Judy

Don’t water down our right to vote on taxes

The Southern California News Group (SCNG) recently published my article about upcoming legislation SB 231 which aims to limit LA County resident’s right to vote on property tax increases.  To learn more, you can read my OpEd below:

Don’t water down our right to vote on taxes

by Judy Nelson

Los Angeles County residents should be aware of stormwater regulations that could dramatically increase our property tax bills. Proposed legislation in Sacramento known as SB231, sponsored by Democratic state Sen. Robert Hertzberg of the San Fernando Valley, would allow stormwater-control costs to be added to property assessments without a direct vote of the people.

In 2012, the Los Angeles Regional Water Quality Control Board adopted groundbreaking stormwater-management regulations affecting all cities in the region. Our county is the test site for the rest of the state and the country.

The mandate, called an MS4 permit, requires that cities capture 85 percent of the water from the first 24 hours of a storm. All water that flows out of the city via storm drains must first be monitored and treated for over 30 pollutants.

Those of us in government for local cities support the ideal of conserving water and preventing pollution from reaching the ocean. But the costs of implementing the systems are daunting, as this is a mandate without a funding source.

The big question for cities is “Where will the $20 billion to pay for the stormwater regulations come from?”

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San Gabriel Mountains National Monument Update

November, 2016

Now that the election is over, it seems a good time to offer an update on an issue that I have been following for several years, The San Gabriel Mountains National Monument.

History:

  • In Oct. of 2014, President Obama issued a proclamation declaring over 346,000 acres in the Angeles National Forest a National Monument. That 2 page proclamation is the guiding document for care of the Monument.  It discusses the special features of the Monument that must be preserved and protected, and the millions of people in the region who will visit it.
  • It directed the Forest Service to create a management and transportation plan for the Monument within 3 years, to be completed by Oct. 2017.
  • Additionally, because the Monument is within such close proximity to the 10 million residents of LA County, the proclamation directed the FS to engage maximum public involvement in the development of that plan.

What has been done so far?

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Candidates

Here are my local candidate recommendations along with the previously posted ballot measures, propositions and judges. What follows are the individuals I’m voting for in the November election:

Candidates:

• President and Vice President: I think everyone has heard enough about this race to make up their own minds.

United States Senator:

• Loretta Sanchez. As a result of California’s 2010 “Top Two Open Primary Act,”  we have 2 Democratic candidates for U.S. Senate. Loretta Sanchez appears the stronger of the two regarding protection of personal freedom, support for the military/safety personnel and limiting tax increases.

United States Representative

• Jack Orswell. Jack is a businessman, and former FBI agent, a long-time resident of the SG Valley and a committed community servant.

State Senator

• Michael D. Antonovich. Mike has served on the LA County Board of Supervisors since 1980, representing the 2 million residents that reside in the 5th district which includes Glendora.  I have found Mike to be truly concerned and responsive to the needs of those he represents. He holds annual meetings in our cities and responds positively to requests for assistance with city challenges. He knows Glendora well and has committed county funding to many Glendora projects including our current San Dimas WashTrail. Mike is able to work effectively with colleagues from both sides of the aisle, a talent he will definitely need as a minority member of the Senate. During his many years of service, he has demonstrated a strong commitment to public safety, effective and responsive representation and support for small business, our County’s foster children, seniors, veterans and animal welfare.

Member of the State Assembly

• Cory Ellenson. Cory currently serves as Vice Chair of the Glendora School Board and is a small businessman with a private law practice. He grew up in Glendora and after college returned to Glendora to marry his high school sweetheart and start his adult life. He is an attorney and tax accountant with a strong commitment to improving the quality of life for all residents of our community and of the State of California. I know Cory well, having worked in partnership with him while serving the citizens of Glendora in our elected positions. He’s dedicated, trustworthy, caring, energetic, smart, and strategic – qualities that will make him a great representative of the people when he is elected as our next State Assemblyman.

LA County Supervisor 5th District

• Kathryn Barger.  Kathryn has been Michael Antonovich’s Chief Deputy Supervisor for the past 15 years. She manages his Supervisor’s Office and serves as the official liaison with community and local business groups. Kathryn is an expert on healthcare, mental health and children’s issues and has the ability to immediately address those challenges when elected. She is a Republican who has strong bipartisan support, with endorsements not just from a host of Republican officials but also from former Supervisors Zev Yaroslavsky and Gloria Molina, and current Supervisor Sheila Kuehl, all Democrats. This is especially important because, dependent upon the election outcome of the 4th Supervisorial District, she may be the only Republican on the Board and will have to be able to effectively work across party lines.

