Candidates from left: Incumbents Gloria Crudgington and Becky Shevlin, challenger Donna Baker.
The candidates from two open spots on the Monrovia City Council answered questions from a League of Women Voters moderator at a candidates' forum sponsored by the Chamber of Commerce tonight.
There did not appear to be much the candidates disagreed on (except a little bit on rent control and Airbnb rentals). Crudgington and Shevlin talked about their successes on the council and Baker said she thought the city could do better, particularly with development, fiscal responsibility and outreach to the community.
Rent ControlCrudgington doesn't oppose it and said she has kept rents low on the rentals she owns.
Shevlin is "doubtful whether it helps or hinders." In the short term it may look good but she thinks "in the long run fewer residences are built.
Baker: "I'm for rent control." In Monrovia, she said, "there are more renters than homeowners."
AirbnbsShevlin: Against them. They turn multi-family units "into hotels." They can "decimate a community" by turning residences into "party central."
Crudgington would distinguish between renting a spare room - where the owners can keep an eye on things - and renting an entire residence where the owner is absent.
Baker said they cause instability. "I do think they bring down the community."
DevelopmentCrudgington and Shevlin said the state is requiring cities to provide for more housing, so the city is directing it - including lower-cost housing - to the area around the train station.
Baker said there should be fewer luxury units and more affordable housing, and that the city should work with developers, churches and businesses to provide it.
GreennessBaker would establish an Environment Commission for the city and follow through on older environmental plans the city set up.
Crudgington said the city has phased out some pesticides and if more hasn't been done it's because "the wheels were coming off the city."
Shevlin believes the city should try to be more green "when fiscally responsible."
GoMonroviaBaker would revisit the GoMonrovia Lyft program to make it easier for seniors. She'd also like trolleys from the train station to Old Town and add lighted crosswalks in Old Town.
Crudgington said she watched the trolleys run empty and said seniors can already use a regular telephone (not a smart phone) to get a Lyft ride.
Shevlin said she was the one who suggested the Lyft program to former city manager, Oliver Chi, and it turned out to be a huge success.
RandomCrudgington said she is concerned about the Community Center. The building is old, she said, and she is worried what would happen to it in an earthquake.
Baker would ask MOTAB (Monrovia Old Town Advisory Board) to recruit new businesses to Old Town.
Shevlin said the print media is dying. The San Gabriel Valley Tribune, she said, is not endorsing candidates for the Monrovia race because of lack of staff.
Crudgington said Monrovia doesn't have the population to support Old Town and that the new development near the train station could help support it. "If you use Amazon," she added, "you're part of the demise of Old Town."
- Brad Haugaard