By Susan Motander
City staff, including the City Manager Oliver Chi, presented the City Council with three reports on very diverse issues. The council also discussed the information they received on the San Gabriel Valley Council of Governments (COG) Homeless Response Plan, the proposed improvements to the Library and Library Park, and possible modifications to the GoMonrovia program.
A full report was given to the Council on the city’s six-prong approach to homelessness. They received an update on the city’s efforts to assist those in the community who are homeless. To date the city has aided 12 individuals to alter their situations. At the time, the city’s homeless count was only approximately 36. This was done through what Chi called “relentless contact” with the homeless.
Other facets of the program include:
- Expanding the community coordination of assisting the homeless.
- Further promoting the use of the Coordinated Entry System.
- Updating educational materials to assist members of the community in directing their efforts to help the homeless.
- Solidifying a more robust giving program.
- Developing a Housing Displacement Response Plan in coordination with Mountainside Communion Church.
This last prong prompted some discussion of whether or not working with one church would negatively impact the other churches in the community.
Tina Cherry, the director of public services, reviewed with the council several proposals regarding restructuring the Library to enclose the garden/patio space on both the youth and adult sides of the Library, adding a Portland Loo (like the one already in place in Julian Fisher Park), and re-landscaping the entire park to eliminate some of the secluded areas. She said that these were just preliminary concepts and that the city would be discussing the proposals with several “stakeholders” in the Library including the Monrovia Library Board, the Monrovia Library Foundation, the Friends of the Library, and Monrovia Reads, to start.
Lastly, the Council also received an update on the LimeBike and Lyft programs. According to Chi, the bike program is very successful and used heavily during the middle of the day especially on weekdays. He also said that shortly, LimeBike will be able to supply the city not only with information on the times the bikes are being used, but also where they are being used.
The Lyft program is even more successful with more than 30,000 rides in May alone. Council Member Alex Blackburn asked how long the funding allotted for subsidizing the rides would last at the current use rate. This prompted Chi to suggest an alteration of the program. With the consensus of the Council, the staff will prepare a full report regarding raising the rider’s cost to $3 per ride for private rides, but retaining them at 50 cents for the “shared ride” option on Lyft. This issue will be brought before the council at their August meeting.