News: brad@bradhaugaard.com   •  Restaurants   •  Movies  •  Map  •  Potholes, Etc.  •  Library Catalog  •  Facebook / Twitter / RSS

$650,000 in Change Orders for Station Square Never Approved by Monrovia Council


The following letter is from Mayor Mary Ann Lutz:

We were informed by City Staff during the Council meeting last night that approximately $650,000 in change orders for construction work on Station Square was somehow authorized and went forward last year without first getting City Council approval.

All of the changes had been discussed with the Council in general terms and had received the Council's okay, but were never brought back for approval of the actual expenditures. The $650,000 is covered in the project's budget, with another $751,445 remaining in unallocated funds.

That this happened during a time of major staff cutbacks and changes in management is no excuse. The Council will be meeting again Friday in a special session to receive a report from Staff on how this unacceptable oversight occurred.

As this is the last week before the Mayoral and City Council elections, we can expect a good deal of political rhetoric surrounding this situation. Please do not rush to judgment.

I am the Mayor. This happened on my watch, and I accept my share of the responsibility. My opponent Council Member Adams, who has direct oversight responsibility for Public Works, was also surprised by this disclosure. We share both the blame and the responsibility to find out exactly what happened and to make sure it doesn't happen again.

Mayor Mary Ann Lutz

- Brad Haugaard

29 comments:

  1. I will hold my comments until we find out who did this but it certainly points the Gross Mismanagement that Monrovia has experienced over the past few years.

    ReplyDelete
  2. I will watch the kgem video for clarity but if Mayor Lutz referred to Tom Adams as her "opponent" while each of them were sitting in full City Council mode addressing a serious City issue I will not hesitate to rush to judgement on that. All 5 members of that council are elected city partners.Nothing more nothing less. The upcoming election should never been mentioned in that meeting from that chair. Shame on HER!! Now we wait for conclusions on this new OOPS.

    ReplyDelete
  3. Too bad there wasn't a third candidate.

    ReplyDelete
  4. This is a letter, NOT what was said during the council meeting. It came as a surprise to all and He who is in charge of Public Works was ALSO surprised. There is money to cover this and still some in reserve. It has nothing to with gross mismanagement "Tom". ;) They will get to the bottom of it and it should not be politicized, especially since both candidates were equally involved.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Anonymous, if you take a few minutes and read the Monrovia Municipal Code section § 2.04.120, you will discover that NO city council member has any authority of any employee EXCEPT the City Manager and City Attorney. To say that any council member has direct oversight responsibility is just another fabrication.

      Delete
    2. Wow. So there it is, in your own words! No council member has any authority over any employee, nor does any council member have direct oversight responsibility. Obviously, this includes the mayor. Thank you for clarifying.

      Delete
    3. Awwww....Great Point, McMama. All of this negativity and claims of mismanagement. All along council members have no authority over ANY employee...since the Mayor has exact same authority as every other council member, no more and no less, this has been a personal vendetta

      Delete
    4. Mismanagement comes from how the city council votes.

      Delete
  5. This type of thing is so common in a public sector environment. It will be interesting to hear exactly what happened and if any one person is held accountable. As a business owner if one of my employees dropped the ball there would be repercussions, someone would be fired. Unfortunately with any city/government position there tends to not be much accountability. I know this is a generalized blanket statement but it is true.

    ReplyDelete
  6. Mary Ann Lutz, the buck stops with you!! To try to share the blame is disgusting!!

    ReplyDelete
  7. Its not Maryann's or Tom's fault. The employees or employee that didn't communicate with the council. The person overseeing the project should be reprimanded.

    ReplyDelete
  8. The fact of the matter is that no council member has "direct" oversight over any department. Legally there are only two people that work for the council, the city manager and the city attorney. All of the other employees legally fall under the direction of the city manager. I think we will find out that the previous city manager did this and since he is gone we can't reprimand him. This does point to sloppy management and this is what the campaign is all about. When you look at the loss of grants, dumping of raw sewage, failure to report water contamination and now this, all under the watch of part time city managers that the mayor voted for and I against.

    ReplyDelete
  9. Tom Adams what water contamination does Monrovia have

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. 1601 S. Myrtle has soil contamination, mainly gasoline and benzine, that we have been under state order to test and quarterly report. For some reason we stopped testing and reporting, as required, about 4 years ago. This was at the same time as Mrs. Lytz sat as the Chair of the State Water Quality Board.

      Delete
    2. 1601 S. Myrtle has soil contamination that the city was under state order to test and report on a quarterly basis. For some reason when Mrs. Lutz was the Chair of the Water Quality Control Board Monrovia stopped reporting. Monrovia has gone 4 years without reporting now. Tuesday evening Ken Manning who is the Exective Director of the Water Quality Authority indicated that the plume of contamination is not heading south the our wells, it is heading west into Arcadia.