Judges and Propositions Galore!

There’s no denying this ballot is overwhelming. 

I urge you to take a deep breath, dig in, and get knowledgeable about your choices.

Most of all, I encourage you to

VOTE!!!

I’ve recently received numerous requests for voting recommendations. It appears that most people are informed about the candidates and know who they prefer. However, they want information about the 17 California state propositions, 2 county measures and 8 judges who are on our November 2016 ballots.

For those interested in my views, here they are:

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Great News! We spoke and our legislators listened.

Recently, I wrote an article about my opposition to Senate Bill 1298 which, if passed, would allow stormwater management costs to be added to property tax assessments without a citizen vote. SB 1298 was deeply flawed from a Constitutional and legal standpoint. It aimed to create a loophole in Prop 218, the “Right to Vote on Taxes Act” and was a clear disregard of the voting rights of California residents.

I’m pleased to announce that Sen. Hertzberg of Van Nuys, the author of SB 1298, has chosen to withdraw his bill, at least for this year. It is the second time in recent years that a proposed property tax assessment for stormwater management in LA County has been defeated, in large part, to grassroots opposition. Thanks to everyone who shared the word and contacted local legislators and Governor Brown to voice opposition.

However, we must stay vigilant because there is another tax threat in the pipeline: Los Angeles Supervisor Sheila Kuehl is crafting a “funding strategy” called the “Drought Resiliency Funding Plan” which will be unveiled in 2017. I will be following this closely and keeping residents informed.

Sincerely,

Judy Nelson

Citizen Alert: Stormwater Fees that could impact your property tax bill

Senate Bill 1298, called “Local Government: Fees and Charges,” is proposed legislation moving rapidly through the CA State Assembly and Senate in Sacramento. It aims to create a loophole in Prop 218 so that stormwater assessments can be added to property taxes without being placed on the election day ballot. It could open the door to dramatic property tax increases that avoid the standard 2/3 voter approval.  If you are concerned about losing your right to vote on new property tax assessments please read the details below and contact your state legislators and Gov. Brown to voice your opinion.  If it passes in the Assembly and Senate this month, it will be sent to the Governor in September for his signature or veto.

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In 2012, the LA Regional Water Board mandated groundbreaking stormwater requirements for all cities in the county. The mandate, called a MS4 Permit, requires extensive new infrastructure and is estimated to cost more than $20 Billion over the next 20 years to implement. While we all want to conserve water and prevent pollution from reaching the ocean, there is currently no budget to pay for the new systems. The City of Glendora has estimated costs at $233 million.

In order to create a revenue stream, Senator Robert Hertzberg of the San Fernando Valley wrote Senate Bill 1298 so that stormwater costs can be added to property tax bills. While it would create much needed funding, it is constitutionally questionable. It removes the 2/3 voting requirement for new taxes and allows stormwater assessments to avoid being placed on the election day ballot.

SB 1298 aims to weaken Prop 218, the “Right to Vote on Taxes Act” which was passed by voters 20 years ago to ensure that new or increased taxes, fees and assessments would be approved by the people before being enacted. SB 1298 attempts to change the Public Utilities Code definition of “sewer service,” to include stormwater. It would allow local governments to pass the storm water management costs directly to residents via a “protest ballot” which is a non-standard vote held outside of normal election proceedings, and is historically known to disenfranchise voters.

In the City of Glendora, it is estimated that a stormwater property tax assessment could average $1200 per year for residential properties. It would also impact schools, hospitals, businesses and churches. For people who are on fixed income, the elderly, and those who are struggling to meet their mortgages each month, it could be particularly damaging.

Last year, polling was conducted to determine whether voters would approve a Constitutional Amendment to Prop 218, to allow stormwater costs to be added to the three utility assessments that are exempt from an election day vote: trash, sewage, and household water use. The polling results showed that citizens would not support creating an exemption for stormwater, and the measure would most likely fail at the ballot box. Residents specifically showed disapproval for it being passed “without voter approval.” Shortly after these polling results, Senator Hertzberg created SB 1298 to do exactly that… circumvent the need for voter approval by wordsmithing the language of Prop 218 to call stormwater “sewage.”

