City Manager’s monthly message: 710 Freeway, Summer Nights and more

Dear San Gabriel,

I hope you’re enjoying our summer programs. This month, I had the opportunity to go on a ride-along with Officer Gilbert Magana to understand the community from an officer’s perspective. During the afternoon, we came across a bicyclist who had been hit by a car, a car owner who had been involved with a hit and run accident, and a housebound senior that had been identified as a possible victim of elder abuse. In between these calls, we talked to several residents from our City.

Based on these experiences, I discovered that Gilbert Magaña has an incredible gift of being able to communicate and connect with individuals from a variety of backgrounds, languages, ages and mental states. It was a real pleasure to witness him – and his colleagues – interacting with our residents in such a professional manner. Our City Council has always been proud of its public safety employees, and I had a firsthand chance to witness why that pride is well-placed.

Now, here’s a brief update for the month of July:

City Manager’s Office

  • With the termination of the 710 Freeway extension project (more information on this can be found here), Metro announced that approximately $1 billion in funds would be available to local projects that improve traffic flow in cities affected by the decision. Potential local projects include improvements made to streets, intersections, signals or transit facilities that can be tied to improving the movement of traffic that would otherwise be on the 710 Freeway.
    • On that important note, our Public Works team and I have been working with San Marino and Monterey Park on issuing a joint response to Metro. After meeting with the City Managers of San Marino and Monterey Park, we have agreed that a coordinated response from all three cities would be the most beneficial. Proposed projects include: signal synchronization on Valley Boulevard and San Gabriel Boulevard, with street improvements on Valley Boulevard, improvements made to the onramps and offramps at New Avenue, Del Mar Avenue and San Gabriel Boulevard, a potential parking structure at the Del Mar Park and Ride and a host of other improvement projects.

Community Development

  • With our new land management software in place, we’re now able to produce statistics on Neighborhood Improvement Services cases that can be used to gauge the City’s ability to address code compliance issues. We have a quick summary of these cases now online, and we’ll continue to refine what type of information we can share as we input additional data into the system.

Community Services

  • Our Summer Nights series continues with a 50s and 60s concert by the Smokin’ Cobras on August 9 at Vincent Lugo Park alongside a performance of the Mariachi Espectacular on August 16. You can view the remainder of our Summer Nights series here, which is a great collaboration between our teams at Community Services, the Mission Playhouse and Community Development.

Finance

  • Our coyote outreach initiative continues on September 4 with a City Council presentation designed to address community concerns about the coyote population. Everyone is encouraged to attend in order to learn more about what you can do to mitigate your risk. More information can be found here.

Fire

  • Division Chief Art Stafford recently met with ACE to inspect the trench’s standpipe system. A standpipe system is a piping system designed to transfer water from a fire department connection to a different location. These are usually found in hotel stairwells or other large multi-story buildings. The San Gabriel Trench Project has a total of 16 locations – all of which have passed.
  • Earlier this month, the fire department’s CERT class held a graduation with 31 students. We’ll have a presentation showcasing the graduating class at the August 21, City Council meeting.

Mission Playhouse

  • This month, the Playhouse was awarded a $3,500 grant from the Johanna Favrot Fund of the National Trust for Historic Preservation to support the second phase of the façade restoration project. This fund aims to save historic environments in order to foster an appreciation of our nation’s diverse cultural heritage. So far, the second phase of the restoration project – which focuses on hand-painted decorative details – has raised $10,000. The total project cost is $36,225.

Police

  • I’m very happy to announce that Lieutenant Riki Nakamura has graduated from the prestigious POST Command College. This program is an 18-month class designed to develop forward-thinking leaders in the world of law enforcement. Congratulations, Lieutenant Nakamura!
  • In addition, Sergeant Cruz Hernandez has been accepted into the LAPD Leadership Program, and will begin a six-week course in early August. This premier program is designed to develop law enforcement leaders and we’re looking forward to see what contributions Sergeant Hernandez can bring to our City.
  • On July 23, our detectives uncovered a burglary ring at a residence just outside the City in Rosemead. A search warrant served on the location revealed stolen property from a series of burglaries in San Gabriel and several surrounding cities. The investigation is ongoing and multiple arrests are looming.
  • Our Fleet Division is working on two new Ford Police Interceptor SUVs with brand-new equipment to include lights, sirens, cages and decals.

Public Works

  • We’re excited to welcome Kenneth Otero to our Field Operations team as a new part-time maintenance worker. Kenneth comes to us with over three years of part time experience as a street maintenance worker from the City of South Pasadena, and as an electrician’s assistant for an electrical contractor.

That’s all we have for the month of July. Thank you again for reading and for participating in your local government. As always, if you have any questions, feel free to get in touch.

Best regards,

Mark