El Monte PIO position eliminated

El Monte city officials are eliminating 100 positions today, including that of Public Information Officer Matt Weintraub, reporter Rebecca Kimitch tells us.

The cuts, of course come in response to a massive $12 million budget deficit.

Kimitch, who attended a special meeting this morning about the layoffs, said Weintraub was sad about the news, but he plans to go on early retirement.

Meanwhile, others in City Hall will also be losing their jobs. Kimitch says staffing at all city parks will be cut to only one employee from three.

More to come in tomorrow’s paper.

  • Anonymous

    It is about time that the top heavy salary employeescare cut. This is all due tobthe miss-management of city funds. Gutierrez and Gomez and Ishigaki and Barrios made this all possible. They should of listened to Wallch during the last 24 years. Now we as residents will pay the price.

  • EM resident

    I’m really sorry to hear that Mr. Weintraub is going to be leaving. He is one of the hardest working individuals in city hall. He worked hard to try and make El Monte look good. He might have succeeded if it hadn’t been for the likes of Ernie Gutierrez.

  • El Monte Employee

    Matt Weintraub is one of the official’s that help caused this mess. Of course he’ll retire early, he’ll make more $$$$ and won’t have to deal with the aftermath of this mess.

  • Resident

    The staff is doing the bidding of the city council. You want to know who is responsible for this mess….look at the council. They are the ones that gave those huge raises when the city treasury couldn’t afford it. They had political favors to pay back. I sat through one budget meeting….the staff was telling the council we were broke….the stupid mayor wanted to know if maybe we could help the employees with their transportation to work, since we couldn’t afford to give them big raises. The city is out of money…and he wants to spend more. The council loved getting more auto dealers…no other shopping in El Monte, just auto dealers. Recession hits, no cars being sold, and no sales tax coming into the city. Penney’s is still selling underwear during the recession, but not in El Monte. We spend our money in other cities.

  • EM Employee & resident

    Weintraub- Hard working? Yeah right! This arrogant a-hole did nothing positive for the city of el monte. Just as city council & the idiot city manager. All five council members need to be recalled! These dumb a**** renewed this incompetent City Manager’s contract for 3 more years! Now el monte residents will be paying the City Manager to continue to bring down El Monte! Thanks a lot Gutierrez, Gomez, Wallach, Barrios, and Ishigaki! I wonder what dirt he must have on all 5 members that they are being very generous with DUMBO!

    The only thing we have to look forward is this November when Guitierrez, Gomez and Barrios are REPLACED by new council members. And in 2 more years we can also kick Wallach & Ishigaki to the curb.

  • Anonymous

    Voters::: Keep your eyes open next Elections in November…Emily is running for Mayor, or useless Mayor Ernie is running again and Gomez and Barrios coming back..They all should do our City a Favor by just packing up and leave and they donot have to wait until November…I think is time to bring back another useless ex Chief Weldon because he was telling them what to do and gave them the orders to give him a big raise so he could retire..I guess he did not do a good job by manipulating them for over 5 years….And Mr. Mussendem if you want to save money you can reorganize Code Enforcement and put it back where it was before and that will save the overlap of at least 2 supervisors…Weldon was the one to ask for code enforcement transfer but he is gone finaly and made the city a favor but left with $200,000.00 pension and
    why does he still coming to city hall every day?…maybe warming up to run the elections for the ones that gave him the big raise….Also they are warming up another 2 Weldon’s friends and they are Norma Macias and Richard Gardner so you know where we are going to be if you donot do your homework next election…

  • em Resident

    ALL 5 COUNCIL MEMBERS & MUSSENDEM should do the City a favor and leave! These old Farts need to retire before they crook at one of the council meetings. They have done nothing to make the City prosper. Hopefully, the City will go bankrupt soon so county can take over and maybe then these thieves will be removed.

    And though I am not a fan of Weldon, I can acknowledge that he is not responsible for the problems El Monte is facing. He is not that powerful!

    Its not Weldon’s fault that these idiots gave money (so called loans) to Longo, Titan and their friends that funded their campaigns. No one but a gun to their heads but they did get the big $$$ and got wined and dined to vote in a certain direction. Council members received so called endorsements & gifts (bribes) from firefighter and police unions, employee unions, and so on! Hello Conflict of interest.

