City Manager's Update: March 12, 2019
In an effort to provide an update of important news and notes from this last week, the following report has been prepared. As always, please feel free to let me know if you have a question about any of the items contained in this update – I can be reached via email at email@example.com!
And of course… all the best to you and yours as we continue through this week!
Quote of the Week
Love is a better teacher than duty.
A Second Community Meeting To Discuss Possible Sales Tax Measure Scheduled For Tuesday, March 26, 6:00 – 7:00 P.M., In Community Center Monroe Room
The City has scheduled a Community Meeting to discuss issues and answer questions related to a potential sales tax measure in 2019. We want to hear from the community to see if a local tax measure could be a viable solution for Monrovia as we search for ways to protect our local sales tax capacity from other governmental jurisdictions, including LA County. The meeting will take place at the Library Community Room (321 S. Myrtle Ave.) on Monday, March 11, from 6:00 – 7:00 p.m. Please visit us online for more information.
Another Burgerim In Monrovia? Word On The Street Is That The Former Sprint Store In Old Town (Next To Studio Movie Grill) Will Be Leased To A Burgerim Franchise Operator!
This past week, staff heard that a franchise operator recently leased the former Sprint store in Old Town located just north of Studio Movie Grill to open a BurgerIM. If this bears out to be true, it appears that Monrovia is a popular place for the trendy burger joint – you may recall that a BurgerIM will be opening at 1108 South Fifth Avenue at the Areum Apartments here soon too. This means that the Old Town location would mark the second BurgerIM for Monrovia, if it comes to pass. We’ll be keeping tabs on this developing situation, and will be certain to let everyone know if we hear anything else about this developing situation. For more information about BurgerIM, visit them online.
Our Very Own Ariel Tolefree-Williams Selected As One Of Assemblymember Blanca Rubio’s 2019 Woman Of The Year
In some exciting news, our very own Neighborhood Services Program Coordinator, Ariel Tolefree-Williams was nominated and selected as one of Blanca Rubio’s 2019 Woman of the Year recipients, representing Assembly District 48. Every March, women across the State are recognized for exemplary contributions they make in the community they work, live, or worship. Ariel, along with the other recipients, was treated to a special brunch this past Saturday, March 9, where her achievements and tireless work at the City and her church were highlighted. Please let us take the time to congratulate Ariel on this amazing achievement!
Women’s History Month Being Celebrated At The Monrovia Public Library All Through The Month Of March!
We wanted to let everyone know that March is Women’s History Month, and we’re celebrating the occasion at the Monrovia Public Library! Make sure you stop by in March to enjoy the many ways we are celebrating Women’s History Month, with interactive activities, trivia, and lots of fun! Also, don’t forget to test your WHM knowledge in the Youth Services Area with our wall of trivia, and while you’re at it, make sure to take a picture in front of the Wonder Woman display in the Library Lobby where you can celebrate the Wonder Women in your life. If you have any questions, please contact the Monrovia Public Library at (626) 256-8274!
Monrovia Renewal Is Underway In The North Section!
Monrovia Renewal construction activities in the North are in full swing! The North Section includes all areas located north of, and including Hillcrest Boulevard, Grand Avenue, and Greystone Avenue. The City’s Contractor – Sully Miller Contracting Company – has crews working throughout various locations in the north, performing sewer lining repairs, sewer point repairs, water service line repairs, and concrete work.
We will do our best to minimize the impacts on residents. Sully Miller will deliver notices to all residents in the impacted area(s) prior to work taking place. The notices will outline the work taking place, a schedule overview, and information on associated impacts, such as parking restrictions and driveway access:
- Initial Notice - This notice will be distributed approximately one week prior to work commencing.
- Two Day Notice - A final notice will be provided two days before the activity begins to serve as a reminder of the upcoming work and associated impacts.
In addition, parking notices will be posted in the areas where parking will be impacted. During these activities, there will be intermittent road closures and parking restrictions. Streets and driveways may be inaccessible for intermittent periods during the day but will be accessible every night.
We recognize that construction can be messy and inconvenient, and thank you for your cooperation and patience as we work through these improvements! For more information on what work will be happening on your street and general inquiries about the Monrovia Renewal project, please contact the Public Works Division at (626) 932-5575 or email the Monrovia Renewal Project Team. In addition, you can visit the Monrovia Renewal webpage for all the latest project news and updates. View the map below to see what road work improvements are coming to your street!
Monrovia Renewal South Area Street Improvements – Week Of March 11!
This week, Sequel Contractors will be adjusting manholes and performing clean-up in various locations throughout the South section. Sequel will continue with these activities, and installing speed humps, and signal detector loops in the coming weeks.
We appreciate your patience and support while we work to execute these improvements throughout our community! If you have any questions about the Monrovia Renewal Project, please feel free to contact Public Works at (626) 932-5575 or email the Monrovia Renewal Project Team. We recognize that construction can be messy and inconvenient, and we appreciate your patience through this process!
New Video Produced By MODA Apartments Highlights The Benefits Of Living In Monrovia
Speaking of MODA, staff was provided with an advanced preview of a promotional video that they’ve made. The video will be dropping within the next few weeks, and it certainly highlights many of the reasons why living in Monrovia is simply terrific. A copy of the video can be accessed online.
Arson Suspected As Monrovia Fire And Rescue Respond To Four Fires In Two Nights
Last week, Monrovia’s finest were kept busy as our terrific fire department responded to four fires in two nights. Starting on March 6, Monrovia Fire & Rescue responded to a vegetation fire on the corner of Chestnut Avenue, a fire to a public book-sharing unit (a Little Library), and a structure fire at the 700 block of West Colorado Boulevard. Then, on March 7, the fire department responded to a structure fire at the 800 block of West Walnut Avenue. Of note… our fire department personnel responded to each incident with aplomb, and all of us here in Monrovia should be thankful for the expertise, precision, and skill possessed by our firefighting personnel.
