Diamond Bar to Vote on Employee Contracts and Exchange Funds with Pomona

The Diamond Bar City Council listened to sanitation employees ask for approval of their employee contracts and moves to exchange transit funds with Pomona


Steve Tye, Mayor Pro Tem for the city of Diamond Bar, CA on May 7. Photo credit: Lauren Berny/ SAC.Media

The Diamond Bar City Council met for its regularly scheduled meeting on May 7, where they heard public comments from sanitation employees regarding contracts and voted 3-1 to approve an exchange of transit funds with the city of Pomona. Mayor Carol Herrera was not present.

Employees of the Los Angeles County Sanitation Districts LACSD spoke during public comment about their contracts, on which their collective committee will vote on May 22.

The contracts underwent two years of negotiations between the union representing the sanitation employees, AFSCME, and the management of LACSD. According to LACSD chemist Greg Agee, the employees voted unanimously to approve the agreement, and the personnel committee also voted unanimously to pass the contracts to the LACSD collective committee for final approval. Mayor Herrera represents Diamond Bar as a director of the sanitation districts board.

“This contract simply maintains the status quo,” Agee said. “As such, the already low rates we charge will not be affected by this contract.”

According to Felicia Petrie, a Diamond Bar resident and supervising engineer of the LACSD, a single family home in Diamond Bar pays about $170,000 a year for the services, which amounts to less than $15 a month.

“The dedicated employees of the sanitation district deserve a fair and equitable contact, and it recognizes their invaluable contributions to this essential public service,” Petrie said.

Council Member Andrew Chou opened discussion on a proposal from the city of Pomona to exchange Proposition A transit funds, which would have Pomona purchase $970,000 from Diamond Bar at a rate of $0.75 for every dollar. That would give Diamond Bar $727,500 in funds, which is a difference of $242,500. Chou expressed reluctance to exchange these funds with Pomona. Rather, he said that he felt it would be best to accumulate the funds over the three year period allotted to fund a larger project in Diamond Bar.

Council members, Andrew Chou and Ruth M. Low, discuss the exchange of proposition A funds to the city of Pomona. Photo credit: Lauren Berny/ SAC.Media.

Proposition A is a half-cent sales transit tax that was passed by voters in 1980, and the funds from this tax are to be used for transit projects, such as development of public transportation and infrastructure.

Chou said that he felt it would be best to keep the funds for Diamond Bar projects. He added that if the city could not create a new project, the funds could be used for transit programs from the city such as the Diamond Ride Program, a program that subsidizes cab services for seniors and people with disabilities.

“I’d just hate to give up that kind of money,” Chou said.

Diamond Bar finance director Dianna Honeywell said that although the city is more generous than others in the area with subsidization for residents in their Diamond Ride program, the city still finds itself with excess funds each year.

Despite Council Member Ruth M. Low finding the city losing 25 percent “distasteful,” the council approved the exchange with Pomona.

The Diamond Bar City Council is scheduled to meet again on Tuesday, May 21 at 6:30 p.m.

Update: April 12, 9:10 p.m.:

“Employees of the Los Angeles County Sanitation Districts LACSD spoke during public comment about their contracts, on which the council will vote on May 22.”

This was changed to “on which their collective committee will vote on May 22” for accuracy.