City Manager's Update: March 19, 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 firstname.lastname@example.org!
And of course… all the best to you and yours as we continue through this week!
Quote of the Week
The more I think it over, the more I feel that there is nothing more truly artistic than to love.
–Vincent Van Gogh
LA Regional Water Board Unanimously Approves The City’s Revised Rewmp Stormwater Management Plan – Regulator Emphatically Recognizes Our Group (And Council Member Crudgington Specifically) For The Innovative, Thoughtful, And Collaborative Approach We Took… All While They Approved A Plan That Lowers Our Estimated Stormwater Compliance Costs By 90%!
We are so excited to share that this past Thursday, the LA Regional Water Board unanimously and emphatically approved our region’s Revised Enhanced Watershed Management Program (rEWMP) plan! This approval is the culmination of more than three years of work by numerous people and entities, and we couldn’t be happier with the result that we achieved!
Now by way of background, you may recall that for the past 3+ years, we have been working collaboratively with our regional municipal partners, with environmental NGO groups, and with State regulators in an attempt to develop a more meaningful, measurable, and achievable stormwater management plan. Of note, one of the driving forces behind this intensive multi-year planning effort was the fact that our original stormwater program was estimated to cost $1.4 billion (yes… BILLION) to implement!
This past Thursday, after extensive study, analysis, and coordination, the LA Regional Water Board voted to approve our rEWMP. By working to design optimized stormwater projects in a way that sought to minimize cost / size, while maximizing stormwater pollutant capture efforts for every dollar spent, the newly approved plan was able to achieve compliance, while also reducing costs by 90%! Of note, our updated plan reduced the 436 miles of green streets in our original program into a more efficient and effective suite of initiatives that includes only 19 miles of green streets and 4 major regional projects.
There are so many individuals who played a key role in helping us achieve this result, and of particular note, we have to recognize Council Member Gloria Crudgington, who was an unrelenting and driving presence in ensuring that all relevant stakeholders worked together to find a way to achieve clean stormwater, but in a fiscally responsible way. Throughout the LA Regional Water Board hearing, numerous individuals from the NGO community and Water Board Members made it a point to compliment, highlight, and emphasize the approach that Council Member Crudgington took in pursuit of achieving clean water.
With the plan approved, our efforts will now turn towards implementing the various elements of the program to ensure that we build out the projects identified in our approved rEMWP. And thanks to the fact that we will have Measure W money available, we are all optimistic that moving ahead, the issues we’ll be discussing related to stormwater will be construction mitigation activities!
A full copy of our rEWMP plan can be accessed online.
New State Regulations Have Further Eroded Local Control Over Housing Decisions
As the City prepares to consider several large-scale development projects, one housing note that we wanted to share with everyone relates to the impact that recent State legislation has had on our local land use controls as it relates to housing development. As you may recall, in 2017 and in 2018, the State approved a series of legislative amendments to the Housing Accountability Act (HAA), which combined has reduced local government authority to deny or reduce the density of proposed housing development projects.To highlight how those pieces of legislation impact a municipality’s ability to regulate development, a full memo on the matter can be found online. In particular, I wanted to highlight some of the key changes that staff is currently grappling with:
- The new regulations adopted by the State stipulate that if a project conforms to a City’s applicable development standards (i.e., no variances or exceptions are sought), it will be extremely difficult for the City to legally deny any housing project.
- Furthermore, while a City can still institute a design and neighborhood compatibility review process, the City essentially now cannot deny a housing development project, or impose conditions that the project be developed at a lower density, unless strict findings can be identified which indicate that a project would have a specific, adverse impact on public health or safety.
Again, a memo outlining all of the new State mandated housing development regulations that we are contending with can be found online.
Assemblymember Holden Names Christine Geltz As Monrovia’s 2019 Woman Of Distinction
This past week, we were excited to learn that Assemblymember Chris Holden named Christine Geltz as Monrovia's 2019 Woman of Distinction. As you may know, Christine currently serves as President of the Monrovia Association of Fine Arts Board, a board she has worked on since 2006. She has also served as the chair of the Celebrate the Arts Show and ChalkFest. Christine has been building partnerships with the City, service organizations, and the school district to expand arts opportunities and education for adults, college students, and children in the area.
In recognition of Christine and the other fabulous women that Assemblymember Holden will has identified as his Woman of Distinction, a special event will be held at the Assemblymember’s Annual Spring Open House:
- Thursday, March 28
- 5:30 p.m. – 7:00 p.m.
