Weekend in review plus some bonus football smack talk

Before we get into week-in-review, I want to take this time to put Chargers’ fans on blast.

I am not a Raiders fan by any means, nor am I am Charger’s hater. In fact, nine times out of ten, I root for the Bolts over those norther demons. But this weekend all I heard from Chargers’ fans was disrespect and comments about how Sunday’s game was nothing more than a practice game. I can’t say how happy it makes me when someone talks trash, takes a team lightly, and makes ludacris claims only to have them get beat. Best thing that happens in sports. You know that movie ‘Little Giants‘? Underdogs win sometimes, that is why they even have the word underdog. Let that be a lesson to those San Diegans who thought they had a stats padding day set up for them.

Here is the weekend news you missed, but should know about.

In Azusa, the potential affects of a Azusa Rock Quarry mining referendum are still being debated.
Two attorney’s involved in a Rosemead Wal-Mart referendum (one for and one against) take a look at the implications in Azusa.

After she filed a lawsuit against Councilman Roger Hernandez, people working for in West Covina claim public information officer Sue Williams is rarely at work.

In Diamond Bar, officials let go of a building officials who previously worked as a planning director in Bell.

League of California Cities releases a survey of city manager salaries across the state

The League of California Cities (doesn’t the name make it seem like a superhero group?) released a survey today of city manager compensation from cities across the state. Of the 468 cities asked to participate, about 90 percent responded, according to a statement from the League of California Cities.

If you want to see the survey, click here.

The survey includes notes on additional benefits, but nothing detailed. The salary totals are the total income for the manager from their 2009 taxes, rather than a base salary.

Some immediate things that jumped out at me was Daryl Parish’s income from 2009, which was a whopping $328,830. That sum includes a cash payout of sick and vacation time from a “previous employer” (probably Colton) of about 1400 hours over an 18 month period.

The city manager of Glendale, Jim Starbird, manages a city of more than 200,000 people and made $251,000 in 2009. Duarte’s City Manager Darrell George manages a city of about 22,000 people and made $215,440. Glendora’s City Manager Chris Jeffers made $234,000 for a city of 52,000 people. Robert Griego, Irwindale’s former city manager, oversees a city of 1,717 and made $235,502. Don Hannah, La Habra’s city manager made $171,903 with a city population of 62,822. Fran Delach, Azusa’s city manager, made $252,000 for a city of more than 48,000. Santa Ana’s City Manager David Ream makes $240,000 in a city of 357,000 people.

I don’t see West Covina or Whittier on the list. CORRECTION: Whittier is on the list. A gap on the list fooled me into thinking it was the end. I feel like I finished a school test before everyone else, turned it in, only to later realize there was a back side I never knew about. Anyway, Whittier is $283,346 for Stephen Helvey.

Are any other local cities missing?

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

Former Bell mayor skips local gala set to honor him, protesters go home empty handed

What an ungracious guest. When someone throws a party for you, you should probably show up. In the classic words of the formidable scholar Stephanie from Full House “How rude.”

You see, the former Bell Mayor George Cole is under investigation by the California Attorney General’s Office for some dealings he had while he was mayor. He was also on the City Council when it voted to change its charter that allowed allowed all those bloated salaries.

Anyway, apparently Montebello’s Housing Development Corporation think highly of Mr. Cole and wanted to honor him for his community work.

But Cole skipped the gala. He probably had a head cold or something. It probably didn’t have anything to do with the media there or the angry protesters that were waiting for him outside. Of course not.

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

State Controller wants city salaries available online (what a novel idea…duh)

Well, it shouldn’t be long until we won’t need to file numerous public records requests to get the salaries of City Managers (like I did for this story) or for any city employee soon.

After the scandalous Bell issues and reports from various news agencies, like the Tribune, following up on salaries throughout their coverage areas, the state Controller is now looking to make cities post their department salaries.

I know what most people are thinking: Why wasn’t this done years upon years ago, like when cities first created websites filled with city information and council agendas? That’s a very good question…

Here is the press release from State Controller John Chiang’s office today:

SACRAMENTO – State Controller John Chiang today announced new reporting requirements for all California cities and counties, directing them to clearly identify elected officials and public employees’ compensation. The information will be posted on the Controller’s website, starting in November.

“The absence of transparency is a breeding ground for waste, fraud, and abuse of taxpayer dollars,” said Chiang. “A single website with accessible information will make sure that excessive pay is no longer able to escape public scrutiny and accountability.”

The new reporting requirements come after the City of Bell reportedly spent $1.6 million annually on just three city employees, and nearly $100,000 for each part-time City Councilmember. At the request of the City of Bell’s Interim City Administrative Officer, the Controller ordered an audit of Bell’s finances last week.

Under current law, local governments are required to transmit summary information about their revenues and expenditures to the State Controller’s office. Payroll information is included in the total amount listed for each category of program, such as public protection, health and welfare, and governing body. The data is compiled and used to produce annual reports for the Legislature. The Controller’s new rules require cities and counties to provide the salaries for each classification of elected official, such as mayor and supervisor, and public employee, such as city manager and county administrator.

City and counties generally are required to provide the information to the Controller by mid-October of each year. The Controller’s website will be updated annually to reflect the most recent data received. Local governments who fail to report timely could face a penalty of up to $5,000.

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

Lets play connect the (city attorney) dots (UPDATE: Bell/Covina attorney resigns from firm)

Just noticed that Edward Lee, the former city attorney for Bell who is also the city attorney for Covina, is a partner with the law firm Best, Best and Krieger.

