Wednesday, October 14, 2009

Joe Mosca Fired

What originally began as an investigative report on the Sierra Madre Tattler site questioning Joe Mosca's lack of attendance at both SGVCOG and SCAG/CEHD meetings grew into something far larger. So large in fact that it has now resulted in Mosca being removed by the Sierra Madre City Council as our officially designated delegate to the San Gabriel Valley Congress of Governments. Mayor Pro Tem Don Watts will now assume those duties.

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.


  1. Anyone think he will continue to attend the meetings?

  2. RE:Pasta..does it even matter if he does?He is irrelevant!

  3. A little bit of regime change for Sierra Madre. How sweet it is!

  4. On the Stonehouse/Carter issue.
    I was very impressed with all the public speakers.
    We're sure behind all of you in your efforts to save your hillside neighborhoods and the hillsides.

    Don Watts and Kurt Zimmerman.....thank you for your brutal but honest slam at Buchanan for his betrayal to Sierra Madre, his infamous vote to turn over One Carter to Dorn Platz.

    It was the night of heroes and villains.
    Our heroes won!

    Thanks to Heather Allen for calling out the real Joe Mosca.
    We all need to contemplate WHY John and Joe were so upset with MacGillivray's reasonable request for a change in representation at SCAG and COG.

    People in Sierra Madre are angry and disgusted with Sacramento. Sacramento special interest lobby seem hell bent on destroying local government control of their cities.
    Mosca and Buchanan's defense of Joe's "job" on COG and SCAG was very telling. Not much of a surprise, however. Mosca and Buchanan represent SACRAMENTO politicians with SPECIAL INTERESTS, those special interests being that of developers and realtors.
    There support of No on Measure V proved that.
    The infamous gang of four's vote on One Carter, handing it over to one of the worst developers in Calif. Dorn Platz.

    MaryAnn, Don and Kurt. Thanks, friends, you did the right thing for the folks, as usual.

  5. I will from now on be referring to Heather Allen as Her Majesty Heather.
    Heather, you are eloquent, honest, and brave. You rule.

  6. While Buchanan and Mosca may claim things are so "complicated" that they don't appear to make sense unless you know the intricacies,the fact is that JOE HAS FAILED TO DO US ANY DAMN GOOD in his liaison position.SCAG has not been successful,COG is not showing any signs of "effectiveness," and both organizations have FAILED.Joe and John B and the developers share something in common: they will all do "as much as possible."The developer lawyer must have said that phrase ten times."as much as possible".Talk about being able to drive a bulldozer through a convenient gap.

  7. Heather Allen is beyond eloquent, honest, and brave! She is the epitomy of the oft misapplied AWESOME! She is fierce in her defense of OUR small community and absolutely audacious in her rejection of Joe Mosca's substance-less defense of his tenure with SCAG and SVCOG. I'm straining at the bit to work on her election committee! Let's hear it for Heather!

  8. One revelation for me last night was that COG meetings take
    place in a building owned by Southern California Edison. Our
    friendly local electricity giant is one of the big forces behind
    large scale redevelopment. Would Edison be so accommodating
    with their facilities if COG were to somehow become a force
    for slow growth in the SGV? I highly doubt it.

  9. Joe going to COG meetings as a free agent wouldn't be a change at all. He never represented us any way.

  10. True Ed.
    I got the feeling that Joe liked the cogscag stuff because it wasn't just our pokey little town.
    Bigger arena, ya know.
    Maybe his ticket up & out of town.

  11. "cogscag." I like that. Did you hear how many times Joe felt he needed to correct people on the proper usage of COG and SCAG? As if there is any real difference. Like Chevy vs Buick.

  12. I find it endearing when Mosca pleads his case that he's been doing something (with zero results) for a whole, long 3 and 1/2 years. He is emphasizing this 3 and a 1/2 years to an audience who for the most part have been working at various things for 20 years, 30 years, even 50 and 60 years.
    Little Joe, a whole three and a half. Years working, or emotional age?

