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Editorial: Cerritos Needs Trusted Leadership

Embattled Cerritos City Councilwoman Carol Chen.

Embattled Cerritos City Councilwoman Carol Chen.



If you have read our coverage in the past, we have reported time and time again how Cerritos Council-members have used their trusted position as an “elected representative of the people” to benefit their personal agendas.

It is time for real leadership.

Los Cerritos Community Newspaper is urging the defeat of incumbent Cerritos City Councilwoman Carol Chen in next Tuesday’s election.

We don’t take this decision lightly, but we stand firm in our position.

And so do others. Here are our reasons.

Leaders must compromise. Here is what the hard working Cerritos Employees Association, Local 619 said about Chen on their website just one year ago:

“Mayor Carol Chen, adding insult to injury, required everyone – including the state dignitaries who showed up to speak – to wait three hours until the agenda item was even addressed.”

“Mayor Carol Chen scolded Congresswoman Linda Sanchez at a heated city council meeting and for inappropriately requiring residents – many with children in tow on a school night – to wait so long for an opportunity to speak about a city employee union agreement?”

Leaders do not abuse city finances. Chen did, as witnessed by the “Travelgate” scandal LCCN published two weeks ago where Chen, Barrows, and Edwards dined on $65 halibut and $32 steaks when on a trip to Washington D.C. And we presented many other trips where the same amounts were spent on meals.

Leaders help the city. LCCN has obtained a memo from Michael Kodama, Executive Director of the Orange Line Development, who gladly promoted the fact that Chen was responsible for coordinating a trip to Mainland China to, among other things, “examine potential public/private investment opportunities.” Chen defended her mission to China. We called it for what it really was, unnecessary and a misuse of public funds.

Leaders do not mislead voters. Chen has misled voters in her mailers about the fiscal condition of the city.  She claimed the city has cut $40 million from the budget. She used accounting tricks and cumulative numbers.

Leaders solve problems. LCCN has obtained documents that show the CCPA has lost an astounding $22 million since 2008. Not one word or proposal from Chen.

Leaders do not take donations with strings attached. LCCN obtained Chen’s campaign statements this past week and found a Chinese developer, who had built three large projects in Artesia, donated $5,000 to her campaign. That is a huge sum of money for a local council race and begs the question of what Chen will do to pay the developer back.

Leaders are not hypocrites. Chen supported fee increases at our very own taxpayer owned facilities here in Cerritos, and then backed off when she saw voter outrage.

Leaders lead. There are some city councils that take no money from the city; they feel it is a public service to be a council-person. Other councils take very little money, like La Palma. Chen, Barrows, and Edwards were caught recording mileage expense while getting a $400 monthly car allowance.

If they do that, who knows what else they will do with city money.

And that’s not the type of leadership we need here in Cerritos.

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  • McMahon, J. says:

    Thursday, February 28, 2013.

    Carol Chen ® is elected community property controlled by all residents of the city. Carol should represent all residents equally and not continuously play the race card toward China. She is elected as councilperson and not Chinese Ambassador or appointee under Gov. Brown for Chinese Entrepreneur.

    Carol has not addressed the above many issues in our citywide breached PUBLIC- WORKS, but has bathed herself in Queen for the Year, in Travelgate affairs. Last Mayor’s Transition, Carol received more flowers then the Rose Parade orders for floral decorating the floats. Guess the flowers were for her One Time Term as councilperson.

    Never once in her 4.5 yrs as councilperson, did she address:
    • Europe
    • South America
    • Africa
    • Canada
    • Australia
    • Russia

    Ex: #1.
    Even tonight, 2 |28|13; when she spoke at the end of the CCC, she had to mention the Chinese Lunar Year, why not just reference the Lunar New Year.

    Why has she left the City proposed Protocol Manual in limbo for almost 4 yrs, still not completed and cost the residents poss. >$1M and nothing to show forth. Reminds me how Mitt Romney and Obama both said multiple times during their campaigning, how China wants to play with different set of rules……hmmmmm, Carol doesn’t want the rules of Protocol Manual in ink version.