You know who else is a partner with BB&K? Sonia Carvalho, city attorney for Azusa.

It isn’t necessarily fair to lump Carvalho in with Lee, considering Azusa doesn’t pay its city manager $800,000 or its city council $100,000 annually. But it is interesting to see how intertwined various city administrations are throughout Los Angeles County.

UPDATE: Thomas Himes just reported the news that former Bell attorney and Covina city attorney Edward Lee has resigned from BB&K.

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

(Announcer voice) And now… Weekend Roundup (dun dun)

After a survey of city manager salaries across the San Gabriel Valley, Pasadena and Whittier areas (coverage area for our three newspapers) none are making Bell type salaries, but no one is going hungry (or without a six figure salary) either.

Baldwin Park City Council members said Friday they want to hear from citizens before drafting a vehicle impound policy for the Police Department. Baldwin Park police Chief Lili Hadsell is scheduled to brief the council Wednesday on her department’s vehicle impound policies, according to city documents.

And yet another story that shows what goes around, probably came around because of Bell.

Amid revelations that Bell city officials skirted state salary limits by becoming a charter city, Covina council members are shying away from the idea, which was up for their consideration.

UPDATED: Local FYI: Azusa has gone dark, that is to say, they canceled their council meetings in August. La Verne canceled tonight’s council meeting, but will be meeting again on Aug. 16.

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

Glendora sets a standard for department head’s raises, should you go all Bell on them?

In tomorrow’s paper there will be a story about a new salary schedule for department heads in Glendora.

The issue has become something of a controversy, in part because the city is in the midst of heated negotiations with its employee’s association (which is none to happy with this plan) and also because of Bell.

Anything with the words “city” “employee” “salaries” is going to be heavily scrutinized right now, which makes it harder to decipher if an idea is good or not. People are going to hear the word “raise” concerning a city employee and automatically jump out of their seat. Talk about themselves getting a raise at their 9-5, and it would be a different story.

I am not saying Glendora’s plan is either good or bad, innovative or not. But in times like these, sometimes the assessment of issues is better under objective eyes than reactionary emotions.

As for the plan, you can decide for yourself when you read about it in tomorrow’s newspaper. Here is a glimpse.

GLENDORA — The City Council unanimously approved a pay raise schedule for department heads to increase transparency and incentives for those positions.

The plan sets up a method and schedule for raises for eight city department heads: community services director, deputy city manager, finance director, library director, planning director, police chief, public works director and city clerk.

Previously, raises for department heads were at the discretion of the city manager and could be done without the public’s knowledge, City Manager Chris Jeffers said.

“I have felt uneasy with that much potential leeway,” Jeffers said. “I am trying to bring some transparency … and this was all started before Bell.”

City employee salaries have been under scrutiny in the wake of the pay scandal in Bell, where it was found that the city manager was making close to $800,000, and others were receiving salaries far above the average for their positions.

But opponents of Glendora’s new salary schedule believe the plan is a way for the city to ensure higher salaries for department heads while the city has laid off employees.

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

UPDATED: No Bell type salaries in local San Gabriel Valley cities

The reporting staff here at the Tribune came together like the A Team … no wait … The Justice League (way more fitting) to check in on local cities to see what the City Managers and City Councils are making in the wake of news reports about the city of Bell’s City Manager making something like $800,000.

Here is the rundown. (Note: most of us had this information on hand as we regularly check on these things. In cases we didn’t, the city handed over the information readily)

Glendora City Manager Chris Jeffers makes $201,816 annually.

La Verne’s (soon to be retired) City Manager Martin Lomeli makes $194,580 annually. (Side note: La Verne City Council just passed an ordinance for City Manager pay with $160,600 as the base pay with $195,000 at the peak)

San Dimas City Manager Blaine Michaelis makes $196,452 a year.

Azusa City Manager Fran Delach is paid $212,483 annually. (He got a 5 percent raise at the beginning of this year)

Rosemead City Manager Jeffrey Allred gets $175,000 a year.

El Monte City Manager Rene Bobadilla makes $170,000 a year.

South El Monte City Manager Tony Ybarra takes in $120,000 a year.

Covina’s Daryl Parrish’s annual salary is $199,500.

West Covina’s Andrew Pasmant gets $223,656 a year. (UPDATE: Councilman Mike Touhey called to tell me that Pasmant took the equivalent of a 5-percent pay cut on his deferred comp. That saves the city about $11,000, Touhey said.)

Walnut’s Rob Wishner is paid $196,650 a year.

La Puente’s Josi Kenline gets $160,000 a year.

Industry City Manager Kevin Radecki takes in $158,133 a year.

Diamond Bar’s James DeStefano’s salary is about $194,000 a year.

Baldwin Park’s Chief Executive Officer made $152,000 a year in 2006, up to $800 a month in lodging, $1,200 a month in health and dental – reimbursed in cash if not all spent – and $300 a month in vehicle expenses or a city car.

As for City Council stipends, San Dimas councilmen make $620 a month while Mayor Curt Morris earns $830 a month.

In La Verne, the city council brings in $519 a month and is entitled to the same benefits as executive management employees. Council woman Robin Carder and Mayor Don Kendrick waived those benefits. In addition, the redevelopment agency pays $30 per meeting. City Clerk Evelyn Clark said they meet about four time per year.

Glendora council members bring in $700 a month.

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