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Plans for monument to former city manager revealed

Alhambra City Council reviewed Monday evening the preliminary design for a monument dedicated to former City Manager Julio Fuentes. A short wall — similar in shape to the Veteran's Memorial at Alhambra Park — would be placed at the corner of Fremont Avenue and Valley Boulevard. If approved, the park with the arch based on Paris' Arc de Triomphe will be renamed the "Julio J. Fuentes Gateway Garden" to honor his 20 years of service to the city.

Alhambra resident Lola Armendariz approached Council and questioned the monument to the former city manager. "Mr. Fuentes was an employee of the city and he was compensated for his work. He had his goals as far as his career, and he went on to another city," Armendariz said. "No disrespect to Mr. Fuentes, but there are members of the community who are not thrilled with a lot of the projects that have come into the city, with regard to high density and increase in traffic. And many other projects that are here now that have changed the face of our entire community. This is no longer Alhambra to many of us."

Alhambra Police Chief Mark Yokoyama also updated council members on technological developments at the police department. Alhambra PD is the first agency in Los Angeles County to use Predictive Policing, or “PredPol,” a new system that predicts where crime will most likely happen by analyzing crime data from the previous five years. PredPol identifies areas in the city where crime is most frequent, and officers are sent to these areas to watch out for possible crimes. Yokoyama told Council that despite PredPol’s small sample size, there have only been positive outcomes since its introduction in February. 

Not able to attend the meeting? You can watch it in its entirety here.

City Council meets every second and fourth Monday of the month in the second floor of the City Hall: 111 S. First St., Alhambra, Calif., 91801. The next meeting will be held on Monday, April 8, 2013, 5:30 p.m. at the Alhambra City Hall Council Chambers. 

The Alhambra Source encourages comment on our stories. However, we do not vet comments for accuracy or endorse links to posts in the comment section. The thoughts and opinions expressed belong solely to the author of the comment.

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8 thoughts on “Plans for monument to former city manager revealed”

  1. I have lived in this city my entire life. My question is how much is this sign going to cost. The city council approved the Mission Rd. plants to grow up the side of the fence (and that is a disaster), and the planters that are supposed to “decorate” the intersection of Mission and Fremont. I would rather put my money into schools, health services or advocating for the 710 extension.

  2. Trust me when I say we will all be paying for Fuentes for a long time to come…and paying well. It’s called his pension. Look it up and you’ll see how much Alhambra will be “indebted” to him.

    He did his job. He got paid very well. He will receive a huge pension. Leave the monuments for the real heroes.

  3. I agree with other comments. Fuentes doesn’t deserve a monument. This is the kind of honor that should be reserved only to honor someone who did something great for the City, such as founding it. A monument shouldn’t be built for a city employee who leaves for greener pastures.
    If the City Council does decide to build the monument, I’ll sign a petition to put it on the next municipal ballot. Let’s see how well it fares there.

  4. I cry for Alhambra. Having the monument at the ridiculous arch is a good spot for Julio Fuentes’ tribute and the arch is a appropriate symbol of his legacy. Statues of Mark Paulson, Paul Talbot and Barbara Messina should be added as well. They all contributed to the transformation of our city into a high-density landing zone for a transient population of renters. Too bad Salinas lost by a hair. She would have been a refreshing voice for the residents.

  5. Elizabeth Salinas

    I agree with Lola Armendariz and thank her for raising her objection to the proposed memorial at the recent City Council meeting. I think her views echo the sentiments of many of us residents. I am surprised however that City Council let her finish speaking since they have been known to cut people off who express views they don’t agree with.

    Mr. Fuentes did not work for free and not everyone in the City believes he is worthy of a lasting, public memorial. I also mean no disrespect to Mr. Fuentes but the reality is that he was compensated for his work and he left the City to a better paying job in another City. Many us residents are not happy with his lasting legacy, of high density developments that brought overdevelopment and traffic nightmares to our city. This proposed memorial and the speed with which it is being passed through leads me to ask many questions: 1) why does the City feel it is necessary to do this? 2) was Mr. Fuentes not adequately compensated? (highly doubtful) 3) who is paying for this project? 4) what is the standard for deciding who gets a memorial and who doesn’t? If any tax payer money is being used for this project, the project itself should be put to a vote. If it is the City Council that wants to honor Mr. Fuentes, they should do so on their own or as Ms. Armendariz said, they should hang his portrait in the City Manager’s office. A public memorial is inappropriate. This is just one more example of how City Hall is out of touch with the people. We cannot get Public Works to repair our city sidewalks but they can sure move fast when it comes to erecting memorials to themselves. I oppose this proposed project.

  6. I also feel that a monument is not necessary for a paid employee of the city. Please do not do this, next we will have monuments to all the city council members who have made it their life’s work to profit from being on the City Council of Alhambra. He was well paid for his services and should receive no more than that.

  7. I agree with everything Ms. armendariz said in her comment. He was a city employee who left us when something better came along. He was not a fixture of this city in the way Burke was, so he does not deserve a monument or anything in his name.

    I give Mr. Fuentes credit for bringing some improvements to the city and for helping the city remain solvent. However, he and the council spent most of their time creating the city they wanted without consulting the people who actually live here. Did we really need a million town homes built on land that held one library and many old, mature trees? Useful tax dollars should go to something worthwhile, not for a monument to a man who won’t think twice about this city.

    1. I certainly hope you’re not referring to Talmadge Burke, he who profited handsomely from his 50-year tenure as Mayor and Councilman while also serving as an estate trust attorney.

      A LOT of property throughout the city passed through his hands during that time and he often served as a deceased Alhambran’s trust & will attorney, often getting the “advantage” on property to be sold. His father Montival, also served as both a city politician and a real estate attorney.

      A political-financial opportunistic lineage if you ask me.