      Delete
    3. In fact, Mr Manning, never used the words, "plume of contamination". He actually stated the water flow from that area flows in a westerly direction. He also stated that his agency is making sure the San Gabriel Valley has safe, potable drinking water. The word contamination did not come from him in his statement before the council. He was there to fix the impression that our water was not safe. Jeez, I wonder where THAT impression might have come from, Mr. Adams.

      Delete
    4. I am sorry if I confused you, the definition of Plume is;

      3.An area in air, water, soil, or rock containing pollutants released from a single source. A plume often spreads in the environment due to the action of wind, currents, or gravity.

      Again, sorry for not using the exact word that he used, I would have thought that more knew the definition.

      Delete
    5. Hey tom question for you do yo think the gasoline and contamination could have came from when foothill towing when they used to use 1601 south myrtle the main well field as there storage yard for cars and they were parked on dirt and entered from old peck road before they moved to Pomona. Ave and could it be how close we are to pick a part

      Delete
    6. I was never confused. You were just not accurate when stating the facts of Mr. Manning's statement.

      Delete
  10. Again, with all the misinformation and negativity. The grants? Who was mayor when much of this happened? NOT Mayor Lutz. WHO sat on the council for twenty years while ALL of this happened? YOU! Raw Sewage dumped? NO! The truck was rinsed, per the recommendations and the first rinse disposed of correctly. A second rinse was done and that water was discharged NEAR the wells. That well water has been repeatedly tested and there is NO contamination. The council does divide up areas of responsibility in order to create a more effective liaison . Were you not the council member for the public works dept? At the very least, why not do something proactive instead of doing nothing but complain and save the potholes for campaign issues. Mr Adams, you have made this a campaign with a petty personal vendetta. NOT what's best for Monrovia. Personally, this election can't come soon enough for me. IF you should win, good luck repairing all the damage you've done.

    ReplyDelete
  11. I am not sure who Anonymous is but I can tell you that I have voiced these issues for years to no avail. I would have preferred that these things were addressed in a timely manner but every time it looked like we may have made some ground the management changed. Four times I tried to convince the council that part time management would lead to failure, four times the council voted for part time management. I really would have preferred that these things were fixed, I take no pleasure in any of this but one thing is certain, none of this improves without change. I am sorry that you feel that bringing factual issues to light is damaging, perhaps you might have preferred to just sit silent and ignore the problems we face. The first step in any recovery is the acknowledgement that you have a problem. These issues have been largely ignored for years and now we get to go through the pain of dealing with them.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. The first interim manager worked from January, 2012 to April, 2012. The second (spelled briefly by Steve Sizemore because he was retired and couldn't work over a certain number of hours, as you know) was in place from October, 2013 to October, 2014. Both interim managers worked full-time, not part-time, while they served. The recession, which created much of the maintenance backlog, began years before the first interim manager showed up. Furthermore, our city has not failed! We are perfectly positioned to prosper in the coming years, now that our economy has recovered and the Gold Line is set to open. Your mischaracterization of nearly every aspect of Monrovia's management and the state of our city has been dishonest and needlessly divisive.

      Delete
  12. You spoke up about the grants for years? You knew they were going to expire or the employee hid the truth for years? You warned the council about these facts for years? Did you vote to approve the budgets that were necessary during the economic downturn? The budgets that had no money for infrastructure? Every city across this country was laying off staff and cutting so they could survive. Your constant playing with words and ducking the whole scenario is almost comical to watch. Except it's not humorous to have someone who wants to lead our city play so loosely with the facts.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Anonymous, my comments have always lead to the same thing, poor management. If you are okay with the manner in which Monrovia has been run then you should vote for the status quo, which I am sure you will. On the other hand, if you are as disappointed as I am you might want to consider change, after all, improvement NEVER comes without change.

      Delete
  13. What I find comical is that at least Tom comes on this site to debate and discuss his side. I haven't seen anything from Lutz. Is this the type of person we want to lead Monrovia that is inaccesible and not willing to put herself out there?

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I really prefer that that Mayor Lutz does not engage that much on Monrovia Now or other social media sites. If the Mayor has that much time on her hands then something is wrong. I prefer her to be dealing with the business of the City rather than posting on social media. I have always found her to be responsive to calls and emails.

      Delete
  14. The Mayor does have a couple public Facebook pages she seems to respond to. To constantly be here and there on Facebook is not a barometer of her accessibility. Her phone number and email are readily available. I have seen her respond to questions very promptly.

    ReplyDelete
  15. Brad and Tom I have a question. I noticed Tom Adams Mayor signs at California an myrtle split I notified the city clearks office and she said that placement of signs on that area is illegal and they are still there. Who is responsible for picking them up she said she would call someone to pick them up they are still there

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I just drove by and there are no signs there. I dont think that is Monrovia but I appreciate the tip.

      Delete