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:
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.
Mayor Michael Davitt attended a series of federal advocacy meetings last week in Washington, D.C., focused on sober living homes, a topic that’s arisen as a concern among La Cañada Flintridge residents.
“This is not just a local issue, it’s a statewide and nationwide issue,” said Davitt, who said he and other representatives from the California Contract Cities Association spent Dec. 11-12 meeting with a dozen legislators, including members of the House of Representatives and Senate.
At Tuesday’s City Council meeting, Davitt said he and his colleagues sat in on a subcommittee meeting on the topic, and learned about H.R. 6070, the Safe Recovery and Community Empowerment Act, a bill sponsored by California Congressman Darrell Issa that would allow communities to implement oversight of sober living facilities. Continue reading “Davitt Discusses Sober Living Homes in D.C.”
Starting Friday, Dec. 1, another 150 La Cañada Flintridge homeowners will have the opportunity to purchase a Ring.com residential video doorbell system at half price.
After residents continued to express interest in the Ring.com rebate, the City Council voted last week to appropriate $7,500 of additional funding to the program. That will permit residents who register for a unique code to receive a $100 discount — covered equally by the city and Ring.com — on the normally $200 system. To receive the code, residents must email at email@example.com with their shipping address. The rebates will be delivered on a first-come, first-served basis. Continue reading “LCF Extends Ring.com Rebate Program”
La Cañada Flintridge City Council on Tuesday evening voted on a plan to consolidate future municipal elections with statewide elections, pushing back the next election to March 2020, a year longer beyond the currently slated election of March 2019.
The resolution is in response to a state mandate, Senate Bill 415, signed into law by Gov. Jerry Brown in 2015, which aims to increase voter turnout rates for city elections that tend to be lower when they are not held concurrently with statewide elections. The bill also is meant to cut down on municipal costs that a local election entails. Continue reading “LCF City Council to Push Back Elections to March 2020”
La Cañada Flintridge’s Ring.com Residential Video Doorbell Rebate Program — which allowed residents to purchase the home security device for $100 less than its regular $200 price — was so popular with residents that it was less than a week before the city exhausted the available subsidies.
The program opened on Oct. 24 and within four days, the program was full.
“We are very pleased with the response we received from the community regarding the program,” Mayor Michael Davitt said in an email. “It is a very cost-effective tool to help with our continuing efforts to increase public safety and public awareness.” Continue reading “Video Doorbell Rebate Program a Sellout”
If E.T. were to trick-or-treat anywhere in America in 2017, it would be on Indianola Way.
In La Cañada Flintridge’s throwback neighborhood on Tuesday, residents perched in driveways in front of festively, spookily designed homes, their candy bowls well stocked and beckoning to little dinosaurs, DJs and Dodgers.
“There’s a nostalgia there that reminds me of what it was like when I was a kid in the ’80s,” said La Cañada High School drama teacher Justin Eick, who has been a regular visitor with his son, Hayden, for nine years. “You know, when Gertie takes E.T. out trick-or-treating in the streets and you see all of these kids roaming? To be able to share that with my son and with the La Cañada community is something I look forward to every year.” Continue reading “Indianola Way Neighbors Throw Annual Halloween Block Party”
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”
A pair of consultants encouraged the city of La Cañada Flintridge to pressure Southern California Edison to focus on improving the worst five of their 24 citywide circuits — including one that SCE already is in the process of removing — in order to maintain reliable service.
SCE spokesman Adrian Garcia told the City Council at its meeting Tuesday that the agency is currently doing such monitoring, but that it would review the report compiled by independent consultant PMCM and “take those recommendations into account.” Continue reading “City Council Examines Pressuring SCE for More Upgrades”
The City Council voted 4-0 at its meeting Tuesday to award Gonzalez Goodale Architects with the contract to renovate the new City Hall building, agreeing to a fee of no more than $505,000.
The architects will be tasked with turning the former Sport Chalet corporate headquarters office building — for which the city is paying $11.23 million — building into a workable City Hall. City Councilman Jonathan Curtis was not at Tuesday’s meeting, but his fellow council members gave the contract the go-ahead when they approved the consent agenda. Continue reading “City Picks Architect to Remodel New City Hall Building”