Electronically Serving Monterey Park, Alhambra, San Gabriel, & Rosemead

Citizen About Town

Citizen About Town

By Nancy C Arcuri, Editor and Publisher

Email: nancyarcuri@thecitizensvoice.net

In Closed Session before the December 18th Council Meeting Mitch Ing and Teresa Real Sebastian wanted to discuss our current legal council.

Mitch Ing said the Council hired Jenkins and Hogan to be our legal council.  After they were hired it was discovered that this law firm has legal issues of their own.

So Mark Hensley, a junior lawyer, started his own law firm with several members of the old firm.  The city has contracted with his firm since 2009.

Mitch Ing said the Hensley Law Group was hired without sending out an RFP. Now he wants the Council majority to require our staff send out a RFP to government attorneys and maybe hire another law firm.

Teresa Real Sebastian said we have worked with the Hensley Law Group for ten years. We should consider a larger law firm to represent our city.

Currently our law states that three votes from the City Council could fire or hire our city attorneys and/ or our city manager.

I believe that our city law should be amended from three Councilmembers votes to four Councilmembers votes to hire or fire our city attorneys or our city manager.

This decision should be supported by legal proof of any misconduct. The new law should be based on our Emergency Ordinance. It should not be a hasty decision made by any Councilmembers being upset over any legal decisions or their perception of our city manager’s ability to run our city.

The decision to request a RFP and seek a new law firm to protect Monterey Park should be decided on by the 2020 City Council. Mitch, Teresa and Stephen will no longer be sitting Councilmembers after the election.

The city attorney and city manager may serve at the Council’s pleasure. The Councilmembers serve at the Monterey Park voters’ pleasure.

I left before the Closed Session so I was not party to the discussion.

The Council did not address the issue during the regular meeting.

I also spoke during Oral Communications: 2019 has been a year of many changes in Monterey Park. First we were threatened with a lawsuit unless we have Council elections by districts. So we spent $50,000 to hire a Consultant to help us meet the requirements of the law. We are spending thousands of dollars more to print up the maps and educate the residents on this new law. Five Councilmembers voted on Map 4, which evenly divided the 62,000 or so residents into five districts based on the 2010 census. We needed to develop a protected district for our Hispanic residents. For the first time in 103 years all of the Monterey Park voters are not going to be able to vote for our Councilmembers.

The other main issue is the Land Use Element required by law that every city and/or county must develop a plan for their future views for their hometown for the next 20 years.

I hope the voters review the documents and attend the Town Hall meetings before we vote on March 3th.

I happy to say that I received two of my Christmas wishes already.  The vicious Recall efforts against Peter Chan and Hans Liang have failed.

I know that we all don’t always agree with each other but we should disagree with respect.

I thanked Hans, Mitch, Teresa, Stephen and Peter for their dedication to our hometown.

I wished them and their families a Merry Christmas, Happy Holidays and Happy New Year!

Item 4 was a Public Hearing to consider an amendment to the Garfield Village Specific Plan, a Zone Change and a Conditional Use Permit for the reconstruction of an existing service station (ARCO) and construction of new 24-hour drive through Coffee Shop at 2425 and 2439 South Garfield Avenue.

The Planning Commission majority approved the project (4 to 1).

The business owner addressed the Council with the plans for their new project.  The Council listened to the owner. Councilmembers Hans Liang, Mitch Ing, Teresa Real Sebastian, Stephen Lam and Peter Chan asked several questions. The main concern was the traffic issue. The property owner had submitted a traffic study to the city.

Councilmember Real Sebastian asked the staff for a copy of the traffic study.  The Public Hearing was rescheduled on February 5th.

The business owner said the property owner next to the site did not object to his new project since there will be additional lights and security at the site.

Planning Commissioner Eric Brossy de Dios objected to the project. He voted against it. His reasoning was the location in the village.

Council Candidate Fred Sornoso from District 3 also asked the Council not to approve the project. He also stated the traffic issue.

I recall the many Council Meetings when the plans were discussed to create the South Garfield Village and the funds used to make this dream come true.

The project was created for residents to enjoy walking in their neighborhood as well as shopping and dining close to home.

The city was trying to revise the older shopping district and up grade it since it is one of the gateways to Monterey Park.

The many benefits include a few new restaurants as well as our plans to fill up the vacant storefronts.

Yes the traffic is heavy on all of out local streets. Heavy traffic means people are driving thru town. We hope to entice them to stop and shop or dine in our hometown.

The main goals are to bring additional brand name stores to our city and much needed sales tax to support our public services to our residents, our employees and our visitors.

I am in District 5 so I will not be able to vote for our 2020 Council members.

I am endorsing Bob Gin for District 2, Allan Shatkin for District 3 and Henry Lo for District 4. I have listed my reasons for supporting them in my Endorsement Editorial.

I am hopeful the voters in Districts 2, 3 & 4 will vote in strong people who have the best interests for the residents, employees and our city.

This 2020 Council Election is the first time in our 103 year history that we are forced to vote by Districts.

Many residents are concerned that the Federal and State laws that support one ethnic group over the many ethnic groups that live in California and our United States of America are violating our Constitutional rights.

Please study all of the candidates, new laws and amendments carefully before you vote in the March 2020 election.

Our United States is at a very important turning point is our history.

Do we continue to enjoy a Capitalist country where we can achieve our American dreams?

Do we decide to become a Socialist country where the government decides your future and the future of your family?

So ask yourself do you want to change our American dreams into nightmares that will cost us millions us of dollars to pay to support people who do not want to be productive members of our society?

Please vote to keep our American dreams alive for our future generations.

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