February 12, 2005 Meeting


The meeting flyer was distributed by volunteers to each residence in the neighborhood starting on January 29, 2005.  Additionally, firefighters made some rounds in the neighborhood getting the word out.

Some preparatory meetings were held, and numerous e-mails exchanged, to determine what to do and who would do it.


Thanks to Rhonda Stone, Pasadena City Council District 4 field representative, who put a lot of work into motivating and helping organize and run this meeting.   Also to fellow members of her leadership class including Sandeep Barweja, Marsha Rood, Scott Pursell, and Cynthia Gonzales.

Thanks to neighborhood residents Victor Gonzalez,  Kathy Vacio, Deanna Howard, Albert Barrios, Manuel Vargas, Amelia Diego, Purita Lopez, Susan Spears, Susan Chu, and Laura Ellersieck for distributing flyers and helping with the planning.

Thanks to the Church of the Foothills, and Pastor Martin Keyler, for making their beautiful sanctuary and other facilities available to us for the meeting.

Thanks to donors of raffle and longest/newest resident prizes:

Sandeep Baweja, $35 gift certificate for dinner for two at an old-town Pasadena restaurant
Kathy Vacio,  several potted flowers
Marsha Rood / Pasadena Leadership, $10 gift certificate to Starbucks.

Thank you to Kathy Vacio for helping arrange and then for looking after the child-care provided during the meeting.    Child care by Jessie and Ashley: provided by Andy Wilson.

Thank you to Kathy and Gloria Vacio for the wonderful cookies after the meeting.

Thank you to Scott Pursell and to Firestations 37 and 32 for pre-publicity and for bringing their ladder truck to the church parking lot during the meeting.

statistics

39 residents signed the register (and we know of at least 4 more who were there but did not sign in, there were probably additional misses).  35 provided a contact phone number.  9 provided an e-mail address.  All but 1 checkmarked all of the topics: park, ice rink, street lights, crime, and traffic.  Other topics of interest indicated were:  street cleaning, landscaping of Avocado shoulder, and Senior Center.

There were 8 entries for a child to participate in the park ground breaking.
There were 6 entries for a dog to participate in the park ground breaking.

Portions of the meeting were also observed by the firefighters from Station 37 (located at Foothill and Halstead).  (They did leave to go on calls.)


The meeting was held starting at 2:10 pm at Church of the Foothills, 425 Sierra Madre Villa.

Susan Chu was the meeting chair, introducing speakers, presenting raffle prizes, trying to keep things moving.   (Susan and Eugene Chu, have been the “on paper” city contact for the essentially defunct neighborhood association for several years.)

The crowded agenda was rearranged on the fly as some things took longer then expected.

Susan Chu started the meeting off with an introduction of the meeting’s purpose.  To get the neighborhood organized again so we can be informed and have an impact on the developments in and around our neighborhood.  To formally recreate the neighborhood association by approving boundaries and membership requirements and electing at least a President.

Also introduced the church pastor, Martin Keyler, and thanked him for making the sanctuary available to us.  He said a few welcoming words, and noted where restroom facilities were located.

Prizes were given to the longest resident present (Vivian, 77 years), and the newest resident present (Mitchell, 8 months?).

Councilman Steve Haderlein spoke about benefits of neighborhood organizations.  Then he opened the floor for questions, and there were many.  Questions included:

  1. How to get speed bumps/humps?  The questioner said previous requests had been ignored.
  2. Expectation that park users will park/drive in our neighborhood rather than using the parking lot.
  3. How about extra stop signs?  Drivers tear around the corners with Avocado Ave.  Maybe stop sign would at least make them slow down.
  4. Concerns that Eaton Wash park will cause increased problems with traffic, homeless, litter, gangs, etc.
  5. Difficulty of pedestrians getting across Sierra Madre Villa without going all the way up to Orange Grove or down to Foothill.  Mention of possibility of pedestrian cross walk where Electronic drive intersects.
  6. What about services for seniors in eastern Pasadena?  A senior center would be better use for land then an ice rink.
  7. What is going to happen on the land under the wires which was an x-mas tree lot (just north of Orange Grove)?
  8. Question about the development on Foothill where Stuart Pharmaceuticals used to be.
  9. Question about the development of 28 single family homes at the corner of Sierra Madre Villa and Sierra Madre Blvd where the radio station and broadcast towers are.

