HomeCity Government NewsGlendale City Council Undergoes Post-Election Reboot

Glendale City Council Undergoes Post-Election Reboot

The Council also said goodbye to outgoing Councilwoman Paula Devine, who served on the dais for a decade.

Amid the reorganization of the Glendale City Council following the certification of March municipal election, new and returning Councilmembers, Ardy Kassakhian and Vartan Gharpetian, shared their visions and goals for the city, while outgoing Councilwoman Paula Devine reflected on her decade on the dais.
“Being on Council has been an extraordinary experience which has allowed me to represent the city locally and globally,” Devine said at the Council’s Tuesday meeting. “My philosophy through the years has been that the role of government is to make the lives of people better and I’ve tried to govern by that adage.”
First elected to Council in 2014 and having served as mayor in 2016 and 2021, Devine worked on the city’s Commission on the Status of Women for eight years prior to serving on Council.
As she bid farewell to her time on Council, Devine reminisced on her proudest accomplishments during her years of service to the city, while emphasizing that everything she worked for would not be possible without the teamwork of her colleagues.
Spearheading the installation of an all-inclusive playground at Maple Park, which provides play equipment for children on all abilities; working with the Glendale Police Department to create a fund dedicated to supporting domestic violence survivors in need of lodging, food and shelter; approving nine affordable housing projects in her 10 years on Council; and initiating the renovation of the Japanese Tea House and creating the Cherry Blossom Festival were among the many notable achievements Devine discussed.
“My hope is that you can see that all these projects I’m mentioning were to benefit our residents,” Devine said. “My goal is to make people’s lives better and I hope I’ve done that.”
In addition to thanking fellow Councilmembers, both current and past, and city staff, Devine shared her gratitude for the residents of Glendale for entrusting her to serve for the last decade, saying she was proud to have finished first in all three of her election campaigns. Engaging with the community is at the core of a Councilmember’s job, she said.
“To the community and to the residents, make your voices heard,” she said. “You matter and after all, Council is here to make decisions that will impact your lives, so show up and fight for what you think is right.”
Devine also left a message to her fellow Councilmembers about the importance of working alongside each other despite personal differences to ensure they are focused on their commitment to the community.
“Be nice to each other because that is the only way you can accomplish great things — through cooperation not division, through kindness not anger, through thoughtfulness and not thoughtlessness,” Devine said.
Gharpetian, who served on Council from 2015 to 2020 and as mayor in 2017, emphasized his eagerness to get to work on the issues that matter to residents. In his community outreach during his campaign, Gharpetian noted many of those he spoke with shared the same concerns regarding safety, reliable and affordable power and impacts of new projects on quality of life.
“When I look at the city, my goal is to not to change the character and the fabric of our Jewel City,” Gharpetian said. “We all chose to live in Glendale because it is a family town. It’s a safe city, with many charming and beautiful neighborhoods with a vibrant downtown and distinguished schools. We must celebrate our diverse community and at the same time, cherish and uphold our traditions, cultures, personal and religious beliefs.”
A few of his goals include creating realistic pathways for homeownership, especially for the younger generation struggling to afford to stay in the city, continuing to make strides in affordable housing projects, opening a bicycle park in Glendale, enacting more collaborative projects with the Glendale Unified School District, supporting historic preservation, improving infrastructure and cutting wasteful spending to improve the city’s budget.
Above all, Gharpetian wants residents to know he is there for them, promising to be accessible to everyone and asking that the community remain active in Council meetings and share their ideas with Councilmembers and city staff.
“Every week we need residents to show up,” Gharpetian said. “Whether you’re a tenant, property owner or business owner, you need to be involved. Let us know what you think. Let us know what you want so we can function better.”
Kassakhian is serving his second term after first being elected to Council in 2020. He too emphasized his commitment to listening to the city’s residents, announcing that he will resume community office hours dedicated to connecting with constituents to discuss what matters to them — a practice he previously did but had to pause due to his teaching schedule at Glendale Community College.
On that note, Kassakhian also urged the community to be thoughtful in their feedback and communication, noting recent divisive rhetoric in Glendale’s public arena.
“[To create] a better path forward, we need to approach each other with kindness and respect,” he said. “We must ask ourselves that if we are going to engage on an issue, are we adding to the sum and bringing something that enhances the discussion or are we only trying to create a greater divide?”
Identifying littering, crime, reckless driving, access to reliable and safe city services and utilities as current challenges facing Glendale, Kassakhian emphasized his goal of making the city “safe, prosperous, inviting and a place we can be proud of.” He is thankful for the opportunity to get to work on these issues.
“I am incredibly honored and deeply grateful for the vote and trust that the voters of Glendale have placed in me to continue to serve another term,” Kassakhian said.

City Manager Roubik Golanian hands outgoing Councilwoman Paula Devine a personalized street sign to commemorate Devine’s service to the community at a farewell party the city hosted in her honor on April 4.

First published in the April 20 print issue of the Glendale News-Press.

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