City Manager's Update: April 11, 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 cures people - both the ones who give it and the ones who receive it.
CALmatters Publishes An Article Highlighting How “Date Rape Isn’t A Violent Crime In California. Seriously.”
We wanted to share an article that was published this past week by CALmatters, a nonpartisan, nonprofit journalism venture committed to explaining how California’s state Capitol works and why it matters. The article was titled, “Date Rape Isn’t A Violent Crime in California. Seriously.”
The story chronicles how in California, more than 20 clearly violent crimes are not today classified as violent, including rape of an unconscious person, trafficking a child for prostitution, assault with a deadly weapon, and domestic violence. And throughout the article, the story highlights some of the reasons why the City has taken a leadership role in supporting the Keeping California Safe initiative by championing the Taking Back Our Communities coalition.
The article is a worthy read, and delves into the issues that have prompted the City to get more involved in public safety matters in California. The full article can be accessed online.
In addition, if anyone would like to learn more about the Taking Back Our Communities initiative, please feel free to visit the website.
Monrovia Library Is Celebrating National Library Week With Fine Forgiveness All Week Long!
April 8-13 is National Library Week! To celebrate, the Library is forgiving fines and fees throughout the week. So drop by and start fresh this spring! Don’t let old fines stop you from coming back and enjoying all the Library has to offer! Some restrictions apply, see Library staff for more information.
Annual Monrovia Area Partnership (MAP) Neighborhood Conference Was A Huge Success, With Over 300 Participants! Many Thanks To Second Baptist Church And All Our Participants And Sponsors!
This past Saturday, the City held the 10th annual MAP conference at Second Baptist Church! Over 300 community members came together to build connections and learn about important topics occurring in Monrovia. A huge thank you to all of the staff who worked so hard to put this event together, with a special shout-out to the Neighborhood Services team! We also wanted to say a huge thank you to Bishop Dillard, the rest of the Church staff, and everyone at the Second Baptist Church for graciously hosting the conference!
Thank you to all of our speakers from community and non-profit organizations, including our keynote speaker Michael Pointer, Sr., and event sponsors, including Wendy’s, Jersey Mike’s, and Tommy Burgers, and for all of the information fair vendors for their attendance and raffle prize donations!
Bishop Dillard Set To Retire From Second Baptist Church After 45 Years Of Service To The Monrovia Community!
Speaking of Second Baptist Church, which hosted our most recent MAP Annual Conference event, we wanted to share with the community that Bishop Dr. Wm. La Rue Dillard – who has served as the head pastor of the parish for the past 45 years – is set to retire this May!
His leadership at Second Baptist and in Monrovia will be missed, but after his many years of service, he certainly deserves to relax and enjoy some extra time with his wife, Betty, and all of their children and grandchildren! Please see the retirement gala flyer, if you’re able to join the retirement festivities on May 18-19! If you have any questions or need additional information please contact Geneva Douglas at (626) 358-2136.
Reading And Beer For National Bookmark Day On April 10 At Wing Walker Brewery!
We’re so excited to be partnering with Wing Walker Brewery to celebrate National Bookmark Day on Wednesday, April 10, from 5 p.m. – 8 p.m. at Wing Walker Brewery (235 W. Maple Avenue)!
We’ll have fun activities from 5 p.m. – 7 p.m., and then… the festivities will begin with Trivia Night from 7 p.m. – 8 p.m. And of course… if you need a little bit more incentive to come on out to celebrate National Bookmark Day… Wing Walker will be providing delicious brews while our librarians test your trivia skills! Are you ready? Come on out!
Oh… this event is also only for those ages 21 and over! For more information, please contact the Monrovia Public Library at (626) 256-8274.
Major Pipeline Construction Set To Continue On Canyon Boulevard As Part Of Monrovia Renewal North Section Efforts!
Work is scheduled to continue this next week on construction of a 16” water pipeline as a part of the Monrovia Renewal North Section Infrastructure Improvements Project. This water improvement – which is designed to improve water flows, pressure, and reliability in the area – includes major construction efforts to install a 16” pipeline from the intersection of Laurel Lane / Canyon Crest Drive, over to Canyon Boulevard, and then north on Canyon Boulevard up to the Oakglade Reservoir. The map below highlights the section of Canyon Boulevard where the work will be taking place.
During construction, parking will be restricted during working hours along Canyon Boulevard, from Canyon Crest Drive to Oakglade Drive. This will be necessary given that traffic will be reduced to one lane, with proper traffic control and flaggers in place to safely direct vehicle traffic.
