Employee perk could get the axe ***Update


I’m writing a story for tomorrow’s paper about employee holiday gift cards in La Puente. Looks like they might be on the chopping block because of budget constraints…..

The City Council will consider Tuesday eliminating annual employee holiday gift cards in an effort to save more than $4,000 annually.

The city has been handing out the gift cards at the end of each calendar year since 1999. It began as an alternative to a holiday party, and cost the city about $1,700 in its first year when employees were getting $50 each, according to city staff reports.

In 2005, the amounts were increased to $75 for full-time employees and $25 for part-time employees despite the fact that the city’s holiday party had been brought back.

If the City Council axes the long-time tradition, city coffers would save an extra $4,230 this fiscal year, staff reports show.

What do you guys think? Fiscal responsibility or penny pinching?


***I just got off the phone with officials in Whittier and Pasadena. I wanted to get a feel for whether or SGV cities were cutting back on holiday employee perks. It looks like they’re not.

Both Whittier and Pasadena provide holiday breakfasts for their employees. Whittier Assistant City Manager Nancy Mendez said most of the preparation is done in-house, so it doesn’t cost much.

Pasadena spokeswoman Ann Erdman said her city’s holiday party would be scaled back, but not cancelled.

Both cities offer no holiday bonuses to employees.

“There are (non) … that go to employees on the taxpayers’ dimes or anybody else’s for that matter,” Erdman said. “I’ve never heard of such a thing.”


  • Anonymous

    Maybe they could donate the gift cards to the kids in the previous story.

  • La Puente Taxpayers

    It should always be about fiscal responsiblity!

    These government bureaucrats make very nicely on their salaries, benefits and other perks (holidays, etc). This is all thanks to the hard working taxpayers, which the bureaucrats forget it it the taxpayers that gives them a paycheck.


  • LP Community Center User

    I really like this Council. They are fiscally responsible and getting things done. Good job people.

  • La Puente Resident

    No more cards. Enough is enough! Thanks for thinking out side the box. Many people are in desperate need for the holidays in these tuff times. They have a job and a check to take home!

  • Lois Maben

    Exactly! Kudos to the City Council. They are doing a great job

  • Bob

    During the last Council meeting which I listened to on-line I heard something interesting. Councilman Solis said city employees deserved their $75 gift cards. Councilman Holloway had staff explain that the cards had been intended to replace a traditional Christmas Party. Somehow some knucklehead let the union negotiate the party into the Union contract? Now employees get a party plus a $75 dollar gift card. It also came to light that only 40 employees had RSVP’ed for the party which required the City to commit to paying for 120 people. Holloway was right that employees should get one perk but not both. The entire council agreed it was too close to Christmas to reduce the perks this year, but will look at giving employees a choice next year: either a party or a gift card of equal value. Wow, nice to see someone thinks about these types of issues to come up with a fiscally responsible idea that saves money but doesn’t kill the Christmas spirit.

  • LP man

    Dan Holloway finally got his wish to Fire Cowley. Now his puppet Frank tripepe is doing his dirty work by working to get rid of the unions. Solis gets credit for standing up to the KING Holloway,.

  • Lil Ramirez

    How did Solis stand up to Holloway. I thought they both agreeded to keep the employee cards? I thought Cowley retired? I think LP man is a bit light with the facts. Thanks to all the council for keeping the holiday cards.