Monterey Park can’t agree on new city manager

This isn’t really a surprise, but the Monterey Park City Council is split on who it wants to bring on board as City Manager. Councilmen Frank Venti and Mitchell Ing want Adolfo Reta, and the other three want a different person — who is still unnamed. Anyone know who that person is?

Council divides over city manager
Unnamed candidate apparently has job
By Melissa Pamer, Staff Writer
Article Launched: 02/07/2008 10:29:23 PM PST

MONTEREY PARK – The City Council has voted 3-2 to offer the permanent city manager position to an unnamed candidate.

In the closed-session vote Wednesday night, council members split into their traditional camps: Frank Venti and Mitchell Ing voted no, while Mayor Sharon Martinez, David Lau and Anthony Wong voted yes.

The vote came after a tension-filled regular council meeting in which one speaker threatened a recall campaign over the city manager issue, and Ing and Venti called vociferously for greater openness in the hiring process.

Martinez’s wing of the council sited state law prohibiting members from discussing details of closed-session personnel decisions. California statute allows hiring negotiations to be made behind closed doors, and council members could be breaking the law if they reveal what is said in those meetings.

Wednesday’s vote authorizes the city to begin contract negotiations with the chosen candidate. The council will vote Feb. 20 in open session on the contract. The candidate’s name will be revealed at that time.

“At the next meeting, fireworks will come out,” Venti said Thursday. “We’ll be able to speak our piece.”

Venti and Ing have voiced support for interim City Manager Adolfo Reta, who has held the post since the July departure of Chris Jeffers for the top administrative job in Glendora.

The search for Jeffers’ replacement recently narrowed to Reta and an unknown candidate from outside the city, Reta has said. The split vote indicates the council likely selected the outside candidate, although no council members would confirm that.