Rosemead interim city manager on the outs?

It hasn’t been very long since Jeff Stewart took over the Rosemead interim city manager position — and he’s already got one foot out the door.

Stewart is in negotiations with the city of Los Alamitos for a permanent city manager position there, which means Rosemead could be out of a CM really soon.

Stewart took over after Oliver Chi resigned earlier this month, and city officials said they had hoped to keep Stewart on permanently.

“Though our desire was to have him full-time in our city, we knew there was possibility he would be leaving us,” Councilman Steven Ly said. “Our goal was we needed to have a quick change in direction of the city to acknowledge the voters’ desires … If (Stewart) does end up leaving, I’m sure we will begin our search process sooner rather than later.”

Closed schools, Rosemead guidelines and endorsements

Covina-Valley Unified School District voted to close two schools, Covina and Valencia elementaries, because of budget cuts and declining enrollment. Read here.

New council majority, new guidlines. The Rosemead City Council looks for middle groud as it rethinks the city’s building heights, parking requirements and density laws. Read here.

The California Democratic Party endorses Board of Equalization Chairwoman Judy Chu, who is running for the 32nd Congressional seat.

Rosemead spends $330,000 for a ‘new direction’

Looks like my head was up my rear afterall, as one of our readers noted.

Oliver Chi got a nearly $330,000 severance package, and the council will offer Jeffrey Stewart, a former Rosemead employee and former city manager of El Segundo, as interim city manager, Rebecca Kimitch reports.

This takes the tally up to nearly $600,000 that the council has paid out over the past two years in severance packages to its fired city managers. Andy Lazzarretto got a nearly $262,000 severance package when he was fired in 2007.

But is the price worth it to fire another city manager? Absolutely, Councilwoman Margaret Clark said.

Asked if that price was worth terminating Chi, Clark said, “yes, to get a new direction, yes.”

Looks like Chi is out of Rosemead

They just don’t waste any time in Rosemead when it comes to firing people, now do they?

During a special meeting on Tuesday, the City Council will vote to “release a public employee,” and then immediately after, will consider “Public Employee Appointment: Title – City Manager/Interim City Manager.”

So, I guess that means City Manager Oliver Chi will soon be out of a job. We can only wonder how long it will be before the staff that Chi hired will be out of jobs, too.

Here’s the agenda.

Any guesses about who the interim will be?

Just speculating, but I wouldn’t be surprised if we see the return of Willdan.Former longtime Rosemead City Manager Frank Tripepi is now the President and Chief Executive Officer of the Financial Services division of Willdan, a company that was on Rosemead’s payroll for many, many years.

Tripepi is now serving as interim city manager in La Puente.

Insiders, what do you know?

Weekend round up

Montebello Councilman Robert Urteaga is being sued for fraud, Amanda Baumfeld reports. The lawsuit comes several years after Urteaga was charged with grand theft, a felony.

Cities across the San Gabriel Valley – except for Rosemead — are pulling the plug on community events like July 4 parades and Easter Egg hunts, Alfred Lee reports.

Gregg Industries is getting ready to close in a month, but employees are working just as hard as they normally do. And when they are out of a job, many are wondering where they will go, Rebecca Kimitch reports.

If there’s no sign telling you that you’re entering the San Gabriel Valley, how will you know? Well, one group of people is proposing that a bridge become the area’s welcoming sign, Nathan McIntyre reports.

Candidate list keeps growing

We got another one running for the 32nd Congressional District. Democrat Rafel Nadal (not to be confused with tennis champion from Spain) of Rosemead pulled papers for the seat. Here’s a list of other candidates, according to Los Angeles Wave.

Here’s Nadal’s press release:

NADAL FOR CONGRESS

NADAL FIRST TO FILE

PRESS RELEASE
Contact Lynette Bigelow – 323-230-5467 Ext 600

Los Angeles – Democratic congressional candidate Rafel Nadal is

the first candidate to return his filing papers to run for the seat

vacated by Labor Secretary Hilda Solis.

Nadal indicated that his main concern is Protecting

Social Security and the Department of Veteran Affairs.

Nadal Stated:

“It is a National Insult to the Taxpayers the poor care
we are providing our seniors and veterans. If elected
I will resolve that problem.”

Mr. Nadal is available for Press Interviews

Bigelow Associates
5786 Rodeo Road Suite PMB 150
Los Angeles. CA 90016

Bye bye Bonifacio

The city attorney known for his late – and high – billing habits resigned from his post as Rosemead’s legal defender on March 19, reporter Rebecca Kimitch confirmed today.

Bonifacio Garcia was hired on April 3, 2007, the same day that the city was slapped with a lawsuit by a former city employee alleging that former Councilman John Nunez subjected her to sexual harassment. The lawsuit was later dropped and there was a settlement, and officials have said that Garcia’s hiring date was just a coincidence that it fell on the same day the lawsuit was filed.

During the time that Garcia was employed, he charged the city more than double the amount it budgeted for legal fees. Garcia and Nunez worked together at the Garvey School District.

The City Council will consider hiring Joe Montes of Burke, Williams and Sorensen as the interim city attorney.

Fighting to the end in Rosemead

Former Rosemead Mayor John Tran was voted out by five votes, Bethania Palma Markus reports. So what happens next? I guess we’ll see at the swearing in ceremony whether Tran is going to try to get a judge to intervene.

The ousted first-time councilman is considering a legal challenge, saying some ballots were not counted because they were disqualified by the county.

“I’m weighing my options right now,” he said. “There were 112 ballots that were never opened and per the election code that can be challenged.”