  13. 8:47, did you hear when Joe tried to correct the Mayor on some stupid preposition distinction?
    It was ridiculous - something like "comments OF the council, you mean comments FROM the council"
    I guess that's what happens when you're operating on all style and no substance. Empty quips.

  14. I'm heaving a huge sigh of relief right now. THIS is indeed what we elected Watts, Zimmerman and MacGillivray to do - fight for the interests of our community, NOT big development. HUZZAH to their heroic efforts to bring city government back into the city...!

  15. WOW! Quite momentous. Since Mosca didn't go to the SCAG meetings anyways, you would think he would be relieved that he doesn't have to feel guilty about not going. Ironic if he should start to now attend. Congratulations to the Canyon. I believe it was 1972 when the first group of residents came together to try to get appropriate zoning for the Canyon. That was 37 years ago. With most of the damage done within the last 10 years, it is a tribute to the fortitude of the residents and to the CC for finally recognizing the fragile and unique character of Sierra Madre Canyon.

  16. Did that letter get sent?

  17. Loved Council Member Zimmerman's critique of the SCAG population growth estimates and especially, the tongue-in-cheek way he described how SCAG believes 32 new residents need 140 new homes.

    I also appreciate his telling City Staff that they should not be communicating revised "new job" estimates to SCAG without City Council approval. The other Council Members apparently didn't realize that City staff was on the verge of providing SCAG with an inflated estimate of approx 250 new jobs that would be created in SM over the next 10 years. SCAG would have undoubtedly relied upon the City's estimate to generate an even higher RHNA housing number for our town.

    Good catch Kurt!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

  18. Poster 9:39, good point about Council Member Kurt Zimmerman. The other Council Members and audience were so focused on Joe's demotion and the One Carter/Stonehouse discussion that they missed the potential disaster that Kurt averted by calling out the City's plans to provide an inflated estimate of the new jobs that would be created over the next 10 years.

    If we use SCAG's "new math," we'd have to build 1000 new homes for the 250 or so new jobs. LOL LOL

  19. The night of the vote for the housing development of 1 Carter, there was a report given to John Buchanan about the efforts to buy 1 Carter by the Mountains Conservancy. The next night there was an item on the agenda of the Santa Monica Mountains Conservancy to give Sierra Madre Mountain Conservancy $20,000.00 for a feasibility study as to what would really be built in the Hillside Zone if the city council held to the 1992 Hillside Zone instead of caving in to the developers--Dorn-Platz -who the current developers willingly vilify to make themselves seem 'oh so much better.' This item was on the agenda through the hard efforts of Herb Stroh, Caroline Brown and Marguerite Shuster but it was removed. The point was mute. The Sierra Madre City Council of 2003, with the last member standing of that infamous group-John Buchanan--had given away the last opportunity to position the Conservancy to buy additional portions of 1 Carter (they had bought the upper 40 acres in 1995). Now lot 3. Certainly a visibly position house on that lot will be an eye sore for the town and the valley below BUT now there is a legal lot, scoured of all remanents of native vegetation (did any of the west ridge preparation follow the hillside side standards?) and it has value as a building sight--way over priced (fair market value) as far as being purchased by a city-based bond-type measure! And with house sites above and below, it hardly meets the idea of connected open space. It would be a nice pocket park for the development and the community--it would give value to all the residental lots in the 1 Carter development (what is is new name?) and the developer SHOULD give it to the city of Sierra Madre and replant it to the natural state it once was.

  20. Kurt is a man of few words, but anything he does say, one should listen very carefully, because you know two will be true and it will be relevant to the issue at hand.
    This is a man who never talks about himself.
    Absolutely amazing in today's politicians.
    I wish Kurt was the Gov. of California.

  21. Telling SCAG that we are going to have 250 new jobs, would have been just the excuse it needed to force us to build low income housing.
    What was the City Manager thinking?
    I'm very glad that Zimmerman caught her mistake.

  22. The City Manager and her underling Danny Castro didn't think giving SCAG ammunition to force us to build crappy condos was a mistake. That is very troubling.

