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Election 2012: City Council Candidates Placido and Salinas face-off on YouTube

The Alhambra Preservation Group recently sat down with Alhambra City Council candidates Dr. Steven Placido and Elizabeth Salinas. Placido, a dentist who currently represents Alhambra's 4th council district, and Salinas, his challenger and an immigration attorney, answered questions about local preservation and development. Here are just a few of the points they made. You can watch the full interviews below. 

On developing pride of place and cultivating green space:

Placido: "Whether it's the Emery Park neighborhood, or the Midwick Tract, or the Bean Tract, or the Airport Tract, people go around and say 'Oh yeah I'm from Emery Park,' or 'I'm from Midwick,' and they take pride in that. We also landscaped the medians on Fremont and Valley and Mission, to make it not only look nice but make traffic flow improve and improve safety. We put potted plants on the overpasses for the railroads. And the underpasses for the freeways, there's a big 'A' in flowers. Those things just bring out community pride. And if people understand that the City takes great pride in the community, then hopefully the residents take pride in their homes and keep it up."

Salinas: "I'd like to see more green space in the City of Alhambra. And I'm not the only one. A 2007 resident survey that was done identified that as one of the desires of the residents…We have six beautiful parks and those parks need to be properly maintained, but apart from that we have a lot of development on Main Street. A lot of condominiums, a lot of town homes. I don't see any green space on those developments. I think those people should be allowed to have some green space." 

On historic preservation ordinances: 

Placido: "I think it's important to preserve the neighborhoods and the communities. Whether a building is there or not may not be as significant as the community itself…San Marino doesn't have any preservation ordinances, and their buildings and their homes are just spectacular. We've modeled our guidelines after San Marino's. And I was very active in championing that move and working with the consultant so that we can make those moves to make the additions more compatible, make it more integrated into the neighborhood, and make the additions, if you are adding on to a house, almost invisible. So when you pass by the street you think, 'Is that an addition? Or was that there when it was done?'"

Salinas: "I would support a historic preservation ordinance and I believe it should be part of the overall planning for the city. We've lost many beautiful homes and historic properties in the last decades, and a historic preservation ordinance would provide a measure of protection for those properties. I do see a value to it. And also because we're moving into the future, we can't forget that Alhambra has a long, rich history, architecturally, just generally. And I think that if we, not copy, but look at some of our neighboring cities that do have ordinances in place and see what they've been able to preserve, I would like to see that in our city as well."

On their goals if elected:

Placido: "[The 710 freeway completion] will take commuter traffic off our streets, it'll improve air quality, and it's the #1 project in the five Southern California counties that will improve air quality and traffic. Working towards that, I think it'll keep our streets safer, it'll keep traffic away from our schools, our parks, and where kids play. So I think that's important. I support public safety, keeping our first responders well trained, well equipped, and healthy. Fast and efficient are important  to the quality of life in our community. And improving our communication networks and the tools that police use to  better protect us is very important to me. "

Salinas: "One of my main goals and, foremost more than anything, I love the city but I'm also a homeowner, and I live in a historic part of the city of Alhambra, border of Granada Park district and Midwick Tract district. And if I'm allowed to be on the board, if I'm voted in, I will do my best to make sure that our historic neighborhoods are protected…my other goal is to get more involvement from the community when it comes to our city government. and that means doing open houses for the city government, having the people, residents, especially our young people, come in and see what's being doing at the local level, get them excited about city government. I'd also like to see a friendlier design on our city website. It's a little bit busy for the average person, myself included. So that also helps."

Placido: "I think we're doing a great job on council.  I enjoy my time serving the public, and I look forward to another four years." 

Salinas: "I would be the council person that would look after the average resident and try to maintain our quality of life."

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4 thoughts on “Election 2012: City Council Candidates Placido and Salinas face-off on YouTube”

  1. John,
    Take a walk through the project and look at the finish details. There are cracks already forming in the stucco and the walkways between units make you think you are on a submarine. Tell me what is wrong with encouraging developers to add sufficient green/open space so that the residents have some feeling of open space? The new county building at the old Edwards theater site is a good example of open design with a nice courtyard for the employees. The Main Street Collection by City Ventures is not good development and we are still on hold to see what they do with the Midwick project. Based on their work here on Main Street I have my doubts that they can build a suitable development. There is more to development than stuffing as many units into a lot as possible just to make the extra buck. That is my main complaint.

    1. Tom,
      I’m not going to debate with you about the quality of this development. This project isn’t even finished yet. And to be honest, we had similar issues at my complex when it was finished. Having said that however, I find your remarks misleading in that this place will be a ghetto; as if all multi-unit condos in this city are prone to being a ghetto. So you are already judging the outcome of this place by looking at cracks? As for open space, it doesn’t have to be open space in the traditional sense, like an open plot of land with green grass/trees. Many developments incorporate interior central courtyards and walkways with green landscaping. I’ve been in a submarine and this place doesn’t make me feel like I’m in one. This CV project is on a busy street corridor, the sanctity of open/green space was designed to be in the INTERIOR for the residents. The exterior surroundings of this complex will engage the busy streets with frontage access to the first floor store units. Why have open green spaces disrupt the economic fabric of Main St.? They have their purposes but they don’t have to be “park” like, especially in a busy corridor. In a downtown area, open spaces can be incorporated between buildings and within courtyards. In my complex, we have a nice central area with a rec room and BBQ area. You can’t see it from the streets, but its there for all the residents to use. If you want PUBLIC USE of open/green space, that’s a separate issue.

      You state that this will not be a good development but have you even seen their other projects that have worked? (And no, I don’t work for this developer). It’s ok to have your doubts, but I think this project will fit in very nice with the surrounding areas, especially next to the Alhambra Regency Plaza and the new LACDC building. Other upcoming projects like the Alhambra Pacific Plaza and Casita De Zen (both breaking ground next year) will only complement and substantiate the scale of this project.

      Yeah, there is more to development than “stuffing” in as many units into a lot as possible to make the extra buck. I will not deny developers are out there to make a profit. But are you even aware that we are so sprawled out and we don’t have any more room to grow? Is it wrong to build “up” so we can accommodate future growth in this city? Or shall you continue to perpetuate the notion that we can “downscale” the growth of development in this city (especially on Main St.) without affecting other issues like overcrowding, affordable housing, walkability, sustainability, traffic, housing demands in other areas (like the Midwick area) etc.?

  2. I agree with Salinas. With so many units being added to the city, there should be a balance with the addition of more park space and pressure on the developers to build a quality site. The development at the old library site is devoid of any green space. A friend of mine went into the City Venture’s office and asked why there was no open space or green areas for the residents to sit. He was told they can go to the park. I wish the city would promote more green space in the new developments rather than maximize the density on the side of the developers. The development is way too crowded and looks like it could be a ghetto in a few years. The developments on Main Street should be of higher quality and not look so shoddy. Where is the vision?

    1. Really Tom? You think the CV project will be a ghetto in a few years? How about the Alhambra Regency Plaza right next to it? Has it turned into a ghetto? I live at the Gateway Walk and it definitely isn’t a ghetto.

      As far as vision goes, Main St. is much more vibrant than it was years ago…