By Winston Chua
ARCADIA – The Arcadia
City Council has made clear plans to brace itself for economically challenging
times. Facing what was a $2.6 million
deficit, councilpersons took action to make sure the city is not spending more
than it is taking in.
For the city council, that meant freezing positions
and updating fees to adjust for the staggering economy. It also meant cutting
some of the benefits that city workers, because of their tenure, were entitled
to for the coming fiscal year.
“The economy hits the taxpayer and government hard in
a rough time like this,” said Arcadia Mayor Pro Tem Peter Amundson. This
position means that Amundson is authorized to fill in for Arcadia Mayor John
Wuo in his absences. Both Amundson and the council are known for being fiscally
conservative, but even their past decisions could not avoid the debilitating
effects of the economic crisis.
About three quarters of the way through the last
fiscal year, the Arcadia City Council noted that they would have less income
and sales taxes than they had anticipated.
As a result, Amundson and the council asked all city
departments to cut about 5 percent of the budget.
“We wanted to cut portions of the departments that
will not be bring hurt to the community,” said Amundson.
Amudnson said that despite the broad-reaching cuts
proposed in the new budgets that there is “nothing in the budget that city
department heads could not live with.”
The city council, in wanting to make the new fiscal
years as painless as possible, chose not to open new positions or increase
salaries in certain departments, even though certain city positions were up for
pay raises. Benefits were eliminated and increases that employees were entitled
to were left off the table to close the budget gap. These cuts closed the city deficit
to around $2.3 million.
To pay for the around $300,000 that was still
outstanding, the city tapped into its reserves. More than $7 million in reserve
money is set aside for emergency uses.
The city council said that they did everything, even
“cutting to the bone” the new budget for 2009 – 2010.
The city council must balance the budget because it
has pledged to do so in its City Charter. That charter states that “the total
of proposed expenditures shall not exceed the total of estimated income plus
He said it is the responsibility of the council to
act as wise caretakers of the city’s money and that the council did not wait
until the end of the fiscal year to bring about the necessary changes to the
new year’s budget.
By Winston Chua
SAN GABRIEL – A house
is often made up of the people who live in it, often made up of family members.
Well if that is the case, La Casa de San Gabriel is a big (grande) house, led
by a family that has helped thousands of people.
La Casa de San Gabriel began in 1946 as the
manifestation of the Regional Presbyterian Church’s vision to help immigrants
and poor people. They are started off in many ways to become the West Coast
version of Jane Addams’s project in Chicago that began more than 100 years ago.
Both organizations vowed to help people in whatever way necessary through the
avenues of education and health services. Today
La Casa is continuing that mission.
Cheryl Prentice, executive director of La Casa, told
the Tribune that the organization is multidimensional in scope. East West Bank
teaches underprivileged people the basic skills of banking. La Casa is also
home to groups that help people fight off substance abuse, as well as promote
higher standards of literacy.
Food and clothing distribution to San Gabriel
resident and are also a priority to San Gabriel residents as well as to the
Tongva who make their home in San Gabriel. The Tongva occupied regions of Los
Angeles before Europeans, centuries ago.
The Curves gym of San Marino has been generous to La
Casa, according to Prentice, especially in food giving during a time when many
people have lost valuable work hours, homes or jobs.
CA. –Methodist Hospital announced today that philanthropists Tom and Bea
Hollfelder have made a $4 million gift to The Campaign for Methodist Hospital -
Creating the Next Generation of Care. To date, this is the largest outright
gift made by individual donors in the hospital’s 106 year history.
our opinion, Methodist Hospital is a very well-run organization that is looking
toward the future and is providing the same spirit of caring to patients and
their families that we experienced when we first came here 20 years ago,” Tom
Hollfelder said. “That our gift would be wisely and effectively used was
important to us.”
recognition of their donation, the first floor of the new hospital tower will
be named the Hollfelder Emergency Care Center, which is scheduled to open in
2012. This center will serve up to 50,000 patients per year, doubling the
capacity that the current emergency room was originally designed to serve.
Next Generation of Care campus expansion project has attracted the support of many
who, along with the Hollfelders, believe in the importance of access to quality
medical care. The cornerstone of the plan is a nearly 155,000 square foot
patient care tower, which includes the Hollfelder Emergency Care Center and
will also house critical care units as well as three floors for medical and
surgery patient care. The state-of-the-art facility will utilize advanced
medical technology and information systems to provide exceptional care in a
The Hollfelder’s first-hand experience at Methodist Hospital more than 20 years
ago spurred their decision to support the hospital’s current campaign. In 1987,
the Hollfelders’ youngest daughter, Carol, suffered life threatening injuries
in an accident and was airlifted to Methodist Hospital. After several
surgeries and follow-up care, Carol was well enough to return home and the
Hollfelders are still grateful for the care received in their time of need.
so many others whose lives have been touched by the skilled and compassionate
care of Methodist Hospital, the Hollfelders have found a way to express their
gratitude in a thoughtful and meaningful way for generations to come,” said Sue
Francis, foundation president. “It is the kind of investment that will ensure the
continuation of top quality care at the hospital.”
Hollfelder Emergency Care Center will play an integral part in the hospital’s
ability to serve the community in the years to come. The expansion in the
emergency room has become increasingly important after two acute care hospitals
in the San Gabriel Valley closed, resulting in added pressure on Methodist
Hospital’s emergency room. The additional beds in the emergency room should
decrease wait time in emergency rooms throughout the region.
emergency department’s ability of quick evaluation and rapid treatment is
critical to the 500,000 people living in the San Gabriel Valley,” said Sue
Francis, foundation president. “But as demand for emergency care in our
community grows, we cannot continue providing this vital care without proper
funding and resources.”
Hospital, founded in 1903, is a 460 bed, not-for-profit hospital serving the
community. Services provided include comprehensive acute care such as medical,
surgical, perinatal, pediatrics, oncology, intensive care (neonatal and adult),
and complete cardiovascular services, including open heart surgery. Methodist
Hospital is accredited by the Joint Commission. For more information please
call (626) 898 – 8000 or visit www.methodisthospital.org.