City Wants Local Polling Place for Nov. 3 Election

Photo by Keira Wight / Outlook Valley Sun
A drop-off box for mail-in ballots has been placed outside the La Cañada Flintridge Library, but city officials also are asking the county to place a voting center in the city. The nearest locations for in-person voting for the Nov. 3 election are in La Crescenta and Altadena.

 

In an effort to provide La Cañada Flintridge residents with more voting locations for the Nov. 3 election, City Manager Mark Alexander assured the community on Tuesday that municipal staff members are working with the Los Angeles County registrar-recorder office to possibly open a voting center here.
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Council Discusses Gift Card Program to Help Local Businesses

Local residents take in some warm summer weather on Wednesday to support local business Soak Nail Bar, which has moved operations outside to observe safety measures put in place by Gov. Gavin Newsom to curb the spread of COVID-19.

The La Cañada Flintridge City Council is taking action in assisting businesses affected by the COVID-19 pandemic by implementing a gift card program that would encourage the public to spend locally.
Lisa Brancheau, senior management analyst, presented the idea in a virtual meeting on Tuesday, and the council unanimously approved a motion to allow City Manager Mark Alexander to run a pilot program that will cost up to $15,000. Mayor Mike Davitt and Councilwoman Terry Walker abstained from the conversation and vote because of their stakes in local businesses.
The program will allow people to purchase gift cards at a discounted rate and use them at participating businesses. Staff considered options that included a collaboration with Citizens Business Bank in which it would sell gift cards that function as a debit card. The idea of selling them through City Hall was also explored.
However, the discussion between Mayor Pro Tem Jonathan Curtis and members Keith Eich and Richard Gunter favored a digital approach because it would present fewer challenges. Brancheau said other cities have successfully implemented similar programs through Giftbar and Yiftee, and the online platforms make it easier to conduct research and track data. The city would use the agreed-upon $15,000 to pay for any fees incurred on merchants.

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Businesses to Get Grants, Outdoor Space

Photo by Christian Leonard / Outlook Valley Sun
La Cañada Flintridge’s city manager told council members he would give an order making it easier for local businesses, particularly restaurants, struggling due to the pandemic to expand outdoor seating.

La Cañada Flintridge will offer grants to a few local small businesses affected by the COVID-19 pandemic, giving up to $10,000 to three entities.
The City Council approved the funds, which the city received from the Department of Housing and Urban Development through the CARES Act, during its meeting on Tuesday. The program will include a stipulation that the businesses cannot already have received COVID-19 recovery funds.
The $35,925 the city is eligible for is enough to give grants of up to $10,000 to three businesses. The remaining money could then be awarded to a fourth, according to a staff report submitted to the City Council by Senior Management Analyst Lisa Brancheau.
The money, which does not have to be repaid, can be used for payroll, operational expenses and the purchase of protective equipment.
Council members acknowledged that the money was not enough to help every business that needed it, but said they would try to get additional funding.
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City to Septic Tank Users: Get With the System

La Cañada Flintridge officials are ready to continue their decades-old struggle to persuade some residents north of Foothill Boulevard to connect their properties to the sewer systems used by the city.
The City Council discussed the ongoing issue in a special meeting on Tuesday and decided to get back on track with its original plan. Officials will send letters to 64 addresses, mostly homes, giving them notices of public nuisance.
“What it would be is a courted document on the property,” said City Manager Mark Alexander. “It would come up with a title search and put a hold on anything the property owner wanted to do with the property until [the notice] is cleared.”
To encourage property owners to eliminate septic tanks and connect to one of the sewer systems, the city offered grants of approximately $8,000 to qualified low- and moderate-income households. Letters were originally sent to unconnected homes in 2018 during March and July, and city code enforcement officer David Rodriguez went door to door to personally notify the owners.
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Caution Urged as Three Coronavirus Cases Emerge

Photo by Wes Woods II / OUTLOOK
The tennis courts on Cornishon Avenue were closed recently after the city of La Cañada Flintridge took action to reduce opportunities for coronavirus transmission following an L.A. County Department of Public Health order.

As Los Angeles County Department of Public Health officials confirmed three coronavirus cases in a region including La Cañada Flintridge as of Wednesday, the city’s mayor called this a “serious and difficult time” for the community.
The region referred to by public health also includes unincorporated La Crescenta-Montrose and has a population of 40,253.
“I ask that our residents stay up to date with the recommendations to battle this virus,” Mayor Leonard Pieroni said in an email to The Outlook this week. “Adhere to the ‘safer at home’ orders from the federal, state and county leadership. We are all in this situation together. I count on our community to look out for our families, friends, and especially those that might need more help during this time. We will get through this, and I am looking forward to that.”
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Wary of Disasters, City Officials Revamp Emergency Procedures

Measures that are being taken by La Cañada Flintridge officials to handle disasters such as wildfires and earthquakes were detailed during a special meeting of the LCF City Council this week.
Chris Carey, LCF’s emergency services coordinator, said Tuesday that he and an emergency preparedness committee recently reviewed what to do if such an event occurred. Carey said he is revamping some materials for use in the city’s emergency operations center and going through information binders and checklists available for groups and individuals. Continue reading “Wary of Disasters, City Officials Revamp Emergency Procedures”