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.

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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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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…)

Development in Glendora

Many Glendorans are expressing concern about new construction in our city, particularly the large scale Avalon Bay project on the NE corner of Rt. 66 and Glendora Ave.

Over the past 7 years, the loss of state redevelopment funds in combination with the economic recession resulted in very few new real estate developments in Glendora.  Recently, with the increase of the housing market, developers have returned to our city.

The Avalon Bay project was guided by the “Route 66 Corridor Specific Plan” which was initiated in 2000.  The Plan was three years in the making and received input from “The Alosta Corridor Committee,” which was a group of citizens, staff and council members. It was approved by council in 2003 and since then, has been the standard used for planning new development in the area.

At City Hall this Tuesday, January 13th, 2015 at 7pm, there will be an important city council meeting. We will be discussing and voting on two related items: 1. Is it time to review the Rt. 66 Corridor Specific Plan? and, 2. Should we hold a Town Hall meeting for residents regarding development? 

You are invited to attend this upcoming meeting to give your opinion during public comment, or you can contact the council in advance. 

The Rt. 66 Plan encourages high density development in order to meet the needs of the city such as bringing young families to Glendora to increase dwindling school enrollments, support local businesses and raise municipal revenue. The plan also aims to place housing near the future Gold Line train station so residents can easily commute to work. The five-story, 280 unit Avalon Bay project met the criterion of the Rt. 66 Corridor Specific Plan and did not require any variances to be approved.

For the past several years, I have spoken with our city manager and council regarding a review of the Rt. 66 Corridor Specific Plan to ensure that it still meets the needs and desires of our residents. One of my particular concerns is that The Plan does not allow for set-backs of more than 10 feet, which requires buildings to be close to the sidewalk with minimal landscaping. The Plan also allows for 5 story construction, which can block views of the foothills.

A review of The Plan has not received much support, and very few residents have attended council meetings to voice their opinion. If these matters are important to you, please become involved. Local government requires that three groups —city council, staff and citizens— all actively participate in the decision making process to achieve a well-rounded outcome.

If you are unable to attend Tuesday’s council meeting, you may watch 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 also posted on the City website, along with video archives of prior meetings. For the past three months, each council meeting has had an in-depth presentation and discussion of various developments in process with the city. These videos are available for viewing on our website and residents are welcome to offer their feedback.

Official campaign announcement

Glendora is holding a local election for city council this upcoming March and the application process for candidates is currently under way. My first term as a councilmember will be completed in a few months, and I’ve decided to enter the race for a second 4-year term.

There will be three open seats available. As of now, 6 other Glendorans have also pulled papers to run. The deadline to enter is Dec. 17th and the campaign season officially starts on January 1st.  I appreciate your support and look forward to representing you on city council for another term.