As I posted earlier, councilmember Ara Najarian wasted Glendale City Council time recently on a half-baked proposal to create a Glendale health department. His motivation was to circumvent restrictions on outdoor dining imposed by LA County, and had nothing to do with the public’s health. And his vision for the so-called department was on paper, by “meeting the qualification and check the boxes.”
Najarian is the same councilmember who gave us City Council ‘Dark Days,’ a policy that eliminated one City Council meeting per month while preserving staff’s pay. Instituted in the first half of 2019, the policy has remained in effect throughout the COVID-19 pandemic. He also introduced a toothless mask ordinance in April which was not enforced until August. This gave COVID-19 four additional months to spread throughout Glendale. Najarian himself admitted in May while opposing slow streets: “We all know there are legions of our residents who refuse to wear face masks, face coverings. We’re just gonna bring them closer together.”
Below are the last two LA County COVID-19 weekly updates (December 9 and 16, 2020). We may not always agree with their decisions, but we can expect they are for the benefit of public health, and not designed to boost business, or give a councilmember a spot to eat outside of his favorite eatery.
December 9, 2020
December 16, 2020
Can Glendale really expect to receive information like that? Especially while under the leadership of Mayor Agajanian, who almost never addresses Glendale residents in ENGLISH outside of City Council? Of course, not!
Nor would we be able to depend on the likes of Najarian and Agajanian to act on our behalf to get the upcoming vaccine to our highest at-risk citizens one week faster than the Federal COVID-19 vaccination plan?
“Citing a desire for faster COVID-19 vaccine distribution, Los Angeles County health officials have decided that the county’s 385 nursing homes will administer vaccines directly to residents and staff, rather than relying on a federal program that puts CVS, Walgreens, and other pharmacies in charge.”
… “Once it’s authorized, the Moderna vaccine will be shipped directly to county nursing homes. County Public Health Department Director Barbara Ferrer said she hoped to be able to have vaccinations begin as early as Dec. 21.
“Our understanding is that the earliest that that pharmacy partnership program will be in place is closer to the end of the month,” County Public Health Department Director Barbara Ferrer said today. “We don’t want to wait until December 28 to start the process of vaccinating residents and staff at skilled nursing facilities.” “
Glendale is not ready for its own Department of Public Health while under bad leadership; including two of the worst possible councilmembers to sit as Mayor during the COVID-19 pandemic, Ara Najarian and Vrej Agajanian. It would be beyond foolish to place one’s health in their hands, or forfeit the services LA County currently provides that Glendale can’t.
Glendale citizens know there is a problem in our leadership, and the way they have handled COVID-19.
Glendale should continue its current trend of electing responsible public servants; as it did this year by electing Paula Devine, Ardy Kassakhian, and Dan Brotman to City Council.
Very often, merely hundreds of votes (not thousands) make the difference. Former non-voters would be enough to get career politicians, like Councilmember Najarian, and weak leadership, like Mayor Agajanian, OFF of City Council in 2022.