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Jerry’s Journeys – By Jerry Jambazian – November 28, 2012

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Municipal Government 101: Have you ever wondered how a city like Temple City governs itself? Do you know the difference between a Resolution, Emergency Resolution, Ordinance? Do you know the difference between a Charter City and General Rule City?

Did you know that, under certain home rule provisions in California’s state constitution, voters can exercise a greater degree of local control than that provided by the California Legislature? Temple City incorporated in 1960 and became a charter city in 1971 allowing voters to determine how our city government is organized and, with respect to municipal affairs, enact legislation different than that adopted by the state.

In California, cities which have not adopted a charter are organized by state law. Such a city is called a General Law City, which will be managed by a 5-member city council. A city organized under a charter may choose different systems, including the “strong mayor” or “city manager” forms of government. We have opted for the City Manager form of government.

California’s charter cities first were established in the 1870s during difficult economic times, and in response to the state meddling in city affairs. A constitutional revision granting municipalities the charter option was approved and cities revised their own charters. Of the 482 cities in the state, 121 are charter cities.

The beauty of charter cities is that, when used properly, the charter allows them more flexibility to cut costs and use revenues wisely, unlike most state mandates, which always favor certain special interests. This gives a city more control in making decisions more in line with local issues and needs.

Resolutions and Ordinances:

An ordinance is a law adopted by the City Council.  Ordinances usually amend, repeal or supplement the City’s Municipal Code; provide zoning specifications; or appropriate money for specific purposes – ordinances remain in effect until they are changed or repealed.  Most ordinances require two public hearings: an introduction hearing (i.e., First Reading), followed later by the final adoption hearing (i.e., Second Reading) and is implemented 30 days after the Second Reading.  Whereas, a resolution is a formal expression of an opinion or intention of the City Council.  Typically, resolutions become effective upon their adoption.

Emergency Resolutions are enacted when there is a condition of extreme danger or potential danger to the safety of people/property, and there is a condition beyond the capability of the City to control effectively, the local governing body (i.e., city council authorized by an ordinance) may proclaim that a local emergency exists.  A local emergency is proclaimed to exist due to a specific situation, such as wind (we all remember from a year ago), flood, fire, storm, earthquake, epidemic, drought, sudden and severe energy shortage, or other another condition.

Twenty Tons of Fun:

Tons of snow, bright holiday lights, and the sound of holiday music will turn Temple City Park into a winter wonderland during Lights on Temple City. This is the premier winter family fun event sponsored by Parks & Recreation.

Free crafts, new sled runs, visits and photos with Santa, refreshments will be offered beginning at 5 p.m. A holiday parade featuring the Temple City High School marching band will begin from the corner of Cloverly and Las Tunas at 7 p.m. The parade proceeds east into Temple City Park where a 100’ redwood tree, decorated with thousands of lights, will be illuminated.

Residents are reminded that Las Tunas Drive will be closed between 6:30 and 8 p.m. for the parade. Golden West will also be closed throughout the event.

Temple City Tweets:  After two years of planning the city has awarded the Rosemead Boulevard Safety Enhancement and Beautification Project to Los Angeles Engineering. Work on this major project will commence at the end of January. The question was raised at the Council meeting if there would be financial incentives for early completion. Mayor Yu said, “no incentives for early completion, but there are financial penalties in place if work is not completed on time.” We all remember the two-year nightmare on Rosemead Blvd. from Huntington Drive to Colorado Blvd. This Council is committed to ensuring the least amount of disruption and inconvenience and to finish the project in a timely manner.

City Council has: Adopted a Resolution approving the Citywide Traffic Calming Master Plan along with the Comprehensive Downtown Parking Strategic Plan.

In an effort to improve the quality of life, the Council is also responding to growing concerns by the public regarding the control of second-hand smoke with an introduction of a Ordinance to control second-hand smoke in public places.

Also introduction of an Ordinance to allow Tobacco Retailer Permits to the 31 businesses to encourage responsible tobacco retailing which will assist in the prevention of illegal sale and distribution of tobacco products to minors throughout the city.

In an effort to alleviate the parking shortage in the downtown area the Council approved and authorized the City Manager to execute a purchase and sale agreement for 5800 Temple City Blvd. This property will allow for 51 additional parking spaces for patrons and employees. Some of you old-timers will know this property as the old Lee R. Hill mortuary at the corner of Workman and Temple City Blvd.

Over 200 interested “engaged” residents and business owners attended the Las Tunas Drive Streetscape Project. The meeting took place at Live Oak Park to a standing room crowd. The meeting was facilitated by Greg Tung from San Francisco based FTS consulting. Mayor Yu began the meeting with his comments, “When Las Tunas Drive was designed 50 to 60 years ago, the community really did not have a say in how it came out.” Mayor Yu also said, “We are really trying to engage with the public to solicit new ideas and inject some vitality into the downtown area.” You are invited to one more meeting on December 19 at Live Oak Park. As is a marriage you are invited to give your input, or forever hold your peace.

See you soon…

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News of the San Gabriel Valley since 1966.
Jerry’s Journeys – By Jerry Jambazian – November 28, 2012