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City Manager's Update: November 12, 2019

Post Date:11/12/2019 11:00 AM

Hello, everyone! 

I hope you all had a restful Veterans Day weekend! There are so many exciting projects and activities happening in this community, and this update has been prepared to share with you everything that is taking place. At a glance, you’ll find details regarding a recognition of Monrovia’s finest, Old Town tree trimming schedule, and much more. 

If you have any questions, please feel free to let me know, and I hope everyone has a fantastic week.



Highlights In This Issue   

  • Monrovia Police and Fire Personnel Recognized
  • Tree Trimming Maintenance Scheduled In Old Town


McKee & McClure

Monrovia Police and Fire Personnel Recognized

Detective McClure and Paramedic McKee were honored by Congresswoman Napolitano at the Annual 32nd Congressional District First Responder & Military Legislative Breakfast. The annual event is held to recognize the dedicated service from our sworn staff in the public safety divisions. If you see either of these folks around, feel free to congratulate them!


Tree Trimming Maintenance Scheduled In Old Town 

 West Coast Arborists will begin tree trimming on Tuesday, November 12 through Friday, November 15 on Myrtle Avenue from Foothill Boulevard to Huntington Drive. The trimming will be done on both sides of the street between the hours of 5:00 a.m. and 10:00 a.m. Please be mindful of posted parking notices. Should you have any question, please contact Public Works at (626) 932-5575.



Monrovia Renewal Construction Updates

North Section 

Monrovia Renewal construction activities are ongoing in the North Section Project area, which is the area of the City located to the North of and including Hillcrest Boulevard, Greystone Avenue and Grand Avenue.  This week, paving operations will take place on streets that are being fully reconstructed, including:

  • Melrose Avenue, Scenic Drive, Ridgeside Drive, Briarcliff Road, Canyon Boulevard, Grand Avenue, Greystone Avenue, Meadow Lane, Bradoaks Avenue, and portions of Norumbega Drive.
    • Full reconstruction streets receive pavement in 2 courses, a base paving and a cap paving. This first section is the base paving and the final cap paving will follow in the near future.
    • Manholes will be raised on paved streets
    • Note that due to dusty conditions, increased watering down of these streets will be taking place during the week and on the weekends, and reduced speed limit restrictions are in place. 

South Section   

Roadwork activities are scheduled to complete the remaining streets in the South section during the week of November 11.

  • Grinding and Paving Operations will take place on streets that are receiving an asphalt overlay, including:
    • Portions of Myrtle Avenue, Evergreen Avenue, Bonita Street, Montana Street, and two of the I-210 underpasses.
  • Upon completion of paving operations, manholes will be raised 

Visit Monrovia Renewal online to learn more about where construction activities will take place. 


Lego Club at the Monrovia Public Library

On Saturday, November 16, 1 p.m. – 3 p.m., children and parents are invited to the Lego Club at the Monrovia Public Library to build and play. Come by, get creative, and build some free family fun! You are only limited by the building materials, which we provide. This event is intended for children ages 2 - 12 and their families. Visit the Monrovia Public Library online to view the full calendar of events. 

Response to State Auditor Report Listing Monrovia as Being in Poor Financial Health 

Recently, the California State Auditor released a report that named Monrovia as the #10 California city facing fiscal challenges. Regrettably, the State Auditor did not reach out to the City for the latest financial data before publishing these findings, and the information used was outdated and focused on narrow pieces of data. Over the past week, the City thoroughly reviewed the State Auditor’s report, and we wanted to take this opportunity to respond to these findings:

