ROSEMEAD – Developers connected with four projects in the city have contributed at least $30,000 to council members since 2005, according to finance records. In addition, two developers paid for three meals for former Rosemead City Manager Andrew Lazzaretto. Other city officials, including Mayor John Tran and interim City Manager Oliver Chi, also attended, but said they paid for their own meals. “People may think, `Wow, staff and council members are meeting developers. Is something shady going on?”‘ Chi said. “At the end of the day, to get the deals done, you have to get to know one another and it is hard to do in just an office setting.” There is nothing illegal about receiving campaign contributions, said Bob Stern, president of the Center for Governmental Studies. But he said accepting any more than $500 in contributions “looks bad.” Tran and his associate Thong Van Lu contributed $5,000 each to Mayor John Tran. A mixed-use and commercial development, both proposed by Hawaii Supermarket owner Gerard Yang, are in the planning stages. Associates related to the Hawaii Supermarket and those involved in the proposed Big Island mixed-use project – including the architect – have contributed $4,700 to Tran and councilwomen Polly Low and Margaret Clark. Tran received $1,000, Low received $2,900, and Clark received $800. Low and Clark did not return calls to comment on this story. Chi said that he hasn’t experienced any pressure to bend the rules for certain developers. The conditions for a fourth project, which is located on one parcel owned by Eric Lee and Bob Nguyen, was approved by the City Council after it was originally denied by the planning commission. Councilman John Nu ez, who did not return calls, appealed that planning commission’s decision. Nguyen and Lee combined have donated $14,000 to Rosemead council members, including a $50 dinner bought for Lazzaretto by Lee. Nguyen gave Mayor Tran $7,000. Lee gave Tran $5,000 and gave Low $2,000. [email protected] (626) 962-8811, Ext. 2477160Want local news?Sign up for the Localist and stay informed Something went wrong. Please try again.subscribeCongratulations! You’re all set! Tran, however, said the financial support he received for his campaign has no impact on the progression of the projects. “Any campaign contribution I’ve received does not impact my decision,” Tran said. “We are well aware of our conflict-of-interest laws.” Staff members said that there is a lot of interest in development in Rosemead. “I think there is a tremendous opportunity right now for the city to capitalize in the development interest,” Chi said. “We have a lot of pots on the stove.” A potential mixed-use project at Rosemead Boulevard and Steele Street, proposed by Hieu Tran, was granted an exclusive negotiating agreement in April.