City Council pledges support for Proposition 68, 69

In a 3-2 vote, the City Council voted to support Proposition 68 and Proposition 69. As you might have heard, both are legislative items that will be heard on the June ballot. Briefly:

  • Proposition 68: The state currently operates several programs to protect the environment and to offer recreation activities to the public, spending approximately $5 billion annually using a combination of general obligation bonds, fee revenue and the state’s general fund. These programs also offer loans and grants to local governments in support of natural resource programs. Proposition 68 would allow the state to sell $4.1 billion in general obligation bonds to support these initiatives, with $4 billion in new bonds and a reallocation of $100 million in unsold bonds that were approved for natural resource uses.
    • Per the state’s Legislative Analyst’s Office:
      • A yes vote would mean that the state could sell a $4.1 billion dollar bond to support these projects
      • A no vote would prevent the state from selling a $4.1 billion dollar bond
    • If voters approve Proposition 68, San Gabriel may be able to acquire funding for improvements to Smith Park, Vincent Lugo Park and an urban trail to the Valley Boulevard commercial district

On voting against the motion, Mayor Harrington noted that “it’s a $4 billion bond, and when you start reading into the bond what it actually does, we’re going to get about less than 10 cents on the dollar from every tax dollar that leaves San Gabriel.” He continued, “If we want to increase parks in San Gabriel, let’s have a park fund ourselves. Maybe we can have a local tax where we get 100% of it.” [To hear the full quote, fast forward to 52:30 in the City Council recording linked to below]

  • Proposition 69: Perhaps the most buzzworthy proposition brought to the City Council, Proposition 69 will amend Senate Bill 1 (SB 1) to require that the state legislature spend revenues collected from SB 1 on transportation related purposes. Specifically, the proposition will prohibit the state from loaning this revenue or using it to repay state transportation bonds without voter approval.
    • Per the state’s Legislative Analyst’s Office:
      • A yes vote means that the state legislature will be required to spend revenue from SB 1 on transportation purposes under the state constitution
      • A no vote means that the legislature could spend revenue collected from SB 1 on non-transportation related items
    • If voters approve Proposition 69, San Gabriel will receive funding to address a $50 million dollar backlog in pavement improvements

Mayor Harrington also voted against supporting this proposition, noting “when the first initiative was signed last year [SB 1] raising the tax, it had these constitutional protections in it.” Harrington continued, “what they’re actually accomplishing with this is to raise the amount of money they can spend and raise the amount of money they can tax by the exact amount of money they taxed us last year.” [57:46]

City Council: Vote:
Mayor John Harrington No
Vice Mayor Jason Pu Yes
Councilmember Juli Costanzo No
Councilmember Chin Ho Liao Yes
Councilmember Denise Menchaca Yes

Council votes to support crime reform, water supply reform

In a unanimous vote, the City Council voted to support two initiatives:

  • The Reducing Crime and Keeping California Safe initiative: this aims to prevent the early release of inmates convicted of violent crimes. The act will reclassify current “non-violent” crimes, such as rape of an unconscious person, sex trafficking of a child and other 14 serious crimes as “violent” to prevent the early release of inmates convicted of these crimes
  • The California WaterFix and California EcoRestore initiative: this initiative seeks to add to the state’s water supply by diverting water from the North Delta during wet years. WaterFix would be an upgrade to the state’s 50-year-old water infrastructure that will make it easier to move water in an environmentally-friendly manner.
City Council: Vote:
Mayor John Harrington Yes
Vice Mayor Jason Pu Yes
Councilmember Juli Costanzo Yes
Councilmember Chin Ho Liao Yes
Councilmember Denise Menchaca Yes

Public Works to move forward with lighting upgrades

With a unanimous vote, the City Council voted to retrofit one third of the City’s lighting system with new transformers that will allow the use of LED fixtures. The entire upgrade will cost $64,661.94 for new lighting transformers.

City Council: Vote:
Mayor John Harrington Yes
Vice Mayor Jason Pu Yes
Councilmember Juli Costanzo Yes
Councilmember Chin Ho Liao Yes
Councilmember Denise Menchaca Yes

Public Works to move forward with a root control system

To prevent damage to the City’s sewage system, the City Council has approved – in a unanimous decision – an agreement for $32,000 to help prevent root intrusion in the sewer. Under an agreement with Duke’s Root Control Inc, the company would apply a chemical root control agent to the sewer line to kill root growth that may be present. The chemical would also inhibit root re-growth without damaging the tree’s overall health.

City Council: Vote:
Mayor John Harrington Yes
Vice Mayor Jason Pu Yes
Councilmember Juli Costanzo Yes
Councilmember Chin Ho Liao Yes
Councilmember Denise Menchaca Yes

A resolution designating the Human Resources Director as the plan coordinator for the City’s ICMA-RC 457 plan

The ICMA-RC is one of the City’s 457 deferred compensation plans offered to full-time employees. To comply with ICMA-RC guidelines, the City Council unanimously adopted a resolution to designate the Human Resources Director as the plan coordinator for the City.

City Council: Vote:
Mayor John Harrington Yes
Vice Mayor Jason Pu Yes
Councilmember Juli Costanzo Yes
Councilmember Chin Ho Liao Yes
Councilmember Denise Menchaca Yes

City Council approves Mission District/San Gabriel Village road closures for City events

In a unanimous vote, the City Council approved road closures in the Mission District and the San Gabriel Village for several City events. This would include Cinco de Mayo, Surf’s Up, FairviewCon, National Night Out and more!

City Council: Vote:
Mayor John Harrington Yes
Vice Mayor Jason Pu Yes
Councilmember Juli Costanzo Yes
Councilmember Chin Ho Liao Yes
Councilmember Denise Menchaca Yes

City Council approves amendment for manhole data collection services

The City Council approved an amendment with Steele-Co to collect more sophisticated data for the City’s sewer asset management system. This $47,145.00 amendment will be added to the City’s Manhole Data Collection Project for a total contract amount of $141,435.00. This would cover 1,347 sewer manholes and adjoining pipes.

City Council: Vote:
Mayor John Harrington Yes
Vice Mayor Jason Pu Yes
Councilmember Juli Costanzo Yes
Councilmember Chin Ho Liao Yes
Councilmember Denise Menchaca Yes

City Council approves $25,000 donation for Playhouse festival

In a unanimous vote, the City Council voted to approve a $25,000 donation designated for the Asian Pacific American Festival. This festival will include three weeks of curated programming to the public following the success of the Latin Wave series. The festival will include tai-chi classes, Cantonese Opera, martial arts workshops, and educational classes detailing the art of calligraphy. Visit APAFEST’s website here.

APAFEST will run from May 7 to May 27.

City Council: Vote:
Mayor John Harrington Yes
Vice Mayor Jason Pu Yes
Councilmember Juli Costanzo Yes
Councilmember Chin Ho Liao Yes
Councilmember Denise Menchaca Yes

If you’d like to listen to a recording from last night’s meeting, you may do so here. The next City Council meeting will be held on May 1 at 7:30 p.m. at City Hall in Council Chambers.