By Galen Patterson
The Arcadia City Council met on April 4 for its final meeting under Mayor Peter Amundson’s current term. The next mayor will be voted in by the councilmembers after the election on April 10.
Mayor Amundson’s annual Mayor’s Breakfast will be held at the Arcadia Community Center on April 6, 7:30 a.m. The theme for the Mayor’s Breakfast is “Leaving a Legacy.”
During the event, Mayor Amundson will deliver his State of the City address and see keynote speaker: former Los Angeles County Supervisor Michael Antonovich.
The council meeting featured only two initial public comments, one of which was former Mayor Gail Marshall, who spoke out against misinformation she believes was perpetuated by Councilman Roger Chandler.
Marshall also openly voiced her support for candidate Jolly Wu, while the second speaker advocated for Councilman Tom Beck. The end of the meeting saw more speakers on a variety of issues.
During the comments from the council, Councilman Tom Beck displayed Mayor Pro Tempore Sho Tay’s recent mailer and explained to the audience, more specifically a troop of Girl Scouts in the front row, that the information on the mailer was designed to instill fear in Arcadians with false information and subsequently challenged Mayor Pro Temp. Tay to explain his plan for making Arcadia a safer community.
Councilman Beck also said that Arcadia needs more Asian representation on City Council to reflect the city’s nearly 60 percent Asian population, but pointed out the only Asian candidate, Jolly Wu, is being bullied by the only Asian councilmember, Sho Tay.
During Mayor Pro Temp. Tay’s turn to speak, he responded to Councilman Beck by explaining that the numbers on his mailer were not false, but reported by the city’s police department directly, a fact which remains unconfirmed by Arcadia Weekly.
The mailer Beck held up was a printed version of the same mailer that Tay had paid for with his committee after he had been appointed. Tay responded to this by explaining that he could not spend the campaign funds on himself, so he opted to spend them on the mailer. However, the funds did not need to be spent and could have been carried over for his next campaign if he were to run again.
Money had been donated to Tay’s committee in late January, after the filing deadline had passed and Tay was running unopposed. Two development-related companies had donated the large sums of money.
Mayor Pro Temp. Tay also explained that the term “developer” seems to have taken on a negative connotation, but it is a profession like any other. He also called attention to the fact that Arcadia’s founder, Elias ‘Lucky’ Baldwin, was a major developer.
With the approval of the consent calendar, council moved onto its major item for the evening: the possible calling for review the planning commission’s decision to allow a large plot of land to be turned into a mixed-use project consisting of both living and commercial spaces at 17 Las Tunas Dr.
“This is the opportunity, at least to look at, revitalizing Live Oak,” said Mayor Amundson.
The project had been approved by the planning commission last week and the company involved with the development of the project, The Olson Company, faced a timing mishap if the plan did not move forward.
After a small amount of deliberation, council upheld the planning commission’s decision.