LCF Mayor Reflects on Event-Filled Year

Michael Davitt

Michael Davitt said he’ll remember his second go-round as La Cañada Flintridge mayor for the city’s purchase of a new City Hall building, for the traffic jams spurred by the 210 Freeway resurfacing project, for the long-sought approval of Flintridge Sacred Heart Academy’s Master Plan — but, most of all, for the loss of fellow councilman and friend Dave Spence, who suffered a fatal heart attack in May.
Over scrambled egg whites recently at Magpie’s Grill, Davitt discussed some of the key events in 2017 and previewed some of what he’s excited about in 2018.
Highlights of that conversation follow:

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A Look Back at 2017’s Top Stories in LCF

It was a busy year in La Cañada Flintridge. Residents came together to mourn losses and celebrate victories, they made their voices heard at the polls and in public hearings, they made history in real estate and sports, and, at La Cañada High School, students were instructed to try to get a little more sleep.
Here are the 17 most important local stories of 2017:

1. LCF Loses Dave Spence
Dave Spence suffered a fatal heart attack at his home May 16. The devoted city councilman and six-time mayor was 80.
In March, he’d been re-elected for a seventh term as a member of the City Council, on which he’d served since 1992: “In my opinion, La Cañada Flintridge is one of the greatest cities in this state,” Spence said during his last campaign.

Photos by Mirjam Swanson / OUTLOOK
Mayor Michael Davitt speaks at the funeral of longtime City Councilman Dave Spence in May at La Cañada Presbyterian Church.

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Property Owners May Give Verizon Tower Relocation Options

Four property owners along Huntington Drive are apparently willing to discuss the possibility of allowing Verizon to install cellphone signal devices to their buildings, Planning and Building Director Aldo Cervantes reported last week.
Cervantes, who was updating the City Council on the matter, did not name those owners or which properties. He said those four owners were among a total of nine whose properties were identified by Verizon as feasible locations. Continue reading “Property Owners May Give Verizon Tower Relocation Options”

LCF City Council Approves $3.3M Sale of City Hall Site

City Council members on Tuesday approved the sale of La Cañada Flintridge’s current City Hall building to Glendale-based Knight Insurance Services for $3.3 million.
“It’s been an ongoing conversation with the buyer and the council and the city for quite some time,” Mayor Michael Davitt said Wednesday. “It came up right after we were committed to move ahead with the new acquisition.” Continue reading “LCF City Council Approves $3.3M Sale of City Hall Site”

City Hall’s $11 Million Move to Town Center OK’d

La Cañada Flintridge’s City Hall is moving to the Town Center, a “more strategic location,” Mayor Jonathan Curtis called it.
The city announced last week that it agreed to purchase the former Sport Chalet office building for $11.23 million. The purchase follows a recommendation by an ad hoc committee comprised of citizens, Realtors, city staff and consultants, as well as the completion of a 90-day due diligence that analyzed physical, legal, environmental and suitability factors.
LCF will pay La Cañada Properties Inc. a cash deposit into escrow of $5.65 million with the balance carried on a two-year, interest-free promissory note that will allow the city to consider various alternatives for paying off the balance without incurring additional costs or charges. Those alternatives will include options for the sale or lease of the current City Hall building at 1327 Foothill Blvd.

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City Approves Sport Chalet Office Purchase

City Hall will relocate to the former Sport Chalet headquarters.
City Hall will relocate to the former Sport Chalet headquarters.

The city of La Cañada Flintridge signed off Wednesday on the acquisition of the old Sport Chalet office building at One Sport Chalet Drive for use as City Hall, Mayor Jonathan Curtis said.
A 90-day due diligence process evaluated the physical, legal, environmental and suitability factors. Now, the city will pay $11.2 million for the 24,000-square-foot office space and the Montessori school operating on the property, Curtis said.
“It promises to bring new efficiencies and services to the community,” Curtis said. “We’re very excited about that.”
City operations have outgrown the current City Hall space, where 48 city staffers work closely in a 7,160-square-foot building at 1327 Foothill Blvd. When City Manager Mark Alexander began working for LCF 28 years ago, there were only 10 city employees in the same facility, he said.

— Mirjam Swanson