The bill is a “gut and amend” which means that the stormwater legislation was stuffed into the bill late in the process. Due to this, it will not be thoroughly vetted in committees. It is moving rapidly and appears that it will be passed by the Senate and Assembly before the end of this month. It would then proceed to the Governor’s desk where many local cities are advocating for a veto. Currently, cities are sending opposition letters to Sacramento on behalf of their citizens. Local journalists on both sides of the political spectrum have also published opposition articles. It is clearly a bi-partisan issue which crosses political boundaries.

If legislators want financial support from residents for stormwater managment, it should be obtained by following the standard practice of placing the measure on the election day ballot. Ultimately, it will also be necessary to find State and Federal funding for the implementation of the MS4 permit.

There are many questions about the legality of SB 1298, and if it is passed there are organizations considering court challenges on behalf of the taxpayers.  What is abundantly clear at the moment, is that attempting to force residents to pay for stormwater by thwarting the democratic process with not sit well with them.

Below is additional background information regarding SB 1298.

Click the links to read the attachments:

Glendora Opposition Letter

Details about the poll regarding Prop 218 Constitutional Amendment

Tribune Editorial

Howard Jarvis Taxpayers Association Opposition Letter 

Sincerely,

signature

Judy Nelson
Councilwoman, City of Glendora

Boardmember:
San Gabriel Valley Council of Government Water Committee
San Gabriel Valley Council of Government Energy, Environment and
Natural Resources Committee
San Gabriel Valley Water Association
Rivers and Mountains Conservancy
National Forest Foundation Community Collaborative

WATER WATCH: City Council Opposes Proposed State Stormwater Bill SB1298

Reprinted with permission from Glendora City News

Article and photo by: Aaron Castrejon

Glendora City leaders expressed concern July 12, 2016 over a proposed state senate bill aimed at giving local governments power to set water rates and finance storm water projects.

The council voted 4-0, with Council member Mendel Thompson absent, to send a letter of opposition to the state Legislature, League of California Cities, California Contract Cities and Governor Jerry Brown regarding SB 1298, urging them to vote against any legislation that would subvert Prop 218. (Click to read the City’s letter here: Senate Bill 1298 Glendora Opposition Letter)

Council member Judy Nelson and Mayor Pro-Tem Gary Boyer requested to agendize and discuss the item at the July 12 City Council meeting after business owners raised serious issues with the cost of implementing a stormwater permit possibly passed on to them.

“There was such concern at the meeting amongst business owners about the potential cost that could be assessed on properties without voter approval,” Nelson said.

SB 1298 could conflict with existing law under the Proposition 218 Omnibus Implementation Act.

Prop 218, a California constitutional amendment, protects taxpayers by limiting how local governments and charter cities can increase taxes, fees and charges without taxpayer consent.

The Municipal Separate Storm Sewer System permit went into effect in December of 2012. The MS4 permit requires municipalities to implement measures to clean polluted storm water emptied into each city’s catch basins, storm drain lines, road gutters and from curbs, but at a staggering cost.

Glendora, the county and five other cities which are tasked with creating an Enhanced Watershed Management Plan for their geographical area calculated a worst case scenario for possible costs incurred by adhering to the permit, said Glendora City Manager Chris Jeffers.

Los Angeles County could pay $20 billion over a 20-year period, while Glendora alone could be responsible for $233 million of that amount.

If the conflicting language in SB 1298 remains, it could pass those fees down to property owners, who could see an annual fee of $1200 for “average property” sizes, Nelson said.

SB 1298, authored by Senator Bob Hertzberg (D-Van Nuys), was created to “safeguard California’s water supplies by giving local governments more authority to finance local water projects and set reasonable rates,” according to the senator’s website.

The proposed bill would add definitions and change others in Prop 218, some of those changes include changing the definition of “water” to define “water service,” meaning “services provided by any system of public improvements intended to provide for the production, storage, supply, treatment, or distribution of water from any source, according to an analysis provided by the Assembly.

SB 1298 also makes findings and declarations that Prop 218 was meant to improve transparency and accountability of local government fees, arguing that some court interpretations see the law as requiring local governments to manage water supplies and address water pollution, establish rates to encourage conservation and provide assistance for low-income residents, the Assembly Analysis reported.

“The whole purpose of Prop 218 was to ensure transparency on tax increases and to ensure that citizens had a right to vote on every tax increase, assessment increase and fee increase imposed on them,” Nelson said. “This proposition [SB 1298] would pass without any voter knowledge or input.”