    Regardless of who runs for council the same pattern is going to happen. Council and school board members priority is THEMSELVES! Hopefully, the next council members wont be as big as thieves as these bitter old farts. This November they should have an election to replace all 5 council members! Enough with these clowns!

  • Citizen Kane

    “Its not Weldon’s fault that….” ?!?!?!?!??!?!

    What rock have you been living under. Weldon and the police union have bankrolled the campaigns of the majority of those currently sitting on the Council. Funny how they now want to DISAVOW ANY RESPONSIBLITY for giving us these “leaders.”

    I mean they had NOOOOOOOO problem with any of these guys as long as they insured them of their CUT OF THE SPOILS. Now times are lean…in large part due to the stupid people they gave us……BUT NOOOOOOO….”it’s not Weldon’s fault”……B.S.

  • Another resident

    Citizen Kane, don’t forget Weldon’s old buddy, neighbor and former co-worker, Richard Thomas is running for city treasurer. By the way, Richard Thomas is a member of the over $100,000 a year club at CalPers. http://www.californiapensionreform.com/CalPERS/

  • Resident 3

    Regarding Thomas- I hear he has more integrity than this current CORRUP city treasure that never show ups to council meetings. All 5 council member and idiot velasco should be removed. I do not know who he is or the other people that will run for council but i will vote for them to remove any of the current members. its a shame we can’t have election for 6 positions and start off clean with new leadership

    in most cities, their treasurer fights for their community’s money, offering solutions and implementing ordinances instead of dumping the responsibility on others. The city should remove this elected position and hire some that is qualified for this position. This sleazy, will say anything, trashy sales will say/do anything bring down anyone. I wonder how much this guy is getting in city perks and the gifts he get in return for FAVORS

    As for anti-Weldon haters while you are bitch*** your mouth getting work up over something you have no control over,he is enjoying life with his nice pension for 5 years. You guys should that energy to run for council and change whatever you feel is wrong.

  • Anonymous

    The city parks will look like city dumps. Those who lost their jobs have lost much more. This city has no leadership that you can say of. It goes day by day.the people who live here will lose. It is not fair. They trusted the Council In turn he trusted the staff. Everyone passed the buck. Bit no one took responsibility. No one.

  • EM

    So is EM still at 10 millions dollars defecit? What happens if it goes totally broke? What services will we keep. The town hall meeting served a purpose. They needed to hear from us. This city can exist. Bit what we get in devices in another question.

  • Anonymous

    I do not disagree with the previous poster about a lack of leadership but I’d like to make a few corrections to what you said:

    1. The City Council has always been more focused on getting campaign contributions from special interests (e.g. the police union) groups than making smart choices for the city. This council obsesses over trivial things and is completely disinterested and braindead when it comes to dealing with imporant matters.

    2. The City Manager has been in way over his head from the start (he should never have been promoted to this position). To make matters worse he inherited alot of bad decisions from Juan Mireles and Harold Johanson who are now off enjoying their lovely city pensions. He has ignored good advice that has been given to him so that he can play a game of “work the council majority”.

    3. The current group of Deputy City Managers (for all the bad rap they get about saleries) have done the best they can with what they ahve to work with. Unfortunately, they are dealing with a Council and City Manager that have no professional standards and have no willingness to stand up to outside interests for the PEOPLE’S BENEFIT.

  • sport

    How are the Lakers doing?

  • Anonymous

    We are still out on the street. What about us the employees?

  • Anonymous

    Lakers 69 to 63. Yeah

  • anonymous

    the citizens of El Monte will never have a good council, until the El Monte Police stay out of the politics of the city and do the job they are being paid hundreds of dollars for…they complain that public works needs 2 to hold a shovel, well they need 2 to hold a donut….

  • anonymous

    the City of El Monte will never be great until the Police Department stops being involved in the politics of the city….money dumped into the campaigns of the mayor and council members (some) looks like corruption to me…why not get the gangsters to do the job(policing the city) that pays over $100,000 and let our politics alone.

  • Miguel

    We are sick and tired of the councils m lies. The city will never be the same. It will have some drastic changes. As long as we have enforcement, fire, senior and children services. Keep the parks green and clean as well as the city streets. We can function, but the council needs to make wise decisions. Whst ever money is left must be spent to keep the city active. That is all that is left. It is in their hands.

