Bell’s problems become issue in Water Replenishment District of Southern California races

None of the four candidates for two seats on a regional board are from Bell, but that isn’t stopping two challengers for a regional water board from making comparisons between the two.

In part, it’s because of votes earlier this year by the Board of Directors of the Water Replenishment District of Southern California to give back to directors their credit cards and allow them to travel internationally without board approval.

Those votes may be more problematic for one-term incumbent Sergio Calderon, 33, of Maywood, because he supported both. He’s running against Antonio “Tony” Monroy, 49, a South Gate businessman who is trying to make hay on both of those issues.

Division 4 includes the cities of Bell, Bell Gardens, Commerce, Cudahy, Downey, Huntington Park, Maywood, Montebello, South Gate and Vernon as well as sections of Monterey Park, Los Angeles and Walnut Park.

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Water Replenishment District board members vote themselves credit cards, eliminate restrictions on international travel

LAKEWOOD – With the Bell city payroll scandal still in the news, members of a regional water district board voted to give themselves credit cards.

But the move split the board, with member Lillian Kawasaki calling the new perk approved in a 3-2 vote last week by directors of the Water Replenishment District of Southern California a step backward.

“Now more than ever we need to have greater transparency and accountability to the public by elected officials,” said Kawasaki, who voted no along with member Rob Katherman.

“The vote on international travel and credit cards are all steps backwards. We’re moving in the wrong direction. It could further erode the confidence the public has in public officials,” she said.

The district manages ground water for nearly 4 million residents in 43 cities in southern Los Angeles County.

Read more: Water Replenishment District board members vote themselves credit cards, eliminate restrictions on international travel – Whittier Daily News http://www.whittierdailynews.com/news/ci_15871578#ixzz0xXu8gQau