Friday, August 11, 2017

South Pasadena Review: City Pulls Interim City Manager Elaine Aguilar Out of Retirement

Mod: Don't know how I missed this one. The following is from May 26, and was pointed out in the comments yesterday by an attentive reader. Bruce Inman had also been appointed an Interim City Manager, this in the City of Bradbury, but has since moved on.

City Pulls Interim City Manager Elaine Aguilar Out of Retirement (South Pasadena Review link): In her own words, Elaine Aguilar “left a pretty good thing,” talking about coming out of retirement to serve in an interim role as South Pasadena’s city manager.

Aguilar said that South Pasadena’s solid reputation of being a well-run and well-managed city lured her back to city government, replacing former city manager Sergio Gonzalez. Gonzalez held down the post for the past five years, but worked in various roles for the city for 13.

While Gonzalez stepped down to assume the city manager position in the City of Hermosa Beach, Aguilar moved in to make what appears to be a seamless transition.

“I knew coming in I wasn’t tackling a big mess, needing something to be fixed,” explained Aguilar, noting there are a number of key issues she’ll be focusing on while a search for a permanent city manager is underway.

The decades-old fight against the 710 Freeway tunnel, improving roadways and infrastructure, along with efforts to update the city’s general plan and seeing that the 2017-18 budget gets approved are high on her list of current projects.

“The City Council wants to make sure we continue the momentum on those items,” said Aguilar. “I have a real passion for local government. I would not have been doing it for 33 years if I didn’t have that passion. The ability to bring my expertise and experiences for a period of time to help such a wonderful city, I couldn’t pass it up.”

Most of her professional career has been spent in the San Gabriel Valley. She served as Sierra Madre’s city manager prior to her retirement. “I have a lot contacts at the local, state and federal level, so I’m familiar with who is who,” she said. “I have built relationships with other city managers in the area, so coming over here was just a natural fit. It wasn’t a situation where I was going into an area that was totally foreign, an unknown. It was a perfect opportunity at a great time.”

Aguilar was born and raised in nearby El Sereno, just off Huntington Drive, and lived there until she was 24. In her youth, she attended a private middle school in South Pasadena before moving on to Woodrow Wilson High School in Los Angeles, followed by Cal State L.A., and USC.

Aguilar initially was on the path to become a certified public accountant until she took on a six-month internship at the City of Paramount while at USC “and just fell in love with the profession and realized this is where my skills were a better match,” explained Aguilar. She discovered that being a “people person” was a real asset in “finding consensus on things, and solving problems” when taking on tough issues.

It was suggested she just might want to stay on permanently and oversee the city government in South Pasadena. “Oh no, no, no, I’m ready for retirement when that day comes,” she said with a laugh. “I have three grandchildren who are greatly disappointed. They’re looking forward to grandma being much more available. I told them, ‘just a little six month delay and I’ll be back.’”

sierramadretattler.blogspot.com

45 comments:

  1. I feel Sierra Madre is so lucky. Many of us feel lucky to have our new city manager Gabe Engeland. We are all hoping he can pull us out of this 20 year mess.

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    1. I agree. I find it hard to comment on Elaine! Nothing nice to say.

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    2. I don't think we have even scratched the surface on all the bad she did.

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  2. Was going on with the lack of good management at city levels?
    Sierra Madre is very fortunate to have Mr Engeland come from out of state to this small town with it's many problems.
    The timing is such, Sierra Madre scored with Gabe; the difference of a few months and South Pasadena would have snared him.
    I can imagine Mr. Engeland is taking more Tylenol by now.

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    1. Unfortunately, the previous management created so many problems that Mr. Engeland has few options as to how to get Sierra Madre out of them...

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  3. We live in a moment when our government has too little transparency and our own private lives have too much.

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    1. Draw your curtains.

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    2. Unplug your smart meter.

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    3. Comprehensive report: How smart meters invade privacy
      https://takebackyourpower.net/comprehensive-report-how-smart-meters-invade-privacy/

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  4. South Pasadena has a huge tax base and strong business district.
    Not much Ms. Aguliar can do to encourage spending by that council, that they already are not aware of!

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  5. Perhaps Mr. Engeland is a new breed of City Manager. We can call them fixers. They sign on for 5 year increments with cities whose governments have become toxic and destructive, and undo the damage. Then move on. Elaine Aguilar is the epitome of toxic city government. Hopefully the fixer we hired to replace her can stop the madness she left behind.

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    1. Excellent insight,Thank you.But just be vigilant that Gabe doesn't gett corrupted by the EMployee Union

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    2. The big test will be the upcoming decisions on the Fire Dept and Paramedics. Nothing against them because they're good people who work hard for this city, but the city cannot afford to bring them up to fulltime employee status. Not until Sierra Madre gets out from under the massive debt load earlier City Councils foolishly took on. Sad to say, but just like the Library property they too are on the chopping block. You know where the real blame lies.

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  6. Top city administrator leaves South Pasadena. Here’s what comes next.
    http://www.pasadenastarnews.com/government-and-politics/20170711/top-city-administrator-leaves-south-pasadena-heres-what-comes-next

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  7. If Elaine is called out of retirement inorder to be a seat warmer, will here retirement in CalPERS be increased by this lateral move?

