Saturday, November 21, 2009

Tattler News In Review

There have been new developments in some of the stories we've covered here on The Tattler site, and as Sierra Madre's One True News Source (SMOTNS), we feel it is incumbent upon us to keep you up to date with this stuff. So here goes.

It looks like the Anthony Adams recall has failed. Our esteemed California State Assemblyman, noted here recently for his Top 10 performance in the category of Indiscriminate Acceptance of Lobbyist Largesse, was the subject of a campaign to toss him out of office due to his reneging on a no new tax pledge he took when running for office. Tony Baloney was one of only three GOP Assemblyman to vote for a temporary income tax increase last February, a little something impacting our paychecks now. This from today's SGV Tribune:

Assemblyman Anthony Adams will serve at least the remainder of his term as backers of a drive to boot him from office failed to gather enough support ... The California Secretary of State's Office announced Friday that a group of anti-tax advocates and Orange County conservatives did not gather enough valid signatures to call for a recall election ... "I feel vastly relieved," said Adams, R-Claremont, who represents a district stretching from Hesperia to La Canada Flintridge. "I'm just so thrilled and so thankful to all my voters."

I can imagine he is. One of the consequences of losing his office would mean he'd no longer be the recipient of such things as free massages and cellphone headsets from his friends in the lobbyist profession. The Sacramento Bee reports him as responding to the news this way:

"I'm elated, I'm euphoric," Adams said Friday. "People generally don't like recalls," he said. "I'm up for re-election in June, in the primary. Voters will have their say then."

I guess you can say that he's so excited, and he just can't hide it. Apparently the problem the recall ran into wasn't the quantity of signatures, it was the quality. While 58,384 were gathered, only 24,500 or so were judged to be valid. Which is the problem with using professional signature gatherers, folks who are paid by the autograph. Since they are picking up some cash for every signature they get, they tend to be a little less discriminating than those who would do it out of support for an issue. And the Adams Recall folks spent $110,000 on these dudes in support of this effort.

The Napa Valley Register, in an editorial on the upcoming Sacramento budget disaster (as opposed to the Sacramento budget disaster just past), notes that in the next go 'round there will be nowhere left for such scoundrels to hide. It's either make the deep cuts they lack the courage to take on, or raise taxes permanently. Something they also lack the cojones to do.

The $20.7 billion problem could easily balloon to $25 billion or more. Even more ominously, as temporary tax increases expire and deferred spending promises come due, the state faces annual deficits in the $20 billion range for many years to come ... They've scraped the bottom of the gimmick barrel, voters are livid and new taxes are functionally off the table. This will be one of the bloodiest skirmishes the capitol as ever seen.

I assume by "bloodiest" The Register is speaking metaphorically. Though news of open combat among members of our legislature would be well-received in some quarters of this long suffering state.

Now over there in The City of Industry (as opposed to "a city of industry," which would be anywhere people happen to work), things have been getting a little sticky lately. It appears that one of the big play-uhs in the effort to bring the SGV its fabulous new Ed Roski Jr. NFL Football Stadium and Shopping Oasis, recently De-CEQA'd by Da Govahnor, has a little problem. And no, this has nothing to do with the Oakland Raiders re-upping their stadium agreement in the Bay Area, meaning they won't be playing here anytime soon. Much to the chagrin of noted Raider Nation devotee (and Michael Jackson fan) Officer Henry Amos, I suppose.

No, it would appear that The City of Industry Mayor David Perez is now under investigation by the District Attorney for being a crook. I know, believe me, we're all shocked. This from the Pasadena Star News:

The District Attorney's Office opened a probe into allegations the mayor may have a financial stake in city contracts, violating conflict of interest laws, officials said Wednesday ... A complaint was filed against Mayor Dave Perez in September, said Dave Demerjian, head of Los Angeles County District Attorney's Public Integrity Divsion .. "We are reviewing it," Demerjian said Wednesday. "The allegation is there may be a conflict of interest - he may have a financial interest in contracts made with the city."

