Ontario city manager contract approval sparks spirited discussion

Last week the city council awarded incoming City Manager Al Boling a $250,000 annual contract when he assumes the position on Dec. 29. The item was unanimously approved by the council but it drew fire from one councilman, claiming he hadn’t had the opportunity to obtain a copy of the document.

Councilman Paul Vincent Avila, only after the contract had been approved, mentioned during council comments he had previously asked to get a copy of the agreement and Boling’s resume to no avail.

“I will not stop. I want to have that contract and ensure I’m doing the job I’m elected to do,” Avila said. Continue reading

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For the record

At Tuesday’s meeting, councilman Alan Wapner said he took issue with an “editorial from the Los Angeles News Group,” he recently read regarding the announcement of Chris Hughes’ departure.

According to Wapner, the editorial stated, “that it was good news for Los Angeles that Chris Hughes was leaving. I don’t know where they get their information from.”

(I immediately knew it didn’t sound right but I’ll let Wapner proceed) Continue reading

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Is it Ontario International Airport or LA/Ontario International Airport?

At Tuesday’s meeting councilman Alan Wapner stated during public comments that he has noticed a change in name for L.A./Ontario International Airport.

Wapner said he has noticed it is now referred to as, Ontario International Airport.

I wasn’t able to connect with Wapner after tonight’s meeting to see if he was referring to the new marketing campaign – unveiled by Los Angeles World Airports – as his reasoning for the name change. Continue reading

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Ontario names new city manager

The City Council has named deputy city manager Al Boling to succeed Chris Hughes as City Manager.

The council unanimously made the decision during closed session of Tuesday’s council meeting. The appointment was announced during the meeting.

Boling has been with Ontario for 17 years, serving as the city’s first internal auditor and, for the past six years, in the role of deputy city manager .

Hughes, the city manager for the past three years, announced Thursday he will retire in December.

“I have the most utmost confidence and respect for Al Boling,” Ontario Mayor Paul Leon said “I know the city will be well taken care of.”

As deputy city manager, Boling oversees several city departments but has usually reserved a low-profile during council meetings.

“A lot of people don’t even know who Al is,” said Councilman Alan Wapner, motioning Boling to stand up to the podium at Tuesday’s council meeting.

Wapner said he has had several long conversations with Boling in the past and is confident he is suited for the position.

The outgoing city manager has been at the helm of the battle for local control of L.A./Ontario International Airport. And on Tuesday, Wapner assured the public that things will be no different with Boling, adding he has been involved in the issue with the airport from the start.

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Hearing on ONT lawsuit set for later this month

The first hearing in the lawsuit filed by Ontario which aims to dissolve an almost 50-year-old agreement with Los Angeles to operate L.A./Ontario International Airport is scheduled for Sept. 25 at Riverside County Superior Court.

Ontario filed the lawsuit June 4 seeking to regain control of ONT.

“The court may either take the matter under advisement or issue its decision on Los Angeles’ preliminary motions at that time,” said Roy Goldberg, the attorney representing Ontario in its lawsuit.

Los Angeles has made a motion to dismiss the case, arguing that the claims are not legally relevant, he said.

Michael Lawson, former president of Los Angeles World Airports Board of Airport Commissioners, has also denied Ontario’s claim.

“There is no sound, legal or factual basis for this claim,” Lawson said at a meeting earlier this summer.

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Save the date: Ontario to host National Night Out

Ontario National Night Out

Ontario National Night Out

Every year the City Council and Police Department come together to hold National Night Out- an event aimed at drug and crime prevention awareness. This year’s event will be held on Aug. 6.

According to the city,  last year more than 16,000 Ontario residents from more than 200 neighborhoods participated in the event. That helped the city earn 4th place in the nation for cities its size.

If you are interested in attending a party, contact your existing neighborhood watch block captains.

Residents may also contact the Ontario Police Department Crime Prevention Unit at 395-2093 or chuggins@ontariopolice.org

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Ontario approves amendments for grocery, variety stores in downtown

City officials have now cleared the way for the future development of grocery and a variety of stores in its historic downtown and civic center.

