Friday, July 17, 2009

What's in it for Me?

Here at Tattler World Headquarters we pay close attention to the many thoughtful comments our readers post, and we could not help but notice a flurry of responses around the idea of volunteering.

From the always perceptive and blessedly succinct Curly:
Volunteerism is important for this community, and such service needs to be honored. But giving without grace only diminishes the effect, and no matter how hard the work becomes the thing people remember most.

From our faithful friend Anonymous, who obviously has a taste for historical accuracy (as well as parenthetical remarks):
Do any of you remember the accusatory tone taken by those who volunteer excessively in town against those who don't (I believe this was in the aftermath of the DSP workshops and during the subsequent Measure V campaign)? That somehow, by virtue of their volunteer status, their opinions should carry more weight in city decisions than those of people who are not so intimately involved in the convoluted city processes (regardless of how the rest of the city residents felt about something)? Most of those "volunteers" behave like they belong to an exclusive club - not one, by the way, I would wish to join.

From the always welcome good Doctor:
...I can think of a few volunteers who were "uninvited" to volunteer. Some committees were disbanded and some of the efforts halted because the Powers did not like the outcome of the volunteer efforts and also, in some cases, did not like some of the volunteers. So it's a badge that's really a misnomer. It's not about volunteering, it's about being included in the Power structure.

Thus in the hands of the Downtown Investors Club, in the clutches of the development realty consortium, volunteering loses it's most salient characteristic: to give without expectation of any return. It is not a quid pro quo kind of deal, unless the something you get back is deeper peace and well being because you're a part of the common good. Volunteering is not intended to be used for networking, advertising, pumping up the good old meet and greets, or forwarding any agendas other than helping to answer a need. To volunteer as a infiltration strategy, to keep an eye on the potential gain rather than on the service, is to corrupt a beautiful thing.

In addition, let's consider the irony of the Downtown Investors Club claiming exclusive volunteer street cred, while in actuality there were people who have volunteered for decades supporting Measure V, circulating petitions, and speaking up at public forums. Because they didn't pound their chests and boast about their good deeds, perhaps the D.I.C. missed them. It's flat out wrong to say that Measure V supporters, slow growth advocates, did not and do not volunteer. The pro-development movers and shakers value volunteers? What better refutation of that manipulative sentiment could there than the infamous moment when Joe Mosca told one of the preeminent volunteers of Sierra Madre to "Get a Life?"

By all means, let's all volunteer whenever we can - give freely, and with grace, as Curly put it. Our city needs us, and it is good for the soul.

But for Heaven's sake, don't brag about it.


  1. This is a very important Blog post.

    The Dirts that had been claiming for years that they were volunteering, were only volunteering to get what they could for themselves at the expense of everyone else.

    The only way to become a "volunteer" was to be willing to be indoctrinated by the Dirts, so that by the time one was given the opportunity to do anything of value, they had been completely corrupted and assimilated into Dirt culture and ideology.

    If you take a look at all the freebies they got, including free trips and meals, special consideration inside City Hall, not to mention pay offs from development interests, etc....there was nothing voluntary about it.

    As I recall, there was a list of the "Enemies of the People of Sierra Madre" in the once venerable Sierra Madre News that listed everyone of those miscreants. As soon as we get rid of them, there will be an opportunity for true volunteerism to flourish in Sierra Madre again.

  2. Remember when anybody could volunteer. They had t-shirts that had the city logo--The Treasure of Sierra Madre is it's volunteers. Don't get me started on how they ran those out who gave hundreds of hours of their time and talent, only to be excluded because they couldn't be controlled.

  3. Those self-centered and self-interested volunteers you rightfully criticize are also Madre-centric. By that, I mean that they look down their noses at anyone that volunteers for causes outside of Sierra Madre.

  4. What a great blog today!
    It's high time the truth was brought out.
    Thank you Sir Eric Maundry and Tattler posters listed.
    All one has to do is read the California Realtors Association handbook that was exposed here on the Tattler a while back, where they SPELLED OUT just how to take control in a slow growth city......Volunteerism was high on their list of strategies to meet their agenda, not ours.
    Thanks again, Sir Eric. You do Sierra Madre a real service.
    To us, YOU are the Volunteer of the Year!
    To readers, this man, Sir Eric, volunteers many hours of his time every day to give us this blog.
    It's on HIS DIME....he does not accept donations or advertising. He is a true volunteer, unlike most of the dirts who volunteer more out of self interest than not.
    And let's not forget our city council members who get NOTHING but work and self sacrifice with NO POLITICAL REWARDS......Kurt Zimmerman, a very busy attorney and father of two small children.
    Don Watts, an architect who has sacrificed much of his business to be on our council. MaryAnn MacGillivray, a very busy lady, a scientist who works full time in Arcadia Methodist Lab. A mother of 4. MaryAnn has already served 8 years on past city councils and is in her second year on the current council, serving as our current Mayor.
    The other two council members are connected to major political parties and agendas of the Building Industry Associations and the California Realtor's Association.
    The serve with an agenda.