The City will maintain vehicle access to Canyon Park, and furthermore, pedestrian access along the sidewalk will also be maintained.
Given the extent of these improvements, we are asking that all motorists and pedestrians traveling in the area be cautious and aware of the activity occurring, and to expect delays when traveling through the identified construction area. Of note, we expect this particular bit of construction activity to be completed by Friday, April 25.
If you have any questions or concerns, please contact the Public Works Division at (626) 932-5575, or via email at Monroviarenewal@ci.monrovia.ca.us. Additionally, updated construction schedules and notices will be available on the City’s website and on the City’s social media accounts. And please know that all of us here at the City appreciate your patience during these periods of construction activity!
Monrovia Renewal North Area Improvements - Updates For The Week Of April 8
Monrovia Renewal construction activities in the North section will continue this week. Sully Miller Contracting will be working on water service repairs on Norumbega Drive, water main repairs on Oakglade Drive, and concrete work on Hillcrest Boulevard, Alta Vista Avenue and Magnolia Avenue.
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 - Initial Work Is Nearing Completion!
Work in the South area is nearing completion and Sequel Contractors is working primarily on cleanup and demobilization activities. 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!
The City Now Accepting Applications For YES Summer Interns!
The City of Monrovia is now accepting applications for this year’s Youth Employment Services (YES) Summer Internship.
The redesigned YES Summer Internship gives Monrovia’s youth the opportunity to be part of a thoughtful, enriching and premier experience. Staff members from various city departments will become mentors to the interns, giving the youth an inside look at what it is like to be a part of the daily operations in local government. The City is also partnering with Oak Crest Institute of Science, Centre Stage, Boys and Girls Club of the Foothills and the Monrovia Chamber of Commerce, so interns can obtain valuable, real life work experience with local businesses and organizations, as well. Additionally, the interns will attend weekly professional development workshops and training.
A few of the workshops and trainings includes:
- Résumé Building Workshop: After obtaining valuable work experience from the program, YES Interns will learn how to thoughtfully put those skills onto paper. City staff will be available to assist interns draft eye-catching résumés to impress their future employers.
- Job Opportunities in City Government: From firefighter to civil engineer, a career in local government is an exciting one! Human Resources personnel will present the unique opportunities in the agency and the proper trainings and education needed to obtain the jobs.
- Financial Literacy: Receiving the first paycheck may be exciting, but also confusing. The Finance Division will share what to expect from the first paycheck including deductions such as Federal Income Taxes, State Taxes, Workers’ Compensation and Medicare. Additionally, interns will be educated on the values of setting up a checking and savings account.
- College Admission’s Panel: For a young student, thinking of a future after high school can be overwhelming and challenging. The College Admission’s Panel will include speakers from both colleges and trade schools, allowing interns to see that there are many different routes to success after graduation.
- Civic Leader’s Panel: City staff in management roles will share how they advanced their careers through their networks, life experiences and education. Interns will have the opportunity to engage in a Q&A with various city leaders, including the City Manager.
At the end of the program, each YES Intern will be tasked with developing a summer project to improve one area of the operation to which they are assigned. Their ideas for improvement are then presented at the end of the summer program in a formal board-room type environment.
The YES Summer Internship is a nine-week period from June 10 to Aug. 10. Those who are interested in applying for the position can visit www.cityofmonrovia.org/jobs.
Attention 7-9th Graders: Sign Up For Junior Researcher Academy Now For Hands-On Science Fun!
As part of the City’s focus on educational programming for our youth, we are pleased to announce the Junior Researcher Academy, hosted by the City and the Oak Crest Institute of Science! Now, teens in Grades 7-9 can participate in one of three summer sessions for $100 per session (scholarships are available):
- Session 1: July 1 – 12 (*no session on July 4)
- Session 2: July 15 – 26
- Session 3: July 29 – August 9
Participants have so much to look forward to, including getting introduced to a variety of scientific fields through hands-on experiments with real research scientists! To register or if you have any questions, contact the Monrovia Community Center at (626) 256-8246 or visit us online.
Tickets Are Now Available For The 37th Historic Homes Tour On May 5!
The Monrovia Historic Preservation Group (MOHPG) will once again host a tour of vintage community homes, this year featuring six homes all built before the end of 1887. The tour will be held on Sunday, May 5, 2019, from 10 am to 4 pm. Docents will lead tour goers through each of the homes, sharing anecdotes and historical facts. This is one tour you surely will want to attend!
