June 11, 2011 Meeting Summary


E-mail and phone reminders


Susan brought cookies


6 members


Agenda Items:

The meeting began about 11:28 am

  • General Plan update survey and workshops – Important!
    • As mentioned last month, the General Plan process is at another critical step.
    • In the next few days, a printed “newsletter” including the survey should arrive in the mail at each household and business.
    • Rather then a “newsletter” it is more like a large colorful brochure.  It has a lot of detailed information within it.  Expect to spend a while reading and studying it closely before filling out the survey, and then refer back to it during.
    • The “newsletter” and access to the survey is also available online at http://www.cityofpasadena.net/GeneralPlan/Alternatives.  The newsletter is in the form of an Adobe Acrobat Reader document (.pdf).  At the end of it, you click on a survey page which will redirect you to a third party’s web site (bwresearch.com) which will lead you through the questions.
    • The survey period starts June 10 and ends July 8.
    • There are four basic alternatives proposed.  But the general descriptions are misleading.  There are much more specific descriptions for each alternative for each of six planning areas.  The survey asks separately for your preferred alternative and two factors you consider most important for each planning area.
    • Most of the planning areas correspond to areas already covered by specific plans.  Single family neighborhoods are generally not included in the planning areas – they are supposed to continue to be “protected” by all the alternatives.
    • What gets put into this General Plan will make a big difference over the next couple decades.  You are strongly urged to answer the survey.  You may feel as if your input will be ignored, but not providing input just guarantees that.  If there is a big response in a particular direction the people driving the process will have a hard time ignoring it.
    • There will be a series of community workshops to learn more about the options and provide feedback. One of them is right in our neighborhood on Tuesday June 28 at 6:30 pm at PCC-CEC on Foothill at Santa Paula.  Here is the complete list:
      • Thursday, June 16, 6:30 p.m., John Muir High School Cafeteria, 1905 Lincoln Ave.
      • Thursday, June 23, 2:30 p.m., Pasadena City College Creveling Lounge, 1570 E. Colorado Blvd.
      • Saturday, June 25, 9:30 a.m., James Madison Elementary School Auditorium, 515 E. Ashtabula St.
      • Tuesday, June 28, 6:30 p.m., CEC-Community Educational Center, 3035 E. Foothill Blvd.
  • Fraudulent Pasadena Water and Power phone calls
    • Pasadena Water and Power issued a warning on Wednesday that there are people claiming to work for PWP calling customers demanding their credit card information to pay bills and threatening to discontinue services if payment is not made.
    • PWP reminds everyone that they will never initiate a call to a customer to demand payment.  Also they will never send an employee to a residence or business to collect money.
    • “Anyone receiving such a phone call or in-person visit should refuse to provide credit card information and terminate the call. Customers may also contact PWP’s Customer Service Center at (626) 744-4005 and/or the Pasadena Police Department at (626) 744-4241 to report the suspicious or fraudulent activity.”
  • Edison addition of circuit towers next to us to happen this fall
    • The new representative for Edison to Pasadena provided this information during the public comment period at a recent City Council meeting.
      • Edison will be accelerating work on our segment because of delays on the segment previously scheduled for this time period
      • pre work to begin in August
      • pulling of lines to be Sept 12 to Oct 22
      • will be doing with helicopters
      • each pull between towers only takes 3 to 5 minutes.
      • will be blocking all street traffic for each street cross.  Coordinating with Pasadena
      • crossing of freeway will probably happen on a Sunday
    • No mention was made about putting a new tower on the eastern rank to raise the “too low” lines which caused the chunk to be taken out of the southeast corner of the park.  There had been discussion with the previous Edison representative a few years ago about doing this coincidentally with the other work since the crews and equipment needed would already be in the area, thus reducing the cost involved.
  • Fire Dept reduction in truck staffing proposed
    • On June 6, the day the City Council intended to adopt the budget for the year beginning July 1, it was disclosed that the Fire Department intended to reduce its expenses by $2 million by “temporarily” reducing the required minimum fire crew staffing from4 to 3.
    • It was expected this would be done each shift at 5 of the 7 or 8 stations. (8th station in Linda Vista recently closed due to earthquake safety issues)
    • This would be a reduction of overtime usage because there is already a 20% shortage of sworn fire personnel to cover the staffing levels for 4 firefighters when vacations, sick leave, and disability are taken into account.
    • This would be “temporary” in that the fire management and employees have reached some understanding about saving on costs by replacing sworn personnel currently used for inspections and other non firefighting duties with civilian staff.  But renegotiating the union contracts to allow that and hiring and training the personnel could take as long as three years.  The fire chief said that as savings were made by measures such as that, the fire crew staffing levels would be returned to four per crew.
    • Some members of the City Council were very concerned that an end-run was being made at the last minute on a City Council declared policy that goes back at least to 1995.  When the budget details have been under discussion for two months, why hearing about this only on the last day, with no time for discussion of the implications beyond budget savings and no notice to the public that this was under consideration.