  • The City previously posted the Fiscal Year 2017-18 Comprehensive Annual Financial Report, which is the most recent audited financial document, not the Fiscal Year 2016-17 report, which is what the State claims.
  • The City has undertaken several significant and meaningful actions between 2015 and the present to address the financial condition of the City, including the CalPERS Response Plan, the Fiscal Resiliency Plan, Issuing $112M in pension obligation bonds, 5-year Water and Wastewater Rate Increases, Increasing the Transient Occupancy Tax (Hotel Bed Tax) by 2%, establishing Community Facilities Districts on new significant developments, and many other activities that have helped put the City on a solid financial footing. So far, none of this appears to be included in the State Auditor’s Report.
  • The State Auditor’s Report had a very strong focus on debt burden and retirement obligations. The City issued Pension Obligation Bonds in December 2017 to pay off all of the City’s existing unfunded accrued liability and pension liability debt, thereby stabilizing pension liability payments at a uniform and level annual amount. The issuance of the these bonds is expected to save the City over $43 million in interest costs over the next 30 years. Additionally, Council has adopted a funding policy that outlines how and when any new future pension liabilities that arise are paid off. Additionally, employees are participating in a giveback program that results in $300,000 additional savings each year, and reduced retirement benefit plans through PEPRA will save the City money moving forward.
  • The City has strong ongoing revenues to support our operations, especially our property and sales tax revenues. Sales tax has been strong over the years and trends at a 2-3% annual increase, on average. Property tax is also strong, and trends at about a 4% increase per year. The City has included a 4% increase in the Fiscal Year 2019-20 budget to maintain a conservative approach, but industry expert analysis is estimating a 5.6% increase in Monrovia.
Finally, it is important to note that many of the strategic fiscal policies put into place aim to bring about long-term financial stability, and do not show up when looking at the short-term financial impact. Projects like Monrovia Renewal take on large debt up front, in order to address urgent community infrastructure needs now, and then are paid down over time. Where we will really see a significant benefit is in the long-term savings that the City will achieve, and in the ability for the City to better manage and forecast our annual cash flows going forward.
In conclusion, the State Auditor Report is missing a significant amount of crucial information in their analysis, as the City has made significant strides since 2016-17 to improve our financial position. The City is on stable financial footing, and fiscal responsibility and sustainability remains a top priority for the City Council.


Report Your Coyote Sightings

Coyotes are present in our urban neighborhoods year-round and play an important role in the ecosystem, helping to keep rodent populations under control. However, coyotes can sometimes pose a potential danger to outdoor pets and humans, which requires us all to be vigilant and reduce our exposure by limiting potential food and shelter resources. To assist in tracking coyote interactions with humans and pets, the University of California Cooperative Extension has developed the Coyote Cacher online tool and interactive map. If you see coyotes in your neighborhood, you may use this tool to provide information to help inform researchers of evolving trends in human-coyote interactions.


Community Prayer Breakfast

Monrovia Chamber of Commerce Hosts Community Prayer Breakfast

On Friday, November 22, 2019, Monrovia's civic, business, and religious communities will gather and give thanks at the 54th annual Community Prayer Breakfast. The Monrovia Chamber of Commerce invites you to this morning filled with prayer, music, and gratitude. Please share the news of this event with your friends, neighbors, and colleagues. Register For The Prayer Breakfast.



Utility Billing Scam Warning 

Unfortunately, we have been alerted to a scam going on in Monrovia! A handful of residents have called to say they were contacted by someone who said if they didn’t pay their utility bill, their water would be shut off. This is a scam, and residents should not pay anyone calling about their water bill, and should notify the police.

Sign Ups Begin for the Winter Youth Sports

Registration is now open for the Winter Season of the Youth Sports Program featuring co-ed Volleyball. All 4th, 5th and 6th grade boys and girls have the opportunity to join the indoor volleyball team. The season will run from November 23 to February 1, with practices held at the Mary Wilcox Youth Center at Recreation Park (843 E. Olive Ave.) on Monday and Wednesday evenings, and games on Saturday mornings. The price for registration is $35 for Monrovia Unified School District residents and students, and $70 for non-residents.

Development Spotlight

There are currently 5 projects in the development pipeline that staff would categorize as significant. These include the Adaptive Reuse of the Monrovia Market Building (approved on Oct. 1), the Overton Moore Pacific Self Storage Project in the former Verizon Building in Old Town (anticipated City Council review on Nov. 19), 127 Pomona Multi-Family Development with 310 units at Station Square (Planning Commission review continued on Oct. 29), the Alexan Multi-Family Development with 436 units at Station Square (anticipated Planning Commission review on Nov. 13), and the Arroyo at Monrovia Station Multi-Family Development with 302 units (anticipated Planning Commission review on Nov. 13). For more details, visit the Development Spotlight or Building Monrovia webpages.

Additional Upcoming Events 

During the last seven-day period, the Police Department handled 382 service events, resulting in 75 investigations.

View The Neighborhood Watch Report
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