Friday, November 27, 2009

Fay Angus Graciously Offers Insight to John Buchanan

There are several moments from last Tuesday's meeting that I've gone back and watched over again. None of them jumped out at me initially, probably because some of the fireworks that night overshadowed this more subtle fare. But I think we need to take another look at two in particular because they reveal not just the obvious obstructionism of the two development lobbyists masquerading as our representatives on the City Council, but also how a little grace and patience can reduce their noisy complaining to something of very small importance.

The first instance was MaryAnn MacGillivray's dismissal of Joe Mosca's ham fisted attempts to derail the establishment of an "interim ordinance" on development in the Canyon. The Canyon Zone Committee has been hard at work creating a zoning ordinance that will help to protect this unique and historic neighborhood from the kinds of predatory development that would destroy it. And the ordinance under consideration Tuesday would extend the moratorium on building up there for the full 12 months initially under consideration. Something that would give the Canyon Committee the time it needs to finish its deliberations and turn their findings over to the Planning Commission and City Council.

Now Joe, who apparently has decided that he is solely beholden to the home improvement industry's interests here in town, felt the need to monkey wrench the proceedings. But Joe being Joe, he had to do this in such a way that it sounded like he is in favor of the Canyon Committee's work while at the same time pushing for something that would obviously undermine its efforts. And the method he chose to do this was to call for "Outreach Meetings."

A ploy that collapsed like a house of cards when Mayor MacGillivray pointed out to Joe that this was something already included in the procedure, but would only take place after the Canyon Zone Committee had finished with their part of the deal. Otherwise why even have a committee do the work in the first place? Rather than just a series of most likely fractious public meetings? You'd think Joe would have understood something as simple as that. Obviously everyone else in the room did as his "great idea" died a miserable death.

And so another Joe Mosca attempt to doubletalk his way to re-election was dealt a serious setback.

Criticism offered with grace and eloquence can be a kindness, even if the intended audience seems incapable of understanding or accepting it. But Fay Angus made the effort anyway. And in the process delivered what was a very effective speech.

The situation was John Buchanan's attempt to undermine the City's rather gutsy efforts to stand up to SCAG and in the process protect the long standing ability of Sierra Madre's to control its own destiny. And what was John's red herring issue here? The $1,000 dues payment to SCAG that is being held back in lieu of an honest and meaningful response regarding a letter sent by Sierra Madre. With John Buchanan unfortunately taking the side of SCAG against the needs of his own city.

What could possibly be in it for John Buchanan you might ask? That really is the big question. Who he works for and what the motivations are for doing what he does being at the very core of this city's biggest and most troublesome issues over the last half decade.

Here is what Fay Angus had to say about John's concerns, and more:

I want to applaud Mayor MacGillivray and Mayor Pro Tem Watts and Councilmember Zimmerman for taking a firm grasp of the situation and making a statement. And Councilmember Buchanan, the issue is not .50 cents or a hundred dollars or a thousand dollars. That is not the issue. The issue is exercising leadership for change and already there has been a response from other communities from within our framework one might say, and it is a beginning and hopefully it will continue so I would certainly applaud all of you for doing this. And hopefully your focus can grasp the reality of the statements and not the money aspect. The money is inconsequential and we know that.

And I think that initiating change in Sacramento is an excellent idea, and I'm hoping that possibly you individually, you can contact your representative and start initiating this change. That would be great. But in the meantime let's do what we can to hold fast to collectively rally some of the smaller communities and give them the strength and the courage to change what should be changed.

A great soul stooped to offer instruction and understanding to a narrow, petty bureaucrat. And the contrast was stunning.


  1. Great column today, Sir Eric.
    I will make sure Fay Angus reads it!
    Fay has been very busy trying to finish her new novel + meeting other professional obligations.
    Still, she took time to attend the meeting and speak up.
    Fay, like Kurt Zimmerman, Don Watts, MaryAnn MacGillivray and Sir Eric Maundry, have no hidden agenda. These good people care about Sierra Madre, and the people who live here!
    Fay once commented to me that she wished to preserve Sierra Madre's hillsides and small town for future generations, for her grandchildren and everyone's grandchildren.
    She is a deeply caring and religious woman who prays for our slow-growth officials and candidates and for their strength and wisdom to fight on for the good cause.
    I'm proud to call Fay a friend of mine.

