Friday, April 24, 2009

Driving Miss Kathy

There is a widely circulated e-mail going around town these last few days from a certain
Kathy Childs. In it Kathy expresses her strong support for Joe Mosca and his rather quixotic quest to get this City Council to vote him our next Mayor. Kathy, if you are not aware, became well known here in Sierra Madre during the Measure V election, and her staunch and rather pointed opposition to it is something many remember to this day.

And I've noticed that Kathy's well-circulated communique on the suitability of Joe Mosca to serve as the Mayor of this town has now been reprinted on the front page of Bill Coburn's finely crafted Sierra Madre website. So since it has reached that level of exposure, perhaps it is time to see what this is really all about.

In case you haven't read it yet, I am going to reprint Kathy's entire e-mail here.

"Allow me to put on my "Citizen-Childs" hat for a moment. Next week at the Sierra Madre City Council Meeting a new mayor will be determined by decision of the collective council.

I am a firm believer in the tradition of the rotation method (sic) of assignment to the position of mayor. It has worked for years however, if you will recall, the last time this event took place, our newly elected officials took it upon themselves to change the rotation and appoint a mayor out of order. I was so irritated that I threw my hands up and quit watching the meetings or attending the meetings; it was so mean.

Well, it is time for me to follow the ~ if you don't like it ... do something about it or shut up ~ philosophy. I'm asking for your help.

Regardless of how you may feel, please join me at the City Council Meeting to support fairness and tradition. Joe Mosca has earned the right to be mayor. He attends City events, reports on the happenings around town; he cares about each and every citizen and is not afraid to voice his opinion. Let's put politics aside and remember our town is so sweet and so good, we don't need the City Council playing politics and being so divisive that it is making decisions that go against the wonderful tradition of our town and the fairness to our elected officials.

I have blind copied you so there is not a published list of e-mail addresses but my friends, don't be surprised if you get requests from others as well and phone calls (sic). This is important. Please join me in supporting our elected Councilman Joe Mosca by letting the Council know that tradition is important to a lot of us and we want Joe to be our Mayor!"

Now there are lots of traditions in this country that, while widely accepted at one time, were eventually passed over in favor of far better things. Slavery, polygamy and rooster fighting being three that come immediately to mind. Fortunately times change. And are we to believe Joe's only real qualification to be Mayor is that it's his turn? I don't see anything in Karen's e-mail about any record of accomplishment, or list of achievements, and not a single cited example of the kind of exceptional leadership qualities it will take to lead this City through the challenging times ahead. Rather all we've been given here is that it would be "so sweet and so good" to make Joe our Mayor.
This is a very weak argument on Mr. Mosca's behalf. Can it really be that after three years of serving on our City Council, the only argument one of his most notable supporters can make on his behalf is that it's his turn to be Mayor? Or that it would be "mean" to pass him over? Or that he supposedly cares about everybody? I'm sorry, but these are not the kind of credentials I look for in the person I would want to lead this City. In times as economically demanding as these the last thing we need is a Winnie the Pooh equivalent running Sierra Madre. Any so-called tradition that would put so undistinguished an individual into the Mayor's seat needs to go away.

But I have to level with you, I don't think that is what Kathy's real agenda is here. I believe that her stake in Joe Mosca becoming our next Mayor is far more economic than it is emotional.

In the Sierra Madre 2008-2014 Housing Element Community Workshop handout the properties being targeted for high-density development are listed. And these are places that Karen Warner Associates has determined to be suitable for multi-family low income condominiums. And on a page all to itself in this report (the only property so honored), is the structure currently standing @ 41 E. Montecito Avenue. It is on a 30,894 square foot lot, was built in 1947, and is now apparently a rental property. And who owns this joint? If you scroll back to the top of this article, you will see a "Multiple Building Card Property Summary" has been reproduced. If you click on this inset it will enlarge and you will be able to examine it more closely. And you will discover that the owner of this property is, you got it, Kathy Childs.

This kind of information is obtainable from any title company. It is public information, and anyone is entitled to see it.

