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Tuesday, March 4, 2014

TAXATION WITHOUT REPRESENTATION


Transcript of council speech.       
                             
Good evening ladies and gentlemen. On the eve of the 4th of July 2013, a group of concerned citizens met at Glendale Central Library, because Glendale City Council was planning to raise the electric rates of the people, without their consent. This action was in violation of Proposition 26 of the State Constitution. On August 6, 2013, our City Council without the express approval of the people raised our electric rates 29.1%, over the next five years, because our politicians since 2000 depleted approximately $250 million from Glendale Water and Power Company and decided to use that money for non utility usage. 

Little over a year ago a GWP meeting was held at the Glendale Police Station Headquarters.  Our new City Manager, Scott Ochoa, informed the people’s attorney, Professor Harry Zavos, that the utility company had about $150 million in 2005. 

Today, practically nothing is left in our utility company. Mr. Ochoa and Mayor Weaver, where did the people’s money go? Why did we need to have another electric rate increase last year plus another $60 million bond? Why? Did we transfer all that money to the General Fund to pay for the bloated salaries and pensions of our Union City workforce? 

Mayor Weaver, why did you have to tell Professor Zavos if he did not like the way GWP was being run he should sue the city? Mayor Weaver, why did you tell this speaker a couple of months ago if I did not like the way the city was being run … I should just leave? Mayor Weaver, in all due respect, did the people elect you king? I thought we had elected you as a council person accountable to the people.

Last week the GLENDALE COALITION FOR BETTER GOVERNMENT fought back and reluctantly filed a lawsuit against the City of Glendale for the illegal transfer of millions of dollars from Glendale Water and Power to the General Fund to be used for non GWP purposes.

Glendale Coalition for Better Government welcomes members of the community who are looking for integrity, accountability, responsiveness, and transparency in city government. The COALITION is an all volunteer, non partisan, non-profit organization.  Their website is www.GlendaleCaCoalition.Org. 

Earlier this year, another group of concerned citizens formed THE TAX LIMITATION COMMITTEE. These citizens are currently circulating a petition, throughout the city, to repeal the city’s 7% Utility Users Tax on water, electricity, gas, phone and cell phones. These citizens are upset, because the taxes that Glendale Water and Power say they need is being transferred to the city’s General Fund.  Last year alone, about $21 million was transferred from our utility company. Subsequently, to add insult to injury our City Council members claim Glendale Water and Power needs more money to run its utility company and continues to increase rates on water, electricity and new bond obligations.

When is enough….. enough? Why is GWP being used as a CASH COW in violation of the city Charter?

As struggling families and small merchants try to survive in this economy the question being asked is...Where is all that money going?

Prior to the American Revolution against the British in 1776, the cry heard throughout the 13 colonies was “taxation without representation”. Now, in the city of Glendale a different cry is being heard when citizens have to reluctantly revolt and sue their local government or seek a petition to repeal  miss -used taxes.

When our elected officials do not want to listen to the people, but are beholden to the unions as well as large developers, then a citizens’ revolt is a natural re-action.

A few merchants where one can sign the Petition to Repeal the City Utility Users Tax are:

Adams Square:
     Cristi Cleaners, Adams Kabob House
Kenneth Village:
     Jerry Armen Realtor, Georges Cucina’s Restaurant
Montrose/Glendale:
     Trotta Floor Covering, Dominos Pizza, Quiznoz, Twigs and Things
South Glendale:     Antique Car Wash, Braun Brakes
Chevy Chase
Canyon:     Boris Auto Repair, Mike Mohill

