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OP/ED: WILL A NEW WAVE SWEEP THROUGH MONTEBELLO?

2018 will mark the first time Montebello’s municipal elections are on the general cycle.The candidate’s campaigns have been very intense, with all ten aggressively running for office in an attempt earn resident’s votes.

Although Hews Media Group-Los Cerritos Community News rarely endorses, we must point out some of the strengths and weaknesses of the candidates.

Seven-time mayor Bill Molinari has spent the better part of thirty-five years on the dias. He has been a reliable watchdog for the City.

But many residents blame Bill for his ineffectiveness in keeping the city on par with neighboring cities such as Pico Rivera, Monterey Park and Commerce. 

Under his watch, large businesses have eschewed Montebello for neighboring cities, with executives commenting on the City Council’s shortsighted ways. 

It seems that as time has passed, Molinari has been unable to keep pace. Many feel the loss of Costco was avoidable. Others feel that Molinari and Rosie Vasquez, who lost her re-election bid in 2009 and a run for city treasurer in 2015, are the main reasons why Taylor Ranch is still unusable and will be turned into a park.

In talking to residents, they seem to want to move past the old guard, much like the current national picture, and look for fresher faces. As in any City Council race, all ten candidates have a chance including two incumbents, Art Barajas and Vivian Romero. 

Barajas has been around a long time, he knows how to be  a council person, but questions remain about his relationship with Brad Perrin and the usage of city property for personal use.

Romero, like many others, has gone to the dark side, ignoring resident’s will and voting to stop  the City’s trash services from going out to bid  

HMG-LCCN readers know Romero was the center of a breaking story  where she voted in July against a Request for Proposal to send the Athens trash contract out to bid, then took $5,000 from Athens; her partner worked as a consultant for Athens and did not report the income on the proper disclosure form as required by law.

We were surprised to learn  Kimberly Cobos also went to the darkside. Here is a young lady who seemed to have no ties to any of Montebello’s  past join forces with former Mayor Christina Cortez and her convicted drug felon husband. 

Sources inside the police department who contacted HMG-LCCN after the story published said they would walk out if they had to report to council person who was assisted by a felon,  the embarrassment of Robert Urteaga, who was endorsed by both Vasquez and Molinari, still sours many residents in the city.

Ashod Mooradian, the current City Treasurer, is an attorney who, as an ethics attorney for the California State Bar, prosecuted and won one of the most infamous cases of fraud in the state’s history. 

As the Treasurer he has good experience in the financial end of the City, as an attorney he could act as a watchdog against the meddling and questionable acts by past councils and the city attorney.

Not much is known about Angie Jimenez, Delia Lopez, David Torres, or Sal Melendrez, they have not reached out to HMG-LCCN to communicate their views. All seem to be eager candidates who hold professional full-time jobs, something that neither Vasquez, Romero, or Cobos reportedly have.

Ten candidates Montebello. Some we feel should allow youth to take over, Molinari; some with little to show for their tenure on the Council, Vasquez; some who have questionable ties with companies and felons, Romero, Barajas,  and Cobos. The City deserves a cast of new faces who want to take the city in a new direction. The choice is up to you, residents of Montebello.

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