Walnut Council Recap

By Natalie Kim

Walnut – Mayor Pacheco began the Sept. 9 Walnut City Council meeting with a commendation for Deputy Doug Daley, who has served in the Sheriff’s department for eight years. Daley assists and organizes several neighborhood watch programs, and is in charge of organizing security for events such as the Concerts in the Park, as well as traffic security and crime prevention presentations at local schools. The Council also presented a proclamation to Jodi Lepp, the 2015 Los Angeles County Fair Hero and Walnut Family Festival Grand Marshall. Lepp is the first Walnut resident to be named Los Angeles County Fair Hero, and she has more than earned it with her involvement in the community, ranging everywhere from assisting youth sports organizations to volunteering at school fundraisers.

The Council then approved the minutes from the Aug. 12 Council meeting, and opened the public hearing on a zoning ordinance concerning antennas and communications facilities. In response to residents’ desire for a stricter ordinance, the Council amended the ordinance to require a 1,500 foot distance between telecommunication poles and any school, park, or outdoor recreation facility, and a notification requirement when a new telecommunication structure is erected within 500 feet of City borders.

The Council approved all items on the Consent Calendar, including a resolution allowing $469,120.18 in claims and demands; an addendum to the City website development; the award of a bid for a street resurfacing project; the appointment of Monica Lin to the Youth Advisory Commission; and the appointment of Flora Coday-Lamb to the Senior Citizens Commission.

Next, the Council discussed term limits, a hot topic of debate for several months now. Council members saw both the good and the bad in term limits. Councilwoman Nancy Tragarz noted that, as with any job, the City Council has a learning curve, and limiting the time to serve on the Council may lead to those most effective at their job being forced out of office. However, as other Council members agreed, new blood and fresh ideas were important. Councilwoman Mary Su supported the idea of term limits, but was against the idea of term limits forcing a break from serving on the Council, rather than a hard limit of how long one could serve on the Council, as was proposed. Councilman Tony Cartagena was against term limits, as he felt that a Council Member’s time in office should be determined by voters as opposed to a predetermined limit. Both sides were considered, and the Council voted to put a three year term limit with a minimum two year break on the ballot of the next general election.

During reports and comments, the Council followed up on several complaints of vandalism in various parks and discussed the situation with the Sheriff’s Department. The perpetrators have not yet been found, but patrols have increased and a Detective has been assigned to the case. Tragarz also announced the Walnut Fair on Sept. 25.

The Council adjourned with plans to meet on Sept. 23, at 7 p.m., in the Council Chambers at 21201 La Puente Rd.