Tickets are on sale now at the MOHPG website, where you can purchase tickets using PayPal or a credit card or download an order form to pay by check. Tickets may also be purchased in person at any one of these Monrovia locations: Monrovia Chamber of Commerce (620 S. Myrtle Avenue), Dollmakers’ Kattywompus (412 S. Myrtle Avenue) or Foothill Gym (202 S. Myrtle Avenue).
Advance ticket prices:
- Adult - $20
- Senior (65+) - $15
- Teens - $10
- 12 & under are free
Vintage cars galore, Jim Constantian on his vintage phonograph, popcorn by Podley Properties, and cookies by the Rivanis Baking Company. What a special day this will be – don’t miss it!
Tip-A-Cop Fundraiser To Benefit The Special Olympics Set To Take Place On April 11, 5 P.M. – 9 P.M., At Claim Jumper
The Monrovia Police Department will be hosting a Tip-A-Cop fundraiser that will benefit the Special Olympics on Thursday, April 11, from 5:00 – 9:00 p.m. At the time of the event, Monrovia Police Officers and LA County Deputies will take on the role of servers and 100% of all tips made will be donated to the Special Olympics! If you have some time to spare, come on down to Claim Jumper (820 W. Huntington Drive) meet some of our Monrovia Police Officers, enjoy some great food, and support an incredible cause!
Join Us For The Spring Egg Hunt & Healthy Kids Day Coming Up On Saturday, April 20
Don’t miss out on one of our favorite annual community events, the Spring Egg Hunt & Healthy Kids Day!! This year, the event will feature a full day of fun and activities for the entire family! From arts and crafts to face painting… from carnival games to a petting zoo… from wellness activities to healthy lifestyle demonstrations… from toddler activities to teen activities… this will be one terrific day filled with music, fun, and a visit from the Spring Bunny!!!
Registration for the egg hunt will begin at 9 a.m.! Learn more about the Spring Hunt & Healthy Kids Day by visiting our website. For additional information, please contact the Community Services Department at (626) 256-8246, and we look forward to seeing you all out there!
Join Us For An Earth Day Celebration On Saturday April 20, 2019, At 1:00 P.M., At Canyon Park
We hope you will join us as we help celebrate Mother Nature! We will have some fun activities for all ages, such as a general information booth, build your own planter, face painting, guided tours and of course, snacks! For more information, please call (626) 256-8246.
Learn How To Make A Public Service Announcement With Community Media Of The Foothills On April 17
Join Community Media of the Foothills for an exciting new workshop to learn how to make a 30-second public service announcement! The workshop will be held on Wednesday, April 17, from 6:00 p.m. to 7:00 p.m., at the CMF studio at 847 E. Olive Avenue (SE corner of Recreation Park at the Mary Wilcox Youth Center). Participants will learn how to write a targeted script, use a teleprompter, learn on-camera skills, and more! To learn more or to RSVP, contact (626) 357-4974 or email firstname.lastname@example.org.
Registration Is Now Open For The 9th Annual Fountain To The Falls Run/Walk And Health Fair On Saturday, May 11!
You can now take advantage of early-bird pricing by registering for the 2019 Fountain to the Falls Run/Walk & Health Fair! This event is a 6.38 mile out-and-back race from the Library Park Fountain to the Canyon Park Waterfall. The ninth annual race will be held on Saturday, May 11, at 7:00 a.m. Medals will be awarded to the best finishing times for male and female participants!
The entry fees for early registration is $35 and event day registration is $45. Race-day registration is accepted, as long as the event hasn’t reached its maximum of 325 participants. No late starts or unregistered participants will be permitted.
Visit us online to register for the race, and for additional information on this terrific event, please contact the Monrovia Community Center at (626) 256-8246.
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.
Have You Bought Your Tickets For The 3rd Annual Old Town Wine Walk On April 13? You Do Not Want To Miss This Event!
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!
City Launches New One-Stop Shop Website For All Of Your Development Questions – Visit Www.Buildingmonrovia.Com Today!
To provide more information on the unprecedented development interest taking place in Monrovia, the City has spent the last few months creating a new website focused on helping 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. The website includes pages on all the major areas of concern, such as:
- Affordable Housing
- Public Safety
- And more!
The City held a joint City Council / Planning Commission to review the upcoming major development projects that will be considered for entitlements starting later this year. The Commission, Council, and community members provided valuable feedback at the meeting that will help guide next steps as these projects move through review. The major projects that are likely going to be considered by the City this year include:
- Trammel 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 project proposed to be built on the City block bound 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.
