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El Monte to vote on re-hiring lifeguards fired over 'Gangnam Style' spoof video

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Three of the fired El Monte lifeguards in the video that caused their demise.

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A screen shot of El Monte lifeguards spoofing a Korean viral music video.

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Several of the fired El Monte lifeguards in the video that caused their demise.

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One of the fired lifeguards (l) and Korean pop star Psy (r) dancing along to the summer hit.


El Monte Mayor Andre Quintero tossed a lifesaver to some former employees when he motioned early Wednesday morning to reinstate the lifeguards who were fired this summer over their playful "Gangnam Style" video. 

At the end of a five-hour long El Monte City Council meeting that started Tuesday evening, Mayor Quintero said he was willing to bring back the 14 lifeguards. But due to council rules, because his motion was not on the agenda, the council could not yet vote to bring back the young lifegaurds to the year-round pool.

"At the end of the day we have to continue to manage an aquatic facility that is widely used by senior citizens, young families, people in our community who really enjoy the facility," the Mayor told KPCC on Thursday.

"But there were some issues that were raised about the management of the facility that were troubling," he continued. "And I'm hoping that we'll get some good cooperation from these young people to make sure that we do a very thorough review of the management of the aquatic facility about some of the issues that they raised so that we can have that very positive environment for people to work in and for our residents to enjoy the facility." 

Mayor Quintero said that he liked the video and was surprised when he learned that it wasn't sanctioned. He also said that he was amazed at the international reach of the parody and was glad that the spotlight that hit his city was for this dust-up and not something far more notorious like what happened in Bell.

The motion will be on the agenda of the next meeting on October 16, where the council will decide the fate of the lifeguards. Meanwhile their video has garnered almost 2 million views on YouTube and has put their city on the map.

So we ask the question again: should these lifeguards get their jobs back?


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