Gharpetian Sworn in as Glendale Mayor


GLENDALE — Vartan Gharpetian will serve his third year on the Glendale City Council as the city’s mayor thanks to a unanimous vote by council members on May 1, where new and returning faces were officially sworn in to their roles as civil servants.

City Council incumbents Ara Najarian and Zareh Sinanyan took their oath of office for another four years of service alongside first-time Councilman Vrej Agajanian. Unopposed candidates Ardy Kassakhian and Rafi Manoukian will continue their roles as city clerk and city treasurer, respectively.

Before Gharpetian took on his new role, acting Mayor Paula Devine received recognition for her contributions to the city by state Sen. Anthony Portantino and a representative from the office of Assemblywoman Laura Friedman.

Mayors serve one-year terms and are selected by fellow council members. No city code governs the annual process, but members are encouraged to elect someone with experience on council.

Gharpetian, whose swift selection as mayor occurred late in the meeting, spoke at length about his goals to complete ongoing city projects “in a timely manner” and start those that have already been approved.

“I’m looking forward to working with all [city employees] for the betterment of our city and its residents,” Gharpetian said. “Together, we will continue to keep our city a beautiful and dynamic, safe place to live.”

In parting comments, Devine expressed her gratitude to colleagues and supporters for the opportunity to pursue her vision of the city, which included greater public engagement by moving oral communication to an earlier portion of council meetings, park creation and renovation, and an expansion of the Glendale business and art community.

“We have a fantastic city, and I know that it will continue to grow and prosper under the leadership of our next mayor,” Devine said. “It has truly been an honor and a privilege to serve this great city.”

Devine was elected to her first council term in 2014 and will now enter her term’s final year.

Mayors serve one-year terms and are selected by fellow council members. No city code governs the annual process, but members are encouraged to elect someone with experience on council.

Gharpetian, whose swift selection as mayor occurred late in the meeting, spoke at length about his goals to complete ongoing city projects “in a timely manner” and start those that have already been approved.

“I’m looking forward to working with all [city employees] for the betterment of our city and its residents,” Gharpetian said. “Together, we will continue to keep our city a beautiful and dynamic, safe place to live.”

Gharpetian was also chair of the Housing Authority during his time on council and originally ran because of his concerns about rapid development in the downtown area and hopes to increase open space in the city.

The newly elected council members also shared their gratitude with the community, supporters and family. Agajanian spoke first and repeated many campaign promises including goals of greater transparency and better support for small businesses in Glendale.

Sinanyan, who will now enter his second term as a council member, applauded voters for their overwhelming support of council term limits and said he intends for the next four years to be filled with cooperation toward Glendale’s future challenges such as affordable housing.

Najarian, now in his fourth term, said the election and his campaign were unusually challenging for what he said were unprecedented attacks against him. He said he vowed to propose election reforms against voter disenfranchisement.

Ann Ransford, Armine Hacopian and Yvette Vartanian Davis were also sworn in to serve on the Glendale Community College board of trustees.

Ransford, who was first elected in 2009, said she appreciated her supporters. “I’m so happy to be able to continue this work,” she said.

Fellow incumbent Hacopian, first elected in 2001, expressed gratitude for Anita Quinonez Gabrielian’s service. Gabrielien did not seek reelection this year after serving on the board since 2002.

Vartanian Davis, the newcomer to the board, said she appreciated “the community that has created the person that stands before you. Without this community and their support, I would not be here.”

Earlier in the day, on the Glendale Unified school board, Armina Gharpetian, wife of Vartan Gharpetian, as well as Greg Krikorian and Shant Sahakian were sworn in at the school district’s headquarters as board member Christine Walters, who did not seek reelection, participated in her last meeting.

Sahakian said he was honored to be succeeding Walters.

“It’s big shoes to fill, and I’ll do my best to live up to the expectations and make her proud as well,” Sahakian said.

Both Armina Gharpetian and Krikorian said they are looking forward to serving again.

Armina Gharpetian was first elected four years ago, while Krikorian was originally elected in 2001.