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”

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”

New Street Lights Among City Projects

With the city’s street light replacement project well underway, San Marino’s Public Works Director Dan Wall expects a variety of other projects to take off in the coming months.
City workers have gradually been replacing the bulbs in street lights as Southern California Edison has installed utility meters into the poles. Previously, San Marino’s street lights were unmetered and the city paid a flat fee for them. Now, the lights will use more energy-efficient bulbs that will be metered. Continue reading “New Street Lights Among City Projects”

Fire Department Adds to Arsenal

Photo courtesy San Marino Fire Department Firefighters practice using one of their new salvage covers at the San Marino Fire Station. The vinyl sheet protects objects from smoke and water damage.
Photo courtesy San Marino Fire Department
Firefighters practice using one of their new salvage covers at the San Marino Fire Station. The vinyl sheet protects objects from smoke and water damage.

It is no secret to firefighters that smoke is borderline impossible to navigate on its own.
Even the artificial smoke generated from machines during training obscures nearly all useful vision, and that’s nothing compared to the black carpets of smoke that come with any type of structure fire and only adds to the chaos.
Starting last week, San Marino Fire Department’s ambulances and firetrucks now carry the latest in heat detection and navigation technology to assist. The small neon thermal imagers replace the clunkier ones of the past at a significant price premium. Continue reading “Fire Department Adds to Arsenal”