City Opens Discussion on Rec Program Changes

The first phase of a revamped Recreation Department is penciled in to kick off in the next fiscal year, assuming the City Council agrees this month to proceed with investing in the foundation of a three-year plan.
After signaling approval on the direction of the department redesign thus far, the City Council is expected to dive into the nuts and bolts of the program as part of its broader budget discussion. The redesign, which is being helmed by interim Community Services Director Josette Espinosa, is slated to introduce a variety of new programming for residents and relocate where its services are offered as part of a consolidation of sorts with Crowell Public Library. As part of the creation of the Community Service Department, what were independent wings for recreation and library fell under one roof.
“It’s time for us to start acting as one,” Espinosa said while presenting at last Friday’s City Council meeting. Continue reading “City Opens Discussion on Rec Program Changes”

COVID-19 Count Up to 11; City Council Preps for Financial Impact

With the city’s confirmed COVID-19 cases growing to 11 based on Tuesday’s announcement from the county, San Marino Fire Chief Mario Rueda encouraged residents to “stay the course” by adhering to social distancing recommendations and to avoid public gatherings whenever possible.
“We are still taking our cues from the experts and they are advising that we stay the course and continue on with our current procedures,” said Rueda in an interview.
Rueda took issue with several resistance efforts across the country by protestors demanding a rapid return to normalcy and a lifting of quarantine efforts. The COVID-19 pandemic has resulted in strict guidelines against public or private congregation, known as “Safer at Home,” and has shut down all schools and businesses except those considered “essential” in order to contain its spread. Continue reading “COVID-19 Count Up to 11; City Council Preps for Financial Impact”

Crisis Inspires Creativity for Two SMHS Grads

San Marino High School alumnae Serena Wang and Britney Yip collaborated on an app that allows for instant access to the latest information on COVID-19.

Back in her San Marino home due to COVID-19, Serena Wang was tired of sitting around doing the proverbial “nothing” once her online classes were over for the day.
A 2017 graduate of San Marino High School and junior at Johns Hopkins University, Wang responded to a challenge, literally, to assist during the pandemic. Her father, a healthcare worker, was struggling in the early days of the crisis to find sufficient personal protection equipment and Wang wanted to get moving. Continue reading “Crisis Inspires Creativity for Two SMHS Grads”

New Mayor’s Agenda Rooted in Traffic Safety, Preservation

Photo by Zane Hill / OUTLOOK Mayor Gretchen Shepherd Romey discloses her agenda for the City Council for 2020, thanking the women who helped her gain public office.
Photo by Zane Hill / OUTLOOK
Mayor Gretchen Shepherd Romey discloses her agenda for the City Council for 2020, thanking the women who helped her gain public office.

Gretchen Shepherd Romey last week gave the customary round of thanks to her family, friends and colleagues on the City Council for supporting her in her 2017 election to the panel and, now, her selection as its mayor by a unanimous vote at the last meeting of this year.
She extended a special gesture of gratitude to another group of supporters in San Marino, too.
“It’s particularly remarkable that I am here because of an all-female campaign committee, for which I am so very grateful,” the new mayor said last week, kicking off her agenda-setting speech. “Your support strengthens my convictions and spurs me to work harder for our community to make it a wonderful place.”
Shepherd Romey, an attorney before motherhood refocused her energy not only to her children but to local civic and nonprofit organizations as well, outlined a vision of enhancing what she regards as San Marino’s defining qualities for her first go-around as the city’s mayor. Continue reading “New Mayor’s Agenda Rooted in Traffic Safety, Preservation”

Council Near Final Budget, But Hang-Ups Remain

The budget is close to completion, but the city’s administration and City Council aren’t playing horseshoes.
They will be forced to make an 11th-hour vote on the final budget later this month to ensure the city has a formal spending plan by the beginning of September, a deadline that is already past the July 1 start of the fiscal year. The City Council, in its meeting last week, remained hung up on the Parks and Public Works Department, as well as the Recreation Department, but narrowly issued tentative approval for the other municipal departments. Continue reading “Council Near Final Budget, But Hang-Ups Remain”