The Pasadena Star News has now filed a follow up story to the above, and it contains information that warms Sir Eric's jaded heart. Check this out:

A business owner embroiled in a legal battle with the city said he lodged an ethics complaint against the mayor because he believes officials want to take over his bar before a proposed NFL stadium is built ... Rene Cota, of Chino Hills, filed the complaint with the Los Angeles County District Attorney's office in September, and alleges conflicts of interest between Mayor Dave Perez's business ties and city contracts ... "This all came to a head when the NFL package was voted on," said Cota. "That's when they really wrapped up proceedings on shutting me down." ... Cota's 5150 Bar lounge was shut down by the City Council last year because officials said the bar failed to follow rules restricting live entertainment. But Cota claims all he wanted to do was play music, and should have been able to because of a previous entertainment permit issued at the Valley Boulevard location.

Now here's the really cool part:

In his complaint, Cota claims "due to my business location sitting between the proposed NFL stadium and the only five-star hotel (Pacific Palms) in the area, it has come to one of the mayor's friends' opinions (sic?) that my business would be a perfect location to own a bar ... Cota said considering the location of billionaire developer Ed Roski Jr.'s proposed $800 million stadium complex near the 57 and 60 freeways, his bar is "going to be a gold mine" - and city officials recognize that.

A piece of information not contained in this story is that Pacific Palms, that five-star hotel mentioned above, is also the property of Ed Roski, Jr. Which means that Rene Cota owns the only thing sitting between Big Ed's big stadium and his fancy shmancey hotel. It will be interesting to see what the DA's investigation turns up.

One more item for your delight concerns that El Monte Transit Village we were talking about so much six months or so back. As you might recall, this was of poignant interest here in Sierra Madre because the billion dollar bus station project (with shops and condos attached, of course), was being headed up by a redevelopment concern known as Titan Development. And who is the Chief Operating Officer at Titan? Why former Sierra Madre Mayor and meddlesome nuisance Bart Doyle. This from the SGV Tribune article El Monte takes over $1 billion transit village in wake of fraud investigation:

At the center is the El Monte bus depot, a 35-year-old station undergoing a total renovation by the Metropolitan Transportation Authority ... The original plan was to have Transit Village LLC lead the transformation of the surrounding property from parking lots and public works storage facilities to hundreds of homes and stores and millions of square feet of office space ... That plan was derailed when two Transit Village LLC/Titan Development executives were arrested in mid-June on felony charges, including fraud, embezzlement and theft.

Long story short, Titan is now out and El Monte has taken the project over. It just gets no better, right?

Please note that the moderation function is in effect today due to a rather nasty assault on this site by people who for some reason don't enjoy the fine local coverage we offer here on The Tattler. This will mean a short delay in the appearance of any comments you might wish to post. Anyone familiar with the tragic demise of the FC Blog will understand why we need to do this sort of thing. Enjoy your weekend!


  1. Good information today, Sir Eric.
    While I'm disappointed in the Adams recall, I was worried about it. My family signed the recall, and the guy never asked if we were registered voters nor did he have sheets of the registered voters. While our signatures were good, I had my doubts about the way they did this.
    In Sierra Madre, we use lists of registered voters, legally secured by the candidates or group getting signatures.
    I got nearly 350 signatures for Measure V....I know I had less than 10 bad signatures. People who said they were new and registered, etc.
    You will always get a few....but I strived for as close to 100% accuracy as possible.
    Sorry the recall for Adams didn't work. Hopefully, the people will vote this crook out next June.
    The stadium glich!!! Yeah!!!! hope they nail yet another corrupt politician.

    The Titan project? Only thing better is if they hauled off Bart Doyle in handcuffs!

    Two well known city councilmen in Sierra Madre come to mind. Hint: both work for "energy" companies and are supported by corrupt Sacramento money.

