By Galen Patterson
The evening began with a report from the Chief of Arcadia’s police force, Robert Guthrie, about the general state of the city’s crime. According to Chief Guthrie, crime within the city’s limits in January was down in every way compared to last year at this time.
Next, Sheriff’s Department power-couple Burton and Kimberly Brink were presented with commendations from the city for their service to the community. Burton Brink started his career in law enforcement as an Arcadia Police Explorer from 1977 to 1982. He retired in October of 2017 and recently launched a campaign for State Assembly, which he is actively involved in at the present. Sergeant Kimberly Brink is planning to retire in March of this year after 29 years with the LA County Sheriff’s Department.
In his acceptance speech, Burton Brink thanked City Council for the commendations and proceeded to explain that one thing he particularly enjoys about Arcadia is the friendliness Arcadians can have toward each other. “We know all of our neighbors and still go out and talk to them in the middle of the street,” said Brink. He then went on to highlight the good nature of Arcadia’s Police Department, stating that although both Burton and Kimberly worked for the Sheriff’s Department, towns with local police departments tend to be more invested in the interests of the city. “They’re a little more accommodating with what we want to do for our city and keeping us safe as well,” he said.
The Mayor’s Certificate of Recognition was presented to the Arcadia Chinese Association by Mayor Peter Amundson. Mayor Amundson spoke to leading members of the local nonprofit, thanking them for their service to the community in helping to bridge the cultural gap between new immigrants and other Arcadians for over 35 years. “Arcadia would not be the great town it is today without the Arcadia Chinese Association,” said Mayor Amundson.
Finally, a third honor was presented to the Ronald Reagan Library, in honor of the former President’s birthday, during which Mayor Amundson spoke about the impact President Reagan had on his life, inspiring the nation to move forward to greatness.
The first order of citywide business came in the form of setting passport fees for a new passport service opening in the Arcadia Library. One member of the public came forth to protest the hiring of four, non-benefitted employees citing the dangers implicit in handling passports and suggested hiring only one, fully-benefitted employee to run the new operation. City Council decided against the one employee suggestion, citing reasons of sick days and more accountability from other employees.
Shortly after, City Council launched into a discussion about historic preservation within the city and a lack of ordinances around the subject. Spurred on by a resident’s concern, council members acknowledged the misinformation and cryptic guidelines surrounding the subject which has not yet been fully established.
City Manager Dominic Lazzaretto explained that the city is in the process of crafting ordinances on the subject and are further along in the process than expected. Currently, the city’s staff are compiling a public information document in both English and Mandarin to help answer the questions of historic preservation within Arcadia, but the document has not yet been finished. “We can probably get that out in the next three weeks to a month,” said City Manager Lazzaretto.