    • There was some discussion about fairness in that not only had non public safety departments made substantial cuts, but the Police Dept and Public Health had also, and it was only fair that the Fire Dept take its 5% cut.  Because 85% of fire department spending is for personnel, it is basically impossible to not cut personnel expenditures.
    • The City Council decided to put off voting on the budget for at least a week and refer the issue to their Public Safety committee for a more thorough discussion.  As of Thursday night, a special meeting of the committee is scheduled for June 14.  It appears from the June 13 City Council agenda that staff is now expecting the Council will be unable to resolve this issue in the next couple meetings and is advocating adopting the budget without specifying how the $2 million will be saved.
    • One of the trade offs to consider is that while they policy of staffing at the level of 4 was made for safety and effectiveness, if crew members have been taking too much overtime in order to reach that staffing level that could translate into less safety and effectiveness.  Overtime in occasional or emergency situations is one thing.  Chronic overtime is another.
  • Rhonda Stone has taken job as Mayor’s field representative
    • Rhonda Stone is now Mayor Bogaard’s Field Representative.
    • Gene Masuda has not yet filled the position for our district.
  • Speed Hump policies
    • There was a proposal by city staff on the May 23 City Council agenda to modify the current policies for when streets are eligible for speed humps to reduce the minimum contiguous segment length from 1200 feet to 600 feet.
    • It turned out the timing of the proposal was largely in response to an issue on a particular street segment on Mentor Ave between Orange Grove and Washington.  The street segment gets a lot of cut through traffic but is too short to qualify under the current policy.  All the other segments of the street are long enough and already have humps.
    • So the City Council made a more restricted change in which a segment of 600 ft will be allowed to have humps if other contiguous segments of the street already have humps.  They rejected the more generalized change on the basis of wanting to wait for completion of the new general plan and mobility element, and a more generalized look at the policy in conjunction with that.
    • Interesting numbers from the report:
      • Each hump costs about $2000 to install.
      • The cost to stripe one hump is about $200 and they are generally re-striped every two years.
      • Each year the city has installed about 10 speed humps.
    • Here is a summary of the current speed hump policy:
      • The purpose is to reduce traffic speeds.
      • They can only be on local residential streets – streets where the primary function is to provide access to its residents.  They cannot be installed on streets classified as collector or higher, truck routes, or transit routes.
      • Traffic volumes in both directions must be at least 1,000, but no more then 4,000, vehicles per day.
      • They must be installed on logical segments at least 1,200 feet long.  Logical segments are defined by stop signs, traffic signals, arterial streets, or discontinuities such as a jog.
      • 67% of residents on the proposed segment must support the installation of speed humps.
      • The street segment must have a speed limit of 25 mph, but an 85% actual speed of 33 mph.
      • The street cannot be more then one lane in each direction.
      • The street cannot have a grade greater then 5%, a vertical curve with less then the minimum safe sighting distance, or a horizontal curve with less then a 300 foot center line radius.
      • The street cannot be a primary access route for emergency vehicles.
      • They are not supposed to be installed on a street where a significant portion of traffic will be diverted to nearby residential or local streets.
      • They may be considered in residential alleys on a case-by-case basis.
  • Free movies at Victory Park, 3rd Friday each month
    • The third Friday of each month through September, the City of Pasadena is hosting a “family movie night” at Victory Park.
    • Outdoors on the “upper field”.
    • On Friday June 17th at “dusk” (estimated 8:15 pm) the movie is MegaMind.
    • The flyer says family fun, food, music, and to bring lawn chairs and blankets.
    • Another announcement mentions “smooth jazz” from 6 to 8 pm.
  • Free Code3Life Health Fair, Sunday June 26, 1 – 5:30 pm, Victory Park
    • Code3Life Support Education is putting it on with co-sponsorship by the City of Pasadena
    • Says it is second annual, with the following activities:
      • Free hourly hands only CPR training.
      • BBQ by The Firefighter’s Association
      • Kids’ fingerprinting by Pasadena Police Dept.
      • Free flu vaccines by Pasadena Community Urgent Care
      • Health Screenings by USC School of Pharmacy and Western University
      • Fall Evaluation by Vincent Physical Therapy
      • Chiropractic Spinal Screenings by Dr Jon Postajian
      • Martial Arts demonstration from Jeff Speakman’s Kenpo 5.0
      • Kids’ obstacle course by Vernon Lee Gymnastics
      • Sityodtong, USA – Muay Thai and MMA, Kid Power Martial Arts
      • Oral Hygiene instruction by Dr. Mehran Daoudian and Dr. Rene Der Gregorian
      • Jump Rope for Heart finale by Sahag Mesrob and St. Gregory Hovsepian Armenian Schools
      • Art instruction provided by The Art Studio
      • Arts and Crafts and much more fun and education for the whole family!
  • anything else attendees wish to discuss
    • Derelict house on Alameda
      • This is the house at 3175 Alameda which the city took possession of a year and a half ago.
      • It is once again for months suffering overgrown weeds and trash. Our understanding is that the city’s MASH unit is supposed to be keeping it cleaned up.
      • Kathy e-mailed our new city council member but got no response. In the past Rhonda Stone has prodded the city bureaucracy to get action.
      • Kathy called MASH directly. They said she had to go through code compliance. She called code compliance and explained the situation. They said they needed to refer the case to their director. Kathy is giving them a couple weeks for action before calling again.

Next meeting is July 9, 2011, 11:15 am, at Hastings Branch Library

Adjourned about 12:30 pm