County Supervisor Barger to Sit with Pasadena City Council for Special Mid-Week Meeting

Published : Monday, March 25, 2019 | 4:36 AM

Los Angeles County Supervisor Kathryn Barger (second from left, wearing leather jacket) shown meeting last year with members of the Pasadena City Council in formal discussions about issues regarding the relationship between the City and Los Angeles County on Wednesday, March 28, 2018. Photo by Brandon Villalovos for Pasadena Now.

The Pasadena City Council is scheduled to meet March 27 with District Five Los Angeles County Supervisor Katheryn Barger to parse through an agenda packed with some of the more controversial issues roiling local political waters.

Supervisor Barger meets in this fashion with the different cities in her District.    Last year’s meeting resulted in Barger’s office issuing a formal announcement revealing key details of the County’s Devil’s Gate sediment removal project hours afterward.

“It is an annual event,” said Tony Bell, a spokesman for Barger. “The supervisor is really there to listen and learn what is important to the City. She can take it back to the County and we can work together on things.”

The agenda items are chosen by the host City and by its composition one can divine what issues are priorities, or matters of concern, for the City.

One discussion will focus on a funding award to the One Arroyo Project, a tax-exempt entity working with the City to support the Arroyo Seco.

In Feb. 2018, the City council approved $125,000 in seed money to help the One Arroyo Project Group launch an effort to raise $5 million for one of two proposed demonstration projects. Estimates from the group are that the overall project would cost some $37 million.

The City leaders and the County representative will also hear an update by the Los Angeles County Department of Public Works on the Devil’s Gate Dam Sediment Removal Project in Hahamongna Watershed Park.

The goal there is to clear obstructions to the use of the dam’s controlled water release gate.

The area affected is some 50 acres in size. The County has said that 1.7 million cubic yards of debris are to be transported from the site.

Department of Public Works’ strategic communications manager Kerjon Lee informs that “plans for starting sediment removal operations in mid- to late-April remain on track. We continue to meet with local stakeholder groups to share updates and listen to their feedback and recommendations.”

The project has been roundly criticized both as a concept, and in execution, by the Arroyo Seco Foundation. Managing director Tim Brick has characterized it as an invading army from the County that has neither respected the City of Pasadena or its residents.

The use of Measure H funds to address homelessness will also be discussed.

The measure was passed in March 2017 and increased the City sales tax county-wide by a quarter-cent to generate some $355 million annually for the county, for 10 years, aimed at programs that combat homelessness.

In January, the City council approved the appropriation of $1.08 million in such funds to be parceled out among the Union Station Homeless Center ($660,017), Ecumenical Council of Pasadena Area Congregations ($227,908), and Hathaway-Sycamores Child and Family Services ($277,908).

There will also be an update on the State Route 710 stub and related Measure R funds issues.

The 710 Freeway extension is dead and proposed in its stead are a variety of transportation projects. What happens to all the properties purchased by Caltrans in anticipation of freeway construction remains a great unknown.

The City does not appear to have many options given that the properties belong to individuals and it can’t afford to buy them all.

The City Council recently approved funding to hire a consultant that might guide Pasadena through “the next round of squabbling and conflict” as Mayor Terry Tornek has referred to the post-710 Freeway battle landscape.

The crosstown water pipeline project from Arroyo Seco to Eaton Canyon, about which little to nothing has been heard since 2017, will be updated by Public Works, as well.

The department did not respond to a question regarding this issue’s relation to the Devil’s Gate dig, since the pipeline would be part of the same water delivery system.