Much of what I'm about to say is speculation on my part, but this is my take on what Kathy would expect from a Mayor Joe Mosca. Kathy is looking to develop her property at 41 E. Montecito in a high density manner. She wants her property to be identified by the City for an upgrade that would permit her to build multi-family high density structures on that property. It is in that part of town covered by Measure V, so anything built there now can only be up to 13 units per acre. And Kathy doesn't quite have an acre. But if her property is upgraded she could then build as many as 20 units. Something that would have to be approved by the people of this town through a vote.

Now here is what I have come to believe is at the very heart of the current redevelopment subterfuge being run on this town. The pitch will be that if the citizens of Sierra Madre should vote to allow Ms. Childs to build 20 so-called low income units on her property, therefore overriding Measure V, it would reduce the pressure to seize homes through eminent domain. These 20 units would pretty much take care of our SCAG imposed RHNA low income number. And that is the way this special election would be sold to the voters. By voting for an immense 3 story 20 unit building at 41 E. Montecito, you'd be saving others from having the City take their homes away from them.

Pretty much a variation on the old "you either give me what I want or I'll kill this puppy" routine.

But without Joe Mosca in the Mayor's seat, none of this could even come close to happening. Mayor MaryAnn MacGillivray, a supporter of Measure V, would hardly allow such a scheme to go forward. There would be no upgrade for 41 E. Montecito, no threats about bringing back the eminent domain statute, no RHNA blackmail, and none of the other coercive and deceptive elements necessary to bring this project to completion.

One other thing. You do know that there is no City or State law that requires high density low income housing to actually be just for low income people, right? And should something like this 41 E. Montecito boondoggle be built, there is nothing forcing those condos to be sold at a low price. They could actually be put on sale for whatever price the market will bear. Despite the claims we heard back on March 31st.

So much for "the wonderful tradition of our town" and "fairness."


  1. Sir Eric - It really does not matter who the mayor is. That person still only has one vote. And for the next year there is still a block of three votes. The agenda is not determined by the mayor alone. As for property owners in Sierra Madre, Maryanne also owns more than her own home.

  2. It does matter 6:20!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! It matters plenty!!!!!!
    We don't need an OBSTRUCTIONIST to stall important issues from going forward!!!!!!!
    We don't need Mosca and Buchanan dragging meetings out with endless pontificating all night long!!!!!!!!!!! We don't need them constantly pushing for over development.
    MaryAnn MacGillivray for Mayor of Sierra Madre and Don Watts for Mayor Pro-tem!!!!!
    Carry on the integrous tradition of Mayor Kurt Zimmerman!
    Thank you, Sir Eric, for exposing this dirt....Kathy Childs for what she really is.
    A greedy property owner.
    One more thing to you dirts reading this post:
    Nancy Sue Shollenberger, our city clerk, you know the one Bart Doyle and Karma Bell (BIA EMPLOYEES and eminent domain fans in El Monte) and the disgraceful Harriet Susan Henderson tried to destroy in the last election?
    Nancy owns multiple prime property in DOWNTOWN SIERRA MADRE, but was a STAUNCH supporter of YES ON MEASURE restrict destructive development!!!!!!! Nancy is a woman of integrity and class. Something Kathy Childs and her other dirt pals, including Mosca and Buchanan LACK.
    Nancy cares more about preserving Sierra Madre for future generation than she does about making excessive profits!
    So does MaryAnn MacGillivray and so does Don Watts.
    Again......MaryAnn for Mayor.....Don for Mayor Pro-tem!

  3. Breakfast With CurlyApril 24, 2009 at 7:03 AM

    Yeah, that whole "set the agenda, run the meetings" thing
    is just soo overrated. Poster #1 probably won't mind all that
    Two-Time Loser Joe will go down in flames for the second
    time Tuesday. Three-Time Loser if you throw in Measure V.

  4. I have a question. What does kathy Childs mean by the term "rotation method?" Isn't that the way you end up having a lot of kids?

  5. Tuesday night is going to be Must See TV here in Sierra Madre. It will be interesting to see if Mosca really can turn out more than a few supporters to yawp on his behalf. The point of this article is valid. Outside of throwing the city into turmoil over his DSP vote fib, what exactly has this guy ever done? His influence has been consistently negative and divisive. Mosca is little more that a 5th columnist who represents the interests of developers. We have never been his first priority.

