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Insults and Personal Attacks Mar Hawaiian Gardens City Council Meeting

By Brian Hews

Controversy surrounded the Friday March 11 special meeting called by Hawaiian Gardens marked by Council members yelling at each other, yelling at those in attendance, hurling personal attacks on each other, with attendees even hurling insults at the City Council.

The meeting was a result of the “resignation” of long-time Hawaiian Gardens City Manager Ernesto Marquez and the reported hiring of convicted felon and former Hawaiian Gardens Police Chief Walter C. McKinney as the City Manager.

Sources were telling HMG-CN that Hawaiian Gardens Mayor Barry Bruce and Mayor pro tem Reynaldo “Rey” Rodriguez were behind Marquez’ removal and have plans to “basically take over the city.”

Bruce, knowing Marquez was resigning Friday, set his plan into motion by sending out a public meeting notice two days ago calling for a “under the radar meeting” at 3:30 on Friday afternoon.

But Hawaiian Gardens residents and union members learned of the meeting and showed up in force.

Five union members took turns at the dais, each for three minutes, blasting the Council for considering McKinney and the lack of transparency in his possible hiring.

As the fifth speaker ended, Mayor Bruce said, “that’s your 15 minutes we will now recess in the closed session. ”

That drew loud boos from those in attendance and also drew the ire Councilwomen Mariana Rios and Myra Maravilla.

Rios made a motion to continue the public comment, which was seconded by Maravilla. But when the vote was called, Councilmen Hank Trimble, Mayor pro tem Rodriguez, and Mayor Bruce voted to go into closed session setting off a firestorm of protest in Council Chambers.

Rios argued that, “the attendees came out at 3:30 on Friday to speak and should be allowed to speak longer.” Bruce interrupted Rios several times during her speech; the two started yelling at each other, culminating in Bruce loudly banging his gavel.

Bruce and Rodriguez then got up, walked out of chambers and into the closed session Trimble hesitated for about 10 seconds and then walked out. The attendees booed loudly and hurled insults as they left the room.

Rios and Maravilla then followed the three into the session.

Approximately one hour later they came out of closed session and, according to sources, voted 4-1 to not hire McKinney.

Sources told HMG-CN that Bruce was the loan yes vote.

HG Councilwoman Myra Maravilla told HMG-CN, “I don’t personally remember McKinney as a child, but the only thing older residents remember is his corruption, abuse of power, and harassment to the community. I am appalled that Mayor Bruce tried to blindside the council with this last minute special meeting. I am grateful to the residents and the union for coming out full force to show that our community will not be held hostage by the Mayor’s dictator tactics. I am equally one vote on council and he cannot silence me.”



  • sweepsailor says:

    And so the Hawaiian Gardens city council follies start.. for a long time myself and numerous others have been leery of Bruce and Rodriguez. They are now showing their true colors!! I think this is where we came in back in 1996.. been there and got the T shirt!!

  • Roddy from Pico says:

    I’m not surprised. We see this style of amateur hour politics in city after city. Look at what’s been happening at Central Basin as a result of Pico’s Jim Roybal and with the Pico Rivera City Council. This paper should pay closer attention to Mayor David Armenta and how he’s lined his pockets for the past decade. Follow the money people and it usually leads to those in power, especially to those in power the longest like Armenta.

  • Food 4 Less says:

    HG one way homes are still present, the same as in Norwalk. Referring to the narrow strips of lots, where some of the homes floorprint are Street to Street, full of non-permitted structures and multi- families living in filth conditions. Homes are in such a bad shape, it’s a downhill battle trying to live in them. Where is the code enforcement task force?

    Homeless have been kicked out of the former USPO office lot and making new camps in adjoining areas. Homeless are sleeping on sidewalks around Pioneer and Carson & everywhere else.

    Almost monthly, another HG murder, which is far and few between in Rossmore, Long Beach, Cypress, La Palma and Cerritos.

    Pseudo gate defining Hawaiian Gardens and Long Beach, is still present, Hawaiian Garden substituted the gate with speed bumps and a vinyl fence separating the two cities by center island, to keep HG drunks from meandering in to posh El Dorado Estates.

    Pioneer/ Carson /605 Freeway is property in Hawaiian Gardens, very poor urban planning. Hawaiian Gardens needs to work with Long Beach in order to improve that area, as most of the traffic flow is feeding into Orange County and Hawaiian Gardens gambling casinos. That intersection is nothing but traffic being generated in to Hawaiian Gardens. Traffic flowing Westbound from that intersection, is being fed into the Long Beach town center.

    Giant landowner, Franklin is corrupt as the past Indians who ruled HG public dumps. HG can not even begin to control his vast holdings in the city. Why does Franklin hide out in Huntington Harbor, to avoid prosecution from LA DA office?

    Hawaiian Gardens have so many underage mommies, babies being born to 10 to 15 year old mothers, I expect HG to spend money with ABC Unified School District, in order to help these poor children of under-aged parenting. Mommies are pushing baby strollers, up/down streets, barely 10 YO PG mommies.

    Still the graduating classes from Artesia High School is not equal to the State numbers. Too many children students never graduate out of HG.

    HG government has never been able to work the surrounding cities. Seated council is no different then yesteryears, absent to many political/ social functions held in other cities: County Supervisor, assembly person, senator and congress person, has never been successful in working w/ HG.

    Indians mob type of government, back in the seventies and eighties which ran the city, was as corrupt as the mean breed generated from council politicians today.

    The Catholic Church trying to become an atom in Hawaiian Gardens, but has failed. Area is surrounding the church compounds, another business, which has failed the city again and again.

    BOA was run out of the cities by armed robberies after robberies. Wal-Mart deserted HG, as the city did not support, plus Rossmoor and El Dorado Park shoppers were robbed, car stolen and greeted w/ parking lot filth and debris. 99 store mentality is worthy of the crap found in HG shoppers. KFC closed doors, as the chicken was more then day old rooster caucuses, and feeders in city chose to eat back yard burritos made from wild doves/pigeons.

    HG Casinos parking lots are the new version of KOA campland, with no overnight parking fees. Shameful that the students attending the ABC campus, to the north of casinos, have to view the homeless gamblers sleeping in the cars and peeing/ puking curbside parking alleys.

    Yesteryears, LA Times reported out of HG the bad n ugly. Today, public can see the corruption on TV cable live/re runs. Photo and feeds, speak million words. Mayor Bruce is slick-corrupt politician, his hair says it all.

    • Mike Gomez says:

      There is a saying “you are entitled to your own opinion but not your own facts”. According to the State Board of Education Website statewide graduation rates are 80.9%. While ABCUSD’s latest recorded graduation rates (2013-14) show Artesia High School’s graduation rates at 97.9%.
      Food 4 Less seems to throw everything against the wall, including the kitchen sink, hoping something will stick. There may be a hint of truth in there somewhere, but most of it is so mean and nasty it is hard to give it any validity.
      As a long time Hawaiian Gardens resident and “former” City Council Member (I know Maria likes the term “former” lol!!) I am very offended by tone of his remarks. Were I still in office I would invite Food 4 Less to City Hall where we could have a conversation about the state of the community and we could hopefully come to an agreement that all is not as bad as he perceives while yes there is still work to be done.
      I waited a couple of days to respond hoping someone at city hall would speak up to defend the community they represent, sadly Food 4 Less may have a point about their disengagement with things outside their own fiefdom.