Tuesday, December 29, 2009

Bart (Hearts) The Shenanigan Shuttle

It has been awhile since we've had a talk about Sierra Madre's infamous Shenanigan Shuttle. In case you're not hip to these happenings, it all goes something like this. Any city that falls within what Sacramento and its various sock puppet regional planning associations term a "transit corridor" would fall prey to the vast redevelopment demands of SB 375. The idea being that if you enable vast swaths of new condo developments people will magically give up their greenhouse gas producing automobiles and forever and ever crave the joys of riding public transit. Which, given the sad state of public transportation in Los Angeles County, is tantamount to asking your average working stiff to await those infrequently scheduled flying pigs to whisk him off to work.

(As an aside, has it ever occurred to anyone that low income housing might actually cause more people to own automobiles rather than less? If people of a certain income bracket could pay less money for housing, wouldn't that free up some of their income to get the one thing they've always wanted? That being a car? So they won't have to ride the damn bus anymore? If the purpose of this massive social engineering scheme is to get people out of their cars and into public transportation, all as a way of saving the world from Global Warming, I'm not so sure it is going to work as advertised. More evidence that the minions of the central planning regime in Sacramento have little meaningful contact with the real world.)

Anyway, so here in Sierra Madre we do have our bustling Shenanigan Shuttle. Hardly anybody rides this "Gold Line Shuttle," and our little bus usually remains empty as it circles the town seeking riders in vain. The money for it comes out of some Sacramento fund, so it doesn't hit Sierra Madre's General Fund. Something we're all supposed to be giddy about, though I do seem to recall that I also pay state taxes.

So what does this Shuttle do? It connects us to the Gold Line (aka "210 Trolly"), thereby making us a part of the San Gabriel Valley Transportation Corridor. Which in the Brave New SB375 World means that we will be hit with RHNA numbers in 2012 that will make the last coerced state planning demands look like a pleasant visit from the folks back home.

Now wherever things go wrong for us, there you will find Bart Doyle. Does this guy only seem to be driven to transform this quaint little town of ours into California Condo Generica? His uncanny dedication and focus on these matters goes beyond anything mere mortals are supposedly capable of doing. And there apparently isn't a development relevant covenant in existence that he hasn't joined. You can only wonder what it is we did to deserve such unwanted attention.

There is an organization that goes by the name of the San Gabriel Valley Service Sector Governance Council. It falls somewhere within the shared jurisdictions of the SGVCOG and Metropolitan Transportation Authority, or Metro. And in July of 2004 our boy Bart Doyle was its Chairman. And in the Minutes to that meeting he discusses and advocates for, you got it, the buses we enjoy calling Shenanigan Shuttles.

Councilmember Spence commented that a five-city transportation consortium within the San Gabriel Valley that serves on SCAG (Southern California Association of Governments) has recently hired a consultant and that he would be happy to keep the Council abreast of positive developments in marketing and local transportation issues.

Chairman Doyle cautioned that the Sector may not be able to handle marketing issues on its own ...

Chairman Doyle reported that he met with the chairs of the other Sectors recently and that it was apparent that building increased trust with the MTA Board was a priority for all the Sectors. In addition he stated that the agency needs to consider carefully full integration of the Gold Line with the bus system, especially since this impacts ridership. Chairman Doyle emphasized the importance of having the sectors present a consistent message to the Board at the July 22 Regular Board meeting.

So there you have the omnipresent Bart laying out all the necessary ingredients for casting the San Gabriel Valley Transportation Corridor net as far and wide as possible. Gold Line shuttle buses and the onerous marketing demands it will take to get people actually use them. And the marketing that was eventually decided upon is telling of the difficulties the Bartster anticipated. It is heavily reliant on PC messaging, guilt trips, and other highly negative and coercive strategies. You evil car driving fiend, you.

Who would have ever thought that having a nice little trolly train running down the middle of the 210 could end up having such an impact on things such as RHNA numbers and our fight to maintain the unique qualities of our town?

One other thing. Wherever Bart Doyle goes, can Joe Mosca be far behind? It looks like his favorite hire has once again gone on to try and fill those mighty shoes.

Oh, and how many of the people pictured there do you think have gotten out of their cars and are now riding the bus? Like maybe ... none?

52 comments:

  1. Talk Joe, Talk Doyle. No matter how you create a train/bus line you will never change the car culture of La La land. This will never be a Bart/NYC/London/Paris.

