This is your side of the council chamber and this is our side…


In the future, if you want to walk to the Azusa City Council dais and speak to your favorite councilman (for handshakes, serving petitions, autographs or general public scolding) you may have to practice your limbo skills … or just ask for assistance.

One thing that Mayor Rocha questioned at Monday’s council meeting – and garnered a couple laughs from the audience – was a provision in the 2010/2011 budget that called for some updates to the City Council chambers.

The $31,000 allocation included, among other things, a kind of barrier or rope line between the audience and the council.

The line would probably consist of the same thing you see at banks or movie theaters used to organize lines, but in this case would be used to keep people away from the dais, unless allowed, City Manager Fran Delach said.

It was recommended by Azusa Police Chief Robert Garcia.

“It would be similar to the board of supervisors hearing room,” Delach said. “We committed to the Mayor that any tentative plans would be brought back to council.”

While Delach said other venues use such things, giving the example of the Los Angeles County Supervisors hearing room, other council chambers like Glendora, Duarte, La Verne, El Monte, Rosemead, and South El Monte don’t have barriers. Some cities, like Walnut, do have something that separates the audience and council members.

Delach was clear in saying it wasn’t something meant to decrease transparency or public access and whatever was put in would be removable.

“We are not going to put glass up or anything, no wall,” he said. “It is a number of measures to help improve security and technology of the council chambers.”

Besides the rope line, the $31,000 includes updating computer monitors for council members at the Dais, among other improvements, Delach said.

What do you think? Is this a wise use of city funds in the name of safety and modernization?

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