After review, it was determined that all four of the fires were suspicious in nature, and the Verdugo Arson Task Force, with assistance from the Los Angeles Fire Department and the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives, conducted a full investigation and review of the situation. Additionally, the Monrovia Police Department did arrest a person of interest regarding the fire incidents, and the investigating is currently ongoing.
Regarding the fires, damage was significant to the structure under construction on the 700 block of West Colorado. Fortunately, no one was present in the home at the time of the fire, and no injuries were sustained. During the fire, damage was sustained to multiple neighboring homes, and heat damage occurred impacting nearby cars. Based on the fire situation, the parcel with the structure under construction, along with the adjacent property, have both been red-tagged, and the City already issued a Notice of Order to Abate.
In addition, the fire which occurred on the 800 block of Walnut Avenue was also red-tagged. There was one occupant present in the home when the fire began, and that individual was treated for smoke inhalation while being released at the scene. Based on preliminary estimates, property damage and content loss for all four of the fires has been calculated at over $1 million.
One final note that we wanted to share with the group involves the fire which occurred on the 700 block of West Colorado. Jaime Nicholson is a photographer that volunteers for Monrovia, and also lives right here in our town. When the fire occurred, he headed out last night to take some pictures of the fire, and a few of the images are included below for your reference. Also, our Public Works team did a great job responding after the fire was put out, and we’ve gone ahead and added fencing and caution tape to the site to notify the neighborhood that the building has been red-tagged.
GoMonrovia Program Update – New Registration Requirement For Call-In Lyft Dispatch Services Will Begin On Monday, March 18
During the past several months, the City has continued to refine our GoMonrovia program, and based on recent developments, effective March 18, anyone looking to book a GoMonrovia Lyft ride by calling in to the dispatch center will be required to have pre-registered with the City for the service.
Please note… this new registration requirement will only be for those that access the Lyft program through the dial-in telephone number (which staff refers to as the Lyft Concierge service).
Also of note… anyone who accesses the GoMonrovia program through their smartphone will not be impacted by this program adjustment, and those program users will be able to continue accessing the program as they have been doing so previously with no interruption.
The new registration requirement for call-in Lyft dispatch services is being instituted to improve billing processes and to combat underage program use. As you may know, pursuant to our current program design, riders must be 18 years of age or older to ride Lyft. Based on various reports, we have heard that there may be GoMonrovia program abuse by underage riders who are using the Concierge service. By requiring pre-registration, we can cut back on abuse, while also simplifying billing procedures for those who ride GoMonrovia by calling for a Lyft ride.
Again, this new registration requirement to ride on Lyft Concierge will take effect on Monday, March 18. We’ve developed a simple and easy to use form for registration, and details related to the registration process are outlined below:
- Registration Required for Lyft Concierge Dispatch Service Starting March 18, 2019
- How to Register
- Download and complete the Lyft Concierge Application, including the credit card authorization form, and return to the Community Center. A copy of the registration form has been included below for your reference.
- Once you have been notified that your application was approved, you may call (626) 358-3538 to book a ride with Lyft over the telephone.
- Charges for your rides will be charged at the end of each month, and a monthly receipt for the amount charged to your credit card will be emailed to you.
- Please note that trips may only be booked that start and end in the GoMonrovia service area.
- For more information, please call (626) 256-8234.
- How to Register
Local Monrovia Business, Jolly Roger Telephone Company, Pitch Their Innovative Idea To Combat Telemarkets On Shark Tank!
Telecommunication veterans Steve Berkson and Roger Anderson know a thing or two about telemarketers and scammers and what a nuisance their unsolicited calls are. After a particularly terrible experience with a telemarketer, Berkson and Anderson banded together and founded Jolly Roger Telephone Company. Rather than waste your time ignoring or talking to a telemarketer, Jolly Roger patches the caller through to a robot, which will then have a conversation. “Did you wash my leggings?” “I’m making dinner, you gotta wait.” “I’m having trouble concentrating cause you sound exactly like someone I went to high school with.” These are some of the responses the robot will give to telemarketers. And not only do these bots have conversations, Jolly Roger records the phone call for you to playback for a laugh! They even publish some of their best ones on their YouTube page.
This past Sunday, Berkson and Anderson appeared on Shark Tank, a nationwide reality television series where aspiring entrepreneurs pitch their ideas and/or companies to a panel of five investors, or “sharks.” Jolly Roger Telephone Company caught the interest of two sharks and even received an offer for $400,000!
In the end, Jolly Roger did not walk away with a deal, but now millions of people know they are no longer alone in their fight against telemarketers and scammers.
(Photo credit: ABC/Eric McCandless) (Source: ABC)
Monrovia Library’s Veterans Resource Center Featured On CBS 2 News
Earlier this year, CBS 2 reached out to film a segment on the library’s Veterans Resource Center. Librarian Mabel Cross and VRC volunteer Joe Callahan were interviewed and shared all the wonderful resources our Veterans Resource Center has to share for veterans and their families. Here’s the link to the video. We are so proud of Mabel and Joe. They did a wonderful job and helped highlight all the amazing work we do here in Monrovia!! If you would like to learn more about the Veterans Resource Center at the Library, please reach out to Mabel at 626-256-8294.
Joint City Council / Planning Commission Meeting Set To Take Place On Wednesday, March 20, At 6:00 P.M.
We wanted to let everyone know that the City has scheduled a joint City Council / Planning Commission meeting to take place on Wednesday, March 20, at 6 p.m. The joint meeting will be focused on reviewing the upcoming major development projects that will be considered for entitlements starting later this year. As a reminder, an overview of the major projects that are likely going to be considered by the City this year include:
- Trammell Crow Residential - "The Alexan Specific Plan"
- A 436-unit project proposed to be built at 1625 South Magnolia Avenue
- Fifield Realty Corporation - "West Pomona Transit District"
- A 310-unit project proposed to be built at 123 West Pomona Avenue
- MW Investment Group - "Arroyo at Monrovia Station"
- A 284-unit proposed project to be built on the City block by South Magnolia to the west, South Primrose to the east, West Evergreen to the north, and West Pomona to the south
- City Park-and-Ride Lot
- A proposed ~130 key Cambria hotel project located on the City's park-and-ride lot at the southwest corner of Myrtle Avenue / Pomona Avenue
As the development process unfolds during the next several months, if you have any questions regarding the development activity happening in the City, please be sure to visit the "Development Spotlight” page on our website!
