Mayor highlights city priorities at Manor meet-and-greet
Claremont Manor residents gathered last Friday to listen as Mayor Joe Lyons addressed residents on the top issues facing Claremont today.
Mr. Lyons, who is serving his final year of his first term on the Claremont City Council, spent a few minutes prior to his speech getting to know a few of the residents and sharing some background about himself and how he came to be the mayor of Claremont.
The top three issues presented by the mayor were public safety, local water issues and sustainability.
Public safety is always a priority in the city and the police department has hired new officers and a part-time detective to address an increase in residential and vehicle burglaries. In addition, the city has hired a consultant to study site feasibility for a new police station.
“For well over a decade, a new station has been a priority for reasons relating to the structural integrity of the current facility and the adequacy of that building to conduct police business,” he said.
One of the most important issues the city council discussed this year is the acquisition of Claremont’s water system, Mr. Lyons noted. He was quick to point out that the potential water system acquisition from Golden State Water Company will not be resolved quickly and the timeline is dependent on the outcome of pending litigation. Adding to that uncertainty is the question of whether or not the water company will accept or challenge an Environmental Impact Report discussed at length at the city council's last meeting in March and approved by the council on April 8.
While Claremont’s legal team asserted the water system purchase would have no significant environmental impact, Golden State argued the report is inadequate and incomplete and was conducted out of order.
Going forward, the mayor is pleased with the city’s sustainability plan and spoke briefly about the need for funding to build or rent a site for a Sustainability Resource Center and the implementation of CoolCalifornia, a program designed to raise awareness about energy use and find ways to record and get financial incentives with the city’s conservation efforts.
Mr. Lyons also discussed several new housing developments including Denley Investments’ 74 apartment units—the live-work and retail space project at the old Rich Products building—and Citrus Glen at Pitzer Ranch, the townhome development at the southwest corner of Padua and Base Line Road.
The mayor was careful to note the historic significance of some of these buildings and highlighted the efforts made in incorporating and preserving them in the process of developing these properties.
At the conclusion of his speech, the mayor welcomed questions from the audience, all of which revolved around one topic that has weighed heavily on the minds of Claremont residents for years—water.
The mayor dissected each question and thoughtfully replied with best- and worse-case scenarios on subjects such as eminent domain, a possible water ration and the structure of water rates.
Equally as impressive as the mayor’s speech was the newly renovated Manor Hall where the event commenced. With its open-beam ceiling and state-of-the-art audio/visual system, residents and the mayor alike were impressed with the update.
Mr. Lyons indicated he would return to the Manor soon to discuss a recent study relating to senior living and services in Claremont.