We Should Limit Council Terms to Two Four Year Terms.
Our Mayor brags by telling the people how many years he has been on council and his many years have earned him the right to tell the public they ought to be able to express themselves in less than five minutes during Oral Communications. Yet, he and some of his colleagues can ramble on for 5 to 10 minutes on any given subject matter criticizing residents who have the courage to come before this body.
John Drayman was instrumental in changing the “People’s Hour”, the five minute portion of Oral Communications from the beginning of council business to the end of business. Back in the old days, because of the early hour, on or about 10-15 people would often come before council with their concerns. Today, because of the late time for Oral Communications, less than five people usually attend.
I guess Mayor Weaver wants to forget back in the old days when Ms. Christy Fernandez came before the council week after week during the five minutes of oral communication before the city business while the viewing audience was awake. She spoke out and showed pictures of animal cruelty at the Glendale Humane Society Shelter. Our Mayor defended Glendale Humane Society running the shelter but, finally, after numerous presentations by Ms. Fernandez speaking out weekly, the city finally cancelled the contract with Glendale Humane Society and entered into a new contract with the Humane Society of Pasadena.
Our Mayor is all about speeding up the length of council meetings, yet he allows his council colleagues to campaign from the Dias for their next higher office. Does the public really need to know about council members taking 5 or 10 minutes of council time talking about events they attended: going to a museum, art walk, bike ride, 5K event, charitable events, etc.? Why? And our Mayor says nothing.
Often, during day-time budget sessions, members of the public, who come to address council, are relegated to one, two or three minutes rather than five minutes. These concerned citizens frequently have taken time off from work to address our council members. Additionally, these individuals often have degrees in finance, law, systems analysis, etc.
In particular, we have one regular concerned citizen, who often came before the council addressing errors, as he saw them, and was only granted one minute to speak and there was nobody else from the audience wanting to address council. Council could have granted this individual more time, but concluded with a so called “balanced budget” by increasing fees and taxes onto the public.
Recently, Mayor Weaver under the DISGUISE of wanting to speed-up or make council meetings shorter or to lessen the influence of his council critics, proposed having the “People’s Hour”, the five minute portion of Oral Communications, reduced to three minutes or less. He compared Glendale to other cities in order to justify reducing the time the public could speak.
It was new councilman, Zareh Sinanyan, the man who was beaten-up for months by the public shortly after being sworn in, who became the “people’s hero” when he came to the rescue of the “People’s Hour”, the guarded five minutes the public has to speak on any given subject.
Mr. Sinanyan said “I don’t understand why we’re discussing this issue. We owe it to our residents to allow them to express themselves”.
Our new councilman concluded by stating: “We stand alone and we should be proud of that. Ours should be the standard to which other cities aspire. Five minutes is a fair amount of time.” Bravo councilman Sinanyan, Bravo!
It seems to me that council members, who have been on council more than two four year terms, have this sense of entitlement and they think they know what is best for the people. I hope the dialogue we experienced a couple of weeks ago can make us better understand that in the future we should limit council terms to two four year terms.
With entrenched politicians, they have this sense of entitlement that they know best.