There’s a poet lurking in San Dimas City Hall

I read reports prepared by city staff at least several times a week. They are by and large insipid, monotonous affairs – full of technical jargon and written with the sterility of an operating room.

San Dimas’ mid-year budget report that I’m busy sifting through is an entirely different animal. Sure, it’s full of sales tax figures and drones a bit about revenues and expenditures, but tucked into little corners of the document are tiny flourishes of poetic language.

My favorite example opens the section of the report dealing with the loss of the city’s redevelopment agency. I’ve included it below for your reading pleasure.

“Like a multi-trunk tree, the city’s General Fund and Redevelopment Agency have grown together over the years to produce a broad and successful economic canopy that has strengthened the City of San Dimas.”

Corny? Hell yes, but cheesy or not, it’s a welcome breath of fresh air from the gobbledegook I usually have to read.

I don’t know who wrote this report, but I’ll find out when I talk to city staff later today.

South El Monte’s ninja team … err … City Council takes on sewer fees, budget

I was going to write a cheeky post about how South El Monte was going to discuss some foul smelling news at their meeting tonight, not too mention a sewer fee increase.

The foul smell was going to be about the budget, except… it isn’t so bad.

So much for being clever.

Anyway, here is a clip and a link to our update. More to come in Thursday’s paper.

And for those of you interested in more interesting sewers than South El Monte’s, there is always this.

SOUTH EL MONTE – The city council will discuss tonight the city’s budget for the 2010-2011 budget year and whether to charge residents a new sewer fee to help replace the aging sewer system.

The city was facing an estimated $414,000 shortfall between predicted revenues and expenditures for the new budget year. City staff has recommended cuts to make up for the deficit.

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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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