UPDATED: If Measure A (Azusa Rock Quarry referendum) is turned down, could Azusa just renegotiate a new agreement?

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The Tribune had an editorial meeting with members of the Canyon City Alliance and Azusa council members Robert Gonzales and Uriel Macias today.

After listening to their pitch, an interesting comment came about during discussions about Measure A and the Azusa Rock Quarry mining project.

It is and has been the position of the majority of the City Council, Azusa, and the CCA that a no vote on Measure A would only nullify Vulcan Materials Co.’s amended mining plan’s development agreement, but that its use permit would stand. Essentially, the mining would be allowed to continue but many of the benefits negotiated by the city with Vulcan Materials would be lost (a fact that remains questionable).

Now, of course that all comes with the caveat that legal challenges – and you can be sure there would be one – could argue the CUP and development agreement are tied together and upon success in a legal challenge, they both could go down.

But barring that hypothetical, the question was posed what would stop Azusa from negotiating a new development agreement connected to the project if this one is rejected?

The answer, in short, was nothing, according to Macias.

The long answer was no one knows what will happen during a no vote. Litigation? New deal? It is all something of an unknown, Macias said.

“With (Measure A) we know whats going to happen,” if it is passed, Macias said. “With a no, we don’t know. (Supporting Measure A) is us taking control of our own destiny.”

But to me, that said that, barring a legal victory to the contrary, a no vote on Measure A could lead to the city renegotiating new benefits with Vulcan. Whether or not Vulcan will listen, is certainly a question. And the company would then be put in the position of having a significant amount of leverage.

UPDATE: Azusa Councilman Keith Hanks phoned me and reminded me that there is a one year “cooling off” period following a referendum of a council action. So if a new deal were to be struck, it would have to be done in 2012.

UPDATE TWO: Macias called and had this statement regarding the potential for future negotiations:

“We have done that already. We told them no when they wanted to expand to 270 acres and the first time in May when we negated it and went back to the negotiating table. We have in fact already done that.”

On a related note, I asked Canyon City Alliance officials if they would be donating to candidates in the City Council election. President Liz Ramirez said those discussions have not taken place with board members. Chamber of Commerce board member Mercedes Castro said that after Jan. 26 (the referendum special election is Jan. 25) the group intends to disband.

UPDATE: (I really hope this is the last one, I have received more phone calls on this post than any other.) Castro called me and told me she misspoke when saying the CCA would disband following the referendum election. The group will still exist, but may close its offices, she said.

Macias then jumped in and said he would not accept any money from Canyon City Alliance.

It is well known that Vulcan is a member of the CCA, contributes services and is the major source of funding for the group.

(An earlier version of this story identified Mercedes Castro as the Chamber of Commerce President. Castro is the former president.)

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

Kenline leaving La Puente

Embattled La Puente City Manager Josi Kenline is leaving her post following a performance review Tuesday night.

Many people speculated that Kenline may be terminated by the council and Kenline has been a target of Mayor David Argudo, who has often debated Kenline on various issues.

Instead, Kenline turned in her resignation Wednesday morning and Assistant City Manager Al Holliman will take over in the interim.

I wondered what would come of Kenline yesterday after it came out that her job was in jeopardy. It seems Kenline was constantly being reviewed by the council since her hire and was perpetually on the chopping block.

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

Will Josi Kenline be fired?

La Puente City Manager Josi Kenline is on the hot seat again.

There will be a performance review of Kenline’s performance during a closed session meeting of the City Council tonight. Insiders are suggesting that Kenline’s future with the city is in doubt.

LA PUENTE — The City Council will conduct a performance review of City Manager Josi Kenline in a closed session meeting today, and several City Hall insiders believe members of the council will try to fire her.

Kenline, who started a year ago after spending several months with the city as a volunteer, is in the center of a divided council and has feuded throughout the year with Mayor David Argudo.

Argudo led a council decision last week requiring Kenline to obtain approval before hiring and firing department heads.

Kenline has had problems since she started with the city. In her first five months on the job, she had three performance reviews scheduled by the council. In the past, she has asked for reviews to be done in public, but tonight’s review will be behind closed doors.

