And in what took on an almost Courtroom atmosphere, Joe's defense was a curious one. While claiming that his removal would make no difference because, as an elected official, he would be allowed by the SGVCOG to continue attending (or not attending, but on his terms I guess) its meetings, he and his acting attorney John Buchanan mounted a rather intense and desperate defense for his continuing as this City's official delegate. The gap between claims that his removal would change nothing and the frantic efforts to stop this process being wide enough to drive a One Carter bulldozer through. Something that left many with the impression that there were some very serious issues at play here for Joe.
While the defense talked about both Mosca's 3 plus years serving on some SGVCOG committees and his self-proclaimed great experience and abilities to move within that highly political system, absolutely nothing specific was said about what he actually did there. Or, stranger still, what he did that was of benefit to Sierra Madre. Which, of course, should have been his priority all along. For Joe this seemed to be about nothing more than keeping his job.
That it apparently never occurred to Mosca to prepare a defense based on what he has accomplished for the town that elected him is extremely telling. I can only conclude this did not occur to Joe because it just isn't important to him. That and he never really did do anything beneficial at COG for Sierra Madre.
In what for me was the highlight of the entire episode, Sierra Madre resident Heather Allen stood before the City Council and challenged Joe on his claims of having done all he could to represent the small communities of the San Gabriel Valley. How could he sit there and claim such a thing, she asked, when we all know that Joe has repeatedly betrayed the interests of the very people who first elected him? The people of that small SGV community, Sierra Madre?
The inference being that with SGVCOG all Joe did was take his already sadly compromised act on the road. He had no defenders representing him at the podium.
In a lot of ways this meeting was a turning point on some long standing issues. In particular One Carter and Stonehouse. The City Council is showing very definite signs that they are in no mood for phony compromises or "settlements" of any kind with the current owners of these properties. And the testimony from concerned residents was both eloquent and highly effective. All of which reduced the inept attorney representing the One Carter/Stonehouse interests to doing little more than mouthing bromides and empty platitudes. Even she must understand the trouble they are in now.
The Canyon Moratorium passed, and the process of protecting this unique part of our community is now moving rapidly forward.
The ridiculous SCAG/RTP projections were practically laughed out of the building. There is just no other way of describing it. Even John Buchanan, ever the SCAG Tory, couldn't invent anything to defend their bizarre assumptions. SCAG's claim that a 32 person population increase in Sierra Madre would result in 140 new households being too much even for him. Of course, if what SCAG was suggesting is building 140 condos that would remain empty, then that would be very much in line with what they've helped generate in other cities.
While I will have more on this meeting tomorrow, please don't wait up for me. Consider this to be an open thread.