Glendale City Increases Rates by 29 Percent

Glendale Water & Power

ANCA Glendale Disappointed at Najarian for Supporting “Astonishing Increase.”

GLENDALE—The Armenian National Committee of America Glendale today expressed its strong disappointment with Glendale Council Member Ara Najarian’s decision to vote for what the organization called “an astonishing increase” in electric rates.

Councilmember Najarian was joined by Councilmember Laura Friedman and Mayor Dave Weaver in voting for electrical rate increases of 8 percent in 2013, 7 percent in 2014, 5 percent in 2015, 2 percent in 2016, and 2 percent in 2017.

“The compounded effect after public benefit and utility taxes will mean that residential customers’ rates will increase by more than 30 percent,” stated ANCA-Glendale Executive Director Talar Malakian.

On Tuesday, August 13, over 100 community members gathered in Glendale City Council chambers for a second week, to watch the deliberations and subsequent voting on the resolution introduced by Councilmember Najarian.

“The City Councilmembers were elected by the people to serve the people,” said Ruben Malian, an upset Glendale resident. “I put signs for Ara Najarian on all the lawns on my street, and I have voted for him every time. And then he does this to the people that elected him. He did not even consider us.”

Adoption of Najarian’s resolution, prevented the consideration of more modest increases proposed by Councilmembers Zareh Sinanyan and Frank Quintero. Sinanyan and Quintero tried to persuade their colleagues that the proposed increase was excessive and that a lower rate increase of three to four percent per year would be sufficient.

“Councilmembers were presented extreme positions and doomsday scenarios to secure a majority of three votes. A more modest rate increase was not given proper consideration. A set of assumptions were used by the City’s management that did not allow adequate discussion and consideration of alternative proposals,” wrote ANCA Glendale Chairman Berdj Karapetian in an open letter.

The ANCA-Glendale survey of residents and businesses in July had revealed that more than 88 percent of them opposed the proposed level of increase in rates. Within a one-week period, more than 1,000 people signed a petition circulated by the ANCA-Glendale urging the Council to adopt more modest increases in rates. Although Glendale City Council voted to approve the excessive rate increases, Council did decide to buffer the increase on low-income residents by authorizing a greater discount for low income residents.

The increases will be put into effect this fall and raise the rates by more than 17 percent by next July.

The ANCA-Glendale advocates for the social, economic, cultural, and political rights of the city’s Armenian American community and promotes increased civic participation at the grassroots and public policy levels.

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6 Comments

  1. Nathan said:

    This article is ridiculously one-sided. What are they supposed to do? Utilities cost money. It may not be pleasant, but the bills have to be paid. These rate increases are the financially responsible thing to do.

    • Anonymous said:

      Unfortunately, the issue isn’t that the “bills need to be paid”. No one is objecting to a rate increase. However, the public can’t consume a compounded 30%+ increase in the next 5 years. Council hasn’t acted financially responsible because they’ve been tapping into GWP’s General Fund, which is the reason WHY we’re experiencing a rate increase. When Councilmember Friedman threatens that community services will be cut if there won’t be an increase, the question here really is – aren’t we paying for the utility and not community services? Councilmember Najarian’s motion didn’t allow for the modest rate increase Councilmember Sinanyan and Quintero proposed. THAT’S the problem here.

  2. Nshan said:

    Our simple answer to Mr. Najarian should be a campaign to recall him from the office. We the people elected him, we the people should recall him.

  3. Kren Gasparian said:

    I hope the residents of Glendale will remember this during the next election. I voted for Ara Najarian in the past but never again! Words can’t describe my level of disappointment in him…What really disappoints me is the fact that more Armenians in Glendale should turn out to vote and get people like David Weaver and Laura Friedman out of office!

  4. John Kociemba said:

    It’s time that the residents should consider a Class Action Lawsuit against the city and this rate/unfair tax increase. Check out what Calaveras County has been doing regarding the State of California Fire Prevention Fund. It has been deemed by the court to be an unfair tax and not a fee. See: http://hjta.org/press-releases/pr-hjta-files-class-action-lawsuit-against-fire-tax
    Remember, the city transfers money from the GWP’s reserve accounts to the City’s General Fund every year. It is an Unfair Tax and rate increases would not be necessary if this illegal transfer was stopped.

  5. amb said:

    What, where are the people protesting on the street?!! Yerevantis are far more alert citizens that Glendaltis.

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