Login to Claremont COURIER

Council ready to set 2016 city priorities at workshop

The Claremont City Council is set to discuss a number of items for 2016 during its annual Council Priorities Workshop on Saturday, January 23.

Among the items on the docket for the coming year include the litigation over control of the Claremont water system, the Claremont Hills Wilderness Park, the ongoing effort to design and build a new police station and the early stages of the upcoming Gold Line development.

Overall, the city will be looking at seven priorities—economic development, financial stability, local water issues, public safety, quality of life issues, sustainability and urban forest management.

In the realm of economic development, the city’s plan for 2016 includes the opening of a new Chrysler/Jeep/Dodge dealership in an empty portion of Auto Center Drive, conversations on developing the “pit” near the corner of Monte Vista Avenue and Base Line Road and the possible development of the former Richard Hibbard Chevrolet property.

Local water issues for the coming year include the continuing litigation over the water system, the implementation of the Watershed Management Plan and continued education of the public on conserving water.

For 2016, public safety action items include the hiring of a new police chief in the wake of Chief Paul Cooper’s retirement, expanding ALPR camera technology to include a mobile trailer to place in part of the city with an increase in crime.

The Foothill Boulevard improvements, as outlined in the recently approved master plan, is set to be designed in 2016, with construction beginning in 2017.

Among the sustainability plans for 2016 are education residents on the best ways to conserve water and energy, the Claremont Energy Challenge and the development of new sustainable irrigation and turf for city parks, according to the agenda.

Urban Forest Management goals for the coming year include the hiring of a permanent Director of Community Services to replace interim director Pat Malloy, as well as long-term management plans such as tree-trimming programs.

The council will also vote on whether or not Transportation/Infrastructure would be included as a new council priority. The agenda outlines a number of items buried within other priorities that could be moved to the new priority to garner more importance, such as the Foothill Boulevard Master Plan and the Gold Line extension.

In addition to the priorities—which are first on the agenda for the morning meeting—councilmembers are given the opportunity to put forth items for discussion. Among the council norms up for discussion during the meeting are term limits fort commission members, simultaneous appointment of commission members to other commissions or the city council and the extension of a commission member’s term limits in the event their expertise is needed on a major project.

The priorities meeting at the beginning of 2015 yielded 168 items brought forth by the city—with 88 of them, or 52 percent, becoming agenda items for the council, according to city documents.

The workshop is open to the public, and Claremont residents are encouraged to speak up about any issue that is facing the city in 2016.

The workshop will be held in the city council chamber on 200 W. Second Street in Claremont at 8:00 a.m.

Matthew Bramlett

news@claremont-courier.com