  • EM

    The city should have more meetings on the budget. We need to know what programs will survive the ax. The council can only cut so much. Maybe we should have three councilmenbers. That would be enough. That would save a lot of money. One city manager is all that is needed. Less programs less managers…..right?

  • Anonymous

    State laws says how many council people you have to have so let’s talk REALISTIC options not just nonsense.

    Maybe having 1 city manager and no assistent city manager is the answer, but that is not me saying I want Mussenden to be the city manager. Promote his assistant, send Musenden off to retirement and save money there.

  • EM

    Correction. What I meant was not to re-elect the three that are up this November. That would be Ernie, Emily and Juventino. Bring in total new persons. Keep Wallach and Barrios. Definetly get rid of Mussenden. He is stone drunk most of the time anyways. Just look at his red face and nose. The key will be new people. These three are part of the problem. Why return them? They managed to screw up El Monte for ever.

  • Charles

    I agree with your decision about who to keep. Wallach and Barrios have been the only onces who have dared to to say “NO” on alot of projects. But there is one correction. The the one’s who are up for election this year are

    Gutierrez (Mayor)
    Barrios (Council)
    Gomez (Council)

    KEEP BARRIOS. BE CAREFUL WHAT YOU DO ABOUT ERNIE. THE POLICE UNION IS GOING TO BE RUNNING EMILY SO SHE CAN WORK FOR THEM AND THEIR INTERESTS. IF SHE AND ERNIE ARE THE ONLY TWO RUNNING IT’S A PROBLEM. REMEMBER THAT IF YOU SPLIT THE VOTE EMILY COULD WIN. DO YOU REALLY WANT “JABBA THE HUT” RUNNING YOUR COUNCIL MEETINGS?

    DO NOT VOTE FOR:
    Norma Macias (She is backed by the police union),

    Dick Thomas (He is backed by the poice union plus he’s one of these guys whose getting a $100,000 plus pension from the city – he only wants to be treasurer so he can tell everyone that all the money has to go to the police union),

    PLEASE VOTE FOR:
    Henry Velasco (the police union has had problems with him because he questions their whacked-out spending priorities).

    AS FOR MUSSENDEN:
    Could someone please tell that guy to retire so that someone who actually knows what he’s doing can fix this city.

  • Anonymous

    Wallach and Barrios must stay. They are our only hope. The others must be ousted. Mussenden too. He does nothing but complain. El Monte needs hope.

  • Max

    When will the council do right by the people who pit them in. I hope things improve. I am selling my home. The taxes have become too high. Drivers tags doubeled as did my property tax. Some one better wake up at city hall. QUICK

  • anonymous

    Help Sos. We need someone to save our city from doom. I can’t afford the taxes here anymore. I shop in other cities. Sorry but I refuse to pay the price for our civic leaders mistakes. I am out of here. Adis

  • Anonymous

    I agree we need to clean house but lets make sure we CLEAN-OUT THE RIGHT PLACES.

    I’m NOT going to abandon my community. I AM going to support the those at city hall who have been trying to do the right thing like Art Barrios, Pat Wallach and Henry Velasco – these people have been warning us about christmas list spending for a long long time.

    I AM GOING TO CORRECT THE MISTAKES OF THE RULING CITY COUNCIL MAJORITY by VOTING OUT any candidate who supported ridiculous salary benefits or ridiculous pension benefits in exchange for political contributions….are you listening Emily?

  • Red

    I am fine with Velasco, Wallach and Barrios. Let’s get on the ball and make it happen. They may be our only hope.

  • Anonymous

    Be careful how you vote this fall. The cops are backing Emily so she can be their “yes girl.” They used to back Ernie but have dumped him – not because of his personal problems but because they see his personal problems as counterproductive to their agenda.

    They will probably try to run a one or two mexican candidates to split the mexican vote and insure that Emily wins…even it’s with only 30%.

    Any way you slice it, your going to get a police union stooge as Mayor.

    WE NEED A REAL THIRD ALTERNATIVE WHO WE CAN ALL BACK.

  • anonymous

    Then people of EM better be prepared to hit the pavement and some one not associated with the cops or the present council. What about a school board member from one of the school districts? If not we need to ship them in from the moon.

