Montebello Council Rejects Hadjinian Proposal to Reopen Taylor Ranch Park

Jul 26, 2013 | Posted by: 42 yr North Mtb resident | Full story: www.sgvtribune.com

City Council voted 3-2 against reopening a portion of Taylor Ranch Park that has been fenced off for about five years due to a stalled construction project for a new community center planned for the site.

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“Hilltop Park Above All”

Since: Sep 08

Montebello, CA

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#1
Jul 26, 2013
 
With the city currently operating under a budget that has to take about $400,000 from the city's reserves just to keep the city going, it is fiscal MADNESS to even consider using emergency funds for such an unnecessary frivolity.

If the Taylor Ranch building would be shelved and never built, there could be a case for using the bond money to bury the current foundation hole, but there is no fiscally responsible way to justify using the city's self-insurance funds in this way.

Also, any construction on this site is premature, as currently the State owns this land, even though it is scheduled to return it, and the city hall, police station, and Acuna park to Montebello. When the land is Montebello's again, that is the time to responsibly vote on this issue.

Where were the supporters of the Taylor Ranch project that flooded the city council last time there was a rumor that the land was going to be sold? Why didn't they come to let their voices be heard? Only one of that group spoke this time.

It was interesting to hear councilmember Hadjinian refer to this as a 'quality of life' issue to bring additional parkland to the city. Where is he on the 'quality of life' issue of using the Montebello Hills to bring additional parkland to the current residents, as envisioned in the current General Plan?
Trash Talk

Los Angeles, CA

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#2
Jul 26, 2013
 
from the story
"The cost would be paid from the city's reserve fund, which now totals about $3 million.

Molinari said the recommended standard for a city's reserve fund is about 10 percent of its general fund, or $4.5 million for Montebello."

Note that the reserve fund is on the books 30% below standard.
But that's "on the books"

Last Year the reserve fund had already been allocated to pay consulting fees so actually there was not much reserve fund at all.
And No emergency fund.

Recall that the Vasquez Administration embezzled all of the reserve and restricted funds.

So the City is better off now and slowly digging itself out of the hole the gang of three left it in.

I do not know and do not think all of the reserves and restricted funds have been replenished.

Years past when the State required repayment the money was shuffled around like a pea under the walnut shell- the old shell game

Only way to paper over the fact that the City was (and still is) bankrupt.
Cash flow covering budgeted expenses. Those expenses in excess of budget are just deferred (hidden on the books) to be dealt with later.
Not a time to be spending money when there are still debts run up by previous administrations to be paid.
There are ongoing costs with these debts

“Hilltop Park Above All”

Since: Sep 08

Montebello, CA

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#3
Jul 26, 2013
 
Trash Talk wrote:
from the story
"The cost would be paid from the city's reserve fund, which now totals about $3 million.
Molinari said the recommended standard for a city's reserve fund is about 10 percent of its general fund, or $4.5 million for Montebello."
Note that the reserve fund is on the books 30% below standard.
But that's "on the books"
Last Year the reserve fund had already been allocated to pay consulting fees so actually there was not much reserve fund at all.
And No emergency fund.
Recall that the Vasquez Administration embezzled all of the reserve and restricted funds.
So the City is better off now and slowly digging itself out of the hole the gang of three left it in.
I do not know and do not think all of the reserves and restricted funds have been replenished.
Years past when the State required repayment the money was shuffled around like a pea under the walnut shell- the old shell game
Only way to paper over the fact that the City was (and still is) bankrupt.
Cash flow covering budgeted expenses. Those expenses in excess of budget are just deferred (hidden on the books) to be dealt with later.
Not a time to be spending money when there are still debts run up by previous administrations to be paid.
There are ongoing costs with these debts
Reserve Fund = Emergency Fund = Self-Insurance Fund.

One fund, three different names according to Francesca.
Trash Talk

Los Angeles, CA

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#4
Jul 26, 2013
 
Yes but you cannot fund the three Funds by only underfunding one.
The self-insurance fund has it's own requirements over and above what Bill states
so how much for Emergencies
how much for reserves
how much for self insurance fund
how much to pay off the Hilton?
how much to fund the retired employ health
how much to fund pensions
To many items are off the current budget.
Self insurance is being paid hand to mouth, pay as you go not rebuilding adequate reserves.
City is skating on thin ice.
No other Choice
Bun unnecessary spending must be a non starter.
What happens when the unions want to "catch up"?
Trash Talk

Los Angeles, CA

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#5
Jul 26, 2013
 
http://www.sgvtribune.com/news/ci_23734192/mo...

Councilman contends many elected officials are only interested in staying in office

In making his exit, Gomez has some critical words for the current and past city councils.

"Current and past councils lack the ability to think creatively and outside of the box," he said.

