The Leftovers ftom City Hall column has been moved to Mondays.
Council race will be heated
Article Launched: 06/02/2008 12:05:13 AM PDT
But in eyes of some local leaders, there are more important elections to focus on – even if those elections are more than a year away.
In Rosemead, the next election is in March 2009.
But ask anyone who attends the council meetings, and it appears as though Mayor John Tran and council members Margaret Clark and John Nu ez have been on the campaign trail for months.
It is still unclear who will be running for re-election, but community members seem to think that Clark, Nu ez and Tran will all be trying to win their seats back.
First, there’s Clark, who has sent out several fliers during the past several months opposing proposed city ordinances.
Then, there’s Nu ez, who was the center of a sexual harassment lawsuit, which was settled earlier this year. Last month, it looked like a damage control move when he sent out letters apologizing if he ever made employees uncomfortable.
Finally, there is Tran, who will be riding into the election on a second consecutive term as mayor.
Rosemead’s elected aren’t the only city officials that have the election in mind.
El Monte City Manager Jim Mussenden said recent allegations accusing Mayor Ernie Gutierrez of being drunk in public are “political.”
Other city officials have said they wouldn’t be surprised to see Henry August’s name on the ballot – and their city election isn’t until November 2009.
August was the man who lambasted Gutierrez for allegedly groping his girlfriend and shouting out vulgarities while drunk at a public event.
August, a former police officer, did not return calls for comment.
Gutierrez, Art Barrios and Juventino Gomez’s terms will expire in 2009.
In South El Monte, conflict over travel budgets have some council members wondering whether that means their political futures in the city will be stifled.
Mayor Blanca Figueroa, who has spent thousands of dollars more than her colleagues in meeting and travel expenses, will be up for re-election in November 2009. Angelica Garcia and Joseph Gonzales will also be up for re-election.
Recently, some council members have been more heated than ever as Figueroa continues to go over her spending budget.
El Monte is one of the few technologically-friendly cities in the San Gabriel Valley that actually posts City Council agendas and streaming videos of council meetings online.
It’s no wonder than that a reader so furiously complained on Monday when the May 20 council meeting was still not up on the city’s Web site to view.
The reader pointed to possible conspiracies, and questioned the city’s motives.
A staff member in the City Clerk’s Office said she “forgot” to put it up – nearly a week after the meeting was held.
The meeting was up and running on the Web site within about 30 minutes later. A day after the conversation with the staffer, city spokesman Matthew Weintraub called with some concerns.
Apparently, the city employee was “distressed” over the post on the Leftovers from City Hall blog, detailing why the video wasn’t posted.
Weintraub said he didn’t want people in the community to think the city was trying to hide something.
Apparently, the female staffer who spoke about the council meeting video does not usually do that job. The office is understaffed and it was just an honest mistake.
We did not mean to suggest there was some mysterious reason behind the missing video. We’re just happy the city posts the meetings online in the first place – unlike others who don’t even make it easy to pick up a printed agenda.
(626) 962-8811, Ext. 2477, 2109