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.

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Do you still care about Octomom?

I know a lot of the Leftovers readers are the people the posts directly pertain to – city staff, employees, politicos, local politics junkies – so that means not a lot of comments on the posts.

People don’t want anything traced back to them, even harmless replies, in the case it could affect their job or political standing. I get it, no worries.

But for those who do read and don’t mind commenting, I have a question to pose.

Is Octomom, i.e. Nadya Suleman, still news you want to hear about? Or are we just feeding the beast in giving her attention?

You’ll notice the brief on the Tribune’s homepage regarding Suleman and her recent tribulations. Apparently, her attorney is now the owner of the home Suleman lives in.

But do people still care to hear about Suleman or have the legs on that story finally tired?

People often criticize the media for stories they cover when they don’t feel they are newsworthy. I don’t always disagree with those statements, but other times I feel it is the general public that dictates the news based on their interest and instead of looking to the media, they should look to themselves, their friends and neighbors.

I don’t know which it is in the case of Suleman. You tell me.

In related starved media attention news, Gloria Allred plans to end her hunger strike. From Allred’s “urgent media advisory.”

Attorney Gloria Allred who has been on a hunger strike giving up 90 solid food meals for 30 days to draw attention to the need to add the Equal Rights Amendment (E.R.A.) to the U.S. Constitution will end her hunger strike on August 26, 2010 at 11:00 AM at a press conference at the West Hollywood City Hall Lobby at 8300 Santa Monica Blvd., West Hollywood.

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

UPDATED: Rep. Gary Miller celebrates Social Media Day by joining Twitter


In my inbox today I was greeted by the news that Republican Congressman Gary Miller had not only joined Facebook, but would also be keeping us up to date via twitter, as well.

Miller’s first tweet: “Crawling out of my dinosaur cave and into the 21st century … Hello, Twitter World!”

The representative already has 39 followers at the time of this post. A sampling of some accounts he follows includes House Minority Leader John Boehner, Politico, CNN, Drudge Report, Fox News, other house representatives, and San Bernardino Sun reporter James Koren (@jrkoren).

What up, Gary? No follow back at @dgtedford? I also didn’t see fellow Leftovers contributor James Wagner (@jmswgnr) in there? My social media feelings are hurt. (UPDATE: Breaking news alert: Gary Miller is now following @dgtedford and @SGVTribune. I can now begin to pick up these tears.)

You can check out both of Miller’s new accounts at or

For more on Social Media Day, check out this The Awl post. I laughed and then I was kind of sad, and then I watched videos about kittens and all was forgotten.

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