On Tuesday afternoon, Mary O’Keefe and I had the opportunity to meet with the new city manager Scott Ochoa.
Mary and I both found Scott very approachable and he seemed eager to undertake the duties of the office of city manager. We wanted Scott to get a feel for the foothill area of the city that he will be overseeing, and also give him a glimpse of the somewhat schizophrenic nature of our foothills, governed by the City of Los Angeles west of Lowell, the City of Glendale west of Pennsylvania, the County of Los Angeles and, to the east, the city of La Cañada Flintridge. Though it was a lot of information, he didn’t seem fazed.
Scott is the former city manager for Monrovia and brings a wealth of experience to the Glendale city manager’s office, which he will need when sitting in on Tuesday night council meetings.
The council meetings are attended by those with interest in city issues with several regulars taking the mic. These include Margaret Hammond, also known as The Hat Lady for her fondness of wearing hats when she addresses the council. Herb Molano of Tujunga is often found at the microphone, many times admonishing the council on some subject or another. Leon Mayer of Friends of the Glendale Library makes a point of letting the council and community know of events taking place at Glendale libraries.
Former council candidate and Glendale resident Mike Mohill is another who exercises his right to address council and many times is critical of some position that councilmembers have taken. Barry Allen – who was noticeably absent this week – is usually among those that take the council to task as well.
Tuesday night’s meeting was somewhat volatile with accusations being made and causing me to wonder if Scott Ochoa knew what he was getting into when he accepted the position of city manager.
Hopefully he’ll take to heart the good wishes that were extended to him from many who approached the podium.
But maybe it was Sharon Weisman who provided the most interesting welcome.
“You might not have realized it, but I think you have a starring role in the best reality show in Southern California.”
Though Sharon may have been half joking when referring to Scott Ochoa’s starring role, there are some in the community who do have starring roles and are being recognized at upcoming chamber of commerce events.
Today a luncheon is being held at the Oakmont Country Club by the CV Chamber of Commerce. The luncheon serves a dual purpose – to install the officers for the new year and to distribute funds for the Mary Pinola/CVCOC Educational Fund.
I’ve sat on the CVCOC board as a director for several years and can attest to the hard work that the officers undertake. The CVCOC is responsible for the annual Hometown Country Fair and the popular Taste in the Foothills among others. Proceeds from these events go toward the chamber’s scholarship fund, portions of which are distributed to deserving high school seniors each June. This year I’m proud to say that I’ll be an officer on the chamber board as secretary.
Part of today’s luncheon is the distribution of the grant money from the Mary Pinola/CVCOC Educational Fund. Established in June 1990 to provide grants for educational programs or projects in Crescenta Valley, the Fund is supported by individual contributions & community fundraisers including the Smart-A-Thon. Past recipients have included several departments at Crescenta Valley High School, Prom Plus and Holy Redeemer school. According to their website, the Educational Endowment Fund provides financial support to innovative as well as traditional educational programs and projects in public and private schools and community organizations in the Crescenta Valley.
The goal is to enrich educational opportunities by supporting building, equipment, instruction, guidance, coaching, practical application, classroom activities, in-service, training and/or practice programs.
With average grant sizes ranging from $500 to $3,000, these funds are essential to the ongoing well-being of many programs that have suffered at the hands of budget cuts.
Thanks to Mary Pinola and the CVCOC for their generosity.