La Cañada city manager submits annual activities report

It would be difficult to guess, from the serene exterior of La Cañada Flintridge's City Hall building, at the multitude of daily activities and decisions a single year in the life of a city requires.

To help shed light on what the city's main departments — Administration, Finance, Community Development and Public Works — accomplished in 2013, City Manager Mark Alexander compiled his annual report of city activities, submitting it at Tuesday night's meeting of the City Council.

The 30-page document details nearly every facet of city operation last year, highlighting statistics from the number of free shuttle service rides provided (4,122) to revenue generated from film and photo permits ($48,670) to the annual peafowl census (12, three of which were trapped and relocated). Figures compared 2013 data to previous years.

Each department provided a summary of the year's activities, including memos of understanding, proclamations issued, complaints received and meetings attended.

Because of the report's comprehensive scope, Alexander opted to let it speak for itself, telling the Council he had not prepared a formal presentation of the findings.

"It's just amazing how much we were able to accomplish with 25 employees and a handful of part-time employees," Alexander said.

Individual members shared their impressions on individual items and at the document at large.

Councilman Donald Voss said he was impressed to see that the city's joint-use agreement with La Cañada Unified School District for the Lanterman Auditorium brought in more than $39,000 during fiscal year 2012-13. The city has used those funds to make facility improvements at the site.

"To turn this around, from a money loser to a revenue machine for the city is just impressive. It's a great success story," Voss said.

Concurring with Voss, Councilman David Spence said he was most impressed with the rapport Alexander and other city staff have developed with the Sheriff's Department as they furthered public safety goals and successfully addressed incidents of burglary and other property-related crimes.

Councilman Jonathan Curtis remarked on how interesting it was to see city business explained in such detail, and to see the connection between policy and action.

"I'd love to see more things like that, because it just shows you you're doing the right thing," he said. "It really highlights the complexity of some of the things we get into as a city."

The report is currently available as part of Tuesday night's City Council agenda on the city's website,, although the Council indicated they would like it to be prominently displayed on the site so people could know more about the many activities that occur in the course of a typical year.

"If you think that your staff sits around and twiddles their thumbs in City Hall, you need to read this annual report we get," Mayor Laura Olhasso said. "It is amazing how much gets done in this building.


Follow Sara Cardine on Twitter: @SaraCardine.


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