Send a Message
to 42 yr North Mtb resident

Comments

2,971

Joined

Sep 3, 2008

42 yr North Mtb resident Profile

Recent Posts

Montebello, CA

What is the Worst Feature of the Proposed Montebello Hill...

We all have to choose: (1) Do what is good for the developer and its business associates or (2) do what is good for the financial and physical health of the community. This proposed development will ONLY do the first and endanger the second.  (Apr 12, 2014 | post #65)

Montebello, CA

....PLANT...a...garden...

http://www.topix.n et/album/detail/mo ntebello-ca/GFI0I4 BAKD3JK798 Lush enough for you?  (Apr 12, 2014 | post #2)

Montebello, CA

Art & Hector Chacon Driving Central Basin to Distraction

http://www.sgvtrib une.com/government -and-politics/2014 0306/600-monthly-p ayment-for-a-car-d espite-no-valid-dr ivers-license-wate r-board-caught-in- controversy  (Mar 7, 2014 | post #3)

Montebello, CA

Mtb Residents Demand Special Tax Remain in City

I have been trying to get topix to add egpnews.com as a Montebello news source, but they haven't done anything about it yet. I would suggest that all of you do the same on the Montebello News area by clicking on the "Add a news source Are we missing a Montebello news source? Let us know!" on the lower left side, and add egpnews.com to the list.  (Mar 6, 2014 | post #3)

Montebello, CA

Mtb Residents Demand Special Tax Remain in City

“I don’t understand why we’re here, we voted for this,” echoed Linda Nicolas. “What gives you the right to take our money,” she said, referring to the county. Nicolas said she attended the meeting to convince the city’s oversight board to approve the ROP to force the department of finance to decide whether the city is right in demanding withheld taxes be returned. “I feel safe in my city,” Nicolas said. “When I dial 9-1-1 somebody is there to help me, I don’t get a busy tone like L.A. County,” she said, referring to the importance of local control over the revenue. But that could all change, according to a Montebello Fire Association representative who reminded the board it was not too long ago that cuts to fire department staff and the closing down of a fire station forced the city to rely so heavily on help from Monterey Park that the neighboring city said it would have to start billing Montebello for fire protection. Police Capt. Luis Lopez said the loss of retirement benefit funds would also be “catastrophic” to the police department. He said he became a police officer to make a difference, despite having to spend a lot a time away from his family. “Our residents make the financial sacrifice each year, placing a premium on having their own public safety services,” he said, encouraging the city to move aggressively to recover its tax revenue. “The citizens voted this to be the law and now the citizens may be told that their vote means nothing,” Lopez said passionately. “They voted for it, they agreed to fund it and they expect that it’s going to be used for public safety.” “Leave our tax dollars alone,” echoed longtime resident and city employee Delia Delgado. She said taking the funds amounts to a “double tax” by the state. Like Carr, she too waved her property tax bill at the board, but said her bill was “a lot more” than Carr’s. Nicolas emphasized that the city doesn’t have the money to pay for salary increases or to fund employee pensions without the revenue from the tax assessment. “I’ve been paying for this,” Nicolas said. “They [police and firefighters] put their lives on the line for us, we should at least honor what we promised them.”  (Mar 6, 2014 | post #2)

