The city of La Verne and the La Verne Chamber of Commerce conducted the annual State of the City address to celebrate the City’s successes in 2022 and hear about the City’s vision for 2023 from Mayor Tim Hepburn.
The address was held on Monday in the Campus Center Ballroom.
To start off the event University of La Verne President Devorah Lieberman, gave a heartwarming welcome to city council members, Rep. Grace Napolitano (D-CA-32) and residents of La Verne.
“This University and city are tied together, when the University succeeds the city succeeds, and when the city succeeds the University succeeds,” Lieberman said.
Napolitano was recognized by Lieberman as the crowd applauded her for donating $2.2 million to the University that she raised by The Community Project Funding. The University will use that money to create an institute for mental health and psychological well being, so when students and professionals graduate they can recognize mental health issues.
“I am looking forward to the mental health facility that will be happening here at the University,” La Verne Chamber of Commerce executive assistant, Julie Griffith, said. “I am very pleased going forward with this plan. La Verne is such a proactive community and it is good to know that the City is looking and thinking ahead.”
Hepburn addressed the goals that were met for 2022 and upcoming goals. Hepburn then addressed City Manager Bob Russi’s retirement. Russi joined La Verne in 2001 and worked his way up to his current position where he gained government experience. After months of searching, La Verne City Council has chosen Ken Domer as the new City Manager with a three-year contract.
“I think with any organization you need to start fresh,” Hepburn said. “Bob has been with our city for 12 years and it was time for a fresh start with a new vision. With the unanimous decision by our counsel to hire Ken Domer, I expect great things, like reviewing all of our policies, our departments and just a new way of looking at things.”
New affordable housing is coming to La Verne. Hepburn announced Brandywine Homes began construction in 2022. Containing eight two-story detached single family homes, for those who meet the maximum household income of $109,000.
“I am really excited, I see so much potential and growth within our community,” Ana Robles, owner of Yo Soy Amazing in San Dimas, said. “Not only for businesses but for residents of La Verne.”
The La Verne Firefighters’ Association and the City of La Verne have a new Memorandum of Understanding that was adopted by the City Council. The increased benefits for LVFA members are part of the new MOU, which is in force for the following four years and reflects the close relationship between the City of La Verne and the fire department
“Something I appreciate is the reopening of fire station three which was a real concern,” real estate agent, Gina Jacoy, said. “I live near station three and not having that station open was scary.”
Hepburn announced the Arrow Highway Urban Greening project. The initiative will plant about 120 native, drought-tolerant trees and 200 native, drought-tolerant shrubs along Arrow Highway to transform what is presently 1.3 miles of vacant street medians into carbon-sequestering green streets. Greenhouse Gas emissions are reduced, and air quality is enhanced.
Ninety-three new businesses opened in La Verne in the past year, these businesses give the La Verne community additional work prospects ranging from retail shops and home improvement stores to mental and physical health-related businesses, adding to the City’s expanding list of regional retailers, restaurants, and service providers.
“This is just a testament to our city, our residents and the services we provide to get people to come to La Verne,” Hepburn said.
Sabin Gabra can be reached at email@example.com.