GoMonrovia Operational Adjustment – Service Area Changes Set For April Will Remove Unincorporated LA County Areas From The GoMonrovia Program, Decision Reflects Made By LA County
Recently, LA County transportation officials notified the City that they will be opting out of the on-demand Lyft portion of our GoMonrovia transportation program. As we have shared previously, to account for all of the rides being generated in the unincorporated portions of our GoMonrovia service area, LA County would need to provide an additional $750,000 - $1 million / year in new funding. Staff was informed by LA County that after consulting with Supervisor Barger, they have made the decision to only have the City provide ADA dial-a-ride services for the unincorporated areas surrounding Monrovia.
Given that factor, we plan on making service area changes to remove unincorporated LA County from the GoMonrovia service area. This means that any Lyft rides that originate or end in the unincorporated LA County area will no longer be eligible for the GoMonrovia subsidy pricing program.
In addition to changes in the LA County service area, we are also working on finalizing a few other program modifications, including:
- Establish a new Bradbury fee for service contract which will maintain the provision of GoMonrovia services for their community, while taking into account 100% full cost recovery for the services provided by Monrovia.
- For our dial-a-ride program, we have assessed call volumes and service demands, and we believe that we can make the overall ADA operation more efficient by transitioning from larger scale vans down to smaller scale van. This transition will save us around $3.29 / revenue hour of service, based primarily on the fact that the larger scale vans are more expensive to operate (and require a Class B license to drive). In addition, the smaller scale vehicles are easier to maneuver, and given the relatively smaller ADA population we are serving (around 60 – 70 customers total), the transition should make the service being provided to our ADA customer base more effective.
In addition to the initiatives being analyzed above, staff was also informed about a pending Metro call for projects, whereby Monrovia could be eligible for up to $600,000 in ongoing federal transportation funds to pay for our dial-a-ride services for passengers with ADA needs.
Once all of the above program components have been instituted, staff will coordinate one final review of the overall cost structure for the GoMonrovia program, and any necessary Lyft per-ride pricing changes will be brought forward for City Council review in April / May.
Monrovia Rotary Club To Host Blood Drive On Thursday, March 14, From 12:00 – 6:00 P.M., At Mt. Sierra College
The Monrovia Rotary Club has partnered with City of Hope to host a blood drive, this Thursday, March 14, from 12:00 – 6:00 p.m., at Mt. Sierra College (800 Royal Oaks Drive, Monrovia). Appointments are recommended. If interested, please sign up online. For more details, please see the flyer below.
Community Media Of The Foothills Appoints New Executive Director, David Palomeres – Meet & Greet On Monday, March 11, At 6:00 P.M. At CMF Studio
This past week, Community Media of the Foothills announced their new Executive Director, Mr. David Palomares. David was hand-picked by CMF's Board of Directors to lead the organization and to continue to provide outstanding service to the municipalities and communities they serve, which include Monrovia, Duarte, and Sierra Madre. They will be hosting an informal meet and greet with David this Monday, March 11, at 6:00 p.m., followed by their regular board meeting that begins at 7:00 p.m. Both events will be held at the CMF Studio at the Mary Wilcox Youth Center (847 E. Olive Avenue near corner of Mountain Avenue). Please join us in congratulating David!
Bethel AME, Impact Southern California CDC, And Monrovia Healing Connections To Host “Choose 2 Live” Event On Saturday, March 16, 2019, From 10:00 A.M. To 3:00 P.M. At Library Park
As you may know, at our last City Council meeting, our Monrovia City Council declared the month of March as “March 4 Balance”. In an effort to combat suicide, the City of Monrovia, MUSD, Monrovia Ministerial Association and several non-profit mental health professionals came together to form Healing Connections. In conjunction with “March 4 Balance”, Healing Connections is hosting “Choose 2 Live” event on Saturday, March 16, from 10:00 a.m. to 3:00 p.m., at Library Park (321 S. Myrtle Ave). This event aims to raise awareness of suicide prevention and bring the community together. For more information, please call (323) 282-9892 or see the flyer below.
Now Accepting Nominations For Monrovia’s 2019 Older American Of The Year
Do you know an Older American who is worthy of recognition for their service to others in our community? Now is your chance to celebrate and honor them!
We are now accepting nominations for the 2019 Older American of the Year Award hosted by Los Angeles County Commission for Older Adults (LACCOA). A copy of the nomination form is included below and the award is presented to a Monrovian 60 years of age or older, working or retired, and still actively involved in a volunteer service in Monrovia. The purpose of the award is to honor and encourage older individuals to remain active in our community.
Nominations are due Friday, March 15, at the Monrovia Community Center (119 W. Palm Avenue, Monrovia, CA 91016). Individuals submitting nominations will need to provide their name, address, and phone number so staff may contact them if further information is needed. The Older American Award recipient will be honored at the Senior Recognition Luncheon on Thursday, April 25, at the Monrovia Community Center and at the 54th Annual Older Americans Recognition Day Awards Program on Thursday, May 23, at the Dorothy Chandler Pavilion Music Center Grand Hall. For any additional information or questions, please call (626) 256-8248.
Mt. Sierra College And Monrovia Association Of Fine Arts Present “My Inspiration” Student Art Show On March 15-16
Keeping with the long Monrovian tradition of supporting and showcasing local artists, Mt Sierra College students have joined forces with the Monrovia Association of Fine Arts (MAFA) to host a complimentary art show March 15-16. Patrons will have the opportunity to view the works of talented Mt Sierra College students and local artists and meet with them. Works were created to follow this year’s theme, “My Inspiration.” You can join the community for this free event on March 15 from 6-9 p.m. and on March 16 from 10 a.m. – 1 p.m. at the Mt Sierra Campus (800 Royal Oaks Drive, Suite 101, in Monrovia). For more information, call (626) 873-2100 or visit Mt. Sierra's website.
