EL Monte budget passed in 27 minutes

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.

  • Anonymous

    Jennifer,

    Judging from your “nothing but negative” comments about this story, I really think you need a man.

  • The Taxpayer

    We now have to wait till they try to put a new Tax on us. They will try in Nov. talking about it hitting a brick wall can’t wait. Poor Broke El Monte!!!!!

  • Anonymous

    Don’t you think what was more disappointing was that there were hardly any residents at the meeting except the same usual gadflys who show up at every meeting.

  • Anonymous

    Residents are afraid to show up to council meetings. Especially in El Monte. They have to give their address and then voice their concern. They all know that if the mayor and council are not happy or made to look bad they are gonna get it. They are harrassed by code enforcement and the El Monte Police Department as well. This city is run on imtimidation. That is why people are so afraid to show up, that alone voice their concern. Do you honestly blame them?

  • Anonymous

    Anonymous you should be ashamed of yourself. Really. You didn’t go because you just did not care. SHAME ON YOU. You make them, the Council, sound more powerful and omnipotent than they are. STOP MAKING DUMB EXCUSES and START PARTICIPATING IN DEMOCRACY.

  • E M Resdient

    It was less than that. They could not look the residents in the face. Gutierrez was lost as was Emily. They have been over come by guilt. They know that their judgement calls are lame. They both have lost all credibilty. We loose in the city because of them. And the beat goes on.

  • Anonymous

    I did my best to participate. But my family and I were herassed. We finally moved out of El Monte. It was too much stress for my wife and family. It is like living in a POLICE GOVERNED STATE. You have no idea. Just watch what you say or do. Especially around the “protected four.” They only have the power because the El Monte Police are their GUARD DOGS.

  • Anonymous

    herassed? Anonymous, have you been hittin’ the bottle yourself? granted there is room for criticism but you kind of commenting just makes those of you who oppose the status quo seem like cranks and conspiracy theory lunatics. Take a cure from El Monte Taxpayer, that’s they way to gripe properly.

  • Passing thru…

    Anonymous (#1, 3, 5):
    First we hear from you that no residents except the same usual gadflys….then you critize a residents who don’t show up. In your book if they show up they are gadflys, if they don’t they are paranoid wimps. With you the residents are damned if they do and damned if they don’t. How about telling us what your stake or view is rather than just critizing everyone else. You sound like a EMPD.

  • Anonymous

    To change directions somewhat, I kind of doubt Blockbuster brings in that much tax revenue. But it’s kinda funny, is it not, that you pay sales tax when you rent a movie at Blockbuster, but you did not have to pay sales tax when you saw the movie on the big screen?

  • Anonymous

    Where do you get off telling a person that they are hitting the bottle. Again some one tries to speak out and they are made fun of. What kind of non-sense is that. Every one in El Monte is aware of how the El Monte Police harrass residents. It is NO secret at all. They are not respected. They are FEARED.

  • Block-BUST-er

    Blockbusters have been going out of business in pretty much every community, not just in El Monte. They are being killed by the growing switch to internet movie downloads and services like Netflix. We should be concerned about the loss of businesses in the city but it seems like this is one business casualty that has little or nothing to do with El Monte politics.

  • Anonymous

    Residents should have the right to express their opinions. We may not like what we hear, but that is the “nature of the beast” especially if you are in politics. Not everyone is a gadfly as you put it. They live in this city, pay their taxes, and should be concerned about what takes place at city hall. The fact they they will now be hit with more taxes is a big concern to them all. Never mind those nasty comments. Consider the source. Probably one or their own.

  • Resident

    I looked at the budget and I see lots of references to “contract services”. What are those? Does EL Monte PD still have retired chief Wayne Clayton working as a consultant? If they do….how much are we paying him?

  • THE BLOGGER

    The biggest part of thr city budget goes to the El MOnte Police Department. It is 41% to be exact. That is unbelieveable. El Monte should look to contract with the L.A. County Sheriff’s Department. The EMPO is too top heavy. That is almost half of the cities budget. Not financially smart at all. Check with other surrounding cities that have their own police departments. Montebello, Baldwin Park, West Covina and Whittier. Compare to see what total part of the operational budget goes out for law enforcement services. You have the Sheriff’s investigate murders and detective crimes anyways. Thinl smarter for God’s sake. They can always be hired by the Sheriff’s Department. More money in take home pay and a great union, retirement and security.

  • Anonymous

    I must agree wthe Blogger. EMPO is a big chunk of money. Law enforcement is law enforcement, either way you look at it. Sheriff’d would be better. They stay out of city politics and do their job no matter what.
    Mayor Gutierrez is nuts. All he cares about are mattresses, couches and people who get hurt and sue the city for old sidewalks. Well ERnie put on your overalls. a sombrero, some boots, and get to work like the rest of us. Do something constructive for a change.
    Councilwoman Ishigaki is afraid to loose her video store. Get out and help Ernie. Stop watching all those movies and eating all those burritos lady. You too are out in space as usual. Get with the program. Make some intellegant cuts in the budget for a change. Do somethin….anything…please.

  • El Monte Tax Payer

    I watched the video on tv. Ernie and Emily are not smart at all nor the city manager Jim. I had to see for myself. I could not believe that they represent our city. They are not very bright when it comes to the city budget or the city for that matter. The budget is still in the negative, what a shame. They still traveled to Rancho Bernardo Resort for 4 days on us the tax payers. What a disappointment. They go and party with out a care in the world. Must be nice to have a vacation paid for by the city of El Monte and WE the Tax Payers.