Recall Election in Montebello

     There must be a political consultants' handbook somewhere that says, "If the voters qualify a recall election against you, use the word, 'duped,' as often as possible."

     You have to, because the alternative is to admit that an awful lot of people you represent aren't happy with your leadership.

     Anyone familiar with this group, "Montebello Citizens for Honest Government"?

Recall Election in Montebello

Somewhat familiar with the group.  My understanding is that the group MCFHG have been associated with other members of the Montebello City Council.  However, I am sure that if you ask these council members they will deny this.  Interesting that the group did not respond to phone calls made to them to comment on  this subject.  Also, in the general scheme of things the count of voters that signed the petition is really not a lot considering how many citizens are really registered voters in Montebello. 

Recall Election in Montebello

(edited 8/30--I got the number of signatures wrong)

Getting more than 20% of the registered voters to sign a petition is no trivial feat. That's a substantially higher standard that applies at the statewide level, where only need 12% of the number of people who voted in the previous gubernatorial election(about half of the number of registered voters).

The lack of a comment may or may not be significant. Sometimes, reporters will call only a little before their deadline. Normal people can't always get back to them in time, and then you're left with a "The group did not return several calls for comment."

Story in the Tribune

Looks like it's going to be a pretty low-budget election, although there's still plenty of time for last-minute money to come pouring in.

Election date set -- December 18

And there's that "duped" word, again. Someone hand that man a thesaurus.
Note that here, as is pretty much always the case, the city council set the date as far off as they lecally could? Right before Christmas? They could have set it before Thanksgiving.
I don't think groups often look at the calendar and figure out how long each step along the way will take when they launch a recall effort. Had they handed in their petition about two weeks earlier, they could have had the election consolidated with the regular one in November. Had they begun circulating their petitions about six weeks later, they could have had their election consolidated with the February presidential primary. Either one would reduce the city's cost of the election and take away one certain argument against the recall.
Depending on when the county registrar-recorder reports the signature count in West Covina, I think their election on the use of disricts to elect city council members will also wind up within a month or so of the February primary, but probably not consolidated with it.
Of course, in their case, it's not entirely their fault. The city attorney in West Covina made them do two or three revisions of the petition before he'd let them start circulating. That made it almost impossible for them to get it on the November ballot.

Help me understand recall - montebello

Okay, so I may not be the best person to talk politics because I am not sure of all the legalities, deadlines etc.   However, I am trying to understand the recall...These three council members are being recalled by the 'a group for honest citizen's' because the council members wanted to LOOK AT THE POSSIBILITY of contracting fire services with Los Angeles County.  If I understand this correctly the council did not vote to contract with LACF, so why is this group up in arms?  As a citizen I am grateful to others who take the business seriously of the city I live in and want to look into effective ways of saving the city money so maybe the extra savings could go into reserves (which I understand Montebello has considerably less in reserves compared to neighboring cities) or to other departments that could use it. So if I am off the beaten path someone let me know so I can be a more informed citizen.

Help me understand recall - montebello

I haven't seen their petition, so I don't know the official reasons.  And I'm not familiar with the group, so I don't know their real reasons.  But, as I understand it, they're mad because these guys thwarted the will of the people who signed an initiative petition to put the fire department question on a citywide referendum.  As in Rosemead, the city council could have put an advisory question on the ballot themselves.  Instead, they relied on a technicality to keep the issue off the ballot.

Older citizens want to keep tight response time

From what I hear, older citizens in Montebello worry that "response time" from 5 min now w/ their own city fire dept, will increase to 10-15 min maybe more w/ LCFD.  Also, the 3 majority, who think as one, not only want a County study, but the city will have to pay, and it is believed that the majority 3 will not put this up for a city wide vote, as they have the majority.  Sometimes, perception is reality.  From a Fire Dept standpoint, it benefits the young firefighers of the city most, b/c those who live on the out-skirts of LA, can transfer anywhere in the County, and Montebello already knows it will lose 3/4's of its force due to transfers.  Another concern is that only 2 of the now 3 fire dept's in Montebello will remain.  Not only can that significantly increase response time, BUT, those of us in SSG and Rosemead, who depend on LCFD now, will have to worry about our own response time, if units are being pulled to Montebello.  P.S. Why is this recall so circumspect?  And, why doesnt it have the benefit of the doubt like SOC? 

Impact on Rosemead and SSG

It's a good point you raise about the possible resonse time effect on Rosemead and SSG.  That would depend on whether the current fire houses in Montebello meet the county fire department's standards.

