City Council Hesitates to Budget for Sound Walls

In the last of three budget meetings, City Council members opted on Thursday, June 28, to hold off funding four sound walls and the long-discussed bikeway and pedestrian project near the YMCA as they worked to balance the city’s budget for the fiscal year that began July 1.
La Cañada Flintridge’s total general fund revenue for the next year is budgeted at $14,650,375, which will match its expenditures, according to Finance Director Rebekka Hosken. Continue reading “City Council Hesitates to Budget for Sound Walls”

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”

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”

New Mayor Talks Goals, Shows Off New City Hall

Photo by Mirjam Swanson / OUTLOOK
During Tuesday’s City Council meeting new Mayor Terry Walker (right) told outgoing Mayor Michael Davitt that she has “big shoes to fill” in the coming year, using footwear as props to illustrate that point.

Terry Walker has substantial goals that she’d like to accomplish — and big shoes to fill, she said — in the next year, her first as mayor of La Cañada Flintridge.
She demonstrated Tuesday by holding aloft a loafer belonging to Michael Davitt, LCF’s outgoing mayor, and then inserting one of her high-heeled shoes within it: “This your shoe, and this is my shoe,” she said, as Davitt sat beside her, chuckling. “I will try to live up to your shoe size.”
After Walker’s first meeting as mayor adjourned, show-and-tell continued at the “changeover” reception as community members filled the hallways and lobby of the former Sport Chalet corporate office building that soon will contain City Hall. Continue reading “New Mayor Talks Goals, Shows Off New City Hall”

Choi, Davitt, Markgraf and Multari Are Les Tupper Honorees in 2018

The 54th annual Les Tupper Community Service Awards will be held at 7 p.m. on Monday, April 16, at Von Kármán Auditorium at Jet Propulsion Laboratory.
Soo Kim Choi, Michael Davitt, Katherine Markgraf and Ellen Multari will be honored with individual Community Service Awards; Courtney Johnson and Naomi Stephen will receive Student Service Awards and USC Verdugo Hills Hospital volunteers will be recognized with the Special Service Award.
Community members are invited to attend as the LCF Coordinating Council distributes the awards, which annually recognize individuals and groups for their outstanding service to the community. Continue reading “Choi, Davitt, Markgraf and Multari Are Les Tupper Honorees in 2018”

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”

State of the City in LCF: Lower Crime Rate, High-Tech Improvements

Photo by Mirjam Swanson / OUTLOOK
In the annual State of the City address on Wednesday at Descanso Gardens’ Van de Kamp Hall, Mayor Michael Davitt previewed many of the projects ahead in La Cañada Flintridge, including a new online planning program that is expected to make the permitting process easier for residents.

At the annual State of the City address, Mayor Michael Davitt offered morsels of interest for just about everyone in the large lunchtime Kiwanis crowd Wednesday at Descanso Gardens’ Van de Kamp Hall.
Davitt boasted of the city’s low 7% commercial vacancy rate, its issuance of 55 film and photography requests (worth $28,475 to the city, he noted) and said 624 Summer Beach Bus riders rode from La Cañada Flintridge to Santa Monica in 2017. Continue reading “State of the City in LCF: Lower Crime Rate, High-Tech Improvements”

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:

Continue reading “LCF Mayor Reflects on Event-Filled Year”

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.

Continue reading “A Look Back at 2017’s Top Stories in LCF”