City Manager's Update: April 23, 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
If I could go anywhere, I wouldn't go anywhere, I'm already there.
–Dan + Shay
Sales Tax Measure Update – Staff Coordinating A Study Session With The City Council On May 7 To Discuss The Issue In Further Detail, As We Also Finalize A Recommended Spending Plan In The Event That The Measure Is Approved
During the past few months, staff has coordinated more than a dozen outreach meetings to discuss the possibility of calling for a special election in November 2019 for our community to consider a sales tax increase. Given the response that staff has received from the community to date, we are in the process of coordinating a Study Session with the City Council regarding our findings and recommendations related to the sales tax measure. At this point, we are planning on agendizing the Study Session in advance of our meeting on May 7.
In addition, in preparing for that discussion, staff has started to work on developing a possible spending plan for the new funds, in the event that the sales tax measure effort is successful. Of course, as this entire process unfolds, we will be certain to keep the team apprised of our efforts.
Monrovia Reads Van Damaged By Vulcan Materials!
This past week, the Monrovia Reads Van sustained a substantial amount of damage when it was hit by a dump truck owned by Vulcan Materials! The driver of the dump truck was delivering materials to the Public Works Yard when he inadvertently backed up into the Monrovia Reads Van. Fortunately, no one was injured in the incident, however, the Monrovia Reads Van will be out of service indefinitely. See the pictures below for more details on the damage to our van!
We are in the process of coordinating an insurance claim against Vulcan Materials to compensate the City for the damage to our Monrovia Reads Van. In addition, to ensure that there is no service disruption for our overall mobile library program, the City will be providing a loner bus for the City’s Monrovia Reads Van library team to use until we find a permanent replacement.
Studio Movie Grill Planning On Repaving A Portion Of Lemon Avenue By The Fire Station On Either April 29 Or May 6
Just a quick note to let everyone know that Studio Movie Grill will have their contractor conduct paving work on Lemon Avenue located just west of Fire Station 101 (see the highlighted portion of the map below for a more precise location of the work). The street repairs are being planned to take place on either Monday, April 29, or Monday, May 6. As part of the work, the construction crew would be starting at 6:00 a.m. and finishing by around 3:00 p.m.
Based on the type and amount of work being coordinated, the job is expected to be completed in one-day, and Studio Movie Grill’s contractor has proposed a traffic control program to facilitate 2-way traffic during the construction work.
Given An Increase In Complaints Received Regarding Old Town Business Activities, An Educational Notice Has Been Developed And Will Be Distributed This Week
In response to the recent focus on illicit activity in Old Town, the City has seen an uptick in complaints. Given that factor, staff has been working to develop a proactive measure to assist business operators with compliance with our development and permitting codes in Old Town. To that end, the City will be sending an education letter to all downtown businesses, and a sample letter can be found online!
Smaller Vehicles Coming To Monrovia Transit!
Exciting changes are coming to Monrovia Transit! Staff has evaluated our current operations and will be testing out smaller, more efficient vehicles in order to enhance our response times, improve accessibility into vehicles, and provide premier service. Staff will be starting a trial period over the next 30 days to determine if the smaller vehicles are right for Monrovia Transit.
Operation hours and service will remain the same with the only change being the type of vehicle. Each vehicle will be an Ameri-Van, equipped with a wheel chair ramp and space for two standard seats. The vehicles will have the familiar Monrovia Transit logo and phone number for passengers to easily identify the vehicles when they arrive. Should you have any questions or concerns, please feel free to contact Public Works at (626) 932-5575.
Additional GoMonrovia Pricing Shift May Be Needed To Stabilize Program
Last Tuesday, April 16, the City Council held a Study Session to review the progress being made with the GoMonrovia Lyft Stabilization Plan that the Council authorized in December 2018. Multiple levers were included in the plan to adjust to help make the GoMonrovia program financially sustainable in the long term. These levers have included implementing new prices as of February 2019, as well as new registration requirements for Monrovia Transit for ADA riders and Lyft Concierge for call-in dispatch services in February / March 2019. Additionally, LA County opted out of participating in the on-demand Lyft portion of the GoMonrovia program, so the unincorporated LA County areas adjacent to Monrovia were removed from the service area starting April 1.