As a result, they are satisfied with a city that is "living paycheck to paycheck"
and just meeting expenses rather than a city that "thrives,"

With the loss of economic development (Redevelopment agencies or CRA ed)) and the additional pressures the city will face, Gomez said the status quo won't be enough to bring the city financial stability.

He said the elected officials he has served with on school boards and City Council seem only concerned with being re-elected.

"They're putting on the appearance that everything is rosey," he said.

"Everything is not rosey in Montebello."

He said it's important for voters to think about who they vote for and ask why people are running.
Though they say for public service, he said
it's a mix of power, ego and money.

"It's really self-serving," he said.

He also said the city needs a long-term strategic plan.

(That's the new General Plan folks ed)
The rest of the council needs to look in the mirror!(ed)
up in smoke

Rosemead, CA

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#6
Jul 26, 2013
 
No wonder the City is in shambles. Bildo, Fart, and Christupina are always siding together on issues. Always voting against Jack and Frank. Bill will always think he is king shit, Art doesn't even have a backbone to comment, and Christina, yeah that speaks for itself. However i do not agree with this developement Jack. There are more important things to worry about than this project that does not have any relevance. Instead of a community center, why don't you build something that will bring deperately needed money into this city. I mean who the hell has 2 ROSS stores in their city in comparable size to Montebello, who has 2 99 cent stores, 5 subways,a marshals and a long list of mom and pop restraunts/stores that do not bring in any revenue to this city. No vision whatsoever on how to ignite this city from bad to good. How about bringing in The Habit, In n'out, Nordstrom Rack, Sports Chalet, chick fil'a, etc etc. Devolope those hills, Send the Fire Department to the County and initiate a utility tax. Develope that whole Via Campo corridor so that it can be appealing to the people driving on the 60 fwy can stop to eat or shop. Or continue doing what your doing by being satisfied with the way Montebello is and will continue to go downhill like that the empty taylor ranch lot. Get rid of that title of "The Beverly Hills of East L.A."
LEAD BY EXAMPLE

Alhambra, CA

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#7
Jul 26, 2013
 
?

“Hilltop Park Above All”

Since: Sep 08

Montebello, CA

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#8
Jul 26, 2013
 
As anyone who actually pays attention to Montebello city council meetings knows, there are no voting blocks on all issues. There are 5 - 0, 4 - 1, 3 - 2 votes on various issues and agenda items virtually every meeting.

There must be an election coming up, as that tends to bring out the uneducated, closed minded, and profane who are those who tend to support issues wildly unpopular in Montebello like the three mentioned in the article: The Proposed Montebello Hills Condo Development, County Public Safety Services, and the Utility Tax.

The condos are a dead issue as far as virtually all Montebello residents are concerned, but the last two ideas could actually pass if the proponents would do a multi-year education effort with independent and verifiable cost analyses and rational publicity, something not yet seen on any of the three proposals.

“Hilltop Park Above All”

Since: Sep 08

Montebello, CA

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#9
Jul 26, 2013
 
In the United States, small businesses account for about half the business economy, and about 2/3 of the economic growth during this recession/depression.

'Mom and Pop' businesses are thus bringing in much needed sales tax revenue to Montebello and provide employment, as those of us who pay attention to the facts know.

If there had been a new General Plan, concerted effort to revitalize the south Montebello area by city staff instead of hundreds, perhaps thousands of hours wasted by city staff on a budget-draining condo proposal, the city might well now be on solid financial footing.
Theolona Ranger

Los Angeles, CA

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#10
Jul 27, 2013
 
The Conodo project pays for City Staff, The EIR (which is supposed to be a city document) and the Specific Plan (which is an end-run amendment of the General Plan and zoning code.
Hard to pass up the big bucks when the city is in the hole.
Then when PXP does not pay it's bill....
City has already written checks to the special attorney and the consultants and expended staff overhead...
City had to stop work due to unpaid bills.
It's not the city's fault if the project is late.
As has been said.
PXP may be sandbagging till after the November elections hoping the council will change.
What they do not get is that the voters have not changed and will referendize any approvals and recall anyone that votes for condos.
Jim Remington La Habra

Los Angeles, CA

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#11
Jul 29, 2013
 
Letters to the Editor: How many more cities are bankrupt?

How many more Detroits are there in America?

Detroit -- there are 100 more cities like it. Here's how they get there.
Unions charge members fees.
The money goes to politicians who make a prior commitment to pass the legislation to satisfy union demands in salary, retirement benefits and health care.
They know these agreements cannot withstand the length of the agreement but politicians will be retired with their own plush plan by then anyway.

When Detroit reaches the point of $1 billion in income vs.$18 billion din debt, due to this irrational spending, bankruptcy occurs.
The unions are even suing now saying the city cannot declare bankruptcy even though there are not anywhere near the funds available to solve the problem.
This is what happens when Democratic politicians huddle with greedy union bosses and have no idea of future problems, or don't care.
Don't include Republicans in this fiasco as there has not been a Republican in Detroit policy positions since the ice box was the top-selling kitchen appliance.

