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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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