LP gift cards salvaged


The debate surrounding holiday gift cards for La Puente employees was a little more in-depth than I had expected.

I wrote this story earlier this week about city staff members recommending the City Council axe the annual holiday gift cards given to employees in an effort to save money. It’s $75 for full-timers and $25 for part-timers.

The gift card tradition started back in 1999 as a replacement to a holiday party, which has since been reinstated. Still, at Tuesday’s night meeting, council members voted unanimously voted to keep the gift cards — at least for this year.

Councilmembers seemed to agree it was a little late in the game to cancel the tradition, though, “I would like to see, as we move forward, that in the future maybe we can give an option to employees that they can either have the dinner or the gift card,” Councilman Dan Holloway said.

Apparently, the holiday party is a negotiated item in employees’ union contract. As of Tuesday night, only 35 people had RSVP’d for this year’s party, despite the fact that the city is reserving a room that can accommodate 120 people.

“I’m not in favor of taking the holiday gifts from these guys,” Councilman John Solis said. “These guys work all year long for us hard … We just gave ourselves a raise for $300 for faxes and phones for us and we’re gonna take their gift cards away?”

Looks like the employees are getting some nice end-of-year perks.