Her reason to ask for the public meetings is that she has accused Argudo of retaliating against her for personal reasons.

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

Herman to leave Glendora council. Could March election be the biggest political shift for the city since Herman was first elected?

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if you haven’t seen it yet, some fantastically handsome journalist is reporting that Glendora Councilman Ken Herman will not seek re-election in March.

The decision comes in a year where political ally Gary Clifford stepped down and his appointment is only serving as a fill-in.

That leaves two seats wide open on the council and incumbent Doug Tessitor left to fend off challengers all by his lonesome.

It won’t be terribly lonesome. He still as Herman’s full support in seeking re-election and Tessitor has been around since 2003, only one year less than Herman.

The pair stormed onto the Glendora political scene in 2002 when Herman, Gary Clifford and Cliff Hamlow were all elected to the council during a 2002 recall campaign. Tessitor was elected the following year.

The move started a changing of the guard in Glendora and set a political majority for nearly a decade. But with Clifford departing this year and Herman’s tenure ending in March, Tessitor will be the sole voice left from the once prominent majority.

How much will change is uncertain. Two candidates for council are John Fields and Jason Nagy, both of which are soon to be new members of the local Kiwanis club of which Herman is president.

In addition, current council members Karen Davis and Gene Murabito often agree with Tessitor and Herman on city decisions. The group is often known as a 5-0 council, even though Murabito and Tessitor love to joke about that distinction.

When I talked to Herman today, he said he hopes nothing changes.

“I hope it continues to be the way it has been,” he said. “I hope it doesn’t have a radical change.”

Industry stadium executive makes L.A. stadium battle personal

I will get to week in review later, but for now I wanted to bring to your attention a story in the Orange County Register where Industry Stadium spokesman John Semcken took the battle between their plan and AEG’s downtown plan to another level.

In particular, Semcken criticized AEG chief operating executive Tim Leiweke’s credibility.

“Tim’s a bad guy,” Semcken said of the man he once worked side-by-side with to create Staples Center. “He can’t build the building.”

In the early stages of this battle, it appeared the two sides would jockey for an NFL team and may the best man win. Now, it would appear that Ed Roski’s team is fightin’ mad about AEG’s downtown plan. It also points to the clear concern of Roski’s team that a downtown stadium is, on the surface, more appealing to most people – and probably the NFL.

Semcken, and others, have legitimate concerns about AEG’s plan that includes a skeptical look at AEG’s alleged price tag of building a stadium and whether or not downtown can accommodate such a large scale production. But will his personal criticisms of Leiweke overshadow those concerns, and, possibly, serve to make them look petty?

In related news, did you see the collapse of the Metrodome over the weekend? If you haven’t, watch the video. Amazing stuff.

The Vikings, along with the San Diego Chargers, are considered to be the top two teams most likely to move to Los Angeles. Both want new stadiums, and if they don’t get them, could be prime candidates to move to swanky new digs in L.A.

But this may change things. With the roof collapse, this could ensure the Vikings their new stadium, and thus take them out of the running for the L.A. plan.

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

Duarte hopes documents prove allegations false

There will be more on this in tomorrow’s newspaper, but Duarte has submitted a rebuttal to claims the council misused public funds by hiring a public relations firm to help with the Azusa referendum effort.

Duarte sent a large packet of documents to the Los Angeles County District Attorney’s Office whose Public Integrity Division is investigating the allegations submitted by former Azusa Mayor Diane Chagnon.

Duarte believes those documents will exonerate them from the charges.

According to a statement from the city:

“The documents submitted by Duarte to the District Attorney confirm the work performed by the firm was not related to the referendum but rather to inform Azusa residents about the adverse environmental impacts the Vulcan mining expansion project would have and to encourage residents to attend the Azusa City Council’s public hearings on the project on May 17, 2010 and July 6, 2010. Englander Knabe & Allen completed all of its work for Duarte prior to the July 6, 2010 decision by the Azusa City Council to approve the Vulcan project and therefore prior to the referendum effort undertaken by Azusa residents.”

Duarte officials have said they believe this is a political ploy by Chagnon – a member of Canyon City Alliance – to cast doubt on the referendum and attack Duarte.

