Nameplate:  Mountain Views News

Inside this Week:


Around The San Gabriel Valley:

Pasadena & Altadena:
Pet of the Week

Public Safety:
Looking Up
Police Blotters

Education & Youth:

Food & Drink:
Chef Peter Dills
Table for Two
On Line
Ask jai …
Rich Johnson
Christopher Nyerges

Stuart Tolchin On …
As I See It
Gregory J. Wellborn

Legal Notices:

The Good Life:
Senior Happenings

Home & Property:
One of a Kind

F. Y. I. :

Chris Bertrand
P. J. Carpenter
Peter Dills
Bob Eklund
Howard W. Hays
Susan Henderson
Jai Johnson
Rich Johnson
Christopher Nyerges
Stuart Tolchin
Gregory J. Wellborn

Recent Issues:
Issue 30
Issue 29
Issue 28
Issue 27
Issue 26
Issue 25
Issue 24
Issue 23
Issue 22
Issue 21
Issue 20

MVNews Archive:  Page 1

Sierra Madre Salaries:
Elected Officials
and Executive Staff
Salary Information



The Bell That Won’t Stop Ringing

Construction Begins On New School 
Residents Concerned About Noise And Dust 

Sierra Madre’s City Manager’s 
Salary Raises Few Eyebrows; 
City Clerk’s Compensation 
Sounds Alarm

By Susan Henderson

 The recent discovery of the exorbitant 
salaries of officials in the city of Bell, 
has caught the attention of taxpayers 
throughout the country. In California, 
the state has demanded that all cities, 
regardless of their classification 
(Charter, General Law), post elected 
officials and city staff salaries online. 
Even in the city of Sierra Madre, 
information on the salaries of the 
town’s elected officials and city staff are 
now under scrutiny.

This week, the City of Sierra Madre put 
the “Elected Officials and Executive 
Staff Salary Information on its web site 
at (See 
chart below)

 While the Bell City Manager received 
a salary of nearly $800,000 annually, 
Elaine Aguilar, who joined city staff in 
August, 2007, is paid, by comparison, 
a mere $150,000 per year. That figure 
includes the city’s payroll burden 
for her position. Compared to other 
cities in the area and when considering 
the population slightly over 11,000 
residents and the fact that the median 
income in Sierra Madre of $88,008, 
Aguilar’s salary is commensurate with 
the responsibilities of the job. In 
Signal Hill, a city of the same size that 
has a median income substantially 
less - $66,283, the city manager makes 
$240,372 per year. In San Marino, a 
town of comparable size (13,000+),and 
a median income of $158,000 a 
year, the city manager makes almost 
$200,000 per year.

 The Sierra Madre City Manager’s 
salary was not the concern for those 
who had viewed the salaries on the 
Sierra Madre web site. What seemed 
to concern some residents was that 
all elected officials except one receive 
a stipend of $3,000 per year. The 
exception is the Sierra Madre City 
Clerk, Nancy Shollenberger, who 
receives annual compensation of 
$10,800 plus $7,500 for General 
Municipal Elections. Other city clerks 
in Monrovia and Arcadia, are paid 
the same as council members. In 
Monrovia, a city that has a population 
almost 4 times the size of Sierra Madre, 
the City Clerk makes $4,800.00 a year. 
In Arcadia, whose population is over 
50,000, the city clerk is paid the same 

as the council members, $6,000.00 per 


 Shollenberger, who has held the office 
for over 25 years, has been criticized 
for her participation in the water rate 
fee hike protest as she was also the 
elected official responsible for the 
integrity of the protest letter tally. She 
has also been criticized for displaying 
campaign signs on her home and other 
property she owns during elections, 
something many residents feel is a 
conflict of interest.