  23. Looks like they were caught red handed, actually. Bad Danny! Bad Elaine!

  24. Sounds like our city manger was attempting to negotiate new RHNA numbers behind the Council's back and was betting that Kurt Zimmerman wouldn't call her on it. Don't bet against Kurt..... ever.

  25. Culture change. The City Council can only do so much. We need to change City Hall.

  26. Did Joe really say that he needed to serve on the regional organization to stop multi-unit development in Sierra Madre?

    What hypocrisy!

  27. I heard that as well, 10:12.
    I was watching on TV when I thought I heard him say that, I couldn't believe it, then Heather Allen came to the podium.......

    Neuroblast and staff:
    When may we expect that classic clip of Heather Allen confronting Mosca?
    I wonder how much it would cost us to have DVD's made of that Neuroblast clip and mail to all registered voters if Joe Mosca is dumb enough to run for city council again?

  28. If we do a DVD it should be a "Joe's Greatest Hits" collage. One that would display all three of his personalities - snippy, snobby, and snotty.

  29. For all of the reasons set forth in Sir Eric's article and because of Kurt Zimmerman's "great catch" this may go down in history as one of the most important Council meetings ever.

  30. I just got a message from a staff member of Neuroblast. The Heather Allen Clip is in process.
    We'll be anxious to see that one. Thanks, Team

    I know the research team is very busy, but I have one more request.

    10:23 is right, how about a clip of our Kurt catching that little "error" by the city?

    We can then witness a super lawyer in action....Zimmerman and a "joke"..... Mosca.

  31. What we are seeing is how a city government should function, not kissy face tea parties diverting the City's resources to consultants who work to undermine the citizenry. The great thing about the dynamic trio is that they are not beholden to faceless behind the scenes puppet masters. Let the wild rumpus begin! Every meeting should involve confrontation and interrogation! Begin the age of honesty!

  32. Congratulations to Sir Eric and his brave band of tattlers, the words of a great man aided by the words of his readers, have overcome billions of dollars, a greedy core of self serving politicos, you are a shining example to us all.

  33. Sir Eric, any chance you could follow up with an article about Council Member Kurt Zimmerman's discovery?

    This strikes me as a really big deal that the entire community should know about. Sounds like we were being sold down the river and were saved at the last minute by Kurt. Thanks.

  34. In addition to claiming that he was saving Sierra Madre from multi-unit development, Mosca also claims that because of his participation on an MTA committee, he saved Sierra Madre's public transportation. How delusional/narcissistic is that?

  35. Of course he saved the bus routes. It connects us to the 210 Trolly, which makes us subject to the loving attention of SB375.

  36. 10:50, many thanks for a great description of the shenanigan years, "kissy face tea parties diverting the City's resources to consultants who work to undermine the citizenry"

  37. There are odd forces at work within our City. The City Attorney refers to the Council in a 3rd person reference. Its always "you have the option" never "we". If she is there to assist the City Administration and the Couincil and we are picking up the tab then she is on the team that arbitrates and decides. She should use the term "we". She is not there as an advocate for the residents or the applicant. She is there to assist in the legal direction for the City, and therefore a member of the team. A small point maybe, but an occassional "we" or "our" would be nice.

  38. Throw Them All OUT!October 14, 2009 at 11:58 AM

    Elaine Aguilar should be fired.

    Danny Castro should be fired.

    Then we can hire people who will protect this town from development. Something these two Glendale and Beverly Hills refugees don't seem to understand.

  39. 11:52, "We" or "our" is totally inappropriate! She is not a decision maker only an advisor and in that capacity only advising the City Council. She does not direct staff, only the Council. The Council directs staff. We direct Council at the ballot box!!!!

  40. 11:52 Last night the Developer refered to the City Attorney as "Sandy". And are you sure the Staff understands they are directed by the Council? The Developer seems to be more familiar and on better terms with the Ciry Attorney than than is the Council.

  41. 12:17 You nailed it!

    Making changes on the City Council was just the beginning. Now significant changes must be made with City Staff.

    Let's not forget, that while Bart Doyle and his acolytes were on the Council, they gave the Council's legal authority (in many key areas) to the City Manager. This situation still exists, which is why Elaine Aguilar has so much power and feels comfortable making decisions that undermine the best interests of Sierra Madre on behalf of her Building Industry patrons.

