By Ronan Jensen
The subject of sound was the center of discussion in a La Palma City Council meeting early last month. The only regular item brought up during the entirety of the meeting, the issue of improving the chamber’s current audio equipment, was opened and closed without too much fuss. Appropriate contractors had been courted for the job of replacing, upgrading and maintaining the equipment, with it being made apparent that the Council was pleased with their final choice.
“We got three bids, and the staff is confident in Western Audio Visuals’ ability to rectify some of these issues we are having,” said Joseph Narrows, assistant to the city manager. “Staff has met with a number of other cities who utilize Western Audio not only for the installation of their system but also the management of their system, including Cypress, Cerritos and Villa Park”.
According to Narrows, one of the avenues that could provide funding for this new equipment would be La Palma’s PEG funds (public, educational, and governmental). When asked about the necessity of replacing audio equipment that had already been tended to in the recent past, Narrows made clear that the decision was not made lightly.
“Based on my understanding of the conversations with these three other contractors that we worked with, the mixer that we currently have isn’t up to par with what we need in this facility,” said Narrows. He estimated the overall cost of the installation of the new equipment to be about $50,000.
Council member Janet Keo Conklin, who has pushed for greater transparency, had urged the council to either install a new audio/video system or at least an improved audio system, and urged the Council to move forward with the new audio system. She seconded a motion by Nitesh Patel to approve the recommendation.
While the subject of new audio equipment was the only regular item brought up over the course of the city council’s meeting, it was not the only subject that was given attention.
La Palma resident Rita Jackson spoke about April’s status as Donate Life Month and shared the story of her late daughter Jasmine and the numerous lives she helped by deciding to become a donor.
When the floor was opened for public questions, La Palma resident Kevin Segara asked the council if the city could do anything to alleviate the issue of a loud bullhorn-armed preacher in the area, specifying that he wanted to know what the city allowed private citizens to do about the situation.
Mr. Segara’s comments were followed by a series of complaints from Gary Macnamara, who asked for more accommodations for disabled people during scheduled blackouts as well as for improvements to La Palma’s police department (Mr. Macnamara identified himself as a former police detective).
The City Council meeting wrapped up with individual reports from each member, which included Keo Conklin and her thoughts on how aspects of Cambodian history were going to be taught in school.
“And so, the Cambodian genocide curriculum is now going to be rephrased, that doesn’t even talk about genocide anymore,” Conklin said. “So, as a Cambodian Laotian person, we don’t want our people to be known as genocide victims, especially our children in the education system.”
Other aspects of the city council meeting included recognition for La Palma’s “Jumping Coyotes” jump rope team and a similar recognition for La Palma Recreation Center Martial Arts student Kean Lim for achieving “black belt” status.