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Home / Neighborhood / San Gabriel Valley / Pasadena Independent / A Mayoral Legacy for Pasadena

A Mayoral Legacy for Pasadena

by Pasadena Independent
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delighted bogaard

Bogaard Focuses on the Positive Despite Embezzlement Scandal

By Nick Kipley

“The Pasadena Playhouse is truly a gem. I can’t imagine a Pasadena without it,” opened Vice Mayor Jacque Robinson at last Thursday night’s “State of the City Speech” event. This speech concluded the record sixteen years of Pasadena Mayor Bill Bogaard’s authority.
Following a glowing review of the outstanding history of the Pasadena Playhouse, a performance by the youth theatre company “Theatre 360,” and a brief video exploring the “Hidden gems of Pasadena,” Mayor Bogaard took to the stage for his State of the City Address.
He started off by joking that his wife Claire was the “One person to [his] knowledge who has attended [the annual state of the city speech] all sixteen times.”
After thanking the Council, Mayor Bogaard addressed the current investigation into the Underground Utility Funds scandal, but didn’t mention anything new:
“The city manager has announced the engagement of an independent investigator to facilitate the completion of a wide-ranging personnel review.” In addition to this measure, Bogaard stated that, “The city attorney will maintain a close working relationship with the District Attorney and strongly support the criminal prosecutions to the fullest extent of the law. Further, she has been directed to use civil litigation aggressively to recover the losses and damages suffered by this city.”
Bogaard then turned to Pasadena’s bright future while glancing nostalgically at the past — Pasadena real estate is up 5.4% at $24 billion while unemployment is down to 6% and thus, below the 7.2% average for California.
Bogaard explained that to address rising pension costs, pension reform would be initiated to keep the cost low in coming years. He claimed that 1,700 new real estate units were under construction, and pointed out that the Playhouse Plaza office complex across the street from the Playhouse was not only the first office building constructed in years, but a sure sign of Pasadena’s ability to bounce back from recession.
The mayor was pleased to report that, due to Pasadena’s Innovation Strategy, several new Tech Startups have recently established, or are now planning on establishing, their headquarters in the city. “Pasadena now stands on the forefront of the high tech world,” he said.
Bogaard also announced that “in the past year more than 300 young people have taken place in [Police and Fire Department] mentorship programs.” This Collaborate Pasadena program has allowed the city to, “Change the way we do business with schools … to give every young person a chance to reach their potential.”
2015 will be a “big year,” for the Metro Gold Line, the “unifying goal for the San Gabriel Valley,” according to Bogaard. When the next phase of the project is completed, Pasadenans will be linked to the City of Hope Cancer Research Center, The L.A. Arboretum, the Santa Fe Dam Recreation Area, five historic San Gabriel Valley city downtowns, and Azusa Pacific University/Citrus College. “Azusa will not be the end of the line for long,” Mayor Bogaard assured the crowd. “We anticipate the second phase will come from a new tax measure to be voted on in 2016.
“Tonight caps a remarkable and rewarding period in my life,” the mayor began his conclusion, “Sixteen years as Pasadena’s first directly elected mayor … I was never elected to be a caretaker; no one on the city council is. But to represent those who put their faith and trust in us to carry out our duties because they — and we — believe all of our citizens deserve the best city possible.”
When the Playhouse went bankrupt in 1969 and its doors shut to Pasadenans, it was very much like losing a piece of their City. But in 1985, then-citizen Bill Bogaard and many other volunteers and contributors were able to refurbish the building back to its former splendor.
It was that same idea of seeing Pasadena as a city where its citizens could be inspired to take on any challenge presented that convinced Bogaard to run for mayor and, through hard work, reap great reward.
“In 1999 I promised to be a catalyst for positive change, to bring our community together, and to build a greater city. I urged all of us to go for it, in a quest for improvement. And we did just that …. In the ensuing sixteen years we saw good times and bad,” he said, “[but] in a short span of time, Pasadena emerged as one of America’s leading cities and an internationally recognized symbol of hope, diversity, culture, arts, education, science, jobs, and economic opportunity. We took the best of Pasadena and made it better.”
The Mayor urged the City to continue to “Go For It,” stating, “There are no constraints on the human mind, no walls around the human spirit, no barriers to our progress-except any we might upon ourselves, impose.”
Immediately concluding the invocation, “God Bless Pasadena, The State of California, The United States of America. God bless all of you. Thank you, and goodnight,” the audience rose to its feet and applauded for a full minute.

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