(April 16, 2003) -- LBReport.com has learned that LB taxpayers are paying roughly $100,000 a year for a LB city management employee to work at the "Gateway Cities Council of Governments," the group currently under fire for failing to make details of 710 freeway expansion options more accessible and failing to post the maps on the internet.
The LB taxpayer-paid arrangement was proposed by now-former City Manager Henry Taboada in October, 2001...and approved without dissent by the City Council (9-0) at its October 16, 2001 meeting.
On October 22, 2002, at new city management's request, the Council voted to extend the arrangement for six months (9-0, this time on the consent calendar).
We post LB city management's background memoranda to Councilmembers for both votes on links below.
LBReport.com has also learned that LB city management currently plans to seek Council approval to extend the arrangement (which expires April 18). The item could appear on the April 22 City Council agenda.
Responding to an inquiry today by LBReport.com, a staffer in the City Manager's office indicated city management considers having a LB city employee at the Gateway Council of Governments an asset to the City of LB...on the I-710 issue, the Gateway Council's "Clean Air" initiative and other matters.
The President of the Board of Directors of the Gateway Cities Council of Governments is LB Vice Mayor Frank Colonna. The Gateway Council of Governments' web site prominently features a Message from Board President Colonna at the top of its home page. To view it, click Frank Colonna "Message from the President," Gateway Cities Council of Governments.
LB Mayor Beverly O'Neill is also a member of the group's 29 member Board of Directors (one Councilmember from each member city [Artesia, Avalon, Bell, Bellflower, Bell Gardens, Cerritos, Commerce, Compton, Cudahy, Downey, Hawaiian Gardens, Huntington Park, La Habra Heights, Lakewood, La Mirada, Long Beach, Lynwood, Maywood, Montebello, Norwalk, Paramount, Pico Rivera, Santa Fe Springs, Signal Hill, South Gate, Vernon, Whittier], plus the Mayor of LB [the Port of LB is a Gateway member], and one member of the L.A. County Board of Supervisors). Mayor O'Neill has delegated her duties to 1st district LB Councilmember Bonnie Lowenthal.
In addition to the cost of the city employee, LB taxpayers also pay a $12,000 fee for their City Hall to be member of the Gateway Cities Council of Governments.
The Gateway group's Executive Committee includes LB Vice Mayor Colonna...who also serves on the Gateway Council's I-710 Oversight Committee.
To view LB City Management's background memoranda to Councilmembers, click:
Reaction is pending as we post. Developing.