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Mountain Views News, Sierra Madre edition

Sierra Madre Edition

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Inside this Week:

Community Calendar:
SM Calendar of Events
Sierra Madre Police Blotter

Sierra Madre:
Walking SM … The Social Side

Shop Local:

Pasadena – Altadena:
Local Area News Briefs
Altadena Police Blotter
Pet of the Week

Arcadia · Monrovia · Duarte:
Arcadia Police Blotter
Monrovia Police Blotter

Education & Youth:

Shop Local:

Shop Local:

Best Friends and More:
Happy Tails
The Joy of Yoga
The Missing Page
Katnip News!
SGV Humane Society

Food & Drink:
Chef Peter Dills
Table for Two

The Good Life:
Senior Happenings

The World Around Us:
Looking Up
Christopher Nyerges
Out to Pastor

Shop Local:

Section B:

Arts and More:
Jeff's Book Pics
All Things
Family Matters
On the Marquee

Legal Notices (1):

Opinion … Left/Right:
John L. Micek
Dick Polman
Michael Reagan
The Funnies

Legal Notices (2):

Legal Notices (3):

Legal Notices (4):

Legal Notices (5):

Legal Notices (6):

Legal Notices (7):
Newspaper Fun!

Enjoy Wistaria Weekend!:

Shop Local:

Section C:

Wistaria Information:
Entertainment Schedule

The Wistaria Vine:
History of the Vine

Sierra Madre:
SM State of the City Report

Women's History Month:
Women's History Month
Wistaria Festival Postmarks

F. Y. I. :

Jeff Brown
Deanne Davis
Peter Dills
Bob Eklund
Marc Garlett
Chris Leclerc
Christopher Nyerges
Rev. James Snyder
Keely Totten

Recent Issues:
Issue 9
Issue 8
Issue 7
Issue 6
Issue 5
Issue 4
Issue 3
Issue 2
Issue 1
Volume 10:
Issue 53
Issue 52

MVNews Archive:  Page 1

MVNews this week:  Page 1



VOLUME 11 NO. 10



Editors Note: This is Mayor Gene Goss State 
of the City Address in its entirety as delivered 
lasat month. In it he not only focuses on the 
accomplishments of the past, but also discusses the 
city's future. He also introduces the town's new 
city manager, Gabriel Engeland.

My fellow Sierra Madreans, it is my honor to 
address you tonight as Mayor of our wonderful 
city. Before we get down to business, I would 
like to thank St. Rita School Principal Joanne 
Harabedian and St Rita School Choir Director 
Joseph Augustynski and the members of the 
Choir for the wonderful music tonight. I would 
like to especially acknowledge one member of 
the choir tonight, my son Maxwell. Also, I’d like 
to thank Boy Scout Troop 110 for conducting 
the flag ceremony tonight. I would like to thank 
staff, specifically interim City Manager Elaine 
Aguilar for helping me prepare this address. 
Finally, I want thank my wife Lisa for always 
being there for me and especially for supporting 
me throughout my tenure on the Council

--They say that the first rule of public speaking is 
to keep it short. So that is my goal and, If I don’t 
achieve it, I apologize in advance

Tonight I will discuss some of the recent 
successes of the City, beginning with some 
staffing and financial information, and a bit later 
I will address some of the significant challenges 
we will be facing in the coming year and beyond. 
I’ll finish explaining why I have much optimism 
for our future.

 to begin with good news - I am pleased to report 
that the State of the City is sound! We have made 
significant progress in all areas of city governance.

City Manager - Before I address the specific areas 
it is necessary for me remind you of some really 
good news that many of you are already aware 
of. As of March 14, The City of Sierra Madre will 
have a new City Manager. His name is Gabriel 
Engeland. He and his family are moving to Sierra 
Madre from Trinidad, Colorado, where he has 
been serving as their City Manager. Gabe – as he 
likes to be called, has an exceptional educational 
background and a wide breadth of experience, 
especially in finance and public works and 
infrastructure. The City Council believes that he 
will be a perfect fit for us. We are all excited at 
the prospect of his arrival. I would like to again 
thank retired City Manager Elaine Aguilar for 
agreeing to stay on as Interim City Manager until 
Gabe joins us. Elaine, your willingness to help us 
in this way has been huge!

Now I’d like to talk about the The Current State 
of Governance Activities in Sierra Madre

Or…To put it differently - What exactly will our 
New City Manager be facing as he joins us in March?