  • Anonymous

    Here is the List of the $100,000.00 plus pensions given to 18 people as of December 2008….12 of them are from the Police Department and we are missing our last chief Weldon which is making about $200,000.00 a year and rumors are that he is not making enough money so he came back as contractor 960 hours per year….

    The sunset to stop these give aways is 2018…and every body wonders why we are broke…This information came from Calpers Public Records Request.

    JAMES ANKENY 15,803.84 mo. $189,646.08 a yesr EL M
    MARK GIBBONEY 12,361.70 148,340.40 EL MONTE
    WAYNE CLAYTON 12,328.29 147,939.48 EL MONTE
    CRAIG SPERRY 11,717.25 140,607.00 EL MONTE
    KEN JESKE 11,475.63 137,707.56 EL MONTE
    GARY WALKER 11,285.46 135,425.52 EL MONTE
    HAROLD JOHANSON 11,108.59 133,303.08 EL MONTE
    WILLIAM SULLIVAN 11,031.05 132,372.60 EL MONTE
    DAVID WATERMAN 10,997.16 131,965.92 EL MONTE
    JUAN MIRELES 10,926.20 131,114.40 EL MONTE
    CHARLES FULLINGTON 10,800.54 129,606.48 EL MONTE
    EDWARD PAWASARAT 10,350.64 124,207.68 EL MONTE
    RICHARD THOMAS 10,074.38 120,892.56 EL MONTE
    CHRISTINE COLEMAN 9,928.46 119,141.52 EL MONTE
    STEVEN KRIGBAUM 9,830.57 117,966.84 EL MONTE
    JOHN BURKHART 9,493.64 113,923.68 EL MONTE
    GONZALO MONTALVO 8,804.26 105,651.12 EL MONTE
    LESLIE GEORGE 8,346.41 100,156.92 EL MONTE

  • Anonymous

    JAMES ANKENY (cop)
    MARK GIBBONEY (cop)
    WAYNE CLAYTON (cop)
    CRAIG SPERRY (cop)
    KEN JESKE (cop)
    GARY WALKER (cop)
    CHARLES FULLINGTON (cop)
    EDWARD PAWASARAT (cop)
    RICHARD THOMAS (cop who wants to be the next treasurer)
    STEVEN KRIGBAUM (cop)
    JOHN BURKHART (cop)
    LESLIE GEORGE (fireman)

    Think about it, they get 90% of the highest salary they earned as their pension. This means THAT EACH ONE OF THESE GUYS MADE OVER $100,000/yr AS A SALARY WHILE THEY WORKED.

    AND THE COPS ACTUALLY WANT YOU TO BELIEVE THAT THEIR SALARIES HAVE NOTHING TO DO WITH THE DEFICIT.

    B-A-L-O-N-E-Y!!!!!!

  • donald

    Wow. If $100,000 is the typical salary that means for a force of about 120 we pay $12,000,000 a year just on salaries, not including medical benefits or the cost of the pensions. That’s more than half of the police department budget right there.

    Good God, if we hire any more at these prices we will go bankrupt.

  • Anonymous

    Richard Thomas (Cop Retired on $120,892.56) and wants to run for City Treasurer…How are you going to explain to the people that you are going to save their hard earned money with the kind of Pension that you are getting and also that you were mainly officeboy for the last chief Weldon…

  • Anonymous

    So what if the COPS are running Emily. The voters are the ones that vote in the mayor and city council. Not the stupid coppers. They don’t even live in EM. The people better wake up. They are the ones that keep voting these dummies into office.

    Now what retirement packages do the councilmenbers and staff have? Starting from the top? That will be a real kick in the pants.

  • Anonymous

    With the Governors taking of city money El Monte is doomed. The council had better due their homewrok on what will be cut and what will be saved. We need to vote in a total different group of councilmenbers and a mayor.

  • Resident

    Our city needs to be saved no matter what. Services to the city come first. I would prefer the city contract with the Sheriff Department. The city would save money.

  • EM resident

    One thing about contracting with the Sheriff’s Dept., when a cop acts like a bone head and kicks a suspect that has clearly surrendered, the City of El Monte won’t have to foot the bill, when the city is sued. And the bone head who kicked the suspect won’t have to be kept on duty, because the city can’t lay off a cop who has filed a lawsuit against the city.

