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South Pasadena City Council Creates Library Complex Ad Hoc Committee

By Eric Licas
The Review

The City Council recently approved the formation of an advisory group for the construction of a new South Pasadena Library and Senior Center Complex.
The committee formation was first discussed in January. City leaders weighed in on the need for a group to help usher in the building of a modern library facility and senior center, where other community services could also be provided.
The Library/Community Center Comprehensive Site Plan Ad Hoc Committee — voted on by council on May 15 — will help review bids from contractors seeking to take on the work, set a timeline for construction and remodeling, and arrange additional logistics to get the project started.
The group will be made up of Mayor Evelyn Zneimer, Councilwoman Janet Braun, Bianca Richards of the Library Board of Trustees, Leslei Albe Field of the Community Services Commission, Kristen Dube of Friends of the Library, Alexandria Levitt of the Senior Citizens’ Foundation, and eight additional at large members. They are Tom Afschar, Rich Elbaum, Tony Hou, Eugene Kim, Victoria Rocha, Dean Serwin, Julia Wang and Jasmin Wong.
The current library and senior center were built in 1982 and have been deemed “not able to meet the space and functional needs of the community,” city staff wrote in a report.
Two prior advisory groups were formed to help decide what kind of replacement facilities would best serve residents. Last year, the City Council set aside $150,000 for the initial planning phases of the project.
The ongoing consideration of creating such a complex has been in the works for some time, and public commenters have expressed frustration about the pace at which the city is moving to fulfill this project.


The South Pasadena City Council approved the purchase of two new electric shuttles at its meeting on May 15.
The city’s Dial-A-Ride program serves as a low-cost alternative to ride-share apps or taxis for elderly residents and people with impaired mobility. It offers eligible riders a round trip to anywhere within the city for a $1 fare using a fleet of two large plug-in electric (PEV) vans and two smaller compressed natural gas (CNG) vehicles.
The CNG vehicles were built in 2012 and 2014 and have “exceeded their useful life bench marker of five years,” according to a report by city staff. To replace them, the City Council approved the purchase of two 2023 E-Transit E350 vans from Model 1 Commercial Vehicles.
The new vans are PEVs that can each carry up to eight people and cost a combined $246,341. Money for the purchases comes from sales tax revenue allocated for transportation projects, or Proposition A funding, and will not affect the city’s general fund, officials said.

First published in the May 31 print issue of the South Pasadena Review.

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