LocationAlhambra , CA United States
Alhambra community members came together to celebrate the accomplishments of each city department over the past year and look forward to their goals for 2019, during Tuesday’s State of the City luncheon at Almansor Court.
The event was organized by the Alhambra Chamber of Commerce and the Alhambra Rotary Club. It was attended by various political, business and community leaders, including representatives of Rep. Judy Chu, state Sen. Susan Rubio and Los Angeles County Supervisor Kathryn Barger.
Chamber of Commerce Board Vice President, Megan Meloughney introduced the Alhambra City Council members in attendance as well as City Manager Jessica Binnquist. Other civic leaders introduced by Meloughney included Police Chief Timothy Vu; Fire Chief Tom Phelps; former Alhambra Mayors Barbara Messina, Mark Paulson, Mary Louise Bunker and Dr. Steven Placido; Alhambra Unified School District Board of Education President Robert L. Gin and school board members Wing Ho and Jane Anderson; Alhambra Unified School District Superintendent Denise Jaramillo; San Gabriel Valley Economic Partnership President Bill Manis; and the president of East Los Angeles Community College, Marvin Martinez.
Chamber of Commerce Board President Helen Romero Shaw introduced Mayor Adele Andrade-Stadler who delivered the State of the City remarks. She expressed gratitude to the attendees for their engagement in Alhambra and the San Gabriel Valley. “It’s just amazing to look out and see the incredible people and everything you’ve done for the city of Alhambra and the surrounding communities,” she said.
Andrade-Stadler then described what each department has been doing and what they plan to do to serve the city. She praised Alhambra’s City Clerk office for implementing last year’s municipal elections, which included three City Council races and one school board race. She lauded the department’s record-keeping, accommodation of public records requests and creation of commemorative documents.
She recognized the Alhambra Police Department for hosting their first community academies in Chinese and Spanish, so that residents can learn about police operations. She also mentioned Alhambra becoming the first police department to partner with Ring Home Security Systems to provide real-time crime alerts to residents and to solicit camera footage from Ring doorbells and security cameras to help with local investigations.
The mayor also praised the police receiving a federal traffic safety grant which enabled them to conduct 41 DUI checkpoints and to purchase e-citation devices. She also recognized the police’s continued partnership with the Alhambra Unified School District on safety initiatives like active shooter training and instituting the Gang Resistance Education and Training program. Andrade-Stadler also offered condolences over the recent death of school resource officer Emmanuel Araneta who passed away on April 1 at the age of 50.
“Manny, we’re thinking about you,” she said.
Andrade-Stadler then celebrated the Alhambra Fire Department, which responds to 5,200 calls a year. She commended them for promoting the first female captain in the department’s history, Monica Gonzalez. The department’s goal is to focus on equipment improvements, including the purchase of four mechanical resuscitation devices in order to provide high-quality automated CPR to victims of sudden cardiac arrest.
Alhambra’s Department of Public Works was then recognized for their infrastructure improvement projects, including a 2017 citywide alley and street rehabilitation project, funded through $2.2 million in federal Housing and Urban Development funds, and traffic improvements like dedicated left-turn signals and turn lanes throughout the city.
The big project that Public Works is looking forward to is the 626 Golden Streets Mission-to-Mission event on May 19, which will dedicate five miles of street through South Pasadena, Alhambra and San Gabriel to biking, walking and other alternative modes of transportation. The city will host an event hub at Main Street and 2nd Street in conjunction with the Sunday farmer’s market and an eco fair. Public Works will also work on pedestrian improvements on Valley Boulevard from Atlantic Boulevard to Garfield Avenue and an American Disability Act ramp and sidewalk improvements at Story Park and Alhambra Park.
After introducing Public Works, the mayor praised the Utilities Department for its various water and sewer system improvements. This included completing water main replacement projects on some streets in the Midwick Tract, the Glendon Way sewer replacement project and the North Stoneman Avenue parking lot replacement project. Upcoming projects include water main and sewer plant replacement projects in various parts of the city.
Andrade-Stadler recognized the Department of Parks and Recreation for its organization of the 4th of July Fireworks and Spring Eggstravaganza Festival, summer concert and outdoor movie screenings, the Pumpkin Run and Holiday Home Decorating Contest. She also complimented the department on its organized recreational programs, aquatic activities and senior services.
After Parks and Recreation, Andrade-Stadler turned her focus to the Department of Community Development, discussing the tree protection ordinance, the accessory dwelling unit ordinance and the cannabis production and sales ordinance that the City Council ended up passing. The department also improved plan check processing times and organized a neighborhood cleanup day, among other accomplishments.
Community Development is working on the adoption of a new General Plan, implementing permitting software and helping low-income homeowners with their down payments in the First-Time Homebuyers Program and running the Homeowner Rehabilitation Program as well. The department is also working with the International Council of Shopping Centers to attract new businesses to the city. Andrade-Stadler also recognized the expansion of several community non-profits and businesses, including the YMCA’s planned construction of larger gym, family locker and shower facilities and a new daycare facility.
Andrade-Stadler went on to praise the Alhambra Civic Center Library, which served 522,712 patrons last year, issued 8,451 library cards and checked out 361,553 items. She also complimented the library’s expanded homework help and SAT and ACT preparation services.
“As community stakeholders in Alhambra, I think we all agree that Alhambra offers a commitment to safety, business and a responsive municipal government and offers an incredible quality of life,” she said in closing her remarks.
Vice Mayor Ross Maza said that he enjoyed learning about everything the city does to serve its residents. “I think what stuck out is the enormous amount of work that goes on behind the scenes that we don’t always see,” he said.
Alhambra mayor Adele Andrade-Stadler will deliver the State of the City address again during the City Council meeting on April 22. The address is free and open to the public.
View the State of the City PowerPoint presentation below: