Tonight I covered both the El Monte and Rosemead City Council meetings. I didn’t think I would make it on time to the Rosemead meeting, which started at 7 p.m., because I figured I would still be tied up at the El Monte meeting, which began at 5:30 p.m. Usually, budget meetings are pretty painful. But I had more than enough time to make it to Rosemead, since the budget was passed in El Monte by 6 p.m.
A few people after the El Monte meeting said they were disappointed that the council barely discussed the budget. Mayor Ernie Gutierrez’s biggest gripe was about lawsuits filed against the city by people who slip on the sidewalk. He then referenced two payouts because of such suits: one that cost the city $40,000, and the other that cost the city $35,000.
The council members also “brainstormed” ways to attract national grocery stores. Councilwoman Emily Ishigaki seemed very concerned that the Blockbuster was closing up. (Hmmm. I wonder how much sales tax revenue a Blockbuster brings into the city each year.)
But as for a line item by line item budget review, that didn’t occur. And judging from the comments made by audience members, residents and employees, they are not happy.