  • Anonymous

    The End of the Santa Fe Trail is more like the End of El Monte. Just give it a couple more months. Sad but true. Good luck to the cities employees who are caught in this darn mess. Remember Gutierrez, Ishigaki and Gomez who did this to you all.

  • Rudy

    West Covina PIO is next.

    Why not? I want to see what the gang of four have to say about this…

    Great news and good decision City of El Monte.
    When you cut from other programs, why not cut a position that is not needed at this time.
    Maybe in the future, this person can get hire again..

  • Anonymouse

    To the last “Anonymous” remember also WHO GAVE US GUTIERREZ, ISHIGAKI and GOMEZ….you friendly neighborhood EL MONTE POLICE UNION to the tune of $10,000 each in campaign contributions not to mention all the flyers, hit-pieces, robo-calls and the occassional arrest of political opponents whose charges were later dropped by the DA when the arrests were found to be bogus.

    As for going sheriff. Think about, it we have about 120 plus cops right now. At least half of them make $100,000 a year or more (that’s $6,000,000 right there). Let’s say the rest make $70 thousand (which is probably being very very conservative) that’s another $4,200,000. ON SALARIES ALONE not including benefits and other good stuff WE ARE PAYING MORE THAN THAN WHAT WE PAY FOR FIRE.

  • citizen

    The reason the same council gets in is because it costs a lot of money to run and you need money to let the citizens know what you stand for ..the pollice not only donate, but walk for the candidate, including telling the people what signs they can put up and quesioning the people why they have someone’s sign up…that is plain wrong and to me unlawful….

  • El Montean

    MORE BAD PRESS IN THE LA TIMES

    http://www.latimes.com/news/local/la-me-elmonte-cop20-2009jun20,0,3649377.story

    Thank you POA for making this department a laughing stock.

  • anonymous

    After all these lessons and comments about the Police running the City Council, this is nothing new it has been going on for years and i would suggest that we pass the word around and be ready for next november election…After November 2007 elections, the Cops donated $10,000.00 to each one that was following their orders and got a 22% raise over 3 years and now we the taxpayers have to pay them a total of a Million Dollars a year in raises..Not a bad investment…The Campaign headquarters with Weldon in Front is located on Santa Anita Ave north of Ramona Blvd. by the Ice Company or across the street from the Fire Dept…Also they use the Community Relations Building for the Storage of the Signs which is totaly ilegal but the City Council can not open their mouth because they are following the orders of last Chief Weldon…A man that barely made it to High School running a City and we do not know why we are in this mess….

  • Anonymous

    If you think the police are doing something illegal file a complaint with the DA office or send the information to the newspaper. They will investigate.

    This is the year we the people fight back.

  • Laid Off El Monte employee

    El Monte has laid off 100+ employees and still the city is employing numerous managers that are receiving $100,00+ with numerous perks for doing nothing!

    Why do we need Veronica & Alexandra in the Community Services Department when there are no programs in the city? The pools will only be opened for the summer and still we need to have these individuals employed to sit in their office and do nothing! Oh wait they are Emily’s friends!

    There are other employees in numerous departments including police & fire that are too old and are not doing anything; wouldn’t it be better to retire them and keep the young employees that still have the energy to be productive in the City.

    There are other employees such as the idiot City Manager that has done nothing but bring down the city. He never should have been given this position. He has no qualifications –and still our bigger idiots: ernie, jay, pat, emily and art renewed his contract for 3 more years!!! what the f is that about? He must have a lot of dirt on them. Still the average joe like myself who was doing his job with pride was laid off! they already have DEEP pockets what more do they want!

  • Concerned Citizen

    I dont think anyone can fault Henry Velasco for being prudent on government spending. To my knowledge, as a Councilman of El Monte in the 80s he was the only member of city council to refuse a pay raise when funding was limited.

  • To Anon

    Yes, the police officers who so graciously severed for decades (more than most can say for work, I’m sure), have been rewarded with nice pensions and retirement agreements. THEY DESERVE IT! After working for the PD for 30+ years in most cases, wouldn’t YOU want some money coming in for all your hard work, and long hours? Go get a job.