    If you're going to fire anyone first, however, it should be Colantuono & Levin. They are "the fox in the hen house." They are the ones that cover Elaine Aguilar's and Danny Castro's back.

  42. funny,elaine aguilar was just fine when she completed the audits and saved the city a bunch of $$$ in penalties.danny castro is a hard working manager intent on doing the right thing.what makes you,anonymous at 1:08,think a pig in a poke would be any better?i say better we let mcg, z and dw educate them on how city staff should behave and who runs the city.levin is a fine attorney and responds in sm's best interests when z prompting her on the finer points.better we should recall the one but you thinks the council has given elaine the council's legal authority.

  43. 1:41 Poster. The City completed the audits because Zimmerman was Mayor at the time and made their completion a priority. You give city staff way too much credit.

    Had they been completed when Enid was Mayor, we all would have learned that we had a $1 million surplus, and utility tax measure would have gone down in flames.

  44. 1:41 Nice to see you Dirts are still interested in the Tattler. Unfortunately for you, fraud, deceit, misinformation and lies just don't get the traction they used to in Sierra Madre.

    Watching Dirts cry and whine reminds me of the Wicked Witch of the West after Dorothy splashed her with a bucket of water; "I'm melting! Aaarrggh"

  45. 1:41 Are you Bart Doyle or just a BIA sock puppet working in some Orange County or Las Vegas PR firm's office cubicle, writing nonsense on the internet all day?

    Didn't you learn your lesson from Measure V? There are many people in Sierra Madre with extensive historical memory, that do remember the actions of previous City Council regimes.

    FYI: Unlike you and your ilk, residents of Sierra Madre are not transient, fellow travelers for the Building Industry Association.

  46. Seems everyday the Tattler attracts some angry dirts.
    We know you're frustrated and upset.
    Where were you last night? Mosca and Buchanan were trying to intimidate MacGillivray, Watts and Zimmerman into letting Joe keep his "job" at COG and SCAG. In what seemed hours of pontificating by these two inept attorneys, (several people fell asleep), we never did hear even one thing Joe Mosca has done for the betterment of Sierra Madre.
    Where were all the "guests" from the "ORDER OF THE FLY" meetings? Where were all the dirts who think they are holding secret meetings at "shirtless" Pete's house or other "dirt caves"?
    Where were you all?
    I'm thinking you're all afraid of not only MacGillivray, Zimmerman and Watts, but also....
    Heather Allen or Fay Angus or Barbara Leigh or Teryl Willis? These nice ladies don't seem all that intimidating......but they do get up and speak the truth. The truth is hard for you dirts to combat, kinda' chokes ya' now doesn't it?
    Where were you dirts?
    Thank you McGillivray, Zimmerman and Watts, not only for working for the people's interests, but
    for not FALLING ASLEEP, listening to these two so-called "attorneys".

  47. We have been all wanting to fire the City Hall Dirts as we KNOW they are working for Bart and
    Culantuano. Aguilar and Castro's days are numbered along with others who have been kissin up to the money. The honesty and the people spoke up last night.We should not have to put up with the puppets in City Hall any longer. Why do we?
    Yes, Kurt you are the BEST attorney, and always have hit the nail on the head. Joe has always been jealous of you and could never have your class and intelligence. You and Don must run again for all of Sierra Madre and you will both win with a landslide!!!

  48. Hi everybody neuroblastfilms has the heather allen part on you tube now

  49. things are "complicated" for Joe and John becaue the are bumpkins - both are not "attorneys" - they are corporate mouthpieces and neither have probably step foot in a real courtroom in a real court battle

    i wouldn't mind one bit if both moved out of town and take their trailer load of BS with them

  50. Heather Allen video is awesome. Thank you video team! Thank you Heather!

  51. Heather's link

    You go girl!!!!!!!!!!!!!

  52. Thanks for this, Neuroblast team.

    Thanks to Heather.