  6. Attention all friends of Mayor Zimmerman, Mayor Pro-tem MacGillivray and Councilman Don Watts:
    Please show up at Tuesday, April 28th council meeting at 6:30 pm. Let's show our gratitude to Mayor Zimmerman. He has kept his promises to you all. He has provided courageous and honest leadership.
    Don and MaryAnn will continue this amazing new concept for Sierra Madre city council.
    Thank you, Super Lawyer Zimmerman, thank you Super "Sierra Madre residents first" MacGillvray! Thank you Super Thumbs up architect, Don Watts, you are as courageous as you are honest, sir.
    Let's all celebrate these gifts to our town.

  7. The Sierra Madre Mayor's seat is a NO FLY ZONE!

  8. The law is not clear about the rental/sale price of the units which could be developed on Child's property. The only stipulation is the number of units unless Childs used some type of state/city/federal assistance. There is nothing to stop Childs from developing luxury units and make a killing once the economic climate changes. Also to build the 20 units per acre the height would be more that 30 feet. It is very clear now why most of the people at the Housing Element meeting all cited 41 E. Montecito as a site for the RHNA housing. Judy Webb Matrin even said by having the site up zoned through an election would keep other property from being used for low income sites. Judy Webb Martin, Kathy Childs and Joe are pro development.

  9. The real reason Joe wants to be Mayor and Kathy wants this to happen.

    I had the pleasure of having lunch with an amazing man yesterday. He is a former land use attorney who is very familiar with Sierra Madre politics and laws.
    He told me something that kept running through my mind all day yesterday.
    "Lawyers never do anything without a very well thought out reason".

    The dirts must get Joe in as Mayor so he can appoint the General Planning Committee later this spring/summer.
    Remember, Kurt, MaryAnn and Don fought John and Joe so they could make the final decision up to the Mayor on the appointees who will be chosen as committee members.
    Remember the Canyon Zoning Committee....this was a priority of MaryAnn MacGillivray, as she promised the canyon residents who voted for her she would do so.
    All council members nominated 5 applicants.
    The final decision was up to Mayor Zimmerman.....he appointed 5 preservationists.
    Joe and John (two attorneys) know this and it is critical they don't get 5 MacGillivray appointed General Planning committee members.
    Slick, Joe. However, it isn't going to "fly".

  10. Old Kentucky. You are right on target. Everyone knows who Joe would pick and what would happen. Maryann must become the next mayor

  11. This whole Mosca thing smacks of desperation. That whole "I wanna be mayor because it's my turn!" argument just isn't going to make it. If there is no other reason to make Joe mayor except that the rejection will hurt his feelings, well, say hello to the backbench, Fly.

  12. Interesting that all those who opposed Joe's "pass-over" in the mayoral rotation refer to it as if this is the first time such a thing has happened, when the traditional passing of the gavel (rotation) to Kris Miller-Fisher was prevented prejudicially by Glenn Lambdin (who hypocritically then stood up at the podium and spoke in passionate opposition to passing over Joe - "it's just not right"), Doug Hayes, Rob Stockley, Bart Doyle only a few years ago in this little burg we call home. I'm sure they have not forgotten this incident, but it would sure be inconvenient to recall it while they're extolling Mosca's virtues and decrying the great "tragedy" of his being denied the seat. Mosca's a puppet and a simpleton and, not to be forgotten or forgiven, an outrageous deceiver of the people. He does not represent the interests of the residents of Sierra Madre, but would push the agenda of development interests down our throats. This, in and of itself, is reason enough to deny him the position again and I hope they are successful in doing so.

  13. Sierra Madre business ownerApril 24, 2009 at 8:54 AM

    You said it, Sir Eric:
    "The pitch will be that if the citizens of Sierra Madre should vote to allow Ms. Childs to build 20 so-called low income units on her property, therefore overriding Measure V, it would reduce the pressure to seize homes through eminent domain."
    Same old method of getting their way through bullying and threatening. We have had enough of that grim behavior, and if we put the requirement in place that any up-zoning has to be a city-wide vote, they'll have to work harder to rape the town. Walk by One Crater to see what that looks like...