To learn more details about the changes highlighted above, please visit the website.
Together, these changes have certainly made a difference in improving the ongoing expenses of running the GoMonrovia program. However, as staff shared with the City Council in the Study Session, the program still faces a program budget deficit. Due to this deficit, additional program adjustments will be needed to bring GoMonrovia costs in-line with available revenues. To that end, staff will be proceeding with the following activities:
- Continue to monitor GoMonrovia usage closely throughout the month of April
- Conduct additional analysis and develop plans to potentially institute a price shift of $1.00 - $2.00 for shared and regular rides. If instituted, that would impact the pricing options as follows:
- $0.50 Shared ride for any ride to / from Old Town and the Gold Line Station. Of note, the pricing for this trip would not be impacted.
- $2.00 - $3.00 / Shared ride anywhere else in the service area
- $4.50 - $5.50 / Classic ride anywhere in the service area
Staff will continue to monitor the program and its usage closely, and any necessary Lyft per-ride pricing changes will be brought forward for City Council review in May / June.
Thank You For Coming To The Old Town Wine Walk!
The Monrovia Old Town Advisory Board would like to thank the community for their support at the 3rd Annual Old Town Monrovia Wine Walk! The event was held on Saturday, April 13, in the heart of our Old Town! With the support of five (5) generous sponsors and the collaboration of 24 businesses, a total of 466 participants enjoyed the beautiful night as they sipped, shopped, and supported our Old Town! Save the Date for next year…April 18, 2020!
Special thanks to the Event Sponsors: Foothill Credit Union, Donna Baker Douglas Elliman Real Estate, Sunday’s Old Town Bistro, Heidi Bloks, and Gina Willard!
Community Garden Ideas Draws Interest, As We Currently Have Around 20 People Signed Up To Participate!
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. To date, the City has received 20 reservations from individuals interested in the program. The application form, along with additional information, can be downloaded from the Monrovia Community Garden website. In addition, you can also follow the building progress and updates on Facebook and Instagram!
Monrovia Days Community Festival Is Just One Month Away On May 17- 19… Make Plans To Participate, And If You Have Any Interest, Sign-Up To So You And Your Friends Can Be Part Of The Parade Festivities On Saturday, May 18!
Be a part of the 2019 Monrovia Days Community Festival! The entire weekend, Friday, May 17- Sunday, May 19, will be filled with music and family friendly fun! The City, Monrovia Unified School District, Centre Stage, and the Volunteer Center of the San Gabriel Valley have coordinated an amazing weekend filled with activities, live music, carnival rides and games, delicious tastings, and of course the annual Pie Eating Contest!
You will not want to miss the Parade on Saturday, May 18 at 10:00 a.m. as we will be featuring our local youth, “Scholars and Champions.” If you or someone you know is interested in being a part of the Parade, please complete the applications! All are welcomed!
The full schedule of events can be found on the flyer, and wristbands can be purchased online or at the Community Center.
Monrovia Renewal North Area Improvements - Updates For The Week Of April 22
Monrovia Renewal construction activities in the North section will continue this week. Monrovia Renewal construction activities in the North section will continue this week. Sully Miller Contracting will:
- Continue water main repairs on:
- Canyon Boulevard
- Greystone Avenue
- Norumbega Drive
- Concrete work will continue on:
- Alta Vista Avenue
- Patterson Drive
- Scenic Drive
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!
Arbor Day Celebration Set For Friday, April 26, At 4:00 P.M.
We wanted to invite everyone to participate in our 2019 Arbor Day Celebration event, which is scheduled to take place on Friday, April 26, at 4:00 p.m. at the Mary Wilcox Youth Center at Recreation Park (843 East Olive Avenue). Additional information is included in the invitation below!
