Land deals, money and a pushed-out police chief. Those seem to be the topics this week out of the SGV.
The most confusing story this week comes out of Baldwin Park, where police and city officials can’t seem to agree whether Police Chief Edward Lopez was fired or if he retired, Tania Chatila reports. Lopez wouldn’t comment. He was with the department for 27 years. Call it what you want — retirement or firing — but one thing is for sure: Lopez is out of a job. My only question: Can we see his severance package and or retirement plan? Because my guess is either way, he’s taken care of.
Tucked away in the Tribune on Thursday was a little brief about Covina, which has a City Hall that is full of the most persistent people I have ever met. (Just read their “For the Record” page on their website, and you’ll know exactly what I’m talking about.) The city’s utility tax, which expires in 2009, was declined for renewal by voters on last March’s ballot. But it could back. A petition signed by 2,300 residents seeks to get a measure that would extend the city’s $5.5 million utility tax. At Tuesday’s council meeting, Amy Turner out of the city clerk’s office said that it could be placed on the June 3 state and county ballot, or they could call a special election. My only question: Who spearheaded the petition?
UPDATE: Reporter Dan Abendschein tells me that the husband of the city’s PIO, Bobbi Kemp, spearheaded the petition.
In La Verne, the City Council unanimously approved the Lutheran High School expansion, despite two-hours worth of testimony from residents speaking for and against the project, Tania Chatila reported on Tuesday.
Out of Arcadia, a land-swap deal will allow the Church of Arcadia to remodel — as well as get a $3.6 million paycheck from the city — and offer expansion opportunities to the city’s largest sales-tax revenue generator, Rusnak Mercedes-Benz. Last year, a Rusnak employee said the dealership planned to move elsewhere because of its inability to expand in the city, Kevin Felt reported on Thursday.
And Alison Hewitt reported on Thursday that developer McIntyre Cos. got the agreement to construct a retail center at the base of Big League Dreams sports park in West Covina. McIntyre offered $2.9 million for the land, more than double what the other two bidders proposed. Councilman Mike Touhey recused himself from the vote because Touhey’s consulting company has contracted with McIntyre in the past. McIntyre also gave campaign contributions to all council members, Hewitt reported. My only question: How much money in contributions are we talking about here?
Well, those seem to be the highlights. What did I miss?