Friendly reminder: Candidates Forum. Tonight. Glendora.

The seven candidates vying for a seat on the Glendora council will meet for a forum tonight.

All seven candidates have been confirmed to attend the event at 7 tonight at the Citrus Valley Association of Realtors Community Room, 504 E. Route 66, Glendora.

Incumbent Mayor Ken Herman – who is not seeking re-election – will moderate the forum.

The candidates will introduce themselves to the public at the event. Pre-determined questions will be asked of the candidates, who will be given a short time to speak on each issue.

The city election is scheduled for March 8. There are three open seats in Glendora with only one incumbent seeking re-election.

Not every door opens for a mayor

Covina Mayor Peggy Delach had a unusual excuse for missing Tuesday’s City Council meeting — she was stuck on the tarmac at Ontario airport because the plane’s door was stuck. This after the flight was already delayed.

Delach wound up spending a couple of hours in her seat before passengers were finally freed, and she got home around 9 p.m. At least she didn’t have to stay overnight.

Covina also adjourned its meeting in memory of Grant Parrish, father of City Manager Darryl Parrish. A former Marine and Yucaipa resident, Grant Parrish died Dec. 19 at age 90. The city manager said he had a lot of thank you cards to write after receiving well wishes from employees and residents.

The timing was rough because Parrish was in the middle of finding a new home. He had been staying in the city-owned house that will soon be torn down for the Olson Citrus Walk. Parrish moved into a new place on Badillo this week.

Rooster sauce gets a cookbook

49305-rooster sauce.jpg

Huy Fong Foods Inc., which is moving to a new location in Irwindale not far from the Tribune offices, is famous for its “Rooster Sauce” the common name for the company’s Sriracha Hot Chile Sauce.

Well, if you are a fan, there is now a cookbook centered around using the ingredient in various recipes. If you love rooster sauce, but haven’t been brave enough to try it in your every day cooking, this is your chance.

Personally I am a Tabasco sauce kind of guy. As for most of my friends, they love them some Tapatio Hot Sauce, but Sriracha has some major fans in the newsroom.

Email: | Twitter: @dgtedford @sgvtribune | Facebook: SGVTribune

West Covina doesn’t wait long to adjust council photo

Most city websites have employee and city council pictures that last for years, sometimes more, and are rarely updated. But in West Covina, it didn’t take long before the council members got together to take a group picture without now Assemblyman Roger Hernandez in it.

The new picture, showing four of the council members but not newly appointed member Karin Armbrust, includes Steve Herfert, Shelley Sanderson, Mike Touhey and Sherri Lane.


Car allowances in Alhambra, San Gabriel and La Habra

Just to follow up on the car allowance stories we have been running in the paper that showed El Monte spending about $228,000 a year on the benefit and Pasadena nearly $300,000, I just got a reply from Alhambra showing the cities spending amounts.

Only two employees receive car allowances, one for $500 to city manager and a $150 allowance for assistant city manager. The city does provide quite a few cars for 22 employees. The newest car is a 2008 Ford Escape Hybrid for the planning director worth about $20,000, according to city estimates. Another two Ford F-150s are worth just over $20,000. The remainder of the vehicles are Ford Crown Victorias that are about eight or nine years old. Most of the vehicles are older and worth around $5,000.

In San Gabriel, the city spends about $23,400 a year on car allowances and then owns about $30,000 worth in city take-home vehicles for five city employees. The car allowances are $450 to four executives, the deputy city clerk, the city manager, the Mission Playhouse manager, and the community development director.

In La Habra, a city of about 60,000 people, the city spends $45,300 annually on car allowances for 12 employees, including the city clerk, the assistant city manager, two finance administrators, and several planning or engineering officials. In addition, the police chief, two police captains, the director of community services and the city manager each have a take-home Crown Victoria – none newer than 2002. The water/sewer manager has a 2007 Ford F-150 and the street maintenance supervisor has a 1997 Ford Ranger.

Email: | Twitter: @dgtedford @sgvtribune | Facebook: SGVTribune

Weekend links and yodeling dummies

Did anyone watch the Miss America pageant this weekend? I would be ashamed to admit to it normally, but when someone’s talent is a yodeling ventriloquist act (you heard that right) or describes their biggest asset as being “racially ambiguous” (same person) how can you not be entertained?

Also, the quote of the night (besides racially ambiguous girl Ms. Arkansas, unfortunately I can’t find a video or transcript) goes to either Ms. Iowa with this line from her intro “Leading the state in ethanol production, my state gives you gas,” or Ms. Utah with “Tonight 53 women share a dream, not a husband.”

Anyway, if your attention was taken away by Miss America, or the Jets beating the Patriots, or the Golden Globes, then here is the news you missed.