Do You Know A Small Business In Monrovia That Deserves To Be Recognized? Assemblymember Holden Is Looking For Nominations For The 41st District’s 2019 Small Business Of The Year!
Assemblymember Holden is looking to highlight a small business, as they have always been a vital contributor to a strong local, state and national economy! If you know of a small business that deserves to be recognized, then please visit Assemblymember Holden’s website to submit your nomination. All nominations are due by Thursday, March 14, 2019!
10th Annual Monrovia Area Partnership (MAP) Neighborhood Conference Set To Take Place On April 6, Come For The Free Lunch, And Stay For The Knowledge!
The City is excited to share that 10th Annual Monrovia Area Partnership (MAP) Neighborhood Conference will be taking place on Saturday, April 6, at Second Baptist Church (925 South Shamrock Avenue, Monrovia), from 9:30 a.m. – 2:30 p.m.! The event is free and is open to all residents and the entire community, and we hope that you think about participating in this signature community event.
The MAP Neighborhood Conference is designed to provide residents and MAP participants with information about important topics occurring in Monrovia. Our goal is to provide residents with the tools they need to help shape the City into the type of community they want to live in. To that end, we have a variety of conference breakout sessions this year, including:
- Information about our Neighborhood Treasures program
- Reviewing upcoming development projects in Monrovia
- De-escalation simulations with the Monrovia PD
- Celebrating Monrovia’s rich history
- Active shooter training
- Monrovia Renewal infrastructure project updates
- AND MUCH MORE!
In addition to the sessions that have been developed, the City will also be providing a free lunch, donated by supportive local restaurants including Wendy’s, Jersey Mike’s, and Tommy Burgers. After lunch, which will also feature our key note speaker, Michael Pointer, Sr., there will be health screenings and an information fair, including various screenings and information from local organizations (Baldwin Park Housing Authority, City Departments, Volunteer Center of San Gabriel Valley, and Farm Fresh to You to name a few). We’ll also be raffling off some great prizes!
We invite everyone to join us for this event as we combine each of our life experiences and celebrate our neighborhoods together! Check out our commercial, and sign up to join us now by clicking here.
SGVCOG Set To Host The 2019 General Assembly On April 10, From 8:30 A.M. – 1:30 P.M. At The Pacific Palms Resort
The SGVCOG will be presenting its 2019 General Assembly on April 10, from 8:30 a.m. – 1:30 p.m. at the Pacific Palms Resort. The event will bring together elected officials, city staff, and community leaders to address the future of the San Gabriel Valley. Additionally, the General Assembly will highlight regional partnerships and efforts to develop sustainable solutions in addressing key challenges facing the region, including transportation, homelessness, and the environment.
The event will take place on Wednesday, April 10, 2019 from 8:30am to 1:30pm at the Pacific Palms Resort in the City of Industry. Individuals/groups can purchase tickets on the Eventbrite here. Those who wish to pay by check or invoice can contact SGVCOG staff directly. Additional information on speakers and panelists can be found here.
Monrovia Community Garden Informational Meeting Scheduled For Saturday, April 13
As you may have heard, the Monrovia Community Garden Pilot Program is set to launch this summer! In partnership with Mountainside Communion, the garden will take shape at the North-West corner of Colorado Boulevard and Magnolia Avenue (303 West Colorado Boulevard), incorporating private raised beds for rent, educational workshops, community engagement, and public demonstration gardens for all of the community to enjoy.
We anticipate that the new Monrovia Community Garden facility will be ready for use in May / June, and we’re now taking applications from those interested in reserving private raised beds. The application form, along with additional information, can be downloaded from the Monrovia Community Garden website.
Want to learn more about applying for a garden plot or participating in a gardening workshop? Please join us for an informational meeting on Saturday, April 13, in the Library Community Room from 9:00 a.m. – 10:30 a.m. You can also follow the building progress and updates on Facebook and Instagram.
Buy Your Tickets For The 3rd Annual Old Town Wine Walk On April 13
The Monrovia Old Town Advisory Board is pleased to announce the launch of the 3rd Annual Old Town Monrovia Wine Walk, scheduled on April 13, 2019, from 6:00 p.m. to 9:00 p.m.! The goal of this event is to highlight Old Town Monrovia businesses while supporting our local community. Participants attending this unique event will be invited to stroll through Old Town, exploring each business, and sampling the various wine offerings while also enjoying acoustic performances throughout Old Town. This year we are also encouraging folks to support Old Town Merchants by spending $100 in Old Town in one shopping/dining experience and receive two pre-sale tickets for $35 each. This is a savings of $10! (Receipts must be presented when purchasing tickets from the Community Center, 3 Beauty Bar, Charlie's House, PrimeLending, Sauté, or Sunday's Old Town Bistro to receive discount.)
- Sip: Most participating businesses will be serving both red and white wine tastings.
- Shop: While exploring our beautiful Old Town, participants will have a chance to shop and learn more about what the merchants in Old Town have to offer.
- Support: Each participant will receive 12 one-ounce wine samples. Event proceeds will help offset for the cost of the event while also giving back to the community. Visit us online to purchase tickets!
Upper San Gabriel Valley Municipal Water District Spring 2019 Workshops – Free And Open To The Public!
Just in time for Spring, the Upper San Gabriel Valley Municipal Water District is hosting a number of workshops on a variety of workshops, including turf removal, leak detection, and drought tolerant landscaping and design concepts! These workshops are free and open to the public, however registration is required.