We do hope that you take the opportunity to look through www.buildingmonrovia.com and learn more about all of the exciting developments that are taking place in Monrovia! For in-depth details on each project and to track each project as it moves through the development process over the next several months, you can also visit the Development Spotlight page on the main City website.
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.
Are You Looking For Ways To Be More Involved In The Monrovia Community? If So, Apply To Serve On A City Board Or Commission By May 1!
Do you what the chance to provide input to help our City leaders govern even better? Then consider volunteering to serve in an advisory capacity on one of the City’s various Commissions, Committees or boards! The City is now accepting applications to fill positions on the positions listed below. You will find a brief description of each advisory body on the City’s website.
- Community Services Commission (3 Vacancies)
- Thomas Dittmar
- Brian Ulm
- Amy Cortina
- Historic Preservation Commission (2 Vacancies)
- Sergio Jimenez
- Penny Zuk
- Library Board (3 Vacancies)
- Mark Harvis
- Alrita Morgan
- Kim Walters
- Monrovia Old Town Advisory Board (2 Vacancies)
- Diane Balsamo
- Kristen Miller
- Planning Commission (2 Vacancies)
- Robert McClellan
- Cheryl Rose
Members of the Boards, Committees, and Commissions are appointed by the Mayor, with the approval of the City Council, and serve at the pleasure of the City Council for the length of their term. Members are volunteers who serve a three-year term (or a two-year term for MOTAB), beginning July 1. Those appointed may reapply at the end pf each term, if they are interested in continuing to serve.
Be sure to apply by May 1, 2019 deadline, and contact the City Clerk's office at (626) 932-5599 should you have any questions!
LA County Public Health Update: Flea Borne Typhus Cases On The Rise
An increase in flea-borne typhus cases in LA County in recent years highlights the need for everyone to take steps to reduce their risk of infection. According to the Los Angeles County Department of Public Health, between 2013 and 2017, the average number of reported cases has doubled to nearly 60 cases per year. From 2018-to-date, there are a total of 120 cases of flea-borne typhus documented by Public Health (excluding Long Beach and Pasadena as cases identified in those cities are reported by their local health departments). Additionally, the Pasadena Public Health Department reported that in 2018, 20 Pasadena residents were confirmed to have typhus fever, well above the expected one to five cases per year.
Flea-borne typhus is a flu-like illness caused by bacteria that is transmitted to people through contact with feces of an infected flea. Rats, cats, opossums, and other small mammals can carry infected fleas and bring them into contact with people. Most infections are mild and self-limited, but severe illness and complications can occur. Typhus can be treated with antibiotics.
- To help prevent typhus:
- Keep fleas off you and your pets.
- Use flea control products on your pets.
- Keep pets indoors.
- Use EPA-registered insect repellent labeled for use against fleas.
- Avoid being near wild or stray animals.
- Do not leave pet food outdoors. Do not provide food or water for wild animals.
- Maintain yard free of debris and trim overgrown plants and bushes.
- Keep trash in containers that are tightly covered to avoid attracting animals.
- Close up crawl spaces and openings under home where rats and stray animals can sleep, hide, or find food.
- Address any stray cat, rodent or opossum issues on and near your property.
For more information regarding flea-borne typhus, visit LA County's website or call 2-1-1.
National Recreation Area Approval Push Being Coordinated – SGVCOG Is Looking For Cities To Offer Their Support For Senator Harris’ Proposal To Establish The San Gabriel Mountains Foothills And Rivers Protection Act
Last week, Mayor Pro Tem Shevlin shared with staff that the San Gabriel Valley Council of Governments (SGVCOG) is looking for support for California Senator Kamala Harris’ Federal legislation known as the San Gabriel Mountains Foothills and Rivers Protection Act. Given this pending ask of cities, the City Council considered the matter at our last meeting and voted unanimously to continue Monrovia’s historical opposition to the measure.
As you recall, based on an analysis conducted by staff, we can confirm that Senator Harris’ legislation is a companion bill to the NRA legislation previously introduced by Congressmember Judy Chu. Our preliminary findings regarding the legislation are summarized as follows:
- A map of the proposed NRA boundaries associated with Senator Harris’ legislation does exist. In reading through the legislation, it refers to several different studies in identifying the boundaries of the proposed NRA. Our team went back to those source documents, and found the actual map that is being referred to in the current NRA measure being considered. A higher resolution of that map is included as an attachment to this email for your reference, and a couple of screen shots to highlight that information are included below.