Let’s look at City Finances: I’m pleased to report 
that the City has healthy General Fund Reserves 
(these are our rainy-day funds, what’s in the 

Last fiscal year 2015/2016 – the City’s General 
Fund ended the year on June 30th with a deficit, 
due to the reduction in revenue from the City’s 
Utility Users Tax. The deficit was anticipated by 
the council. We had heard from the public that 
they did not want services reduced in light of 
the April 2016 election and the possibility that a 
new UUT would be approved by the voters. The 
voters did approve, by over a 70% margin, the 
10% UUT Measure in the April 2016 election. 
But that was 10 months into the fiscal year, so 
even with the passage of the ballot measure, 
naturally it has taken some time for our revenue 
to catch up. 

Tonight, I am pleased to report that The Budget 
is projected to be balanced for the current Fiscal 

I know, we know, that every dime the City receives 
comes from the work and sacrifices of our City’s 
citizens. This Council has been extremely careful 
in spending these precious resources the same 
way we steward our own family’s resources. We 
know you expect nothing less. 

Additionally here are some other financial and 
administrative accomplishments this past year:

The City Treasurer has evaluated and approved 
investing of city funds to increase our investment 

We implemented new banking services reducing 
bank charges and increased investment returns.

The City has provided timely interim & year-
end financial reporting – This is the earliest the 
Comprehensive Annual Financial Report has 
been completed!

In Human Resources the City implemented 
a new HR recruiting software -NeoGov that 
has improved the City’s recruitment efforts. 
We now have a two year MOU with the Police 
Department, and a new MOU with our Classified 

We have also reviewed and updated all City 
waiver forms and agreements to ensure the City 
is protected during city-wide annual events. 
Finally, the City completed the ADA Self-
Evaluation and Transition Plan.


We have come a long way since this time last 
year. As you recall, at the prospect of the possible 
contracting out to the Sheriff’s Department 
owing to declining revenues, almost half our 
department left for other departments, thus 
precipitating a true crisis. The passage of the UUT 
Measure last April enabled us to begin recruiting 
officers and the slow process of rebuilding the 
department began. 

Tonight, I am elated to report that The Sierra 
Madre Police Department is almost completely 
staffed! We are appreciative that the LA County 
Sheriff’s department was able to assist us, but we 
are even more pleased to have our own SMPD 
back! A word about our recruitment successes: 

Academy Police Recruits - For the first time in 
the history of SMPD, the city sponsored two 
police recruits to attend police academy. One of 
our recruits was voted to be the Honor Recruit 
by academy staff, other recruits and overall 
standings in the 22-week academy. Last Tuesday 
night we welcomed in our two new dispatchers, 
our two new officers, including the Honor 
Recruit, and our recently promoted sergeants. 
The City Council was impressed by all of these 
new department members. I believe that the 
quality of the department will be better than it’s 
ever been.

 Also, I’d like to acknowledge The Public Safety 
Committee, which was formed a little over a year 
ago. Its members have been extremely diligent 
and the committee’s work has been extremely 
helpful in addressing public safety issues in the 
City, specifically issues having to do with our 
Police and Fire Departments.

Fire Department

We now have a completed Fire department 
Strategic Plan – that’s a major move forward.
The City purchased and installed 11 new 
Automatic External Defibrillator’s (AEDs) 
throughout the city. The buildings that received 
the AEDs were the library, the lobby in the fire 
and police facility, 


Friday was Sierra 
Madre City Manager 
Elaine Aguilar's 
last day. As she was 
making room for the 
town's new manager I 
had the opportunity to 
sit down with her for a 
final, formal interview.

Aguilar, who is looking 
forward to retirement, 
began her tenure with 
the City of Sierra 
Madre in August, 
2007. In fact, she was 
the feature story on the 
front page of this paper. 
pdf )

In looking back 
over the years, she 
has accomplished a 
lot, overcoming the 
challenges that anyone 
in such a position 
would be faced with, 
plus the unique challenges one faces when at the helm 
of governing the notoriously political town of Sierra 
Madre. Regardless, Aguilar has perservered throuogh 
the tough times and rejoiced during the good ones. "I 
love this town. I loved every minute of working here and 
I'm going to miss it."

A few weeks ago, Sierra Madre Mayor Gene Goss in 
his State of the City Address acknowleged many of the 
accomplishments achieved during Elaine's tenure as City 
Manager. (See related story page 1). 