Boyer expressed great concern over SB 1298’s redefining of “water service” as too vague.

“It can virtually mean anything. The idea of 218 was to really protect us and give us a say. If this bill passes, it’s going to water down Proposition 218 so much that I can see it’s almost going to be useless in the future,” Boyer added.

Even with reasonable adjustments to the bill the city is seeking though, the cost to implement the MS4 storm permit could rise, Jeffers said. To what degree would be depend greatly on testing and results being done on rivers and runoff that street runoff funnels into.

The League of California Cities has raised concerns over SB 1298 with Hertzberg who was receptive and possibly looking to adopt given suggestions, city staff said.

The state Legislature is in recess until August and the new bill language will not be known until then.

EOD Warrior Foundation

Four years ago, Staff Sgt Kenneth W. Bennett, 26, of Glendora, California, died in Afghanistan from injuries sustained when he encountered an improvised explosive device (IED) during combat operations.

100549685_135381576841Kenneth, who joined the Army in 2004, was trained as an Explosive Ordnance Disposal (EOD) specialist and was on his third deployment to the region. He is survived by his parents Nancy and Ken Bennett, sister Rene, wife Mandi and 6-year-old daughter Lila Grace.

Bennett’s parents are actively involved in a charity which provides assistance to veterans, and their families, who have been injured or made the ultimate sacrifice. To learn more about EOD Warrior Foundation, and the difference it makes, please visit www.eodwarriorfoundation.org.

(The title photo is of Aaron Causey, (http://ninelinefoundation.org/portfolio/sfc_aaron_causey) an EOD veteran injured in Afghanistan while attempting to disarm an explosive. He visited Arlington Cemetery in 2013 on his first day out of the hospital with his new legs to pay respect to his friend Staff Sgt Kenneth W. Bennett.)

Calling All Glendora Artists!

 

Glendora’s Community Services Department is sponsoring a competition to design the logo for our city’s new urban trails system. The City of Glendora is currently planning an 11.3 mile network of walking trails, and the first phase is beginning. The “San Dimas Wash Urban Trail” will be part of a larger network of trails along the Little Dalton Wash, Big Dalton Wash and the San Dimas Wash. Please see the flyer and link below for more information. Good Luck!

http://glendoracitynews.com/2016/03/22/community-services-reveals-proposal-for-glendoras-urban-trails-system/

Calling All Artists

Update on FAA flight path changes over Glendora

As mentioned in my previous article, the City of Glendora recently wrote a letter to the FAA requesting additional time for community feedback and education regarding the plan for The SoCal Metroplex Project. This project is to implement a satellite-based, air traffic control system called NextGen which is expected to re-route more flights over several San Gabriel Valley cities, including ours. Unfortunately, the FAA responded to our request with a denial. (These letters, along with our City Manager’s final rebuttal, are attached with links at the end of this article.)

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In November of 2015, after receiving pressure from Congresswoman Grace Napolitano (CA D-32), the FAA agreed to hold a meeting in Glendora to discuss the flight path changes with us and neighboring cities. During this meeting, we we learned that the new route over Glendora, San Dimas and La Verne will be at an altitude of 8,000 to 10,000 ft and most flights will be at night. Comparatively, the Ridge Road at the top of the mountain behind Glendora is at 2,400 feet.

The FAA representatives did not offer information regarding how many increased flights are expected to pass over our city.

After the meeting, the City of Glendora formally requested that the FAA delay the final flight path decision until local cities had received more information about the impact this change would have. We received a written response from them mid-January stating that all required outreach had been completed and they would not be offering more opportunities for comment.

Glendora’s city manager, Chris Jeffers, wrote a follow-up letter which expressed disapproval with the lack of information directly offered to the cities that will be impacted by the Metroplex Project.

To read the written correspondence, you can click the links below:

City Manager’s request to FAA

FAA response

City Manager’s rebuttal

Community Conversation

On Thursday evening, Jan. 14th, a gathering of 40-50 people met at the Village Eatery to discuss matters related to Glendora’s governance. This was Glendora’s 2nd Community Conversation; the first was in October and led by Council Member Gary Boyer with Council Member Nelson also participating.

Council Members Judy Nelson and Mendell Thompson led this recent meeting, beginning with a brief overview of the organizational makeup of our city (graphic shown below) to emphasize the importance of citizen input in government decision-making. California’s Brown Act was also briefly covered in order to explain why a maximum of only two Council Members are able to attend these meetings.