Older citizens want to keep tight response time

What do you mean by circumspect and benefit of the doubt?

Older citizens want to keep tight response time

Please find the facts that there will be a 10-15 response time.  Can't speak for the majority 3, but I bet the LCFD issue has most likely been laid to rest. Again, what is wrong with finding out if the study will save Montebello monies, just because there is a study does NOT mean in fact that Montebello will contract with LCFD?  Secondly, have you taken a look a the mean age of the Montebello Fire offense but they are not 'spring chicken's'.  Montebello would not lose 3/4 of the force, yes their would be transfers but there has be available spots in the county for the fire fighters to transfer and then those spots must be replaced as well. Yes, most likely 2 of the 3 stations may remain. However, one is so outdated it is almost unexplainable that it remains a station. If it does go by the wayside, there is a station practically over the city border from it, response times would still remain.  Lastly, have you ever head of mutual or automatic aid between fire departments?  This means that these neighboring departments will always help each other out if there is ever a major or even minor incident.  I won't even bother addressing the circumspect that should be very obvious.

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Not taking the bait, it's in English and should be self explanatory (or learn to read between the lines).

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     No bait intended.  I was just giving you the benefit of the doubt that you weren't expressing yourself very clearly, as opposed to that you didn't know what you were talking about.


     The definition for "circumspect" says, among other things, "cautious," "prudent," and "well-considered."  So you (Centaur) are asking why this particular recall is so much more cautious, prudent, or well-considered than other recalls?  I don't know if this is in fact a particularly well-considered, cautious, or prudent recall, but you certainly haven't made the case, so far.


     The definition for "benefit of the doubt" says, among other things, "a favorable opinion or judgement adopted despite uncertainty."  Centaur, no recall ever has the benefit of the doubt.  The burden of proof is always on the proponents.  Same with propositions:  When in doubt, people will always vote no, or refuse to sign your petition in the first place.


     Sorry if I am misunderstanding your argument, but if you refuse to answer clarifying questions, I'm forced to respond to what your words say rather than what you might have meant.

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The fire dept study is a "contractually binding study", and a core group of voters in Montebello dont want to be "bound" by that without a vote from "the people". 


It is no secret that the Montebello Police and Fire Depts backed all three of the current majority who are up for recall.  And if other city governments can learn a thing or two from this issue is--should government paid first responders, who don't live in the area they work, be able to openly endorse political candidates and influence legislation their way if it is contrary to perceived and/or legitimate public safety concerns of residents without a vote? 


Montebello P.D.'s response time is 5 minutes.  Temple City Sheriffs' response time to our area is 10-15.  So, lets switch out MCFD for County FD, and does one really need that much imagination to draw a logical conclusion?


Montebello residents, of course, know that in an earthquake or some other unforseen large disaster there is interagency cooperation, but the what if YOU are the resident who has the pacemaker or severe hypertension which could result in a stroke or heart attack at anytime, the difference b/t 5-10 minutes could mean your life. 


The issue is in Appeals Court and it is my understanding that the County will not move forward until that outcome. 


P.S. John, thanks for the edit button lol

Let's keep it civil and not

Let's keep it civil, not mean.

This is a good thread and an important issue with a lot of potential for lots of quality comments. Not only that -- for the vast majority of people likely to see this thread, it's exposing them to the recall process for the first time.

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I believe I am keeping it civil...I just think if others are going to state response times, closing of stations reducing man power to important things as emergencies calls etc, these items should be factual and not used as a scare tactics to frighten citizen into making an uneduacated decision when it does come time to vote, whether it is a recall or to vote for a contract with LACF.  Besides the above information are  items that would be stated in LACF cost quote to Montebello.    Also, question? What does "contractually binding"mean in your statement.  If I understand what you wrote - if/when LACF gives a cost/quote to possibly contract with Montebello, Montebello would then become legally bound to become LACF...that is not true, if this is what you meant.  The way you have stated it seems a bit concerning to me.  Believe it or not I am not for MFD becoming LACF (even tho' it may seem so), I just do not think it is in the best interest for Montebello.  I just feel a lot of citizen's are being falsely led by incorrect statements.  I do believe in the recall process even tho' I believe it is the wrong city council members that are being recalled...the other two city council members really need to take a look at the whole picture and make sure that they are making decisions based on what is good for the city and not personal gain.  Also, I am very excited and pleased that Montebello is making the blogs if not the local news as most larger news groups would not give this issue the time of day.   Thanks for keeping the blog in check.

Montebello recall and personal gain?

