HomeCommunity NewsMonsalve Loves City’s Hometown Ambiance

Monsalve Loves City’s Hometown Ambiance


Cesar Monsalve swears he will be spending but a few months in San Marino, but his engaging, enthusiastic demeanor makes it difficult to tell that the city’s interim community services director is merely a short timer.

Monsalve was plucked out of retirement in June by City Manager Marcella Marlow until the post can be filled permanently. Monsalve retired in December 2018 after 28 years with the city of Duarte (where Marlow was previously employed, hence the connection) and was literally on the golf course when his former associate called.

“I was enjoying retirement quite a bit,” said Monsalve. Having served most recently as Duarte’s director of parks and recreation, Monsalve was a perfect fit for the interim gig.

San Marino’s 4th of July celebration marked his first major event in the city, and he walked away duly impressed.

“What a great hometown event,” he said. “It was very unique to this community. And what a tribute to San Marino that so many out-of-towners came out for it.”

Typically, the end of summer programming signifies a stepping-off point, but that is precisely when Monsalve will be approaching his most significant task.

“The department has gone through some turnover and they created a community services director position to oversee both the library and recreation department,” he said. “In the meantime, they wanted to get someone who who can deal with the issues, which is why I am here. At the same time, the city is looking to ‘revision’ the recreation department’s programming.”

With that in mind, the city council also retained the services of GreenPlay LLC, a consulting firm with experience in that field.

“They have already conducted a series of meetings with stakeholder groups and met individually with each city council member,” Monsalve said. “They have also put together some community surveys that will be statistically valid and science-based. Based on the survey and the needs assessment results, they will put together a report and present it to the city council to see what they want to do going forward. It is then up to the city council to decide what they want to do with the recreation program.”

Monsalve will oversee the process while addressing the day-to-day needs of the Crowell Public Library and the Recreation Dept. He also serves on the city’s executive team alongside its police and fire chiefs.

“I want to hear what people want to do, how we should change, how we should approach Stoneman and the San Marino Center,” Monsalve told The Tribune. “And I want to hear any suggestions community members might have regarding the staff and our program offerings. These are all things we need to consider as we develop the needs assessment.”

To that end, Monsalve even volunteered his email address and invited citizens to contact him with any suggestions at cmonsalve@cityofsanmarino.org.

“I want the residents of San Marino to help us determine the best future for the Recreation division of the Community Services Department and they can continue to do that by actively participating in the upcoming survey process that will be facilitated by GreenPlay,” he said. “Marketing and awareness campaigning for the surveying will begin soon and we’re really looking forward to their responses.”

Monsalve, 56, and his wife Marie have one son, Sean, who is a college student. The family lives in Etiwanda. While his tenure is temporary, Monsalve is approaching his duty as if he has a long-term stake in the outcome.

“We see all of this as being very positive,” he said. “I am discovering that we have a lot of support in the community for our staff and programming, but there is always room to improve. We want to find out what the community wants for those improvements.”


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