Mountain Views News, Combined Edition Saturday, June 20, 2020

MVNews this week:  Page 6



Mountain View News Saturday, June 20, 2020 


June 17, 2020 – The City of Arcadia recently held a lottery to 
award grants to 49 small businesses impacted by the COVID-
19 pandemic. The COVID-19 Small Business Grant Program, 
under the new Arcadia Works! Program, is dispersing 
$245,000 in Community Development Block Grant (CDBG) 
funds. Grants of $5,000 each, primarily provided under the 
federally funded CARES Act to assist with COVID-19 relief, 
are being directly awarded to small businesses in Arcadia. 

Hundreds of businesses applied for the grant program and 
the need is deep throughout the community. Recipients included 
the full range of business types, from small retailers, 
to restaurants, to spas and salons, to offices that have been 
in Arcadia for decades. Mayor Roger Chandler participated 
in the lottery with Development Services Department staff. 
“The City received an overwhelming response to the COVID-
19 Small Business Grant Program,” said Mayor Chandler. 
“It is important that we do everything we can to support 
small businesses during these challenging times.” 

The response from the Arcadia community has been overwhelming 
and several grant recipients have shared their 
feedback. “I am looking forward to sharing the great news 
with our employees,” said Mariza Gatdula from Arcadia 
Dentistry, who will be using the grant towards helping retain 

“We have been a small women-owned business for over 20 
years in Arcadia,” said Cheryl Marino of Cake Sisters. “It is 
so nice to see the support the City has given small businesses 
during this pandemic. This grant will help alleviate some of 
the stress caused by the mandatory closures,” she added. 

“We are appreciative of the local business community’s interest 
in the grant program, and we sincerely hope this funding 
is helpful in keeping these businesses active and vibrant”, 
said Jason Kruckeberg, Assistant City Manager/Development 
Services Director. “The COVID-19 Small Business 
Grants represent a concerted effort by the City of Arcadia to 
provide direct relief to as many local businesses as possible 
and is just one of the steps the City is taking to support our 
small business community.” In addition to the grants, the 
City is providing other local resources and initiatives, including 
business license renewal payment extensions, extension 
of development deadlines, business assistance ombudsman 
services, allowances for additional outdoor seating areas 
for dining, and a partnership with the Arcadia Chamber of 
Commerce for business outreach and marketing. 

The City is hopeful that more CDBG funding will become 
available to be used for additional grants in the near future, 
and is exploring other funding opportunities as well. “We 
plan to keep all applications on file should future funding 
become available,” said Mr. Kruckeberg. “I believe that this 
direct financial assistance is the best way to help. Unfortunately, 
there is no quick fix to the economic impacts of COVID-
19 but we are here to support our business community 
in any way we can,” he added. 

Please visit for more information, 
and stay tuned for additional announcements in 
the coming weeks. For any questions or assistance, please 
contact the Development Services Department by phone at 
(626) 574-5409 or by email at




June 18, 2020 4:00PM 

The Arcadia Police Department is seeking the public’s help 
in locating an "at risk" missing person 

Steven Ellington, 59 years old, male African-American, 
5' 4", 160 lbs. Mr. Ellington has short black hair and dark 
brown eyes. He was seen wearing a long sleeve black t-shirt, 
camouflage pants, black socks, and black shoes with white 

Mr. Ellington was last seen on 6/17/20 at approximately 
7:00 PM in the area of Huntington Drive and Baldwin Ave, 
in the city of Arcadia. Arcadia Police officers and detectives 
have been searching for Mr. Ellington, but need the public’s 
help in locating and returning him safely to his home in Arcadia. 
Mr. Ellington’s family believes he may have boarded 
a Metro or Foothill Transit bus and is no longer in the Arcadia 

Mr. Ellington has a cognitive disability and may not be 
able to identify himself, or return home on his own. If you 
have information or see Mr. Ellington, please call 9-1-1 or 
contact the Arcadia Police Department Dispatch Center at 
(626) 574-5123.

Arcadia Police Department 250 W. Huntington 
Drive Arcadia, CA 91007

(626) 574-5151



 Given that large gatherings continue to be prohibited to slow the 
spread of COVID-19 and to ensure the health and safety of the 
community, the City of Monrovia has modified the 2020 summer 
events. This summer, the City of Monrovia is excited to present 
the first-ever decorating contest to celebrate Independence Day, 
launch new virtual recreation classes and activities and welcome 
back the Monrovia Street Fair & Market!

For programs, events and classes that require registration, those 
interested can sign-up by simply clicking on the links in the digital 
Monrovia Today.

The summer edition of the Monrovia Today will be available 
online in the first week of July. Fitness classes, dance 
lessons, academic support programs and much more will 
be offered to residents and community members to virtually 
participate in during the summer season. To make 
access to virtual programs, this year the Monrovia Today 
will be digital and residents will not receive a physical copy. 
In the upcoming week, a postcard should arrive in homes 
with a QR code to scan, leading to the digital Monrovia 
Today. Registration for programs, events and classes will 
begin on July 6.