Aguilar was at the helm when Sierra Madre endured 
3 natural disasters - the Santa Anita Fire in 2008, 
Debris and Mud Flows the following year, and the 2011 
Windstorm. She led the town through successful and 
prompt recoveries, tapped into all available state local and 
federal resources to assist and then went on to establish 
the emergency public notification program, “Ready, Set, 
GO!” for Sierra Madre that has been replicated by many 

 Transparency is a very large concern for residents of 
Sierra Madre and Aguilar enhanced transparency and 
public access to City information – via the redesigned 
city website, with access to agenda items for all Council 
and Commission meetings, video streaming of City 
Council meetings, weekly City Manager Report is online, 
and implemented use of social media.

She also: Improved financial information – City 
progressed from a 20 page, basic annual audit to a 175 
page Comprehensive Annual Financial Report that 
includes additional detailed city financial information.

· Improved communication with the public – successful 
community events to provide information about the 
City’s General Plan Update (General Plan Town Hall 
Forums), water department (Water Department Walk 
& Talks) and the City’s finances (A dozen Budget Town 
Hall Meetings and production of “Measure UUT” 
informational materials.) 

· Implemented new internal controls, to ensure the timely 
preparation of City financial information, such as the 
quarterly financial reports and city audits and budgets. 

·Oversaw the completion of infrastructure and facility
improvements: installation of new water mains, 
reconstruction of water reservoirs, street resurfacing 
projects, new playground equipment at city parks, new 
restrooms at Bailey Canyon Park and Memorial Park, 
and new drought tolerant garden at City Hall

·Completed a major renovation of the Senior Center/
the Hark Park House, the Sierra Madre Room at the 
Community Center, and the Children’s room at the 

·Implemented budget reductions, and restructuring
that resulted in major cost savings and much more. (See 
Mayor's State of the City)

 One thing has been said over and over again regarding 
Elaine Aguilar's time in Sierra Madre and her retirement, 
"She is leaving the city in much better shape than it was 
when she came here." 

S. Henderson, MVNews



August 24, 1930 – March 5, 2017

Harry, 86, was born in Jamestown, New York and passed 
away at home in Sierra Madre, following a brief hospital 

 Harry was preceded in death by his son Jon Enmark in 
1990 and step daughter Juli Nickoley in 1991. 

 Survivors include his wife of thirty eight years: 
Marlene, his daughters Catherine Addé (Christopher), of 
Sierra Madre and Michelle Black, (Craig), of Jacksonville, 
Oregon and Palos Verdes Estates, step-daughter 
Valerie Workman, (Paul) of Norco and step-son, 
Darren Nickoley (Yolanda) of Covina.There are seven 
grandchildren: Addi, Chelsea, Alexander, Madeleine, 
Hayley, Cassandra, Travis and great grandchild: Lila. 

 Harry arrived in California in the early 50’s to attend 
Northrop Aeronautical University. Upon graduation, he 
joined the U.S. Air Force serving for four years at various 
bases including Hawaii’s Hickam Air Force Base and the 
island of Eniwetok during the hydrogen bomb tests. 

 Married to first wife Carole, they settled in Sierra 
Madre in 1963 to raise their three children. His career 
spanned forty years with Cal Tech Jet Propulsion 
Laboratory as Space Systems Engineer working 
on flight projects including but not limited to: 
Voyager, Galileo and more recently the first Mars Rover. 
In the early days of his career, he returned to college at 
night to earn his Bachelor of Science in Engineering at 
Cal State Los Angeles.

 His ever curious mind provided him with any number 
of interests, from building toys for his children to 
camping, cycling, building telescopes and carpentry. 
Harry drove his Alaskan camper to Alaska when he 
retired, and he and Marlene also enjoyed RVing around 
the U.S. He had two favorite hobbies. One was his Ham 
Radio (he supplied communication for the Baja 500 
among other events) and held his license since boyhood. 
The other was flying two of his Ultralite airplanes which 
he built himself. 

Soaring through the heavens now - rest in peace Harry, 
Dad, Grandpa. We love you.

 His resting place will be at the Sierra Madre 
Memorial Garden Pioneer Cemetery, after a 
private family ceremony, at the end of March. 
A celebration of his life is also being planned with details 
to follow.

Useful Reference Links

Mountain Views News 80 W. Sierra Madre Blvd. #327 Sierra Madre, Ca. 91024 Office: 626.355.2737 Fax: 626.604.4548 www.mtnviewsnews.com