    Never. Talk away and pretend to convince us. You just ain't gonna win this one.Gotcha lies, train is nice, but will never be better than a car. Poorly planned, poorly run specially with your slimey hands in it...

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  2. Ever notice how everything we hear from that quarter is used to justify high density unwanted development? No matter what the topic, it always goes back to that one thing.

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  3. Bart Doyle, like his pals, John Buchanan and Joe Mosca are third rate attorneys who act as lobbyists for development interests, BIA, CAR, and they work alongside all the crooks and bums in Sacramento who voted for SB375 and AB32.

    Again, Sierra Madre, please remember this when you cast your vote in April.

    Remember, there is only ONE attorney sitting at the council table who works for us, the voters.
    He is a FIRST RATE attorney, named a "Super Lawyer" by his colleagues.
    That would be our former Mayor, Kurt Zimmerman.
    The same man along with our Mayor Pro-tem, Don Watts (architect/honest citizen)fought like tigers for Measure V. And thank GOD they WON, despite the $170,000 war chest the dirts had "donated" to them by the BIA, CAR and the likes.
    Current Mayor MaryAnn MacGillivray, who also fights for us, the people, as you know, needs both these HEROES back on the city council.
    Sierra Madre does NOT need Mosca....please remember that when you vote.
    A vote for anyone who supported NO on V. is a vote for the ultimate destruction of Sierra Madre's downtown, around town and our hillsides.

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  4. The Express Shuttle is not mandated by law and can be stopped if the city/people want to end this shuttle. A transportation Ad Hoc Committee has been set up to look at all the routes that are currently in the city. There is still one additional position for a concerned citizen to be on this committee. If you don't like what is happening with transportation and you don't sign up to be on this committee or at least attend their meetings and give input...the SHUT UP and stop blamming everyone from the past becasue you can change it now.

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  5. HIitch Hiker........Cam u expand on the role and direction an "ad hoc" transportation committee member might take to influence the decisions the committee might recommend? In and ideal form what should the local system look like?

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  6. Public transportation works beautifully in many parts of the world, but has yet to work well here. As long as it adds an hour to an otherwise 10-15 minute trip, it will never succeed.

    I wanted to use it when I first moved into the SG Valley, and was willing to walk a mile to make it happen, but was defeated by the three hour round trip commute that it would take, to get me to my job, a 1 hour commute round trip by car.

    Hitch Hiker, how would the people stop the shuttle? What would the process be? Are you talking about a vote? A petition?

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  7. Why does Bart show up in these positions of quasi-authority? In those days, he had no visible means of support. If he looks like he has "access" to those in power, he might be able to generate a client or two--the kind he likes--developers and other flim-flam artists. So don't be surprised. Remember in 2004, wasn't he working to develop his "portfolio" so as to establish the permits and funding for the fabulous and now defunct El Monte Transit Village? It's always about his get rich quick schemes. Because, unlike many other lawyers, for Bart it is NOT about billing by the hour.

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  8. Native Californian - I'm a native New Yorker, and I always took public transportation when I was back east. I only bought a car after I moved to California. And when I moved here I was fully prepared to take buses and anything else, but it just wasn't possible. It would have added an additional 3 hours to my work day. Now I have gotten used to my car commute, and it will take a lot more than what Metro has to offer to get me to give it up.

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  9. Hitch Hiker and Native Californian YOU ARE CORRECT! It has not worked. The shuttle is all too empty and needs to be stopped. Another waste of our money. Thank you both.

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  10. Dr S: I think in order to make a career out of being a $500 a month City Councilman you need to include some other activities. And there certainly is that vanity aspect to regional council work. But what exactly guys like Joe and Bart get out of it is anybody's guess. Traditionally a Sierra Madre City Councilmember is someone with a full time job who does their civic work on a part time basis. Yet Joe and Bart somehow turned it into full time jobs, and you have to wonder why. It sure isn't the money.

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  11. Dr. Stacatto:

    Both Bart and Joe have "working", money earning domestic partners.
    They are both very inferior attorneys who have.
    You know that.
    Who would want Bart or Joe representing them in a trial?

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  12. Concerned Sierra MadreanDecember 29, 2009 at 1:37 PM

    Joe could do a "public affairs" press release about the trial.

    "Judge Jones will be serving his yummy home baked chocolate cookies in his chambers. Be sure to bring your appetite!"

