The Glendale City Council this week granted a request by the Montrose Shopping Park Assn. to increase special assessments on merchants for advertising and promotion, but ignored another request seeking changes in how decisions are made to spend the money.
Some merchants had complained to the city that decisions about spending the advertising money are made "foolishly," and that only a handful of shopkeepers control the association.
Merchants have been privately squabbling over what can be done to turn around sagging sales in the area, a three-block commercial strip with more than 130 stores and novelty shops along Honolulu Avenue at the northern border of Glendale. Taxable sales in Montrose have remained stagnant for four years while receipts at other Glendale shopping centers have soared.
In an effort to increase sales through promotions, the City Council on Tuesday approved the merchants' request to increase assessments about 35% beginning Oct. 1. That is expected to raise the group's annual allotment for promotional campaigns from $16,000 to $35,000. The city collects the taxes, then turns the money over to the association.