By Natalie Kim
Walnut – The July 13 Walnut Council meeting began with the recognition of the Mayor’s Advisory Committee. The Council and outgoing Mayor Bob Pacheco thanked the committee for their hard work and everything they gave back to the City. The Council then proclaimed July as Parks and Recreation month, commending the Parks and Recreation Commission for keeping the City beautiful and pleasant for everyone. Outgoing Mayor Pacheco then received several commendations for the work he accomplished this last year, including from Congressman Ed Royce, Senator Bob Huff, Assemblywoman Chang, and more. As his last act as mayor, Pacheco commented on all the progress the City made in the past year, praising City employees, Council members, and Walnut residents for all working together to make Walnut a beautiful community for people to live in.
The Council was then reorganized. Eric Ching was appointed as the new mayor, and was sworn in by his wife of thirty years. Although Mary Su and Nancy Tragarz were both nominated as mayor pro tem, Nancy Tragarz refused the position and Mary Su remained mayor pro tem.
The reorganized Council approved the minutes of the June 22 City Council meeting and opened the public hearing on an ordinance prohibiting parking on various city streets in the vicinity of Mt. SAC. The ordinance was approved, although Councilmember Su pointed out that in most cases, such an ordinance is only a temporary solution, as students respond to such measures by simply parking in other streets. Su called for a meeting with Mt. SAC and an opportunity to teach the students directly about alternative parking areas and residential areas which should be avoided.
The Council then held the second public hearing for the appeal of a conditional use permit for Lot 269. Although opinions varied wildly between residents, the Council approved the appeal on the condition that a pocket park should be added to the tract map, satisfying both ends of the spectrum of opinions brought to the Council. The Council also approved all items on the consent calendar, including a resolution allowing claims and demands in the amount of $1,169,489.20; a public improvements and release of improvement bond for tract 72827; and a continuance for the appeal of the Planning Commission denial to construct over-height fences in the front yards of four homes on Sunset Circle. The Council agreed that more discussion was necessary in the case of the over-height fence construction. The owners wanted a fence for added safety in response to the new crime wave that appeared to have hit Walnut. While the Council was sympathetic to the homeowners’ concerns, the effect of the City-wide fences was important to consider.
Following individual reports and comments, the Council adjourned to July 27 at 7 p.m. at 21201 La Puente Rd.