The city council agreed to amend its development code to permit variety stores within the C1 and shopping center zoning designation and to allow grocery stores within the Euclid Avenue Overlay.

With its core downtown designated a historic landmark, city officials years ago adopted an overlay in the area which would protect the avenue as one of the city’s scenic resources.

Councilwoman Debra Dorst-Porada, who has in recent years championed the rebirth of the downtown, wanted to require a Conditional Use Permit, also known as CUP’s, for all grocery stores in the areas addressed.

“I’m very concerned about the Euclid Avenue development,” said councilwoman Dorst-Porada said.

But Planning director Jerry Blum assured the councilwoman that the amendments are designed to promote more businesses and bring in more revenues to the city.

The Planning Commission previously discussed the changes at two separate meetings. It was then that the commission raised their concerns with smaller variety stores.

“In their opinion, the smaller ones were less good operators than the larger ones and therefore instead of staff recommendation to allow all variety of stores, they elected to restrict the variety to a Conditional Use Permit if it was less than 10,000 square feet and permitted with 10,000 and over. They had no problem with grocery stores,” Blum said.

When it comes to grocery stores, they are already covered by existing code, Councilman Alan Wapner said.

“If we’re blessed enough to have a Traders Joe’s or one of those to come to the downtown then it’s just another hoop they are going to have to jump through,” he said. “Frankly, I don’t want to chance losing a quality store like that by having them to pay for CUP and wait the cup process.”

The amendments will have a bearing on future developments in the downtown including one project approved in 2011. At that time the council approved the development of a four-story apartment building which would encompass an entire block bordered by Euclid and Lemon avenues and C and D streets. The project will have 156 apartments.

The ground floor will have 33,000 square feet of retail space, which will be located along Euclid and wrap around to C Street.

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Ontario passes $462 million budget

Is the economy improving?

In a special meeting, the Ontario City Council passed a $462 million budget for 2013- 2014 without having to dip into its emergency reserves.

For the last several years Ontario officials have passed a balance budget, without having to layoff staff or reduce public services, because of an emergency fund it created years before the economic recession.

City officials also credited their healthy finances to its staff who have agreed to put off pay increases and renegotiated their retirement plans.

The 2013-2014 budget calls for:

  • $13 million to be spent on solar roof systems
  • $ 49 million in capital improvement projects
  • $3.8 million to improve streets and traffic signals.

The budget was approved on Wednesday.

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Preview: Ontario City Council meeting

It’s award season in Ontario.

The City Council tonight will recognize the recipients of the annual Model Colony Awards  in the areas of preservation, restoration and rehabilitation of architectural heritage.

The “Model Colony” Awards are presented each year in the spring in conjunction with National Historic Preservation Month.

Light refreshments will be served following the awards. The public is invited to attend.

Besides the awards, the council is also  expected to give the final approval of the Greater Ontario Tourism Marketing District between the cities of Ontario and Rancho Cucamonga.

The district aims to do one thing: create overnight hotel room stays

Here is the a link to tonight’s city council agenda.

The meeting begins at 6:30 p.m. at City Hall, 303 East B Street.

 

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Ontario police, fire teams hold fundraiser

The Ontario Firefighters Association and the Ontario Police Officers Association will participate in the 3rd annual Chaffey High School softball challenge on Friday.
The event pits the two associations against each other in a friendly softball game. Following that, alumni from Chaffey and Ontario highs schools will play in a baseball game.
“The police department and the fire department are the best and always thinking of the community and their hearts are always in the activities in fundraiser, their always in a giving mode,” Councilman Jim Bowman.
Fire Chief Floyd Clark said all the proceeds from the event goes toward the two high school teams’ programs.
“It’s a good time for fun and real benefit for the community,” Clark said.
Councilwoman Debra Dorst-Porada said she found her glove, “I don’t know if I could participate but I’d like to.”
Jay Littleton Ballpark is at the southeast corner of 4th Street and Grove Avenue.
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