Attendees were then invited to raise any questions, concerns or comments they had regarding City governance. To read the topics that were discussed, as well as some follow up information I’ve gathered, please read more below.

YESGov! (1)

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Water restrictions in Glendora have been amended

Glendora’s results are in for the first five months of Governor Brown’s Statewide Water Conservation mandates. Glendora residents, businesses, schools and the City have responded and, as you can see from the data shown below, we are successfully meeting our mandated goal of reducing water usage citywide by 36%. We are required to continue at that level through February, 2016, but we are clearly on the right track. Thanks to each of you for your efforts to conserve water.

At our Sept. 8th, City Council meeting, the Council approved amending the current watering restrictions to add flexibility. Previous rules limited watering of ornamental landscape to no more than two-days a week at 10 minutes per station/zone. The new amendment permits more days and time in your watering schedule.

Read more to learn about the details…

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The world is coming. Help welcome it!

 The Special Olympics World Games begin on July 25, 2015.7,000 athletes from 177 countries will be welcomed to Southern California for a three-day Host Town program where as many as 100 communities from San Diego to San Luis Obispo will host the delegations.The City of Glendora is partnering with Azusa Pacific University, City of Azusa and City of Duarte to serve as hosts for the World Games Los Angeles 2015.

Glendora is honored to host South Africa.  On Thursday, July 23 the delegation will visit Glendora with a tour of Rubel Castle, Centennial Heritage Park and other city landmarks. The community is encouraged to celebrate the athletes by participating in a hometown parade at 3:30pm on Glendora Avenue and then at 6:30 pm the day will conclude with a Concert in the Park with Elvis.

How Can You Help
PARADE!
Come fill the Avenue for the July 23rd Hometown Parade at 4pm.
These athletes have traveled far and we would like to make them feel welcome.
Make posters and bring them to the parade to cheer them on!
DINNER!
Come have dinner with the  Athletes and enjoy a South African Braai (Traditional South African BBQ)
5:30pm at Finkbiner Park (Shade Structure)
Please RSVP at City Hall – Community Services Department by July 16th.
Cost is $30 per person
 CONCERT!
Enjoy the FREE Concert in the Park at the Larry R. Glenn Memorial Bandshell
6:30pm at Finkbiner Park
Raymond Michael – Elvis Tribute

Public comment period is open for the San Gabriel Mountains Monument Plan

The planning phase for the new management of the San Gabriel Mountains National Monument is underway. Once developed and approved, it will control how the 350,000 acre area is to be used.

During certain stages of planning, the Forest Service solicits comments from the public. The first official comment period is open now until July 27, 2015.

You may comment via the email link below or contact the Forest Service for more information. You may also request a hard copy of the “scoping letter” that explains the process by calling (626) 574-5278 and asking for Justin Seastrand, Forest Planner. 

Below is the email link for submitting comments:

https://cara.ecosystem-management.org/public/commentinput?project=46964

What topics or concerns would you like to see addressed?  Which recreation activities do you enjoy in the forest and don’t want to see limited? Are there areas that are currently closed that you would like to see reopened for recreation?

Every comment will be considered, and concerns that are most frequently mentioned will receive priority. I urge each of you to take the time to let the USFS know of your desires regarding the usage of the natural resources in our backyard. Every opinion is important.

One of my major concerns with this designation is that the San Gabriel River, our primary water source where Glendora collects up to 85% of it’s water, is included within the boundaries. The president’s proclamation, states that there are threatened fish and rare plants living in the river, and there is ongoing debate about whether those species will eventually be given priority over the collection of drinking water. One of my comments will stress the utmost importance of protecting this water source for drinking water.

An additional concern of mine is that there has been serious conversation about creating transportation systems to bring groups of visitors from across the southland to various entrances in the Monument such as at Glendora Mountain Road, Angeles Crest Highway and Highway 39.  One of my comments will stress the importance of working together with foothill cities, including Glendora, to prepare for the impact that an influx of visitors could have— where will they park, how do we provide trail and road maintenance, additional security, and how do we protect the privacy and tranquility of residents who live near the trailheads?

It will be very important for Glendora and other foothill cities to work closely with the USFS on this part of the management planning process, so we urge residents to submit their comments during the June 12th—July 27th public comment window.

Thank you,

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A report on Glendora’s recent water conservation efforts

Water conservation levels among California residential users reached an all-time high for the month of May, with Californians using 29% less water than in the same-month period in 2013.