- Program starts at 6 p.m.
- 41st Assembly District Office (600 N. Rosemead Blvd., Suite 117, Pasadena, CA 91107)
Additional details about the event – and about Christine – can be found online.
Congratulations Christine on a well-deserved honor!
Check Out The Newly Restriped Parking Lot At Lime / Ivy!
A huge thanks to our Public Works team for giving the parking lot across from the Police Station a much-needed makeover! It was recently re-striped, take a peek below to see the finished product!
Monrovia’s Robotics Team Is Going To The World Robotics Championships… And They Need Your Help To Raise Money For The Trip!!!
Monrovia High School's robotics team 4625 – the “Kings and Queens” – has won a spot to compete in the FIRST Tech Challenge (FTC) World Robotics Championship Tournament to be held in Houston on April 16-20. After a grueling season of competitions, only 296 of the 7,010 FTC robotics teams around the world have qualified for the World Championship.
A few weeks ago at the SoCal FTC Regional Championship held at Monrovia High School, 48 of the top FTC teams in Southern California competed. The Kings and Queens were picked to create an alliance by team Brain Stormz 10298 of Camarillo, along with Monrovia’s Hippie Bots 9512 from Clifton Middle School. That alliance went on to win a series of hard-fought matches and overcome a variety of mechanical failures to become the champion of their division, and finally to emerge as the competition champion alliance! This secured for the Kings and Queens and for the Hippie Bots slots to advance to the World Championships.
What the team has accomplished is remarkable and puts them in the elite of all the FTC teams in the world… but they won't be able to go to Houston and show what they can do without you. Monrovia’s robotics team needs your help to get the team to the competition! The cost to send the Kings And Queens and their robot “Sir Gawain” to Houston is over $15,000 for the entry fee, airfares, hotel, materials and shipping costs for the robot. Any donation, large or small, will help toward that goal.
Please help with whatever you can. The Kings and Queens have helped shine a spotlight on Monrovia as a place where great things happen and great people live, and showed that our students are second to none. They have encouraged countless young people to pursue their interests in science and engineering through their outreach efforts in the Monrovia community. And they have truly helped lived up to the Monrovia High School's motto “The Home of Scholars and Champions.” Help us spread that message to the entire robotics community.
Please make an individual donation through their GoFundMe page (and remember… all donations are tax deductible through our financial sponsor the MHS Math and Science Academy Boosters, a 501c3 entity!).
Also of note… if your business or organization would like to make a larger donation of $500 or more and become a corporate sponsor of the robot, you can have your name and logo featured on Sir Gawain and in the team booth at the event! For those inquiries, please contact the robotics team directly.
So come on Monrovia… let’s rally behind our kids as they get set to take on the world!!!
Friends Of The Monrovia Public Library Annual Bookmark Contest Is Here!
The Friends of the Monrovia Public Library are sponsoring their annual Bookmark Contest, which began on March 13. Entry forms are available at the Customer Service Desks at the Library and on the City website. The contest is open to artists of all ages and entry forms can be turned into the Youth Reference Desk by Saturday, April 13, by 5:00 p.m. Winners will be notified by April 27. The winning bookmark entries will be printed and available for all to enjoy just in time for Summer Reading. The Friends of the Monrovia Public Library support library programs and collections through donations, the Friends Bookstore, and book sales. If you would like to learn more about the Friends or join this worthwhile organization visit their website or stop by the bookstore at the Library.
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!
New One-Stop Shop Website For All Of Your Development Questions Launching This Week On March 20!
Here in Monrovia, we are experiencing unprecedented development interest, primarily around Station Square. To help meet the needs of the community and provide more information, the City has spent the last few months creating a new website focused solely on these new developments. It will help residents and businesses not only learn more about each project that is being considered, but also answer frequently asked questions about the impacts these development may have on the community. There are pages on all the major areas on concern, such as:
- Affordable Housing
- Public Safety
- And more!
Staff is putting the final touches on the website, which is scheduled to go live this Thursday! If you want a sneak peak, we encourage you to attend the Joint City Council / Planning Commission meeting focused on developments this Wednesday, 3/20, and then visit www.buildingmonrovia.com once it is launched.