Duarte / Gardena Ms4 Permit Lawsuit Update – Ruling Issued This Week Sets Aside The MS4 Permit, However, It Is Unclear What That Means, And Regardless Of The Outcome, The State Will Certainly Seek The Court To Reconsider Order Or Seek A Stay By Appealing The Decision
This past week, Judge Sanders issued her ruling in the Gardena and Duarte cases that challenge the 2012 LA County Stormwater Permit (MS4 Permit). A copy of the ruling can be found online. Judge Sanders largely upheld her tentative ruling, which found that the MS4 Permit’s 33 TMDLs and associated effluent limits exceeded the Federal Clean Water Act’s minimum requirements. Accordingly, the Regional Board was required to comply with State law when issuing the MS4 Permit, including a consideration of the MS4 Permit’s economic impact. The court found that the Regional Board failed to make the necessary economic findings.
In the ruling, Judge Sanders issued a writ of mandate that set aside the entire MS4 Permit. In contrast to many writ actions, the court did not give the Regional Board discretion to correct its error or strike the offending provisions. To that end, the entire MS4 Permit – including the TMDLs, effluent limits, and EWMP / WMP provisions – would be set aside and likely unenforceable under the ruling issued.
So what does this mean, exactly? We’re not sure! But what we are absolutely certain of is that it would be completely impractical to assume that the greater LA Region will go without an NPDES permit authorizing stormwater discharges. To that end, one potential option would be to temporarily reinstate the 2001 LA County Stormwater Permit pending the Regional Board’s issuance of a new Permit, which is now expected in early 2020. More likely, though, would be for the State Attorney General to ask the court to reconsider its order, and / or seek a stay of the order with an appeal.
We expect that additional details will come to light in the next few weeks as all of these issues are further vetted, and as that information becomes available, we will certainly keep everyone apprised of any new developments. In the meantime, staff continues to maintain that this entire process has been an exercise in futility, because no matter the outcome of this particular case, there are multiple appeal processes available to the State. More importantly, given the passage of Measure W, all of the issues raised in the Duarte / Gardena case are, by and large, nuanced technicalities uncoupled from the broader issue of complying with stormwater quality mandates.
Monrovia Police Department To Host “National Prescription Drug Take Back Day” On Saturday, April 27, At Community Center
On April 27, from 10 a.m. - 2 p.m., the Monrovia Police Department and the Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA) will give the public another opportunity to prevent pill abuse and theft by ridding their homes of potentially dangerous expired, unused and unwanted prescription drugs. This will be the 17th National Take Back Initiative event. Bring your medications for disposal to the Monrovia Community Center. The service is free and anonymous; no questions asked.
The goal of this program is to allow Southern California Residents to deliver all of their unwanted medications to law enforcement officials who can in turn dispose of these controlled substances in a secure and non-hazardous manner, potentially saving lives and protecting the ecosystem. During the previous events, tons of prescription drugs were collected nationwide.
This initiative addresses a vital public safety and public health issue. Medicines that languish in home cabinets are highly susceptible to diversion, misuse, and abuse. Rates of prescription drug abuse in the U.S. are alarmingly high, as are the number of accidental poisonings and overdoses due to these drugs getting into the wrong hands. Studies show that a majority of abused prescription drugs are obtained from the medicine cabinets of family and friends. Previous methods of disposing of unused medicines — flushing them down the toilet or throwing them in the trash — both pose potential safety and health hazards.
If you have any questions, please feel free to reach out to the Police Department at (626) 256-8000.
Monrovia’s Caring Crafters Program Open And Available To All In The Community, Group Meets Every Wednesday From 12 P.M. – 3 P.M. At The Monrovia Community Center
The Caring Crafters program is a free program for adults hosted at the Monrovia Community Center (119 West Palm Avenue) every Wednesday from 12 p.m. – 3 p.m. The program is open to crafters of all skill levels, and the group’s goal is to support one another in crafting and fellowship as well as give back to the community at large.
