_____________________________ ST. NORBERT CHURCH           RATES ________________________         EBOOK


HMG-CN EDITORIAL: Transparency in Our Local Government

Not in Cerritos.

Old Guard Cerritos elected officials have had a long and well-documented history of extravagancy coupled with loose fiscal management. Whether it be lavish trips and $65 halibut dinners or getting paid for trip mileage while receiving a $500 monthly car allowance, Cerritos residents often find themselves in the dark on what council is spending.

Recently, Hews Media Group-Community News was shocked to find out that, when presented a public records request for emails written by Cerritos city council on a certain subject, council members were using, and have been using, their own private emails and personal cell phones to conduct city business.

Even more shocking, the City does not keep the emails therefore all communications are not subject to a public records request.

That’s right. All email communications by Cerritos publicly elected officials are not subject to a public records request.

The California’s Public Records Act is clear. Any city business, regardless of device or method of transmission, is public record.
Except in Cerritos, and other corrupt cities such as San Diego.

HMG-CN asked for and received personal emails related to the Assessor Noguez story, which showed massive property reductions and led to the arrest of the Assessor and three others.

HMG-CN asked for and received personal emails related to Rick Caruso property reductions at the Americana, which showed Caruso taking a massive tax reduction check that belonged to Nordstroms.

HMG-CN asked for and received personal emails related to Wendy Greuel, which showed Ms. Greuel campaigning during regular buisness hours.
Greuel even said that, “I mixed up my personal and business emails.”

Yet Cerritos tells HMG-CN that they do not keep any city council emails because they all use their private email accounts. Talk about the fox guarding the hen house.

Are they exempt from the California’s Public Records Act? Absolutely not.

Elected Assessor Noguez’ was not. Niether was Caruso’s or Greuel’s.

But the Cerritos council acts like they are exempt.

The council talks a good game about transparency, posting the one-page dining reimbursement policy online after we exposed Carol Chen, Bruce Barrows, and Jim Edwards eating $65 steaks and $20 desserts, but they do not follow through on overall transparency.

This use of personal email accounts by Cerritos city council to conduct city business should raise some very serious concerns.

HMG-CN calls for the council to pass a formal policy forbidding the use of personal email accounts for city business.

Furthermore, the policy should state that any and all past communication including databases, spreadsheets, calendar entries, appointments, and notes which reside in part or in whole on any City computer or any other electronic system or equipment should be made public.

What could be their objection?

HMG-CN also calls on the residents of Cerritos to get involved and voice your opinion at the next city council meeting.

It is either that or allow council to travel to meaningless meetings, like last weeks Independent Cities Association that Barrows and Chen attended at the posh Ranch Bernardo Inn on Cerritos’ dime, even though Cerritos is not an “independent” city.

Sources tell HMG-CN that Barrows talked more about the Orange Line than Cerritos.

The current Cerritos policy is not a simple technical violation of complex legal requirements but a widespread and concerted effort to prevent Cerritos residents from having access to basic government dealings.

Fundamentally failing to fulfill even basic government duties, the Cerritos council have engaged in a systematic program to hide records from the public.

It is your choice Cerritos city council, full transparency or not.

My bet is… Not in Cerritos.

  • McMahon, J. says:

    Friday, July 19, 2013


    CK the dining receipts, some are ordering 2-3 meals, as the meals are bagged in doggy bags, to bring home. Many times, witnessed double ordering dinners, as the tax payers are paying for this food.

    Our council and commissioners are growing belly fat and enormous butts, from all of the dining, but yet our breached citywide public works are not addressed and are being thrown under the Asian Carpet for another council to inherit.


    • Commission and committee hearings minutes are not on line.

    • All agendas are removed from on-line, after the public hearing.

    • Traffic Safety Committee and Let Freedom Ring Committee and CCPA Committee are not on line, not televised and not archived.

    • On-line PDF are not searchable, not categorized or index for searching.

    • 2013 was first yr, the budget study was televised, but not archived for referencing……hmmmmm smell fowl here.

    • Why aren’t the council candidates forums archive and on line?

    • Remember the e-mail war between Councilpersons Crawly –Vs- Edwards and the sheriff had already searched city hall, but the city manager said during the council hearing, he knew nothing about the search or the stray email slander.

    • Why are all the appointed committee and commissioner reachable by email or phone, as they are suppose to be the eyes and ears for the council?


  • Mr.Cerritos says:

    The City of Cerritos City Manager, Art Gallucci is ignorant, he doesn’t know what transparency is and doesn’t want transparency to be any part of the city.

  • Mr.Cerritos says:

    The law is clear enough. The public is entitled to any public records about the public’s business whatever technology is used, from pencil and paper to text messages and email.

  • McMahon, J. says:

    Art Gallucci (CM) : 40 Yr employee!!

    • Employee, not elected.
    • Has to follow ethics.
    • Been controlled by Cerritos old (R) cronies.

    If voters were more vocal, CM, would not be puppet by 3 (R) in house and the 2 (D) could digest more leverage over CM.

    All of the city employees do not work for the CCC, but for the people. If the residents and especially voters were more vocal during all public hearings, change would occur.

    Chinese residents have been way to absent and non vocal, so have no control over the CCC nor 90703 employees. 90703 Chinese have created the new norm!!!!

    Government is only a end product of the people, so we have paved the way for non transparency and the peoples have not spoken in protest.

    Transparency prohibition is being monitored by the absence from the CHINESE 90703.

    Monday, July 22, 2013.

  • Definitely consider that which you said. Your favourite reason seemed to be on the web the
    simplest factor to consider of. I say to you, I definitely get annoyed
    at the same time as people consider concerns that they plainly don’t understand about. You managed to hit the nail upon the highest as neatly as outlined out the entire thing without having side effect , people can take a signal. Will probably be back to get more. Thanks

  • It is in point of fact a nice and helpful piece off info.
    I am gladd thatt you shared this useful information with us.
    Please keep us up to date like this. Thanks for sharing.