The City of Glendora posted a whopping 48% overall water savings for that month, one of the highest in the entire state. However, Glendora City Manager Chris Jeffers remains cautious, stating “I don’t want to pop any champagne yet. This is one month. The next nine months will be the real test.”

In order to continue these efforts, Glendora is hosting two free water workshops:

1. Community Water Workshop: Thurs. July 9th, 2015, 7:00pm, Bidwell Forum, 140 S. Glendora Ave. Glendora

City staff will provide information on the recently adopted Emergency Drought Response Plan, Water Use Efficiency Audits, available rebates, and answer questions including those regarding Residential Gallons Per Capita Per Day (R-GPCD).

2. Turf Removal Workshop: Sat. July 11th, 2015, 10:00am – 12:00pm, Glendora City Council Chambers, 116 E. Foothill Blvd.

Learn how to reduce your water usage by transforming your yard into a drought tolerant landscape. Find out how you can also receive rebates in the process.

In addition to reducing water usage, the City is also focused on how we can still maintain attractive landscaping throughout our city and in our homes. Below is a link to recommendations from the California Landscape Contractors Association about how to help your landscape survive the drought:

http://www.clca.org/clca/about/consumer/drought/

Important City meeting regarding water conservation

Glendora’s newly updated Water Conservation Program, a result of the Governor’s recent mandates, will be presented at this Tuesday’s City Council meeting on May 26th at 7pm at City Hall. Your attention to this meeting, along with your comments and questions will be most appreciated.

The City of Glendora is mandated to reduce water consumption by 36% citywide by February, 2016. In order to successfully comply with the Governor’s order, we will need the participation of every resident and business in our City. Additionally, the City will be making significant changes to the city-wide landscape and irrigation program which will result in a changed appearance of our local landscape and, eventually, an increase to our municipal water bills.

Below is a link to the Agenda Item report:

http://sirepub.ci.glendora.ca.us/sirepub/cache/2/btehkld41lzx2ippheezpw15/25447805252015023501730.PDF

The meeting will be held on:

Tuesday, May 26th, 2015, 7pm

City Council Chambers at City Hall

116 E. Foothill Blvd, Glendora

You can also watch online at: http://www.ci.glendora.ca.us/residents/online-videos

Or on your television on KGLN: Time Warner Ch. 3 and Verizon Fios Ch. 31.

Thank you.

Volunteer to clean hiking trails

California Trial Users Coalition

PROUDLY PRESENTS

OPERATION SUPER CANYON SWEEP-2015

WE NEED YOU!

SATURDAY, JUNE 13th, 2015

8 A.M. TO 3 P.M.

WE WILL BE CLEANING UP THE SAN GABRIEL CANYON.

SAN GABRIEL, OHV AREA, SAN GABRIEL CANYON ROAD,

HWY 39, JUST NORTH OF THE EAST FORK BRIDGE AND

NORTH OF AZUSA

LUNCH WILL BE PROVIDED

TO VOLUNTEER AND FOR FURTHER INFORMATION PLEASE CONTACT:

BARRY WETHERBY AT 818-957-1455 E-MAIL:  BHWetherby@aol.com

TERRY KAISER at 818-262-0315   E-MAIL: hdconcerns@ca.rr.com

“WE NEED LOTS OF VOLUNTEERS.”

CTUC IS A 501 [C] (3) NON-PROFIT CORPORATION,

ALL DONATIONS ARE TAX DEDUCTIBLE!

ID # 95-4690961 & 2028091

For more information please visit CTUC website:

http://www.ctuc.info/ctuc/index.php/news/77-operation-super-canyon-sweep-2015

Costly new stormwater mandates on the horizon

On Thursday, May 21st from 3-5pm at Glendora City Hall, the City Council will hold a Special Meeting to hear a presentation about the proposed new treatment requirements for stormwater being required of all cities within Los Angeles County.

This Special Meeting is open to the public. I urge you to attend as this matter could have a painful impact on your pocketbook. The estimated “worst case scenario” cost for Glendora, over the next 10 years, is $95 million!

Here is some background information about stormwater and why it is going to cost so much to manage in coming years:

A little over two years ago, the Los Angeles County Regional Water Quality Control Board, issued new, extremely stringent permit requirements for municipalities, including Glendora. Referred to as the MS4, or the Stormwater permit, it requires that water runoff from rain must either remain in our city or, if it leaves via the storm drains, it must not exceed stringent pollutant requirements.