  5. The majority of people who volunteer do not have an "dirt agenda". Those are the people who quietly do the work both in town and out of the city. Unfortunately in Sierra Madre the "dirts" have taken hold of most of the leadership positions in the clubs such as Kiwanis and Rotary, the commissions have been stacked with their numbers for the past decade, Little League reaks of their leadership, and sadly they are even the heads of some of the churches in town. From their positions they try to control their groups and if they can not control, they force the non conforming members out. Things are changing and the "DIRTS" do not like it and there is nothing they can do about it. So get out there and join a group and make our numbers stronger.

  6. We have Sir Eric to thank for shaking us up.Many of us,living here,minding our business and relishing living in this lovely community were becoming aware of "trouble in paradise" during '08 but hadn,t a clue how long and how troubling that history was.It comes to mind,that nothing can be taken for granted;if it's worth preserving it worth joining the struggle.

  7. You are correct on that point, Pasta, I know there are many volunteers who have served and are currently serving who do so without a dirt agenda.
    You're right about the clubs in town.....Kiwanis and Rotary stand out like sore thumbs.
    Little League needs to get rid of "leaders" such as the "shirtless one" who serve not only with a dirt agenda but also a "personal" one.

  8. Old K, I'll vote for Sir Eric as volunteer as the year, too. The time he spends in research and writing, for the sake of Sierra Madre, is mind boggling.
    More volunteers like him and there would be nothing we couldn't make better.

  9. Things are changing so get out there and volunteer, join and let's take back Sierra Madre once and for all.
    Support the efforts to protect our Sierra Madre of our council majority....MacGillivray, Zimmerman and Watts.

  10. I have to write this quick. For years Little Leaguers have been indoctrinated by their "Dirt" handlers in the glories of rampant construction, the intracasies of city council manipulation, and the deadly use of eminent domain. If the shirtless one knew I was telling you this I'd be a dead man. On the first council meeting in September him and his brightly uniformed cadres of brainwashed children will descend like a swarm of wasps and stage a palace coup. Lock your doors, bring in the cat, and no funny business....These tykes mean business! Please destroy this post after you've read it, my life may depend on it!

  11. Hey, 9:37
    sshhh.....we want this lightweight to run for council. Wait till he has to debate our chance.

  12. This blog is very important as an reminder as well as as inspiration to those very good people who live day by day but don't feel they would be welcomed in offering to volunteer on any committee.

  13. Martha, you will be welcome.
    Our Mayor welcomes anyone with a service heart to volunteer to help Sierra Madre.
    The "shenanigan" years are finally coming to an end.

  14. 10:31, that's right. Any volunteers who have been turned away, or discouraged from participating, contact the mayor. She'll care and do something about it.

  15. Contact Dee Alcorn at the city 355-7135 if you want to volunteer. There are many opportunities for you. You don't need to be part of a group.

  16. Thank you for the information. I have always felt that when I offered to volunteer in town I had to reveal by personal politics. I would just like to be of assistance and give to my community... just like I do when I do my shopping in town. Eric, congratulations on the anniversary and thank you for shedding light on the going-ons in our community.

  17. Today, the Pasadena Star news ran an article about Sierra Madre's proposal to consider contracting out its police and fire services. It has some choice quotes from "double-speaking" Council Member Joe Mosca.

    First, it quotes Mosca, who has steafastly rejected Council Member Zimmerman's plea to roll back the utility tax, as saying

    "That tax increase could potentially be rolled back if the city were able to cut spending by contracting out some services."

    However, the same article reveals that Joe doesn't want to even consider contracting out any of the services.

    Mosca is quoted as saying that the contracting of any of the fire services is "off the table."

    There is also a ringing endorsement of our local police department from Joe:

    "Having your own Police Department, from a community perspective, allows for the type of policing that Sierra Madreans have become accustomed to. The police know the residents' names, know the folks in the community, and work with residents to make sure the streets of Sierra Madre are as safe as possible."

    So much for keeping an open mind about contracting out these services to save the City some money!

  18. Why on Earth would any responsible reporter contact Mr. almost recalled & passed by for mayor Mosca?
    Somebody send the PSN the youtube links that show the Joe we know.

  19. Appreciate all of you who volunteer quietlyJuly 17, 2009 at 11:41 AM

    Thank you again Pasta and Old Kentucky for your comments. Yes, SIR ERIC your blog has brought the truth to all of us, and strengthened the people even more to save our lovely town to work for preservation. You are the MAN and we will never be able to thank you enough.

