Looking Back at 2019 in Monrovia’s Rear-View Mirror

By Susan Motander

As the year draws to a close, we often look back at the year that just passed. For many Monrovians, this year began on Myrtle Avenue with the annual New Year’s Party, a street party and general community gathering. In the typical, unique Monrovia style, a ball does not drop it rises.

The biggest life altering activity of 2019 was the continuation of Monrovia Renewal, the revival of the city’s infrastructure. The project, started in 2016, is working to address the aging water and sewer pipes, the water facilities, streets, sidewalks, curbs and gutters. The center of the city has been done for quite some time and the northwest sector is now also complete. The focus now is on the northernmost portion of the city with completion of that now in sight. The northeast and southernmost portions of the city are yet to come. All the work should be completed in the coming year (at least that is the plan). This is a campaign promise of Mayor Tom Adams that is being fulfilled with the help of the rest of the council. For up to date information on the program, go to the city’s website at cityofmonrovia.org/your-government/monrovia-renewal.

MODA. – Photo by Terry Miller / Beacon Media News

But there were other big things happening in the community as well: the development of additional housing. While there are several residential developments in the works, only one has already opened, MODA — the large apartment complex next to Station Square. Another project has been approved just south of the Gold Line Station and at least three others are planned for the area. And these are not the only projects underway. For information on the progress of all the development projects, again go to the city’s website at cityofmonrovia.org/your-government/community-development/planning/development-spotlight. Here you will find complete information on all the projects in the pipeline.

This year the carnival came back in full force, even stronger than in 2018. It made for an even more festive Monrovia Day celebration in May. There was also the traditional Monrovia Day Parade on Saturday morning, this year done in cooperation with the Monrovia Unified School District to again highlight the achievements of the community’s youth.

After the success of this year’s soapbox derby, there are plans for a standalone event. – Courtesy photo

The summer saw not just the return of the concerts in Library Park but also those at Station Square Park; there was something for everyone. There were also the Monrovia Area Partnership movies in the city’s parks. The highlight of every summer is perhaps the festivities around the Library on the 4th of July, culminating in the fireworks display off the roof of the Library.

The summer saw another revival: the return of soapbox style racing on Myrtle Avenue. This time, rather than in conjunction with Monrovia Day as was done in the past, the racing occurred on the day Street Rods Forever held its annual car show. Racing went well and funds were raised to assist the Boys and Girls Club of the Foothills. Plans are underway for a standalone event next year.

The end of summer also saw another ending, the departure of Oliver Chi as city manager after five years. He departed for Huntington Beach and a larger job. His forethought and insight will be missed. Perhaps what will be missed most is his unforgettable laugh.

New City Manager Dylan Feik. – Courtesy photo

With all endings there are also beginnings. By November, new City Manager Dylan Feik had already hit the ground running and had moved his young family to Monrovia from his Northern California home. He has quickly adapted to “The Monrovia Way” and is putting his own stamp on the city.

That brings us back to New Year’s Eve. Monrovians again gathered on Myrtle Avenue for the evening community party. Younger Monrovians again were able to celebrate the New Year, but a bit earlier in the day with Noon Year’ Eve in the park.  And round and round we go…


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