- A full copy of Senator Harris’ proposed NRA legislation can be found online.
- A press release issued by Senator Harris highlighted that her NRA bill (known as the San Gabriel Mountains Foothills and Rivers Protection Act) seeks to “restore, enhance, and preserve California’s wilderness and public lands, as well as expand economic and recreational opportunities for the surrounding communities.” Furthermore, the press release highlights that the measure introduced by Senator Harris is a companion to the “House legislation introduced by Rep. Chu (D-CA).” A copy of that press release can be found online.
- Of note, the proposed measure does not seem to impact non-Federally owned land, however, it does create an additional overlay of Federal bureaucracy over the entire NRA area (including portions of Monrovia), and it mandates that within 3-years after the passage of the law, the Secretary of the Interior prepare a comprehensive Management Plan to further the goals of legislation. Those goals include:
- To conserve, protect, and enhance for the benefit and enjoyment of present and future generations the ecological, scenic, wildlife, recreational, cultural, historical, natural, educational, and scientific resources of the recreation area.
- To provide environmentally responsible, well managed recreational opportunities within the recreation area, and improve access to and from the recreation area.
- To provide expanded educational and interpretive services that will increase public understanding of and appreciation for the natural and cultural resources of the recreation area.
- To facilitate the cooperative management of the lands and resources within the recreation area, in collaboration with the State and political subdivisions of the State, historical, business, cultural, civic, recreational, tourism and other nongovernmental organizations, and the public.
- To allow the continued use of the recreation area by all persons, entities, and local government agencies in activities relating to integrated water management, flood protection, water conservation, water quality, water rights, water supply, groundwater recharge and monitoring, wastewater treatment, public roads and bridges, and utilities within or adjacent to the recreation area.
Staff will continue monitoring this particular matter, and we will certainly let everyone know about any relevant developments that occur regarding this issue. In the meantime, the maps discussed above are outlined below.
NRA Boundary Map
NRA Boundary Overlaid on Monrovia
Staff Planning City Council Study Session Regarding Potential Local Sales Tax Measure in 2019
The City held a second Community Meeting last week 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 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 LA County has the highest base sales tax rate in California? At 9.5%, we have the highest sales tax rate in the State – higher than even Silicon Valley or San Francisco!
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 to a point where LA County has the highest sales tax rate in the State. Since 2004, LA County has been able to eventually pass EVERY single tax measure that they’ve put forth to county voters, even when 2/3 voter approval was needed!
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. 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, 20 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.
Given all this information, the City is seriously considering a sales tax measure in 2019 because 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 by approving a local sales tax measure. Since we know that LA County is planning these tax increase proposals soon, the opportunity to keep those funds here in the City under our own local control will not remain an option for too much longer.
The City will be synthesizing the feedback we received over the past two months of outreach, and are planning on scheduling a Study Session with the City Council in April/May 2019. We will, of course, keep everyone informed as we get additional details firmed up in the next few weeks.
The Older American Of The Year Has Been Selected… But It’s A Secret! Come To A Special Luncheon Recognition Event Scheduled For April 25 At 11:00 A.M. To Find Out Who Won The Award This Year!
Just a quick note to let everyone know that… well… we can’t tell you who won the Older American of the Year award just yet! If you’re like us and can’t wait to find out who was selected, then make plans to join us at a special luncheon event on April 25, 2019, at 11:00 a.m., at the Monrovia Community Center to find out! Additional event details are included below in the event invitation!
Join The Boys & Girls Club Of The Foothills For Their Youth Of The Year Celebration On April 11, 5:30, At Arcadia Mall Dave & Buster’s
The Boys & Girls Club of the Foothills invites you to the Youth of the Year Celebration! This event will honor the 2019 Mary Wilcox Youth Advocacy Award recipients, Tom and Heidi Luginbuhl, and the Youth of the Year, Mahira Mejia. We hope you will join in the festivities to recognize the incredible youth and youth advocates in the community.
- Cost: $75 / person
- Tickets and sponsorships can be purchased online.
- Open bar cocktail reception, buffet dinner, and silent auction featuring artwork and home décor!
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 - Due April 13
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.
Southern California Edison Engaged In Ongoing Repair Work Here In Town For The Remainder Of 2019
In response to the devastating wild fires in Southern California recently, Southern California Edison has been coordinating with City staff on scheduling high priority repairs related to fire safety which 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 their designated high fire zone. 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.
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.
