During its Tuesday meeting, the Glendale City Council voted to extend City Manager Roubik Golanian’s employment contract with two periodic salary increases.
This amended contract will secure Golanian’s position as Glendale’s city manager — which he has held since March 2021 — through March 2027. Beginning in November, his annual salary will increase to $350,700 and in July 2024, it will further increase to $375,900. Since January 2022, Golanian’s annual salary has been $291,900.
The Council also voted to accept grant funds from the Bureau of Justice Assistance for the Glendale Police Department and to enter into an agreement with Flock Group Inc. for three additional automated license plate readers in the city.
“The ALPR system has enabled law enforcement to capture innumerable wanted vehicles and suspects since its inception,” GPD Lt. Alex Krikorian said in a staff report.
While there are a number of ALPR providers, Cpt. Robert William explained to the Council that the cameras produced by Flock Group have unique advantages: one of which being that they are completely solar powered and integrated with cellular technology. This means they are wireless and do not rely on Wi-Fi, making them easily movable from location to location.
“The old technology, all it did was read a license plate,” William said during the Council meeting. “What’s unique about Flock cameras is you can put in unique characteristics to customize your search. So, essentially if a vehicle doesn’t have a license plate but it has [other defining features], you can filter your search to narrow down [results].”
Currently the city has 28 active cameras and will soon have 31 after Council’s approval this week.
“We are very pleased with the service and the product of Flock safety cameras. We have found a lot of success in preventing and solving crime,” William said, adding that these cameras assist in solving a variety of cases including burglaries, recent flash mob retail thefts, homicides and missing persons.
Additionally, Councilmembers voted to accept another grant — the DNA Capacity Enhancement and Backlog Reduction Program Grant — from the Bureau of Justice Assistance in the amount of $250,000. This money will go towards salary and benefits for one full-time employee in the forensic biology unit at Verdugo Regional Crime Laboratory, as well as contract services and training.
This program aims to assist crime laboratories with necessary equipment and logistical supplies to enhance DNA processing turnaround time.
The City Council voted to designate two properties as historic resources: the former home of esteemed author and screenwriter W.R. Burnett and the Glendale Central Library.
Now dubbed the “W.R. Burnett House,” the property at 926 Hillcroft Rd. was built in 1929 in the Spanish Colonial Revival style.
During his time living in the Hillcroft house from 1931 to 1946, Burnett wrote some of his most successful novels and film scripts including “Scarface,” “High Sierra,” “The Asphalt Jungle” and “This Gun for Hire.”
While many historic resource designations stem from architectural integrity or significant historic events, the Hillcroft house is a “different kind of designation,” which centers around the property’s “association with a significant person,” according to Jay Platt, the city’s principal planner.
This designation does come with conditions which require the current owner to remove certain alterations to the house including removing the fence, gate and tall landscaping from the front of the property, removing vinyl windows and more.
“So the goal, even though the house isn’t super architecturally significant, is still to bring back the appearance of what it looked like … at the time Mr. Burnett was living in the house, writing in the house and contributing a lot to popular culture and movie culture,” Platt said during the Council meeting.
Neal Collier, the property’s current owner and the one who applied for the designation, is on board with the necessary changes.
“[My wife and I] are absolutely committed to restoring the home as best as we possibly can. A lot of those renovations were done prior to us buying the house and we are much more purist when it comes to architectural integrity, so we are very happy to work with the city to try to get the house back to as close to its original condition as possible,” Collier said during public comment.
The vote to approve this designation was unanimous.
“In terms of his contributions to Hollywood throughout his writings and the impact Hollywood has had … on not just American culture but world culture, certainly he had a significant role in this so I’m supportive of the designation,” Councilman Ardy Kassakhian said.
In line with the Glendale Central Library’s 50th anniversary, Glendale Library, Arts & Culture requested the library be listed as a historic resource, which Council also unanimously approved.
Calling the Glendale Central Library the “concrete nucleus around which the [other libraries in the city] orbit,” Platt said that “its value to residents comes from both its role in Glendale’s social and cultural life and the excellence of its Brutalist-style architectural design.”
In the staff report, Platt further explained the library’s architecture.
“Its architectural significance extends beyond the boundary of Glendale and it has been recognized as a regionally important example of the style,” according to Platt. “It is also an important example of reinforced concrete construction technology, and the workmanship and detailing of the building’s forms and surfaces are of the highest quality.”
First published in the October 28 print issue of the Glendale News-Press.