|Singpoli's publicist expressing prescient disappointment|
Thank you for your support for the Orange map. We gave it a good try but in the end the vote was 3-2 for the Purple map with April Verlato and Tom Beck voting for the Orange map. Beck was not there but he told the council his preference. Verlato's motion to submit the Orange map as an alternate, and thus continue the debate to Oct 3rd, failed in a 2-2 tie. Even if Tom had been present his arguments would have been unlikely to sway the majority. So the outcome on Oct 3rd would be the same.
While it is disappointing, this result is not surprising since it preserves the status quo by giving a district to each of the current council members and no change to the election cycle. It was all too easy for Peter Amundson to cast the deciding vote for the majority.
With these districts, the incumbency of the current council members is almost guaranteed. Getting new faces on the council seems unlikely for years to come.
I've posted below the Purple Map, which is the one that Chandler, Tay and Amundson voted for, followed by the Orange Map voted for by Beck and Verlato.
Richie MacDonald was there, of course. He claimed his client, HQH (AKA Chinese American Equalization Association link), wanted public map K as it preserved 3 districts in the south of Arcadia, or B or L which also preserve 3 districts in the south. These maps also put Councilmembers Beck and Verlato in the same district, which would guarantee the political demise of one preservation vote. Lawsuit also had a problem with the Orange map as it created a large multi-family district. Of the 7 public speakers there that night, 5 wanted the Orange Map. None wanted the Purple Map.
In the end I suppose there is no real need to bring up the fact that MacDonald misrepresented the ownership of Hotel Constance, which he denied was owned by Singpoli, although public records show that is exactly who owns it. Nor is there any reason to bring up the fact that MacDonald sits on the board of directors for Invest LA, an EB-5 Regional Center created by Singpoli/Kin Hui to fund the Hotel Constance. Nor is it necessary to bring up that Invest LA (headquartered at Singpoli's offices in Arcadia) was also the largest contributor to Councilmember Sho Tay's campaign in 2014, in the amount of $10,000.
Apparently LSR MacDonald is used to manipulating elections on behalf of his client, Kin Hui. MacDonald sat on the Pasadena Planning Commission in 2010 when the Hotel Constance project was brought before that commission for approval. At that time MacDonald was the attorney of record for Singpoli in a lawsuit filed by hotel union workers against Singpoli/Kin Hui.
MacDonald was also on the Pasadena Redistricting Task Force in 2011-2012, and then donated to the campaign of Terry Tornek, the candidate for the district in which Hotel Constance was located. In Terry Tornek's campaign for Mayor of Pasadena in 2015, MacDonald contributed $2,125 cash as well as another $2,000 in "non-monetary" contributions when he hosted a fundraiser for him.
But wait, there's more. Another client of MacDonald's, J&K Investments (a developer) also contributed to the campaign of Terry Tornek in the amount of $2,500. And BDK Capital, another Kin Hui development company, also contributed to Mayor Tornek's campaign to the tune of $9,900.
And don't forget HQH is headquartered at Singpoli's Arcadia offices. And should you take a look at Sho Tay's campaign finance disclosure you will note that his campaign headquarters was also at Singpoli.
No, there is no real need to mention any of this, because Councilmember Chandler, Mayor Pro Tem Tay and Mayor Amundson had already decided to take the safest way out and protect all of the current councilmember's seats. The Purple Map won.
But we'll mention all of that here anyway, if only for the irony I suppose. Redistricting in the end changed nothing in Arcadia. And HQH? Sold out pawns.
But all of this did help expose some important information about Lawsuit Richie McDonald. After all, he does have a few Sierra Madre issues as well.