Mountain Views News, Combined Edition Saturday, December 17, 2022

MVNews this week:  Page 2

Mountain View News Saturday, December 17, 2022 2 'TIS THE SEASON! Mountain View News Saturday, December 17, 2022 2 'TIS THE SEASON! 
PLAYHOUSE (continued from page 1) 

dip into the General Fund to help the Playhouse 
achieve its restoration goals? 

‘Tis the season…but no 

It is Christmas time. So, can the city give a

 financial gift to the SMPH from the General 

Article XVI, section 6 of the California Constitution 
states, “the Legislature shall have no power 
to…make any gift or authorize the making of 
any gift, of any public money or thing of value to 
any individual, municipal, or other corporation 
whatever.” So, that would be a hard Grinchy 
“no.” It would also be unconstitutional. 

In addition, the SMPH is not owned by the city. 
A private, non-profit organization owns it. The 
donation of funds would require that the city 
retain real property interest in the building or 
maintain programming control. Neither option 
seems plausible. But there are other options. 

What About The American Rescue Plan Act 

The American Rescue Plan Act was created to 
help businesses & organizations economically 
affected by the pandemic. In March 2021, Sierra 
Madre received expenditures from ARPA of 
approximately $2.58 million. Those allocations 
were distributed as follows: 

• Non-profit Assistance Grant- Incurred = 
• Premium Pay Essential Workers- Incurred 
• Sierra Vista Playground Project- Budgeted 
• New Public Safety Building Improvements- 
Budgeted - $1,000,000 
• Library Grant Matching Requirements 
This would leave $56,480 of ARPA allocations 

An ARPA grant can be used as a source of 
funding to “respond to the public health emergency 
or its negative economic impacts, including 
assistance to households, small businesses, 
and non-profits, or aid to impacted industries, 
such as tourism, travel, and hospitality. 

Suppose the Playhouse can provide documentation 
indicating that a new HVAC system is 
needed to help stop the spread of COVID-19 
through poorly ventilated public spaces where 
people congregate? In that case, an ARPA 
grant may work for them. SMPH would enter 

into an agreement with the city and have to 
show what the funds were used for. 

But this is only a tiny portion of funds being 
sought for SMPH repairs. 

David Gordon, President and CEO of the Playhouse 
addressed the Council first to make his 
pitch for the 103-year-old structure. “I feel 
there is a way in which you can give the Playhouse 
$250,000 and also a matching grant of 
$350,000 for the library,” Gordon said before 
a packed house. He then proposed receiving 
$250,000 from ARPA funds, giving $150,000 
to the library, and obtaining the remaining 
$200,000 from General Fund Reserves, adding 
that it would be “simple, legal, and prudent.” 
Gordon suggests a “grant program” as a legal 
way around giving an unconstitutional gift. 

Acclaim or Criticism? 

Though everyone expressed support for the 
Playhouse, opinions differed regarding funding 
options. “I am a big proponent of community 
theater,” stated Diane Sands, Member of 
the Board of Trustees for the Library and President 
of the Historical Preservation Society. 
“However, as valued as the Playhouse is as a 
cultural asset to our town, it is nevertheless not 
owned by the city…but the public library is. If 
funds are taken away from the ARPA money…
it means that matching funds are taken away. 
Please don’t take ARPA funds away from the 
library matching,” Sands pleaded. 

“No one sector can effectively establish or 
sustain a creative place,” said Eileen Walker, 
SMPH Board Member. “It takes a broad range 
of private, non-profit, and governmental entities 
to make them happen. By supporting the 
Playhouse and stepping up to be the cornerstone 
of our Capital Campaign, the city of Sierra 
Madre can participate in a partnership that 
is the essence of creative placemaking. I urge 
you to support the Capital Campaign,” Walker 

City Council did discuss the possibility of using 
ARPA funds as a loan option to the SMPH, 
which would be forgivable, but such a risk could 
be too high for both the Playhouse and the city. 

Council Members expressed concerns over extra 
spending when the city has concerns over 
water, infrastructure, and public safety. For 
now, a unanimous motion was passed to award 
the SMPH the remaining funds in the ARPA 
Allocation totaling $56,480. 

I guess that deserves a small “Bravo” with hopes 
for an “Encore” to follow. 

In celebration of 
Seven Gables’ 
inception to the San Gabriel Valley, Mike and Regional 
the San Gabriel Valley 
area, Randy 
Abrams, sat down to thoughtfully 
ideologies, and their 
visions for the San Gabriel Valley real estate market. 
Abrams is an SGV 
native with over 
25 years of 
experience in real estate. With 20 
those years spent in leadership roles with great firms, leaders & management that have 
defined his tactics and strategies throughout the years. It was a natural fit for 
a quick & easy transition because he and Mike are like-minded, and relationship focused. 
in the San Gabriel Valley, Randy 
sees a lot of 
opportunity. There are not enough 
full-service brokerages in that area that focus on ethics and fostering agent growth. Too 
agents are coming into this market and it’s the “wild, wild west.” 
With commission 
integrity, outgoing cooperation, and discount brokers abound, Randy 
and Mike want to 
bring back the lost art of real estate. 
Randy Abrams 
DRE #01270584 
SG DRE #00745605 | This is not intended to be a solicitation of another broker’s listing. 



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