City Manager’s monthly message: Blossom Market, construction projects

Dear San Gabriel,

Happy new year! We hope you had a wonderful time with your family and friends during the holiday season, and we hope you had the opportunity to see Santa travel through our streets in this annual San Gabriel tradition.

We have a brief update this month, including information on several pedestrian walkway improvements, an update on illegal dumping and notes on several developments that have occurred within the City.

With that, here’s what’s happening this month:

Community Development

  • You might have heard that the Planning Commission approved the proposed Blossom Market food hall earlier this month with a unanimous vote. This is a great kick-off to the upcoming work that we’ll be starting on the Mission District economic analysis, which will re-imagine our City’s core. You can see a rendering of the food hall below.

  • Our Neighborhood Improvement Services division is renewing its focus on illegal dumping. Our team has been placing cameras around the City to monitor chronic dumping areas alongside outreach to local block meetings and homeowners associations. Friendly reminder: if you have a large or bulky item, be sure to take advantage of free pickups provided by Athens Services. More information about this service can be found here.
  • On January 22, we’ll be participating in the 2019 LA County Homeless Count which helps the Los Angeles Homeless Services Authority understand homelessness in the region and where to direct resources where they are needed most. Over 8,000 volunteers will canvas more than 80 cities and 200 communities across Los Angeles County. Our Community Development team will take the lead as drivers on the night of the count, and we’ll also be accepting up to 30 community volunteers.
  • Earlier this month, we held our first Historic Preservation and Cultural Resource Commission at City Hall. The commission – which aims to preserve San Gabriel’s unique identity – began with introductions, training from the City Attorney and our Planning team.

Community Services

  • Congratulations to our team at Community Services for another successful Turkey Trot! The 43rd Annual Turkey Trot was held on November 17 at Vincent Lugo Park and featured hundreds of runners.
  • With help from the San Gabriel Women’s Foundation, our Community Services team also helped plan our annual Holiday Tree Lighting ceremony earlier this month. With Santa, local community groups, food trucks and more, the annual Holiday Tree Lighting is a perennial San Gabriel favorite.

Finance

  • A sales tax report from our second quarter from April to June 2018 is now available. Overall, San Gabriel receipts were down 2.7% year-over-year. However, it’s important to note that the state encountered reporting anomalies associated with its conversion to a new software system, so when adjusted for all anomalies, receipts would have increased .7%. Car transportation enjoyed higher sales and strong gas station sales taxes were driven by higher prices at the pump.

Fire

  • To address the Woosley Fire in Los Angeles and Ventura County, Division Chief Wallace was deployed as a strike team leader trainee. Engine 51 was also deployed and engaged in firefighter operations with Captain Murphy, Engineer Adkins, Firefighter Goltermann and Firefighter Pattision. During their deployment, they made several rescues in the Oak Park, Agoura Hills, Cornell, Mullholland, Paradise Cove, Latigo Canyon and Pepperdine areas. Engine 52 was also deployed with Captain Eakman, Engineer Terry, Firefighter Tran and Firefighter Jivilagian in the Westlake Village/Lake Sherwood area.
  • This year’s 2018 Spark of Love Toy Drive was coordinated by Firefighter/Paramedic Takahira Suzuki. This year, ADELAES – an association in Guatemala – will be one of many organizations that will receive toys donated by the community. We want to thank all our donors for supporting this wonderful cause.
  • Speaking of donations, our fire team recently donated outdated equipment that is beyond its accepted service life (but with plenty of use left) to organizations in Croatia, Armenia and South America. Our very own Firefighter/Paramedic Hrag Jivalagian will be traveling to Armenia to present the equipment in person in early 2019.

Police

  • In late November, Sergeant Cruz Hernandez graduated from the LAPD Leadership Program. This six-week course delves into law enforcement and community leadership. Congratulations Sergeant Hernandez!
  • I’m very happy to announce that the Los Angeles chapter of the California Association for Property and Evidence awarded Wendy Flores as the 2018 Property Officer of the Year. Wendy has held the position since 2003, and her responsibilities include processing incoming evidence, firearms, narcotics and evidence. Congratulations, Wendy!

Public Works

  • Our Field Operations team has completed the installation of six SmartCover Monitoring Devices this week. We now have a total of ten units in place at critical flow locations in our sewer system. The SmartCovers are installed on the underside of manhole covers, providing a way to reliably monitor security intrusion detection and sewage levels.
  • Recent construction at the southeast corner of Del Mar Avenue and Marshall Street left a pedestrian walk button in an awkward position. To improve walkability, our Field Operations Division team relocated the pedestrian crosswalk button next to the ADA ramp in an accessible location. The work required new wiring, conduit and concrete work, and our very own Chris Camacho spearheaded the effort with his team.
  • We’ve also made improvements to our uncontrolled crosswalks, and 16 crosswalk locations throughout the City have received upgraded signage and pavement markings. Several locations – including Del Mar Avenue at Live Oak – will receive new, durable thermoplastic striping.

Mission Playhouse

  • Volunteers Ellie Andrews and Sue Notheis will be working with our very own Kelly Salloum to sort through boxes of archival materials that have been housed at the Playhouse. This is an ongoing project to inventory, digitize and store the archives with the goal of participating in the LA as Subject project.

That’s all we have this month. On behalf of everyone at the City of San Gabriel, we hope you have a great 2019!

Best regards,

Mark