Najarian Exploiting Fear for Political Gain
Prompt response by four fire agencies subdued and extinguished the La Tuna canyon fires this September. The four responding fire departments were able to suppress the fires because they have been trained and funded to do so. And for that we are all thankful, including the Glendale Coalition for Better Government.
In the midst of the collective sense of concern in the community which progressed to relief and then to joy, Glendale council member Ara Najarian sought to turn this unfortunate natural disaster into a political opportunity. An opportunity to drum up support for his failed decisions on council that have so far exposed the city of Glendale to a $58 million judgment for violating the rights of Glendale citizens. The judgment is the result of an action brought against the city by the Glendale Coalition for Better Government, on behalf of the citizens of Glendale, for violating the City charter and the California Constitution by charging illegal fees.
Mr. Najarian’s wrong decisions have so far placed an illegal burden on Glendale citizens to the tune of $58 million and rising. This amount will only increase as he continues to charge along in appealing the decision of the court that found Glendale, and Mr. Najarian, as the council member who voted for this illegal act, in violation of the California Constitution and the Glendale Charter.
Before the turmoil of the fires had even settled, Mr. Najarian cranked-up the engine of his political machinery and started spreading fear and misinformation among the public for the sole purpose of scoring political points and support for himself. Mr. Najarian went on to insinuate that any person or entity that has the audacity to question fees charged by the city is against our fire and safety personnel. In the mind of Mr. Najarian, any funds collected by the city ultimately may end up funding our police and fire and therefore citizens should not be questioning fees charged by the city or they will be labeled as against the services of police and fire.
Not only did he start the fear mongering on the Glendale city council dais. He has taken his show on the road visiting different organizations in Glendale and Montrose spreading misinformation about the Glendale Coalition for Better Government, a nonprofit organization that advocates for transparent, responsible and responsive government. While politicians, such as Mr. Najarian, benefit from the trust that is conferred on them by the public, the Coalition’s sole purpose is to ensure that the trust of office conferred on politicians is not abused for self-gain by forcing politicians to adhere to the rule of law.
Mr. Najarian continues to refuse to recognize his mistakes and tries to cloak his wrong decisions by obfuscating their negative effects and impacts with fear mongering and a warped sense of loyalty to organizations that endorse him.
Mr. Najarian’s loyalty must be first and foremost to the rule of law. Mr. Najarian was elected by the citizens of Glendale to uphold the law and the Constitution and he took that oath when he was sworn into office. When Mr. Najarian fails his oath to uphold the Constitution, as he did when he knowingly voted for illegal fees charged to Glendale residents in violation of the California Constitution and the City Charter, he should be assured that the Coalition will hold him and his decisions accountable.
It cannot be permitted, in a great country such as ours that a citizen or a group of citizens can be attacked and their loyalty questioned for protecting the Constitution. And to continue to be attacked by a politician who pays lip service to the Constitution, despite the Coalition winning in court, only adds insult to injury.
When Mr. Najarian asks Glendale residents and fellow Council Members to choose between citizen groups such as the Coalition or our safety personnel such as fire and police, Mr. Najarian is trying to drive a wedge in our community to maintain his self-perception as above the law. The true choice for Glendale residents is between politicians who uphold the law and the oath of office that they are sworn to uphold, and politicians like Mr. Najarian who are comfortable breaking the law then spreading fear and misinformation among the public to keep people confused and afraid instead of offering transparency and reassurance.