To be effective locally you must work regionally. Monrovia has a rich history of working at all levels of government and collaborating with elected officials at all levels keep our community moving forward. Working in the tradition of former Mayor Bob Bartlett, it is imperative that Monrovia continue with this task. We cannot afford to lose important ground at any of these levels. Monrovia’s Mayor must be involved with our regional partners. We are not an isolated island with unlimited resources. All communities are interdependent with their neighbors, particularly in the area public safety, but also in funding for major projects involving transportation, waste management, water quality, etc. My regional engagement, first as a member of the City Council and then as Mayor, brought new jobs, new programs, new ideas and new funding to Monrovia, leveraging and strengthening the community’s resources. Here is a partial list of my regional involvement:
- President of the Board, San Gabriel Valley Council of Governments and Chair of the Water Committee. Former Chair, Environment and Natural Resources Committee
- Chair, Los Angeles Regional Water Quality Control Board (2004-2013)
- Vice Chair, Gold Line Joint Powers Authority
- Member, Los Angeles County Sanitation District and Los Angeles County Integrated Waste Management Task Force
- Member, Air Pollution Control District Local Government and Small Business Advisory Committee
- Advisory Board Member, Chair of Women Mayors and Vice Chair of Energy Committee, United States Conference of Mayors
The benefits of this involvement are manifest:
- Working collaboratively with the San Gabriel Valley Council of Governments, Gold Line Construction Authority and Gold Line Joint Powers Authority ensured the development and construction of the Gold Line.
- Collaborations between the San Gabriel Valley Council of Governments and Southern California Edison have resulted in hundreds of thousands of dollars of energy savings to the city of Monrovia through efficiency programs in our city buildings and yards.
- Working with the Waste Management Task Force we are able to discuss and make recommendations to CALRecycle regarding solid waste management. There are also opportunities to learn of future programs and efficiencies that are shared with our city staff. The same is true for the County Sanitation District and the AQMD Local Government and Small Business Advisory Committees.
- Through the Regional Water Quality Control Board I have had the great honor to affect some of the rules regarding regulations effecting both local government and businesses regarding clean water.
- Using knowledge garnered from the Regional Water Quality Control Board and leveraging the relationships at the San Gabriel Valley Council of Governments, Los Angeles League of California Cities, U.S. Conference of Mayors and elected officials at all levels, I was able to bring together more than 60 cities to collaborate and coordinate their negotiations with the Regional Water Quality Board for the 2012 storm water permit. The permit was probably the best the cities could hope for but the costs are in the billions of dollars for the cities of L.A. County. The work is not complete; there is a need to address the affordability of these unfunded mandates but it must be done at the level at which they are levied, the federal Clean Water Act. All but a handful of cities in our County do not have funding source for these costs and the costs will have to come from our limited general funds. Coordinating the SGVCOG, L.A. League of Cities and the U.S. Conference of Mayors we have worked to study the affordability of the regulations of the Clean Water Act and the inability for our citizens to pay for the upcoming storm water permit costs. Through the Conference of Mayors we are meeting with US EPA to discuss the issue. The result is a document that acknowledges the problem. We have also developed a study that shows the cost and have written and are using this study along with the U.S. EPA document to write federal legislation. Now, we are working with several members of Congress from both parties to introduce the bill that will provide some assurances for our cities and allow the EPA to use cost triggers to assist in meeting the regulations. This work is still ongoing and vital to our community, the region, state and entire country.
- Working with these agencies I have been able to identify many grants and our staff has successfully applied for many of them, totaling hundreds of thousands of dollars, including new rubberized road surfaces (SGVCOG and Waste Management Task Force), an Energy efficiency grant (SGVCOG), and a Childhood Obesity Grant (U.S. Conference of Mayors), (Trees), (Edison Advisory Committee).
- I, along with former-Mayor Hammond, was instrumental in bringing creating Monrovia’s vital Youth Employment Service (YES), which came to us through involvement with the U.S. Conference of Mayors.