    City’s real estate portfolio, more the 3 buildings are vacant for almost a decade and she has not addressed:
    • Multiple 166th St Warehouses
    • Vacant Museum Pad.
    • Vacant Hotel pad.

    Carol advertises of her financial portfolio wealth, so why each year, has the failing finances of the CCPA not been studied and addressed? Let’s face cold reality facts for (2) decades:
    Cerritos is not Los Angeles, nor Newport Beach, nor West Los Angeles, nor Pasadena, as all of these cities are home to performing centers and are having financial difficulties. Cerritos is just a cow poke bedroom city with only one Orig, store left ((Sears). No one wants to spend money on the luxury of Performing Arts, in a hick city at best. City is subsidizing this CCPA pink elephant, when < 9% of the residents attends the CCPA.

    MYSTERY halo haunts this CCC, why all of the traveling and advertising the jaunts, after the fact; why not make pre- announcements of travel for public transparency, during open meetings at the city council agendas and allow the city residents to discuss openly during meetings.

    Mind boggling, how Rep. Mrs. Chen and Rep. "Battery" Barrows, are always hanging together as bros or carpooling to yonder; as what is this saying for family values, principals and integrity? Know our students must be reading in to this type of business relationship or elevated to personal bonding??? Democrats and Republics seated on this council, have drifted apart and are not bonding as fusion of council.

    Why has Chen ® appointed empty binders to her commissions and committees, as all races and sexes are absent???? Realtors are leaders in showing diversity and not be color or sex blinded……………. Where was her role model discipline skills and leadership????


  • McMahon, J. says:

    Friday, March 01, 2013

    CCPA –Vs- Carol Chen


    When started 20 yrs ago, it was subsidized mainly for attracting A rated talent.

    Today’s economy, (A & B) rated talent is not attracted to the CCPA, as this group wants more box office intake, included as underwriting in their contract take. This group is attracted to more upscale hoods, where they can attract big money and along with a city w/ entertaining staples.

    CCPA is only able to attract C and D talent and now the diversity of the city council, is arguing about more of global talent shows, compared to balancing books.

    Well the money is not in Cerritos for the CCPA, as < 9% of the population uses the center. Diversity has closed many Cerritos restaurants and after hr entertainment, which would follow a night out at the CCPA. Plus many surrounding cities have performing arts center, many which are closed from the economy crash. After 40 yrs, Sears Store in the only business to survive the diversity of Cerritos. Diversity of shopping and dining in Cerritos, is killing our business economy.

    CCPA friends trust account, has failed to construct proposed Satellite Theaters. Economy is not robust and the spirit from 90703 has left the area. Diversity has killed off home-grown spirits.

    Since we have a council which has dead ears to the crash of the CCPA, city residents need to form a independent ( WATCH DOG ) Grp, to perform audits of the financial portfolio. Before voting for any council, the public voters should perform a drive by inspection, of the failing compounds of the CCPA, as the existing condition is sub standard, to the competition in OC/LA. Near future, to balance the books at the center, CCPA needs to install $2-$3M roof and attract A & B rated talent. Mgmt at the CCPA will have to be subcontracted out and leave the city politicians and staffers away from the center. Government is not formed to manage business, let alone theaters and musicals.

    Negative CCPA History is repeating, as the council fought swords over the center (20) yrs ago; unions strikes stopped construction of the building and now the performers and subscription audience are at feudal times.

    Contact Carol and seek answers on the CCPA, based on her 4.5 yrs in office. Remember, politicians can promise the world, but the tract record portfolio is what the voters should use to tally their vying power.

    [email protected];
    [email protected];


    Phone (562) 293-7001

    Court Ordered injunction may be the best way to stop and smell the dead roses being propagated out of this CCPA.


  • Informed says:

    Mr. McMahon..
    You seem to have alot of time on your hands by not selling real estate…
    Why don’t you run for City Council since you seem to know how to do it all.

  • Jim Q. Public says:

    RE Matt Kauble

    Bully? Are you speaking from personal insight?

    An individual is judged by the company he keeps.