire, paramedics, parks and recreation, libraries, street and public facility maintenance.