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Citizen About Town

Editorial Citizen About Town
By Nancy C. Arcuri
E-mail: nancyarcuri@thecitizensvoice.net
Fax: (626) 307-9081

Our local City Council Elections were very dirty and bloody as I predicted.

In my hometown of Monterey Park our ceremonial Mayor Frank Venti verbally attacked his fellow Councilmembers Sharon Martinez, David Lau and Anthony Wong, City Clerk Dave Barron and his assistant Araceli Rocha, City Attorney Adrian Guerra and residents Ruth Willner and Victoria Chavez during Oral Communication at the February 18 Council Meeting.

The meeting was very emotional as multiple speakers asked the voters to support their candidates on March 3.

Frank Venti was very angry that the city clerk did not honor his request to be the last speaker. He was bullying them to try to get his own way.  Sharon Martinez and David Lau chose that night to also speak as residents from the podium.  So the city clerk called Mr. Venti first of the three Councilmembers to address the body from the podium since Mr. Venti had turned in his speaker card before the meeting. He became more enraged when the city attorney advised him the majority of the council could override his decision. Councilmembers Martinez, Lau and Wong voted that the speakers must be called in order of submission of their request to address Council.

Mr. Venti did not take his turn to speak and had one of his supports turned in a late card making her the last speaker.  She gave her time to him.

Mrs. Willner, an expert on Robert’s Rules of Order was threaten with expulsion from the Council Chambers when she objected from the floor with a Point of Order.

Mr. Venti seems to believe that he is above Robert’s Rules of Order.  He believes as mayor he gets to make all the rules.

Mrs. Chavez, a long time city volunteer, reminded Mr. Venti of a remark he made to her while campaigning at her door some time ago. She said he stated, “Rita had poisoned his mind against her”.  He called her a boldface liar. Mrs. Chavez stated over and over that she was telling the truth.  I personally believe Mrs. Chavez tells the truth.  She is a wonderful and caring person.

Mr. Venti uses that expression when residents confront him. Maybe he doesn’t remember the complete expression from the good nuns “tell the truth and shame the devil”.

Hopefully the event will be shown on “YouTube” and show the world Monterey Park’s Mad Mayor in action.

Frank Venti high on a power trip on March 4 had a Special Meeting to terminate our agreement with our city attorneys “Brown Winfield Canzoneri Abram, Inc.” The law firm had ceased practicing law and Mr. Canzoneri and many of their junior attorneys had joined the McKenna Long & Aldridge law firm.

According to Councilmember Mitch Ing the new law firm represented a former developer of the Marketplace who sued the city.

Many City Hall watchers believe that Mr. Venti should have abstained on that vote since he has lost one or more law suits against the city. Mr. Canzoneri has a great track record of winning his cases. That was a real conflict of interest for the residents.

Speaking of the Marketplace residents want to know why the item has not been on the agenda for updates.  Heavy equipment is still moving dirt and it looks like some construction is taking place.

Mr. Venti appointed himself as a committee of one to attend all the Marketplace meetings.  He would not allow Anthony Wong or David Lau to attend with him so the residents are not sure what is going on at the project.

Many months ago I reported Gateway, a company founded by former Alhambra City Councilmembers Paul Talbot and Mark Paulson located a developer from New Jersey to construct the Marketplace.

Mr. Talbot sells insurance.  Mr. Paulson is a real estate agent for Anthony Venti Realty.

Yes, Anthony Venti is a blood relative of Frank Venti.   In fact they are brothers. Tony Venti was one of the big brothers who looked out for his little brother. Frank is also a real estate agent who hung his license in this brother’s Alhambra office.

Does that fact give you an “hmmm” moment?  It raises several questions in my mind about the Marketplace transaction.

City Hall watchers know with Mr. Venti’s third vote he believes he can do whatever he wants to our hometown.

Did you know that many of the city’s firefighters campaigned for Betty Tom Chu and Luis Estrada?  Ask yourself what is in the deal for them? What kind of payback did  Frank Venti and Betty Tom Chu promise them to help get them re-elected to Council?

City Hall watches are asking themselves if our fire department’s paramedic/ambulance service is in danger again?

It seems the County fire union wants to claim all the little cities as part of their turf.

Going County would be a very expensive and bad deal for the residents of Monterey Park. The county would get all our fire stations and equipment as part of the deal. The residents would still have to pay into the firefighters pension fund from our property taxes. The residents would also get a very expensive bill from the county to pay for our fire service every year.

I live near the county-city line.  The other day a hook and ladder truck from the county arrived on a medical emergency call on Graves Avenue.  The private ambulance arrived 10 minutes later.  Almost 20 minutes went by until the county paramedics arrive on the scene.  Not a good thing for the patient’s health.

Monterey Park’s paramedic/ambulance service arrives in under 4 minutes.  Our fire department provides a better service for us in our time of need.  They save lives.

City Hall watchers are waiting for Council to hire an auditor for the Athens trash contract as promised just before the election.  The item has been pulled from the agenda.

Mr. Venti and Mrs. Chu have joined forces with two Councilmembers from Montebello who are upset that their Council majority voted for and signed a contract with Athens for hauling trash in their city.

It will be interesting to view the total outcome of this battle against one of the major trash haulers in Southern California.

Monterey Park is about halfway through the 15-year contract.  Our trash fees are very reasonable. Our service is very good.

Hopefully Mr. Venti and Mrs. Chu can afford their legal battle.  I don’t want my tax dollars spent defending them against Athens.

Athens has many experienced attorneys.  Now Monterey Park is looking for another law firm so I can’t claim they have a good track record of winning all their cases.

Mr. Venti stated at the March 4 meeting that the only bully at his house is his dog, Barney.

City Hall watchers already know that the only bully at City Hall is Barney’s owner.

Frank Venti’s term expires in March 2011.  It will be a long and bloody two years.

1 Comment

  1. HI,

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