City Manager’s monthly message: new Smith Park playground, Public Works Director/City Engineer

Dear San Gabriel,

We have some exciting news to share in our latest update, including the development of a new playground at Smith Park, the introduction of a new Public Works Director/City Engineer and some exciting programs on the horizon that allow you to participate in how your City functions.

Now, here’s the latest issue of the City Manager’s monthly update:

Community Development

  • City Council and City staff to head to RECon 2019
    • Mayor Harrington and Vice Mayor Pu will be attending this year’s International Council of Shopping Centers with City staff from May 19 to May 22 in Las Vegas. An annual event, RECon is one of the largest gatherings of retail professionals in the world. For residents, this means opportunities to attract suitable retailers to our City. As we have done in previous years, we’ll be working with the San Gabriel Valley Economic Partnership to present our City and our region to potential developers and retailers at the conference.
  • Los Angeles Homeless Count
    • Last month, volunteers from our community participated in the annual Greater Los Angeles Homeless Count, which serves as a barometer of how well our region is addressing the homeless population. The count is hosted by the Los Angeles Homeless Services Authority, which coordinates the region’s response to homelessness. Over 40 City staff and community volunteers attended, and preliminary observations note that while the homeless population may have held steady or declined compared to results from 2018, the number of tents, vehicles and makeshift shelters has gone up. A final figure will be released in May, which will then help determine how resources are distributed.

Community Services

  • A new playground is coming to Smith Park
    • I’m happy to announce that the City of San Gabriel has been chosen to build a new playground at Smith Park with the assistance of KaBOOM!, the CarMax Foundation and the Asian Youth Center, with help from the Los Angeles Clippers as a VIP partner. To prepare for the project, our team held a Design Day meeting, which allowed younger members of our community to envision San Gabriel’s upcoming park as part of their dream playground. Once a design has been finalized, the community is invited to join Build Day on March 14 as we construct San Gabriel’s newest playground – more details on this project will be released soon. For now, here are some photos from our last meeting:

  • San Gabriel Lunar New Year Festival
    • We hope you will join us for the next San Gabriel Lunar New Year Festival, which will be held on February 16 in the Mission District. This year’s event will feature a unique mix of entertainment, food, crafts and more.

Public Works

  • New Public Works Director/City Engineer
    • I’m happy to announce the appointment of our new Public Works Director/City Engineer! Greg de Vinck comes to us from the City of Santa Monica, where he served as the Principal Civil Engineer for six years. Greg spent a total of 22 years in Santa Monica, overseeing several sewer rehabilitation projects and managing $220 million in construction contracts for capital improvement projects. We’re glad to welcome Greg to San Gabriel, and we’re excited to hear some of his ideas on how we can improve our community.
  • New Public Works Management Analyst
    • I’m also happy to announce that Capucine Hernandez has been promoted to Management Analyst from the position of Executive Assistant. If you’ve met Capucine, you’re familiar with her consistently helpful and positive attitude. She’ll be transitioning to her new role shortly, but will continue to assist Greg with some of her previous responsibilities until her vacancy is filled.
  • Field Operations hard at work
    • Our Field Operations team has been hard at work making several important improvements to our community’s infrastructure, including new striping work along San Gabriel Boulevard, crosswalk striping improvements across the City, trash/graffiti removal from our bus shelters and maintaining the City’s sanitary sewer pumps.

That’s all for this month. As always, thank you for reading and feel free to contact me if you have any questions about the City.