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    1. Of course. Why else would she be doing it?

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  8. please consider this, Sierra Madre is under water (figuratively) with it's finances and other state law obligations that cities by law have to provide it's residents and voters here in Sierra Madre, California. A quick fix seems to be taking a little longer than planned due to huge obligations that were agreed to years ago by (kick the can) gang that ran Sierra Madre into it's financial quagmire it's in NOW.

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    1. In 2020 the payments on the 2003 water bonds more than doubles to well over $600K. That can has grown a whole lot.

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  9. Quote of the day:
    "Even those that want me to die don't want me to die right away, so that's good." John McCain

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  10. 9:28am. I am curious as to what is Mr. McCain's meaning behind his quote.
    The quote does tie into the City of Sierra Madre and it's slow death from idiotic decisions and votes made over all these years, when there were so many individuals in "the know", that instead choose to be present and do nothing except pass hot air.

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    1. I think he's saying even if many people don't agree with his political views they are thankful for his vote on health care

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  11. “I knew coming in I wasn’t tackling a big mess, needing something to be fixed.” Like the big mess she created here.

    Good luck, South Pas.

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    1. yea but when she leaves someone will have to come in and fix whatever mess she creates

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  12. Did Elaine retire? My guess is it wasn't voluntary.

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  13. Will this Post Get Past the Ban?August 11, 2017 at 10:45 AM

    Talk about failing up! Way to go Elaine!

    And best of all we have a City Manager who - shockingly for Sierra Madre - is honest in open about the nature of our problems. We are stuck with excessive water rates due to bond debt. We are stuck with high Utility Taxes due to excessive cost of independent police and library. We need to once again raise Utility Taxes to fund excessive cost of independent "volunteer" fire department and paramedics. Those facts are on us, and Gabe is right to honestly highlight them.

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  14. Under Elaine Aguilar and the City Councils who enabled her, this city was run by its so-called "employee associations." Now there is an opportunity for the residents to take the place back. We'll have to see if they have it in them.

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  15. Stop the Ban on Trump Supporter Rick!August 11, 2017 at 11:03 AM

    The City is being just as the residents desire. They want a special water supply and are willing to pay what it takes to keep it. They want special police cars and passed an excessive UUT to keep them. They special fire trucks and will no doubt approve a UUT hike to keep them. Those. Are. The. Facts.

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    1. What do you support Trump for? I just read a story online that talks about his temper tantrums and how he throws things at his staff. The guy is nuts.

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    2. Stop the Ban on Trump Supporter Rick!August 11, 2017 at 11:49 AM

      In order to avoid being once again banned I will refrain from viewing or addressing Trump on this blog. Suffice to say, I believe the working class in the country - from which I come, am no longer a member of, but have not forgotten - is being screwed by both parties.

      Two candidates - Trump and Sanders - cared about that class. Each was targeted for destruction by "their" party. One had and has an economically reasonable plan to assist the working class. I voted for him and continue to support his plan.

      That is it. I will not further address or make fun of the nonsense posted here as it got me banned by my good friend and local politics comrade John(unfortunate choice of words, but Trump supporters are really covert Russian sympathizers, right?). Sincerely, Rick

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    3. Nobody has screwed the working class more than Trump. Just ask the former employees of Carrier.

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    4. Make Russia Great Again!August 11, 2017 at 12:02 PM

      Russian Rick, everyone. Do svidaniya(до свидания)!

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    5. Let this sink in, Rick. Trump attacked Congress for sanctions against Russia ... and THANKED Putin for sanctions against the United States. Which included the explulsion of American diplomatic staff. It's called treason.

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    6. Obviously you were not at the water meeting last Wednesday night 11:03. The residents LOUDLY complained about their water bills and were not willing to pay for special water. They wanted accountability for the Water Dept mess. They were ANGRY!

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    7. Hmmm I must have been at a different meeting. Just the regular screamers and many interested taxpayers asking relevant questions

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    8. You're right. You must have been at a different meeting.

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  16. I say ban Rick sounds like an old gas bag.

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  17. Fat Shaming is GoodAugust 11, 2017 at 1:30 PM

    old, but extremely well preserved due to sound diet and non-stop exercise.

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    1. Pride goes before a fall....

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  18. I drove through Bradbury the other day. It looks like they survived Bruce.

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    1. Better question is will Bailey Canyon survive the monastery road cut through? The road and parking lot are county land.

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    2. The Monastery has no interest in developing their property within the next 10 years or so. Of course they can change their minds at any time.

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    3. That community is set - they are small, they know who they are, and are very clear about what they'll allow and what they won't. Any municipal servants there are truly servants.

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  19. But Alverno has cleared all their legal hurdles put up by the NIMBY neighbors and will start construction of their athletic fields in the very near future

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  20. I support "ban Rick" and I support President Trump, I support fredom of speech, so if I am banned from this blog then the fix is in...hypocrisy.

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    1. I support the "fredom" of the spelling disabled.

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