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City Council Moves Forward With April Elections

More than a dozen residents spoke out passionately on both sides of the issue before the City Council decided to go ahead with April's elections because only two candidates qualified for two open council seats.

Three City Council members decided the fate of Monrovia's April elections Thursday, voting 3-0 to move forward with the elections after more than a dozen residents gave impassioned speeches both for and against putting two open council seats to a vote.

The council decided not to re-appoint Larry Spicer to former Councilman Clarence Shaw's now vacant council seat earlier in the special meeting Thursday and Mayor Mary Ann Lutz abstained from voting on the status of the election because she is on the ballot. That left the decision in the hands of Councilman Tom Adams, Councilwoman Becky Shevlin and Mayor Pro Tem Joe Garcia.

Several residents argued during public comment that the election would be a waste of time and money since only two candidates--Larry Spicer and Alexander Blackburn--are running for two open council seats. The election will cost the city about $53,000 to put on, according to a city agenda report.

But the three deciding council members each felt that canceling the election would cheat the voters out of an opportunity to choose their representatives.

"I’ve never considered elections to be expensive. I’ve considered elections to be priceless," Adams said. "I think it would be wrong for us to take your right to vote away from you."

Shevlin and Garcia concurred.

"The opportunity to vote is so precious," Shevlin said. "As much as I'd like to save that money, I can't do it."

"You can't put a price on democracy," Garcia added.

The decision will allow write-in candidates to campaign for office and several residents have expressed interest in doing so.

One thing nearly everyone agreed on was that Shaw's resignation was poorly handled and the source of what Shevlin called a "horrible mess." Shaw's abrupt resignation drew rancorous comments from residents and council members alike who blamed him for undermining the possibility of a contested election in April.

Adams, who has accused Shaw of pretending to run to help Spicer get elected, shied away from discussing Shaw's intentions Thursday, saying only that the former councilman's actions were conducted under a "cloud of dishonesty."

Lutz opened the meeting with a short speech scolding Adams for his public remarks about Shaw and Spicer, calling them "disingenuous."

Though the election will continue as planned on Apr. 9, the composition of the council could change before then. The council voted to delay action on replacing Shaw's council seat, meaning the city will move forward with four council members until at least March when the council could decide to re-appoint Spicer.

Bill C. January 31, 2013 at 10:47 PM
Which residential streets are 35MPH plus?
Mike Vallejo February 01, 2013 at 03:02 PM
Dan and Other's Concerned, I experienced First Hand re: Gayle Lutz being a UNAPPROACHABLE, HARSH Person. She is Way To Comfortable in her seat. She decides who to attend to and who not to, based on her personal feelings and not based on her duty as Mayor. I had the poorest communication w this woman due to her not wanting to hear about her friend Larry Spicer. No return calls, huffing on the phone when asking her for her address. She is all smiles in Public. Try calling her at City Hall, with any questions and feedback and see how she treats you. Regards
Mike Vallejo February 01, 2013 at 06:49 PM
Shaw, Spicer and Lutz proved the saying, "Birds of a Feather, Flock together." As neighbors we had semi current to current problems at different months and years. We now have another couple who were not involved in, nor had any problems w Spicer. He picks on women during the day and the husbands confront him ASAP. Nothing is on record cause the women are shocked first, the husband becomes angry and after confronting Larry, they feel they have no reason to call the police. It might be a mistake we made, but what would you do? If there was proof it would have confirmed our harassment we received and his complete denial of everything. Look at the situation with Shaw and him. The mayor said, if I recollect the article, "We need to forgive." That is usually followed by." and forget." Well, I please ask you to remember his past. His past is a great example of what he is currently doing/did to our elections w the situation of Shaw and him. Cannot be trusted. I appreciate your time soo much. Please contact the City Hall where you can contact Larry and ask questions and or give feedback. The City Council Administrative Assistant can relay his calls to him. If we were not able to attend the past meeting, for whatever reasons........you can still voice your thoughts. I hope when convenient, many of you will. Regards.....Michael.
Chris Ziegler February 02, 2013 at 01:46 AM
Craig Proctor, Sgt. Glen Coleman speaks the truth; it is now generally accepted fact, police cannot realistically force a speed limit - streets need to be designed to make the desired speed of traffic, the naturally safe feeling speed. In short, on low speed streets engineers need to place facilities (obstacles) that keep auto drivers in check. The key to getting resources from city hall is to make noise!!. But first, be educated so you aren't vulnerable to deflection (Government's motto for those asking for the spending of funds: "Redirect, Deny, Delay". A friend of mine is general council to a local municipality): In short, determine a solution (speed humps/tables, chicanes, curb extensions, roundabout, etc) that meets the goals of your neighbors and yourself, put it on paper in the form of a petition and submit. And if you really want action, pack the council chambers with your neighbors and speak at public comment time (least painful way to speak with council). If they tell you there's no money, keep in mind that you can suggest to your neighbors that you all can agree to a special assessment - if there's a will, there's a way. Here is a good link (from the AAA) on speed studies that can help you be more successful in your endeavor: http://cecafc7222885a326506-f1bae239892893504d123e2f1fdbfd6e.r6.cf1.rackcdn.com/ACSC_Speed_Zoning_Booklet_Final-1.pdf Also, the livable streets design manual is a great reference for these problems http://www.modelstreetdesignmanual.com/
Mike Vallejo February 03, 2013 at 07:00 PM
Called Mary Lutz by the mistaken name. A huge apology to you, Gayle. I hope you were not greatly offended.

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