Monrovia Street Fair & Market

The Monrovia Street Fair & Market will return on July 3, 
at 5 p.m. In order to keep in compliance with physical distancing 
protocols, the Monrovia Street Fair & Market will 
implement a few changes. The market will be condensed 
and located on Myrtle Avenue between Olive Avenue and 
Walnut Avenue. To avoid crowding, a limited number of 
visitors may occupy the marketplace at one time. Visitors 
may be asked to wait when the market has reached capacity. 
In addition, there will be one entry in, at Olive Avenue, 
and one exit out. Those visiting will see a temporary discontinuation 
of the kids’ play area and entertainment, and 
the addition of hand wash and hand sanitizer stations.

4th of July Celebration 

For this year’s 4th of July celebration, every resident has 
the best seat in the house! All are encouraged to take a few 
minutes to experience a portion of the 2019 Fireworks 
Spectacular Show. This special video will also give thanks 
to Monrovia’s Blue Star Families and show appreciation to 
those serving the Country. The video will air on Saturday, 
July 4, at 5:00 p.m. It can be viewed on the City’s website, 
Facebook Page and YouTube.

The City of Monrovia will also host a 4th of July Home 
Decorating Contest and an Old Town Monrovia Window 
Decorating Contest for those looking to show their community 
pride. All Monrovians are encouraged to break out 
their bunting, American Flags, banners and balloons and 
show they are Monrovia Strong! To register for the competition, 
please visit the City of Monrovia's website. Judging 
for the competition will take place on July 1 and July 2, 
with the winners announced and maps made available on 
July 3.

As a reminder, all fireworks are prohibited in the City of 


 The South Pasadena City Council 
responded to community input regarding 
the status of its financial controls at last 
night’s public meeting. Mayor Robert Joe 
explained that the City Council was recently 
made aware of community concerns about 
the City’s financial processes based on public 
comments by a former City employee. “This 
City Council firmly believes the community 
has every right to know about our financial 
condition, the oversight processes we now 
have in place, and how we are managing 
our resources during this very challenging 
period,” he said. The City Council and staff 
continue to prepare the City budget, which 
must be adopted by the end of June. The 
Council pledged to not take action to adopt 
the 2020-21 fiscal year budget until the 
City Finance Commission fully reviews all 
changes made since its last review.

 Related to the criticism from the former 
finance department staff member, Mayor 
Joe said, “I want to assure the community 
that we take these concerns seriously. Over 
the past few years, we have made significant 
changes in our procedures so that our 
financial record-keeping and forecasting 
is far more rigorous than in the past. We 
recognize the critical importance of having 
the community trust us to manage our 
public resources wisely, and we have taken 
significant steps to earn that trust.”

Mayor Pro Tem Diana Mahmud, who 
served as the City Council’s liaison to the 
Finance Commission during the relevant 
period of the City’s review of the Finance 
Department, made the following statement:

 “About three years ago, we learned of 
some accounting errors and deficiencies 
that had gone undetected for several years 
during previous Finance Director’s and 
City Manager’s tenures. We took immediate 
action to correct these issues, including 
conducting a forensic audit to find out 
exactly what happened and how it could be 
prevented in the future. We want to be very 
clear: the audit confirmed that no city funds 
are missing. The audit did highlight the 
need for process improvements and we have 
made them in our operations, including a 
reorganization of our Finance Department; 
stronger internal controls; and contracting 
out for services such as payroll and business 

 “We are continually examining our 
operations to maximize efficient use of our 
limited resources and have the proper tools 
in place to weather financial downturns 
such as the one we are now experiencing. As 
the Mayor stated, our Finance Commission 
will review our budget once again before 
the Council considers its adoption at 
our June 24th meeting. We encourage 
the community to ask questions, provide 
feedback, and share comments. You expect 
and deserve nothing less.”

 City Manager Stephanie DeWolfe, who 
was hired by the City three years ago to 
bring a higher level of oversight of financial 
operations, spent time during the Council 
meeting to provide an update to the City 
Council and community:

 “I would like to provide the Council and 
the community with a brief history of our 
financial procedures and operations, outline 
the significant changes we have made to 
become even more responsible stewards 
of public resources, and address the points 
made in a recent communication from a 
former City staff member.

 “Let’s begin by noting that the community 
has every right to expect full disclosure 
and transparency regarding our financial 
operations, reserves, and other aspects 
of city management. I understand the 
frustration among some members of our 
community and welcome any opportunity 
to discuss our finances in detail.

