City Council Recap

A quick look at Action items, presentations, public comments, Councilmember and City Manager Comments, and saying goodbye to a longtime city worker were all part of the meeting

FILE PHOTO: Eric Fabbro | News | South Pasadena City Council during a February 5, 2020 meeting

A public hearing was held as part of last Wednesday’s South Pasadena City Council meeting to receive objections or protests to the Vegetation Management Program regarding the abatement of weeds, brush, rubbish in front of specified properties in the city.

South Pasadena Fire Chief Paul Riddle provided the report.

Riddle explained that the City of South Pasadena has been contracting with the County of Los Angeles Agricultural Commissions Office since 2011 to provide vegetation management services in the city.

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The fire chief said the program remains an effective means of removing hazardous vegetation from privately owned lots and is cost effective for property owners.

This year’s declaration list provided by the County of Los Angeles identified 93 parcels and vacant lots that will be inspected, Riddle noting that the property owners were notified prior to February 1 as a requirement to maintain their properties free from hazardous vegetation.

Those property owners opting to not to choose abatement on their own, the county would facilitate that effort and recover the fees through tax bills.

The hearing was intended to hear objections to the program, which there were none.

Other Action Items:

New Vehicle for City

In a 5-0 vote, a contract was awarded to Phoenix Motorcars, LLC, in the amount of $163,101 for the purchase of a 2019 E450 plug-in vehicle for the city’s Dial-A-Ride Program 

Councilmember Michael Cacciotti asked a variety of questions regarding its usage of the new vehicle while Mayor Pro Tem Diana Mahmud had questions about the grant funding for the vehicle.

Support Vehicle for SPPD

Council members unanimously awarded a contract to the Wondries Fleet Group for the purchase of a replacement 2020 Ford utility hybrid police interceptor administrative vehicle including the installation of emergency equipment in the amount of $52,305.

Capital Improvements

The Council received and files the second quarter fiscal year 2019-20 Capital improvement Plan Project Updates.

After Mayor Pro Tem Diana Mahmud and Councilman Michael Cacciotti had questions regarding projects and funding beforethe council approved the project updates.

Councilmember Communications

Councilmember Michael Cacciotti

•He has been re-elected as eastern region Governing board member for the South Coast Air Quality Management District.

He attended the San Gabriel Chinese New Year Festival.

•He showed a vacant lot property where three city water wells are located.

•He showed pictures of Wilson Reservoir site and where a reservoir serving the city is currently under construction.

•He showed signage at the Arroyo Park Trail where it has been reopened to horses.

Councilmember Dr. Marina Khubesrian

She thanked city staff for allowing the City Hall Art Exhibit to be part of the Arts Crawl over Presidents’ Day weekend.

She commended Ron Keortge for reading his poem, Ode to South Pasadena” during the Arts Crawl.

She provided information about Aedes Mosquito infestation, and shared mosquito repellant wipes with those in attendance.

Mayor Pro Tem Diana Mahmud

She announced her reelection as chair for the Clean Power Alliance.

Attended the Smart Gardening Workshop held at the Community Room.

Announced the Mission-Bell Project had been approved, and provided information on the plan and community input. Asked city staff to develop an ordinance that would require developers to furnish and install EV chargers on all future developments.

Shared information about the upcoming General Plan meetings.

Attended the SGVCOG Regional Housing Forum.

Mayor Robert Joe and Councilmember Richard Schneider had no comments.

City Manager Communications

South Pasadena City Police Chief Ortiz, sitting in for Stephanie DeWolfe, reported on the following:

•Mike Casalou was introduced as the city’s interim human resources manager.

• The Commissioners Congress is scheduled for Tuesday, February 25, at the War Memorial Building.

•General Plan Meetings are scheduled:

March 10, 6:30 to 8:30 p.m. at the City Council Chambers, 1414 Mission Street, Development Standards Part 1.

April 14, 6:30 to 8:30 p.m., City Council Chambers, 1414 Mission Street, Development Standards Part 2 and Parking.

May 12, 6:30 to 8:30 p.m., City Council Chambers, 1414 Mission Street, Signage and Special Events.

Saying Goodbye

South Pasadena Mayor Robert Joe announced that longtime city worker Mariam Lee will be departing.  Councilmembers took a moment to thank her for her service.


•Animal adoption presented by Humane Society.

•Merchant Minute – Chamber of Commerce President Laurie Wheeler introduced Paula Han, Owner of Handle Shop.

•2019 Ultimate Champion for West Nile Virus Prevention Challenge. Councilmember Khubesrian provided a brief background on award and presented it to Mayor Joe and SPPD Lt. Tom Jacobs., who also serves as the city’s staff liaison to the Animal Commission.

•Introduction by South Pasadena Police Chief Joe Ortiz of new Officer Kristina Roppo.

Public Comment

•Quincy Sakai and Sophia Barnes, representing Girl Scout Troop 47111, are working on a project to show screening of adocumentary on the topic of homelessness. The screening will take place on Friday, March 6, at 6 p.m. at the South PasadenaLibrary Community Room.

•Cindy Rubin presented on trailer bill currently in draft status regarding medical challenges in systems of care.

Liz Spencer also spoke on the topic of the trailer bill Rubin spoke, and explained the current work in progress of developing the bill.

Miko Cheikesman expressed concern over behavior he experienced from two South Pasadena Police Officers.

Shlomo Nitzani  is waiting to see what is going to happen on the educational reform in regards to feeding animals.

Other comments from Nitzani:

He called the Public Works Department to get information about the city’s process for deciding which streets to pave,adding too many consultants are involved.

He asked that expanded language be provided on City Councilagendas because not everybody reads the online version.

Believes the city vehicle purchase for $153,000 is too costly.

•Alan Ehrlich expressed concern over the progress on recent public records requests submitted to the city.