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  13. All I want to know is who the Dope was that decided to buy that box car that is ALWAYS on Grandview when school lets out? This behemoth (unlike you SUV drivers) really needs nine inches of the opposite lane to motate through the SMALL streets in Sierra Madre. Compounding the problem is the fact that they hired the most incompetent driver on the face of the earth to pilot said tank through our quaint little village. Lets do away with our town council, nothing would be better than this group of egomaniacs, martinets, & dipsticks.
    Truly, Local Yokel

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  14. local yokel????

    you're off your meds again.......hail.

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  15. No I'm not, took 'em this morning. Be my buddy and elaborate or is that all you possess?

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  16. Wasn't it Hail in a recent Looney Views News column that proposed we abolish our City government and turn ourselves in to the County? Which would, of course, mean we would be served on a platter to redevelopers and realty corporations as a reward for campaign donations? Along with other favors?

    Probably the dumbest thing I've ever seen in that paper. Which is saying a whole lot.

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  17. I have heard rumors for years now, that Bart Doyle and his pals have been working, slowly, steadily, to bankrupt Sierra Madre, just to be able to do what they want once it is in county control.
    Don't know if it's true.
    I do know some people were deeply upset by the Doyle backed push to have the Metropolitan emergency water pipe running along Grandview. Mr. Doyle and Mr. Buchanan have repeatedly defended it as an emergency only measure. Others decry the end of 80 years of water independence.
    I also heard some years ago that the town was being sold off bit by bit.

    And that's an asinine idea to abolish the city council, especially now when we have good people on it.

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  18. Amen, 3:27. Abolishing the City Council for what? So the jackels can pick the town clean? Good God what madness!

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  19. Sir Eric, are there other options for the use of that Sacramento fund?Say, a route that takes the seniors to the center, or to Taylors and back home, and maybe some use for the Meals-on-Wheels?You know, something that actually meets a need in the community?

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  20. I say because this has been going on for YEARS and BOTH sides are at fault. Left winger-right winger-Jesusophile-atheist-populist it's all the same thing over n over n over. To me this seem like it's some long drawn out personality conflict these Bozos have been carrying on since High School. Get rid of the council and start again with the stipulation that if you desire to be ON the council, that automatically disqualifies you from being seated on the council. Nothing but a big gang of babies!
    Yokel

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  21. Yokel has been nipping at the sherry this afternoon.

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  22. Wow, the DIRTS are really worried about the City Council! LOL LOL LOL
    Word must be out, who they are up against.
    Get ready to lose....AGAIN.....dirts.
    LOL LOL LOL

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  23. Water is the new OilDecember 29, 2009 at 4:42 PM

    Absolutely the rumor is true about the County wanting to control water via the MWD, old timer.
    County is trying to capture all local water using MWD leverage, whether through council manipulation or pandering to private water companies like California American Water. One of their best customers in the state. Also one of the most reviled, communities have revolted and taken over their own water supplies after being disserviced by Cal Am.

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  24. Poster 12:55. Council Members make $250/mo.

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  25. Comment please. Do we want a local transport that successfully satisfies community needs with the caveat that it is used as a tie to the transportation hub, or do we want to spike it?

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  26. 4:42

    I remember when evil Bart himself came to the city council meeting in 2006 and argued for the MWD pipe up on Grandview.
    The only opposition was from Kurt Zimmerman and Don Watts...it was TRAITOR JOE's first vote against those who supported him.
    In the audience that night there were 2 public speakers who go up and gave superb arguments against doing this water pipe deal.
    One was our current Mayor, MaryAnn MacGillivray and the other was top trial attorney, Linda Thornton.
    They knew right away this was a very, very BAD idea.

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  27. 4:52 - Judging by the almost nonexistent ridership on the Goldline Shuttle, I would say the use of the term "community needs" in that case is a bit excessive. Better that the resources be used in-community. Especially in the case of our elderly. That would be a real and existing need.

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  28. Wasn't George Maurer pushing for the water pipe for years, way before Buchanan, Mosca, Zimmerman, McGivellery or MacGillevery-the Mayor or Watts, ask George.

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  29. Regarding the MWD line along E. Grandview.


    This is a very interesting story that somehow has gotten distorted with its frequent telling.

    In April 2006, the previous City Council initially refused to install the newly elected Councilmen who included Joe Mosca, Don Watts and Kurt Zimmerman.

    To this day, nobody is sure why the former Council tried to delay the installation of those newly elected Council Members.
    There was such an outcry from the audience, however, that the former Council Members backed down, and eventually, let the newly elected Council Members be seated.

    (Thereafter, the former Council Members left the Council chambers with their proverbial tails between their legs and had a party for former Mayor Mauer at the Congregational Church.)