- Finding and Fixing Leaks (Mandarin)
- DATE: Monday, March 18, 2019
- TIME: 6:30 pm - 8:30 pm
- LOCATION: Arcadia Public Library, Cay Mortenson Auditorium, 20 West Duarte Rd., Arcadia, CA 91006
- Informational Flyer
- Leak Detection for Businesses (English)
- DATE: Wednesday, March 20, 2019
- TIME: 8:30 am - 12:00 pm
- LOCATION: Upper District Board Room, 602 E. Huntington Dr. Suite B, Monrovia, CA 91016
- Informational Flyer
- Turf Removal (English)
- DATE: Tuesday, March 26, 2019
- TIME: 6:00 pm - 9:00 pm
- LOCATION: Community Center, Cougar Park, 150 West Puente St., Covina, CA 91723
- Informational Flyer
- California Friendly Landscape Training (Spanish)
- DATE: Wednesday, April 10, 2019
- TIME: 6:00 pm - 9:00 pm
- LOCATION: Esther Snyder Community Center, Meeting Room #1, 4100 Baldwin Park Blvd., Baldwin Park, CA 91706
- Informational Flyer
- Garden Design Concepts (English)
- DATE: Tuesday, April 23, 2019
- TIME: 6:00 pm - 9:00 pm
- LOCATION: Hacienda Heights Community and Recreation Center, 1234 Valencia Ave., Hacienda Heights, CA 91745
- Informational Flyer
- Garden Design Applications (English)
- DATE: Thursday, May 2, 2019
- TIME: 6:00 pm - 9:00 pm
- LOCATION: Duarte Community Center, 1600 Huntington Drive, Duarte, CA 91010
- Informational Flyer
The City of Monrovia is a partner agency with the Upper San Gabriel Valley Municipal Water District. For more information on these workshops, and other water conservation programs and events, please visit the City’s Water Conservation webpage or the Upper San Gabriel Valley Municipal Water District.
Main San Gabriel Basin Watermaster Reminds Everyone… We Have Had Some Great Rainfall, But Groundwater Levels Still Remain Extremely Low, So Let’s Continue To Conserve!!!
This past week, the Main San Gabriel Basin Watermaster issued a press release to remind everyone that even though we’ve had higher-than-average rainfall this year… our overall groundwater levels are still extremely low.
More specifically, the groundwater level has risen from a historic low of 169.4 feet (recorded just a few months ago on November 21, 2018) up to 179.7 feet as of February 21. While that’s good news, the groundwater level needs to be at 200 feet to be considered minimally safe, and should be at 250 feet to be healthy.
So how much water is our groundwater aquifer short from getting to 250 feet?
Well... we're only short around 52.9 BILLION GALLONS!
What all of that means is that we still need to conserve as much water as possible. Because while the recent rains have been terrific, the drought situation here in the San Gabriel Valley is still incredibly real, and our groundwater basin is still in bad shape. The full press release is included below.
Monrovia’s Neighborhood Treasures Program Selected As A Neighborhoods USA (NUSA) Award Finalist For Best Neighborhood Program!
We’re so excited to be able to share the Monrovia’s Neighborhood Treasures program has been chosen as a finalist in the Best Neighborhood Program by the organization Neighborhoods, USA (NUSA). One of the key components of the Neighborhood Treasures program is to affirm and reinforce the importance and value of Monrovia’s neighborhoods through the recognition and celebration of Monrovians that have contributed to the community through public art in their neighborhoods. The community’s reception to the program has been terrific and Neighborhood Treasures has become one of Monrovia’s flagship public art initiatives.
During the program’s inaugural year in 2018, the first three Treasures were installed recognizing Colonel Allen Allensworth, humanitarian Kate Wright, and WASP test pilot Bettie Mae Scott.
The Best Neighborhood Program awards are a way for NUSA to recognize outstanding government entities and businesses for their work in improving the quality of life in their communities. Out of over 30 programs who entered, the top 7 were selected to be finalists. Our staff will make a presentation of the program to the NUSA Board at the upcoming international conference in May in Palm Springs. As an aside, MAP has been recognized by NUSA three times in the past for outstanding programming, including for our quarterly newsletter, the Youth Leadership Academy, and our Care for Your Neighbor Program!
Neighborhoods, USA (NUSA) is a national, non-profit organization committed to building and strengthening neighborhood organizations. Created in 1975 to share information and experiences used to build stronger communities, NUSA continues to encourage networking and information-sharing to facilitate the development of partnerships among neighborhood organizations, government and the private sector for the ultimate goal of strengthening every neighborhood.
After Procurement Delays, Terrado Drive Speed Bump Installation Is Set To Move Forward
Just a quick note to let everyone know that we’re making plans to move forward with the installation of speed bumps on Terrado Drive. If you recall, in late 2018, residents on Terrado Drive submitted a petition asking that the City install speed bumps on their street. Based on that feedback and an assessment conducted by staff, we made plans in December to coordinate the installation of the requisite speed bumps.
Based on the preliminary engineering work that was done, it was determined that nine speed bumps would need to be installed on Terrado Drive, and based on the cost of the improvements and our existing procurement processes, we coordinated an informal bid which identified Lake Traffic as the low bidder. However, after awarding the procurement contract for purchasing nine speed bumps to that firm, they became non-responsive, which has required that we look to purchase the speed bumps from an alternative firm. Given that delay, we are currently around 6 – 8 weeks away from receiving and installing the speed bumps. We’ve communicated this updated schedule to the residents on Terrado Drive.
Schaefer Ambulance Services Has Declared Bankruptcy, And For Now, Monrovia Is Being Served By Care Ambulance Services
As you may be aware, on February 20, Schaefer Ambulance Services (Schaefer) filed a voluntary petition seeking bankruptcy protection. That particular action has created a cascading effect of issues that the City has been working to address, and among the immediate issues we are working through include the collection of fees owed to the City by Schaefer (estimated at around $400,000), managing current service delivery issues with CARE Ambulance (our new ambulance services provider), and coordination with LA County to determine the entity that will be Monrovia’s long-term ambulance services provider.
Given the Schaefer bankruptcy filing, City representatives met with LA County personnel on February 21 to discuss this issue in greater detail. Based on details gleaned from the bankruptcy proceedings, Schaefer owes LA County around $1.5 million in fees, and there have been numerous service delivery challenges that we have had to resolve given the bankruptcy proceedings.