“My sixth grandfather, Pedro, is buried here along with some of his family. I don’t want them dug up.” Gabrieleno Indians fight to preserve a burial ground where a Mexican cultural center is planned.

A Walnut veteran gives an update on the troop drawdown in Iraq. “As the drawdown happens, it becomes harder to get the supplies and support to the people, but it’s a mission that is very crucial and has to get done.”

The teen birth rate has seen a major decline, but the cause is something left to be determined.

Email: | Twitter: @dgtedford @sgvtribune | Facebook: SGVTribune

Is having Mayor Ken Herman be the moderator for the Glendora council forum a conflict of interest?

4157-ken herman.jpg

Was just informed today by those running the Glendora candidates forum next week that incumbent Mayor Ken Herman – who announced he would not seek reelection this spring – will moderate the Glendora council forum.

This raises a number of alarming questions that don’t seem to do any favors for the public.

I have no problem with Herman as a person and he has always been willing to talk about any issue regarding the city when I call. He has never hidden from an issue when I asked and even when the topics haven’t been positive for the city, he remained professional.

But having an incumbent councilman moderator a candidate forum may allow for some to question the political fairness, objectivity and neutrality of the role.

There are some serious questions that can be posed regarding actions of the current council and their impact on the city: i.e. Monrovia Nursery, City Manager Chris Jeffers, administrative contracts/benefits, union negotiations, and more.

Will Herman be willing to bring up issues that may be critical of some of his own decisions?

The conflict isn’t as clear since the majority of the candidates are newcomers with only one incumbent seeking reelection. But the one incumbent happens to be the only other councilman with a tenure close to as long as Herman’s. In fact, Doug Tessitor was part of the group that helped recall the majority of the council back in 2002, with Tessitor functioning as the spokesperson for the group that featured Herman, former councilmen Gary Clifford and Cliff Hamlow. Tessitor won election to the council the next year.

These guys are buddies. I can’t imagine none of the other candidates objecting because of that clear conflict.

Speaking off that, one of the candidates, Erica Landmann-Johnsey is well known by the council, and those who regularly attend council meetings, as being part of a group of citizens that regularly speak at meetings and often chastise the council.

In fact, Herman and Johnsey have had public disagreements that resulted in the two verbally sparring across the council chambers during a meeting. Now Herman will be moderating the first candidate forum for this election where Johnsey is running for his (and/or Terry Kent’s) open seat.

Herman has never been one to hold his tongue. At a council meeting, if a speaker is aggressive, insulting or highly critical, he won’t shy away from rebuttal, as he has demonstrated in the past.

If Johnsey, or another candidate, opines with a critical opinion of the current council – or even Herman – will Herman reserve his comments or will we have an additional debater in our moderator?

Email: | Twitter: @dgtedford @sgvtribune | Facebook: SGVTribune

Glendora names Castro new chief

Rob Castro, the current captain for the Glendora Police Department, has been selected by City Manager Chris Jeffers to replace outgoing chief Charles Montoya.

The decision is subject to council approval at the Jan. 25 meeting. Jeffers made the announcement today via a written statement.

“Rob showed through a very rigorous process that he has prepared himself on many levels to become a chief of police in today’s environment,” Jeffers said. “I am proud to say he will be Glendora’s chief.”

Montoya officially left his post with the department in December after retiring in 2009. He worked in 2010 under the CALPERS 960 program, but was still able to work full-time while the city searched for a new chief.

Castro said it was a post he had prepared his whole career to achieve.

“I have been preparing for this position for 25 years,” he said in a written statement. “I am deeply devoted to Glendora and it is an honor to be selected as the city’s police chief.”

The department is in charge of 52 sworn personnel and 38 civilian employees. Castro was selected from a pool of 41 applicants.

The selection doesn’t come without some things left to be resolved. A salary for Castro and benefits still must be worked out and approved by the council.

Last year, councilman Doug Tessitor vowed to get rid of administrative leave for city executives when it was reported that Montoya cashed out $80,000 in unused leave time as he often used administrative leave days in place of vacation.

Will the promise be kept with Castro’s contract? Tune in next time to find out…

New sushi restaurant in downtown Glendora

Replacing Pico de Gallo in downtown Glendora (which, I thought, served a pretty good taco) is a new sushi restaurant in the downtown Glendora village.

Sushi and I just moved in and councilman Doug Tessitor gave it his seal of approval at Tuesday’s council meeting. He did the same with the new sandwich shop Kara’s Korner Deli at an earlier meeting.

The restaurant is at 201 N. Glendora Ave.

Why is this on here? Well, because… I like sushi. How’s that for some media bias?