Outstanding City Staff - Rene Salas, Public Works Director, City of South El Monte
Over the past decade the City of South El Monte has quietly become a leader in safe and green street design in the San Gabriel Valley, thanks in large part to the commitment and passion of their Public Works team led by Director Rene Salas.
In Spring 2020 the City was awarded over $3 million in competitive state grant funding for the Merced Avenue Greenway, a “green street” project that will include stormwater capture elements, a sidewalk level protected bike/rollway, and new street trees. The California Natural Resources Agency (CNRA) grant award will fund construction of the southern section of the Merced Avenue Greenway, from Rush to Lerma.
In addition to his expertise coordinating groundbreaking, multi-benefit public works projects, Rene also brings a creative, can-do attitude to his work. For example, Rene inspired and facilitated the introduction of a giant inflatable spider, ghost, Frankenstein, and other festive creatures along the South El Monte stretch of the “SGV Streets and Treats” ciclovia route in October 2019. The 20’-30’ tall inflatables wowed children and families who explored the miles of car-free streets on bikes, scooters, and other wheeled devices. They were also an opportunity to engage, support, and highlight a local South El Monte business during the event. More recently, Rene has been instrumental in the rollout of the SGV’s first electric bike share program and implementation of a Bike Friendly Business District in the City of South El Monte.
ActiveSGV's annual awards bash, Noche de las Luminarias, honors people making strides to realize a more sustainable, equitable, and livable San Gabriel Valley. On 10/10/20 a special virtual edition of the annual party will celebrate 10 years of ActiveSGV. Tickets available here
Want to learn more? Check out ActiveSGV's new podcast, ActiveLab