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By Brian Hews
Los Cerritos Community News has learned that three members of the Cerritos City Council travelled to Washington DC this week to attend the United States Conference of Mayor’s 81st Winter Meeting and that local tax payers are on the hook to pick up the bill of the three well-traveled elected officials.
The US Mayor’s Conference began on Thursday in the nation’s Capital and Cerritos was well represented by current Mayor Jim Edwards, Mayor Pro Tem Bruce Barrows and Councilman Joseph Cho.
Only a hand full of cities from Southern California sent their Mayor’s to attend the conference that according to documents received by Los Cerritos Community Newspaper included the mayors of Los Angeles, Anaheim. Beverly Hills, Corona, Fontana, Irvine, Monrovia, Redondo Beach, Rialto, Rosemead, Santa Monica, Thousand Oaks and Upland.
This year only 273, 1.4%, of the cities from throughout the nation sent a representative to the event. There are currently more than 19,000 municipal governments in the United States.
Edwards, Barrows and Cho are planning to attend lavish receptions, dinners, events and workshops and will rub elbows with some of the most power politicians and high profile celebrities including Vice President Joe Biden, music superstar John Legend, The Roots, rapper MC Hammer and singer MARIO.
The conference will be televised live via CSPN and Live Streamed on the internet. Several mayors will take to Twitter during the conference to give their “followers” a minute by minute update of their trip.
“Obligatory “I’m with @VP Biden!” tweet. I dig this dude & he’s great for America’s cities.#USCM2013,” tweeted West Sacramento Mayor Christopher Cabaldon.
Kansas City Mayor Sly James told his twitter followers that he was “Hangin with Hammer at the Plenary Luncheon before VP #Biden speaks.#MCHammer #uscm2013.”
The US Mayor’s Conference touted the event as an opportunity to “Focus on Job Creation, Fiscal Cliff Agreement and Sequestration, Gun Control, Threat to Tax-Exempt Financing, Sandy Response, Immigration, and so much more…”
One Mayor who represents a city in Southeast Los Angeles County told LCCN that their city “can’t afford to attend these junkets anymore.”
“Enough is enough. Everyone who has a brain knows that attending this conference was about getting a free trip to the Presidential Inauguration Weekend,” stressed the mayor who did not want to be identified.
None of the following local cities sent representatives to the US Mayor’s Conference including the mayors of Long Beach, Artesia, Bellflower, Norwalk, Downey, Lakewood, Lynwood, Bell, Bell Gardens, Commerce, La Palma, Buena Park, La Mirada, Cypress, Los Alamitos, and Pico Rivera.
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