    Needless to say, the former Council's attempt to delay the installation was shocking and unprecedented

    One of the agenda items before the newly installed Council was approval of a contract with the MWD that would provide Sierra Madre with access to MWD water from a pipeline running along E. Grandview. The agenda report and certain speakers argued that approval of the contract was an absolute necessity as Sierra Madre did not have an adequate water supply to extinguish a wildfire.

    Councilman Zimmerman was suspicious of those claims and asked that the matter be continued until the next council meeting so that he and the other Council Members could study the issue in greater detail. Councilman Mosca, however, argued that it would put Sierra Madre at risk if the contract was not approved immediately. He also mentioned that he had spoken to somebody at the MWD about the contract; accordingly, further study by him was not necessary. The contract was approved over Councilman Zimmerman's objections.

    After that vote, it was suggested in blogs that approval of the contract had nothing to do with fighting fires, and everything to do with encouraging/permitting additional development in a City subject to water-rationing. Briefly, developers could cite to the contract as "mitigation" (evidence that their projects would not exacerbate the water shortage) in their environmnetal impact reports.

    The theory espoused by the bloggers may not be as crazy as it sounds.

    It turns out the Councilman Mosca and the other Council Members who voted for approval of the contract were dead wrong about needing the extra supply of water in an emergency. It 2008, Sierra Madre with tremendous support from other fire departments, extinguished the Santa Anita fire without the loss any lives or homes and without a drop of water from the MWD line.


    In fact, four years after the approval of the contract, the City of Sierra Madre has never even connected to the waterline.

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  30. Good account 5:35, thanks for posting.

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  31. Great history lesson 5:35. Thanks.
    Would it be possible to undo the agreement?

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  32. Can we cancel the MWD pipeline contract, and turn the Shenanigan Shuttle into the Sierra Madre local?

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  33. The Shenanigan Shuttle is paid for with Sacramento money. We either use the money their way, or we don't get it. Now since Sacramento is broke and sucking the state dry right now, I'd say we give them back their money and tell them to pay some debts. Why should we pay money for a little bus that nobody rides? Don't we pay state taxes, too? Besides, this bus links us to the San Gabriel Valley Transportation Corridor, which makes us even more vulnerable to SB375 than we already are. Think RHNA numbers big enough to consume entire city blocks to meet. We need to cut as many ties to that monstrosity as we possibly can.

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  34. Anon 5:35

    Excellent memory! Allow me to add one detail. Joe Mosca specifically stated that the two people he discussed the MWD connection with (before the election), were Tim Brick (MWD Board member from Pasadena) and George Mauer. That connection alone gives me cause to question George Mauer's integrity.

    As an aside, it should be noted that the disgraced Rick and Margie Simpson (of former RPSM and Congregational Church fame) also brought in Tim Brick as a consultant during the One Carter debacle.

    Mosca was also involved in Sierra Madre on behalf of development interests, before moving here. Apparently, to help convince some long-standing, local businesses located on large, desirable lots in the business district, that it was time for them to go. It's not surprising that he would have known the likes of Tim Brick, given that MWD has always been the right arm of development.

    To correct a previous poster, MWD is NOT controlled or influenced by Los Angeles County, but the other way around. MWD is an autonomous agency set up by the State of California.

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  35. Thanks for the MWD Line Story told so well!
    I remember this, and thanks for the story re-told which all of us need a REFRESHER ABOUT THE WAY THE PAST CC AND THEIR FRIENDS REALLY ARE. THEY ARE SCARRY AND THEY ARE OUT THERE!. I was apphalled how they used Mauer as an excuse to leave for his party and not seat the newly elected members. NO CLASS and NO INTEGRITY! And they and their friends will be baaaaaaack!

    EL WONKO:
    You are correct. Sacramento is in serious trouble. We do not have to take any of their money and we must give it back and tell them what we are going to do. Aren't we in the drivers seat right now??Is it possible for several cities in SG Valley to bind together and refuse the SB375 and the extension of the So Pas Freeway and be done with this?

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  36. I don't understand how Sierra Madre ended up with those two council members that are always getting bashed on this site.

    Posters seem aware and intelligent. So what happened? Are you vulnerable to these types being re-elected? Why no recall ? Maybe you won your big issue when that downtown plan was halted - is that it?

    Hard to figure, sorry to seem ignorant here. Local politics gives me cramps and cramps give me, well...cramps.

