By Galen Patterson
City Council met on Mar. 6 in the council chambers for a regular meeting resulting in a new city-wide holiday.
The meeting was blessed by Rabbi Shalom Steifel of the Chabad of Arcadia-Temple City, and the pledge of allegiance was led by local hero and 80-plus year Arcadian John “Doc” Wells.
Awards were presented to the Arcadia Beautiful Commission, 2nd-year award-winning tennis players Michelle Deng and Lauren Ko for being the top doubles team in all high schools of Southern California, and a particularly special award presented to local entrepreneur Matt McSweeny.
McSweeny is the transitional owner of Matt Denny’s, a locally-treasured restaurant. Currently, he is in the process of changing career trajectories after 19 years, which has stirred up local emotions that are publicly surfacing around town.
Mayor Amundson shared some of his warmest memories of McSweeny before presenting the award, and the Arcadia Chamber of Commerce shared in the recognition of McSweeny for being a member of the chamber most of the past two decades.
The feelings appear to be mutual, as McSweeny told Arcadia Weekly that he will miss Arcadia. “The people are just the best,” he said.
Council declared Mar.6 to be “Matt McSweeny Day” in Arcadia, and the Santa Anita Racetrack has also named a special day, a day to be determined by McSweeny himself, to be “Matt McSweeny Day at Santa Anita Racetrack.” At the racetrack on the designated day, a race will be named in honor of McSweeny and everyone in the community will be invited to join McSweeny at the racetrack.
The final presentation of the evening was the Pasadena Humane Society’s showing of an adoptable dog. Talley, a greyhound/Labrador mix was brought in and introduced to the city. Mayor Amundson said the council prefers to show large dogs, because burglars tend to be more wary of homes with bigger dogs.
After the presentations, the meeting shifted into public comments, during which many people voiced their concerns on several city-wide issues. Public comments related to dismay over the cancellation of the public forum for election candidates, ravenous coyotes killing pets, and historic preservation legislation.
City Council assured Arcadians that more concrete information on the drafted historic preservation legislation will be mailed to residences within the city in both Mandarin and English, and very soon.
During the council comments, Police Chief Bob Guthrie of the Arcadia Police Department (APD) spoke briefly about his relative success in maximizing manpower within the city in an effort to decrease crime. However, the methods being employed are not sustainable, due to the expected fatigue related to putting the officers on overtime.
However in one particular area, Police Chief Guthrie says APD is a heavy-hitter. “Arcadia Police Department for the last three or four years has been on the cutting edge of utilizing technology and we don’t want for almost anything in that arena,” said Guthrie.
Official legislation came in the form of supporting resolution 7208, supporting the Reducing Crime and Keeping California Safe Act, and opposing Senate Bill 827, Transit Rich Housing Bonus Legislation.