Search Starts for New City Manager

The City Council voted to release requests for a proposal last week for professional executive recruiting firms, formally beginning its search to hire a permanent city manager.
Requests for proposal, or RFPs, invite companies to submit proposed prices for specific jobs based on parameters set by the government agency. Cindy Collins, who has served as the interim city manager since John Schaefer retired in June, will not seek the job permanently.
Collins told the City Council at the Jan. 11 meeting that she expected to bring a recommended firm for its approval at the Feb. 24 study session. Once a firm is selected, it would begin its search for candidates to have the city interview.
Collins said when all was said and done, she expected a candidate to be hired around June. Continue reading “Search Starts for New City Manager”

New City Club President Kicks Off ’17 With Retreat

Photo courtesy Kristen Van Driel San Marino City Club past presidents include (from left) Pete Loeffler (2012), John Morris (2005), Bill Gunnell (2007), Frank Chen (2016), Dan Biles (2015), Janice Lee-McMahon (2011), Wally Rosvall (2003), David Wang (current), Mort Mortimer (2006), Tom Santley (2004), Dick Ward (1989), Al Boegh (2010), Fritz Seares (1999) and Ken Riley (1995).
Photo courtesy Kristen Van Driel
San Marino City Club past presidents include (from left) Pete Loeffler (2012), John Morris (2005), Bill Gunnell (2007), Frank Chen (2016), Dan Biles (2015), Janice Lee-McMahon (2011), Wally Rosvall (2003), David Wang (current), Mort Mortimer (2006), Tom Santley (2004), Dick Ward (1989), Al Boegh (2010), Fritz Seares (1999) and Ken Riley (1995).

The conclusion of a successful board retreat for San Marino City Club helped to set the tone for David Wang’s first year as president of the organization.
The annual retreat, which is held in Palm Springs, brings together the 14 members of SMCC’s board and also past presidents and their spouses. Wang said the retreat this year included a “fairly large cross section” of the latter, especially at the strategic planning meeting.
“It’s a good way to indoctrinate the new board members,” he said in a telephone interview. “This year, it was extremely well attended. We had more past presidents there this year than in recent years.”
That insight proved valuable, Wang said, as he prepares for his year as president. Continue reading “New City Club President Kicks Off ’17 With Retreat”

Snow Day Declared in Lacy Park

Lacy Park was transformed into a winter wonderland recently with tons of snow, sledding, a snowball fight area, snowman-building, bounce houses, slides, music and dancing, and a train ride. Parents grabbed coffee and hot chocolate and enjoyed watching their sunny California kids play in the snow

City Council OKs New Home

Dr. Richard Sun’s first big decision as this year’s mayor came in the form of a contentious tie-breaking vote at the City Council’s first meeting of 2017.
Sun’s vote to deny a petition to classify the home at 1470 Virginia Road as a historical landmark appears to have put to rest a public battle over the residence that has waged since July.
In casting his vote at the Jan. 11 meeting, the preservation-minded Sun also acknowledged that the public outcry for a stronger historical designation process was as loud as it’s been in recent memory and the city needed to enact changes as soon as possible. Continue reading “City Council OKs New Home”

City Budget Remains in Spotlight Amid New Faces

The city will continue to have all eyes on its financial books as it approaches its annual mid-year review of the annual budget in January.
It is a theme that has persisted throughout 2016.
Perhaps the most visible example was cemented by the oft-contentious discussion and adoption of the fiscal year 2016-17 budget in June, which involved a continuing impasse with the Fire Department on overtime and included disagreements over a possible position upgrade within City Hall that, at a glance, appeared inconsequential in the context of the city’s $26.55 million budget. Continue reading “City Budget Remains in Spotlight Amid New Faces”

Barger Sees New Role as Her Calling

Photo courtesy Kathryn Barger San Marino resident Kathryn Barger speaks Dec. 5 after being inaugurated as Los Angeles County supervisor for the 5th District. Seated on the left is her brother, John Barger, alongside her husband, Eric Leibrich.
Photo courtesy Kathryn Barger
San Marino resident Kathryn Barger speaks Dec. 5 after being inaugurated as Los Angeles County supervisor for the 5th District. Seated on the left is her brother, John Barger, alongside her husband, Eric Leibrich.

In a telephone interview ahead of Christmas weekend, Kathryn Barger admitted she did not expect a series of meetings to fill her schedule on either side of the holiday.
That was fine, she conceded. She was, after all, sworn in earlier this month as the supervisor of Los Angeles County’s largest of five districts. She still had transition work to do, even after spending the better part of the last 28 years working for her now-predecessor, Mike Antonovich. Continue reading “Barger Sees New Role as Her Calling”

Local Author Has a ‘Yarn’ to Tell in Second Book

Lois Petren
Lois Petren

Just in time for the Christmas season, San Marino resident and avid knitter Lois Petren has released the latest in her series of yarn-based children’s books.
The fully illustrated “Lulu and Lainey … A Christmas Yarn” was released Nov. 28 as the sequel to “Lulu and Lainey … a French Yarn,” which debuted in June. In the latest book, the titular character, Lulu, visits her grandmother in France and brings along her prized knitting kit. However, an adventure unfolds when grandmother’s cat steals a ball of yarn and then loses it in the days before Christmas. Continue reading “Local Author Has a ‘Yarn’ to Tell in Second Book”

Some Compromise Made on Proposed Home

There was a modicum of compromise at the recent City Council meeting regarding the long-contested demolition of a home to make way for a new one.
Thanks to a unanimous vote at the Dec. 14 meeting, the property owners of 1470 Virginia Road will be able to file papers with the city for their proposed new home, which will allow evaluators to use the state’s 2016 energy requirements for new homes. However, the ultimate decision as to whether they will be allowed to move forward will tentatively be made at the City Council’s meeting on Jan. 11. Continue reading “Some Compromise Made on Proposed Home”

School Board Defers Borrowing Decision, Elects Officers

Given the body was short one board member, the San Marino Unified School District board elected to wait a month to decide on what terms it will try to borrow $8 million for its forthcoming athletic complex.
The board did, however, elect new officers for 2017 in its final meeting for 2016.
The Certificate of Participation, as presented by Chet Wang of El Segundo-based Keygent Advisors, would be for $8 million over a 25-year period with varying interest rates based on early payment schedules. The payments would run through 2041 unless the School Board acts upon an early payment contingency. Continue reading “School Board Defers Borrowing Decision, Elects Officers”

City Council Takes Steps on Election Decision

Though coming short of a final determination, the City Council did narrow its choices for how it will conform to the state’s election calendar at its sole December meeting.
Based on its vote at the Dec. 14 meeting, the City Council plans to hold the November 2017 election for three of its seats as planned. To be determined, however, is how those or subsequent terms will be modified to transition the city to elections on even-numbered years. Continue reading “City Council Takes Steps on Election Decision”