Glendale: Najarian Becomes Mayor

NAJARIAN BECOMES MAYOR
By Ryan Vaillancourt

Glendale News Press, CA
April 17 2007

Newest council member declines a surprise nomination for mayor,
delivers rebuke to council.

GLENDALE – The ceremonial swearing in ceremony of the city’s new
mayor turned into a near stalemate on Tuesday before Councilman Ara
Najarian notched the final nomination, and handed out olive branches
to the new council.

The meeting was not short of surprises.

Among them was the nomination of newest addition to the Council, John
Drayman, to the mayoral seat by both Councilmen Frank Quintero and
Bob Yousefian. Yousefian also nominated Najarian, himself, Councilman
Dave Weaver and, jokingly, "Tony Soprano."

Drayman declined the nomination, insisting that he was not ready
for the position and that Yousefian – who, as the current chair of
the Redevelopment Agency was considered a likely candidate for the
position – had made a donation to the Drayman campaign.

In abstaining, Drayman also issued his new colleagues a challenge –
one of the four councilmen would have to vote across the Armenian and
non-Armenian ethnic line, which he also referenced in his acceptance
speech.

Najarian nominated Yousefian.

"I would urge you to put your faith in Mr. Yousefian," Najarian said.

"I’m confident that Bob could run a heck of a meeting."

Weaver and Quintero each nominated Najarian and declined to reconsider.

In what appeared to be the first stalemate of the new council during
their first deliberation, Yousefian urged Drayman to reconsider his
decision to abstain.

"Unless you reconsider your vote, nobody is going to ‘walk through
that door,’" Yousefian said.

Drayman declined, and chastised the council.

"This is your little red wagon," Drayman said. "You guys are pulling
it, I’m not going to climb in. This is just part of the business as
usual … that I and many of the voters don’t understand."

To avoid the stalemate – and a situation that would have required
the council to elect a mayor pro-tem on a weekly basis – Yousefian
reconsidered and shifted his vote to Najarian.

Najarian spoke out at length about bridging any cultural gaps that
have conflicted the council in the past and closed the meeting by
pulling out olive branches, symbols of peace, and handing them to
his new colleagues.

Newly elected Glendale Community College District Board Trustees Tony
Tartaglia and Vahe Peroomian were also sworn in, as was new Glendale
Unified School District Board of Education member Nayiri Nahabedian.

Mary Boger, who was re-elected to the board, was sworn in at the
board meeting Tuesday afternoon.

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