MAYWOOD — Two newly elected members of the City Council joined two incumbents to form a new power structure and lost no time in using it.
Shortly after being sworn in Dec. 9, the new council fired City Manager Lilian Myers and hired Pedro Carrillo as interim city manager.
Carrillo served as an administrator in Bell after the 2010 ouster of then-City Manager Robert Rizzo.
Outgoing members of the City Council and new members continued their battle up until their final clash as both the old and the new council took turns approving the same two items prior to the city manager issue.
Outgoing council members Veronica Guardado and Oscar Magana, supported by then-Mayor Eduardo De La Riva, approved setting a public hearing Jan. 13 on tightening up the city’s anti-marijuana law and on use of $657,388 in federal Community Development Bond Grant funds while Councilmen Thomas Martin and Ricardo Villarreal opposed both actions, a city spokesperson said.
But things changed after Sergio Calderon and Ramon Medina, who defeated Guardado and Magana in the Nov. 3 election, were sworn in.
They joined Martin and Villarreal in calling for reconsideration of the two items, which then passed 4-0 with De La Riva abstaining.
Martin was named mayor for the coming year on a 4-0 vote with De La Riva again abstaining. However, the vote to make Villarreal mayor pro tem was unanimous, the city spokesperson said.
The public hearing aimed at making the city’s anti-medical marijuana law, which prohibits such operations, more specific.
Project Manager Andre Dupret, in a written report to the council, explained that while California residents voted to allow medical marijuana sales several years ago, cities have the authority to prohibit them.
However, the city law must be more specific. If not, the state could take over regulation of marijuana sales under an order signed by Gov. Jerry Brown, Dupret said.
The twice-approved CDBG spending allocates $53,745 for graffiti removal, $150,000 for code enforcement, $200,000 for sidewalk repairs and $99,088 for grants to business owners to upgrade the exterior of their stores.