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Measured by Contributions, Council Race Is a Shoo-In

April 02, 1987|MARTHA L. WILLMAN | Times Staff Writer

If campaign contributions are any indication of electoral support, the sole challenger in the Glendale City Council race will have a tough time on Tuesday in his attempt to unseat one of the two incumbents running for reelection.

Challenger Richard G. Carr says he has refused to accept cash contributions and so far has taken only a donation of printing costs for a flyer.

However, the incumbents, Mayor Larry Zarian and Councilman Jerold F. Milner, each are expected to spend from $10,000 to $20,000 on their first bid for reelection and the chance to serve a second, four-year term on the council.

Both plan separate mailings to constituents and will probably appear in last-minute newspaper ads, the candidates and their campaign workers said this week.

City officials say they fear a record low voter turnout, and the city has hung large banners at several busy intersections urging residents to vote. Milner estimates that only 10,000 of the city's 68,000 eligible voters will go to the polls, which would mark an even more dismal turnout than the 15% record low in the City Council race two years ago.

Milner bases his prediction on the relatively quiet campaign, an apparent lack of issues and the absence of a large field of challengers.

But Carr, a real estate broker and political newcomer who has made no attempt to attack the records or personalities of his opponents, is optimistic that voter interest is greater than expected. Using the campaign slogan: "Make Glendale the best, not the biggest," Carr said he advocates slow growth and will work to end what he calls "ultra-runaway overbuilding and overcrowding."

Acknowledging that he has raised, and spent, almost no money in his campaign, Carr said he and his supporters have walked door to door and telephoned constituents throughout the city to discuss the issues.

"Ours has been a personal campaign," said Carr, 40. "We are looking to show that the people of Glendale are not apathetic and that they are concerned about the issues. It will show at the polls."

Carr concedes that his stand on issues does not vary significantly from those of the incumbents, but said he offers a "difference in philosophy" and could provide "some new blood on the council."

In contrast to Carr's campaign, Milner, 56, and Zarian, 49, have received strong monetary support from their backers.

Each received $3,000 from Firefighters for Better Representative Government, the political action committee of the Glendale firefighters' union.

GlenPac, a locally influential business political action committee, also authorized $950 in contributions each this week to Milner and Zarian, according to GlenPac's treasurer, Marlene Hamilton.

The GlenPac group, active in city politics for eight years, had contributed $2,000 in 1985 to help Carl Raggio win his first bid for a City Council seat.

Mayor Is Leading Fund-Raiser

Hamilton, who also is Zarian's campaign treasurer, said the amount allocated to the incumbents was deemed sufficient for their reelection because they are expected to win handily. Zarian, a land investor and developer, is the leading fund-raiser so far this year, having received more than $13,000 in donations. Many of the larger donations have come from builders and developers, including $1,100 from developer Berj Boyajian of Los Angeles and his firm, International Developers Consortium Inc.

Multiple donations totaling $990 each also have been given to Zarian by builders Les Jensen and James Pollard and their companies, according to campaign spending reports.

Milner has received about $8,000 in current donations, significantly less than Zarian. However, Milner announced last fall that he was seeking reelection and had more than $4,000 in his war chest before the campaign opened.

Business executives and physicians are among the largest contributors to Milner, who recently retired after 33 years as a manager for Pacific Bell. Among Milner's supporters is the Armenian National Committee, which has donated $750, and John and Jean Wenta of Glendale, manufacturers who have contributed $200, according to the city clerk's reports.

Milner and Zarian have based their campaigns on their records in office. They point out that, during the last four years, the council implemented changes in zoning laws that will limit growth in the city from the current population of 155,000 to 210,000--far less than the 350,000 that would have been permitted under old laws.

The council also has guided the development of office buildings and commercial retail growth in the downtown redevelopment area and has enacted measures to preserve large hillside areas as undeveloped space.

During the last of five community forums held during the campaign, Milner and Zarian told an audience of about 35 constituents at a meeting Monday, sponsored by the League of Women Voters, that they want to continue their role in shaping Glendale.

They said the major issues facing the council include traffic and parking congestion, a shortage of low-and moderate-cost housing for the elderly and first-time buyers, the need for a major downtown hotel and keeping the budget in balance.

Besides taking a slower approach toward growth, Carr said he, too, will work for relief of traffic and parking congestion. Carr also endorses city participation in providing health insurance against catastrophic illness, housing for the elderly and educational programs on drug and alcohol abuse in cooperation with the schools.

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