Minor Traffic Delays At The Intersection Of Huntington And Myrtle The Week Of March 18
Starting on Monday, March 18, one of Metro and CalTrans contractors, Traffic Loops, will be working on installing some new equipment at the intersection of Huntington and Myrtle and anticipate finishing work by the end of the week. This equipment installation is part of the I-210 Connected Corridors Pilot Project that the City of Monrovia is partnering with CalTrans, Metro, LA County, and the cities of Pasadena, Arcadia, and Duarte. Traffic Loops will be installing new conduit along with a camera detection system. This equipment will be used as part of a pilot project that has the ultimate goal of trying to improve traffic flow during major traffic incidents along the I-210 corridor.
During the week of March 18, the intersection of Huntington and Myrtle will be on a timer, rather than a detection loop system. If you have any questions, please feel free to call Public Works at 626-932-5575.
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.
Southern California Edison Engaged In Ongoing Repair Work Here In Town For The Remainder Of 2019
Southern California Edison has been coordinating with City staff on upcoming work that will take place over the next 9 months. SCE staff has identified a number of needed repairs to their infrastructure citywide, ranging from replacing conductors, cross-arms, cabling, anchoring poles, pole replacement, or simple miscellaneous repairs. Each of these needed repairs has been given a priority level designation (1-3) with 3 being the highest priority repair.
To date, SCE staff has identified approximately 200 Tier 3 repairs that need to be completed by May 31. In addition to the Tier 3 repairs, SCE staff has identified an additional 350 Tier 2 and Tier 1 repairs that need to be completed by the end of the year (December 31). In total, that means SCE will be repairing approximately 550 various pieces of equipment throughout town over the next 9 months. Public Works staff is coordinating with SCE staff on permitting, scheduling of work, and ultimately coordination that helps SCE complete their interim and final completion dates. Because of the volume of work, this will likely mean that SCE will be working seven days a week between now and the end of May to meet the first interim completion date for Tier 3 repairs.
SCE will be sending out mailers, door knockers, and other notification letters to the residents in the impacted areas in advance of the work. Additional notification will be required when SCE needs access to private property as well as additional notification that results in any temporary power outages. If there are any questions regarding SCE’s activity, please visit SCE’s website. If you have any questions or concerns, please feel free to call Public Works at (626) 932-5575.
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!
Fire Station 102 Gets A New Roof And HVAC!
Just a quick note to let everyone know that after a couple of wet rainy months that caused delays, Howard Roofing Company, Inc. was finally able to complete the roof replacement project at Fire Station 102! They installed a new 5-ply “Class A” built-up roofing system that meets all building requirements, including Title 24 for energy efficiency. This project was included in the Capital Improvement Program for this year, as the roof has been leaking for some time and it was overdue for replacement. In fact, the roof and existing HVAC both date to the construction of the station back in 1996! In addition, ARYCO Heating and Air Conditioning installed two new 8.5 Ton HVAC Units to replace the existing. Now, our firefighters can stay cool and dry all-year round!
Monrovia Public Library’s New Monthly Trivia Night Series At Copper Still Grill! Join Us For Game Of Thrones Trivia On April 14, 6:30 – 8 P.M.
Harry Potter Trivia Night on March 7 was a huge success! The Library partnered with Copper Still Grill to test the knowledge of 43 Harry Potter fans who competed in teams to win t-shirts and gift cards. Teams competed while they enjoyed CSG’s menu, including a special Harry Potter butterbeer beverage.
This new monthly series will continue in April with Game of Thrones Trivia Night on Thursday, April 4, from 6:30-8:00 p.m. just in time for the final season premiere on April 14! Copper Still Grill’s Happy Hour begins at 6:00 p.m., so attendees are encouraged to arrive early to claim a table and browse the deals. And for all you comic fans, get ready for Marvel Trivia Night in May!
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 mainline sewer 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 18!
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!
AT&T Conducting Manhole Infrastructure Improvements Throughout Town The Week Of April 1
Starting the week of Monday, April 1 through Friday, April 5, AT&T will be conducting an audit of 24 manholes and their existing infrastructure to test the capacity of their fiber-optic lines. The proposed manholes are spread throughout town including locations on: 5th Avenue, W. Chestnut, S. Mayflower, S. Primrose, Huntington Drive, Mountain Avenue, and Royal Oaks Drive. Each location takes approximately 45 minutes to one hour. There will be some minor traffic control measures at each location as they are conduct their work. If you have any questions, please contact Public Works at 626-932-5575.
Take Precaution Against Mosquitos And Tip N’ Toss All Stagnant Water
With the rainy season wrapping up, we wanted to remind everyone to TIP N’ TOSS all stagnant water! Did you know mosquitoes lay their eggs in containers that have stagnant water? Once laid, mosquitoes can grow from eggs to flying adults in about 7 days! Here’s what you can do to eliminate those pesky mosquitoes:
- Identify sources around your home or apartment complex, and tip out the water and toss out the source.
