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Hawaiian Gardens Mayor Maravilla Cashing In Big On City Benefits

BY BRIAN HEWS

A public records request under the Freedom of Information Act by Hews Media Group-Los Cerritos Community News has revealed that current Hawaiian Gardens Mayor Myra Maravilla has taken over $18,000 in “cash in lieu” payments since her election to the City Council in 2015.

Cash in lieu is a duplicitous way for elected officials like Maravilla to receive a check every month “in lieu” or in place of health insurance.

The revelation sheds a bad light on Maravilla, the self-proclaimed budget hawk who has attempted to cancel the City’s annual parade, the City’s Memorial Day ceremony, the annual Pow Wow Heritage event, all while pocketing cash every from the cash-strapped City for health benefits.

Every year, Maravilla accepts health insurance coverage from the City knowing she has insurance from her current job in Long Beach. But instead of denying coverage and giving the money back to the City, she takes a check every month.

Further, even though Hawaiian Gardens is only one square mile, Maravilla has taken over $20,000 in car allowance since her election, bringing the total benefits taken to $38,000. 

Maravilla, who works for the city of Long Beach, also sponged off the public dole taking hefty benefits from Long Beach and Long Beach City College, while taking the cash from Hawaiian Gardens.

According to Transparent California, Maravilla has received benefits totaling over $45,000 since 2016.

The revelation that Maravilla accepted checks comes after she attempted to cut the City’s annual parade, the City’s Memorial Day ceremony, the annual Pow Wow Heritage event all while proposing a three-quarter cent sales tax for the City.

She was also blasted by residents for attending city funded junkets that have cost the City over $10,000 to Palm Springs and Miami, Florida.

FUN AT CONTRACT CITIES: (l-r) Mayor pro tem Jesse Alvarado, HG Parks and Rec. employee Juan Serrano, Mayor Myra Maravilla, and HG Planning Commissioner Anna Rodriguez, who was appointed by Maravilla and called the City’s spending on Senior programs “excessive.” Serrano’s attendance at the event was called into question by many residents.

Texts and emails into Maravilla went unreturned.

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10 Responses to Hawaiian Gardens Mayor Maravilla Cashing In Big On City Benefits

  1. Compensation

    October 13, 2019 at 1:16 pm

    Unfortunately this happens in way too many City councils/school boards. Do a records request on the nine cities surrounding Cerritos and you find this duplicated over n over, elected officials take cash in lieu of direct benefits. . No elected official should receive any compensation, this will put end to this. PV CC works pro bono, this should be statewide. Also, cities should be able to import appointees from outside district, like Haw Garden, they have run out of worthy candidates.

    If voters remember, 1970’s, voters approved a statewide prop, allowing staffers to live outside the city they were working, today, this needs to be readdressed, so cities and school boards, can pull candidates from outside the district. Do we need another Prop on ballot?

    If you remember, CCC current mayor, ran during election, no pay compensation, no insurance benefits; Wonder if this is still true today?

    It’s a worst shame ABC Unified School, does not honor Columbus Day, used to be a holiday school in all districts. Just about all city government and county jobs have it as a federal holiday and this is Thanksgiving for Canadians. Wrote our ABC Chair person about this, no reply, as Asia does not like Colombo day holiday, well this is USA not China….

    • Dale Clark

      October 15, 2019 at 11:23 am

      If we tried to run our government by not paying for employees we wouldn’t have a government that runs. The ability of an organization to attract and maintain talent is directly tied to its compensation plan. The city is moving into the correct direction. I am a Life long resident. Cops don’t treat us like scum anymore. Public works never misses a detail city wide. The best recreation programs open to the residents. Personally I think we should be paying more. We need talented individuals to be in charge so we don’t get stuck with people like Barry Bruce, who it’s a well known fact took a six figure donation to vote for last years trash contract.🤫

      • Compensation

        October 15, 2019 at 3:41 pm

        Pro Bono positions for trustees/ council are held throughout the country, please do you homework. Lived adjacent to Haw Gardens, for decades, do not see any changes, except for the major brick n mortar stores which come and go on Carson Street. None of the stores even come close to the trade, Plow Boys brought to the city in the 60′-70’s. If Haw. Gardens is so great, tell us why have BOA and Wal Mart vacated city?

        Park no Recreation programs, well most residents use: Long Beach, Costa Mesa, The Woods and Newport-Mesa.

        Tell us why Haw Gardens lost its LASD Station?

        Why cant HAW Gardens have their own unified school district, why do they have to piggy back on to surrounding cities?

        If you remember back from early 1900’s, Haw gardens was our local dump for trash hauling and much of the soil readings, taken today, do not even support life, so why hasnt the current HGCC addressed this, inorder to stop contaminating entire hoods.

        Most housing sells out immediately, why hasnt the new homes on Norwalk Blvd, ( Church Site) been sold out? Vacant for more then year. Prices sure are cheap, but no buyers…….hmmm!

      • Emily

        October 15, 2019 at 10:52 pm

        Dale Clark? You just came up with some random white name? Lol.

      • AndyAmerican

        October 21, 2019 at 10:56 pm

        I’m sincerely not trying to be insulting, but after reading your response..I no longer have hope for the future. May SkyNet be merciful & end it quickly.

  2. HG Resident

    October 14, 2019 at 9:57 pm

    She is the female version of Hitler. She trys to control everyone. Glad to see she lost one of her lapdogs but the biggest female lapdogs Alvarado is still there. This isn’t even the worst thing she has done. She hired her friend that didn’t know how to swim as a lifeguard. My child swam in that pool could you imagine if someone drowned all because she wants to get her friend a job. Pathetic. I hope the residents wake up and do not re elect her.

  3. Dale Clark

    October 15, 2019 at 11:31 am

    Your literally a troll with a blog. This isn’t news. The mayor uses her personal vehicle, of course she’s going to expense it, and 20,000 might seem like a lot but over 4 years that not much. I would expect more to be honest. 18,000 cash in lieu medical benefits is nothing. 4500 a year, less than 500 a month. So it’s not double dipping. She probably doesn’t need additional coverage and can rely on her benefits from the city of Lb.

    • Brian L. Hews

      October 15, 2019 at 11:37 am

      Over 2,000 views…apparently some think it is news including you Pedro…. and your logic is tortured…

  4. Emily

    October 15, 2019 at 10:55 pm

    The city is corrupt. When did she become mayor? It’s like a musical chairs at city Hall of who becomes mayor next. This young woman is unqualified. A lot of corruption in HG. All former gangsters that work in public works for the city know each other. They all use their city vehicles to run errands you see them at Don Ruben in the morning and at the hand car wash later.

  5. ANDRES R. S

    October 17, 2019 at 11:36 pm

    Ive worked hard on my application process with the city and have done Lifescan among other difficult task, and now i read this. No events means no hours! I know my family, neighbors and friends need events for community, work, and fun!