It was interesting to see some of the rather random assertions coming from the Three Moscateers in yesterday's Pasadena Star News article on our upcoming election. I guess I will have to eventually discuss the claims of those other two candidates, that is if there is enough time. But for now we'll just have to deal with Joe Mosca since his presumptions of relevance were truly the most outrageous of all.
Apparently the concept of cities maintaining control over their own interests and affairs as discussed by Pat Alcorn in this article was so upsetting to Sacramento Joe that he went off on a bit of a tirade. Here is how the article portrayed his towering vexation:
"You cannot preserve the community, you cannot be 'local' without engaging the regional process," Mosca said. "You can't just say 'no' and bury your head in the sand."
Now as anyone who follows the affairs of California knows, the encroachment of Sacramento upon the concerns of independent cities such as ours has been fairly relentless. From wholesale tax confiscations, to the removal of local planning control, to the threatened demise of CEQA, this assault on the rights of cities to chart their own destinies has outraged millions in this state. Something that Joe, as aligned as he is with the policies of Sacramento through the "regional process," apparently seems to think is just hunky dory.
As I am sure everyone is aware, it is by this "regional process" that Sacramento enforces its will. Particularly on the matter of the confiscation of city planning rights, which is done mostly through SB 375. So Joe's assertion actually is true, though not quite in the way he claims. You can no more defend your community "without engaging the regional process" than you can fight off burglars without getting a guard dog. Which is what Sierra Madre has been doing lately. This city's engagement in the regional process (which is basically done through the Southern California Association of Governments, or SCAG) has never been stronger than it is now. But that has precious little to do with the inappropriate credit glomming of Joe.
You see, the striking irony here is that when Joe Mosca was Sierra Madre's sole representative at SCAG, he didn't bother to go to the meetings. He basically blew them off and left us, well, unengaged in the process. We discussed this matter in two Tattler articles last year. The first, "No Show Joe," showed that Mr. Mosca had only attended one solitary SCAG/CEHD meeting in all of 2008. Then in August of 2009 we followed up with "Joe Mosca's Dismal SCAG/CEHD Attendance Record Has Not Improved," which reexamined Joe's attendance at the meetings of this organization he claims to hold in such high esteem. And what we found is that he STILL wasn't going to the meetings! As a matter of fact, if you look through the SCAG minutes cited in these two articles you will see that from February 7 of 2008 through July 2nd of 2009 Joe Mosca attended only 1 solitary meeting out of the total 17 that were held!
After the shocking discovery that Joe Mosca had been playing serial hooky from these important functions, Mayor MaryAnn MacGillivray and Mayor Pro Tem Don Watts began covering these meetings on Sierra Madre's behalf. And because of this AWOL Joe has actually begun to show up as well. But for him to be attempting to take credit for the progress we have been making at SCAG, particularly on future RHNA considerations, is just plain nuts. The lazy knucklehead never even bothered to show up for almost two years, now he's trying to convince us that he's the guy who is doing it all?
One other thought on this matter. If you "cannot preserve the community, you cannot be 'local' with out engaging the regional process," then, if Joe is right, the community was put into some danger by his not going to these meetings. He was obligated to attend, and he had made a commitment to this city and others to do just that. But for whatever reason he just never even bothered to show up. He let Sierra Madre down badly here, just as he has in so many other ways. And Joe can't be allowed to just paper over his lack of good faith by taking credit for things he did not do.
Bonus Coverage - In today's Pasadena Star News there is an article where Joe Mosca makes the following statement: "Certainly now that the federal government has got a pot of money out there, we're trying ... to get money from that pot." Is it just me, or does Joe sound here a little bit like the leprechaun from the Lucky Charms ads on TV? Maybe that explains all the kelly green on his campaign kick off invitation.