South El Monte Mayor says marijuana dispensary issue is done

Spoke with Mayor Louie Aguinaga about the South El Monte vote on changing its city ordinance on marijuana dispensaries to limit the amount in the city to just one. The previous ordinance allowed for two.

The council voted unanimously on Tuesday to approve the new ordinance, but a second reading and vote is still necessary. I was skeptical this was the end of the road for the ordinance since this issue has changed so often when it seemed the council was leaning in one direction.

When I asked Aguinaga what he thought, he said “It is the end of this one. It is done.”

We will see if that holds up come September. More to come on this story in tomorrow’s paper and online.

Glendora, El Monte and South El Monte council agendas

It is Tuesday, which means numerous council meetings are tonight.

Glendora: Big items include a discussion about the end of the Redevelopment Agency via its 2017-2019 sunset date and a presentation on the city’s strategic plan.

El Monte: It is another special council meeting with the only item on the agenda concerning a resolution to apply for a grant under Prop. 85 – “THE SAFE DRINKING WATER, WATER QUALITY AND SUPPLY, FLOOD CONTROL, RIVER AND COASTAL PROTECTION BOND ACT OF 2006.”

South El Monte: The big ticket item is a vote to put on the November ballot a resolution that would change the city’s municipal code to limit the number of marijuana dispensaries to one. The current code allows for two.

What you may have missed while you were dreaming of sunshine

A lot of national news this weekend dominated the headlines including the repeal of Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell and the defeat of the DREAM Act. While you were absorbing all that, here are some of the things you might have missed.

An ethics scandal may have ended former congressman Jay Kim’s political career and marriage, but in failure he found a new love.

Everything you want to know about the new smart meters rolled out by Edison.

As predicted, there was a shake up with the Water Quality Authority as a South El Monte councilman overtook longstanding representative Margaret Clark.

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Cuts coming in South El Monte

For some cities, things seem to be getting worse before they get better.

Faced with declining revenues, it appears South El Monte must make some substantial cuts to city services and public safety. Some $400,000 in layoffs is the recommended action.

Mixed in with that is the possibility of asking voters to approve a sales tax increase.

The way forward will be discussed at Tuesday’s city council meeting.

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South El Monte’s ninja team … err … City Council takes on sewer fees, budget

I was going to write a cheeky post about how South El Monte was going to discuss some foul smelling news at their meeting tonight, not too mention a sewer fee increase.

The foul smell was going to be about the budget, except… it isn’t so bad.

So much for being clever.

Anyway, here is a clip and a link to our update. More to come in Thursday’s paper.

And for those of you interested in more interesting sewers than South El Monte’s, there is always this.

SOUTH EL MONTE – The city council will discuss tonight the city’s budget for the 2010-2011 budget year and whether to charge residents a new sewer fee to help replace the aging sewer system.

The city was facing an estimated $414,000 shortfall between predicted revenues and expenditures for the new budget year. City staff has recommended cuts to make up for the deficit.

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South El Monte mayor throws in the mayor’s hat

21184-blancas office.JPGWith City Council elections coming up in November, we’re getting all sorts of information about who’s running and who isn’t in our local San Gabriel Valley cities.

In South El Monte, Mayor Blanca Figueroa announced Tuesday night that while she will be running for council, she won’t be running for mayor again.

Reporter Rebecca Kimitch said instead, Figueroa will be throwing her mayoral support behind Councilman Louie Aguinaga.

South El Monte gets a raise

I guess budget issues must not be a grave concern in South El Monte.

While the rest of the country grapples with an economic downturn that’s forced layoffs, company closures and other cost-cutting efforts, the South El Monte City Council has approved a 10 percent raise for itself.

Ben Baeder reports today that the council will now be paid $771 a month instead of $701, or an additional $840 a year per council member.

City officials say South El Monte’s budget is balanced, and the raises take into account annual 5 percent increases dating back to 2007.

‘The truth is the Mayor is living at City Hall’


South El Monte Councilman Hector Delgado sent this letter to the Tribune earlier this week. Among his accusations is that Mayor Blanca Figueroa lives in City Hall. Figueroa has denied this, saying that she has a home but has so much work to do that she needs City Hall to be open late.

Here is the letter:

I would like to take a moment to thank my colleagues on the South El Monte City Council for their support in establishing an “After Hours” policy on a 4-1 vote. The effort and thought that went into establishing this policy is reflective of the genuine concern to address the issue of safety and liability.

Our communities’ safety and tax payer money clearly outweighs a single person’s individual desires. I question the work that is allegedly being done by the Mayor at city hall after hours. I have repeatedly asked what work is being done at two or three in the morning by her. She has refused to answer me or any of my colleagues.

We as tax payers have a right to know what the Mayor is doing. I call on the Mayor to provide the entire council, city manager, and most importantly our residents written reports that account for the work she purportedly is doing and provide us an explanation as to why with a laptop, wireless card, cell phone, fax and copy machine she cannot do her work from her home.

The truth is the Mayor is living at City Hall. I invite any resident of South El Monte to come and see for them selves. Residents have every right to view our offices and know exactly what we are doing while we are at City Hall.

Lastly, I would like the Tribune to poll any elected official in the San Gabriel Valley, and ask them if they stay in their public offices until two or three in the morning several days a week.

Once again, I thank my colleagues, Mayor ProTem Louie Aguinaga, Council members Joseph Gonzales, and Angelica Garcia who understand that safety and liability clearly out weights the Mayors extraordinary accommodations.

Hector Delgado


City of South El Monte