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Krekorian’s bill discussion interrupted

Assemblyman hosts forum talking about safe streets legislation, but Golonski is among those who change the subject.

October 02, 2009|By Christopher Cadelago

BURBANK — Democratic Assemblyman Paul Krekorian found himself trying to keep a public meeting on traffic safety measures on point Tuesday amid questions about his bid for Los Angeles City Council and a contentious clean energy bill.

Among his detractors was Burbank City Councilman Dave Golonski, who tore into the assemblyman for supporting a bill that would require utilities to get 33% of their energy from renewable sources by 2020 — a benchmark already agreed upon by Burbank and Glendale — but do so using only in-state resources.

Golonski called the wording of the bill, which has been met with heavy opposition from utility officials who say the in-state requirement would be cost-prohibitive and unfair, “slimy.”

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“You took a noble cause and you allowed it to be corrupted by special interests,” Golonski said. “Shame on you.”

In another back-and-forth at the meeting inside the Buena Vista Library, Krekorian was asked by a Los Angeles voter about his bid for L.A.’s 2nd district. A Krekorian spokesman has maintained that the Assembly district’s door has been open to Burbank and Glendale.

Krekorian, stressing continued support for constituents despite looking ahead to next week’s Los Angeles City Council election, stuck to his message Tuesday, touting his Safe Streets Bill, which would help local municipalities maintain greater control over establishing speed limits, he said.

Assembly Bill 766 stalled in the Assembly Transportation Committee in May after facing fierce opposition from AAA, the California Highway Patrol and the Teamsters. Still, Krekorian contended that the legislation is essential to slow the upward trend in posted speed limits.

The increase has helped create a culture of speed, he said, leading to the deaths of Elizabeth Sandoval, who was killed in Glendale two years ago when she was hit by a Mercedes-Benz while crossing Glendale Avenue, as well as an 11-year-old girl who was struck and killed last year when a distracted driver hit her while in a crosswalk in front of Glendale’s Toll Middle School.

Last year, Glendale logged 82 pedestrian-related traffic accidents, four of them resulting in fatalities, Glendale police Lt. Carl Povilaitis said.

“We see again and again tragic situations arising, and we know the names,” Krekorian said.

The assemblyman said he expects a special hearing on the matter, indicating he would prefer to have it been in Southern California.

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