STUDIO CITY (CBSLA) — A small city in Los Angeles County has paid for nearly half a million dollars worth of renovations for a four-bedroom apartment rented by its mayor at a widely below-market rate, but it’s par for the course in the suburb.
The San Gabriel Valley Tribune reported Sunday City of Industry Mayor Mark Radecki pays just $700 a month for the luxury, 5,500-square-foot, four-bedroom apartment that has just undergone $450,000 in renovations. The city paid for those upgrades, the paper said.
Among the home’s features are a $3,400 refrigerator, granite kitchen counter tops, quartz fixtures and a 4-ton heating and cooling system.
The residence sits in a gated are on the grounds of the Industry Hills Expo Center, built as a residence for a former mayor. For decades, the home either sat empty or was used as an office.
The Tribune said Radecki refused to answer questions about the appropriateness of the rent, but did point to 24-hour traffic in the city, its proximity to freeways and the many factories that do business there.
The paper said the city refused to give reporters access to the property, despite it being public land.
Two members of the city council approved the costly renovations for the residence in 2016. On the day of the vote, only Radecki and another councilman voted in favor of the upgrades.
In 2017, Radecki’s wife notified the city’s housing board she needed a one-story home due to a disability. The city’s housing board approved Radecki’s wife as a tenant at the home, though the public property was never open to the public and the Radeckis never filled out an application, the paper said.
At the time, the family was already renting a home at $700 a month, which the paper earlier reported is typical for employees of the city and their families.
“Industry’s top official calls the benefit ‘affordable housing,’ but it has gone to city hall employees making more than $100,000 a year,” the Tribune said in 2016. “All of the employees who live in city-owned housing, regardless of income, pay $700 or less a month in rent, with some living in three-bedroom houses with yards, attached garages and few neighbors.”
The average rent in Los Angeles County is about $1,900, almost triple of what the Radecki’s are paying, and they’re paying $700 for a four-bedroom house in a gated community.
Industry has a population of only about 200, which put the Radecki’s home under more scrutiny.
Former city manager Kevin Radecki, the mayor’s brother, stepped down in 2015 after he said he feared a new council backed by former Industry Mayor David Perez would oust him. The city had sued Perez over what they said were hundreds of millions of dollars gained by Perez and his family businesses through city contracts over the decades, The LA Times reported.
Companies such as Hot Topic, Newegg and Yum-Yum Donuts are headquartered in Industry.
(© Copyright 2018 CBS Broadcasting Inc. All Rights Reserved. City News Service contributed to this report.)