Senator Dr. Ed Hernandez will meet Friday, Oct. 11, with L.A. Mayor Garcetti in hopes of convincing him that the Metro Board needs to approve funding of the Gold Line all the way to the Ontario airport.
Hernandez told the Arcadia City Council in a special session Thursday morning that he also intends to strongly lobby for a better representation on the Metro Board for San Gabriel Valley, which Councilman Bob Harbicht noted represented 20% of the approval vote for Measure R transportation funding.
Hernandez was making yet another familiarization stop to get to know Arcadia, which has been added along with Temple City to the newly-configured 22nd state senate district to which he will campaign for a second term next year.
Hernandez, who was elected to the 24th District, which will become the 22nd Ditrict, has also had several meetings with Police Chief Robert Guthrie in recent months and had a tour of local businesses in July with Arcadia Chamber of Commerce CEO Scott Hettrick.
In response to Councilman Gary Kovacic’s questions about Hernandez’s background and how he can help Arcadia, Hernandez, a Democrat, said his value comes from being part of the majority party, now a “super majority.” He described himself as “liberal on social issues but moderate on business issues” and very supportive of public safety issues.
Among the other topics covered Thursday morning:
- SB7 – prevailing wage (mandatory $10 per hour minimum wage). Hernandez voted for it. Although Arcadia is not required to comply as one of 115 (25%) charter cities in that state, Arcadia could lose state funding. City Manager Dominic Lazzaretto said Arcadia would fight it but would likely comply because the penalty would be greater than the cost of compliance.
- Mayor Mickey Segal asked Lazzaretto to explain to Hernandez how the state is extorting the City of Arcadia. Lazzaretto described the situation in which Arcadia was required to pay back to the state a $3.6 million loan it took to buy property for Rusnak Mercedes to expand through the now-defunct Redevelopment Agency, and is now being required to pay the state the $3.2 million that Rusnak is paying the City for the property. Hernandez said he would look into the situation.
- Hernandez said he is arguing at the State Capitol not to release any more state prisoners to locals and is trying to get more money to locals to handle Governor Jerry Brown’s prisoner realignment. Courts have ruled that Brown is allowed to release 10,000 additional prisoners (on top of the original 30,000 released) – 80% of which have been relocated to other states.
Chief Guthrie said 3,500-3,700 of the 10,000 prisoners would come to LA County and that they are even harder-core parolees who did not qualify for the original 30,000 group. Guthrie said the Governor now seems to be leaning towards not releasing them. although Hernandez said the state may no longer have a choice except to delay their release by a couple years.
- Lazzaretto also asked Hernandez about the challenges of four new state regulations regarding the handling of stormwater runoff, which would cost the City of Arcadia between $4 mil – $6 mil each year to comply. Hernandez agreed that the State needs to provide funding to help cities comply with state-mandated rules.
Hernandez called the regulations an un-funded mandate. He said the regional water board is focused on coastal waters and it seems the concerns of San Gabriel Valley fall on deaf ears. “We would like to get better representation on water board,” he said, noting that if an upcoming vote passes, San Gabriel Valley will get more money than ever before.
- Lazzaretto also described a potential joint project to be proposed by five local cities including Arcadia, involving the Peck Road Water Conservation Park where the water from all five cities drains. Lazzaretto said Arcadia would like state funding for the project which would clean up what he described as a “cess pool” and create a recreation area.