  2. Recalls take a lot of effort, and we know here in Sierra Madre it's easy to get civic fatigue. Not enough people participate actively, so sometimes there's nothing to do but hire signature gatherers - especially with the numbers needed to oust Adams.
    But overall, dare we hope the tide is turning? Seems like a lot of exposure of corruption is going on. Now if we could just get some of that exposure of our very own City Hall....

  3. speking of exposure, we really need to think of how we can expose THE TATTLER asap so our community will have the facts and the knowlegde for the folks who do not have/use computers. Sir Eric, you do us a great service. But, how do we get your fabulous blog on print to everyone?

  4. 10:02, I think you are absolutely right, but it takes money & people and organization. The community activists I know have full dance cards, but are there any volunteers with fund raising experience, practical suggestions, distribution abilities who are available?

  5. I'm sorry for Mr. Cota of Chino Hills.
    This is what can happen to any of us, if these corrupt bastards are allowed to do these things.

  6. I got my ticket for my motor home today with a remove imediatly notice and the police chief said
    she was going to site every camper, boat, trailer,
    rv that can be seen from the street

  7. Hey Anon 11:24am, get used to it. She has the city council & city manager completely fooled. Personally, I don't know what they are afraid of. Several of us residents agree that the police department appears to be managed by a Kook, Crook and a Coward!

  8. Our city govt definitely needs a tune up. Top to bottom.

  9. Where were the police when the neighbors compained for years about the old beat up firetruck that was in the front yard on Foothill? Neighbors were told to deal with it.

  10. It's just the goodl ol boys havin sum fun yo!

  11. Regarding our city government tune up, does anyone know why we have an ongoing law suit with a dismissed employee that is lasting for years and years? It is not the city attorney who is handling it. Whoever the attorney is, do you think he or she is motivated to wrap it up?

  12. I must of done better with my pointing out the flaws
    in the law this time .Lisa just came up and took
    back the ticket and said they will have to study the
    situation more. This will not make Tim happy

  13. Tim the Snitch will be consumed with rage when he finds out.

  14. I wonder why Lisa doesn't do anything about 94 West Bonita Ave. This is a R1 zone not zoned for a Warehouse. I think their fence is on city property, it is right up to the curb.

  15. Tim the Snitch's big red faced head might explode.

  16. Eventually SM residents will have to decidde what the code and blight standards are going to be. It can't be both ways. From the street you don't have to go far to see dirt yards, cars on the street, because garages are used as storage, boats, trailers, RV's, and miscellaneous stuff
    spread about, and there is even a boarded up nursing home. Back yards catch the overflow from the front to be in compliance with codes. Remodel permitts and construction are done by some without any application and approval from the city. It appears that if you are "connected" with City Hall things will go better for you. If this is acceptable with Sierra Madre residents so be it. But if there are to be codes we need to decide if they are to be enforced and act accordingly.

  17. That's why we have a Canyon Zoning Committee and a General Plan Committee, 4:52

  18. We should burn to the ground that leftist pinko RV that lurks in the canyon, DAMN YOU BURNING BOY!!!

  19. Notice how every City Council meeting agenda has something about SCAG on it? How is it this bunch of witless goofs manages to get so much attention here? Wouldn't it be better just to get out so we can focus on more important things?

  20. Hey, lets just get used to it. Sierra Madra just aint the same. We have too many outsiders tellin us how to get it done. From the city manager, two council members, and the police chief and captain. Just another city in the scandalous San Gabriel valley.

  21. I disagree. Why not change the culture? We can start by booting out all the bureaucrats (like Joe) and only hire people who put Sierra Madre first. We're spending a lot of money on salaries for people who view us more as a problem than anything else.

  22. Hey Bill I agree with you. However, where was their "culture" when we elected them? Were we that blind? I'm sorry, I personally see only one council member who cares about keeping Sierra Madre first. The others just give lip service. I totally agree with you about some city employees who careless about our town. Hey, the way I look at it, hire good people and develop them as they mature in their jobs.
    So, with that said, where do we start?