The MS4 permit presents major challenges for our city, requiring extensive testing and mitigation of our water control measures. By the end of this fiscal year, Glendora is expected to have spent close to $600,000 to develop a plan for complying with the requirements of this permit and to begin our monitoring program.

Our city is mandated by the state and federal governments to comply with the MS4 permit but neither are providing funding.  How will Glendora, along with other municipalities in LA County who face similar extraordinary costs, provide for this upcoming expense?

Please attend the upcoming meeting to learn more:

Stormwater Special Meeting

Glendora City Hall Council Chamber

Thursday May 21st, 3-5pm

116 E Foothill Blvd, Glendora, CA 91741

(626) 914-8200

Mandated water conservation

Dear Friends,

If you haven’t already heard, the State Water Resources Control Board of California has imposed new mandatory water restrictions. Glendora households must limit water usage to 125 gallons per person per day.

What does this mandate mean for residents? That depends on your water usage. Beginning with the basics, here’s how to read the details of your water bill and determine what your daily water consumption is.

How to calculate your Residential Gallons Per Capita Per Day (R-GPDC) usage:

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A photo essay from Vietnam and Cambodia

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My family and I just returned from a three week trip to Vietnam and Cambodia. It gave us a peek into the lives of the people living there.

Both are war-torn countries, and almost all of the individuals we met have family members who were killed, injured, or displaced by wars. They told us that their governments are still corrupt with fixed elections, billions of dollars misspent, lack of basic infrastructure and living conditions below the poverty level.

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They are a very kind and friendly people— tour guides, hotel staff, people in the cities and small villages all did their best to greet us with smiles and make us feel welcome.  Children were very polite and would always smile and say “hello madam!”

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The National Forest Foundation Collaborative Working Group

My purpose for posting updates about the creation of the SG Mountains National Monument management plan, and the Collaborative group, is to inform citizens. I have been pleased to hear from individuals currently working in the San Gabriels to maintain trails, etc, who want to be involved in the process.

I agree that your input is important. Request for inclusion in the Collaborative group needs to be made to the National Forest Foundation. Attached is a link to the NFF website that includes additional information about participation in committees. There are contact emails near the end of the article:

http://www.nationalforests.org/SanGabrielMountains

Thank you,

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San Gabriel Monument Update

I gave an update on the San Gabriel National Monument at a recent Glendora City Council meeting and would like to pass along the information.

Background: In October of 2014, President Obama used his Executive Order to declare 350,000 acres of the San Gabriel Mountains as a National Monument (NM). Within his proclamation, is a directive that the United States Forest Service (USFS) must create a new management plan for the forest over the next three years. That plan will determine, among other things, future decisions regarding water usage, recreation access and land management in the National Monument.

Update: Part of the stated mission of the USFS in the creation of the new management plan is to receive input from the public. To help with that, the USFS tasked its nonprofit arm, the National Forest Foundation (NFF), with creating a Collaborative group comprised of people representing various interests. I requested a seat at the table to represent the City of Glendora.  I was approved by the NFF and also by my fellow council members at our February 24th City Council meeting.

Ultimately, the USFS will be determining the new management plan for the San Gabriels internally. However, they stated that they will rely on this new collaborative group to help identify where there is broad community support on issues pertaining to the management of the mountains and, also, where there are concerns. They suggested that the Collaborative might stay in place even after the management plan is finalized.

On March 4th, the first meeting for this newly formed Collaborative was held. It was a 6 hour workshop with 45 invitees who represent interests such as the environment, local government, recreation, native tribes, environmental and health justice, water, local conservancies and education. We defined the group’s purpose statement, goals and the intended audience, along with the adoption of a Code of Conduct for members.

Glendora is the only city with a council member specifically representing it’s interests on the Collaborative. During the meeting, I raised the issue of needing more seats at the table for the foothill cities that border the monument. These cities are home to over half a million residents and will be most affected by the new management plan. Resolution of my concern was postponed for further discussion at later meetings.

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Election statement

Dear Glendorans,

Thank you! I am honored to be re-elected to City Council and will continue to serve your best interest over the next four years. I appreciate your input and take your concerns to heart.

Congratulations also to Gary Boyer and Mendell Thompson who were elected. I look forward to working with both of them on the new council.

