Archived: Ballot Recommendations for Tuesday November 3

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Every fall, Eastern Group Publications devotes a large amount of time researching candidates and measures up for approval on  the local election ballots.

Too often, however, we find ourselves a few months later with efforts to recall some elected official,  some times those ecently elected. It seems to us that too many people forget what elections are for, namely to choose a candidate to serve a determined amount of time in office. Recalls cost our local cities enormous amounts of funds which could be better used to pay for local city services. Therefore, Eastern Group Publications has decided that unless an incumbent has exhibited gross malfeasance, in these tough economic times it is wise to endorse most incumbents for re-election. Our hope is that they will be able to use their institutional memory as a guide to deal with the rocky times ahead .

It is also our hope, however, where appropriate, that those same elected officials will put aside their bickering and arrogant ways, and become more transparent in how they handle their responsibilities, and the people’s money.

In smaller cities (well actually in big cities too), it is easy to get carried away with being the big fish in a small pond. The power is intoxicating. But it is time that changes and a higher level of governing are undertaken in order to restore confidence amongst voters that their elected officials are more interested in providing service to the community than furthering their personal careers.

City of Montebello
City Council-Three Seats
Bill Molinari- has always exhibited common sense and a great deal of preparation when it comes to city and council issues. Mr. Molinari has for the most part  been a supporter of transparency in the city’s dealings, we therefore endorse him for re-election.

Rosie Vasquez- We were extremely disappointed by Mrs. Vasquez’s lack of support for allowing the voters to decide for themselves whether or not to give a no competition contract to a trash hauler. We do hope however that Vasquez will change her attitude regarding the public’s right to know all the details of city contracts and their right to vote on any issue they wish to vote on. It is time for Montebello to be more open and transparent about how it awards contracts, including the bid process. She has been right on other issues, however, and does spend time out in the city. With reservations we endorse Rosie Vasquez.

Richard Garcia– It appears to us that Mr. Garcia will be a good addition to the council. He has presented a number of ideas that seem to strike a healthy balance on how government should run. We look forward to his tenure on the council as another step toward eliminating the political infighting going on now. His idea on creating council districts may not be a bad one.

Measure M- We heartily endorse this measure, since we have always advocated for the public’s right to vote up or down any issue they feel strongly about. In Montebello, few issues garner as much public passion as the future of the city’s police and fire departments,

Montebello Unified School District School Board
We find the Montebello Unified School District to be a well-managed district and its administration team highly talented, dedicated and savvy on how to run a school district. Therefore we endorse for re-election of incumbent candidates; Edwin “Ed” Chau, Gerri Guzman and Hector Chacon

City of Bell Gardens
City Council Members-Three Seats
The Bell Gardens City Council has provided the public with a great deal of theatrics and mud slinging. Charges and counter charges of malfeasance and nepotism are ongoing, but through it all, the city’s businesses, services, and projects have been well run.

The dysfunction on the council we believe can be to a great extent lessened if the residents were to elect one new council member who appears to be independent and not tied to any council faction. That person we believe is Cristina Garcia, whose background in education and public policy, along with her leadership experience we hope will lead to a more professional decorum by the other members of the council. Garcia demonstrates a healthy skepticism born out of a desire to see more transparency on the council, there is nothing wrong with that notion. We endorse Cristina Garcia for Bell Gardens City Council.

We also believe that the voters should re-elect council members Daniel Crespo and Priscilla Flores.

While we know that Mr. Crespo is often accused of embellishing his remarks on some issues, and finding conspiracies around every corner, we believe that it is important to have council members who don’t walk in locked step and are willing to challenge fellow council members to support their positions. We hope, however, that Mr. Crespo will tone down his constant barrage of accusations, and adopt a more cooperative stance on the council so that he can better represent the residents of Bell Gardens. While there may be truth in the issues raised by Mr. Crespo, his manner of dealing with them, bombarding staff and his fellow council members, often distracts from the very issue he is trying to address. So, with some recommendations on how to improve, we endorse Daniel Crespo for re-election.

Priscilla Flores, the city’s current mayor, is also a well-qualified member of the council. We are pleased that she has grown in her role, and from time-to-time breaks from her voting block. She is voicing more of her views, instead of just following others on the council.  We encourage Ms. Flores to push for greater respect of constituents who appear before the council, and to focus more on helping to get city council meetings back under control and to bring more of he city’s  business into the light of day. A more independent Flores, not tied to any of the council factions, will improve affairs on the council. We endorse Priscilla Flores for re-election.

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