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  37. Water is the New OilDecember 30, 2009 at 2:28 AM

    7:13

    Well, actually that's true, but it's kind of a 2-way street. Antonovich and MWD folk work hand in hand for development, with MWD providing the paper water necessary for approvals for all of this development. The County has given away huge development rights all over its unincorporated areas, hence the famous sprawl. MWD reps work at the local level with cities to expand the water network and increase the prices to urban areas. All of this supports a huge patronage system going all the way up to Sacramento, channeled via the County.

    Excellent presentation on the big historic overview presented by a UCLA professor to the Public Officials for Water and Environmental Reform Conference in 2002 is here

    http://www.spillwaynews.net/Guest/MasteryofMastery.html

    MWD's growth beyond its historic original charter is here (download document for a fascinating read)

    http://www.usc.edu/dept/geography/ESPE/documents/semar_water_transfer.pdf

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  38. El Crampero - Unfortunately there are a lot of folks in SM that just don't follow this stuff very closely. And because Joe and John sound plausibly well-informed and honest during our televised debates, people vote for them. There are a lot of very well informed and politically active people in this town. But they are not the majority. There is a middle ground of easily swayed voters here, by my estimate as much as 1,000 people. And that is where elections are won and lost. Of course, when they find out what a dishonest and treacherous little fellow the long faced carpetbagger from Rhode Island is, that concern will become moot. And believe me, they will find out. Oh, will they ever.

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  39. Is the Gold Line Shuttle bringing in 4 day workers and taking them home each day or is it taking residents to the Goldline to go to work? Either way it should be scrapped.

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  40. I ride the Gold Line Shuttle from time to time because I no longer am able to drive, nor do I own a car. I ride it to make connections to the airport and Union Station, and to run errands, to generally support my doctor habit. I meet the regulars who include the elderly trying to maintain independence, several others who like me for whatever valid reasons do not drive, and students trying to pursue an education. And while I agree ridership is low I don't see an intrinsic evil involved in trying to meet the needs of non-driving residents living above Sierra Madre Blvd trying to remain independent. Maybe the answer is a smaller shuttle and a more flexible route.

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  41. There is no evil whatsoever in bus shuttles. They can be a kind and wonderful service. What is wrong is that it could be used as justification for the kinds of massive development advocated by Sacramento. SB375 applies to any city that is part of a "transportation corridor." A daily bus link to the Gold Line puts Sierra Madre in that category.

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  42. Let's find out if the city isn't getting federal transportation money to run the little empty shuttle.

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  43. Poster 5:35 great post, but one thing everybody has overlooked about that night.

    Joe Mosca met with former Mayor Mauer and Tim Brick from the MWD before the Council meeting. In case you're not following me, Mayor Mauer and apparently Mr. Brick seemed to know that the newly elected City Council would be installed that night and vote on the MWD contract; otherwise, why were they speaking to Joe about approving the contract? This seems to belie Mauer and the former City Council's claim that they had no plans to install the newly elected City Council that evening.

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  44. 10:28 Just covering all their bases.

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  45. Poster 10:28, I agree, the old council was just covering all their bases. But it appears that old George was also covering his bases by meeting with Mosca about the MWD contract before the installation of the new city Council.

    I've never bought into that nonsense that George was so cruelly used by the DIRTS. He opposed Measure V and has always been Joe Mosca's biggest supporter. In fact, I'm betting he will endorse Mosca again.

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  46. El Crampero: the other way Joe got elected was that he was/is a devil in sheeps clothing and FOOLED A LOT OF US. He just worked his way into the populous and won the votes of many people who believed him when he told many people he was not in favor of HIGH DENSITY DEVELOPMENT. THAT GROUP WAS VERY MUCH STABBED IN THE BACK THE FIRST CC MEETING WHEN HE VOTED FOR THE WMD CONNECTION ON GRANDVIEW. We were in shock but we knew he was a puppet for the DartBoryle's.

    George knows better this time, hopefully...he is not a stupid man and cares about the future of Sierra Madre.

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  47. Joe may have fooled his 2006 supporters but since then he has cultivated and harvested a new crop for the 2010 election.

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  48. Mama always said, "Life is like a box of chocolates, ya never know what ya gonna get".

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  49. just give me 100% dark chocolate truffles. no nuts, fruit centers, or caramel chews. no surprises.

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  50. You know, I don't think Joe really has harvested a new crop. I think he had the DIC last time, in 2006. That was where the 100 additional votes came from that he had over Kurt Zimmerman. The people who were in on the funny joke. He has glommed a lot of trusting old folks. But beyond that he is way behind 2006.

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