The Canyon City Alliance is a group of individuals who support the new mining plan and advocate in favor of Measure A. Vulcan Materials Co. is part of the organization and is the main financial supporter for the group.

Potential Glendora council candidate plans to leave post at Rio Hondo college

Likely candidate for the Glendora City Council will leave his post at Rio Hondo college, officials said today.

WHITTIER – Rio Hondo College officials have announced that Dean of Public Safety Joe Santoro, who was overseeing the college’s police academy when it was suspended by the state in October for a breach in testing security, has gone on personal leave and plans to retire next summer.

Santoro, the former police chief in Monrovia, has worked at Rio Hondo for more than seven years.

During his tenure at Rio Hondo, officials said the police academy received a 2008 award from the California Commission on Peace Officers Standards and Training (POST) for training excellence and organizational achievement.

Currently, the academy remains on suspension following an incident where a police academy instructor discovered actual test questions on a cadet study guide, which college officials said they self-reported to POST.

Santoro has applied to run for Glendora’s council. With his history as a police chief and educator, he could be one of the top competitors. His sudden exit from Rio Hondo and the police academy’s suspension during his tenure could taint his campaign. At the same time, the fact the program was awarded for excellence can’t be ignored.

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“Machete” will take some hacks at Azusa’s annual celebrity softball game

Azusa’s annual celebrity softball game has brought out the big guns … er swords, um, knives? What category does a machete fall into anyway? Is there a brunch equivalent to knife/sword weaponry? I hate brunch. If it is before noon, it’s breakfast. But I digress.

The charity event to fund youth sports and collect gifts for children will feature “Machete” star Danny Trejo and C.H.I.Ps actor Erik Estrada, as well as various actors from “Sons of Anarchy,” “NYPD Blue” and “CSI: Miami.”

The softball game is at 5 p.m. Sunday at Gladstone Park Field of Dreams.

The price of admission is an unwrapped toy worth $5 or more.

There will also be some urban rappers on hand. I am going to hold the jokes and let their names speak for themselves. It is a good cause, afterall.

The urban rappers: Glasses Malone, Topic, Teck Holmes, Diamonique, Ret One and Paul Renteria.

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

I screwed up: Glendora council deadline correction

I erroneously reported in the newspaper today the deadline to submit papers to run for Glendora City Council was Monday. I was wrong. I’m sorry.

The confusion arose due to the fact the deadline is different for various cities. The difference comes down to this: some cities are open Friday, some are not.

For example, Azusa is closed on Fridays so the city’s deadline is Monday. Glendora is open Fridays, so the deadline is this week, instead.

One caveat to everything I just said: It is almost a certainty that Glendora’s deadline will be extended. The rule is that if no incumbent applies to be reelected, the deadline to apply for council is extended. In this case, while Ken Herman and Doug Tessitor will most likely run for reelection, Terry Kent most certainly will not.

When Kent applied to be appointed to council earlier this year to replace the vacant seat left by Gary Clifford, he vowed not to run. It was a condition the council was looking for in an appointed person. Kent, if he intends to fulfill that promise, would then not seek election to the seat thus forcing an extension of the deadline.

The new deadline would be Dec. 15.

Diamond Bar selects new mayor, mayor pro tem

Diamond Bar planned the annual musical chairs with the mayor/mayor pro tem positions Tuesday.

The Diamond City Council on Tuesday night selected Steve Tye as mayor and Ling-Ling Chang as mayor pro tem.

Tye, who was first elected in November 2005 and re-elected in 2009, replaces Carol Herrera. This is his second term as mayor, first serving from 1997 to 1998.

Chang, first elected in November 2009, previously served on the Walnut Valley Water District Board of Directors and worked in the education field. This will be her first term serving as mayor pro tem.

Still on the council are Herrera, Ron Everett and Jack Tanaka.

The positions are largely honorary and many councils, such as Glendora and Duarte, exchange the positions on a yearly or biennial basis. For all intensive purposes, it is mostly done to choose a person who runs the council meetings. On a more nuanced basis, council members often turn to the mayor as a spokesperson for the city and the positions are used by some council members as a display of pride, leadership, or accomplishment.

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