Of note, while there have been numerous operational and logistical issues that we’ve been working to address associated with this transition, the bottom line is that Monrovia continues to have ambulance transportation services available with no disruption in service delivery. Starting on February 22, the decision was made to have Care Ambulance Services assume control of Monrovia’s ambulance transportation operation.
In addition, based on conversations with LA County, Care Ambulance Services will provide services for Monrovia for no more than 365 days. During the next year, LA County will be working to develop a new RFP process to procure a new operator to provide ambulance transportation services for our community, which is an issue that we will be watching and monitoring very closely here at the City.
To provide everyone with additional background regarding this situation, we also wanted to share some general details regarding how ambulance services are regulated. The overall framework for managing ambulance transportation is established by both the State and each individual county. Based on State regulations, some local cities (like Arcadia) have the right to perform ambulance services in-house. For all other areas that do not have that legal right, Los Angeles County has established nine (9) Exclusive Operating Areas (EOAs) throughout the County, and once per decade, the County will coordinate a bid process to allow private firms the chance to compete for providing ambulance services in those areas. Of note, Monrovia has been carved out as its own ambulance service area (EOA 2), and a map highlighting each ambulance transportation service area is included below for reference:
Again, we are working here at the City to ensure the continued delivery ambulance services here in our community, and as more information becomes available in the coming weeks, we will be certain to share those details with everyone.
Look Out For The Spring Edition Of Monrovia Hitting Your Mailbox Soon! Take Advantage Of Our Digital Flipbook And Embedded Link Design To Register For Classes Starting March 18, 2019!
The new flipbook version of the Monrovia Today, which allows you to search using key words and uses live links to get you to the pages you want even quicker, has been hugely popular!! Even better…users are able to click on any class and be redirected to our RecPro class registration system in Recreation to register in just a few easy clicks! We’re very excited to showcase all of the amazing programs, services, and events that will be in our community this summer, and hope you’ll like it as much as we do!
Please be on the lookout for the Monrovia Today brochure that will be filling your mailboxes sometime next week. In the meantime, you can get a preview by visiting the City’s website: Monrovia Today Activity Guide.
Register Now For New Youth Sports Program: Co-Ed Flag Football & Cheer!
Registration is now open for the NEW Youth Sports Program featuring Flag Football & Cheer! The program focuses on skill development and promotes physical activity and teamwork in an engaging and supportive environment. Key program details include the following:
- Eligibility: Open to 4th and 5th grade boys and girls
- Location: Recreation Park (843 E. Olive Avenue)
- Practices: Tuesday / Thursdays from 6:00 – 7:00 p.m. or 7:00 – 8:00 p.m.
- Games: Saturday Mornings
- Fee: $35 (Monrovia resident & MUSD student) / $40 (non-resident)
Should you have any questions about the Youth Sports Program, please do not hesitate to contact the Monrovia Community Center at (626) 256-8246.
Footnotes – The City’s Sidewalk Poetry Program – Adds Six New Winning Poems To The Queue!
As you may be aware, in October 2016, the City instituted a new program to celebrate poetry throughout Monrovia. Called Footnotes (many thanks to Council Member Crudgington for the inspired program name!), the initiative stamps original poems developed by Monrovia residents into sidewalks all over the City. The Footnotes program works in conjunction with ongoing sidewalk replacement / repair efforts, which gives the overall effort an air of randomness that adds an “element of surprise” for pedestrians who may simply stumble across a piece of poetry imprinted in the ground.
Throughout 2018, numerous poems selected from last year’s contest were embedded in City sidewalks, and the response from the community has been terrific. This past week, we were delighted to select the winning poems for 2019!
Now with so many talented writers, it was hard to pick a selection of winners, but ultimately, the process yielded six winning poem submittals. Many thanks and congratulations to the program winners, which were submitted by:
- Rena Delgado
- Grace Howe
- Scott Iler
- Ray Mercieca
- Maria Ramirez
- Edna Teller
The winning poems are included below, and you can also find all six of them on the City’s website.
Each of the winning poems will eventually be stamped in more than one location so be sure to look for them when you are walking around town! And also… if you’re interested in participating in the program, start thinking about rhymes and other impeccable locutions, because the contest for the 2020 program submittals will be initiated later during the fall of this year!
New GoMonrovia Fares Now In Effect: $1.00 / Shared Ride, $0.50 / Shared Rides To/From Old Town Or The Gold Line Station, And $3.50 / Lyft Ride
A modest $0.50 increase for most Lyft rides through the GoMonrovia program is now in effect, as outlined below:
- Maintain fares at $0.50 Shared ride for any ride to / from Old Town and the Gold Line Station
- Institute $0.50 price increase per ride for all other GoMonrovia service area locations effective February 2019, as follows:
- $1.00 Shared Ride
- $3.50 Classic Ride
Those applying the GOMONROVIA code to their phone for the very first time will get default access to the $1.00 / Shared ride option until the first of the following month, when they will get access to all three pricing options. Users who would like access to the $0.50 Old Town/Gold Line Shared ride option and $3.50 / Classic ride sooner can email the City for assistance or call (626) 256-8234. The email should include your Lyft account information (phone number or email address). The pricing options can be applied to your account within 1-2 business days.
Monrovia Dial-A-Ride – ADA Registration Became Mandatory Starting March 1
Speaking of GoMonrovia, I wanted to let everyone know that we are pressing forward and making good progress on the transition of our dial-a-ride vans to a closed ADA system, where riders will have to get pre-registered in order to access the vans. Of course, all ambulatory, non-ADA customers have the option of utilizing Lyft for their public transportation needs.
Based on our progress to date, starting in February, the City will be requiring that individuals be pre-registered with the City in order to use our ADA vans. That pre-registration process requires that passengers provide proof of their ADA needs through simple certifications (doctor certification, DMV notice, or other proof of ADA need). We plan on utilizing February as a transitional period, though, and no customer will be turned away from service during the month. However, as we hit March 1, we will be mandating that advance certifications be obtained prior to dispatching our ADA vans for passenger pick-up.
