Tag Archives: Mayor Tony Cartagena

Walnut: Mayor Meets With Religious Leaders

BY RAYMOND MENDOZA

 

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Walnut City Hall (Photo Courtesy: City of Walnut)

Walnut – Following a May 5 Supreme Court decision ruling that religious invocations were acceptable at city council and other public board meetings, Mayor Tony Cartagena met with several religious leaders in the area on July 1 to discuss an open invitation to all religions wishing to deliver a prayer to the residents of Walnut.

The original lawsuit was brought on by two women in Greece, New York – one Jewish, and one atheist – claiming that the city’s invocations featured prayers to Jesus Christ and were specifically aimed at Christianity.

After the United States Supreme Court ruled 5-4 in favor of allowing religious invocations at city meetings, Cartagena decided to hold a meeting to ensure that even with the large population of Catholic and Christian residents, the Walnut City Council invocation is open to all religions as long as they do not degrade the message of any other religion and do not force their beliefs on unwilling attendees. Cartagena reached out to all local churches and religious groups to discuss a schedule for reading invocations during upcoming council meetings.

According to Cartagena, the meeting had representatives from the First Baptist Church of Walnut, the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, the City Blessing Church of Walnut, the Gospel Life Community Church, and the Walnut United Methodist Church.

Cartagena said the meeting was successful and allowed for each responding representative to learn about the rules regarding the deliverance of invocations and that the City Council meetings would soon play host to various religious leaders who would like to offer their prayers to the community.

Furthermore, Cartagena said he was happy with the Supreme Court’s decision because Walnut has a long standing tradition of hosting prayers at the City Council meetings.

“By having invocations at the Walnut City Council sessions, religious leaders could play important roles in seeking help from our almighty God for the legislative body to formulate decisions that would enhance Walnut’s quality of life, among other things,” said Cartagena. The mayor also called the meetings “essential” to the local government.

Some religious leaders, like High Priest Missionary, Felix Maico, of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, said the inclusion of many religions during the invocation will help strengthen the community because it would create connections between the many religions in the city. Maico also noted that freedom of religion is the right of all American citizens and that every religion should have the chance to believe in whatever they want to believe.

Pastor Paul Tan, of City Blessing Church of Walnut, said the decision to allow invocations from all religions will be a boon for the city and its residents, because it will give some individuals the chance to see the friendliness behind other religions.

“It will be beneficial because we need to know one another,” Tan said. “Sometimes we don’t love one another because we don’t know one another. Maybe this will change that.”

 

Walnut: Mayor Inspires Kindergarten Grads

By Leianna Pasmant-Solis

 

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Mayor Cartagena with student, Natalia Avila, and director, Leianna Pasmant-Solis. (Photo Courtesy: Leianna Pasmant-Solis)

Walnut – The International School of Montessori has been part of the Walnut Community since 1994.  The Walnut school provides a revolutionary method of observing and supporting the natural development of children from infancy through kindergarten.

Montessori’s 2014 kindergarten class held their graduation ceremony on Fri., June 13, at the Covina Woman’s Club, and Walnut Mayor, Tony Cartagena, was in attendance to congratulate the little graduates.

Cartagena delivered an inspiring speech for the school, encouraging each child to aspire to greatness. The school’s director, Leianna Pasmant-Solis, also congratulated the staff and those in attendance for having participated in such a wonderful program.

The International School of Montessori is located at 20781 Amar Road in Walnut. For more information, call (909) 594-8172.

 

 

 

Walnut: Council Corner 06.11.14

BY RAYMOND MENDOZA

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Singing the National Anthem
(Photo Courtesy Raymond Mendoza)

Walnut – Walnut’s City Council met for a regular meeting on June 11 to discuss various business issues and to honor the Filipino citizens of the City by recognizing Filipino Heritage week, which runs from June 8 through June 14.

Mayor Tony Cartagena welcomed the incoming Filipino Consul General, Leo M. Herrera-Lim, along with the rest of City Council, and wished him luck and prosperity in his office.

Herrera-Lim said he was honored to have his fellow Filipinos honored by Walnut and the nation, stating that the Philippines share the same love of freedom that Americans do.

After the presentations were over, City Council members approved the minutes for the regular City Council and Walnut Housing Association meeting on May 28, and adopted the 2014 Los Angeles County Fire Code.

The Council then went on to approve the six items on the Consent Calendar: Resolution No. 14-26 for the City of Walnut allowing certain claims and demands in the amount of $510, 661.35; granting of the utility easement to Southern California Edison at Creekside Park; the Draft Watershed Management Plan; an alcoholic beverage license application for Imomo Sushi; and a bingo permit application from the Walnut Senior Club.

The only topic that was discussed was the continuing use of religious invocations at City Council meetings, where City Attorney, Michael Montgomery, noted that the City Council does not discriminate against any other religion.

“Anyone that wants to do it, Jewish, Muslim – they can all apply,” Montgomery said. “We’re receptive to it.”

After the councilmember announcements, the meeting adjourned. The next scheduled meeting is set for June 25 at 7 p.m. in the City Council chambers at 21201 La Puente Road.