Montebello, CA

Mtb Residents Demand Special Tax Remain in City

By $3 million collected for police and fire pensions was sent to state trust fund. Jacqueline Carr has lived in Montebello for 50 years and is angry that state and county taxing agencies are keeping money she says rightfully belongs to city workers. “Why should this money go to the state to give to the county…this money belongs to the city of Montebello,” she said about the decision to keep funds from a voter-approved tax assessment to pay for city pensions. “This is unjust,” said Carr, waving her property tax statement during a special meeting last week of the city’s Successor Agency Oversight Board. After hearing from several passionate speakers like Carr, Montebello’s oversight board — made up of representatives from the county, city and Montebello Unified School District— voted to bill the county for $3 million in voter-driven property tax funds they believe were wrongly taken from the city. The tax reimbursement issue is the result of ongoing confusion resulting from the state’s dissolution of redevelopment agencies across California. Like many other cities and municipalities, Montebello’s special voter-tax tax assessments are collected along with their property taxes. In 1946, Montebello residents voted to increase their property tax in order to fund city employee pensions through participation in the State Employees’ Retirement Systems. In 1976 residents voted to again increase the tax rate that now stands at nearly 20 cents for every $100 of the resident’s assessed property value. Prior to the state shut down of redevelopment agencies, the entire “tax increment” generated was returned to the levying entity, in this case the city of Montebello, which would use the revenue to fund employee retirement benefits. Since the shut down, however, there has been “uncertainty” about how the tax should be treated, according to a city staff report, which also noted the County Auditor-Controller has “waivered on the issue,” initially allocating the tax revenue to the city but now deciding to “recapture” the funds and place them in the State’s Redevelopment Property Tax Trust Fund (RPTTF), making the money available to entities outside the city. “The County Auditor-Controller ’s position is to ensure that we distribute the funds in accordance with State statutes. It’s our understanding that there currently is pending legislation (SB 921) to address this matter,” Susan Linschoten, from the Department of Auditor Controller, told EGP in an email. That raises the ire of residents like Carr, who says she has paid $97.57 for the retirement tax this year alone and that the money belongs to city employees, police officers and firefighters in particular. City officials say the voter approved Retirement Property Tax Override is a Recognized Enforceable Obligations (ROPS) that must be paid, much like bonds and other financial commitments. They hope sending the bill, along with several lawsuits pertaining to this and similar issues, will force the State Department of Finance to rule in their favor. Scott Howard with the Montebello Police Association said the city’s financial challenges in recent years have led to cuts in the police department. He emphasized that some officers have left the city for other agencies that offer better compensation packages. He fears that more officers may be cut if the city’s financial state worsens and if the intentions of voters regarding the property tax assessment are ignored. “If the [state] department of finance decides to seize the retirement tax override revenues the financial burden would fall to the city’s financial sector,” Howard said. “The voters have made it clear where they want their money to go.”  (Mar 6, 2014 | post #1)

Montebello, CA

What is the Worst Feature of the Proposed Montebello Hill...

The last three chamber chairmen have ALL said that the chamber of commerce is NOT concerned with the health dangers this proposed project poses because the chamber of commerce is ONLY concerned with economic issues, and they claim it is the city council who is supposed to be concerned with health dangers. Is it a case of hear no evil, see no evil, speak no evil, because what could be more evil than intentionally placing men, women and children in harm's way of death and disease?  (Mar 1, 2014 | post #39)

Montebello, CA

What is the Worst Feature of the Proposed Montebello Hill...

Well, Witty Whitterite, What wannabees will willingly, with wide-eyes whitewash! I'm not sure which Whittier resident you are, but you definitely have been reading these fora, attending our outreach events, been to city council meetings, and have heard all the residents who oppose the proposed condo development. You'll notice that condo supporters will never directly address the health, financial, or nature dangers this proposal raises. They will definitely use red herrings and straw man arguments, almost exclusively, as there is nothing else that will support them. Thank you for mentioning the fact sheets, which have been available for several years, and you know that if there was so much as a single misplaced comma or misspelled word, the would-be developer would trumpet any error to the heavens. Their silence in response to our using their own, well hidden, facts against them speaks volumes. You will notice that the would-be developer apparently prefers not to do anything that is objectively verifiable, like put out a proper Fiscal Impact Analysis (FIA) or Environmental Impact Report (EIR). Both were released about 4 years ago, and neither is complete, accurate, or verified yet. The fact that the would-be developer would rather spread baksheesh around like mayonaisse on a sandwich and bombard residents' mailboxes with colorful advertisements filled with lies, halftruths, straw man declarations and inapplicable trivia follows the general oil industry publicity trends, so there isn't anything surprising there. I used to put links, citations, direct and exact quotes to try to engage condo project supporters in civil and rational dialogue, but I gave it up as none of it makes any difference to the condo dreamers. Facts, Science, Public Opinion, Financial Reality, these are nothing to condomaniacs. All they want is to believe the fantasy that "If we build it, all our problems will be solved." No reality, rationality, or facts will shake them of that belief, fostered by glad-handing, back-slapping, baksheesh-spreadin g, mailbox-spamming would-be developers. Even the developer's own facts are not believed if they contradict the dreamed fantasy. BTW, the current total is 56 confirmed residents who will publicly support the proposed condo development out of now 5,000+ residents that the residents that make up the Save the Montebello Hills have interacted with and queried. That means that .1% of those questioned support condos in the Hills and 99.9% responded negatively. That doesn't count the two families alleged to be residents in the latest advertising brochure, because they haven't been verified, yet.  (Feb 19, 2014 | post #29)

