Old timers

Councilmembers Gary Taylor and Margaret Clark have served on the Rosemead City Council for a combined 51 years. During that time, they have received health benefits, retirement packages, and have been eligible for car and phone allowances.

Taylor joined the council iin 1974, and Clark joined in 1991.

A records request shows that over the past 15 years, Rosemead has paid Clark and Taylor nearly $225,000 each — that is broken down to $15,000 a year in meeting stipends. That does not include the other perks.

Why do I bring this up now? Because a records request that I asked for months ago was finally ready, and I had the chance to review these yesterday.

This is just a taste of what I found when looking for all the expenses over a 15-year period. Councilmen John Tran and John Nunez did not join the council until 2005, so obviously their numbers are much lower. However, I did notice that the car allowance since they joined jumped from $250 a month to $500, and the cell phone allowance went from $80 a month to $150, including $300 a year for a new phone. Councilwoman Polly Low joined the counicl in 2007, so, again, her numbers will not reflect those of her colleagues.

  • http://www.arcadiapoa.com/1.html Tom

    Many people do not even know of “benefits” that council members receive. Pay is never that high, but there are often behind the scene perks like what you mention. Maybe a story in the paper with a chart comparing those perks of valley city council members would be enlightening to us all.

  • Anonymous

    “Free” lifetime health insurance is the most obvious perk. Also, some councilmembers serve on various intergovernmental boards, which also pay monthly stipends. Once everything is said and done, Clark is pulling down something like $70K a year, plus benefits.

  • The Truth

    Jennifer,
    I disagree with your calculations. Are you saying Gary Taylor is paid too much? I hope not. He is not paid enough for protecting the citizens for so many years. Your post sounds like you are fishing for a story. $15,000 a year. who? What for? If you think you have story, give the facts. Search further. Tell the whole truth. Dont be shy. But dont come with this baloney. I can see right through this. Please continue to research this, but for all the city council members. I hope, as I believe, you will find Gary Taylor is a great man.

    Cell phone? Have you ever seen Gary Taylor with a cell phone? Car allowance? Dig into that one please? All Ive ever seen is a man who shows up at city hall every time in his own vehicle so dont mislead people into thinking there was any. Why do you put Maggie Clark into those numbers? Let them stand on their own merits? Why not keep a running balance on every city council member and you will see. the truthGary Taylor does not waste money.

    Perks? Give me a break. Gary Taylor works at being a city council member. Healthcare? Do you get healthcare from SGVT? Isnt that a job benefit? Retirement package, I get one at my job, as do many others. I also get paid $120K a year. Why not post your salary with the salary of a 33-year city council member? I think you will find that Gary Taylor is not paid enough. And dont think he just shows up at city council meetings and reads the agenda 30 minutes before it starts. You can tell at every city council meeting how prepared he is. You can also see how un-prepared others are by their poor arguments.

    Now this may be the beginning of what you are starting. If you really dig into what you are getting at, you will find that Gary Taylor is a very honest man. You are better off writing that storyget on the good side. Thirty-three years of service. Gary Taylor is the one truthful, honest, ethical, hard-working, under-paid politician in the world! Write that story. The story of a man who never compromised these things. I hope you take the time to figure out the truth, check the past, present and future of the City of Rosemead. I see the boring story of a great man who never wanted to go further in politics, just protect Rosemead, but you want dirt. You wont find it in Gary Taylor. You will have better luck with the three amigos, which I believe you might enjoy.

    Gary Taylor is a great man. Do not lump him into any wasteful spending. He is the exact opposite, protecting the city’s residents and fighting for every citizen in Rosemead. He has served the city for 33 years for one reason, the people trust him.

    When the three amigos are running around claiming to be at conventions in Las Vegas, Palm Springs, or San Diego that allegedly benefit Rosemead, Gary Taylor is diligently working in the city with it’s residents. Wow, those are nice vacation cities arent they? Did Gary Taylor attend any of these so-called conventions?

    Any one of the three amigos will waste more money than Gary Taylor ever will as long as they are still in office. The best thing to do is vote the three amigos out before it gets any worse than the recent $300,000 settlement. It is appalling for the residents of the city to let the three amigos continue fleecing the city. Go into your archives and find out about Pike in 1973. You might learn a little about the start of a great career for a young Gary Taylor and the current issue with redevelopment and what the three amigos support.

  • http://www.insidesocal.com/sgvgov Jennifer McLain

    Dear Truth,
    I appreciate your thought out response. A couple of things. In my post, I mention that the information is just a taste of what I found. If there is a story, I’ve got to save some information for it!
    But the real answer is that I am still waiting on copies of my requested documents, where all the information is. I only jotted down a couple of numbers in my notes for the blog post.

    Since you bring it up, you are absolutely right. Taylor did not take advantage of the cell phone reimbursement, and also scratched the car allowance.

    As for healthcare and retirement options, yes, the Tribune offers those to me. But the biggest difference is that I am not an elected official and it isn’t paid for by the tax-payers. Whether an elected official deserves health and retirement pacakges is a question for Rosemead residents, not the Rosemead reporter.

    So while you may disagree with the calculations, that is the number I was given in a records request. I am not saying whether it is high or low. I am just reporting on the information that I was given. This may be part of a larger story, it may not. I still have other documents I have to review before that is decided.

    Isn’t blogging fun? Thanks again for your post!
    Jennifer

  • The Truth

    Jennifer,
    I am grateful for the opportunity to discuss. Yes, I will be here as long as you keep up on these issues. I did read this was as start to something. I hope you do not take offense to my passion. I see so many people (others I mean) blogging that are on the wrong side of issues. You are not because you are still searching, but don’t mislead. You are searching both sides. I understand.

    I like to joke and have fun. Sorry for sounding so serious, but this is important. I am not bias to Gary Taylor. I am person who knows character. Who pays attention to the details and who sees behind the bias and other people’s intentions, like the three amigos?

    I’m going to continue to follow your stories. I think you are getting to know the true story here. I want to make sure the truth is told about Gary Taylor. It will be a shame if people forget because of time, moving on to bigger and better places, passing away, or other changes in the city.

    Gary Taylor is a truly great man.

    And I challenge the three amigos to fight me on this!

  • http://www.insidesocal.com/sgvgov Jennifer McLain

    Dear Truth,
    I can sense your passion, and it does not offend me. I just want readers to be clear that even though I am blogging, I am also a journalist who doesn’t take sides. I am just trying to report down the middle. This is a forum to be serious, or to joke, whatever the day. I am just happy that there is a place where readers like you can turn to to voice their opinions.

    So, you keep reading and I’ll be researching!
    Jennifer