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.

Part of a well balanced breakfast, don’t forget to add some weekend links!

I saw the Social Network yesterday. Good film, if not wholly accurate. Aaron Sorkin’s writing style – and the dialogue that follows – may not be for everyone, but I always enjoy it. Only a few more films to see before I got all the Oscar nominated films covered.

Anyway, you didn’t come here for my film ramblings (oh, how I wish you did), but here are some weekend links you might have missed while watching “The Rite.”

A 230-foot tower is getting planted next to some homes in Duarte. Naturally, they had a few concerns.

Glendora became another city trying to keep Gov. Jerry Brown and the state away from their redevelopment dollars.

No new taxes, is the familiar cry of many elected officials. But increased fees? That’s totally different.

Some thoughts on the breaking news out of Montebello, Monterey Park

The news out of Montebello and Monterey Park today is pretty astounding.

First in Monterey Park we learned that former Police Chief Jones Moy cashed in $372,559 in unused sick, vacation and holiday pay before he retired last year.

And for the cherry on the cake, he filed for workers compensation benefits in the months before he left.

Cashing in benefits like this by department managers is going to be an issue in the future, I predict. So many cities are appealing to candidates with large benefit packages, such as a months worth of vacation that can be saved year to year. Plus, many of these same managers already get a certain amount of administrative leave hours (often more than two weeks a year like Glendora’s new chief will get) so they can take a two week vacation and not have touched their paid vacation time.

Work for a city for a city for 12+ years while saving a month’s worth of vacation/sick time each year and suddenly you retire with your CALPERS benefits with the retirement bonus of a year’s salary or more.

Then in Montebello the city depleted its redevelopment agencies budget to refill the general fund budget with a $19.3 million loan. The loan dissenting councilwoman there said the action was probably “illegal.”

Redevelopment money is intended for just that: Redevelopment. The money for such agencies usually comes from county property tax dollars that goes to cities in an effort to fix up blighted neighborhoods. The money is not intended to pay for city salaries, police, services and other general fund expenditures. In fact, as Glendora has seen, if you want a piece of the redevelopment pie, you have to assuredly prove what you are fixing up is blighted. If not, then the gravy train stops short.

It is hard to imagine seeing this hold up.

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Anthony Adams’ letter to the Supreme Court regarding Glendora redevelopment area, law

The letter that Adams wrote to the Supreme Court, which was the basis for today’s story taking a further look at the legal challenges surrounding Glendora’s attempt to get redevelopment dollars for an area along Arrow Highway, hasn’t been posted with the story online (yet?) but I wanted to make it available here for review.

It isn’t a long read, so if you got two minutes to check it out and then reread the story, I would recommend it.

Adams Letter.pdf

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Glendora asks for state Supreme Court to hear redevelopment case, plus legal fees spent on four year battle

A few months back we reported on Glendora’s failed attempt to appeal a previous trial court decision (initiated and won by the county) that wouldn’t allow Glendora to claim portions of the city as blighted, and thus be in line for millions in redevelopment funds.

Well, Glendora is now asking for the California Supreme Court to hear the case and should hear back within weeks. More in tomorrow’s paper.

One of the questions regarding this issue was how much the city has spent on pursuing, what has been thus far, a losing battle.

Some speakers at recent city council meetings claimed the city spent more than $800,000 in legal fees. That doesn’t appear to be the case.

According to city records, the city has spent $459,714 in legal fees since the complaint against the city was filed by Los Angeles County in Sept. 2006. Those funds are taken from the city’s redevelopment agency fund and not the general city fund.

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