El Monte top cops paid top salaries

So the El Monte City Council approved the salaries for a new cheif and assistant chief in preparation for the December retirement of Chief Ken Weldon. And the grand total: $429,000.

The new chief, Thomas Armstrong, will be getting $234,000.
And the new assistant chief, Steven Schuster, will be getting $195,000.

According to the story written by new reporter Rebecca Kimitch, “Mayor Ernie Gutierrez said the salaries – $234,000 for the chief and $195,000 for the assistant chief – are competitive among cities in the San Gabriel Valley.”

Aside from the increases coming at a time when the city is facing a $400,000 deficit, it also comes just one week after this story about the El Monte cop that shot himself in the leg.

“We have to have the finest Police Department, and they don’t come cheap,” Gutierrez said.

  • el monte resident

    Ms McLain, how do these salaries plus perks compare to neighboring cities? El Monte and West Covina are comparable in size, are the police departments comparable in pay?

  • SGV Tribune subscriber

    Why was the story about these salaries in the Whittier Daily news and not the SGV tribune?

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

    To El Monte resident: Great question. We are working on getting some numbers from area cities.

    To SGV Tribune subscriber: The story also ran in the SGV Tribune. I just linked to the one from Whitter Daily news because that was the one that popped up on Google.

  • El Monte Resident

    In a real Democracy, the Mayor have a saying of how much the Police Chief or any Department head should be making, in El Monte is the other way around…Also they have the guts to ask us for a 1/2% sales tax increase in November elections.

  • el monte resident

    Thanks for the response, Ms McLain! Some of us in El Monte are going to miss seeing you at council meetings, but some won’t. Right Ernie?

  • Concerned low income Retired Taxpayer

    Here is a nice statistic that will make open your eyes wide open..
    Los Angeles police department Chief Wiliam Bratton is incharge of 9,300 officers at this time and is making $300,442.00 a year, that comes to an average of $32.30 per officer…
    The new chief of El Monte will be making $234,00.00 a year with 145 officers, that will come to an average of $1,613.79 per officer, if this report doesnot tell you that something is wrong with our leaders in El Monte, I do not know what else will do it.

  • Passing thru….

    To Concerned low income Retired Taxpayer:

    After paying that much money to keep an eye on these officers they still manage to shoot themselves…..

  • Math Guy

    Concerned low income Retired Taxpayer based on you comparing Los Angeles to El Monte. I hope you won’t suggesting paying Police Chief Ken Weldon $32.30 per officer times 145 that equals $4,683.50 a year, $390.29 a month or $97.57 a week thats $12.83 a day. Thats similisr to what other dept. heads make the larger the city the better it looks when you divide by residents and worst for small cities. Covina has 40,000 residents but they have their own police dept. the numbers would look bad. You have to pay something for a Police Chief and you think $12.83 is ok per day. LAPD has alot of other deputy chiefs who make more or the same as Chief Weldon so your numbers would be off.

  • El Monte resident

    Mayor Gutierrez said that $234,000.00 and $195,000.00 for the Police chief and assistance, are competitive among other cities how does he know that, when was the last time he ordered a Report from other cities..
    Also if he wants to get reelected he needs to bow and say yes to the Chief all the time…This is El Monte, remember…

  • El Monte Fed Up Resident

    Mayor Gutierrez could care less about the residents of El Monte. He is too stoned out of his mind to make a reasonable decision of any kind. Especialy when it comes to the cities money and the El Monte Police Department. Where does he think that any city in the San Gabriel Valley pays their police officials what he claims they get? Could it be Beverly Hills or Pasadena? Where are these cities you liar! We live in El Monte, remember??? We are certainly not comparable to other high paying cities that are not in L.A County. Certainly not the San Gabriel Valley and not at all in El Monte. Maybe Orange County. Very, expensive homes, high paying jobs, educated mayors. Not drunken has beens!!!You are so full of your own unreasonable thoughts and reasoning that you sound stupit. Of course the El Monte Police don’t come cheap you, Barrios, Gomez and Ishigaki have fed them all with a silver spoon. They are used to that kind of money. What Cop wouldn’t be. What happened to the cities deficit??? Get real you four puppets.

  • A Hardworking Taxpayer

    We keep hearing that we lost 16 officers and that is the wrong information, they took the package and ran (Retired) thanks to Chief Weldon that he promoted most of them so they could get more money during retirement…Remember they run the City….

  • The Taxpayer

    Thats one hell of retirement pac. for outgoing chief Weldon. Would like to know the breakdown of before I comment.

  • A resident

    To Taxpayer:
    This isn’t Ken Weldon’s retirement pkg. These are the new employment agreements for Tom Armstrong when he becomes chief, and Steven Schuster the new asst. chief. The agreements are in detail in the agenda from the last city council meeting starting on page 46. http://www.ci.el-monte.ca.us/citygov/ctyclrk/agendas/2008/cc/cc091608.pdf
    The city council definitely paid the police dept back for putting them in office.

  • The Taxpayer

    I tell you one thing, the vote is no for the new “TAX” for the people of El Monte after they see this and hear it from the people that live here. As it stands the taxpayers of El Monte will pay out 7 million dollars into there retirement fund. Thats out of there general fund.

  • Taxes are Breaking Us

    Why the big hurry to approve these employment packages? We have 2-1/2 months until Chief Weldon retires. We have an assistant chief in place who should be able to step in until we have a new police chief. How does the mayor know that these positions don’t come cheap? Did he compare the pay and fringes to other cities? Did anyone do comparisons? Was there anyone else interested in the job? Did the city advertise the position?

    With El Monte’s current budget problems, the handling of this was completely irresponsible. Any elected officials or staff that helped push this through need replacing. To increase taxes and trust this group with more money would be foolish.

  • El Monte Taxpayer

    Answering last comment Chief Weldon have 3 1/2 months left but his main job is running campaigns for the Mayor and council members so they can come back and follow his orders…At this time he is taking an early leave to promote and raise money for the 1/2% tax that is coming in november. His pension is going to be around $180,000.00 a year, not too bad for a City that is broke. He needs to keep the money coming in for the big raises and fat pensions they get…

  • Anonymous


    Today we enjoyed the parade but should we call it children’s parade or Police’s Parade, we all know that Councilwoman Ishigaky have to constantly kiss them to keep her job and had to mention the council mentors Chief Weldon and exchief Clayton and looks to me that we are warming up for next election and they have to mention the police everyday and how great they are so people will vote for whoever they say and mudsling the ones that do not want to play their game. So Emily i do not care how you put, we the taxpayers are paying for the parade and keep buying more lipstick because you are going to need it.

  • Manuel

    Ken Weldon did get close to a half million to leave. Please if you are interested in changing our city (El Monte) send me an email to manuel@elmonteunited.com

    I have a newsletter scheduled to print for the second week of Feb. Need help with articles.