One Arroyo Foundation to spearhead fundraising campaign; ArtCenter master plan receives final green light
By Gus Herrera
Following a three-week summer hiatus, the Pasadena City Council got right back to work and tackled a comprehensive agenda that included everything from a new contract for the city’s police department, to the future of the Arroyo Seco.
As part of the evening’s consent calendar, council swiftly approved a memorandum of understanding (MOU) with the Pasadena Police Officers Association (PPOA) after their latest agreement expired on June 30. Although the negotiations were quite lengthy, running from Feb. 14 until Aug. 3, Pasadena’s men and women in uniform should be pleased with the results, which include an 8.5-percent base pay increase for each rank over the three-year term of the contract.
According to city staff’s report, the MOU will also include several other “modest economic enhancements” to help the Pasadena Police Department (PPD) remain competitive in the labor market, such as increased special assignment pays, uniform allowances, and pay for third-party funded movie details. Beginning July 2019, the new contract will also provide on-call pay for officers and corporals who attend subpoenaed court sessions during off-duty hours.
Lastly, “in an effort to attract and retain qualified recruits,” Pasadena’s police officer salary scale will be modified in order to increase the entry rate by 7.5 percent.
The city is hoping that this new MOU will not only help the police department recruit new officers, but, just as importantly, retain experienced personnel and incentivize them to “seek career growth” within the PPD.
Following the approval of the evening’s consent calendar, council heard the final report from the Arroyo Advisory Group (AAG), a task force formed in early 2017 to develop strategies for the enhancement and maintenance of the Arroyo Seco.
The AAG co-chairs, former Pasadena Mayor Bill Bogaard and Doug Kranwinkle, revealed to the council that they are in the process of creating a new 501(c)(3) non-profit organization (One Arroyo Foundation) that will oversee fundraising efforts.
Although the AAG report “recognized that the ‘One Arroyo’ vision will take time to realize, likely a generation or longer,” depending on the identification of new funding sources, the city council and AAG’s leadership are optimistic about their chances.
According to AAG’s fundraising assessment study, which was carried out by Dr. James Erickson (a retired professor with over 50 years of experience in advising charitable institutions), it was determined “that there is capacity for a $7 million private fundraising campaign.”
The AAG is hoping to inject momentum into this campaign through the construction of two demonstration projects, the “Woodlands Loop” and “Streamside Walk” trails – projects which they anticipate will fall in the range of $600,000. But, once the projects become more defined and clear the city’s public review process, the AAG is confident that having “shovel-ready projects” will earn support from private contributors, as well as catch the attention of some public funding sources.
AAG’s report revealed that about half the users of the Arroyo are non-Pasadenans, so the city will be actively pursuing state and county dollars such as those from LA’s Measure A and the State of California’s Proposition 68.
The final item on council’s agenda was a second reading of the city’s development agreement with ArtCenter College of Design for their ambitious 15-year master plan, which is set to change the face of South Raymond Avenue and South Arroyo Parkway.
The plan will increase ArtCenter’s attendance by approximately 5,000 full-time equivalent students and increase faculty/staff from 753, to approximately 994 between the college’s two campuses.
While ArtCenter’s Hillside Campus is set to undergo various upgrades/renovations, the college’s original grounds will, for the most part, maintain their current character. But, the same cannot be said for the school’s South Campus, which will be completely transformed.
The master plan includes the construction of three 100-foot-tall, eight-story buildings for academic programs and student housing, an elevated open quad area over the Metro Gold Line, and a mobility hub.
ArtCenter had also hoped to install a massive 8,000-square-foot digital gallery on the façade of the existing 1111 S. Arroyo Parkway building, but that facet of the master plan was removed when council heard the item on July 16, as various residents and council members alike felt that allowing electronic signs was a slippery slope for the city.
The plan will be implemented in two phases that will begin this year and conclude in 2033.