Claremont tracks progress on long list of 2012 city priorities

Nearly halfway through another year of work for the Claremont City Council, members gathered last week to review the city’s priorities and note its achievements within the past 6 months.

The council first established the list of over 35 goals and priorities at its annual workshop in December. That same list, slightly dwindled down as some of those priorities became reality, appeared before the city council at its latest meeting.

The meeting item was the first time the city has been presented with its achievements and goals at a 6-month marker, City Manager Tony Ramos’s idea to help keep city staff on track.  

“This is very constructive and helpful for us as a council, but also you as a community to see how our priorities are progressing,” noted senior Councilmember Corey Calaycay.

The council had set the lengthy list of goals in an equally long 7-hour meeting. Items discussed on the list included furthering economic development, establishing contracts with the city’s police unions and adopting an updated city sustainability plan.

Three city priorities (economic development, financial stability and sustainability) continue to carry forward from previous priority workshops as an ongoing commitment for the city. Work continues with economic development, particularly with the shopping centers south of Auto Center Drive. Following the launch of businesses like Norms and Super King Market, new business continues to trickle in such as a proposed martial arts studio and another Chase Bank.

“[Auto Center Drive] is taking off and going gangbusters,” said Brian Desatnik, director of community development, in a previous interview. Mr. Desatnik believes development in larger areas such as Auto Center Drive is helping to increase the popularity of Claremont businesses in general.

“The weekends are reflective of what’s going on,” he said. “It’s really crowded here.”

Similar to the continuing city priorities, 9 city policies also grace the list. These items include continued efforts with bike and pedestrian safety, as well as a focus on having all city groups pay their own Public Employees Retirement System (PERS) contribution and long-term management of the urban forest.

Since the implementation of its goals late last year, all city groups except for the Claremont Police Management Association (CPMA) have agreed to pay their PERS share. The city and CPMA board approved a proposed contract last week. A final vote is expected in the coming month.  

The remaining 25 project items for 2012 fluctuate based on council direction and residents’ suggestions: managing the coyote issue, changing city election dates, the Oak Park Cemetery expansion, action with Golden State Water Company and ongoing commissioner training are several current priorities. To date, 6 of those items have been completed and removed from the list. Most notable is the continued support for the extension of First Street to the cities of Montclair and Upland to the east. Though a date for completion remains unknown, staff has met with Montclair officials to express their continued support for the venture.

Another item completed is streamlining the process of development projects located in the city’s mixed-use zones. According to the change made by the Claremont City Council and Planning Commission, multiple uses will be permitted on properties within these districts, but will not be required. Businesses located in these zones will now be allowed more flexibility while also being required to meet other city stipulations.

In addition to the addressing of goals in a midyear discussion session, Mr. Ramos suggested a new format to future council priority meetings. The new setup will include focusing on key city priorities in areas like the city’s General, Sustainability and Economic Sustainability plans, as well as its mission statement.

“By incorporating these policies and plans, the city will be able to effectively associate city council projects with established citywide policies and differentiate between goals, policies and projects,” Mr. Ramos said.

The Claremont City Council will meet again to discuss its 2012 as well as 2013 priorities in a workshop scheduled for November 3.

—Beth Hartnett



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