Council appoints Bryant to temporarily replace Holden; Bogaard questions Metro before State of the City
By André Coleman 01/23/2013
It was a busy week in politics — both in Washington, DC, and Pasadena.
On Monday, the day America celebrated Martin Luther King Jr.’s birthday, Barack Obama, the nation’s first African-American president, took the oath of office for a second term, with Pasadena City Councilman Steve Madison and local political consultant and Democratic fundraiser Lena Kennedy attending the historic event.
The following day, here in Pasadena, Madison and his council colleagues appointed developer Joel Bryant to serve as interim District 3 City Councilman, replacing Assemblyman Chris Holden, who stepped down after winning the 41st Assembly District seat in November.
And today, Mayor Bill Bogaard is set to deliver his 12th State of the City Address at Caltech’s Beckman Auditorium.
Bryant currently sits on the Rose Bowl Operating Co. Board of Directors, chaired by District 5 Councilman Victor Gordo. He will remain on the council until he is replaced by the winner of the March 5 election, featuring District 3 candidates Ishmael Trone, John Kennedy (brother of Lena Kennedy) and the Rev. Dr. Nicolas Benson. In his re-election bid, Gordo’s opponent in the District 5 race, Israel Estrada, dropped out of the running Monday. Much like Councilman Terry Tornek in District 7, Gordo is now also running unopposed.
Bryant is expected to be in attendance at 6 p.m. tonight when Bogaard gives his annual State of the City speech at Caltech. This year’s presentation is titled “Celebrating Success” and highlights some of the city’s successes and future plans.
Thursday’s speech is expected to be positive and upbeat, in contrast with the stern language Bogaard recently used to explain where the city stands on plans to construct twin tunnels to connect the 4.5-mile gap separating the Long Beach (710) and Foothill (210) freeways.
In a Jan. 18 draft letter addressed to Los Angeles County Supervisor Michael Antonovich, chair of the Metropolitan Transportation Authority (Metro) Board of Directors, Bogaard said Metro’s statements about the tunnels leave the council uncertain whether the project is intended to accommodate cargo transfers from the port in San Pedro or relieve traffic congestion. He cited a lack of information on traffic and health impacts, construction costs and the fate of more than 500 homes owned by Caltrans that once stood in the path of the now-discarded overland freeway connector route as reasons for the council’s concerns.
The council directed Bogaard to write the letter at its Dec. 10 meeting after voting 4-3 to oppose the tunnel. Individually, each council member voiced opposition to allowing cargo trucks to use the tunnel.
“In addition to the foregoing information deficiencies, the city of Pasadena hereby reiterates the comments made during the EIR scoping … to date, the majority of issues raised in our scoping letter, specifically those noted above … have not been adequately addressed,” Bogaard wrote.
To read the letter, click here