GoMonrovia Program Changes – Lime Is Ceasing Its Pedal-Bike Operations By March 15, City Assessing Other Bike-Share Provider Options
During the past few months, staff has been in discussions with Lime about their continued operation of a bikeshare program in Monrovia. Those discussions foreshadowed the possibility that Lime would discontinue their bikeshare program, and last week, the City received confirmation of some unfortunate news.
Lime, which has been engaged in the micro-mobility revolution during the past year, notified Monrovia that they will no longer be operating their bikeshare program. Given the way that micro-mobility has evolved of late, Lime is intending to focus solely on their scooter business, and outside of some very limited circumstances, they will no longer be providing pedal-bike services moving ahead.
Based on our discussions with Lime, all of the bikes operating in Monrovia are in the process of being collected, with the goal of removing them all by March 15. In addition, anyone who has a remaining balance in their Lime account will be able to request a refund of their monies through Lime customer service.
In the meantime, we did want to let everyone know that the City is already exploring different bikeshare options to replace Lime as our partner. Of note, there are two promising avenues that we are currently exploring.
First, Lyft is working to develop their own micro-mobility platform, complete with shared bicycles. To that end, we have discussed expanding our partnership with Lyft to include bikes in our community.
In addition, Monrovia is also eligible to participate in the San Gabriel Valley Council of Governments (SGVCOG) e-bike-share program. The SGVCOG recently went through the RFP process and is intending to award a contract to Gotcha Mobility, LLC. City staff will be evaluating this option moving ahead.
Staff has also researched other potential options for offering a bike-share program in our community, and in the coming months, and will be sure to keep everyone posted as the situation develops.
Monrovia Evaluating Potential Sales Tax Measure In 2019 In An Effort To Counter Planned LA County Tax Increases
At Monrovia’s State of the City Address held last week, Mayor Adams announced that the City would be considering a local sales tax measure in Monrovia this year. Now with any proposed tax increase, there’s always the question of why. Because certainly, the overall tax burden in California is high, and government should not unnecessarily impose new taxes without sufficient justification. So to that end, the question of why Monrovia would be considering a sales tax increase is certainly fair and deserves a thorough explanation.
The City is contemplating the possibility of placing a sales tax measure on the ballot in 2019 for voter consideration because of current taxation trends in LA County. Because did you know that today, in LA County, we now have the highest base sales tax rate in California?
Yes, that’s right. At 9.5%, we now have the highest sales tax rate in the State. Higher than in the Silicon Valley. Higher than in San Francisco. Higher than anywhere in California.
And given the high sales tax level we’re currently paying here in LA County, we are in fact pushing up close to the local sales tax limit! Because with LA County’s current base sales tax rate at 9.5%, the vagaries of State law means there is only 0.75% of available sales tax capacity remaining.
You may be asking how we got here in LA County, to a point where we have the highest sales tax rate in the State. The answer is fairly simple – you see, since 2004, LA County has been able to eventually pass EVERY single tax measure that they’ve put forth to county voters. Even when LA County has needed 2/3 voter approval, they get it.
And when LA County passes a sales tax measure, the funding doesn’t come to us here in Monrovia. Instead, we end up paying WAY more than we get back. In fact, on average, we get only 10 cents back of every sales tax dollar we contribute to the County, and there are several instances when we get back even less than that.
Take for example 2017’s Measure H quarter-cent sales tax to fund services and help prevent homelessness. The tax will raise about $355 million per year across the County, and Monrovia contributes around $2.6 million per year towards the measure. Despite contributing millions, Monrovia has only received $30,000 from the County – or about 1% of what we’ve paid into the overall program. And to add salt to the wound, cities that have received tens of millions of dollars from Measure H for homeless services – cities like Santa Monica and Long Beach – have not paid a single penny into the Measure H fund.
Now the reason that cities like Santa Monica and Long Beach don’t pay the Measure H sales tax is because those communities approved measures to keep their funds local and away from LA County. There’s a cap to how much sales tax rates can be raised in any city, and once you reach that cap, LA County can’t impose any additional sales tax increases, even if the increase is approved across the county.
In fact, across LA County, 19 of the 88 cities have reached the maximum sales tax rate of 10.25%, and another 9 cities have increased their sales tax rate to 10%. Those cities that have reached the 10.25% cap do not pay for additional LA County taxes, but are still able to receive the funds collected. Like in the Measure H homeless tax example noted above, cities like Santa Monica and Long Beach, who had previously reached 10.25%, have access to the new taxes generated, despite not paying a single cent into the fund.
Now given all that information, here’s what the City is concerned about, and here’s why we’re seriously considering a sales tax measure in 2019.
LA County is looking to go back out to the voters to ask for additional sales tax increases in 2020 and 2022. We know that LA County is laying the groundwork for an AQMD sales tax measure, and we’ve also heard that the County is looking at an additional sales tax increase for more money for homeless support services. And based on the County’s track record, it is more than likely that they’ll get both sales tax measures approved.
And if history is any guide, what that means is Monrovia will end up paying a lot, and we’ll only get back around 10% of the amount we contribute.
Unless, that is, we do something in Monrovia to protect our resources and keep our money local.
Monrovia has the opportunity to get ahead of this situation by approving a local sales tax measure. Based on LA County’s track record, it’s only a matter of time before they eat up the last 0.75% of local sales tax capacity remaining. And because that is the case, the question we’ll have to answer as a community isn’t whether or not Monrovians want to pay more in sales tax.
Instead, the real question we need to address is whether we want to send our money to the County for their use, or if we want to keep those funds here in our City under our own local control.
Here at the City, we are incredibly sensitive to the fact that no one wants to pay more taxes, with the tax burden already being so high here in California. But we also know that LA County is planning these tax increase proposals soon, and the opportunity to keep our money local will not remain an option for too much longer.