Revised GoMonrovia Service Area To Take Effect On April 1 – Unincorporated LA County Areas Will Be Removed Due To Changes Instituted 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. On March 19, the City Council approved the revised service area to remove the unincorporated areas of LA County adjacent to Monrovia to reflect this change. To account for all of the rides being generated in the unincorporated portions of the GoMonrovia service area, LA County would have needed 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.
As of April 1, this means that any Lyft ride that originates or ends 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. These vans are easier to maneuver and more affordable and eco-friendly to operate.
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. As a reminder, as of February 2019, rides on Lyft using the GoMonrovia promo code cost:
- $0.50 Shared ride for any ride to / from Old Town and the Gold Line Station
- $1.00 Shared ride anywhere else in the service area
- $3.50 Classic ride anywhere in the service area
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.
GoMonrovia Program Update – New Registration Requirement For Call-In Lyft Dispatch Services Now In Effect
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 is 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.
We’ve developed a simple and easy to use form for registration, and details related to the registration process are outlined below:
- 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.
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.
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.
- 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.
Get Your Tickets To The 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.
Register For Classes 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.
Are You In Need Of Accessible Transportation? Register For Monrovia's Dial-A-Ride Program!
As of March, Monrovia Transit serves passengers with ADA needs only. This change is being made to ensure the ADA accessible vehicles are reserved for those who need special accommodations. All passengers with ADA-related needs wishing to take advantage of this service should complete this short, one-time application, including providing back-up documentation showing disability eligibility, sign the waiver, and return both to the Community Center (119 W. Palm Avenue).
Celebrating 10 Years In The New Library Building!
2019 marks the 10 year anniversary of the new Library building! To celebrate, the Monrovia Public Library will be branding social media posts and promotional materials with #mpl10 and with this fun design created by our Youth Services Librarian, Anush Balayan! We’ll be sharing fun facts about the Library and Top 10 Lists to highlight all the amazing resources the Library has to offer. THANK YOU, Monrovia, for funding the beautiful building and supporting lifelong learning for the entire community!
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!
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
T.A.B. – Teen Advisory Board
Your voice counts! For teens in grades 6 -12 who want to help shape the Library’s teen services. TAB members create programs for all teens in the community to enjoy, and help out on events at the Library. Pick up an application at the Youth Desk or online. All TAB meetings are held on the first Monday of the month, from 4:00 – 5:00 p.m. in the Library Community Room. Questions? Email Youth Services & TAB Librarian Anush Balayan at email@example.com
- Monday, April 8, 4:00 - 5:00 p.m., Library Community 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, April 10, 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
Monrovia’s very own Hillside Wilderness Preserve Team wants to help beginning and seasoned hikers prepare. Learn about the gear you should have and the best hikes in Southern California. All ages are welcome.
- Saturday, April 13, 1:00 - 3:00 p.m., Library Community Room
Calling all future engineers & architects! Parents are invited to the Lego Club at the MPL to build and play. Come by, get creative, and build some free family fun. For children 2-12 and their families.
- Saturday, April 13, 1:00 - 3:00 p.m., Library Story 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!
The City is always looking for new ways to promote water conservation throughout the community. To this end, staff has launched a sustainable landscape recognition award program, whereby 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) 932-5575.
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 – Well... I Guess That Bulletproof Vests Are Really... Bulletproof!
Our interesting story of the week comes to us from The New York Post, which reports that two men were arrested after shooting each other. Now usually, such an occurrence, while horrible, wouldn’t necessarily qualify as Interesting Story of the Week material. But this story is different.
You see, these two men shot each other – on purpose – while taking turns wearing a bulletproof vest.
Charles Ferris, age 50. And Christopher Hicks, age 36.
According to the article, “A police affidavit says the two men are neighbors and were drinking on a deck Sunday when Ferris told Hicks to shoot him with a .22-caliber rifle while Ferris wore the vest. The affidavit says the shot left a red mark on Ferris' chest and that he was angry because it hurt. The affidavit says Hicks then put on the vest and Ferris "unloaded the clip" into his back, causing bruises but no serious injuries.”
The event happened in Arkansas.
To read more about this interesting story, please click here!
Police Department's Weekly Neighborhood Watch Report
The Police Department’s weekly neighborhood watch report for the period March 28 - April 3, 2019, has been included for your review and reference. During the last seven-day period, the Police Department handled 394 service events, resulting in 74 investigations.
A copy of the report can be found at the following link: Weekly Neighborhood Watch Report