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Around The Valley

October 06, 1994

ALHAMBRA: A hearing to challenge the firing of Alhambra school board member Steve Perry from the city Police Department will be closed to the public at Perry's request, said Ann Wilson, Alhambra's personnel director. Perry, 32, has worked as an Alhambra police officer for more than 12 years. He was fired from the department on Aug. 8 for undisclosed reasons. Perry has appealed his dismissal to the city's five-member Civil Service Commission. The hearing has been scheduled for Oct. 25.

ARCADIA: More than 200 homes and several commercial buildings fronting Foothill Boulevard have been annexed into the Highland Homeowners Assn. by the City Council. The zoning change means any additions or alterations to the exterior of those buildings will now have to be approved by the city's architectural review board. The new boundaries for the association will be Virginia Avenue to the north, Santa Anita Avenue to the West, Highland Oaks Avenue to the east and Foothill Boulevard to the South.

ARCADIA: Police Chief Neal R. Johnson, 59, has announced plans to retire on Dec. 31 after 38 years in law enforcement. He will join a private security company. Johnson has been police chief in Arcadia since 1985.

COVINA: A City Council majority that led successful efforts to recall the entire previous council last year for imposing a 6% utility tax ignored threats of another recall and charges of betrayal Tuesday and gave preliminary approval to an ordinance for an 8.25% utility tax. The council, which voted two weeks ago to have staff members draw up the ordinance, stuck to its guns Tuesday and voted 4 to 1 to impose the tax despite opponents' promises they would be ousted unless the issue is put to a vote of residents.

EL MONTE: The City Council approved a lease agreement with U.S. Helicopters Inc. of Long Beach to provide a police helicopter at a cost of $124,800 annually. The council also formally agreed to a mutual-aid helicopter service between Baldwin Park and El Monte.

MONTEREY PARK: The City Council has voted to oppose Proposition 187, a measure on the November ballot that would deny health benefits and education to illegal immigrants. The council voted 4 to 0 for the motion proposed by Mayor Judy Chu. Councilman Francisco Alonso abstained. The council also voted to postpone from Oct. 12 to Oct. 19 interviews for city commission positions up for appointment, including a seat on the library board.

PASADENA: The city hired a new planning director from Oakland, filling a position that has been vacant for nearly a year. Alvin D. James, deputy director of planning for the Bay Area city, starts Nov. 7 in the $96,000-a-year job. The hiring of James, who is African American, was welcomed by local black leaders, who have criticized the city for failing to hire more top-level black employees. City Manager Philip Hawkey said James was hired based on his qualifications, not his ethnicity.

SOUTH EL MONTE: The council has unanimously approved a motion opposing Proposition 187, a measure on the November ballot that would deny health benefits and education to illegal immigrants.

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