Sincerely,

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Endorsements: Part 2

Dear Friends,

The Examiner published a letter to the editor today from former State Senator Richard Mountjoy about my blog: http://glendorajudy.com/city-council/campaign-endorsements/

I would like to clarify that this letter was written without my cooperation. I had previously declined a request from the Examiner to reprint my blog in their paper. I am not interested in negative campaigning or brinksmanship.

The City of Glendora has excellent candidates who are running for city council and my aim, if re-elected, is to have a good working relationship with each of them.

Sincerely,

Judy M. Nelson, Mayor, City of Glendora

Glendora City Council Meeting Agenda: Feb. 21st 2015

There are 4 items of Unfinished Business on the agenda for the upcoming council meeting this Tuesday at 7pm:

  • A report on the developer fees charged for major projects and the estimated amounts that will be collected for the five major projects currently under construction in the city:
  • Avalon Bay—280 apartments
  • Glendora Station—53 townhouses
  • Foothill 533—144 townhouses
  • Gables on 66—20 single-family houses and 120 townhouses
  • Monrovia Nursery (La Colima)—121 single-family houses
  • A water conservation update and request for a budget increase for fiscal year 2014-2015 of $158,000 to fund the water conservation and turf removal rebate program.
  • A report on the National Forest Foundation’s (NFF) efforts to establish a San Gabriel Mountains Community Collaborative Group to assist in the development of a proposed land management plan for the newly created San Gabriel Mountains National Monument. This includes a request by Mayor Nelson to be confirmed as the City’s representative to the NFF Community Collaborative Group.
  • An update of the November, 2014 through May, 2015 City of Glendora Strategic Plan and Objectives.

There is no New Business on the Agenda.

If you are unable to attend Tuesday’s council meeting in person, you may watch it at home on channel 3/31, or view it live on the city website at this link: http://www.ci.glendora.ca.us/residents/online-videos

Upcoming meeting agendas are posted on the City website prior to each council meeting, along with video archives of prior meetings.

Campaign Endorsements

I am often asked who I’m endorsing for the upcoming Glendora City Council election. There are six candidates running for three open seats: Michael Allawos, Gary Boyer, Erica Landmann, Joe Santoro, Mendell Thompson, and myself.

From the start, I made a decision not to make any endorsements during this election. I have also declined opportunities to attend joint fundraising events. If given the honor of serving again, my goal is to have a positive working relationship with all of the council members. Therefore, I prefer not to campaign in opposition to any candidates. I trust Glendora residents’ abilities to research and make their own decisions regarding who they choose to represent our city.

With that said, I feel it necessary to clarify that a recent mailer was sent to homes with my photo, listing me as an endorsement along with nine former mayors. I’m sure it was an over-sight, however I’d like to maintain my message of neutrality.

Each of my fellow candidates have certain strengths to offer Glendora.  I wish them all the best in the upcoming March 3rd election.

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Development Town Hall

Wednesday, February 18, 2015
7-9pm
Bidwell Forum (above the Glendora City Library)

The City has heard from many residents who have concerns about the size and scope of current development projects in Glendora. At the Council’s request, a Development Town Hall meeting will be held this Wednesday evening at 7pm at Bidwell Forum.

There are currently 11 projects in various stages of planning and construction within city limits. The City’s Planning Director Jeff Kugel will discuss those projects and offer information about the background and purpose of the “Route 66 Specific Plan” which guides development along the Rt. 66 corridor.  The goal of the meeting is to explain the development process, answer questions and seek citizen input.

Citizens are encouraged to attend the Town Hall meeting in order to:

• Learn about the city’s planning process for development approval
• Learn about current and upcoming development projects
• Ask questions and receive answers
• Let the city know your concerns

Comment cards will be distributed to attendees and will be read and responded to following Director Kugel’s presentation.

Your input is important. Please take advantage of this opportunity to learn and to let your city representatives know what your thoughts are.

Thank you,

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City Council Internship Program

One of my personal goals as a City Council member has been to encourage residents to participate in local government. There are many decisions being made by council and staff that effect the day to day lives of the citizens we serve.

I am particularly focused on giving young people an opportunity to be involved. During the summer of 2013, I implemented an internship program for college students who are interested in how local government operates. My interns have the opportunity to witness first hand how policy is made, how these policies directly effect citizens, and how the decisions made by state and federal agencies can impact our local city government.

I am happy to talk with any students who might be interested in interning with me.

The following are reflections by two of my interns: (more…)