“They never wanted to be videotaped in the first place,” said Wilcox. He said he planned to file a lawsuit alleging breach of contract but he wouldn’t even do that if it were not for the fact that he had lined up Montebello High School students to do the actual work. “I just want to protect my guys,” he said. Narramore said he sent the city’s agreement with Wilcox to City Attorney Arnoldo Beltran, for an opinion, which will then be sent to the City Council for discussion. Calls to Beltran were not returned. “The city [council] wants to have its meetings recorded,” said Narramore. “We will find someone who wants to do it.” Wilcox, who said he was awarded the contract in January, said his dealings with the city have cost him money. He explained that since he makes money renting out his recording equipment, the city’s delay in buying its own equipment has forced him to use his own equipment free of charge. This is the latest in a yearlong series of encounters between the city and Wilcox, owner of PM24 Digital Recording Co. In March 2006, three Montebello High School students looking for experience in video recording and editing began videotaping council meetings for a few months under Wilcox’s guidance. The incident touched off a debate among council members. Wilcox said that Councilwoman Rosie Vasquez screamed at the students. “She was very rude,” he said of the councilwoman’s reaction to the students. Vasquez said she was surprised by the cameras and was concerned about the students’ welfare and any liability risks to the city, according to a transcript of the meeting. Initial permission for the videotaping a year ago was granted by then-Mayor Bob Bagwell. At the time, Bagwell said he wanted to know more about what sort of equipment would be needed to record meetings since the city was preparing to send out requests for proposals for videotaped meetings. He also saw it was a great way for students interested in the recording field to obtain valuable, hands-on experience. Wilcox’s proposal was the only one the city received, he said. In a 3-2 vote, the council approved a $25,000 general fund expenditure to purchase necessary equipment and pay Wilcox $500 per council meeting and $1,000 for special meetings. [email protected] (562) 698-0955, Ext. 3028 160Want local news?Sign up for the Localist and stay informed Something went wrong. Please try again.subscribeCongratulations! You’re all set! MONTEBELLO – Local businessman Philip Wilcox says although he signed a one-year contract to videotape Montebello City Council meetings, he has been told his services are not needed. Montebello’s acting City Administrator Randy Narramore, however, tells a different version. “[Wilcox] came to me a couple of weeks ago, and told me he didn’t want to do the job, but he still wanted to be paid,” Narramore said. Wilcox claimed that was untrue.