WHAT?!?!??!?!?!?!??!!

Reporter Rebecca Kimitch had this story out of El Monte in today’s paper. When I read the following lede, I almost fell out of my chair:

EL MONTE – The city’s budget deficit has ballooned to $4 million – 10 times larger than anticipated just a few weeks ago when voters approved a half-cent sales-tax increase.

How the heck did that happen? For months the city had been telling the public its budget deficit was around $400,000 – not good, but not as bad as some other cities. Now, all of a sudden they realize the deficit is actually in the several millions?

That sales-tax increase will do little to help the growing shortfall, officials said Tuesday, and the city is now studying employee layoffs, program cuts and sales of city assets.

Sales-tax revenues are down $2.7 million from what was expected when the City Council adopted the 2008-09 budget in July. In the second quarter alone, sales-tax revenue was down 17 percent compared to the previous year, according to city staff.

*****

Staff will determine whether and how to implement department-wide layoffs; identify programs that can be eliminated, reduced or suspended; and identify city assets that can be sold.

They will present their findings to the City Council at its Dec. 16 and Jan. 13 meetings, and members will likely vote on specific actions to be taken, Mussenden said.

Meanwhile, some El Monte officials continue to rake in substantial salaries, including the city attorney and the city’s top tier police department officials. I wonder if their salaries will be taken into consideration when staff studies cost-cutting measures.

And the big question: how could the disconnect between the estimated shortfall and the realized shortfall be so vast?

 

 

  • El Monte Broke Taxpayer

    Rebeca: The shortfall has been there for a couple of years but the cover up group has been working full time and they had to wait until the police got all the raises requested and also the OK. from chief Weldon to speak up and it is hard to believe but that is the way this friendly City has been running for years with no leadership at all..Gomez, Emily, Gutierrez and Barrios only receiving orders from the police dept…Do they have a brain or not? and last comment about our City Attorney we are paying him to protect the group that do not have a clue on how to run a city…Do not forget that elections to get them out and send them to Chief Weldon Beachfront house, are next november 2009…

  • Anonymous

    ooops, the omission of one zero must have been a typographical error.

  • El Monte Taxpayer

    Start cutting expenses across the board, including the Police Department, we should not submit to their demands on salaries, pension and benefits.

    If there are no money…layoffs should happen in all departments.

    Do not expect the taxpayers of El Monte to bailout the bad decisions by the council!!!!!!!

  • http://www.saveourcommunity.us Todd Kunioka

    El Monte’s got all those car dealerships, and auto sales have absolutely cratered the past few months. A multi-million drop in sales tax revenue would not be totally surprising.

  • anonymous

    Shucks! You mean all the fast food joints and the tacky little stores in the El Monte Mall aren’t producing enough revenue? You’d think with our mayor’s antics we could at least get BevMo to come to El Monte.

  • Lookie Lou

    El Monte pays their cops like executives. I wonder what is going to happen to their other city programs like parks and rec or public works? I think the people of El Monte should inititate a recall for the city council for lying to the public like that.

    Maybe the “amigo stores” will generate more money now since car dealerships are going down the tubes (like the amigo stores will make money for the city, ha!)

  • BP person

    Well it seems you El Monte residents have something just like our town. The higher up executives in our city all got raises knowing there was a slow down coming in the economy. Then you have a drunk mayor we have a drunk councilperson. I see you also have a corrupt and for the most part lazy DA office and we share the same county DA office which are a joke. This country has let the low life’s of the earth get into power because we didn’t take a interest in our city government. They have for years been developing all the key agencies together with their friends to help run them so everybody covers everyone’s ass. You need to do like our city start a recall now let the people know what is going on and then you will be ready for the 09 elections don’t let them win again by being lazy and I don’t care attitude. If we start by cleaning up our city’s then we can clean up the state officials next. I’m tired of these people who could never get a real job in the work force decide to run for political offices and win and do nothing but put us in debit and screw up our city’s financial worth and because they don’t know how to run a city they think just raise taxes the people will pay for our mistakes it’s not our money. Your so called mayor is a drunk,womanizer and most of all worthless his brain is so pickled with booze I’m surprised he can remember where to go for council meetings and it sounds like your police dept. needs cleaning up like the Orange County sheriff’s got I have heard a lot about the police chief over their and their code of honor deals it’s more like code of crap. It boils down to a corrupt city period.
    CLEAN IT UP NOW

  • From BP

    One thing for sure. Don’t be fooled by any business people in your city that claims they will be for,the people. Boloney. Especially carpetbaggers. You got store and business owners that want to tell the residents that they know how to run your city because they have a business background. Of course they will make sure that everything in the city benefits them not the residents of the city. Any city should be run for it’s residents and consider their business owners as it benefits the city not the other way around. Don’t let a good ole’boy mentality come in and run and ruin your city like what has happened in the past in this city. That will be worse than anything you have now.

