City Opts Not to Report Vandalism at Memorial Park

At Tuesday’s City Council meeting, city staff members defended their decision not to file reports with the Crescenta Valley Sheriff’s Station following three recent acts of vandalism at Memorial Park.
“The incidents were minor incidents of vandalism,” said City Manager Mark Alexander, describing occurrences that included displaced bricks, a broken light and graffiti. “From my perspective, it’s more important we focus resources on removing the graffiti as soon as possible.”
He said that, on such occasions, city staff often will take photos to share with sheriff’s deputies so they have a record of it.
Carl Alameda, the city’s director of administrative services, added that the city has asked the Sheriff’s department to focus patrols on the park and the surrounding neighborhoods since the vandalism occurred.
Alameda also said there initially was a question as to whether the first incident — the dislodged bricks — was the result of vandals or of a waste-hauling truck that had picked up trash there the previous day.
On social media over the weekend, several residents discussed the vandalism and expressed displeasure about the city deciding against reporting the incidents.
Belinda Randolph was among them, telling Council members Tuesday that she thought all incidents needed to be reported, regardless of their severity.
“If somebody vandalized my property, I would be on the phone and have the police at my house, and I would write a police report,” said Randolph, who also wondered whether it was possible that the three incidents were connected with an attempted carjacking at the La Cañada High School parking lot on Feb. 15.
“I think of Memorial Park as my park; I live here, this is my home.”

A NEW CITY HALL,
OFFICIALLY

Mayor Jonathan Curtis reported Wednesday that escrow had closed and the city had officially purchased the former 27,881-square foot Sport Chalet headquarters for use as a future City Hall.
“It’ll be wonderful,” he said. “La Cañada Flintridge has a new City Hall.”
The city purchased the building from La Cañada Properties Inc. for $11.23 million. A cash deposit of $5.65 million was paid into escrow with the balance carried on a two-year interest-free promissory note that will allow the city to consider different alternatives for paying off the balance.
“I’m just very pleased we’re able to acquire this building for a new City Hall,” Curtis said. “It promises to bring new efficiencies and benefits to all the citizens of La Cañada Flintridge.”

STORM DAMAGE
LIMITED

With the exception of six trees and one residence, LCF avoided major damage during the recent rainstorms, said Edward Hitti, director of public works.
“We’ve been very fortunate with the storm drain system,” Hitti said. “It’s functioning very well. There were no reports of flooding in the street.”
He said one of the city’s trees and five private trees were felled, including one that came down Saturday onto a two-story residence on Countryman Lane, causing severe damage. The Los Angeles County Fire Department responded to that incident, he said, and helped the homeowners and their contractor remove the tree.
The residents were allowed to enter the house and retrieve their belongings but will not be permitted to inhabit it until it’s repaired, according to Nader Samaan, a division manager with the city’s building department.
“That was a massive tree,” Curtis said. “They’re lucky it was a two-story house. If it was one story, it would’ve sliced it in half.”

JOINT POWERS OK’d

Council members voted unanimously on an agreement to formalize the Arroyo Verdugo Subregion Steering Committee into a Joint Powers Authority with Burbank, Glendale, Pasadena, South Pasadena and unincorporated La Crescenta and Montrose.
The move was in response to concerns about the adequacy of representation regarding the area’s transportation needs by other members of the San Gabriel Valley Council of Governments.
The members of the new Joint Powers Authority have agreed to receive future Measure M transportation funds through the Arroyo Verdugo Subregion, rather than their respective COGs.

PORTANTINO
SWEARING IN

New state Sen. Anthony Portantino, an LCF resident, will host a community swearing in from noon-2 p.m. on Sunday, Feb. 26, at Glendale Community College’s auditorium. There will be music and refreshments before the ceremony.
Free parking is available in the structure off the Mountain Avenue exit from the 2 Freeway.
To RSVP, contact team@anthonyportantino.com.

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