Thursday, February 6, 2014

PETITION TO REPEAL THE 7% CITY UTILITY USERS TAX



2/6/14   - Today, Glendale residents have an opportunity to repeal the UTILITY USERS TAX by 7% on their Glendale Water and Power (GWP) utility bill and natural gas bill and 6.5% on their Cable and telecommunications bill.  A petition is being circulated throughout our city in which the public has a chance to regain control of their local government from the politicians… enough is enough in taxes and in fees!
While struggling families and businesses are coping with today’s economy, our politicians lack the fiscal integrity to manage and implement fiscal control over the city’s expenditures.
From 2001 through 2012, Glendale’s population actually declined by 4.5%. During the same period, the city’s “budget” increased by a staggering 62%, rising from $438 million to over $700 million. Even with this unprecedented increase in the city’s budget, the City Council is currently proposing further increases in the city’s utility taxes as well as other taxes and fees.
Because our city leaders are either unable or unwilling to control spending and manage resources, the people must take direct action to ensure they do so.  Reducing city revenue will force our leaders to downsize the cost of government, rather than perpetually seeking new ways to tax the public. The UTILITY TAX reduction is ONLY 4% of the city’s budget. If our leaders cannot manage a 4% reduction in revenue then we, the people, must take the initiative.  
As usual, our politicians will use scare tactics against the uninformed public when claiming “they” need the money.

REDUCE ALL OF YOUR UTILITY USAGE FEES BY 6.5% TO 7% …If you would like to place this initiative on the ballot.    Sincerely     Mike Mohill    Glendale      818-383-5001
Looking for volunteers…..PLEASE SIGN THE UTILITY USERS TAX INITIATIVE AT:
 Kenneth Village:            JERRY ARMEN REALTOR 1412 W. Kenneth Rd.
                                             GEORGES CUCINA’S ITALIANA RESTAURANT 1418 W. Kenneth Rd.
FRIENDLY INTERNATIONAL TRAVEL 1422 W. Kenneth Rd.
                                             OLD FASHION DELI & GROCERIES 1225 N. Pacific Ave/ Glenoaks Blvd.
                                             THE CLEANING STORE 1225 N. Pacific Ave/ Glenoaks Blvd.
Glendale/Burbank         PACKAGING AND SHIPPING EXPERTS 822 N. Allen Ave / Golden State Fwy #5  91201
Sparr Heights:                   DOMINOS PIZZA 3430 Ocean View Blvd. / Verdugo Rd.
Montrose/ Glendale:     TROTTA FLOOR COVERINGS 3221 N. Verdugo Rd. / La Crescenta Blvd.
                                                TWIGS & THINGS 2266 Honolulu Ave.
                                                QUIZNOS  3701 Ocean View Blvd. / Honolulu Ave.
Rancho/Riverside:         ACE LIQUOR & MARKET 1740 Victory Blvd. / Western Ave.  
South Glendale:                SUB/STOP 1340 E. Colorado Blvd. / Verdugo Rd.
                                             BRAUN BRAKE & AUTO REPAIR 1001 E. Broadway/ Adams.
                                             ANTIQUE CAR WASH 236 W. Glendale Ave/ Colorado Blvd.
                                             YEREVAN PRINTING 702 E. Colorado Blvd/Glendale Ave.
Adams Square:                ADAMS  KABOB HOUSE 1130 S. Adam St. / Chevy Chase.
                               CRYSTI CLEANERS 1124  S. Adam St/ Chevy Chase.
Chevy Chase Canyon:    BORIS AUTO REPAIR, INC. 2060 E. Chevy Chase Dr. / Glenoaks Blvd
Glendale Oakmont:        KEN LANDON  Please  call first  818-957-3750

Tuesday, July 30, 2013

MORE DIVERSION OF GWP FUNDS


Speech before Glendale City Council
 

Mayor Weaver, as the longest serving member of our city council you have known for years of the crumbling and ageing of the Grayson Power Plant. Stand- in Councilman Quintero and recently re-elected council members Friedman and Najarian have also known about the ageing power plant long before the April election, beefore the recently approved 2013 budget made possible by millions of dollars in borrowed money in the form of municipal bonds, increased fees and taxes.

And long before transferring another $21 million from Glendale Water and Power to the General Fund into the pockets of our city union employees.  Transferred money is primarily being used to pay for our inflated unsustainable salaries, pensions and benefits of our city union workers.  

IN 2001 GWP ELECTRICAL FUND had over $198million and the WATER FUND had about $46million totaling about $244million. Today, these funds are virtually gone. Where did this money go?

