The community rang in the new year on Jan. 1, but as we enter 2017 it is only fitting to take a look back at the many impressive accomplishments that the City of San Gabriel and the community saw in 2016.
Here, in no particular order, are the top 10 moments of San Gabriel's year.
1. Ribbon Cutting: In August, the Public Works Department held a special open house to commemorate the official opening of the department's new headquarters. They've all moved in now and are using their improved resources to better serve residents. The facility's completion also made way for the new Police Department construction to move forward in the coming year.
2. Engaging the Community: This year the city hosted a number of events to bring residents together and provide free family fun. These events included the Dumpling & Beer Fest, Summer Nights, "Engage!" events at the Mission Playhouse, and the Lunar New Year Festival. Save the date for next year's 3rd Annual San Gabriel Lunar New Year Festival, on Jan. 28!
3. Name in Lights: It was a very exciting year for the San Gabriel Mission Playhouse, which got a brand new marquee with an LED message board to help promote shows and theater/city information. Check it out as you drive by on Mission Drive!
4. Paving the Way: This year we finished the first phase (from Mission to Chestnut) of the long-awaited Del Mar Avenue Pavement Rehabilitation Project. Drivers now have a smoother ride through the city! We'll get started on the next phase - between Norwood and the 10 Freeway - early next year.
5. Places to Play: Toward the end of 2016, we broke ground on the Marshall Park project, an exciting venture that will give a neighborhood south of Valley Boulevard its first park! This project should be finished by the summer.
6. Communication Station: We upped our communications this year, redesigning the city website and creating the new City Beat newsletter. Have you checked them out yet? Sign up for City Beat at www.sangabrielcity.com/citybeat.
7. Bilingual Outreach: In another communications milestone, this year the city launched an official account on the Chinese social messaging site WeChat. This goes along with an ongoing effort to connect with residents in the city that might not be comfortable communicating in English. Follow us at WeChat ID: SanGabrielCity.
8. Show Me the Money: This year the Finance Department pulled back another layer and allowed residents even great access to city financial data, launching the Financial Transparency Portal. The portal allows community members to look through the city's budget information online, and even view up-to-date expenditures during the year. View the portal at www.sangabrielcity.com/financialportal.
9. Parks Make Life Better: In addition to taking concrete steps to increase parkland in the city, the Community Services Department in 2016 also launched the process to develop a Parks and Open Space Master Plan. The plan will detail ways to improve the city's existing programs and infrastructure as well as suggest ways to expand in the future. Public meetings to get community input will be held in February, so check back at www.sangabrielcity.com/parksmasterplan for the latest details.
10. Rich History: This year the city began the process to write the Historic Preservation and Cultural Resources Ordinance, which would update the city's 50-year-old Historic Preservation Ordinance. A draft of the new proposed ordinance is now available for review by the public. It lays out a detailed process for preserving historic structures and resources in the city. There will be a public meeting to discuss the ordinance on Jan. 19 at 6 p.m. in the Council Chambers. Find more information at www.sangabrielcity.com/historicpreservation.