New city manager comes to Bradbury

Sierra Madre community and personnel services director Michelle Keith has taken a job as Bradbury’s city manager, according to Pasadena Star-News reporter Alfred Lee. Keith will be making $106,000 a year.

BRADBURY – The Bradbury City Council has appointed Michelle Keith, Sierra Madre’s director of community and personnel services, as the new city manager.

A fixture in Sierra Madre’s local government for 15 years, Keith was appointed unanimously Tuesday night and will start July 21.

“I’m really excited about the opportunity to help (Bradbury) continue to preserve the small community they are, and help them in maintaining their values as they move forward,” Keith said.

Donald R. Hopper, who has been serving as Bradbury’s interim city manager for the past five months, praised Keith’s selection.

Budget talks coming in El Monte

El Monte will have its council meeting on July 1, where they are expected to talk about the Ernie Gutierrez issue.

And on Wednesday, the council will have a budget workshop at 5:30 p.m. The budget has not yet been released, but the city is likely facing a deficit if it is considering laying off people as a means to balance the budget. The Council will hash that out at the Wednesday workshop.

El Monte City Spokesman Matt Weintraub said the budget document will not be ready until after the weekend.

Glendora’s deficit not really a deficit


Our new intern Thomas Himes reports today that despite an $8.3 million disparity between the $67.4 million in expected revenue and the $75.7 million in projected expenditures in Glendora’s budget, the city will not be in the red next year.


…..because several state grants were not taken into account.

“A lot of it has to do with grants we received this year,” City Manager Chris Jeffers said. “It’s a timing issue with when we get the money.”

Counting the chickens before they hatch? I bet they’re hoping nothing falls through…


Corky’s Corner

This just in from reporter Bethania Palma:

After more than 30 years, it looks like Corky’s Corner’s day has come. Once home to the Shangri La strip club and bar and a squalid building (known as the “medical building”) used as a flophouse for the down-and-out, the city of Azusa will most likely succeed finally in annexing the corner (currently an odd pocket of unincorporated county turf) and puchasing the property, with aims of developing it.

The corner is owned by William and Clark “Corky” Allen, brothers who have long been in disagreement over what to do with it. William has been wanting to sell for years, while Corky wanted to keep the place, with lofty hopes of building a homeless hospice of some sort. William’s continual efforts to secure a buyer for the land had been undercut by Corky’s habit of putting his friends’ names on the property title.

But after years of trying and failing, a superior court judge finally settled things by forcing the sale of the property after a civil case was decided against the Allens. And lo, Azusa stepped up to buy the abandoned lot directly ajacent to the “Welcome to Azusa” sign on Highway 39, cash in hand.

Despite the likelihood that a restaurant and small retail will soon inhabit the place the Shangri La and medical building once stood, some will never forget it. Hearing city officials and law enforcement talk about it, it sounds like something Johnny Depp’s Capt.

Jack Sparrow, Quentin Tarantino and Charles Bukowski could have come up with if they went into business together. Azusa City Manager Fran Delach recalled the time a Nordstrom’s Rack was considering moving into the intersection, but had an abrupt mind change when representatives saw the Shangri La in all its glory.

When I went on a ride-along with LA County Sheriff’s deputies Jay Heitman, Skip Pullee and Brayton Thomas, Heitman remembered a lovely young blonde from Newport Beach who in a fantastic display of self-destruction ended up performing at the strip club. Thomas remembered the medical building as “disgusting,” filthy with constant petty crime.

Even now, after the bar and medical building have been torn down, you can find many of Corky’s friends squatting under the bridge on the east side of the property. Most have kind words for him; he did, after all, try to provide for them in an area where social services are at best scant.

Some may say now that the corner will finally change hands, it’s the end of an era. Of course whether that’s a good thing or bad depends on who you ask.

Before the horse in Montebello

This just in from Amanda Baumfeld:

So, Montebello City Council Members Kathy Salazar, Rosie Vasquez and Robert Urteaga have all called a special meeting for tonight prior to the council meeting.

The meeting is closed session and the council is suppose to discuss the appointing of an additional assistant city administrator. The funny thing about the appointment is the new position is not even approved yet. It is on tonight’s council agenda.

How can they appoint someone when the position is not even approved yet?

When I first spoke to Salazar about the new position which will have an annual salary of $227,000 she said the person is meant to serve as a successor to current City Administrator Richard Torres.

She went on to say Torres can take his time, interview and find the right person. Just two weeks later the council is ready to appoint someone. I guess they decided to speed up the process.

Corona a no-show


So last night was the Baldwin Park Unified School District meeting and board member Sergio Corona didn’t show up.

Superintendent Mark Skvarna said Corona called him last week to tell him that the wouldn’t be able to make it. Corona didn’t give a reason and Skvarna didn’t ask.

I’m sure you all remember the “shirtless and sweaty” incident from several weeks back in which Corona was Tased by police after allegedly breaking some windows at a home. According to a police report, Corona admitted to police he had smoke marijuana and meth earlier that night.

Corona has denied those claims in another publication. He won’t return my calls seeking comment.

Baldwin Park police Lt. Joseph Cowan told me today that the PD has received the results of Corona’s toxicology report, but he wouldn’t comment on it.

The case is expected to be referred to the DA this afternoon.

They may tag, but they’re not taggers

10598-RonBeilke.jpgThe L.A. Times ran a story today on Pico Rivera Mayor Ron Beilke and the recent incidents involving his son and some employees at Beilke’s Wienerschnitzel.

Beilke makes some really interesting comments, including this one:

“The kids got the world against them right now,” Beilke said. “They’re trying to say they’re all in a tagging crew. There’s tagging crews and party crews, and nine times out of 10, you find out it’s a party crew. A few may tag, and all of a sudden, they’re all called taggers.”

First of all, should kids really be involved in any kind of “crews?” And second of all, the fact that a “few may tag” sounds concerning, especially in a place, where as the Times put it,  “has burnished a reputation as a city that goes hard after tagging.” 

More stuff outsourced to India….

What is the industry coming to?

OC Register to outsource some editing to India
Tuesday June 24, 10:08 pm ET
Orange County Register to use Indian company for some layout, copy editing on trial basis

SANTA ANA, Calif. (AP) — An Indian company will take over copy editing duties for some stories published in The Orange County Register and will handle page layout for a community newspaper at the company that owns the Pulitzer Prize-winning daily, the newspaper confirmed Tuesday……..

Alhambra’s gonna get healthy

I just spotted this piece of news:

ALHAMBRA – The Los Angeles County Board of Supervisors approved a proposal to
allow a non-profit Chinese-American health organization to expand into a county building in Alhambra.

The Chinatown Service Center will lease the now-vacant building, at 612 W. Shorb St., for free in exchange for a commitment to invest more than $8 million for upgrades and tenant improvements while establishing a multi-purpose service center, according to a motion put forward today by Supervisor Michael Antonovich.

The lease will last for 40 years, with an option to renew for two additional 10-year terms, according to a statement released by Antonovich.

The center will provide health services, including non-hospital care for families, children and the elderly, he said.

Wow, $8 million in upgrades? I wonder what the vacant building looks like now…