Guess who will be looking at bankruptcy next? According to economists, there are over 100 cities in the country that are almost at the stage Detroit is in.
Several are in California, such as San Diego.
A handful have already filed.
Others are on standby!
We will be asked to cover the cost of the bailout of these cities through higher taxes.
Detroit is asking for a federal bailout which means Californians will be paying for the funds to bring Detroit back among the living.
In short, the country is in a mess and President Obama is out announcing a new economic program for the country.
It sounds a lot like the current misguided effort.

-- Jim Remington, La Habra Heights
Pasadena Star news
Los Angeles News Group
Updated: 07/25/2013 05:41:50 PM PDT
LEAD BY EXAMPLE

Alhambra, CA

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#12
Jul 31, 2013
 
42 yr North Mtb resident wrote:
<quoted text>Reserve Fund = Emergency Fund = Self-Insurance Fund.
One fund, three different names according to Francesca.
Are there really three accounts?? Have you seen statements??

“Hilltop Park Above All”

Since: Sep 08

Montebello, CA

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#13
Jul 31, 2013
 
LEAD BY EXAMPLE wrote:
<quoted text>
Are there really three accounts?? Have you seen statements??
There are NOT three accounts. There are three names for the same account. The statements have been brought to several city council meetings and have been seen by many.
LEAD BY EXAMPLE

Alhambra, CA

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#14
Jul 31, 2013
 
Trash Talk wrote:
Yes but you cannot fund the three Funds by only underfunding one.
The self-insurance fund has it's own requirements over and above what Bill states
so how much for Emergencies
how much for reserves
how much for self insurance fund
how much to pay off the Hilton?
how much to fund the retired employ health
how much to fund pensions
To many items are off the current budget.
Self insurance is being paid hand to mouth, pay as you go not rebuilding adequate reserves.
City is skating on thin ice.
No other Choice
Bun unnecessary spending must be a non starter.
What happens when the unions want to "catch up"?
Is there tree accounts???
LEAD BY EXAMPLE

Alhambra, CA

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#15
Jul 31, 2013
 
Correction: Is there three account? Trash Talk and 42 yr North Mtb resident have conflicting answers. Just wondering??????

“Hilltop Park Above All”

Since: Sep 08

Montebello, CA

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#16
Jul 31, 2013
 
There are no conflicts. Just remember that this is Montebello. In Montebello things aren't always exactly what they seem to be. For one government agency, it is a self-insurance fund. For another it is an Emergency Fund. And for a bank or bonding agency, it is a Reserve. Reportedly, Montebello has been doing this for as long as there have been Hills.

Same fund, same account, but it is called by three different names, depending on who the city is talking to.

As TT says "City is skating on thin ice.
No other Choice"
LEAD BY EXAMPLE

Alhambra, CA

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#17
Jul 31, 2013
 
WOW! City is skating on thin ice....Time for change.....

“Hilltop Park Above All”

Since: Sep 08

Montebello, CA

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#18
Jul 31, 2013
 
The city has already changed a lot since the 'Gang of Three'.

Then: The underlying documents previously rarely were seen at city council meetings.

Now: More than you could read in a few hours are there, and online with the city's agenda.

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Then: The Warrant Register (City Checks) was allegedly publicly available, but when asked for, often couldn't be found.

Now: It's available to anyone who asks.

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Then: Special Meetings were routinely scheduled not properly publicly noticed, sometimes not until a few hours before they began.

Now: All meetings are visible on the city's website and, reportedly, have been properly noticed.

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Then: PRA requests were routinely denied, or delayed for months.

Now: PRA requests almost all are done in 10 working days, sometimes the same or next day.

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Then: The budget was just a few pages long with little detail.

Now: The budget is dozens, sometimes hundreds, of pages long, with excruciating detail.

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Then: No one could look at the city's bank statements.

Now: Everyone can look at the city's bank statements.

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Then: The council dragged their feet on making meetings available online or on cable.

Now: The city council meetings are available at multiple times daily on Charter Communications Channel 3.

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All this and more has happened in the last few years. Many think the progress has been fantastic, but many think there is still room for improvement.

The city appears to be moving overall in the right direction as far as transparency and accountability are concerned.
LEAD BY EXAMPLE

Alhambra, CA

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#19
Jul 31, 2013
 
@ 42 yr old,
Only time will tell...How much debt is owed and not reflected on the budget?
For example what are the true numbers for Hilton, Retirement, and etc... Is this info avail???
Thank you for your quick replies as well.
Something still does not seem accurate. Have not figured it out just yet.....
LEAD BY EXAMPLE

Alhambra, CA

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#20
Jul 31, 2013
 
Mr. Gomez does not feel that things are all roses in Montebello.

As a council member he must know more than what is being disbursed.

Nothing is this picture perfect. Guess time will tell....

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