The Caring Crafters group knits and crochets items and then donates those items to the community. Program participants have spent the last several months making beautiful Twiddle Muffs, which they recently donated to Alzheimer Los Angeles.
I know what everyone is asking… what are Twiddle Muff’s, right????
Well, a Twiddle Muff is a knitted, crocheted or fabric tube with accessories such as ribbons and buttons sewn onto them. They are usually made up of many yarn textures, with notions sewn on the inside and outside of the muff. This allows for the person’s hands to stay warm while they are able to twiddle with the accessories attached.
Why are Twiddle Muff’s needed, you may ask? Well, Twiddle Muffs are great for those with dementia or Alzheimer's, as they help to ease agitation and calm the person’s mood by keeping their hands warm and minds occupied. Many hospital wards have found that the muffs have a positive effect on patients by keeping them comforted, as well as encouraging movement and brain stimulation.
The Caring Crafters donate to many organizations throughout the year. They make blankets, hats, and gloves and donate them to local community groups in need. The Caring Crafters are always looking for donations of thin yarn, knitting and crocheting tools, and various loops. Those looking to donate can call, (626) 256-8226 or email email@example.com.
April Is Autism Awareness Month! Help Raise Awareness By Supporting The Monrovia Police Department’s T-Shirt Fundraiser!
The Monrovia Police Department is participating in Autism Awareness Month! Their t-shirts are now available for purchase at the Police Department (140 E. Lime Avenue) and every Friday night in April at the Street Fair. Research shows the importance of recognizing the early signs of autism and seeking early intervention services. Children as young as one year can be screened to determine if they are at risk. While every child develops differently, we also know that early treatment improves outcomes – often dramatically.
One of the most important things you can do as a parent or caregiver is to learn the early signs of autism and become familiar with the typical developmental milestones that your child should be reaching. Visit Autism Speaks online to learn more about autism and screenings.
- T-SHIRTS: T-shirts are available in Men's (SML - 3x), Women's V-neck (SML - 2x)
- COST: $18 for 1 t-shirt, or $30 for 2 t-shirts
- PAYMENT: Cash only
Biotech Startup Resource Fair & Open House Set To Take Place On Thursday, April 25, From 12 – 3pm At Monrovia’s Very Own LabLaunch!
Have you or someone you know interested in starting their own biotech company but are not sure how? Do you or someone you know interested in working for a startup company? If you answered yes to either question, then this is the resource fair for you! LabLaunch Monrovia is hosting the 2019 Biotech Startup Resource Fair at their offices (605 E. Huntington Drive, St. 103. They will have experts there to discuss fundraising, SBIR grants, IP Law and more! If you plan on attending, sign up online! If you have any questions, please call (626) 408-2203.
Get Your Tickets To The 37th Historic Homes Tour On May 5, From 10 A.M. - 4 P.M.!
The tour is almost here! Have you made plans yet to attend the 37th Historic Homes Tour? Let our docents share house histories and family anecdotes from the six Victorian homes being spotlighted on the May 5 tour.
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 (go to the Online Store), 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
On the day of the tour (Sunday, May 5), tickets may only be purchased at the Monrovia Historical Museum, 742 E. Lemon Avenue, starting at 9:30 am. Day-of tour ticket prices increase $5 in each category.
Bishop Dillard Set To Retire From Second Baptist Church After 45 Years Of Service To The Monrovia Community!
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.
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.
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 us online!
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.
Mark Your Calendar! The 6th Annual Monrovia Music Fest Is Scheduled For Sunday, June 2, 12pm – 7pm, At Library Park!
