In a Balancing Act, City Council OKs Budget

Not without some final discussion, the City Council on Tuesday voted 3-1 to adopt the 2018-19 budget and financial plan, with $14,650,375 in expected revenue aligning with anticipated expenditures. Councilman Greg Brown voted against it and Councilman Michael Davitt wasn’t in attendance.
In the budget, 29% of general fund expenditures will go to personnel, while the bulk of departmental expenditures will go to capital projects (22%), public safety (21%) and public works (21%). Continue reading “In a Balancing Act, City Council OKs Budget”

Council Spells Out City Budget Plans

During two sessions of budget discussions in the past week, La Cañada Flintridge City Council members agreed to designate reserve funds in support of the proposed Sagebrush territory transfer, prepared for the possible repeal of the state gas tax, and dedicated $353,425 to support 11 community groups.
The City Council is set to finalize the budget for the coming fiscal year when it reconvenes for its third budget hearing at 8:30 a.m. today, June 28.
Councilman Jonathan Curtis suggested the city earmark $100,000 in reserves to back up La Cañada Unified School District in the latest chapter of a decades-long tug of war over the Sagebrush territory. Continue reading “Council Spells Out City Budget Plans”

City to Tweak Setback Codes, Streamline Process

At the direction of the City Council, Director of Community Development Susan Koleda will modify city planning and permitting procedures as they relate to setbacks in an effort to encourage projects that adhere to code.
Koleda said she aims to rewrite part of the code to allow her office the discretion to approve setback modifications without the need to go through the entire evaluation process, which typically takes up time and incurs permitting fees. The effect, she said, is hopefully that homeowners will keep projects to code as strictly as possible, particularly as it relates to setback modifications. Continue reading “City to Tweak Setback Codes, Streamline Process”

Council Approves New City Hall Design

Photos by Mirjam Swanson / OUTLOOK
A rendering illustrates what visitors to La Cañada Flintridge’s new City Hall can expect to see when the renovations on the building are finished in late 2018 or early 2019.

The City Council voted 4-1 last week in favor of the “original design” concept recommended by the New City Hall Renovation Subcommittee that is estimated to cost $6.45 million.
Concerned about the cost, Councilman Greg Brown voted against approving the final design plan and authorizing the preparation of bid specifications, but the other four council members embraced the proposal at a special meeting on Thursday, April 12.
“This is a 50-year decision, and if we’re going to make a 50-year decision, we have to make the right decision, and I think that’s the first plan,” Councilman Michael Davitt said. Continue reading “Council Approves New City Hall Design”

Planning Director to Retire After 22 Years

Robert Stanley

Robert Stanley will retire from his position as La Cañada Flintridge’s director of Community Development at the end of April, he wrote in an email Wednesday.
“I will definitely miss being part of this city and helping to maintain the high standards for the community,” said Stanley, who started working for LCF in September 1996 and took over as director in January 1998.
He leads the city’s busiest department. At last week’s State of the City address, then-Mayor Michael Davitt shared some statistics about the Community Development Department’s workload in the previous year: 1,724 plan checks, 439 code enforcement cases and 37 planning cases while responding to an average of 1,100 customer service requests per month. Continue reading “Planning Director to Retire After 22 Years”

City, Sheriff Share Crime-Stopper Tactics

Photo by Mirjam Swanson / OUTLOOK
Crescenta Valley Sheriff’s Capt. Chris Blasnek encourages residents to be observant and to call the local sheriff’s station whenever they spot something that looks suspicious.

City officials and local law enforcement personnel hear you, La Cañada Flintridge, and they’re on the case. That was the message at Tuesday’s City Council meeting, much of which was dedicated to sharing various tactics being used to combat a recent uptick in crime.
Echoing the concerns of many in the community, Amy Bernhard told council members that after living in LCF for 17 years, recent crimes — including a pair of home invasions in December — have made her feel unsafe in the city for the first time. She said she found herself setting the alarm during the day when she was home. Continue reading “City, Sheriff Share Crime-Stopper Tactics”

City, LCUSD Board Move Elections to 2020

At the insistence of the state, the City Council and La Cañada Unified School District Governing Board on Tuesday approved resolutions to consolidate their future elections with statewide elections, a shift that will set election dates for even years and add a fifth year to the four-year terms of both sitting council and board members.
The resolutions are in response to Senate Bill 415, signed into law by Gov. Jerry Brown in 2015 aimed at increasing local voter turnout while decreasing local election costs.
The City Council will push back its next municipal election to March 2020, a year later than the previously slated March 2019 election date. LCUSD’s next Governing Board election will be held in November 2020, instead of the previously scheduled November 2019 date. Continue reading “City, LCUSD Board Move Elections to 2020”

LCF City Council Broaches Historic Preservation Discussion

Although it was only a study session, members of the City Council seemed to agree on the need and direction for establishing a more concrete historic preservation procedure in town.
“We should make efforts to identify and preserve our historic resources,” Mayor Michael Davitt said. “I think that’s a smart thing to do.” Continue reading “LCF City Council Broaches Historic Preservation Discussion”

Brown Gets Back to Business as Member of City Council

Photo by Mirjam Swanson / OUTLOOK
After being sworn in Tuesday, Greg Brown thanked his City Council colleagues for their confidence in him: “Hopefully, it’ll be well earned by me and we can get some things done.”

Greg Brown kept things simple after he was formally sworn in as a La Cañada Flintridge City Councilman this week.
“I really look forward to working with you and to keeping things going,” Brown said at Tuesday’s meeting.
Given this was his third time being sworn in as a councilman, Brown was certainly in familiar territory. He fills the seat that was occupied by Dave Spence, who died on May 16, just two months after beginning his seventh term on the City Council. Brown will serve a two-year term, through March 5, 2019.
Continue reading “Brown Gets Back to Business as Member of City Council”