Given this set of facts, the City will be exploring the option of putting a sales tax measure on the ballot for our residents to consider in 2019. And during the next few months, we will be working to engage the community as we coordinate multiple outreach initiatives to learn more about this topic and see if a local sales tax measure could be a viable solution for Monrovia.
Throughout the process, you have our commitment that we will be sharing as much information about this matter as we have available.
Have A Drought Tolerant Yard And Want To Show It Off? Apply Now For The New City Sustainable Landscaping Recognition Award!
During the past few months, the City has been looking for ways to promote water conservation through the development of sustainable landscaping gardens. To help promote the initiative, staff has developed a sustainable landscape recognition award, whereby program winners will be recognized by the City and receive a $25 credit on their water utility bill!
Help promote water conservation by showcasing sustainable landscaping! Through this new program, residential water customers of the City of Monrovia may enter their sustainable landscape for a chance to be recognized by the City. Applicants may also nominate a neighbor's sustainable landscape.
In addition to being recognized by the City, winners will receive a $25 credit on their water utility bill! To enter in this program:
- Applicants must be a City of Monrovia residential water utility customer.
- The drought-tolerant area should be in the front yard visible from the street.
- No more than 50% of your landscape should be turf.
- No more than 30% of your landscape should be non-permeable, such as concrete.
For more information about this new program, water conservation, and how you can help, please contact (626) 303-6601.
This Week’s Happenings At The Monrovia Public Library!
The Monrovia Public Library is a special community gathering place that makes a difference in the lives of children, teens, adults, and families of all kinds. Experience all that the Library has to offer by visiting us in person at 321 S. Myrtle Avenue, and if you have any questions, contact the Library at (626) 256-8274!
2019 Spring Youth Services Programs are here!
Interested in all the youth services taking place at the Library this Spring? Then browse the flyer below and stop by the Library for some fun!
Pro-active Tutoring provides pre-screened tutors at no cost to library patrons. Tutors assist students from grades K to 8 in subjects such as math, language arts and reading. No registration required.
- Every Monday and Tuesday, during the school year, 4:00 – 5:00 p.m., Library Story Room
For ages 4 years through 2nd grade. Using toys, props, and creative arts, participants can be transported to another world through imaginative play. Join us for fun activities like: Store/Restaurant, Vet Clinic, Emergency, and City!
- Wednesday, March 13 , 4:00 - 4:45 p.m., Library Story Room
It's your move! Come discover new games and socialize with other gamers. Play our games or bring your own. Snacks are provided. This event is for adults ages 18 and up.
- Wednesday, March 13, 6:00 - 8:30 p.m., Library Community Room
Conversation Groups @ Monrovia Public Library
Culture and Conversation: Practice speaking English by discussing and reading the ‘News for You’ weekly newspaper in a friendly and relaxed setting. Build confidence in your work, school, family and social life. For more information, call (626) 256-8273 or email firstname.lastname@example.org
- Every Wednesday, 6:00 – 7:30 p.m., Library Heritage Room
Speak Easy: Join us for round-table talking and practice speaking English in a friendly and relaxed setting. New topics weekly, including: popular culture, work and jobs, health, and more. Build confidence in your work, school, family, and social life.
- Every Thursday, 12 p.m. - 1:30 p.m., in the Library Heritage Room. For more information, call 626-256-8273 or email email@example.com
Ebooks & Digital Magazines are Available 24/7
Check out an ebook or listen to an audiobook on your commute using Overdrive’s Libby app. If you have little ones, visit TumbleBooks, where you’ll find digital copies of popular picture books and chapter books for kids. We also have digital magazines from RBdigital, including some of your favorite titles like Rolling Stone, Popular Mechanics, Martha Stewart Living, Highlights, National Geographic, Newsweek, and so much more! All free with your Monrovia Library Card. Just follow the link to learn more.
Keep Up-To-Date On The City’s Pending Projects By Visiting Our Development Spotlight Website!
Given the significant development projects that are pending in Monrovia, the City has created a “Development Spotlight” page on our website. This page gathers all of the major projects in one place for you to explore key development initiatives in the community, and it also provides an overview of the projects that are in the pipeline. In 2018, the City approved the 296-unit Richman Residential Project, the 109-room Marriott TownePlace Suites Hotel Project, and the 154-unit AvalonBay Project. As we prepare for 2019, there will be several other significant housing and mixed-use initiatives that the City will be considering. So if you have any questions regarding the development activity happening in the City, please be sure to visit the “Development Spotlight” page on our website!
Key Links & Help Keep Monrovia Beautiful:
- City News and Highlights
- Meeting Agendas and Minutes
- Graffiti Removal and Gift Card Program
- Abandoned Bulky Items Reporting and Raffle Program
Interesting Story Of The Week – Starbucks And Mcdonald’s Are Teaming Up To Come Up With A Better And Fully Compostable Cup!
Our interesting story of the week comes to us from Food & Wine, which reports that Starbucks and McDonald’s are teaming up to create a 100% totally compostable cup!
It all started last July, when Starbucks announced that they would eliminate all straws from their stores by 2020 in exchange for a sippy cup lid. To develop the best options available, this past September, “Starbucks launched the NextGen Cup Challenge, which encouraged businesses of any scale to contribute eco-friendly cup ideas – and 12 finalists have been chosen!”
Each of the 12 finalists “offers one of three solutions: one group created innovative cup liners (the polyethylene plastic liners in most to-go coffee cups make them difficult to recycle); a second camp focused on new materials (particularly plant-based substances that are fully compostable); and a third aimed to reinvent reusable cups."
Ultimately, the concept that is selected will receive $1 million to further develop its cup concept. To read more about this development in the world of sustainability, click here!
Police Department's Weekly Neighborhood Watch Report
The Police Department’s weekly neighborhood watch report for the period February 28 - March 6, 2019, has been included for your review and reference. During the last seven-day period, the Police Department handled 437 service events, resulting in 84 investigations.
A copy of the report can be found at the following link: Weekly Neighborhood Watch Report