Sternquist Asks for Appeal of Commission Decision

The councilwoman pushes for expansion of Dial-A-Ride to unincorporated county areas.

Written by RAYMOND TRAN / Published February 25, 2011

An adamant Temple City councilperson on Tuesday pushed for the City to reconsider a decision made by the Parks and Recreation commission.

Councilwoman Cynthia Sternquist, a former Parks and Recreation commissioner, is leading the charge to allowing unincorporated Los Angeles County residents access to Temple City’s Dial-A-Ride program.

In April, Sternquist asked that the PRC review the matter. Shortly after, the PRC issued its decision: no changes.

As a result, a heated exchange between the councilwoman and Parks and Recreation Director Cathy Burroughs occurred at the May 4, 2010 city council meeting.

Expanding Dial-A-Ride to unincorporated areas would be “opening the door to bigger issues,” Burroughs said.

When asked why the Commission did not recommend expansion, the parks and recreation director cited a couple of reasons.

The first, when the Parks and Recreation Department conducted a survey of other surrounding cities, only one provided service to unincorporated areas.

Another reason was that Los Angeles County offers a Dial-A-Ride service of their own.

“There was no need for the City to duplicate services,” Burroughs said.

But, the County Dial-A-Ride does not bring its system users to Temple City, the director admitted.

Pressed on the issue, Burroughs further warned that expansion could lead to other cities’ residents demanding to be a part of City’s Dial-A-Ride.

She asked, “What about Arcadia residents if they wanted to come into town?”

“I think maybe it’s time to take a more thorough look at our Dial-A-Ride system,” Sternquist said.

Temple City Mayor Fernando Vizcarra noted that he’d prefer an analysis done before reaching a decision.

“I’d like to see some cost-benefit analysis,” the mayor said.

If the Council did expand the Dial-A-Ride program, one or two more vehicles would be needed, Burroughs said.

“We would probably need additional vehicles,” she said.

Further discussion was delayed because the item was not officially placed on the City Council’s agenda.

Temple City’s Dial-A-Ride program currently allows residents 60 years of age and older, or disabled residents, to become registered users of the system. Minors under the age of 13 may also accompany a qualified rider.

Applications are available at City Hall.

The fare for using the Dial-A-Ride is 50 cents one-way.

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