    Joe Mosca, you should be ashamed to have a young woman have to get up and speak for her community, correcting your lies.

  53. Sierra Madre CleanerOctober 14, 2009 at 5:49 PM

    Commenter at 1:41. I know you got beat up in here today, but I'm going to gag.

    Elaine A and Danny C as hard working staff misled by an evil law firm? PLEASE!

    Elaine is a savvy pro-D gal courtesy of the City of Glendale and Danny C came from development happy Beverly Hills. Neither of them have stood up for residents.

    If someone wants to build something in this town regardless of what our laws say, you can bet that Elaine, Danny and the City Attorney are going to put their heads together with the applicant and get er done. And it don't matter whether it is good for the town or not.

    That's not what I want to see at City Hall. I say let's clean house and start over now.

  54. Great post Slow Growth Savant. Just one thing - I think Heather Allen is intimidating as hell!!! That sound bite should go far and wide to encourage people everywhere to call their political representatives to account!
    Thank you Heather.

  55. Neuroblast, what a difference you have made.
    A film company that gives our town a political educational.
    Here's to your continued success!

  56. The just removal of Mosca from the only thing he cares about, a larger forum than he has here, was a long time coming.
    I also wonder where his supporters are. Have they left him hanging out with just blustery Buchanan to come to his aid? Are they betraying the betrayer? Why don't they show up for him?

  57. Heather is smart, with-it, articulate, knows what is happening, has a great sense of everything that is going on, connects the dots, does not stop asking questions until she is sure she has all the answers, and she reads everything, and I mean everything, both sides. Well educated young woman.

    Classy Heather, and this was not her first act nor her last. Surprised Joe did not have a coronary. He knows he cannot handle Heather's strength or truth.

  58. Heather is committed to truth. No matter what.

    You're right Sierra Madrean, Heather is imtimdating,to the dishonest, She, like MaryAnn, Kurt and Don value the truth, no matter what.

  59. I actually got excited when I saw Heather at the podium. As soon as she started speaking I was giddy, and by the time she was half way done, I was cheering and laughing (from home in front of the TV). No way Mosca could have countered her, especially as a member of the minority (on the Council and in the room).

    After about 5 years of watching Heather in action, I can say that she is an asset to every honest, fair-minded person in Sierra Madre.

  60. Anon 6:17

    Many of Joe Mosca's supporters, are on Neuroblast Films Youtube site check all posted videso something like 47 now!

  61. Heather, thank you taking the time and effort to speak on behalf of the residents of Sierra Madre.

  62. That Mosca would even traipse his smug mug within the city limits after a shotgun blast such as the one Heather delivered illustrates a likely character disorder.

    Good shootin' Heather, you smoked that pigeon.

    Mosca is only being what his name means in spanish at this tranlator-

  63. Good catch by several posters on the "jobs" numbers. Now, in general, I think job creation is a good thing; however, jobs are another tool in the big development toolbox to justify housing. Jobs are the major argument Attorney General Jerry Brown is using to sue the City of Pleasanton on their "slow housing growth" policies. Greenwashing and Jobwashing.. watch out! (check out my URL for state NIMBY stuff)

  64. How are we supposed to create jobs when the commercial district (East Montecito) is being redeveloped into condo's?

    Just asking.

  65. Anon 8:17, you're right that some of Mosca's supporters are on Neuroblast. And that's the only place to find them! They do not come to council meetings and support their guys, Joe and John.
    I remember when the slow growth people were under represented, and we had a minority of the council vote - we showed up, we spoke, we supported our representatives.
    Are they just lazy? or no longer on the side of the pro-development green boys?

  66. I think they know they are beaten, and that their chances of making something happen now are nil. No matter how much LA Democratic Party money Joe might be able to use in his campaign, their day is over.

  67. 8:51, sounds accurate to me - but again I wonder, don't they have any loyalty?
    You have to show up and support the people you vote for, even if they are on the losing side of an issue.
    It just seems like Mr. Mosca and Mr. Buchanan have no one who's willing to endure those lengthy meetings, at least to just be a friendly face in the chambers.
    Maybe we're seeing some quick karma.