Previous GWP Mgr, Glen Steiger, was fired under the pretext of double dipping his expenses. This was a misleading public statement by management. The truth was Mr. Steiger, the best employee that money could buy, was fired because he had a stake in the Commodity Market with GWP’s money. That is, the rate payers money.  Under his leadership, Mr. Steiger, lost over $120 million of GWP money trading futures in electricity and gas. No public announcement was made of his actual dishonesty. It was all swept under the rug just like the missing $244 million that was in the GWP back in 2001.

Today’s leadership of GWP is being run by two individuals who have no background in running a utility company. Mr. Steve Zurn who has a political science degree and no engineering background.  Then, Mr. Steve Lynn, no engineer, but a lawyer who previously worked under former City Attorney, Scott Howard. At community forums Mr. Lynn would answer questions like an attorney, not as an engineer. 

In 2013, at a GWP community meeting being held at our local Police Station our City Attorney, Mike Garcia, and the people’s attorney, Harry Zavos, debated City Charter changes A, B and C. People were angry that night when they asked our new City Manger, Scott Ochoa, where did the $244 million GWP money go? 

Council members continue to act surprised, but they have been cannibalizing GWP for years and passing so called balanced budgets from borrowed money, new and increased fees and taxes. Recently, at the 11th hour, our city manager and council members had the audacity to tell the public we needed to set aside $5million for emergency plant repairs without any competitive bidding.    

Before the April election, even the representatives from the International Brotherhood of Electrical Workers (IBEW) came before the council while negotiating and reported the Grayson Plant needed repairs and they were against the large transfers of money from the GWP to the General Fund.

Because of diversion of funds from GWP and the miss-management of city resources, council now wants to increase our electrical rates approximately 30-70% over the next five years. Plus, another $60 million bond is in the planning stage to keep the utility afloat.  

In a recent staff report according to the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission, a penalty of up to a million dollars per day, per penalty will be assessed if our utility company does not fulfill its responsibility.     

Our city fathers would be turning over in their graves as they never envisioned the GWP becoming a “cash cow” for the city unions’ salaries and pensions.  As usual lawyers, Ara Najarian, will do his Dog and Pony Show and suggest council sell GWP to Southern California Edison for councils many management mistakes.
    
 Mike Mohill

Monday, July 15, 2013

DOG AND PONY SHOW**



Let’s hear it for the 2013 DOG AND PONY SHOW of Glendale Water and Power Company. For the past couple of weeks, our local utility company has been instructed by our city council to reach out to the community and explain how council and GWP were going to circumvent proposition 26.  Proposition 26 requires 2/3rd voter approval when a city imposes any rate increases related to property rights.  The proposed electric rate increase will be approximately 30% compounded over the next five years and only on the kilowatts used, plus additional fixed costs.  In addition, when the variable green fuel commodity is added to the 30%, plus the fixed cost, the actual electrical rate increases can be 70% or more over the next five years.  Also, from 2007-2015 water rates will have gone up 51%.

With the re-election of council members Friedman and Najarian together with Mayor Weaver and stand in Councilman Quintero, all are on board for the 2013 Glendale Water & Power Dog & Pony Show working its way around town.

The GWP proposed electric rate increases in 2012 were postponed, because council members Friedman and Najarian were up for re-election in April.

Council members Friedman, Najarian, Quintero and Weaver are all beholden to the unions for “pay to play” politics as the unions have given these council members countless thousands of dollars in campaign money through the years for their continued support. (Salary: Parking Mgr. $96,060: Retired Police Chief, Ron De Pompa, just retired at age 57 with an annual LIFE TIME pension of $197,000). 

As millions of dollars continue being drained out of the GWP into the GENERAL FUND to primarily pay for city workers salaries, pensions and benefits, council approved a $35 million bond last year and another $60 million bond is being discussed now to keep the utility company afloat. 

During the April election,  Glendale Police and Fire Fighters Associations,  were doing what unions do best…getting out the vote for their candidates in order to receive  as much salary, pensions and benefits from the taxpayers as possible.

The union supported candidates were well funded and well organized compared to their challengers. 

At candidate forums and on campaign mailers  it was stated to the voters and local merchants if they wanted to have their electric and water rates increased, fees and taxes increased, as well as new bonds, please, by all means,  support and vote for the incumbent candidates…And the voters did!

