(UPDATED) Montebello embraces the red tape before divulging employee’s salary

Whittier Daily News reporter Bethania Palma Markus told me a neat little story today (it was surprisingly not cat/kitten related*).

In our continued effort to give a broad look at city employee salaries, I am writing a piece on City Clerk salaries that you can look for this weekend.

Bethania was helping me out by giving a quick call over to Montebello to check for their Deputy City Clerk’s salary.

But she ran into some resistance.

She called and spoke with Janina Medrano and requested, verbally, the salary for the Deputy City Clerk. Medrano said Bethania had to submit a public records request for the information. When Bethania tried to explain that a verbal request constitutes a formal request and the information should be readily available, Medrano said city policy dictates all requests must be in writing.

Bethania said she would speak to the city attorney regarding that policy. Medrano then quickly said goodbye and hung up the phone.

Transparency at its finest.

*Bethania Palma Markus loves cats/kittens and reminds us of their charm and beauty whenever she can.

UPDATE: Just got this from Bethania.

“Hi Daniel, so as I said I spoke with Montebello City Attorney Arnold Alvarez-Glasman about the public records request policy and this is what he said:

There is no written policy regarding the obligation to put public records act requests in writing, however it’s been the practice of the city to request that the public record act requests be put in writing
-To document the request
-To respond in a timely fashion
-To make sure records are disclosable.

“It’s been a practice of the city which is currently under review and evaluation,” he said.

Email: daniel.tedford@sgvn.com | Twitter: @dgtedford @sgvtribune | Facebook: SGVTribune

  • Reader

    THEN. Not THAN.
    It’s minor, I know. But you do this for a living.
    If my mechanic forgot to put the oil cap back on after a routine oil change I’d complain too.

  • Reader

    By the time this story was written and posted, the form could have been filled and filed. I don’t understand the point of this story other than to complain. Reporters are suppose to dig for their stories. So in the end, the same form still needs to be filled and I suppose if there is any story to report, it’ll be several days late. And I thought only city hall took too long.

  • Tango Kilo

    The point is that the oral request should have been sufficient. Asking for a salary shouldn’t take an act of Congress or a formal, written request.

    Meanwhile, concerning Berthania love of cats:


    The last one includes cute animals other than cats.

    Don’t say I never do you any favors. 😀

  • From the land of Betharnia

    Thanks Tango Kilo! Those pictures were so cute I almost lost consciousness from cuteness intoxication.

  • Tango Kilo

    Glad you liked them!

    I forgot a fourth site: http://www.icanhascheezburger.com