  14. Rattlesnake catcherApril 24, 2009 at 9:06 AM

    6:20, are you saying you could actually tolerate Joe preening and babbling self promotion at every opportunity, and at great length, as the mayor?! "As the proud Mayor of our beautiful village, I first want to thank you all for coming out, and I'll be brief but I had the exciting opportunity to represent our beautiful village, which we all love so dearly, at the SCAG meeting, that I am happy to participate in for the sake of preserving....(25 minutes later, some brave council member stops him.)
    Heaven forbid.
    It's an open joke that Joe will "attend" anything that he can use for self promotion.
    He does not give a damn about all the citizens he lied to, and refuses to apologize for betraying their trust..

  15. You'd think that the dirts would come up with a new tactic. It's getting old, guys! Talk about becoming a parody of yourself.

  16. Nice try Kathy. You have been outted by one of your own.

  17. I'm with you, rattlesnake catcher.
    It's hard to believe that Joe made it through the rigors of law school.
    He doesn't seem to be able to organize his thoughts well enough, and he dithers off subject.

  18. As they say, secrets are never secrets when your supposed friends have lost their respect for you.

  19. Comment per 8:54: what it means is eventually the threat card will be used over and over until one day the town will be a majority of low income housing rentals populated by people staying in town for a few years and moving on, they, in general, have little to do with local government.
    (My paranoia):
    Maybe that is the way people in local government can keep power and advance agendas, like greater and greater density to pay higher salaries, consultants, and retirement plans.

    We need a petition started to give the council a mandate to act, to have a ballot measure.
    From the beginning of measure V to placing it on the ballot took over 6 months. This a process that needs to start yesterday...

  20. 9:31!
    You're right!
    This is their plan.
    Please wake up everyone!
    Stand up for SIERRA MADRE FIRST people in your government!
    Get rid of these dirts, these people whose "vision" for Sierra Madre is GREED first, DEVELOPMENT first, to HELL with the people of Sierra Madre.
    This is the reason most people bought property or pay high rent in this town!
    If we wanted anything else, we wouldn't live here.

  21. I supported Mosca when he ran for council, he lied to me and misrepresented himself and I'm not happy being made a fool of.

  22. Here's 600 legal forms for download
    Compliments of Joe Mosca's Mentor

  23. Please Joe Run MayorApril 24, 2009 at 10:48 AM

    without reading the article, who is Kathy Childs and why would i give a rats bottom about her opinion, sounds like steve tobia clone

    joe is acting like a spoiled prima donna except he's done very little and damn it, he wants to wear the mayor title on a sash during the 4th of July parade, it's all about joe and his agenda

    the dude recently moved here and knows nothing about the city firsthand and has zero history here

    didn't Glenn Lambin vote against Kris Miller Fisher once? did Rob vote that way also?

    the ex-Mayor's silence is pretty loud non support about backing good old boy Joe in his petty birthright quest to be "ahhh, the Mayor".....

  24. Joe wants to appoint the General Plan Committee.
    A MacGillivray appointed committee will not be helpful to over-development type dirts, who will not be on this committee. We've been through this all before with Bart Doyle.
    The people have taken back Sierra Madre.

  25. Fly on the wall says...April 24, 2009 at 1:30 PM

    I don't think it is a good idea to allow the residents to vote on the issue of zoning. Even if such a measure passed, it's a risk. Each property needing a zoning change would be subject to an election. There is no guarantee that the "slow growth" residents would win these elections. The opposition could come out to the polls in droves. A measure would give them the opportunity to possibly change the zoning throughout the city. (This would result in a mess!)

    We have three "slow growth" votes in office right now. That's a guarantee. And we will have that "majority" for one more year.

    Instead of pursuing a petition, let's focus on looking for future candidates for the 2010 election. It's the prudent approach, in the event that Zimmerman or Watts decide not to run for office again.

    Remember: The ultimate power lies in having the three votes. An election (for zoning, etc.) always presents a risk.

