State of the City: 'Serious Economic Challenges' Lie Ahead

Monrovia Mayor Mary Ann Lutz delivered her annual "State of the City" address Tuesday night.

Monrovia Mayor Mary Ann Lutz delivered her annual "State of the City" address at Tuesday, where she stressed that the city remains "secure" despite a recent blow to economic development that will severely impact the city's budget in 2012.

Focusing much of her speech on the , Lutz said the city has lost a major tool in attracting business that helped turn the city into what it is today.

"The Monrovia Redevelopment Agency was our  greatest economic tool for 39 years," Lutz said. "It was the means by which the city cultivated private-sector jobs and stimulated business growth. It was the process by which we created affordable housing, and it has funded vital community programs for decades."

Lutz vowed that the city will press on in creating opportunities for investment without redevelopment, though she warned of "serious economic challenges" ahead.

The December windstorm that to the city has been a "costly mess," Lutz said. Lutz praised the city's response to the disaster and credited preparation as the reason the windstorm was not more devastating.

"We were ready because of good planning and training by a team of top professionals, because of involved and caring residents and businesses and because of thoughtful, responsible and foresighted community leadership--everything that we’re going to need again in 2012," Lutz said.

Looking to the future, Lutz addressed the keep the Foothill Extension on track. Such a deal will pave the way for the planned , which Lutz called "the largest community investment in Monrovia’s history."

Lutz touted the city's balanced budget and said continued budget and staffing cuts have positioned the city to operate more efficiently as it moves forward.But the loss of redevelopment money means the city could be facing a deficit of $1 million in the next fiscal year.

One major consquence of the elimination of redevelopment, however, is that the funding for the program is now in jeopardy.

MAP, a neighborhood focused program that tries to empower citizens to get more involved with their communities, got its funding from redevelopment. The city must now find that money elsewhere, Lutz said.

"More cutbacks may be needed, somewhere," she said. "Let me say now, we do not intend for MAP to go away. We’re going to find a solution."

Lutz closed by asking residents to stay optimistic as the city continues to navigate through economic difficulties.

"Monrovia today is secure, energized and looking forward to many more years of progress," she said. "With your continued participation, our future will be bright."

Gayle M. Montgomery January 26, 2012 at 08:43 PM
Kevin, why I think I understand the reference to Exxon Mobil, it is immaterial to this discussion. Do you fault men and women who wear their college class rings? Men and women who have worn the colors deserve to reflect themselves in that which they are most proud. If I opened up my jewelry box today, I'd find Girl Scout insignia. It's been about 48 years since I wore it, but I could never part with those hard earned pins. I just don't understand why you chose to criticize him. There doesn't seem to be a direct tie. What I'm guessing is your exception is to his commentary that he'd rather listen to the Mayor's remarks than those of the President. I am a proud Damned Democrat and support our President vehemently. That said, there is some backlash in the military at present as it downsizes, and some of that is being laid at Obama's feet. I understand where people take exception, but I do not agree. We have to downsize because the war is so costly, and folks are able to be more efficient with drones like the ones being created by Monrovia's Aerovironment. But there is also some misinformation propagating about military benefits. I staunchly support giving our military that which they have earned, so when these stories come out, I go digging. If they were true, I would fight long and hard for them. They turn out to be false. I would just suggest we stick to the gist of the article and not attack one another.
Patrick Lee January 26, 2012 at 08:57 PM
We've deleted Kevin's comments because they violated our Terms of Use by being anonymous, ad hominem attacks. If you have something on point to say about the State of the City address, we're happy to hear them.
Robert Parry January 26, 2012 at 08:59 PM
Thanks... the thread kinda loses something without them!
kevin January 26, 2012 at 10:14 PM
I was at the State of the City, and thought the Mayor did an outstandnig job. I would have liked to have heard more about the status of the station square project. Seems likes its been "coming soon" for a long time. Disrespecting a Troop, such as Mr. Parry is not disrespecting "the troops." What makes my blood boil is that while most were mindlessly cheered and waived the flag 10 years ago when we were being conned into usless war, people who questioned the wisdom of the invasion were considered unpatriotic and anti-troops. I greve for the 4400+ true heros who gave there lives for nothing.
Gayle M. Montgomery January 26, 2012 at 11:38 PM
I understand your position about the war itself, Kevin. I stood on the corner of Myrtle and Foothill at least 2-3 times in the mid 2000s and in the Town Square in Sierra Madre protesting the war itself. While the wisdom of the war itself, from my perspective, could be challenged, never do I challenge our troops. They go where they are sent to serve and serve nobly under extreme conditions. I am severely disheartened to see that they come home to no jobs, are being held out by the VA for services, and many come home with the effects of PTSD and TBI which may take years to remedy IF they can be remedied. I'd like the CIty step up and do its part to get these men and women hired, to work to have a court advocacy system set up for the Vets, and to help get them off the streets. They face an unemployment rate in excess of 25%, and many of the 18-24 year olds sleep on the street. Homelessness for female vets has doubled between 2006 and now. Let' thank them, give them a hand up, and not condemn them. I will be blogging on Vet issues and profiling the employee tax credit recently passed in February. And Vets would argue that, if you disrespect one brother or sister in arms, you disrespect the many. I'm hoping Monrovia steps to the forefront to improve the lots of our military and their families.


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