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Home / Opinion / Monrovia Old Town report: Monrovia, the beautiful

Monrovia Old Town report: Monrovia, the beautiful

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By Shawn Spencer

Monrovia sure brought us an amazing show on the 4th! What a spectacular event. Thank you to our city staff and everyone that made the event possible. 

Fireworks always get me right in the feels. There is something so beautiful and magical about them. Sure, there is some boring science behind them: light bouncing off reflective surfaces, dopamine, blah blah blah. I think it has more to do with muscle memory. The memories of seeing fireworks as young children, of how we felt when we were full of amazement, wonder and just a little bit afraid, but also safe with our parents. 

Fast forward to adulthood. We still have that wonder and amazement, but now we know what it means to live in America. We know what it feels like to know someone and possibly have lost them as they serve(d) our country. We know what other countries go through in times of war and sometimes even in peace, which makes us thankful to live in America. We know that even though there are flaws, America is a magnificent place to live and raise our families. We are blessed beyond measure, and this year the fireworks made me feel like with everything going on in the world, with everything going on in our country, Americans need to do better. Be better. We need less division and more unification. This is my hope, anyway.

On Tuesday, our city will have a changing of the guard. Tom Adams, who has served Monrovia on various commissions and boards, as a council member and mayor, will be stepping down from the dais as Becky Shevlin is sworn in as Monrovia’s mayor. Tom served Monrovians well.  While social media may not be his claim to fame, Tom was instrumental in completing Monrovia Renewal, the largest public works project in the history of Monrovia. 

He served as our mayor and led a council that worked with one accord for the betterment of Monrovia. He made himself accessible to the community and while you cannot please everyone every time, Tom Adams was an excellent mayor. Thank you, Tom, for thirty years of public service.

Also, stepping down from the council is Alexander Blackburn. Alex has been the voice of fiscal responsibility and economic development on the council. He has steadfastly promoted and supported our law enforcement, and his legal expertise came in handy on the dais. 

Alex was elected to city council in 2013 and while he may not have kissed a lot of babies or shown up for photo ops, he served the community with a shrewdness not found in many. Alex was never afraid to speak up or vote for his conscious, even if he was in the minority. Sharp as a tack and funny to boot, I will miss his contribution to the council.

Public service is not for everyone. The public tends to be pretty harsh, at times. I commend Tom and Alex for their years of service to Monrovia and I whole-heartedly thank them for their dedication and hard work to lead and guide our city. Best of luck to you both, as you travel your next paths. 

“I learned this, at least, by my experiment: that if one advances confidently in the direction of his dreams, and endeavors to live the life which he has imagined, he will meet with a success unexpected in common hours.” — Henry David Thoreau

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