  26. HOW COME:
    Low income housing aint for people with low/fixed incomes like..oh I don't know...Senior Citizens that have lived in the area all their lives but can no longer afford the taxes on their homes anymore?
    Everything that goes on in Sierra Madre has to be a good idea gone terribly wrong to the point of venality?
    Everything is a big secret that looks good until like an onion the layers come off and like said onion it begins to stink?
    I voted for Mr. Mosca and got rearended as a thank you?
    Sorrowfully, Local Yokel

  27. Sierra Madre GirlApril 24, 2009 at 1:42 PM

    1:30, you're right that we have to focus on the upcoming election, but unless we have a city-wide application of Measure V, and require a city-wide vote on any UP zoning, we'll just be fighting these wolves off constantly.
    Developers will not want to fork over the cash to run against the residents.

  28. And HOW COME
    We get fooled repeatedly, Mosca, Torres, and even old Doyle, by bs'ers who say one thing before the election, and something else after?

  29. 1:51
    Because if they told the truth they would never get elected. At least Brandly said he was against people voting on the DSP. He did not get elected. Joe lied and said he wanted a vote then flipped.

  30. Joe didn't just lie, he got real close to a lot of people and convinced them that he was not just their ally on development, but also their friend. A lot of people took him into their homes and introduced him to people they know. It's one thing for a politician to lie, but quite another when it is done with such complete and utter phoniness. That is the big difference.

  31. Since when does an "upgrade" override the general plan? And how does a general plan provision that has been put in place by a vote of the people get changed other than by a vote of the people? So how does Kathy Childs--or anybody else--plan to do this? It seems like a pipe dream to me.

    The Mayor of Sierra Madre--whoever it is--has a few little chits of power. Of course, that's what Joe and the dirts want--control of the chits of power.

    Meanwhile, this little power struggle is far from over. Passage of Measure V just meant that the dirts have to push harder and scramble more to get themselves postured to make money--for themselves while mouthing the platitudes of kindergarten--taking turns and sharing.

    I also think Joe will play the Gay Card--he did in his campaign and he did it in his bid to avoid recall. Be ready. The best defense is a good offense.

  32. Looks like the Dirts are prepared for the next round. Hopefully, we are too.

  33. Isn't it strange?

    Mosca and Henderson hit town about the same time.

    Both lie to get in with a political group.

    Henderson gets in with the popular SMRRD group,

    steals the paper from an innocent Kevin and

    Katina Dunn, who thought she was their friend.

    Henderson took the Dunn's money, stole their time

    and energy and betrayed their trust.

    Mosca gets in with the same political group by

    lying, taking people's money, energy, time and

    then betraying their trust!

    Susan used the race card, like she has all her

    sorry life, comparing the nice people of Sierra

    Madre to 1959 Mississippi.

    Now people are predicting Mosca will use the

    "gay card".

    Absolutely disgusting. People should not fall

    prey to con artists like Mosca and Henderson.

  34. Hey Kathy Childs?
    Are you going to show up at the City Council meeting and give your bs pitch for Mosca?
    An attempt to get Mosca in as Mayor, so he can appoint the new General Plan Committee?
    You greedy old bag! I'm glad you lost your investments in the DSP projects.
    Sir Eric's reporters and photographers will be there, perhaps even Sir Eric himself!

  35. anonymous with the story about Joe with the mic still on saying "get a Life" to Barbara Cline. Could you tell what day or if anybody has that footage I'd really like it.
    Thanks All

  36. I'd like to get my hands on the film clip where Joe asked to be excused for a few minutes because he is feeling "a little distraught." This after the City Council had voted to (finally) release the EIR portion of the DSP. Now THAT was comedy!

  37. If we know what day it was they are in the library

  38. Can some one do a "Best of Joe" on you tube?

  39. "Worst Of Joe" is more like it. With circus music playing in the background.

  40. Does anyone remember the reorganization meeting in 1996?

    A clown showed up wearing a sign that said "Clowns for Mosca." Apparently, someone or some group of people already had a bead on the Fly.

    Does anyone have any video footage or some pictures of that clown? Sure would be a nice addition to any YouTube montage.

  41. I remember that hired clown - it backfired and generated sympathy for Mosca.


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