Take the Downtown Blight Law as an example. The clowns who own the Skilled Nursing Facility continue to allow the place to rot right out there in public. And the obvious solution would be to fine these reprobates for creating and perpetuating this shameful eyesore. And this has been agendized, and staff was issued instructions to get something down on paper months ago so that the City Council can vote on it. But does it ever happen? Nope. And that sad building continues to deteriorate right there in the middle of our town.
Or the forensic audit that was smothered in the crib. As we've discussed many times before, Sierra Madre has a history of blown audits and fiscal incompetence. Back during the Shenanigan Years they were so blinded by the big money they were going to make off the DSP that they forgot all about doing the paperwork. And in one instance it was so bad it turned out there was a million dollars that we didn't know we had. A million dollars nobody could account for, even though it was there hidden in plain sight. And these were the numbers the voters of Sierra Madre had to use when voting themselves a 100% Utility User Tax hike. So wouldn't looking into this city's fiscal history both make sense and ease the sting of this ethical lapse a bit? And given the past, can we say with any real confidence that this is the end of it? Did you know that there is another nascent audit out there, one that we apparently can't see until next year? What's up with that? I'm sorry, but sometimes you can't see the transparency through the fog. Can't we at least get a progress report please?
And on Tuesday evening's agenda we can see that SCAG is once again taking the spotlight. We have now gone from getting out of this useless strawman of an organization to dedicating valuable City Council time to them every damn meeting. This week it looks like we're back to hearing about that $1,000 dues payment it will take to stay a member of Club Ikhrata. But look, has anything changed since the last time we put off making that payment? Outside of their sending a couple of colorful gentlemen to one of our meetings, have we gotten anything out of our stringent reappraisal? Have they backed down on their absurd RHNA demands? Not one bit. I say we write the check, but then lock it away in a safe. Tell SCAG it has been cut, maybe even send them an edited photocopy. But only when they do something to earn their pound of flesh should we invest in the stamp.
It looks like the consultant NBS has cut their price from $50,000 to $40,000 in regard to that "Professional Service Agreement" for a Fee Study. I guess it is a good thing the city went back and worked out a little deal, eh? But you know something? Where I work, out there in scary old private industry land, if I went to my boss and asked for $50 grand, only to have it later revealed that the price was actually $40 grand, my professional abilities might be called into question. Along with my continued value to the company. So why wasn't this properly negotiated the first time around? Can we really be sure it was done right the second time? Times are tough right now, and if NBS was willing to come down ten thousand dollars, chances are pretty good they'll come down even more. Assuming we even need to spend this money, of course.
There are some other items here. The City should let the Firesafe Council people use the Sierra Madre logo on their fundraising literature. That is a pretty good trade for getting an emergency radio station. Then there's the matter of issuing a Temporary Use Permit for the Candlelight Walk. Which really is quite a beautiful spectacle. Just as long as it isn't costing us that monopoly price of $1,200 in police security expenses I'm down with it. And then there is the call for an Interim Moratorium Ordinance for the Canyon. And how could you be opposed to that? Particularly in light of the recent outbreak of Snitch Lice they've been suffering up there? I don't know how familiar you are with this scourge, but just beware of anyone looking itchy. Nuff said.
Then there is an item about Assembly Bill 1881. This is a Sacramento concoction dedicated to saving water, particularly when sprayed on stuff like lawns. According to the website Chance of Rain this bill only applies to the following:
* AB 1881 is mostly aimed at new construction and commercial landscapers.
* AB 1881 only applies to single family residences that are being put in by developers with gardens larger than 2,500 square feet, or to existing single family homes where the landscaped area is more than 5,000 square feet and undergoing a changeover.
There is more information to be found there as well. Click on the cite and read the stuff if you need that sort of punishment. On the agenda it is recommended that the City Council only read the title. Probably a good thing. Though I suspect John and Joe might like to chat about this one for a while. Preserving our water supplies is always important to them, except when it has something to do with building condos.
Oh, and one other thing. It looks like they're scheduling a City Council election here for next April. And they're throwing in a tiebreaker this time, like at a soccer game or something. Anybody put any thought into that one yet? The election, that is? I hear it might be important.