Blogger Watchingm states... ["I do believe in the recall process even tho' I believe it is the wrong city council members that are being recalled...the other two city council members really need to take a look at the whole picture and make sure that they are making decisions based on what is good for the city and not personal gain."]


I just stated the obvious--that it was NO secret that Montebello Fire and Police Departments' PAC (political action committee) endorsed and donated campaign MONEY to the three candidates up for recall, and the first thing these three did after they got in office together was get into this "contractually binding study" for County fire services---so exactly how did the other two, not up for recall, personally gain by this???

Also, their city budget is around $20-30 million, with Police and Fire services accounting for 75% of that.  Therefore, if the other two members, who blogger Watchingm states should be ["making decisions based on what is good for the city and not personal gain" ]--how is the decision NOT to contract with the County a "personal gain" again??? Maybe it's about "public safety" after all?

Watchingm, is there some kind of malfeasance by the other two council persons you'd like to tell us about, something that is factual and relates to this story, or how about something that doesn't relate to this story, but is factual

Montebello recall - personal gain

Okay - Deep breath, count backwards from 10 and here we go.  First of all I have never denied that the three city council members received monies from either.  However, it is true that  Rosie requested monetary support from the MTBFD in which they turned her down (FACT).  Reason? She asked for astronomical amount of money that the association did not even have available (FACT)!  Hmm, funny now she has made it very difficult for them to even get any type of support from their own city by voting against anything regarding the fire department(FACT).  Again, please understand "those three" requested a survey  NOT TO CONTRACT WITH LACF(FACT). Even the LA City Board of Supervisors made this clear with Bill and Rosie "the other two" at the board of supervisors meeting on July 11 2006(FACT).  How is it personal gain if wanting to save the city money and still maintaing fire service that the city would be used to?   I believe this is looking out for the city and their citizens.  Also, Montebello is not the only city in which fire and police use aprox. 75% of the cities operating budget(FACT) Check any surronding cities operating budget. 

There is still this issue of 'CONTRACTUALLY BINDING"  I asked in the previously entry if I understood this correctly?  Was it understoond correctly?  If so please find where the survey is really contractually binding and if you do I will admit my error.

I have stated this before, I do not think it is in the best interest of MTB to contract with LACF and from your passionate responses I think you agree as well. It just so happens that we see it from two different ends of the spectrum..

Montebello recall - personal gain

In fact, I believe I havn't been passionate at all, I believe I have been very cool, objective and quite dispassionate about my blogs.  I'm sorry you see it that way.

How unfortunate that blogger Watchingm

has to resort to fabrication, innuendo, controversy and character assasination for genuine civil debate and what he regards to as the "facts". 

As I understand, Councilwoman Rosemarie Vasquez (or Rosie as you refer to with so much familiarity) never requested campaign contributions from MPD or MFD because her campaign financing was more than adequate before she started running for office, and the fact that she ran for her husband's city council seat when he decided not to run again.  Former Councilman Ed Vasquez and his wife are not new to politics, so what's so hard to understand about that? 

Without true city leadership during her election and a legitmate city newspaper, this void was filled by the Montebello Chamber of Commerce newsletter and the MPD and MFD Associations which hosted interviews and public debates--TALK ABOUT YOUR SPECIAL INTEREST! And, of course, in this vacuum Councilwoman Vasquez felt compelled to participate in these one-sided debates and seek their endorsements, albeit with honest reservations (as all questions were submitted by gov workers and chamber of commerce members only, no genuine resident participation whatsoever).

But, again, the true issue here remains--should gov paid first responders, who DON'T live in the city they work for, be able to financially donate to and publically endorse elected gov officials for the sole purpose of un-doing sensitive decisions regarding urgent and critical public safety policy?  Furthermore, is it even healthy for un-elected gov workers to have this type of "inappropriate" relationship with a legislative body?

The County Recorder invalidated the peoples' vote on the fire dept issue because it was not listed in an "adjudicated" newspaper.  An adjudicated newspaper is one that is approved by the courts and where one can publish legal notices.  HOWEVER, the majority 3 had it within their power to vote to override the Recorder's decision.  This fact is apparent, as it lies in Appeals Court to date.  Yes, the 3 majority had it within their power to prevent this from ever going to court.

Calling the fire survey a contractually binding study is correct because when you have a legislature with 3 who think alike, who deny voters the right to vote on it and when it only takes those 3 votes to cement the decision to go to County Fire--what else is it?  This and the 3's decision to terminate the Fire Chief, it is no wonder there's a public outcry.

I guess I should be happy that Watchingm and I agree on at least one thing--the decision not to go County and that it should be the peoples' will : - )