The 6th annual Monrovia Music Fest is back! The event features a vast array of regional and national music throughout the day. The Fest features a craft beer garden, food trucks, artisans, vendors, art, free kids’ activity booths hosted by nonprofits, and the Bark Park where leashed, friendly dogs are welcome. So plan to bring the family and friends for a nice afternoon listening to music in Monrovia! For more information, please visit Monrovia Music Fest!
Major Pipeline Construction Set To Continue On Canyon Boulevard As Part Of Monrovia Renewal North Section Efforts!
During the construction of a 16” water pipeline as part of the Monrovia Renewal North Section Infrastructure Improvement Project crews have suffered a few setback. They encountered several large boulders, some as big as a VW Bug, that have slowed the progress. Work is scheduled to continue this next week on 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 26.
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!
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!
Registration 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.
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!
City Council Informs Congresswoman Napolitano That Monrovia Opposes The Inclusion Of Any Privately Held Property In The National Recreation Area
Last Thursday, April 18, representatives from Congresswoman Grace Napolitano’s Office joined the Monrovia City Council and staff for a tour of Monrovia that included the Library, Old Town Monrovia, and Station Square. On this tour, the City Council and staff took the opportunity to discuss the pending National Recreation Area with Napolitano’s staff members to drive home the point of home Monrovians would be impacted by the legislation.
The City Council recently voted unanimously to continue Monrovia’s historical opposition to California Senator Kamala Harris’ Federal legislation known as the San Gabriel Mountains Foothills and Rivers Protection Act.
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 has held several community meetings 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.
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.
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
- 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
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. And if you redesign your garden to be water-wise, don't forget to apply for the City's Sustainable Landscape Recognition Award program!
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.
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
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, April 22, 6:00 - 8:00 p.m., Library Community Room
Novel T's Book Club
Join us on the fourth Tuesday of every month for a lively book discussion featuring a new facilitator each month. Book Club meets in the Library Community Room. Join us at 6:30 for snacks and at 6:45 the book discussion begins. This month's book is The Casual Vacancy by J.K. Rowling. If you want to get a head start, May's book will be A Civil Action by Jonathan Harr, and June's book will be No Man Knows My History: The Life of Joseph Smith by Fawn Brodie.
- Tuesday, April 23, 6:30 - 7:45 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
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 Read to Read at MPL. Parent or caregiver must be present. For ages: 0-5 in the Library Story Room.
- Saturday, April 27, 12:00 - 1:00 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.
Key Links & Help Keep Monrovia Beautiful:
- City News and Highlights
- Meeting Agendas and Minutes
- Sustainable Landscape Recognition Award
- Graffiti Removal and Gift Card Program
- Abandoned Bulky Items Reporting and Raffle Program
Interesting Story Of The Week – NASA Is Going To Pay You - $19,000! - For Staying In Bed!
Have you ever imagined being paid – with real money! – to say in bed? Well… for those of you who have perfected the art of lying in bed, here’s a way to put those hard earned skills to work!
NASA is willing to pay you $19,000 if you’ll like in bed!
The only catch?
You’ll have to lie in bed for 2 months straight!Our interesting story of the week comes to us from c | net, which reports details related to the special program being undertaken by NASA. Scientists want to study how artificial gravity might help astronauts endure the rigors of living in space. In addition, the study will analyze how weightlessness impacts the human body.
According to the article, “If astronauts are to live for long periods in space, or on the moon and Mars, science needs effective measures to counteract bone and muscle atrophy.”
As for the most important question that all potential study participants are asking… the answer is yes.
Those enrolled in the program will get their own personal screen during the entire 2 month period!
Now before you rush out and sign up for the program, there are some additional important details and requirements. What are those, you ask? Well… you’ll have to click here to read on and find out!
Police Department's Weekly Neighborhood Watch Report
The Police Department’s weekly neighborhood watch report for the period April 11 - 17, 2019, has been included for your review and reference. During the last seven-day period, the Police Department handled 385 service events, resulting in 76 investigations.
A copy of the report can be found at the following link: Weekly Neighborhood Watch Report