CPP lecturer appointed to Diamond Bar City Council

Jennifer Mahlke, a lecturer in the communication department at Cal Poly Pomona, was appointed to the Diamond Bar City Council on Jan. 28. Mahlke was appointed in order to fulfill the term of a seat vacated by Carol Herrera, who retired in December 2019. 

“Prior to her appointment to the Diamond Bar City Council, Ms. Mahlke served on the Diamond Bar Planning Commission since 2015, and previous to that served four years on the Diamond Bar Traffic and Transportation Commission,” states the Diamond Bar City Council website.  

Mahlke’s term will end in November, when she will run for the position again.
(Courtesy of Jennifer Ramirez)

Mahlke’s seat is set to expire in December. 

“The council member’s job is we create the policy and regulations for the city,” Mahlke said. “We’re more of the decision-making (committee). We rely, of course, still on our very well-educated staff to provide us with information and do research. When the city council decides a policy then it’s the staff that figures out how to make the magic happen.” 

“We’re excited that she has been appointed to the council,” said Diamond Bar Council Member Andrew Chou. “She comes to us with a couple years of experience on both the Planning Commission and the Traffic and Transportation Commission. We think she’s a good addition to the council and we’re looking forward to working with her.”

Before joining the committee, Mahlke was appointed to the Wildlife Corridor Conservation, which was “established to provide for the proper planning, conservation, environmental protection and maintenance of lands within the Puente-Chino Hills corridor area,” according to the Santa Monica Mountains Conservancy website.

Mahlke was also appointed to a position on the Traffic and Transportation Commission because of her involvement in advocating for more crossing guards at her children’s elementary school.

City council members also serve on different subcommittees outside of Diamond Bar as representatives for the city of Diamond Bar. Mahlke is currently the liaison between Diamond Bar and the Pomona Unified School District. 

The Traffic and Transportation Commission is primarily an advisory committee that discusses how to regulate and try to mitigate traffic. One of the solutions that Mahlke helped with while on the commission was the 57/60 Confluence Project, also called the “Big Fix.” It was a three-stage plan that included an unspecified dollar amount in the millions that was meant to improve the flow of traffic on State Route 57 and State Route 60. 

“The three-phase project is designed to improve traffic operation on Grand Avenue from Golden Springs Drive to the interchange at SR-60 (Pomona), increase capacity at the Grand Avenue Interchange, improve traffic operation on the freeway mainline, reduce traffic weaving and increase weaving distance and improve safety,” states the city of Diamond Bar website.

After serving on the Traffic and Transportation Commission, Mahlke was appointed to the Planning Commission in 2015. The commission team’s duties include zoning, which determines the function of the city, in terms of where land can be used and where buildings and houses can be expanded or improved upon.

In order to be well prepared, within the first two weeks of being appointed, Mahlke attended 12 meetings. She met with the entire executive team, where she was filled in on everything that the city is working toward. 

“I think it’s going to be very cool to watch how Diamond Bar continues to grow and change to meet the needs of its people. I’m sort of a super nerd about my city, I love it,” Mahlke said. 

Mahlke’s term will end in November. She plans on running for the same position after her term is over in hopes of getting seated again. She will continue to lecture at CPP while filling her new her position as council member. 

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