Personal Accomplishments While On City Council
Efforts To Get Legislative Relief From The Crime Effects Of AB109, Prop 47 And Prop 57
Arcadia has experienced an increase in home burglaries and other crimes that many of us believe is related to the early release of felons. I have been meeting with other local elected officials to have a collective voice in changing laws that have an unintended effect of increasing crime in Arcadia. I have initiated meetings with the Mayors of Duarte, Monrovia, Temple City, South Pasadena and La Cañada, and I will continue this effort until we get legislative relief.
Ring Doorbell Program
I brought this program to our city. The product is a doorbell with a camera that can be connected through the internet to a smart phone. It has proven to reduce crime in other cities. On a $200 product, the manufacturer will discount $50 and our city will subsidize $50 per household. The net cost to Arcadia homeowners drops from $200 to $100. My proposal was recommended by our Chief of Police and received a 5-0 vote from the City Council on August 15, 2017. Our residents will also receive discounts on other security products from this company. This program was rolled out to our residents in Fall 2017.
When I was elected, only oak trees were protected. First, I asked for an ordinance that would protect sycamore trees, which are indigenous to Arcadia and our region. On February 17, 2015, the City Council voted to protect sycamores, and in March 2015, sycamore trees became a protected tree.
In 2015, I proposed that we protect all mature trees (with a few exceptions). My proposed ordinance reached the City Council on July 19, 2016, and was passed.
Cleaning Up Our Freeway On/Off Ramps
I campaigned on this issue because our on/off ramps were covered with trash, weeds, and overgrown with ivy. I contacted the appropriate officials at CalTrans and Metro and worked with them until they were all cleaned up. I further saw to it that our city gardeners routinely pick up the trash that collects on our on/off ramps. This was not done previously.
Construction Job Sites
When I was elected, there was no city ordinance that construction job sites be kept neat and tidy outside the construction fence and often multiple subcontractor and other signs were hung on the construction fencing. I was the first to address this and did so in a study session on July 15, 2014. On September 2, 2014, I requested the city establish guidelines to clean up job sites. On April 7, 2015, I remarked that we should not have any construction signs. Today, our job sites look, for the most part, tidy and we no longer allow multiple construction signs.
Legal Affairs Sub-Committee
I spent 34 years as a litigation attorney. I believe I was the first litigation/trial attorney to be on the Arcadia City Council. I have used that background to help guide the city through claims and lawsuits. On May 17, 2016, I initiated a subcommittee of the City Council to monitor legal costs, initiate cost saving strategies, and lined up additional law firms to represent the city on an as-needed basis.
Saving City Employees’ Pension Fees
I brought a financial consultant to the city who, at no cost to the city or our employees, developed a program to save our employees a portion of the 457 Plan Fees they pay on their pension funds. Now, our employees are paying fewer fees on their pension funds.
Revenue From Santa Anita Racetrack
I am very pro Santa Anita Race Track (S.A.R.T.) It is one of Arcadia’s “crown jewels,” and I promote the track because I don’t ever want to lose horse racing in Arcadia. An old State law – the Tucker Bill – states we only get our share of pari-mutuel revenue from bets placed at the betting window. This law predated the internet/cell phone/other mobile devices. I have been working to update this law to increase our revenue from S.A.R.T. My efforts have included lobbying legislators personally in Sacramento, and speaking to the California Horse Racing Board in person in Del Mar and at S.A.R.T. Our efforts are showing promise.
Arcadia Water Conservation Awards
I conceived the idea to acknowledge homeowners who invest in saving water. On August 18, 2015, I proposed a third set of awards (in addition to holiday and spring awards) to be given by the Arcadia Beautiful Commission. Arcadia now annually recognizes a group of homeowners for their conservation efforts. This recognition is now known as “Water Smart Heroes.”
Museum Education Center
Floretta Lauber was the principal fundraiser for this building. She served in many official capacities in our city, including as first female mayor. She spent many decades volunteering for multiple organizations. I felt she needed to be honored for all she had done. On June 2, 2017, I made the nomination/application to have this building renamed in her honor. It is now known as the Floretta K. Lauber Museum Education Center.
Friendly competition between our city employees combined with exercise was my thought behind an annual “Mayor’s Cup.” In 2017, I provided the Mayor’s Cup trophy and the inaugural competition was the Derby Day 5K. The trophy will pass annually to the winning City department.
Median Islands Master Plan For New Landscaping
This plan was initially to re-landscape our meridians over three years. When it got to City Council, it was proposed as a 4-year plan. I caught this error and restored it to three years. This is a significant beautification project for our City.
Banners On Santa Anita
We have had banners on Baldwin and Huntington for as long as I can remember. It seemed odd to me that we did not have them on Santa Anita. I proposed adding them, which was done at minimal cost. These banners announce City and Race Track events.
Adoptable Pet At City Council Meeting
When I was Mayor, I started what I hoped would be a tradition of occasionally having the Pasadena Humane Society bring an adoptable pet to our general meeting for introduction and perhaps adoption. I wanted to increase awareness of the Pasadena Humane Society and pet adoption. This tradition has been continued by Mayor Amundson.
In July 2015, I recommended to our City Traffic Engineer that eastbound Orange Grove at Santa Anita be changed to two lanes from one to alleviate traffic that backs up. My recommendation was analyzed and then implemented. It resulted in an immediate improvement and elimination of daily backup, especially during the evening commute.
Missing 210 Soundwalls
After getting elected in 2014, I began my effort to have our missing soundwalls constructed. I located the person responsible – James Gleig, Director of Construction Management. I continued to follow up and received multiple promises they would be constructed. Then, Mr. Gleig retired and I had to start over. I now have been promised that our missing soundwalls will start construction in January 2019.