The city of Monterey Park has serious problems with City Manager Mark Lewis. A city that has lost 80% of its employees is in deep trouble, and the buck stops at the city manager's desk.
Lewis overpays some department heads, and some are given outrageous benefits. We are told county salaries don't come near matching Monterey Park's bloated salaries, and the state is in the process of letting employees go. Lewis broke City Code by purchasing a $10,470 computer, and by itemizing the costs, Lewis insists he didn't have to go to the council for permission to buy this item.
Residents made many requests to learn the costs of the child-care program, the best-kept secret in town. When Councilwoman Marie Purvis requested this information, Lewis sent her 34 pages without disclosing any actual costs. After further prodding by Purvis, Lewis gave her the information.
Funds for child care were not supposed to come from taxpayers. HUD was to subsidize the program. Now we learn Monterey Park taxpayers have paid $10,644 over a six-month period. Council members Sam Kiang, Fred Balderrama and Judy Chu are Lewis' apologists. Why? An independent investigation would tell.
These are a few of the reasons our city administration is in disarray. We support Mayor Betty Couch and Councilwoman Purvis in their request for Mark Lewis' resignation.
Editor's note: The employee loss referred to is among the top 10 city posts, over the past two years.