What recourse do the blinded voters have now? NONE! Mission Accomplished.

Mike Mohill  

Sunday, March 10, 2013

Taking Issue with Friedman Statement

As published by Glendale News Press July 27, 2012

Councilwoman Laura Friedman recently stated Social Security and city pension benefits should not be compared ("Unions agree to share the fiscal pain,” July 6). She further stated Social Security “was never meant to be the pensions or the savings of this nation. It was meant to be something to keep people out of abject poverty.”

Were the city pensions initially given to city employees supposed to make them millionaires when they retired? Should a Glendale city employee be entitled to a pension after 30 years, receiving 90%, 75% or 60% of their last year of spiked earnings? Do Social Security recipients receive spiked earnings?

Many city employees are leaving Glendale with lifetime annual pensions of from $70,000 to more than $200,000.

Council members continue to receive political action committee funds legally from the city unions and then they approve salaries and pensions that are both unfunded and unsustainable.

The first obligation of all government is to find money to pay for those unsustainable pensions. What money is left over goes toward fixing potholes, dirty parks, dirty streets and libraries.

How does Friedman tell the people on fixed incomes, and struggling working families, that she finds it justifiable to keep supporting city employees first because she feels that Social Security and a government pension should not be compared?

Mike Mohill

Tuesday, March 5, 2013

MEGA COMPLEXES

Speech given at Glendale City Council  3/5/l3.


Over the past 14 years, the Quality of Life in our “jewel city”, Glendale has not improved.

Council has decided to change the landscape of our downtown with many mega complexes of apts and condos. Controlled growth is nowhere to be found.

In a few short years, this council has helped change the face of Glendale by approving every apartment and condo development before them, including the corrupt public housing company, ADI.   

A partial list of apartments and condos approved by this council with minimum parking without a Traffic Circulation Infrastructure Plan includes:
Broadway Lofts    208 lofts including 14 low-income housing units on Broadway/Maryland...Inadequate parking provided for tenants and guests. Developer was given a $3 million parking concession over the life of the contract, of taxpayers’ money, for tenant usage of the Maryland Street public parking garage.

600 seat Laemmle Theatres with 42 lofts on Wilson/Maryland.  The City contributed $1.1 million toward only one level of parking. Developer was given a variance for 125 parking spaces. Developer saved millions of dollars by not requiring additional subterranean parking and council again allowed the usage of Maryland Street Public Parking Garage. 

NOW on Central the following properties:
Verdugo Gardens            220 mega apartments on Central/134 Fwy.

Legendary Towers          80 condos close to Central on Lexington/Orange

Right across the street from Legendary Towers close to Central again, Lexington and Orange 307 mega condo units.

Right across from the 307 mega condo units at 301 N. Central an 84 unit apartment building.

Holland Partners Properties located at Central/Wilson 153 mega rental units.

Salem Street near Central, the City allowed demolishing of two single family properties in order to build 44 low income housing units. The developer also allowed to use public parking lot #12.

Courtyard by Marriot Hotel 173 rooms on Central and Wilson. Inadequate parking for all the amenities for a hotel.  Additional parking provided by taxpayers at nearby public garages.  Developers save millions of dollars.  

Across the street at Wilson Ave. and Brand a 235 mega apartment complex in the heart of Glendale.

Former Jo-Ann Fabrics building on the southwest corner of Wilson and Orange, one block west of central 166 mega apartment complex.

The Hampton Inn at the corner of Brand and Colorado, five story 94 units with a variance of six fewer parking spaces.

And then we have South Glendale, at the corner of San Fernando and Los Feliz, right across from Memorial Hospital, the Triangle Project, and a 287 mega apartment complex with 22 low-income units.

And right next to that, at 435 Los Feliz, the Tropico mega apartment complex with 238 units and 12 low-income housing units. Also with parking variances.

In the last 4-6 years, this council has approved approximately 4,000 new units which will bring in over 10,000 new residents in downtown and south Glendale.  By increasing the density at an alarming rate, we will only accelerate and worsen an already congested situation.  