  2. With "friends" like John and Joe, who needs enemies? They've both made a career of selling out Sierra Madre.

  3. In regards to the Canyon Zoning Committee:
    This committee is really doing a good job.
    I have attended their meetings and they are focused and know exactly what they are doing.
    The people of the canyon will be proud when this is completed in the near future. The canyon will finally have it's zoning code on the books.
    Thanks so much to:
    Chairman John Herrmann
    Caroline Brown
    Sherry Robison
    Jim Monachino
    Michael Howard
    You people are the best!

  4. I would like to see any candidate who is running for the city council, SIGN a contract with the voters that they will protect this small town from SCAG/COG/SACRAMENTO, the BIA and the CAR.
    After we were all betrayed by Joe Mosca, I want to see a pledge to the people IN WRITING.
    Kurt Zimmerman and Don Watts and MaryAnn MacGillivray have proven their loyalty to the people. Anyone I vote for in the future needs to prove their loyalty. No more Joe Moscas!
    Let others do the same.

  5. Faye Angus = grace under fire....we are lucky to have her. She has an amazing ability to deliver the message without killing the receiver. In this day and age...that, my friends, is a gift.
    Thank you, Faye

  6. I'm certain that we'll see a lot of flipping and
    flopping from Joe in the upcoming election.
    There isn't an authentic bone in the guy's

  7. We have many fabulous people living in this unique town: Kurt, Don, MaryAnn,Sir Eric, Old Kentucky and the list goes on. But no one has the intellect, grace, charm when it comes to the eloquence of describing anyone the way our Lady Faye so beautifully does.She is a mistress of the English language and we all have much to learn from her. Thank you Faye for bringing all of us so much elegance and inspiration.

  8. Thanks, Tattler, for highlighting the words of our best stateswoman.
    The part of her speech that I found most interesting was her discussion of the constant, wasteful use of consultants.
    She presented them as a bad consequence of the new financial terrorism, threatening lawsuits.
    I wish Faye could run city hall.

  9. Did Faye Angus say that our city manager made $145,000 a year?
    How much does the city attorney make?

  10. After Fay got done speaking Mr. Buchanan had quite a look on his face. Did anybody notice that look?

  11. Joe Mosca really showed how inept he is in pleading for an outreach group for the Canyon Zoning Committee. He spun out his words, wagging his head from left to right bleating nonsense, obviously attempting to sabotage the efforts of the Canyon Committee.
    Gratefully, the Mayor stopped him short, took a short breath, rolled her eyes and proceeded to lecture Mosca in the realities and stopped his babbling cold.

  12. Joe is such a phony.

  13. Outreach as defined in the Webster's Seventh New Collegiate Dictionary as follows.."To Surpass in Reach":2"To get the better out of Trickery".

  14. FREE

    Zimmerman, Watts and MacGillivray!


  15. It's time to toss out the carpetbaggers, the Sacramento wannabes, the developer lobbyists, the regional councils, and put Sierra Madre first.

  16. Hey anon 2:50, not as much as your police chief....

  17. The strategic planning retreat with the city council, and city department heads and managers will be held on 11/30/09 at 8:30 a.m. at the Y.A.C. It is a public meeting.

  18. Diaz makes a lot of money for running that disaster of a Police Department? AKA Law Suit Troop?

  19. Thanks for the reminder,Anon at 5:00 pm.

    I hope all our slow growth friends reading this will attend this important meeting.

    You'll be glad you did. Should be VERY interesting.

    Please plan to attend in support of MaryAnn, Don and Kurt!

  20. 5:24, yes, you are correct. Diaz makes about 5% less then the city manager. AND, she collects a retirement check from the city of pasadena. WOW!

  21. There's a public meeting on a Monday? Many of the public will be working on Monday.
    So much for community outreach.

