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.
During the meeting:
• A concern was raised about the new FAA flight path program that will route more airlines over Glendora
Background: The FAA is implementing a Satellite-based air traffic control system called NextGen. Its goals are to reduce fuel consumption, increase safety and capacity, and to create standard flight paths that bring planes into airport landing approaches at proper spacing and on steady and gentle glide paths. Departure routes under the new system are designed to get planes turning in the direction of their destination quickly after take-off to reduce the number of miles flown in the wrong direction.
The FAA held a meeting in Glendora to discuss this topic with neighboring cities in late Nov. 2015. We were informed 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 helicopters that fly above our city are usually at 500 to 3,000 ft. After the meeting, the City of Glendora asked the FAA to consider delaying the final decision until they have had more conversations with the affected communities. I will personally follow up on this issue.
• There was a comment that the current closure of a lane in both directions on Rt. 66 near Compromise Lane for work on the medians is causing a traffic buildup and possible safety hazard in the morning. A suggestion was made that the median work start time be moved to 8:00 or 8:30, after the early morning drive to work and school is over.
Followup: The City Manager will explore scheduling a later start time for the work crew. However, that will delay the completion of the job (now scheduled for about 2 more weeks) and add costs (the City is using a part-time crew temporarily for that work). The longer it takes, the more it costs. As an alternative, it’s suggested that drivers temporarily change their morning route to avoid that area.
• One attendee asked for more information about the LA Water Quality Control Board’s 2012 Stormwater permit and also an update about Congresswoman Chu’s recently introduced National Monument/National Recreation Area legislation. How might they impact Glendorans and what is the City doing?
Follow up: The Tuesday, Jan. 26th Council meeting will include reports on both of these items. Residents may attend the meeting in person at City Hall, watch it stream live on their computer via the City’s website, or view it on cable TV (KGLN is available on Time Warner, Channel 3 and Verizon FIOS, Channel 31). Archived meetings can also be viewed later on the City’s website: http://www.ci.glendora.ca.us/residents/online-videos
• During the meeting there was also a discussion about Glendora’s businesses— How do we appeal to customers to increase their visits to our businesses (not just for special events such as the stroll or wine walk)? How do we make Glendora a more desirable place to spend an afternoon or evening out with friends? How do we target new businesses that residents would like to see in our city, and improve Glendora’s practices in working with new businesses? How do we engage businesses in all areas of the City, including separate “islands” of stores that are isolated?
It was agreed that this is a topic that would benefit from ongoing discussion among business owners, the Chamber of Commerce, the Business Improvement District board, citizens and the City Council and Staff.
There were also several questions raised that we are gathering more information on:
• A request for more information about the State’s continued drought mandate and its impact on Glendora. The resident wanted to know if there will be any changes to the restrictions if the mandate is extended, as expected, past it’s February deadline.
• A resident with an ongoing concern about coyote regulation asked the City to investigate ways to work with other agencies to eliminate animals that are deemed dangerous to pets and citizens.
• A resident raised concern about Glendora’s sign ordinance allowing signage in languages other than English and requested that it be amended.
• There was a question about why large amounts of water have been observed flowing from construction sites. I’ve inquired about this for more info.
• There was a request that the City Council hold regularly scheduled (quarterly?) “working” meetings—meetings on a specific subject, such as Economic Development, that all five Council Members could attend and participate in, along with citizens and appropriate city staff. We will discuss this idea.
If you are a resident with questions or concerns please feel free to contact me. One of my primary goals as a council member is to foster open communication between citizens and city government. Another Community Conversation meeting, led by Council Member Thompson, is tentatively planned for May and I will post the details when they are finalized.