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LCF City Council looks back, ahead in last meeting before move to new chambers

LCF City Council looks back, ahead in last meeting before move to new chambers
Members of the La Cañada Flintridge City Council convened at Lanterman Auditorium for their March 5 regular meeting. The group's March 19 regular meeting will be their first to take place in La Cañada's new City Hall, at 1 Civic Center Drive in the city's Town Center. (Sara Cardine / La Cañada Valley Sun)

Out with the old, in with the new — that was the case Tuesday night as the La Cañada Flintridge City Council reflected on municipal activities that took place in 2018 and approved a contract for the creation of a new city website.

The discussion among council members took place at Lanterman Auditorium during their last regular meeting to be held before they reconvene March 19 in the new City Hall building with a ribbon-cutting and dedication ceremony.

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City Manager Mark Alexander explained the city closed escrow Monday on the former City Hall building, purchased by Glendale-based Knight Insurance Services last June for $3.3 million.

“We did receive the wire transfer for the purchase, the sale, so we have those proceeds now,” Alexander said.

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This year’s 42-page city manager’s report of departmental activities shares highlights from the city’s Administration, Finance, Community Development and Public Works departments and provides year-to-year comparisons.

For example, 1,854 riders took advantage of the city’s Summer Beach Bus program, compared to 624 in 2017, while 517 public records act requests were processed — up from 496 the year prior. The Planning Department handled 485 code enforcement issues last year, up from 439 in 2017.

Information from Alexander’s report will be shared at the mayor’s State of the City address March 27 at Descanso Gardens during a regular noon meeting of the Kiwanis Club of La Cañada.

Looking ahead, the council approved a $25,685 contract with Irvine-based public affairs firm Tripepi Smith, which currently handles city communications, for the design and implementation of a new website.

Staffer Arabo Parseghian explained staff has looked to several city websites for inspiration and has seen promising features that might be employed, including a social media portal and “buttons” that quickly take users to various pages within the site.

“There isn’t one particular website, where I can tell you everything looks fantastic, but there are pieces of websites where certain functionalities are beneficial,” Parseghian said.

The website could be ready as soon as six months from now, although firm representative Ryder Smith said incorporating feedback from experts and community members during a test phase could prolong a release date.

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