Wendell Phillips, the attorney representing the Glendora municipal employees association, took a beating at the council meeting Tuesday night.
In the process of making a unanimous vote to impose contract concessions on the association, many council members questioned Phillips handling of the truth.
Watch for yourself toward the end of the council meeting video.
But Phillips may not have been fibbing about the motivation behind concessions made by the police officers association and police managers association last year.
Phillips has said that the POA and the PMA took the bullet for the employees association last year by making concessions with the understanding that the employees association would not have to.
At time time, Councilman Doug Tessitor called those claims “B.S.”
Well… I spoke with Police Officers Association President Michael Henderson and PMA President Sgt. Scott Strong and both confirmed Phillips’ claims to be true.
Henderson said that part of the motivation for agreeing to defer their salary increases as well as making other concessions was to avoid the employees association being hit. Henderson said they made their motivation clear to the city during negotiations.
After agreeing to those concessions, Henderson said they later learned the city wanted a 3 percent concession across the board.
Strong echoed those remarks, saying they made clear that they were making the concessions with the understanding the GMEA would not be asked to make the same concessions. Those negotiations were with City Manager Chris Jeffers, Finance Director Josh Betta and then deputy city manager Culver Heaton, Strong said.
Considering the council’s remarks from last night, Strong said there must have been some “misunderstanding.”
Councilman Doug Tessitor called me today and apologized for his remarks. He said he was wrong on that particular issue and planned to clarify that at the next council meeting.
“That was an error on my part,” Tessitor said. “I intend to make a public announcement at the next council meeting that I was in error and apologize for making that statement.”
Jeffers, in remarks to this newspaper, and in city staff reports regarding the negotiations, an argument made in favor of approving the city’s recommended concessions was that the employees association had not made concessions in the previous year.
The one thing that seems to be clear is, at least for this one, Phillips may have been telling the truth.
More on this story online tomorrow and in tomorrow’s newspaper.