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

Monterey Park Council Update

12/17 meeting had 14 items on the agenda.  Frank Venti voted no on the warrants payable to Brown, Winfield, Canzoneri, Abrams, our city attorneys.

Oral communications had seven speakers. One resident advised county that tour buses are still parking on residential streets to pick up passengers. He asked why pass laws in they are not obeyed. He also asked for extra police patrols at the local banks since several banks have been held up according to the news reports. Another resident requested better transportation for the seniors at Langley Center. Another resident stated he did not want cell phone towers to be installed near the schools.

Item 12 Monterey Park Chamber Of Commerce Proposal

Until three years ago, the City had supported the Monterey Park Chamber of Commerce by making financial contributions annually towards its operations. The City stopped that support after the Chamber experienced internal administrative problems. In the past year, the Chamber elected a new Board of Directors and under its direction, the Chamber began to actively provide activities to support its members and the business community in the City.

The Chamber has submitted a proposal to the City requesting that the city restart its financial support to the Chamber.

The Chamber proposes a 5 year agreement in which it partners with the City in assisting to create a vibrant economy that will benefit the City in terms of business attraction, retention, and expansion. The Chamber sees its role as a proactive liaison for its members and a supporter of the City in carrying out programs and activities that develop and encourage desired businesses to come and conduct business in the City.

The Chamber is requesting $178,000 over 5 years from January 1, 2009 to December 31, 2013. The funds will be paid quarterly in a sliding scale as follows: Jan 1 – Dec 31, 2009-$40,000; Jan 1 – Dec 31, 2010-$40,000; Jan 1-Dec 31, 2011-$36,000; Jan 1 – Dec 31, 2012-$32,000 and Jan 1-Dec 31, 2013-$30,000.

It is further requesting that the City allows the Chamber to defer the payments of past rents of $29,400 (up to and including Dec. ‘08) to be paid interest free beginning 2014.
The Chamber considers itself a wholly independent entity and the funding is for the services and products the Chamber will provide for the City.

Funding Source will be Community Redevelopment Agency Funds.

Members of the Chamber Board were available to answer any questions. They provided membership information and a list of events they have sponsored.

Sharon Martinez thanked the Boardmembers for their presentation. The City needs a Chamber. She thanked them for their great events. The Boardmembers are currently paying all the expenses out of pocket. We need to get the Chamber up and running.

City Manager June Yotsuya asked the Chamber for a breakdown of their income and expenses. They stated that they have provided staff with this information. They will provide updated data from the Internet.

Frank Venti said he was concerned that he did not have enough information before he makes a decision. He suggested the item be pull and placed on the agenda for the next meeting (1/21/09).

David Lau agreed with his suggestion. Council is committed to support the Chamber.

Anthony Wong said he supports the Chamber 100%. He wants the Chamber to succeed in this economic downturn. He also requested more information.

Ms. Yotsuya asked the staff to work with the Chamber to get the budget expenses for five years (income and expenses), improve the business sales, the fee structures and three years financial statements.

Mr. Lau expressed concern about the time of the next meeting. He requested the funds be retroactive to January 1.

Mitch Ing recalled that 17 years ago he served on the Chamber Board. They were self- sufficient. He objected to the plan for city assistance. They need to be come self- sufficient. He suggested a tapering of the funds ($50,000; $40,000; $30,000; $20,000 and $10,000) and using the funds to entice new members. He also requested more information. He thanked them for their presentation.

Mr. Venti said Council wants to support the Chamber. It should not be political. It should help the businesses. It should help residents know more about the local businesses.

Ms. Yotsuya asked Council to submit their questions and requests to her so the staff can secure the information before the next meeting.

Council voted to move this items to the January 21 agenda.

The meeting adjourned after completing all the City’s business.

The January 7 meeting was cancelled.

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