Last year was a busy one for the city of La Cañada, residents learned as Mayor Laura Olhasso delivered her annual State of the City address Wednesday to a roomful of Kiwanis Club members at Descanso Gardens.
Giving updates on major projects — from sound walls along the Foothill (210) Freeway to sediment removal at Devil’s Gate Dam — and recent changes to city ordinances on filming, tree removal and housing, Olhasso acknowledged the progress made in her third term as mayor.
That term officially ends April 7, when Olhasso is expected to hand the gavel to Mayor Pro Tem Mike Davitt at the next City Council meeting.
The audience also heard updates on the opening of a new Gelson’s Market Thursday morning, the city’s skeptical stance on a proposed 710 Freeway tunnel being floated by Metro and Caltrans and the completion of the city’s General Plan update.
“This was a result of hours and hours and hours of community input and a committee that met many more times than they wanted to. It sets the tone for how we will move forward on our land use,” Olhasso said of the plan.
About halfway through the presentation, the mayor led a Q&A; game in which Kiwanians tested their mettle on city stats.
In lightning-round fashion, the audience learned that in 2013, the city processed 6,327 requests for tree service, spent more than $639,000 on street resurfacing and gave 3,953 residents a ride to the beach in the summer. Winners received small candies for correct guesses.
Wrapping up the event, Olhasso thanked the Kiwanis Club of La Cañada for its contribution to the success of the city.
“We are a community of volunteers, and we all have the advantage of all the work you do, so thank you,” Olhasso said.
Kiwanis Past President Carl Christensen said afterward he was pleased to get a big-picture look at La Cañada.
“Most of us have been around and are active as volunteers, so are quite familiar with what’s going on in the city,” Christensen said. “But we do this once a year, and it’s nice to do. “
And winning a piece of candy, or in Christensen’s case two, just sweetened the deal.
Follow Sara Cardine on Twitter: @SaraCardine.