    Actually, volunteering here is very political. Look at the Library Board and the Arts Board. It is chosen. I tried to during the Shenanigan years and was very discouraged. Too much education I guess. But, Thank You to those of you who do Volunteer. You are the gems of this City because you never brag and you never have to be interviewed or put in the spotlight. That is true humility.

  20. Dear Reporter Alfred Lee of the Star News,

    May I suggest that if you have questions about: roling back the utility tax, call Council Member Zimmerman; public safety services, call Mayor MacGillivray.

  21. Good memory skillsJuly 17, 2009 at 12:46 PM

    11:35, you are assuming that Mosca has a mind to open, or close. Hasn't been demonstrated so far...

  22. 11:35, I HATE the way Sierra Madreans have become accustomed to our heavy handed Police Force. I believe the ONLY way one could make the "streets" of Sierra Madre safer would be to line them with comfy pillows!
    Truly, Local Yokel

  23. But doesn't it help to get quotes from Mosca--by that I mean help expose his real agenda. I think it's pervese, but helpful for us to have little reminders of his true lack of theme--other than self-absorption in his political future. Without little drop-ins by seemingly innocuous interview, it would be easy for people to forget how vacuous he truly is.

  24. Dr. Staccato!
    Thanks for all your contributions to this blog.
    We're lucky to have a professional like you who cares enough about Sierra Madre to make a difference, as in Measure V and the elections!
    Thanks, friend.

  25. A little off topic, but...what's with the Doogie Howser look-a-like that's now in charge of Sierra Madres Chamber of Commerce, whats the skinny on this guy?

  26. Volunteers who brag and boast about volunteering aren't real volunteers, they are marketers and self promoters for either a business or political agenda. Case in point, John B who moved into town, joined everything and then had a local resume to tout for his own ego agenda

    Same is for Shirtless Pete S, he did nothing or minor volunter roles until recently, coinciding his apparent interest in running for city council - he heavy handly ousted or pressured SMLL to elect him as Prez and it is a fact that he manipulated SM Little League to benefit his own kid's "All Star" status and Shirtless Pete's own ego and he singularly eliminated the joy of Little League for many other kids and parents and for this, he becomes citizen of the year voted on by only the Dirt crowd.

  27. For those who don't know about Shirtless Pete and his Little League antics, let me fill you, in if you are interested - it's the epitome of What's in it for Me?

    Shirtless Pete claims as bringing the new scoreboard to LL, when it was girls softball and everybody knows it, but it doesn't stop Pete from claiming glory.

    Ask the professional career women who served on the Board with Pete, where he routinely dismissed and sometimes harshly slammed the thoughtful input of these women, especially any who contridicted or challenged him. (If he is lame enough to run for Council, sends lots of woment to question him and he'll break - he's always right and women are always wrong)

    Pete would show up to the field, shirtless and wearing old style disco running shorts and conduct League business during the day or prance around for all to marvel at him. He didn't realize that every woman was ready to puke up their burgers at the unmitigated ego of such behavior.

    Shirtless Pete did in fact take a long standing tradition in SMLL about fielding the best 11/12 year old "A" level All Star team for post season and instead stacked the 10/11 year old "B" team (which his 10 year old son was on) with 11 year old all stars and did not allow the more deserving 11 year olds to be on the B team and did not allow those kids and parents the joy of Little League.

    LL was all about Pete, not the kids, if he tells you different, he's lying.

    Pete went to all the newspapers about the 10/11 year old team winning "district" when in fact he basically cheated or dealt in the gray area of the rules by stacking his son's team and ignoring 50 years of SMLL tradition and honor.

    Pete cheats to win.

    What's funny but also sad for the boys who played is that the 11/12 year old team had 11 year olds who weren't ready for intense baseball got placed on the A level team and promtly got mercy ruled in the post season tournament, because Pete and a couple other Board Members wanted to win the B level tournament with a stacked team.

    Pete single handly ruined LL for probably 20 sets of parents and kids for his own benefit to "win" and his own ego.

    Pete was all about "winning" whatever the cost, even stealing the joy of LL baseball away from kids.

  28. Why did Pete lose his gig as the guy who runs Little League? Never saw any explanation of that? Did he lose money or something?

  29. 6:06 - LL Prez serves two terms but Shirtless Pete pressured the Board for a 2nd term and the simple fact is that nobody "seeks" out the position like Shirtless Pete did - he was extremely condesending to professional women on the Board

    the LL raised huge amounts of money but that was due to the efforts of volunteers

    still, Shirtless Pete screwed over Sierra Madre kids and parents for his own sake of "winning" a B level tournament division by stacking his own son's team and disregarding 50 years of respecting SMLL values - just for his own ego


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