Monday night’s meeting of the Pasadena City Council was a front-loaded affair, with the numbers swelled by health advocates and realtors, an unlikely pairing, but so numerous that attendance was offloaded to the basement viewing room, where, Persephone-like, some waited until being summoned upstairs.
By Garrett Rowlan
Many of the attendees were there to celebrate the 125th anniversary of the Pasadena Public Health office, founded in 1892 (same year as Huntington Hospital). Michael Johnson, Director of the Public Health Department, spoke of the challenges facing public health, particularly vaping and the legalization of marijuana, threats to young lungs. Public booths, established outside the Council chambers, emphasized healthy living habits and diet.
Once the health advocates had been assembled and photographed, next came the realtors. They wanted a date set to discuss changes to the Occupancy Inspection Program, the city-mandated inspection of homes prior to sale, which had been continually stalled owing to other business. The realtors gathered stood in numerous unity. Once they had a date set before the Council, May 7, they left, and the downstairs viewing room was closed, an hour after it had been opened.
The first public speaker in open commentary expressed relief that the Orange Grove project had been put on hold. There was much angry breath expelled at the last gathering meeting of the Pasadena Transportation Advisory Committee last week, with some 150 comment cards.
Wind of another kind was suggested in the winning conceptual bid for an outdoor sculpture to be place in a decommissioned section of the Pasadena DWP Plant at the end of the 110 Freeway. The winning concept, by artist Alice Aycock, bore an uncanny resemblance to a large electrified weather map, floating above and aside the freeway, though Councilmember Steve Madison openly wondered if, considering the 3/4 of a million price tag for the exhibit, did the city get its money’s worth.
By the time another large subject was on the docket, a proposed upgrade to the facilities at Huntington Memorial Hospital, attendance in the Council chambers had greatly reduced.
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