Mountain Views News, Sierra Madre Edition [Pasadena] Saturday, March 11, 2017

MVNews this week:  Page C:4



Mountain Views-News Saturday, March 11, 2017 


Continued from Front Page (A1)

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, 

 the Hart Park House, City Hall, the YAK and 
one was placed in each of the two sergeant’s 

And, as a temporary alleviation of some staffing 
challenges, the department increased part-
time hours for Engineers and Paramedics. 
I will address the challenges facing our 
Fire Department later in my remarks.
The Public Works Department has been very 
busy this year:

We replaced water mains in Idle Hour and 
Skyland Drive, and on Michillinda and repaired 
hundreds of leaks in our water mains.

We purchased (and utilized) water main leak 
detection equipment – to locate leaks before 
they come to the surface. This has been very 

We obtained state regulatory approvals to use 
imported water for groundwater recharge, 
so we could begin to pump water from the 
aquifer, into the city’s water system; instead of 
putting the water straight into the water system, 
greatly reducing problems with discolored 
water. Getting on top of the water discoloration 
problem that came with the importation of 
water was a major accomplishment this past 

The department is engaged in an ongoing program to repair sewers and to resurface streets as budget allows. 

In the Area of Planning, The City’s new General Plan is being implemented – you may have noticed new regulations for the following:

Demolition Ordinance

Accessory Units Ordinance

New R1 Standards

Ordinance regarding Group Homes 

Also, construction has begun on new Workforce Housing at the old Church property on Highland. 

Finally, I am pleased to report that we now have full-time Code Enforcement staff.

Library and Community Services

Introduced and expanded the cross-over programs and shared resources between Community Services and the Library. Some of this year’s 
accomplishments include:

A new Field Use Agreement was negotiated.

A Senior Master Plan was adopted.

We Introduced regular library programming including science (STEM) programming for kids.
And we’ve continued successful Library Programs - such as One-Book-One-City.

*All in all, it’s been a very productive year in our City Government with progress on many fronts.

Now I’d like to address significant Challenges and Opportunities we are facing as we move forward this year:

Water Conservation – I am sorry to say that even with this year’s significant rain fall and snow in the mountains, the city’s underground aquifer (the 
East Raymond Basin) has not yet recovered from the drought. It is important that residents continue to conserve water. Toward that end the city has 
rolled out new, technologically advanced water meters to assist customers to more closely monitor their water use. Currently the meters are being 
offered to customers who slightly exceed their conservation targets. Eligible customers will be notified by a letter from the city. In the near future we 
hope to be able to offer additional meters as budget allows.

On the Financial front – While this year’s General Fund budget is balanced, it is not projected to remain balanced due to increasing costs. The 
Council will soon begin working on a Financial Plan that looks into the future to figure out what needs to be done so that the city is not continually 
in this cycle of not having adequate funding for the current level of city services. Obviously we will need a great deal of public participation in the 

Fire Department – One of the financial challenges pertains to the future of the City’s Fire Department. The “Volunteer Model” and use of many 
part-time employees, I’m sorry to say, is simply not feasible for much longer. The City’s Public Safety Committee evaluated this issue and prepared a 
recommendation to the Council. The Council will be considering the recommendation at a March Council meeting – the recommendation is for a 
fully-paid career department, at an additional cost of approximately $735,000 annually. 

Vacant Positions – as soon as the new City Manager comes on board, he will begin filling the other Department Head vacancies, including the 
Assistant City Manager, the Public Works Director and the Chief of Police positions. In the meantime, there are current staff members filling in as 
“interims” so that the city’s business can continue. 

Infrastructure - Maintenance and Replacement of City Infrastructure remains a challenge. There is a back log of millions of dollars in maintenance 
of city streets and water system infrastructure alone. 

We will be addressing in earnest our Water Infrastructure in two phases:
The Council will soon be reviewing a Water System Master Plan that will first identify the specific components of the system that need to be 
addressed, including the costs required to “catch-up” after many years of deferred maintenance. This will include the many leaking, aged water 
mains in the city.
Then, the second part of the study will be a financial component to determine how to pay for the needed improvements. 

Water Rates – At the current rate, the City’s water fund reserves will be depleted in approximately two years. In the next few months, the Council will 
be embarking on a new water rate study. Public participation in the process will be critical.

State and Federal mandates continue to be a challenge and cost the city money. 

There are a number of them but the NPDES heads the list. These are the new regulations imposed on municipalities in order to clean up runoff 
water. Right now, thanks to diligent staff efforts, and, thanks specifically to Council Member Capoccia, we seem to be staying ahead of it. The actual 
implementation of the most onerous components of NPDES could take years to come to fruition, but the worst case scenario, we’ve discussed many 
times in Council, could costs the City millions in cleanup efforts in the not too distant future. This is an issue deserving of your continued attention.