This council has absolutely no vision to allow developers to use the public parking spaces paid by the taxpayers for in the future, when the business climate improves on Brand and Central, folks who come to shop in Glendale will not be able to find convenient parking.

This city needs a new direction and leadership to improve our quality of life that we all once enjoyed. 

Friday, February 22, 2013

MOM AND POP STORES and 150 merchants support Mike Mohill for City Council



A PARTIAL LIST OF MORE THAN 125 MAMA AND PAPA STORES OF GLENDALE/MONTROSE WHO SUPPORT MIKE MOHILL FOR GLENDALE CITY COUNCIL.

NORTH GLENDALE/MONTROSE                                                                          
Oceanview Bar & Grill
Digital Photo
Prodigy Insurance Co.
Young Styles Beauty Salon
Karate Studio of Self Defense
Community Directory
The Wine Cave
Grayson’s Tune Town
Montrose Bowling Alley
Al’s Italian/American Deli
The Time Machine Casio
Montrose Candy Company
Spa Pura
Twigs & Things
Montrose Jewelers
Honolulu Jewelers
Alladin Rugs and Fine Art Gallery
Pho 22 Fusion Vietnamese Cuisine
Sushi Plus
Andersen’s Pet Shop
Frank’s Shoe Repair
Color Zone Imaging
Tony’s Barber Shop
Images Salon and Day Spa
Polka Tots Cup Cakes
Tortas Mexico Authentic Grill
One-Stop Vacuum & Janitorial Supplies
The Brown Cow Restaurant
Star Café Restaurant
Big Mama’s & Papa’s Pizzeria
Perfect Touch Hairdressers
La Perla Design Gallery
Broadview Food Mart
European Bakery & Pastry Shop
Arams Boutigues
Tom’s Toy
A.G. Dental Studio
Custom Tailoring
Zak Auto
Phoenicia Restaurant
Canada Liquor
Romart Design
Savoy Cleaners
Verdure Nails & Spa
Verdugo Dairy
Two Guys From Italy
Maytag Coin Laundry
Kozanian’s Ranch Market
Armenian Fairytales, Inc. and Art Studio
Inferno Grill
Mobil Service Station(Mountain & Verdugo Rd.)
Coffee Express

NORTH WEST GLENDALE
Mori Teppan Grill, Inc.
Shamshiri
Stocker Photo & Printing Graphics

SOUTH GLENDALE
Antique Car Wash
T-Mobile
World Gym
Glendale West Pharmacy and Medical Supplies
Fresh Donuts
Yerevan Mart Produce & Deli
Dalmer Market
Adam Kabob House
Verdugo Produce Meat & Deli
Baklava Factory
European & Mediterranean Pastries
Yerevan Printing
Glendale Auto Body
Selin Food Bazaar
Natalie’s Produce
Flor de Café Bakery
Moon Mart Restaurant
A & A Hazar U1 MANRUNK
HI Jewelry
Remedy Pharmacy
Broadway Mart & Liquor
Armen Pharmacy
Ara Deli Grocery
Braun Brake & Auto
Van Restaurant & Bakery
Dvin Grocery
New York Tailor Shop
Arco Gas Station (Wilson & Verdugo Rd.)
Grape Leaf Cuisine
Drug Center Pharmacy
Harp Music

EAST GLENDALE
Sunrise Market
Atoz Thrift Store
Frankie’s Hamburgers
Canyon Liquor
Deluxe Cleaners
Pooch Pawlor
Boris Auto Repairs
Wild Oak Pizza, Sandwiches Cafe

WEST KENNETH VILLAGE
Jerry Armen Team Rock Realtor
Kenneth Village Flowers
Nail Secrets
Chris & Tom’s Liquor
Zargarian Music Center
Friendly Travel
George’s Cucina Italiana Ristorante
GEI Tax & Financial Services
Curves Complete (physical fitness)
Mail Mart, etc.
Iza Knitterie
Trimona Café & Art Gallery
Dartran Systems, Inc. Computers
The Pilates Body

CENTRAL GLENDALE
Skaf’s Lebanese Cuisine
Zinke’s Shoe Repair
Sed Thai Restaurant
Legacy Sport Cards, Comic Books Collectables
The Great White Hut