Montebello, CA

"There Ought to be a Law" Contest Ends 1/17/14

http://www.whittie rdailynews.com/gov ernment-and-politi cs/20140108/assemb lywoman-cristina-g arcia-holding-ther e-ought-to-be-a-la w-contest  (Jan 12, 2014 | post #3)

Montebello, CA

New Year Begins with Mtb City Councilmembers Quarreling A...

I hope you are talking about "Young Frankenstein" , and not the Four Horsemen. I think it is somewhat uncivil to refer to her as "Frau Blucher" (nearby horses whinney).  (Jan 12, 2014 | post #7)

Montebello, CA

New Year Begins with Mtb City Councilmembers Quarreling A...

http://www.whittie rdailynews.com/gov ernment-and-politi cs/20140110/its-po litics-montebello- city-council-membe rs-quarreling-agai n Editor’s note: It’s Politics reports Saturdays on the ins and outs of Whittier-area politics and government. Montebello City Council members were quarreling again at this week’s meeting, only about a month after they had called for an end to bickering and an increase in civility. This time, the issue was over a proposal by City Manager Francesca Tucker-Schuyler to have all city checks electronically signed, instead of hand signed. Councilwoman Christina Cortez objected — eventually voting no — and Mayor Bill Molinari raised questions but ended up voting with the other council members in support the change. “I’m concerned about the computer signing of checks,” said Molinari. I’m a little troubled about having everything signed electronically. “Part of being a good steward is to look at the checks and figures.” But Councilman Jack Hadjinian couldn’t figure out why Molinari and Cortez opposed the measure. “We’re in the 21st century,” Hadjinian said. Then he asked why council members need to use the meeting to ask the questions, pointing out they have the agenda with the warrant register for nearly a week before the meeting. “You ask all of these questions as if you’re a crime investigator,” he said. “You’re supposed to ask questions ahead of time. You’re not to come to a council meeting and act as if you’re a crime investigator. There’s no fraudulent city here. We have one of the most competent city managers.” Molinari said he resented Hadjinian’s comments. “Sometimes, it’s just to inform the community of what the money (the city is spending) is for,” Molinari said on why he asks questions. “I don’t think it’s inappropriate or frivolous. You’re suggesting don’t bother to discuss anything in front of the community. Cortez also didn’t like Hadjinian’s comments. “Mr. Hadjinian, I sat here very patiently listening to you,” Cortez said. “I maintained courtesy on the dais. At the end of the day, we shouldn’t speak in the tones you do and point fingers. I ask that you look at yourself. Hadjinian responded. “It’s a good suggestion,” he said. “Extend that to our city administrator, city attorney and every one else here that we have the same courtesy.” Molinari ended up voting for the change, saying he’s satisfied there will be adequate safeguards. “(But) I will be from time to time looking at (the expenditures),” he said.  (Jan 12, 2014 | post #1)

Q & A with 42 yr North Mtb resident

Headline:

Hilltop Park Above All

Hometown:

Montebello, CA

Neighborhood:

La Merced Area, Montebello

Local Favorites:

Middle East Restaurant Grant Rea Park Golden Ox The Last Open Hills

I Belong To:

Save the Montebello Hills Task Force Montebello Community Literacy Association

When I'm Not on Topix:

I'm at work, fixing graffiti, reading, PC gaming, web surfing, reading my emails.

Read My Forum Posts Because:

I consider ALL sides of EVERY issue.

I'm Listening To:

NPR, K-Earth, 102.7, 99.9,

Read This Book:

The Art of War, by Sun Tzu

Favorite Things:

Women, Conflict Simulations (Wargames), Live fire exercises, Honest government

On My Mind:

Possible destruction of our last undevel-oped Hills by carpetbaggers 'n scoundrels

Blog / Website / Homepage:

Google 'Save the Montebello Hills". We're #1.

I Believe In:

1. The power of an inflamed electorate to clean house when necessary, 2. USC, 3. The spiritually cleansing ability of Nature, 4. God, 5. The Constitution of US