Mayor Appoints Self, Yu to Ad Hoc Committee Overseeing Chamber Renovation

Staff directed to conduct a needs assessment and to prioritize what is more important.

Written by RANDY SHUN / Published April 30, 2010 (ONLINE ONLY)

Temple City Mayor Fernando Vizcarra appointed himself and Mayor Pro Tempore Vincent Yu on Tuesday to an ad hoc committee overseeing a potentially major project: the renovation of the council chambers.

The mayor first raised the issue in October, asking city staff to research information for the City Council to consider; and during the December 1, 2009 city council meeting, assistant to the city manager Gary Flod presented the City Council with a few options.

Along with Public Services Manager Bill Tidwell, Flod co-wrote a memo describing three options with price tags that ranged from $103,000 to $758,000.

“We believe they’re pretty good figures to look at, although they’re not actual bid prices,” Flod said Tuesday evening.

But the City Council was not pleased.

“I think we’re premature trying to determine what needs to be done,” Yu said. “We need to have a needs assessment done.”

The mayor pro tempore further recommended city staff return with a list of needs that prioritizes what is necessary for the City to spend money fixing.

Councilman Tom Chavez, another proponent of upgrading the council chambers, agreed.

“We need to look and see what is absolutely needed,” he said.

Meanwhile, Councilwoman Cynthia Sternquist echoed her fellow councilmembers. She, too, declared her support for renovating the aging chambers.

“Those upgrades, I think they are necessary,” she stated. However, Sternquist criticized two of the options presented, calling them “outrageous.”

Also a supporter of the mayor’s cause, Councilwoman Judy Wong urged city staff to consider whether the air system also needed to be upgraded.

In spite of declining sales tax revenues and the current economic conditions, no one spoke out against renovating the council chambers; the opposite was true. Residents and local business owners generally seemed to support the City Council’s plan.

Mary Burke, a longtime Temple City resident, pressed the City Council to move forward, but cautioned them to “take care of what [was] necessary first.”

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