 The City Clerk is elected to a four-
year term. Among the responsibilities 
of this office are recording the 
meeting minutes of the City Council, 
Financing Authority and Community 
Redevelopment Agency; advertising 
legal notices, codifying newly adopted 
municipal codes, administering oaths, 
ensuring that city staff and elected and 
appointed officials comply with State 
Conflict of Interest and Campaign 
Reporting Laws, providing notary 
services, and managing municipal 

 For several years, Shollenberger 
operated from her home after being 
refused an increase in salary of $350 
per month. During that time, city staff 
was responsible for taking minutes 
of council meetings. However, in 
February 2008, she returned to an 
office in City Hall and resumed taking 
minutes after the council agreed to 
pay her the designated elected officials 
stipend of $250 per month, plus an 
additional $650 per month for minute 

 At that time, then Mayor Enid Joffe 
cast the deciding vote to increase 
Shollenberger’s compensation and 
end the stalemate. Council members 
Zimmerman and Buchanan also voted 
in favor of the increase. Councilman 
Don Watts abstained and Councilman 
Mosca opposed the increase in 
compensation taking the position of 
previous councils that the position 
should be limited to the compensation 
mandated for elected officials. 

 Although the increase was less than 
Shollenberger had requested, ($1,000 
per month increase), she accepted 
the $650 figure. Former Councilman 
Zimmerman then committed to waive 
his $250 a month stipend and give it to 
Shollenberger. It is not known whether 
or not Zimmerman made good on his 
pledge, however, upon approval by the 
council, Shollenberger resumed her 
duties as City Clerk. 

 Two months later, Shollenberger ran 
for re-election winning by a margin of 
less than 15 votes.

The Pasadena Unified School 
District, with funds generated 
from the passage of Measure TT, 
has begun the demolition of the 
old school and construction of a 
new Sierra Madre School Upper 
Campus. Initially, the district’s 
Master Plan called for numerous 
renovations to be made to the 
existing buildings, however, after 
realizing that it would be more 
cost effective and less expensive to 
build a new school, the renovation 
project was abandoned.

 The current Upper Campus 
is located on approximately 
eight acres of land. It had 3 
buildings and breezeways totaling 
approximately 40,410 square feet. 

 According to the district, 
“Implementation of the Project 
will demolish all existing 
structures on-site and will develop 
a grouping of

two-story, small-scale buildings, 
totaling approximately 72,114 
square feet. The total increase in 

footage compared to the original 
facilities is approximately 31,704 
square feet. The main increase in

square footage is within the 
proposed support facilities, 
consistent with a modern 
middle school. Included

within the new facility will be a 
gymnasium that will available 
for joint use with the City of 
Sierra Madre.”

 While the new school is 
being constructed, a number 
of portable buildings, trailers, 
are being placed on the lower 
campus site. When school 
opens in September all Sierra 
Madre School students will 
attend classes at the main school 
on Highland Avenue (Lower 

 Although a number of 
community meetings were held, 
information concerning the 
actual start of the construction was not sufficient. Residents were startled at the onslaught of trucks back and forth,the 
increased noise and the increase in dust at both sites.

 A completion date had not been ascertained at press time.

Demolition crews have made considerable progress in tearing down the 
Upper Campus buildings on N. Canon Drive. (Above). 

New trailers, below, have been erected on most of the school’s parking lot on 
Auburn. Photos by S. Henderson/MVNews


Sierra Madre’s Only Fast Food Eatery Closes Its Doors

To the surprise of the town, on 
Monday morning a big “FOR LEASE” 
sign was posted in the window of the 
Kentucky Fried Chicken at Lima and 
Sierra Madre Boulevard. The site had 
almost become a landmark, having 
survived for more than 40 years by 
some accounts.

 According to Sierra Madre 
Development Director Danny Castro, 
there was no forewarning and city 
officials were just as surprised as 
residents to learn that the business had 

 In polling residents around town, 
reaction was mixed. Most had 
never been in the restaurant. Others 
expressed their desire to see the facility 
become something other than a fast 
food restaurant, like a bicycle shop. 
And yet others were calculating just 
how far they would have to drive in 
order to find another KFC.

 When asked whether or not another 
fast food chain could take over the 
site, Castro indicated that there was 
nothing in the existing code to prohibit 
another fast food chain. In fact, he 
noted, by definition, ‘fast food’ could 
apply to just about any restaurant that 
has orders to go. What he did say, 
however, is that the city does prohibit 

 The closure of the KFC makes it the 3rd 
very visible vacant business on Sierra 
Madre Blvd. KFC is just a block away 
from the boarded up Skilled Nursing 
Center. The former Steamers Coffee 
shop, further down the boulevard 
is also empty,however, permits have 
been approved for re-configuration of 
the Steamers site, an indication that it 
should soon be occupied.


Read The Paper Online At:

MVNews this week:  Page 1

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