Todd Holmes, Landscape Architect, Parks and Natural Resources presented the park plan and took many questions, including regarding possible problems wrt. safety, traffic, parking, not being lighted.

Rhonda Stone, Council District 4 Field Representative for Councilman Haderlein, spoke about the park groundbreaking ceremony taking place March 6, a district/walk ride event being formulated for May, and how to get in touch with her and the councilman.

A raffle was held of the entries for a child and for a dog to participate in the groundbreaking ceremony.  The child winner was Jaylene Dewey, the dog winner was Taffy.

Sandeep Baweja explained the procedure for renaming the park.  Can be expected to take two to three months for a decision from when the new name is submitted.  Then he assisted Susan Chu in taking nominations for potential new park names.  Due to the shortage of time and some desired historic research, it was decided to put off making a decision until a later date.

Fred Jones, Senior Planner, Planning and Development Department, gave a presentation on the planned ice rinks.  He was somewhat difficult to hear and his poster picture of the location was much too small for the audience to see. Among the points made:

  1. The impetus to do this development comes from a desire to displace the ice rink in the civic center prior to the end of the lease agreement so that space can be returned to its original use as a ballroom.  The city thinks it still wants to have an ice rink facility.   The operator of that rink would presumably make a deal with the city to vacate it and operate the new one instead.
  2. Access will be only from Foothill Blvd, through the PCC parking lot.
  3. A new signal will likely be put in on Foothill to provide easier access to the parking lot.
  4. Have completed a traffic analysis.
  5. There is/will be a “reciprocal easement” with PCC for right of way through their parking lot.
  6. Required parking (143 spaces) will be north of the rink.  (He was not clear about under the wires).
  7. Parking will be free for the ice rinks.  A question was raised about how that will work since PCC charges for parking.
  8. The structure is to be 65,000 square feet.
  9. The city has just put out an RFP for an architect.  Expect to recommend an architect to city council about March 14.
  10. Preliminary very rough estimate of cost is 8.4 million.  Need to get schematic plans before can make a better estimate.
  11. Expect city to issue municipal revenue bonds to pay for it.  These are bonds which are supposed to be paid back by revenue from the project.
  12. If plan goes forward, expect construction to begin in December 2005, and to take at least 12 months, so would expect to open in December 2006 or early 2007.
  13. Expect to do “community outreach” component of plan in next few months.
  14. Site is third one looked at.  One previous site rejected because shape of parcel would not work.

Was not able to answer question regarding hours of operation.
Questioned about why community hearing about it only when it already seems to be a “done deal”.  He responded that it had been preliminarily presented and discussed at park commission meetings last summer/fall where Eaton Wash park was also being discussed.  (This is true).

Manuel Vargas requested to speak and pointed out how lousy the street lighting is in most of the neighborhood, and that we need to organize and push hard to get that fixed.  Also that we’ve been paying a tax for undergrounding utilities for many years and we should get some benefit from that.

Susan Chu, with posting help from Sandeep Baweja, took nominations for the various association officer positions.  The nomination process was rather chaotic and hurried, occurring at the end of a long meeting with time running out.

The meeting then adjourned.  Those who remained then filled in and deposited their ballots.  Most people then left, some chatting for awhile, and some eating cookies.

Ballot counts:

Thanks to Sandeep Barweja and Marsha Rood for counting the ballots.

The ballot was printed on a half sheet of paper.  It was decided during the meeting to put off voting for the park or organization name until a later date in order to try to get more ideas and do some research.

Some ballots were deposited by people who left before nominations were made.  In addition, the nomination process was rather chaotic and hurried.  This led to some anomalies in the voted names.

26 Yes
0 No

25 Yes
0 No

12    Laura Ellersieck
5    George Leon
4    Susan Chu

Vice President:
11   Susan Chu
6   Manuel Vargas
1   Gloria Vacio
1   Ruth Ellersieck
1   Laura Ellersieck

5    Laura Ellersieck
2    George Leon
1    Deanna Howard
1    Linda Siggins
1    Kathy Vacio
1    Susan Chu

14   Kathy Vacio
1  Dean Chu  (we suspect they meant Gene Chu)

Future Meeting Frequency:
13  As Needed
4  Monthly
3   Every Two Months
2   Every Three Months

Preferred Meeting Day & Time
10   2 pm Saturday
3   11 am Saturday
3     7 pm Wednesday
1     1 pm Saturday
1     3 pm Saturday
1     6 pm Monday
1     6 pm Wednesday
3     unspecified