  • upset taxpayer

    “ENOUGH!” Enough of the lack of effective leadership and integrity from all 5 City Council members, the NO SHOW, AND NO BACK BONE CITY TREASURER VELASCO, the City Manager that has done NOTHING to have the City prevail , some of the heads in City departments, and the city commissioners (they do not do anything, either). Enough with the lies (about the budget and other things) and the covering up Ernie stupid, embrassing, and at times very unethical actions as well as the other City Council members stupid and self serving motives. Unfortunately, City employees out of fear of losing their jobs cannot say what is really happening. The truth is finally coming out. THANK GOD!!

    What El Monte residents should do is form a Community Union were all residents would pay a fee and we would BRIBE City Council members just like all the unions do, oops I mean “endorse” and that way they will work in our favor instead of giving some lazy union workers 80% of their pension and high salaries. Maybe then they will do something for the City instead of their selves, family members and friends. Enough!!

  • upset taxpayer

    “ENOUGH!” Enough of the lack of effective leadership and integrity from all 5 City Council members, the NO SHOW, AND NO BACK BONE CITY TREASURER VELASCO, the City Manager that has done NOTHING to have the City prevail , some of the heads in City departments, and the city commissioners (they do not do anything, either). Enough with the lies (about the budget and other things) and the covering up Ernie stupid, embrassing, and at times very unethical actions as well as the other City Council members stupid and self serving motives. Unfortunately, City employees out of fear of losing their jobs cannot say what is really happening. The truth is finally coming out. THANK GOD!!

    What El Monte residents should do is form a Community Union were all residents would pay a fee and we would BRIBE City Council members just like all the unions do, oops I mean “endorse” and that way they will work in our favor instead of giving some lazy union workers 80% of their pension and high salaries. Maybe then they will do something for the City instead of their selves, family members and friends. Enough!!

  • El Monte Residents

    The entire city council will have to take a 5% pay cut. You all will also have to give up your travel expenses and perks that go with it. Cut out your medical, dental and vision. Do with out. Like the rest of us residents have to for a change.You all must lead by example once and for all. You must rise to the occasion and cut high paying salaries in the police department. They are way top heavy as it is. Please don’t try to scare us with your “insane scare tactics” either. We are so sick of that non-sence. We do know better. Four million dollars is a significant city deficit. The finance department tried to warn you all. But you kept on spending as if there were no tomorrow. Gues what? Tommorrow has hit us all smack in the face, thanks to your rubber stamping of the all “mighty police force”. Now clean up your darn mess. Thais is why we elected you all into office. REMEMBER!!!

  • El Monte Residents

    The entire city council will have to take a 5% pay cut. You all will also have to give up your travel expenses and perks that go with it. Cut out your medical, dental and vision. Do with out. Like the rest of us residents have to for a change.You all must lead by example once and for all. You must rise to the occasion and cut high paying salaries in the police department. They are way top heavy as it is. Please don’t try to scare us with your “insane scare tactics” either. We are so sick of that non-sence. We do know better. Four million dollars is a significant city deficit. The finance department tried to warn you all. But you kept on spending as if there were no tomorrow. Gues what? Tommorrow has hit us all smack in the face, thanks to your rubber stamping of the all “mighty police force”. Now clean up your darn mess. Thais is why we elected you all into office. REMEMBER!!!

  • Anonymous

    The city council needs to cut their gas and cell phone allowence as well as for the city managers and city attorney. Leave the employees alone. They are not to blame at all. The 4 million deficit will keep on growing, jusr watch. El Monte is headed for catistrofic financial problems.

  • E.M. Family

    The mayor and city council need to stop pointing fingers. Get down to work and call special emergency meetings. Figure out what must be cut to keep the city from going under. Financial ruin is no way to run an operation the size of El Monte. We all trust that the right thing must be done. You got your extra tax money on Measure GG. It will be but a mear “tiny drop of water” in the bucket. You got it.Now get to work.

  • EM taypayer

    The whole City needs to get their act together. As for employees, they are also part of the problem.I have witness several lazy employees, as well. They also do not want to be told what do, even when they are not working productively nor for the good of the City. If you want to pay 80% of their pension … go ahead pay it! But we should not be stuck with bill. You are probably one of those lazy employees being refered.

    By the way regarding ” leave them alone…” it is that person 1st ammendent right. just as its your to disagree. :)