La Verne’s job openings

I have noticed a few jobs pop up on La Verne’s website in recent days. Nothing fancy or high paying, but for those looking for work it could be a welcomed sight.

The new jobs advertised include maintenance worker and two recreation leader positions. Other jobs available (that have also been posted for a considerable amount of time) are crossing guard and reserve police officer.

For more on the jobs, visit La Verne’s city website.

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La Verne City Manager leaving his post (no, not for Miami)

We reported yesterday that long time La Verne City Manager Martin Lomeli was packing away the briefcase and moving on. The 23 year City Manager is retiring next month and will be replaced by Assistant City Manager Bob Russi.

In a day in age when City Managers last at one city about as long as star athletes do with one team, (Lebron reference #1) it is absolutely unheard of to have a City Manager retire after spending 23 years at his post, not to mention 30 years with the city as an employee as Lomeli has done.

He left the post gracefully, and humbly without making a big tada about it (that’s #2) using a written statement to the city and a replacement groomed and ready to go.

Just as a comparison. Chris Jeffers in Glendora started in 2007, before that he was with Monterey Park.

Fran Delach, Azusa’s City Manager, has been with them for five years. Before that he was the City Manager in Covina for six years.

Blaine Michaelis in San Dimas has had a long tenure with the city at 10 years.

Covina’s City Manager Daryl Parish started there in 2009, before that he was City Manager of Colton for 8 years.

El Monte fired their City Manager not long ago and is now being helmed by Rene Bobadilla. Rosemead is breaking in a new City Manager. La Puente and Monterey Park … well, you get the idea.

Suffice it to say, it speaks to Lomeli’s work with La Verne that he lasted as long as he did. Also, it says something about loyalty for a guy who, various city officials say, was renowned across the state as one of the best at his business. We all know that it is hard for some people when they are considered to be one of the best to not be consumed by ego (trifecta!).

Also, you got to respect the fact he didn’t make the decision during a one hour TV special. (All right, I’m done.)

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La Verne’s Johnson steps down from redevelopment agency


La Verne councilman Steven Johnson recently resigned from his post on the city’s redevelopment agency after he purchased property that conflicted him out.

Being conflicted out isn’t an unusual thing (or issue) for La Verne’s council members. Councilwomen Donna Redman Nasmyth and Robin Carder both work at the University of La Verne and are conflicted out of votes concerning the school.

Mayor Don Kendrick has a business in La Verne and can be conflicted out of votes that concern property near to his offices, and Johnson has a business in the city as well that puts him in the same situation.

Not to mention, there was that court battle concerning Johnson’s potential conflicts of interest. He was found not guilty. The property that has now conflicted him out of the redevelopment agency was also part of the case against Johnson in 2007.

This time, Johnson opted to step down (he was actually required) from his position to avoid any conflict.

Council members often serve as the city’s redevelopment agency as well, but in this case, La Verne will be one of the few cities with someone other than a council member on the agency.

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La Verne councilman found not guilty

Steven Johnson not guilty, jury finds…

La Verne councilman found not guilty
By Daniel Tedford, Staff Writer
Posted: 06/30/2009 11:51:08 AM PDT

WEST COVINA – A jury has found a La Verne councilman not guilty of conflict of interest charges, court officials said.

Steven Johnson was on trial in connection with a 2007 vote concerning the University of La Verne expansion and master plan.

Johnson owns property and a business near the university and a satellite office. State law prohibits council members from voting on matters in which they would benefit from an outcome.
Often referred to as the “one penny” rule, members are advised not to vote on projects within 500 feet of their property, even if it benefits them by only one penny.

The jury returned its verdict after four days of testimony and deliberation.

Johnson faced a maximum penalty of a $10,000 fine, 6 months in jail and not being able to run for reelection to the city council.

City manager gets 10 percent raise

One city manager offers to work for free, while another one gets a 10 percent raise

Temple City-City Attorney City Manager Charles Martin, who gets $96,696 a year as city manager and $61,980, offered to continue working after his retirement free of charge, while La Verne City Manager Martin Lomeli got a pay bump to $194,580.

Temple City has 33,377 residents, and La Verne has 31,638 residents.

Alfred Lee reports:

TEMPLE CITY – As the economy sputters and cities dig deep to avoid cutting services, one high-ranking bureaucrat said he is willing to work for free.

Amidst discussion about his potential retirement and replacement, City Manager-City Attorney Charles Martin has offered to continue on in both of his positions – as an unpaid volunteer.

“I was contemplating my retirement on February 5, 2009, but that if the Council could not find a replacement by that date, I would be happy to return the benefit of my 44 year tenure with the City by continuing in office – even if I had to serve as a volunteer, without pay for a part or all of that time,” Martin, 84, wrote in a Jan. 15 manager’s report.

Wes Woods II reports:

LA VERNE – City Manager Martin R. Lomeli will receive a 10 percent increase of his base salary. The City Council approved the increase Tuesday night by a 4-1 vote.

Later in the week, Lomeli said he was “very grateful” for the increase. The increase was a management performance award, city officials said.

Lomeli’s pay had been $14,741 a month and now will be $16,215 a month, or $194,580 a year.

Johnson’s trial still yet to be determined

La Verne City Councilman Steven Johnson’s conflict of interest case was tabled again Monday morning.

Johnson’s attorney has had the pre-trial hearing continued more times than D.A. Jonlyn Callahan likes to talk about. The reason being that an expert compiling a report for Johnson needs additional time.

Last time, the expert needed 45 days and got it. This time the “elusive” expert, as Callahan described them, asked for 30 days. The judge granted it, but with the warning that at the next hearing a trial date would be set.

Johnson’s attorney and Callahan will meet again Feb. 17.

Where’s the (election) beef?

I am a little confused, but aren’t elections supposed to be heated contests between people who think they are doing a good job and those who disagree whole-heartedly?

Wild accusations, yelling matches, negative campaigning, snickering remarks, low voter turnout – these all all things I put with city council elections.

Not in La Verne.

All four candidates for city council spoke highly of each other. And not that – I am running a campaign focused on what I can do for the city and not against any other person – stuff. They each sincerely expressed the idea that each candidate would make an excellent council member.

Two of them have worked with each other at the University of La Verne (Donna Nasmyth and Robin Carder), they all know each other, and they all have great things to say about the city and the current council.

Where’s the anger? Where’s the disdain? Where’s scandal? Where’s Terrel Owens when you need him?

Here is a quote from candidate Charlie Rosales I never thought I would hear covering city council elections.

“If you are looking for controversy, you are not going to find any.”

I’m checking out.

Kendrick looks to be unopposed

While the nomination period for La Verne hasn’t ended until later today, councilman Don Kendrick looks to be unopposed in his run to succeed Jon Blickenstaff as mayor.

Kendrick is the only person to have pulled papers for Mayor and has already qualified to run.

Donna Nasmyth may have a tougher challenge ahead in keeping her seat on the council. Three other people, Robin Carder, Norm Faustini, and Charlie Rosales have already qualified to run for council, while two other persons have pulled papers.

Besides Nasmyth’s seat, Kendrick’s previous council seat is open for election.

More to come on the La Verne, as well as the Glendora, election tomorrow.