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Council members take aim at gadfly’s “racial insensitivity”

July 29, 2009

I was at a joint meeting of the Glendale City Council, Redevelopment Agency and Housing Authority meeting yesterday waiting to hear about the local effects of the state’s budget plan (read about it in tomorrow’s News-Press) when I witnessed a tense exchange between common City Council critic Mike Mohill and Councilman John Drayman.

It all started when Mohill started on a rant that the city needed more parks or soccer fields in the southern part of the city.

Council members looked pained when he suggested that the park should be named after fellow gadfly Herbert Molano who embroiled the city in a pricey lawsuit in a quest to force the city to provide more green space south of the 134 freeway.

“Armenians like soccer, right Councilman Najarian?” Mohill asked. “Hispanics like soccer, right Mayor Quintero,” he continued.

Drayman tried to lighten the obvious tension in the room by joking that he was Norwegian. Mohill responded by criticizing Drayman for mocking him.

That’s what really set off Drayman who, after cautioning that his statements were his personal opinion and intended only for Mohill, called him an “uninformed racially insensitive nutcase.”

The fun continued at the night council meeting, when Mohill continued his questionable racial statements, at which point Najarian joined the attack.

“That’s enough, Mr. Mohill,” he said. “And that’s my last warning. We don’t generalize about racial or ethnic groups. It’s inappropriate.”

All in all, Mohill created quite the spectacle.

To watch for yourself visit the city’s website.

–Melanie Hicken

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