The Future 

I know, that this year, once again, you will all pitch in and help the Council as it works diligently at long-term planning in the areas of finances, 
infrastructure and public safety – specifically the Fire Department.. 

We need your involvement in the discussion just as much as ever before.

Even with the challenges facing us there is much to celebrate as we look ahead. We have a dedicated staff of employees who will continue to do many 
of the thankless jobs that it is easy to take for granted. I want to take time right now to thank each and every one of them for their dedication to our 

Our citizens, you, the people of this city proved last year through your activism and involvement in our budgetary crisis that you are among the most 
public spirited people of any place in our nation. 

The unique nature of our town is constantly on display. Sierra Madre Blvd. was as packed as it has ever been during the 4th of July parade this past 
summer, thanks to the 4th of July Committee. The Mount Wilson Trail race entries keep selling out earlier and earlier each year because of Sierra 
Madreans dedicated to making it happen. Even during a torrential downpour last Friday night, you came out in large numbers to support the library 
at the Friends of the Library Wine Tasting at Alverno High School.

Sierra Madreans are bright, resourceful, energetic, and, most importantly, are infused with this special Sierra Madre volunteer spirit that makes this 
such a special place. Where will you find more volunteers than in Sierra Madre? Think of all the people now serving or who have served on our City 
Boards and Commissions. That Rose Float that keeps winning medals doesn’t build itself. Little League, Pony League and Girls Softball League are all 
bursting at the seams. It takes many people countless hours for these opportunities for our children to be realized. I’ll bet Pete Siberell had folks up 
on the Mt. Wilson Trail this weekend assessing damage from the storm armed with shovels and pick axes. We have amazing volunteer organizations 
everywhere you look in this town making vital contributions – the Civic Club, the Woman’s Club, The Historical Preservation Society, The Sierra 
Madre Community Foundation, Kiwanas, Rotary and the Chamber of Commerce.. and others. This is the true nature of our people in this little slice 
of heaven. Motivated by this amazing spirit, working together, we can accomplish anything. I can assure you that every member of your City Council 
appreciates what this town is all about and shares your vision of a beautiful, vibrant , sustainable Sierra Madre now and in the future. 

In conclusion, I want to thank each and every one of you for allowing me to serve you as your Mayor. It has truly been an honor. And, I’d like to thank 
my colleagues on the City Council for trusting me with this position. I say this we great sincerity - that working with all four of them is an honor and 
a pleasure.

Thank you all for coming tonight and for viewing this at home… and… God Bless Our Beloved Sierra Madre.


Bean Town Coffee 

45 N. Baldwin 

Sierra Madre, 
CA 91024 (626) 

Nano Cafe 

322 W. Sierra Madre 

Sierra Madre, CA 
91024 (626) 

Casa Del Rey 

31 N. Baldwin Ave., 

Sierra Madre, CA 91024 (626) 355-6060


48 W. Sierra Madre Blvd., 

Sierra Madre, CA 91024 (626) 355-5993

Four Seasons Tea Room 

75 N. Baldwin Ave., 

Sierra Madre, CA 91024 (626) 355-0045

Lucky Baldwin's Delirium Cafe 

21 Kersting Ct. 

Sierra Madre CA (626) 355-1140

Mary's Market and Cafe 

561 Woodland Drive, 

Sierra Madre, CA 91024 (626) 355-4534

Mother Moo Creamery 

17 Kersting Court 

Sierra Madre, CA 91024 (626) 355-9650

Only Place in Town 

110 W. Sierra Madre Blvd., 

Sierra Madre, CA 91024 (626) 355-3502

Sierra Juice Company 

1 Kersting Court, 

Sierra Madre, CA 91024 (626) 836-1293

Sierra Madre Pizza Company 

181 W. Sierra Madre Blvd., 

Sierra Madre, CA (626) 355-6058

Taco Fiesta 

345 W. Sierra Madre Blvd., 

Sierra Madre, CA 91024 (626) 355-7000

Thai in Sierra Madre 

85 W. Sierra Madre Blvd., 

Sierra Madre, CA 91024 (626) 355-1616

Village Pizzeria 

41 N. Baldwin Ave., 

Sierra Madre, CA 91024 (626) 355-8817

Poppy Cakes 

328 W. Sierra Madre Blvd., 

Sierra Madre, CA (626) 355-9000

Wistaria Bar and Grill 

44 N. Baldwin Ave., 

Sierra Madre, CA 91024 (626) 355-3155

Yogurt and More 7 Kersting Court, 

Sierra Madre, CA 91024 (626) 355-7000

Zugo's Cafe 74 W. Sierra Madre Blvd. 

Sierra Madre, CA 91024 (626) 836-5700