Weekend roundup and tonight’s events

I hope everyone enjoyed their heat-wave filled weekends.

In case you were out enjoying your life, here is your weekend roundup so you can get the news and be an informed member of society and all that.

There is this whopper of a story where Glendora teen bartered his way to a Porsche after starting with a cell phone. (I know, I’m awestruck too. And jealous. Mostly jealous.)

When it comes to taking money from groups pushing for new laws – and introducing their so-called sponsored bills – Assemblyman Ed Hernandez, D-West Covina, stands out.

Three officers were severely injured when they were attacked with beer bottles while trying to break up a party Saturday, officials said.

As for the future, the Montebello City Council will meet at 4:30 p.m. today to discuss releasing Interim City Administrator Randy Narramore from his contract and appointing an interim to take his place.

And Azusa meets tonight with a second reading of the Vulcan Materials Co.’s Azusa Rock Quarry plan on tap.

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

Montebello City Administrator, Police Chief both suddently resign

Wow.

I have no idea what is going on in Montebello, but some intriguing stuff went down Wednesday night.

The Interim City Administrator and the brand spanking new Police Chief both left their posts. Neither had comment.

MONTEBELLO – Interim City Administrator Randy Narramore and new Police Chief Ken Rulon left their posts with the city Wednesday night.

Narramore was appointed in December to run the city after former Administrator Richard Torres retired. He also served as interim police chief after former Chief Dan Weast left in January under pressure from the City Council.

Rulon was hired this week to replace Narramore as police chief and began his duties on Tuesday.

Narramore declined to comment Thursday, deferring to City Attorney Arnold Alvarez-Glasman, and Rulon didn’t return phone calls seeking comment.

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

Study sessions planned for Montebello Hills

The city will hold two study sessions to review the Montebello Hills Specific Plan and associated Draft Environmental Impact Report.

The first session will be dedicated to the Montebello Hills Specific Plan and the Second Study Session will be dedicated to the Draft Environmental Impact Report.

Cook Hill Properties LLC submitted the Montebello Hills Specific Plan December 2007 to build 1,200 residential homes, a series of trails and a public park on a portion of 480 acres of open space.

Cook Hill is a development consultant for Plains Exploration & Production Co., which owns the property.

The study sessions will provide the public with the opportunity to comment on the proposed project and content of the Draft EIR.

Staff will accept written comments and public testimony during both Study Sessions. All comments will be included in the appropriate administrative records.

The first meeting will be held on Tuesday, April 28. The second meeting will be held on Thursday, May 7. Both meetings will run from 6 to 8:30 p.m. at City Hall, 1600 Beverly Boulevard.

For more information, call (323) 887-1477.

Intimidating tactics in Montebello

MONTEBELLO – Three council members attempted to attend a Montebello Police Officers Association meeting where officers rescinded an endorsement of Councilman Robert Urteaga, officials said.

On a 18-14 vote the MPOA voted Feb. 3 to revoke its political support of Urteaga as a result of a prior felony conviction.

Councilmembers Mary Anne Saucedo-Rodriguez, Kathy Salazar and Mayor Rosie Vasquez tried to influence the decision, according to three MPOA members. The MPOA members asked to remain anonymous for fear of retribution.

Salazar and Saucedo-Rodriguez waited inside the Park and Recreation Center, where the meeting was held, but were asked to leave before the meeting started, the members said. Urteaga was also inside the meeting quarters though he was not near the two councilwoman.

Vasquez could be seen in her car circling the street several times, according to MPOA members.

“They (the council members) said they were there to show support for Robert,” an MPOA member said. “They wanted to intimidate all of us. I have never seen anything like this.”

Terry Francke, president of a government watchdog group Californians Aware, said the council members did not violate the Brown Act because they did not stay for the meeting.

“The problem would start when the actual presentation or discussion starts,” Francke said.

The MPOA’s decision to rescind its endorsement comes after Urteaga’s felony conviction became public in October. In 1998, Urteaga pleaded no contest to grand theft of personal property totaling $30,000, according to court documents.

The criminal complaint filed by the District Attorney’s Office in February 1999 accused Urteaga of five counts of check forgery and one count grand theft. In a July 1999 plea agreement between Urteaga and prosecutors, the forgery counts were dropped by the district attorney.

Seeking opinions on Montebello Hills development

Cook Hill Properties LLC wants to hear what individuals are looking for in proposed homes in the Montebello homes, according to a recent news letter.

Cook Hill Properties LLC submitted the Montebello Hills Specific Plan December 2007 to build 1,200 residential homes, a series of trials and a public park on nearly 480 acres of open space.

Cook Hill is a development consultant for Plains Exploration & Production Co., which owns the property.

Cook Hill is seeking the opinion of residents and is asking them to fill out a 16-question survey.

To fill out the survey click here.

Montebello mayor wants questions screened

Montebello Mayor Rosie Vasquez has requested that when I interview her my questions go through a screening process. She said if I can not adhere to her “procedure” I can not interview her.

“My opinion does not matter,” Vasquez said Thursday afternoon. “I am sure you can get a story without talking to me.”

Below is a letter I received detailing her procedure:

February 19, 2009

Amanda Baumfeld
Whittier Daily News
7612 Greenleaf Avenue
Whittier, CA 90602

Re: Procedure for requests for comments

Dear Ms. Baumfeld:

Recently, there has been a series of miscommunications and incorrect reports by you and your newspaper relative to stories about the City of Montebello and attempts to obtain comment from me as the Mayor. I was extremely displeased with the report in a recent article that I was unable to provide you with an immediate response to questions you had on a certain issue due to my need to care for my grandchildren. As a former television journalist, I found that comment to be unprofessional and un-newsworthy.

In order to avoid future misunderstandings and in order that I may provide you comment on key City issues covered by you and the Whittier Daily News, I make this simple request. I would ask that any questions you may have concerning matters covered by you in which you seek a quote or comment from my office be placed in writing and forwarded to my secretary, Lillian Guzman, at her email address of: lguzman@cityofmontebello.com.

This will allow for a clear dialogue and will also prevent any misunderstandings from my comments as Mayor. It is my hope that this simple procedure will be honored. I look forward to our future cooperative efforts.

Very truly yours,

Rosemarie Vasquez
Mayor, City of Montebello

Who knew it was illegal?

So I got an e-mail on Thursday from a friend for Carlos Illingworth who intends to run for the Montebello Unified School District Board of Education.

The e-mail was an invitation to attend “Carlos Illingworth’s Poker Tournament Campaign Fundraiser.” It was sent from Jessica Mihal, who said she is IIllingworth’s friend.

Then on Friday (the next day) I got this e-mail from Mihal saying the tournament is canceled:

“Who knew – but apparently it is not legal to have a gambling tournament as a political fundraiser… :(

Illingworth may want to rethink who he puts in-charge of his political fundraisers.

‘Oh, I’m the Mayor’

There seemed to be some confusion at a Montebello City Council meeting Wednesday over the mayorship.

Newly sworn-in Mayor Rosie Vasquez repeatedly addressed former Mayor Bill Molinari as “Mr. Mayor.”

It happened so many times that City Attorney Arnold Alvarez-Glasman had to tell Vasquez to stop referring to Molinari as the mayor.

Vasquez laughed, looked at the audience and said, “oh, I’m the Mayor.”

Councilman Robert Urteaga slipped a couple times as well. He said he needs to get used to the new rotation.