Judy Wright to be honored with memorial plaque

Nearly a year after the death of former Mayor Judy Wright, a tireless civic leader, the city of Claremont is ensuring her legacy is not soon forgotten.

The Claremont City Council approved on Tuesday a $3,800 bronze plaque in honor of Ms. Wright, to be placed at the historic train station at 200 W. First St. The memorial will be funded through the Community and Human Services operating budget.

Among her many significant roles in the city, Ms. Wright is remembered for the instrumental part she played in the preservation of the Claremont Depot and the establishment of Claremont as a stop on the Metrolink train system.

“You travel to any of the Foothill cities that has a depot and most of them are not even close to the condition that ours is in, and that is because of Judy,” said Councilmember Sam Pedroza. “We truly have a legacy as council members here and as residents. Hopefully we are doing our part to continue that.”

Local historian Ginger Elliott, who submitted the request for a memorial, remembered her friend as “an amazing woman” who had such a long-term vision for the way that cities should be and the way citizens should respond in a community, too.”

“Most of the time, I couldn’t see the connections that she was bringing up but every time…she proved to be absolutely right on target,” Ms. Elliott said. “[Claremont] was a very important part of her life and I think this is a wonderful tribute to her, particularly because it brings together her work in historic preservation and in transportation.”

While honoring Ms. Wright and Claremont’s past, council members looked toward the future with the approval of a $36,165 website redesign.

City officials hope the restructure will help save the city money as well as enhance the user experience.

“Since I am pretty much computer illiterate, anything that makes it easier for me to understand I appreciate very much,” Mayor Opanyi Nasiali said.

The council identified the need for a redesign at its annual priorities workshop in 2012. The cost was then incorporated into the 2012-2014 budget, according to Bevin Handel, the city’s public information officer.

 After extensive research, Vision Internet, a Santa Monica-based company that has facilitated website services for more than 500 municipal agencies, was identified as the best fit for the city of Claremont based on its expertise and competitive pricing, Ms. Handel noted.

Vision Internet’s website design will include current fixtures like a calendar, news postings and e-Notification capabilities, but will expand to include social media, online polls and a photo gallery and optimize use for smartphones and tablet devices.

With its new contract with Vision Internet, Ms. Handel expects the city to save approximately $14,835 from the budgeted amount of $50,000 for 2013-2014 and $14,200 annually from the city’s current web contract.

—Beth Hartnett



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