  22. Faye Angus spoke at least three times at the last council. Once was the gentle instruction given to Buchanan ( and I wish there could be reaction cams, 3:05), another time was her really smart discussion of using reclaimed water, and the other time was her great speech about the ridiculous use of consultants that our city staff is addicted to.
    We are beyond lucky to have her.

  23. You make a good point, working person.
    Those of you who can attend, however, should plan to.
    I know Sir Eric or someone in attendance will give us a good account of what goes on.
    Thankfully, we have the Tattler to give us an honest report, one you won't find in our so called "local" newspapers.

  24. I'll be at work, but anyone who wants to cover this meeting for The Tattler, your efforts will be much appreciated. Thanks!

  25. Good article up on the PSN site right now. "Planning process reveals Pasadena residents' distaste for high-density building.'


  26. The Star News article is interesting. It seems Pasadena's city council doesn't care what the residents there think.

  27. Not sure what the objection to Chief Diaz is, but didn't she inherit a heaped big mess when she arrived--perhaps hired to undo the old boys stranglehold on the PD and had to maneuver around one, or some, who had applied for the position and were passed over (as if any of them qualified!)? Story goes that it was mere co-incidence, but her house was burglerized the night while she was at City Hall being sworn in and that after living in this community without such "co-incidences" for a good number of years!

  28. Hey, Pasadena Tattler readers!

    You need to team up with the slow growth preservations in Sierra Madre and we'll keep getting more support from other cities, big and small that are being attacked by Sacramento crooks and BIA crooks and the likes.
    They are trying to take away our liberty!
    Let's fight them!

  29. Eye of the Sun:

    That's interesting, I didn't know that.
    Maybe some of us should re-think about this issue.

  30. imagine what a mess out PD would have been if Abernathy would have made Chief.

  31. We never had so many internal lawsuits with the police till Diaz took over and she was immensely disliked by her piers at the City of Pasadena. Remember if the build out management was Gung Ho to contract out our services to create a disconnect with the citizens of our community. The less the community is connected the less if knows of unsavory things going on. We use to have local police that had a true personal connection to this town and Diaz managed to get rid of every one of- them. People need to look who was hired while the DSP and buildout was still a possibility and if you are talking about why things do not get on the agenda...the person responsible for putting them on is our city manager Elaine Aguilar (and when was she hired????).

  32. Eye in the Sun 4:07,

    What "heaped big mess" are your referring to? If you do a little research you'll find that prior to Diaz there were no lawsuits from the community, nor from within the department. Also, since you're so aware of the qualifications of the departments employees, you should be well aware of the fact that No employee applied for the Chief's position. Lastly, your innuendo regarding the break-in at Chief Diaz's home fails to include the possibility that either Cardinal Mahony or Jimmy Hoffa may have done it.

  33. 10:06, I heard the council discuss at some point that the city manager is not the end word on the agendas. The mayor sets those with the manager. That's one of the reasons why it can be helpful to be mayor.

  34. Could it be while the PD was chugging along getting away with below par performance, which in part may account for why none of the department had the backgournd necessary to apply for Police Chief, that then when Diaz was hired, and set about to change this situation, lawsuits were the inevitable result?

  35. So in your opinion that is the reason for the lawsuits? Subpar cops angry at being denied their perceived right to be lousy?

    And we voted ourselves a tax hike to give these wowzers a raise?

  36. I stand corrected, annonymous 10:26 a.m. I now remember that there were no applications from within the department. That brings up another question: how do members of a police department go about improving their opportunity to qualify/apply for police chief?

  37. Eye of the Sun,
    They don't. Diaz is there to clean house. Out with the old and in with the new. She want's to surround herself with "yes" people (primarily from Pasadena PD). That way they will never be a threat, let alone question her. Let's be honest, she couldn't make a decision to save her own life! If you don't believe this, then ask a few old timers from Pasadena PD.

  38. ur right 12:50, I golf with a few Pasadena PD officers (a couple high ranking) and they all chuckled at our misfortune of hiring Diaz and their fortune of her leaving the Pasadena PD