- Prevent any water from being stored in an open container.
- Watch this quick video to find out where mosquitoes can lay their eggs.
For more information on how you can protect you and your family from mosquitoes and the diseases that they carry, visit the San Gabriel Valley Mosquito & Vector Control District online.
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.
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.
GoMonrovia Program Update – New Registration Requirement For Call-In Lyft Dispatch Services Will Began This Past 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
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.
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.
Save The Date: Disco Fundraiser For Mayflower Elementary School On April 27 At Santa Anita Golf Course
Dust off your boogie shoes and bell-bottoms for the disco fundraiser benefiting the kids at Mayflower Elementary! This adults-only event will include dinner, a silent auction, and dancing. All are encouraged to dress the part and get ready to groove on April 27, from 6:00 p.m. -10:00 p.m. The event will be held at the Santa Anita Golf Course at 405 South Anita Avenue.
Ticket prices are $50 / person or $85 / couple and can be purchased online. Sponsorships and volunteer opportunities are also available. For more information or to learn how you can donate or support Mayflower PTA, visit the Mayflower PTA Facebook page, email them directly or call (760) 908-8058.
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.
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.
Register For Classes Starting March 18 By Browsing The New Spring Edition Of Monrovia Today!
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! Take a look at the latest happenings in Monrovia and register for classes 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.
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.
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.
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.
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!
Friends of the Monrovia Public Library Monday Movie Night
Dress in your pajamas, bring your blanket, pillow and your favorite stuffed friend to join us for Monday Movie Night! Cuddle up to watch a terrific movie with your family! This event is sponsored by Friends of the Monrovia Public Library.
- Monday, March 18, 6:00 - 8:00 p.m., Library Community Room
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
Express Yourself Through Art for Teens – A March 4 Balance Event
No rules, no pressure, no end product in mind. Use our materials to explore and create.
- Wednesday, March 20, 2:00 - 4:00 p.m., Library Community 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 20 , 4:00 - 4:45 p.m., Library Story 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 email@example.com
- 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 firstname.lastname@example.org
Healthy Soil for Urban Gardens
Learn from Dana Hopper of Homegrown Veggie about our personal health begins with the soil used to grow the food we eat. All ages welcome.
- Saturday, March 23, 10:00 - 11:30 a.m., Library Community Room
Join our play group and fun learning activities, including one-to-one play time, followed by lap-sit and circle time. Sing, play, write, talk and read! Every Child Ready to Read at MPL. For ages 0 – 5, parent or caregiver must be present.
- Saturday, March 23, 12:00 - 1:30 p.m., Library Story Room
Role Playing Game (RPG) 101: Dungeon Crawl
Always wanted to play Dungeons & Dragons (D&D) but never know how to get into it? Was the last time you played a long time ago and you wanted to jump back in? Join Dungeon Master (DM) Tamara Brooks for an introductory dungeon crawl to get acquainted with how to play! Refreshments will be provided. Registration Required. Ages 16 & up!
- Saturday, March 23, 1:00 - 6:00 p.m., Library Community Room
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.
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.
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 – Are We Living In A World That’s So Clean Today, That It’s Actually Hurting Us?
Our interesting story of the week comes to us from the New York Times, which explores details related to the hygiene hypothesis. According to this theory, as society has become more advanced, and as we live in increasingly cleaner environments, our immune systems are having less and less to do. And in the face of that reality, the higher living standards and cleaner environments could actually be hurting us.
The article explores in depth the fascinating way in which are immune systems are being conditioned to overreact because of our aversion to germs, and because “our immune system can become disrupted if it doesn’t have regular interactions with the natural world.”
Of particular note, while exploring a fascinating theme that seems to be emerging constantly in this day and age in various facets of life – are we, in fact, better off for all the technological advancements we’ve made – the article explores the question of whether or not our focus on avoiding germs might actually be hurting us.
To read more about this terrifically interesting story that seems to advocate for being dirtier, click on the link here!
Police Department's Weekly Neighborhood Watch Report
The Police Department’s weekly neighborhood watch report for the period March 7 - March 13, 2019, has been included for your review and reference. During the last seven-day period, the Police Department handled 414 service events, resulting in 84 investigations.
A copy of the report can be found at the following link: Weekly Neighborhood Watch Report