 “First, some background on how we got 
to where we are today. In late 2017, we 
discovered a pattern of inappropriate 
accounting practices and internal control 
deficiencies dating back several years, 
spanning several previous Finance 
Directors, which, among other things, 
inflated the size of the unrestricted General 
Fund. This same accounting issue shows 
up in the City’s 2017/2018 Comprehensive 
Annual Financial Report. Staff brought 
the concerns to the City Council, which 
quickly directed staff to begin the process 
of investigating and determining the full 
extent of the problem. We immediately put 
into place proper protocols to correct these 
practices while we began detailed work 
to reconcile all funds. We found that the 
amount of funds in various categories were 
over- and under-stated, resulting in the 
unrestricted General Fund to appear larger 
than it really is. Very importantly though, 
and as the mayor (vice mayor) pointed out: 
we found there are no missing funds in any 
City account. The location where various 
funds were inaccurately placed was not 
disclosed or discussed in

previous audits; the City has a new 
independent auditing firm to increase the 
overview of internal controls, including 
proper accounting.

 “We began the process of documenting 
and reallocating dollars to the appropriate 
accounts for multiple previous years. This 
effort was – and continues to be – time 
consuming and labor-intensive. We have 
a small team of employees in the Finance 
Department, and while they work to 
complete clean-up efforts, they must also 
continue to process the City’s daily business 
such as paying bills, managing audits, 
monitoring the budget, and preparing the 
budget for the next fiscal year. As a result, 
the clean-up efforts will require additional 
time to complete.

 “We also put other measures in place to 
strengthen the Finance Department and 
reduce the potential for similar deficiencies 
in the future. This included restructuring the 
department, hiring additional specialized 
staff, contracting out other financial 
services at a savings to the City, hiring a 
new independent audit firm, creating and 
enforcing new policies, training and cross-
training employees, and introducing new 

 “It’s important for the community to know 
that the presentation of the draft budget for 
the 2020/21 budget year was delayed from 
June 3 due to the curfew put into place by 
Los Angeles County, and as a result, the 
final adoption of the budget is delayed 
until June 24. In addition to the budget 
presentation, at that meeting we will provide 
a much deeper explanation and review of 
the actions we have taken to address the 
previously identified deficiencies. Prior to 
that meeting, I thought it would be helpful 
to provide a brief timeline of events during 
the past few years that have brought us 
to where we are today. We will make that 
document available tomorrow (June 11, 
2020) afternoon.

 “Also, since the budget was presented to the 
Finance Commission on May 26, there were 
changes made to the draft budget posted on 
the City website as a result of updated non-
general fund revenue estimates provided 
by Los Angeles County and changes in 
department budgets in response to evolving 
Safer at Home rules. Those changes will 
be presented to the Finance Commission 
next week along with a discussion of the 
enhanced fiscal controls now in place. It is 
important to note that department budgets 
and revenue estimates will continue to evolve 
as the County permits more services and 
businesses to reopen. We must recognize 
that we are still in a very fluid environment 
regarding estimates and predictions. 
Because of this, we anticipate presenting a 
budget update to Council at least quarterly, 
and potentially more often if circumstances 
demand. That said, we are confident that the 
accounting and allocation of General Fund 
monies, including General Fund reserves, is 
more accurate today that it was in 2017 or 
in the 2017/2018 Comprehensive Annual 
Financial Report.”

 The City’s Finance Commission heard a 
presentation from City staff on June 18. 

 The City Council will review the draft 
budget and Commission recommendations 
and consider adoption of the budget at its 
meeting on June 24, 2020.

This November, my dad is going to turn 80. He is doing great 
in the mind and in spirit, but his body has many problems. He 
can barely walk now and just was forced to get a motorized 
scooter. He lives in severe pain in his back and legs. This has 
made it so hard for him to enjoy my nephew, his six-year-old 

I am telling you this not to get to know my dad (he is a great 
guy!), but rather because I can’t imagine him surviving on the 
streets or in his car. But this is precisely what our Outreach 
Team encountered this week. They received a referral for an 
80-year-old woman who has been living in her car for the past 
year. From what they learned of her story, she had been living 
in the same apartment building, with a Section 8 voucher, for 
the past 17 years. William told me that she is super sweet, one 
of the nic-est ladies he has met. A year ago, however, the owner 
sold the building and put the residents out. While she has a 
voucher, she doesn’t have enough money for first and last on 
rent, not to mention there are almost no units available. William 
and Najwa met with her, and we were able to get her into 
a motel while they look for permanent housing. I ask you to 
think of the 80 year olds in your life and imagine this scenario.

It is only thanks to your dedication and commitment to 
Friends In Deed that we can help this woman, and so many 
others, on the road to rebuilding their lives. In this time of 
COVID-19 and economic down-turn, we are so grateful for 
everyone who continues to be so generous in their support, 
thank you!

Finally, on this Juneteenth, let us take this day to commit to 
learning more about our national history, listening as our 
Black neighbors and friends share their pain and struggle, and 
continuing to work for justice and equality.

And, Happy Father’s Day to all the dads out there!

Blessings, have a lovely and safe weekend,

Rabbi Joshua


Mountain Views News 80 W Sierra Madre Blvd. No. 327 Sierra Madre, Ca. 91024 Office: 626.355.2737 Fax: 626.609.3285 Email: Website: