Monday, March 8, 2010

What I Talked About At The Debate This Evening

I thought it would be a good idea to post some of my replies here so that they would be visible right after tonight's debate. This way anyone interested could review the points I've made, and then comment about them here on The Tattler. Of course, I loaded this post before the debate actually occurred, and I have no idea if all - or any - of these topics actually came up. And I'm sure there were others that I did not anticipate. But here are some answers, anyway. Thanks for tuning in!

Introduction (2 minutes): One thing I ask people when I am out knocking on doors is to consider where our city is. Sierra Madre is situated in a county of over 11 million people, the most densely populated in the United States. The 2nd place finisher is Cook County in Illinois, with less than half the population.

And yet, in this most densely populated county, we have somehow managed to maintain our little place as the small independently run foothill village that it is. Despite the intense pressure that has been put upon Sierra Madre to allow the kinds of dense urban development we now see in Glendale, Burbank, Pasadena, Arcadia, and Monrovia, we have somehow managed to dodge all that. Our town has remained an enclave in a county that at times seems out of control. Yet here we can raise our kids in timeless surroundings that wouldn't be out of character in New England, the South, or any small town setting in the Western United States.

So how have we managed to preserve our pristine enclave in the middle of all that? The answer is we are a town blessed with some of the most cantankerous, tough, politically astute, and uncompromising people anywhere. We know what we have and we are not afraid to defend it, no matter what the decorum police might say. Be it through Measure V, or unseating elected officials who have become too impressed by big money overdevelopment, this town has always managed to defend its way of life, and win. Sierra Madre didn't just happen by magic.

Today we are at just such a point. Sacramento, through Federally funded regional planning organizations such as SCAG, is exerting strong pressure on us to become another Glendale or Pasadena. They have a powerful new law, SB 375,which takes away much of our authority to plan for development our way. Unlike the Measure V fight, it isn't just about Bob the Builder anymore.

Make no mistake, this election is between those who would preserve Sierra Madre, and those who will do or say anything to change it forever.

1) Alverno (1 minute): In a state with an education system in perpetual crisis, we can hardly afford to see the demise of a private school that gives a quality education to women who come from modest means. This would serve no one, and as a society we would all be definitely worse off for this.

On the other hand, any manager of a facility is responsible for not just maintaining it, but also making sure that the needs of the community are respected and met. The heart of any community is cooperation and mutual respect. It is out of this that the best solutions come.

And there will be a solution to this problem. Alverno and the surrounding community are now deeply in negotiations, and hopefully we will have some good news soon. And we all await Alverno's General Plan on their proposed expansion. We all just need to get along here.

2) The Blight Law and the Skilled Nursing Facility (1 minute): Something I am very proud of is the Blight Law that is about to be enacted by the City Council. Proud because it was my idea. I wrote about it on my online news site, the Sierra Madre Tattler, Kurt Zimmerman picked up on it, and it is about to become a fully functioning ordinance, and one with teeth. A real solution to a problem others only complain about.

Based on a similar Glendale ordinance, this Blight Law (known in city parlance as Ordinance No. 1306 Requiring Maintenance of Vacant Commercial property) will subject to stiff fines any downtown commercial property owner who allows his property to fall into a blighted condition. People who buy property as an investment will now be held responsible for making sure that it doesn't become an eyesore like the Skilled Nursing Facility.

Once this law goes into effect I am certain that we will see some real improvements going into effect at the SNF. Paint, some flower pots, rust getting knocked off the fence, all that. And when you do think of me, the guy who came up with a real solution. One far more effective than all that empty complaining and blame assigning you've heard from some.

3) City Hall Employees (1 minute): Employee morale has been a problem in the past, but due to the hard work and superior management skills of our City Manager Elaine Aguilar, I understand things have improved greatly over the last couple of years.

Staffing levels, which had been a concern in the past, now seem quite adequate to the jobs that are being given to them. And one of the reasons for this is we are no longer hiring expensive consultants to do their jobs for them. Rather jobs such as the work on our new General Plan is being done in-house and with the help of our volunteer General Plan Committee, something that is not only saving this city $300,000 in our hard earned tax money, but is also engaging the considerable planning talents of those working in our City Hall. Now allowed to do so, city staff is accomplishing great things, and nothing creates employee pride like being free to do their jobs well.

This in my opinion is a tremendous step forward, and I think we can now begin to feel a little pride in the job that is being done for us by our city employees. If we are to remain an independent city in control of its own destiny, we will need the help of our employees at City Hall. We need to work with them and speak respectfully of their work.

4) Dust Ordinance (1 minute): During the era before Kurt Zimmerman and MaryAnn MacGillivray were Mayors, developers and real estate investors were sometimes given a pass on the quality of life effects their projects might cause here. One thing these parties got a free ride on was with construction generated dust. Ask anyone who lives near One Carter and you will get an earful on the topic.

After much consideration and discussion by City Staff and concerned volunteer committees, the City Council will soon consider a Dust Ordinance. Something some other cities in California have in place.

The term for this public health offender is Fugitive Dust, and it is defined as solid particulate matter measuring 10 microns or less.

Now I don't know exactly how you would measure a dust particle, but with the endless construction at One Carter and soon Stonehouse the matter must be addressed. Something must be put in place to protect seniors and young children from the debilitating effects of particulate dust inhalation. It is a serious public health matter and need to be treated that way.

5) Eminent Domain Ballot Initiative (1 minute): I am a strong advocate for voting 'yes' on the Eminent Domain question. The taking of private property for private profit is an awful practice, and anything that restricts its use is a good thing.

Some, like the local paper Mountain Views News, have tried to convince us that because our Community Redevelopment Agency (or CRA) has been restricted in the use of Eminent Domain, there is no need for further prohibitions. Nothing could be farther from the truth. That limited curb only applies within the downtown area, and then only to things under the direct purview of the CRA.

Our Eminent Domain initiative would expand that very limited CRA restriction and cover the entire city. Homeowners need the same kinds of protections against Eminent Domain property seizures that businesses in our downtown area now enjoy.

Additionally, this Measure, if passed, would prohibit our City government from ever participating in the use of Eminent Domain for private property taking for private gain. Effectively tying the hands of any agencies of any future Sierra Madre government from using this atrocious practice against the residents of the City whose interests they are supposed to represent.

6) Fiscalization of Land Use (1 minute): ... is another cockamamy plan cooked up by our Federally funded regional planning organization, SCAG. And what it basically states is that all the cities within the SCAG region should be willing to pool their tax revenues so that those cities not as provident as ours will be able to tap into it once the consequences of their bad fiscal practices drive them into the deep red.

In a way this is a solution to the problem overdevelopment has caused in many cities. They allowed for the creation of a lot of new development, both housing and business. Which led them to make the dangerous assumption that these properties, once built, would produce a lot of new sales tax revenue. And then they began to spend like they already had it in the bank. But you know what? The condos didn't sell and the new commercial properties didn't rent. And they didn't really have the money they'd already spent.

Regional solutions like this do not work for Sierra Madre, and this is a prime example. Because we are not in debt, and are running a budget surplus, does not mean we are required to bail out places like Irvine. We must remain an independent city in charge of its own affairs, and not a regionally controlled cash cow whose taxes can be confiscated by those who do not answer to us.

7) Infrastructure - Paving Streets (1 minute): While it is true that the streets of Sierra Madre are in rugged shape, we need to make sure that any solution does not create an even bigger problem.

Councilmember Joe Mosca suggested at a recent City Council meeting that he would like to have a Bond Measure passed to pay for all these street repairs. Interest on a $5,000,000 bond at 4.5% for a 20 year term is over $2.6 million dollars. This in not the kind of lavish expenditure a city of 11,000 people can easily afford.

Putting a heavy burden on the taxpayer, particularly in today's economy, is not a realistic solution. And because the state is now "borrowing" our property taxes, which is where the vast majority of the money this City raises comes from, we cannot plan for such expenditures too far into the future.

The streets do need work, of this there can be no doubt. But here we must proceed on a pay as we go basis. We must not commit ourselves to huge new debt as Mr. Mosca has suggested in order to do it.

8) The Library (1 minute): I believe that the heart of any town is its Library, and that a town that does not have one is not much of a community at all.

There are a great many things that are under digital assault these days. Newspapers are one, the music and movie industries are as well. And books, the cornerstone of any civilization, are being reduced to digital files and squirreled away.

I was out knocking on doors last weekend and got to speak with a gentleman who works as a librarian. And he told me that many libraries are now in the process of digitizing their collections, and some now have only 20% of the books they used to carry. 20%. Did you ever think you'd go into a library and not see very many books? I find that to be a sad thought.

But that is not the case with the Sierra Madre Library. It has books, and lots of them. Which, I guess kind of makes them old school in a way, but I like that. I do not only want to keep our library strong, but keep it a library that actually has real paper and fiberboard covered books. I do not want to see that ever taken away from us.

9) Measure V (1 minute): ... was instrumental in helping to keep Sierra Madre from being forced to accept the kinds of overdevelopment that is scarring once pleasant downtowns in Pasadena, Burbank, and Glendale. Had we not voted to approve Measure V we could be looking at the same kind of new blight we can now see in so many other cities in the area, large mixed-use high density condo complexes that remain only partially filled and a financial burden on the taxpayers as the banks holding the paper on them beg for the Federal bailouts they need to stay afloat.

One of the canards you hear against Measure V is that it is responsible for the blighted conditions at the Skilled Nursing Facility. This property was purchased by an investment group that wanted to construct a very large - and very high - condominium complex on the property. Measure V, which was designed to preserve the low density character of our downtown, prevented that. And rather than do what they were supposed to do, the owners let the place fall into ruin.

With property rights come property responsibilities. Just because things haven't gone your way is no excuse for creating an eyesore in the middle of Sierra Madre. The responsibility lies with the owner of the Skilled Nursing Facility, and nobody else. And with the new Sierra Madre Blight Law coming into effect soon, that responsibility will take the form of stiff fines for the damage being done to our city.

10) Mosca Mayor (1 minute): I would not have voted to make Joe Mosca Mayor of Sierra Madre. When Joe ran for office in 2006, he had no stronger supporter than I. His go slow on development, preservationist message hit home for me. And the very heart of his campaign was that when it came to the large and very controversial downtown development plan under consideration at that time, he supported giving the residents the final say and wanted to put that question to a city wide vote. This promise swept him into office.

But once in office Joe Mosca broke that promise. Rather than heed the will of those who had elected him, he turned his back and joined the overdevelopment side of the City Council. To me and many others, this represented an unprincipled and heartless betrayal. It led to the Measure V election, lawsuits, and a recall attempt. It is also why so many of those who supported him in 2006 will not vote for him in this election.

Honesty and integrity are important in politics. It is how a voter can put their trust in the person they are voting for. Joe Mosca broke his promise to Sierra Madre. That, in my opinion, makes him an unworthy candidate for a position of trust and honor such as Mayor of Sierra Madre.

11) Preservation (1 minute): We are the heirs of something truly remarkable. Situated in the middle of one of the most densely populated areas to be found anywhere on the planet, we live in a small city that in many ways has escaped the miseries of the modern world. Congestion, crowded housing complexes, crime, the homeless problem, these are all things we do not experience in Sierra Madre.

Sierra Madre didn't happen by mistake. It took the hard work of many over the last 100 or so years, and we are the ones who must now shoulder that burden and honor their sacrifice.

Preserving this inheritance is one of the most important things we can do here. There are many
homes in town with a great history, and architectural marvels are to be seen. But it isn't just our historic homes that must be protected, but also the city that they call home must be protected as well. This has been the life's work of many, and I am proud to call many of them my friends.

Make no mistake, this is an election between those who would push forward the work of preserving Sierra Madre, and those willing to sell our legacy to the highest bidder.

12) Public Safety - Police (1 minute): Public safety is our greatest responsibility. Adequate resources must continue to be made available and allocated for our Police, Paramedics, and Firefighters. There is no more important job for a City Council than that.

That said, our Police Department now represents 51% of our General Plan budget. More than half. And as we go into negotiations with the Police Officers Association - their union - on a new contract, it is good management practice to consider whether any possible policing agreement is fiscally realistic. After all, we are purchasing a service, and we need to make sure that what we are spending our money on is the best available, and at the best rate. It is how things are done in the business world, and such principles should always be applied to government as well.

People do have a strong attachment to the idea of having our own Police Department. I get and support that. And I am sure that we will be able to have good and productive negotiations and things will be worked out. But the Police Officers Association, which represents over 100 police departments, is a very tough, very hard nosed organization. We must not allow ourselves to be pushed over like we were last time.

13) RHNA Numbers and Nonsense (1 minute): I think there is some confusion on this issue. Regional Housing Needs Assessment numbers (RHNA for those who speak acronym), are assigned by SCAG. It is how Sacramento enforces their demands that we build more housing than we can accommodate, either in space or things like water. To claim that submitting small RHNA numbers to some state bureaucracy makes us look bad is absurd.

Sierra Madre is not an industrial town. It is a residential town. I'm pretty sure there are not many living here because they thought they'd get a job assembling aircraft or manufacturing Nissans. They live here because they want to live in a place that is secure and clean, where their kids can grow up safe from drugs and crime. The economic growth in Sierra Madre, one of the few cities in California running a budget surplus, comes from what our highly-paid wage earning residents bring back from their jobs elsewhere. People who chose to live here because of what this town is.

If somehow Sierra Madre is turned into just another urban core cookie cutter mixed-use town, which is what Sacramento through SB 375 is demanding, it will drive this town's most financially reliable source of prosperity away. These taxpayers didn't come here to live in Los Angeles. And if we become that they have the wherewithal to leave.

14) SB 375 (1 minute): You must remember that Sacramento is now absorbing almost everything of value in the state. From "borrowing" our property taxes and CRA funds to stripping our once vaunted public education system and consigning it to a Mississippi level of quality, the only thing our state government seems capable of these days is manufacturing massive debt.

It is in this light that we must view SB 375, the Sacramento solution to global warming. In the past Sacramento, through SCAG, claimed that we must plan for large scale development because millions of people are about to move here. And that didn't pan out - California's population is in decline and for the first time in state history we might actually lose a seat in Congress - their argument became - get this - that condominiums will save the world from greenhouse gas producing Global Warming.

This argument states that if people live near public transportation in high density housing they will magically give up their cars and take buses and trains. Cars being the only culprit for greenhouse gas that Sacramento recognizes. But to change the face of entire cities - to demand we build such things - on the gamble people will then want to ride the bus is absurd, and the entire premise is nonsense. SB 375 was created as a sop to Sacramento building and real estate lobbyists, nothing more and nothing less. It has as much to do with saving the world as eating a baloney sandwich.

15) Skilled Nursing Facility & Howie's (1 minute): One thing that I am very proud of is the Blight Law currently in process of being passed by the City Council. I first discussed this on my local news blog, the Sierra Madre Tattler, it was picked up on by Kurt Zimmerman, and agendized.

For too long the owners of the Skilled Nursing Facility have been allowed to let their investment property sit and rot, an eyesore that shames our community. And for too long City Hall has given those owners a pass. That will now change. Once the Blight Law is passed owners of blighted downtown commercial properties will face considerable fines for allowing their properties to fall apart. we no longer have to accept that.

I would like to see an Urgent Care Center put into the Skilled Nursing Facility. Our residents should not have to travel any farther should disaster strike. And long term care for the elderly is needed here as well. There has been some interest in these, and hopefully we will land a prospect soon. Sierra Madre definitely needs a market at Howie's, and in my opinion Taylor's Meats fills that goal admirably. It is the kind of independent business that fits into our downtown perfectly. Now we just need to find someone to take the rest of the building.

16) Water (1 minute): Under the shaky and debt-ridden hand of Sacramento we are being told to accommodate more residents, more industry, and a lot more housing development. Yet, and as Don Watts has so wisely pointed out to the City Council on several occasions recently, our water table continues to fall. We are dependent upon mountain fed well water for our city supplies, and we have had to drill these wells even deeper to get at diminishing supplies.

The question that has to be asked is this: Just how much more development can this city withstand? How many more people can we accommodate in a town that is already having some difficulty meeting its water obligations? Do we just plant more cactus and hope for the best?

People talk about the "green issue" a lot, and how we must build cities that are sustainable and living within a natural environmental balance. With water we could very well be on the verge of losing that balance. We certainly should not be arranging for situations where the need for even more water will be created.

17) The Final Statement (2 minutes): The progress Sierra Madre has made in the past two years under the leadership of Mayors MaryAnn MacGillivray and Kurt Zimmerman, and Mayor Pro Tem Don Watts, has been remarkable. No longer are we enduring a City Hall that is incapable of getting its audits done, maintaining a balanced budget, or leveling with the public. It is their spirit of strong competence and loyalty to our small city ideals that encouraged me to run for City Council.

Here are some of my goals:

- Continued monitoring of the UUT tax hike is vital, and in tough economic times we need to find ways to decrease that tax load.
- The Senior Center and Sierra Madre Community Room renovations are funded. We must now make sure that work is quickly completed and the needs of our residents met.
- Public safety is our greatest responsibility. Adequate resources must continue to be allocated for our Police, Paramedics, and Firefighters.
- The Canyon Zone and General Plan Committees must be allowed to complete the work of protecting one of the most unique and interesting cities in California. Resident control over our own living environment is an ideal I believe in. And far preferable to the outrageously expensive consultants our city was dependent upon in the past.
- I strongly support the Eminent Domain Initiative. But it must be remembered that the fight against government confiscation of private property doesn't stop here.
- Measure V has been vital in preserving the small town life we enjoy in Sierra Madre. But Sacramento edicts such as SB 375 now threaten our ability to control development in our own community. We must continue reaching out to other communities and enlist them in the effort to defend the independence of all California cities.

I have been endorsed by both Mayor MaryAnn MacGillivary and Mayor Kurt Zimmerman. Their hard work brought Sierra Madre back from the "shenanigan years." It is my hope to help continue the responsible government they brought back to town.

18) Soap Operas (bonus answer): Apparently there are two ways to run a campaign this year. The first is to examine the issues, talk about city policies, and examine the records of both the incumbents and those running for City Council the first time.

The other way is to run a soap opera campaign. This tactic, which is used instead of discussing such things as city policies and the records of candidates, seeks to trivialize everything to the personal. "So and so was mean to me," being one line used lately. Or "so and so didn't get to be mayor, and it was his turn!" being another.

Politics, as someone once said, is not beanbag. It is not governed by the rules of the playground, and anything involving a candidate's record, proclamations, actions, or tactics, is legitimate game.

Remember, we are running for City Council, and not town divas. If the rough and tumble of a political election doesn't suit your temperament, then how are you going to deal with the City Council job, when things get really tough?

82 comments:

  1. Your bonus question poses an interesting question, will you simply ignore or strike the comments of anyone who disagrees with you if you get elected the way you do on this blog?

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  2. Thank you again John for your well prepared speeches and your strong and clear explanations about what is going on in Sierra Madre, Sacramento and on our City Council.

    Unfortunately, we could not listen to you explain all that you wrote, and not enough questions were asked to all the candidates. Sadly, as always, JOE the LIAR told his typical lies. Thankfully, he got corrected, but not enough.

    Please keep educating the people with your excellent rhetoric!

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  3. Thanks for running for the City Council John. I know you will make a great councilmember. You know the issues facing the city and are prepared to deal with them. Being a member of the council is more than getting along it's getting things done.

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  4. Crawford, Watts and Alcorn!
    You need to correct all the bs Mosca, Moran and Walsh spewed tonight. They sounded as if they were all coached by Bart Doyle.

    Crawford, Watts and Alcorn were saying one thing, Mosca, Moran and Walsh were saying just the opposite. So, friends, that means one of the two teams was lying.

    I can tell you it was Mosca, Moran and Walsh.
    They were totally fallacious.

    Crawford is very knowledgable, so is Don Watts.
    Pat Alcorn was a little nervous, but very honest and is thinking in the right direction.

    Choice is clear. Crawford, Watts and Alcorn= TRUTH

    Mosca, Moran and Walsh=FALSEHOOD.

    By the way, Mayor MacGillivray, if you are reading this? Please give Moran and Walsh a tutorial on SB375, they don't have a clue what it's even about.

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  5. I think Josh and Nancy were a little high on Dr. Buchanan's Orwell Pills.

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  6. Herald - the only posts that get deleted here are either troll posts or Cumquat style observations. If you have experienced such a thing, well, maybe you should just clean it up a little. Besides, if you don't like the policies at this blog, maybe you should start your own. The system used here, Blogger, is simple and free. Send me an email with your phone number and I will gladly walk you through the process.

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  7. I was most offended last night by Mosca's glory-grabbing "swing vote" comment on the "great voting record to preserve Sierra Madre's hillsides" in the vote on the revised Hillside Ordinance. Don Watt's did not have a chance to rebut the lousy, cheap "voting record" statement--with Mosca charging that Watts voted no. So, Joe, why did Don vote No? Because he didn't think the ordinance was tough enough. Why was it being pushed through? That is a discussion for another place. Bye, the way, Mr. Mosca, look up swing vote. Using language that you do not understand in the political arena makes you look all the more foolish.

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  8. Don Watts, John Crawford and Pat Alcorn are running for City Council on a platform of
    YES WE CAN.....KEEP SIERRA MADRE SMALL, INDEPENDENT and FREE OF MASSIVE CONTROL BY SPECIAL INTERESTS, the special interests of Sacramento regionalists, California Association of Realtors, and the Building Industries Association aka....big development and realtors.

    Joe Mosca, Josh Moran and Nancy Walsh are the platform of NO WE CAN'T fight for our property rights, our sovereignty as an independent town, we can fight the shenanigan years of the Bart Doyle controlled city councils of the past.

    YES WE CAN WIN.....get out and vote to keep Sierra Madre moving in the right direction.
    We have one of the few cities in the State that has a balanced budget and a surplus! This is absolutely amazing!

    MaryAnn MacGillivray, Don Watts, John Crawford and Pat Alcorn on the next city council will really start to roll.
    Sierra Madre will continue to be the envy of the San Gabriel foothill communities and the entire State of bankrupt/corrupt California.

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  9. Fascinating listening to Josh and Nancy and their theme of "getting along." They have not been to enough meetings to see what is happening in our city government nor do they understand why/how to fight to preserve what is right for our village.

    That must be difficult when they only hear the Buchanan/Doyle/Mosca preservation special interests side.
    Makes you wonder what type of character people have to only listen to one side.

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  10. I agree 6:56!!!! What is worse, neither understands SB375. It is this blog and Zimmerman, Watts and MacGillivary who has taken the time to explain it. If they had taken the time to come to the meetings they would understand it and the impact on THEM and this community, not to mention Southern California. NO ONE in their right mind wants it!!!!

    They could not answer SB375 because they know zip. And, MOSCA blabbles because he wants people to think he knows because he did not show up for SCAG, which the present counicl thankfully make us realize is a waste of money and domination! Nancy KNOWS nothing because she has not been involved in our CC and Josh is just home grown and not qualified.

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  11. Would you buy a used car from Josh Moran?

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  12. Don't be too hard on Josh. His repeated statements about being in agreement with John Crawford shows that he is not completely lost.

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  13. Josh is just another liar. Nothing more nothing less.

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  14. remember the last few campaignsMarch 9, 2010 at 7:57 AM

    What's fun abut the mirror's question, 1st on the comments, is that it is a perfect reflection of the soap opera approach - an unfounded accusation that devolves into personal criticism.
    Guess you made that poster nervous with your excellent article, and in the dedicated Be Nice campaign style (maybe purchased from a PR consultant? A consultant that has been coaching both Walsh & Moran?), the poster had nowhere else to go but to try a personal slam.

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  15. 7:57 makes a good point.
    Keep your eyes open on the web for PR firms that sell an "Anti-Divisive" campaign.

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  16. I believe the proper term is passive-aggressive. Attack through claiming victimhood.

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  17. Yes, yes 8:04, thanks for putting that into words.Passive-aggressive it is.
    What makes me crazy angry, and yes, divisive indeed, is that the rotten council people we've had, and by rotten I mean Mosca, Stockly, Torres, Joffee, Buchanan and who could leave out Bart Doyle, these people who get on the council in order to facilitate development and help their pals, or themselves make a buck - these people don't want so to say NO to their bad schemes for remaking Sierra Madre?To their foolish, foolish use of our tax money?We are supposed to smile and say good idea when they want to develop the hillsides with more McMansions, when they want to remake the downtown into a condo/traffic nightmare, when they want to bust the city's water supply so that we have no choice but to hook up with the county?And we are supposed to be polite while they try to sell off the town bit by bit?
    Hell no.
    Sign me up on the DIVISIVE side.

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  18. As to item 1. No one wants Alverno to go under. On the other hand, why does the City of Sierra Madre let them break the law in order to make money? Why are they not able to support themselves like other private schools do? If all the alums that love the school so much just donated a sum each year,(according to the school they are all so successful),the rest of us would not have to bear the burden of sacrificing our peace and quiet each weekend so someone else's child can go to school for free. To say that the neighbors are not cooperating is puzzling. How do we cooperate? Donate more liquor to the festivities? We have no choice, we are stuck. They do what they want and the City of Sierra Madre lets them do it, code violation or not. They are the ones that will not cooperate.

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  19. Don't you know, being divisive is politically incorrect. Now repeat after me, "Four legs good, two legs bad, four legs good, two legs bad."

    Very good. Here's a cookie and your pat on the fanny.

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  20. There was so much whining from the Moscateers last night that I thought Bill Coburn was going to bring them some cheese.

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  21. Pleased as punchMarch 9, 2010 at 8:30 AM

    John Crawford you were magnificent last night right down to your shiny shoes.

    Pat Alcorn and Don Watts, the two of you stood for all that is good and decent in Sierra Madre!

    The three of you were well prepared - as candidates should be! Josh Moran and Mrs. Walsh mouthed the few phrases they had memorized but nothing new came out of their robo mouths except "all get along" and "don't be divisive". I'm interpreting their phraseology as "roll over and let the D.I.C. get back to making money".

    After all, that's their constituency.

    Now I'm going to read 1 Samuel to try and interpret Bill Tice's admonition. The Sage of Sierra Madre, God love him.

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  22. "Honesty and integrity are important in politics. It is how a voter can put their trust in the person they are voting for." - John Crawford.

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  23. Mr. Crawford, this article is a great summation of the important matters before us. This is an article for printing out and distributing, even though the length might scare off some. It would be a good reference for all the candidates - let's hear what Mr. Mosca has to say about not being chosen for mayor (it's tradition NOT), or what Mr. Moran thinks about the CRA handbook "How to defeat local slow growth initiatives," or what Ms. Walsh thinks, in detail, about complying with SCAG. Let's have the debate again, and go over each of these issues.

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  24. soooo, please tell me why I should vote for someone who has, for quote some time, hidden behind a false name and picture? Please let me know how this is honest and trustworthy? Transparent?

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  25. always AnonymousMarch 9, 2010 at 8:47 AM

    Oh good Lord, 8:41, it's a modern invention called "the internet" and on it is a modern written form called "blogging" and the custom is to pick a nom de plume.
    And as soon as Sir Eric, aka John Crawford became a candidate, he made his identification clear.
    Hey, step into this century, would ya?

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  26. 8:41, the article above isn't clear enough for you?

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  27. I have an idea to make the City some big money and take care of one of the blights in town. Have Alverno give up on their nightclub on campus and just take over the skilled nursing facility! Then when the neighbors near there call the police about the noise and loud music all they have to do is walk across the street. They could also set up a check point at the driveway and make a ton of money on drunk driving citations. The city would save gas money and the fines would help fund the search and rescue team.

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  28. Or Alverno could just be a responsible steward and hire effective security for each and every one of its events.

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  29. To Josh, Joe, and Nancy.

    Getting along on the city council is not what the city council is about. You are not playing in the nursery school sand box. Being on the city council is about leadership, knowledge, and doing what is in the best interest of Sierra Madre and its residents.

    After Nancy's opening remarks she had very little to say because she has nothing to say. She kept saying,"refering back to my opening statement. Nancy-- everyone heard your opening statemnet and we did not need to be reminded what you said 10 minutes before. We remember what you said just like we remember the lies Joe told 4 years ago and continued to tell last night. "Swing vote"...Give me a break.

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  30. Hiding behind the curtainMarch 9, 2010 at 9:04 AM

    OMG! We've been discovered by the opposition! Expect the troll posts to increase exponentially!

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  31. How out of city politics do you have to be to not have known long ago that Sir Eric Maundry was John Crawford?

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  32. joe mosca just makes me sick to my stomach and I've heard such whiny positions and malicious lies as told by Moran and Mosca, it's not wonder that both moved into Sierra Madre for political or personal profit agendas

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  33. Josh Moran lied last night when he said that no one has lived in Sierra Madre longer or has volunteered more hours than he has. Joshy, Pat Alcorn was living here years before you arrived and if you played on Dapper Field it was because of the long hours she and others put in to help make that field happen. Pat volunteers her time daily while you sit on your butt outside Mary's Market prentending to put your big money deals together. For those of you who did not know this before, Josh Moran became a legal resident of Sierra Madre the day before he drew papers to run for the city council. Before that he lived in Monrovia. He is a Carpetbagger plain and simple.

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  34. Fed up with pretenseMarch 9, 2010 at 9:57 AM

    Josh lied in silence by not admitting he just moved back into town to run for office. He is just like JOE MOSCA, who came here to ruin this town. If he was such a SM kid, he would have lived here all along and been involved in the city and been attending the CC meetings and showing dedication to keeping developers out! He has done NONE of this. Get out now Josh, before you embarrass yourself anymore. You may love SM, but you do not UNDERSTAND the issues facing us.

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  35. 9:33 and 9:57

    Thanks for reminding folks!

    I noticed he had several of his "friends" from other areas in the audience, to make him look "popular".

    Give me honesty and competence anytime.

    I'm voting for Don Watts, Pat Alcorn and John Crawford. They will support Sierra Madre residents.

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  36. Josh drank a big sippy cup of Johnny B's Magic Elixer before the debate. And then washed that down with a shot glass filled to brimmin' with Black Bart's Voodoo Sauce. Plus, if the rumors are true (and who am I to doubt them?), he did it all while wearing a pair of Susan Henderson's "Love Magic" underbloomers.

    For Josh it was just like "a magic carpet ride."

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  37. Got Crawford/Watts/Alcorn signs yet?

    Please call Diane at 355-4776 to request a delivery.

    Thanks!

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  38. is it true that the City mortgaged city hall?

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  39. So what could the D.I.C. offer Josh Moran as an inducement to run for City Council? That they would funnel clients to him? He could just sit in his Canyon aerie and write loans? Certainly would make that lot that's opposing the work of the Canyon Zone Committee easier. All of them up there, the realtors, the brokers, the developers, the money guy, the contractors. If they can't rely on the Downtown and Montecito LLCs, they'll make a last stand in the hills!

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  40. While Josh was selling real estate for Webb Martin and supporting the downtowndirt and cumquat websites and the No on V BIA/CAR financed ballot measure.......

    Don Watts was keeping his promise to the voters by winning Measure V for the people of Sierra Madre.

    While Nancy Walsh was tap dancing..........
    Don Watts was keeping his promise and working for the people of Sierra Madre. Don has already given 8 years to service in our city! As a planning commissioner, as a councilman and as our Mayor Pro-tem.

    While Joe was lying and betraying the voters.....
    Don Watts was keeping his promise and working for the people of Sierra Madre. Don and MaryAnn MacGillivray had to step in and take over the SCAG duties for the benefit of the people of Sierra Madre, and got our RHNA numbers reduced.

    While Josh was working for development/real estate special interests and doing "whatever he does", while Nancy Walsh was being recruited by Bart Doyle and John Buchanan, because they were at the bottom of the barrel and while Joe Mosca was lying and doing nothing for the people of Sierra Madre John Crawford was printing the truth on the Tattler. John Crawford exposed Joe's real job.....lobbyist for Sacramento development interests.
    John Crawford has devoted everyday to bring us the truth and the important issues to light.
    He is highly qualified to be on our city council and we are very lucky to get him, just as we were lucky to get MaryAnn MacGillivray. These are both hard working people with full time "real jobs" and families.

    Before Josh Moran was born, Pat Alcorn was devoting all her extra time to volunteering in the city of Sierra Madre.
    Before Joe Mosca was born, Pat Alcorn was devoting all her expert skills to volunteering for the city of Sierra Madre.

    There you have it, Sierra Madre. The choice is pretty damn clear.

    Pat Alcorn, John Crawford and Mayor Pro-tem Watts have EARNED your votes.

    Traitor Joe, Silly unqualified Josh, and angry/arrogant unqualified Nancy have not.

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  41. The SM Community Redevelopment Agency has liens on all sorts of Sierra Madre properties. Somebody needs to put together a list so the tattler can let everyone know. It was used to raise money for various shenanigan years projects like the DSP. Which was why Joe was so concerned about the topic last night.

    Ssshhh!! It's a secret!

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  42. Let's hear it for divisiveMarch 9, 2010 at 10:37 AM

    I'm voting for the candidates who have nothing to be gained by being elected to the City Council. That looks to me like Alcorn, Crawford, and Watts. They are honest. They care about the issues. They are well informed and they share the collective memories of all that happened during the shenanigan years. If it weren't for divisive we'd be stopping at stop lights on Sierra Madre Boulevard and the Fire Station would be at the City Yards because it was dangerous for residents at the overbuilt condo complex across the street to walk their yappy dogs.

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  43. The City had to come up with money (our money) to pay for the DSP, and EIR for the project. It didn't magically appear. By by borrowing on the city hall buildings for collateral, the CRA was able to come up with the needed money for the project. To this day, we are paying the debt off.
    Ask any realtor to look up the records.

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  44. Any idea when the candidates forum will be replayed on channel 3, or is it a foolish hope that any consistent scheduling will ever be possible?

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  45. 10:45, the shenanigan years just keep on giving, don't they?

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  46. The shenanigan years never really went away. They're just in remission. Kind of like a sleeper cell or an incurable disease.

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  47. So there must be a realtor who sides with the Tattlers and would do the research and send the report to the PO Box, right?

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  48. Did anyone notice Nancy Walsh's as-a-matter-of-fact statement, that there WILL be challenges to Measure V?

    Hmmmmm...How would she know that? Unless...

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  49. It could have been a slip up on her part.

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  50. Oh these silly D.I.C.'sMarch 9, 2010 at 12:24 PM

    Obviously the slip up is her's... Let's keep her talking! She could be our greatest ally! Hope she comes to the Chamber Mixer Thursday night. I'll be wearing a wire.

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  51. So we're not all sweetness and light--and that's a good thing. Everything is not hunky-dory in Sierra Madre and that's the truth. Walsh and Moran want you to feel sorry for Joe and for them, too. You should vote for them because they want you to think that if the council has heated discussions somehow we are falling apart. Except it is through those heated discussions that good results are arrived at, not 'see how nice we are, we all agreed.' All those pleas for niceness is just another way of sayaing 'I want your vote so I can do the bidding of the folks that don't like the direction of this council majority.' This council majority has to prevail. Sierra Madre under local control has to prevail. Ms. Walsh that is not a scare tactic and to say it is, is a scare tactic. You are wrong because you are uninformed, to say the least. Vote Alcorn, Crawford and Watts.

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  52. It didn't sound like a slip up to me. It was obvious that she was aware of what exactly she was saying.

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  53. What? Walsh is going to speak shrilly and carry a big stick?

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  54. Awesome responses, John Crawford. Sierra Madre can look forward to having an intelligent, insightful and decent councilman.

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  55. Wait, wait - what challenges to measure V? When did she mention thAT?
    Was she talking about the State, about SB375? Or was she talking about local investors, or the blight known as the SNF?

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  56. I think she was trying to sound "in the know." Probably because she isn't.

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  57. Well if I ever get to see the replay, I will certainly want to pin that down.

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  58. She stole Johnny B's line.

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  59. No 2:03, she just shares Buchanan's concern that Sierra Madre is sending out the wrong message if we try to keep local control, if we suggest lower population/employment projections than the absurd numbers SCAG was trying to force on us. What was it, something about sending out the message that the town is dying or failing or declining unless we say "Bring in the bulldozers, Boys!" Don't forget, Buchanan had a hand in that mess at the top of Baldwin, Stonecarter or Baldstone or whatever they want to call it.

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  60. Buchanan is a one man wrecking crew.

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  61. You're all giving Buchanan and company way too much credit. The real wrecking balls are inside City Hall. If the New Council doesn't replace Colantuono & Levin and Elaine Aguilar, nothing will get better in Sierra Madre.

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  62. Not true 3:40.

    Bart Doyle is trying to hang on to dirt power and he is losing it to MacGillivray.

    Aguilar and Levin work for whoever signs their paychecks.

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  63. This really is a watershed election for Sierra Madre. If Bart and his puppets lose, it pretty much is the end of years of effort on his part. And as you know, very little that Bart gets involved in doesn't fall apart in the end. And if you don't believe me, go take a ride to the billion dollar bus station in El Monte.

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  64. LOL.....That Hopee-changee thing isn't going too well in Washington DC either. The "Let's go along to get along" crowd in Sierra Madre seems to still be in control, to the Dirts advantage.

    But, at least the glory hounds are able to push themselves onto campaigns in order to feel important, even though they never accomplish anything.

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  65. 3:47

    You are either terribly naive or terribly corrupt. In either case that type of blind faith and ignorance is what got this City into trouble in the first place.

    For the record, MacGillavry is no saint and is not afraid to make a few side deals that benefit her friends, and has done so in the past while in an official capacity. It's not beneath her to sell us out.

    I have no faith in those that offer empty platitudes, regardless of what faction they claim to be a member of.

    "Smiling faces tell lies."

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  66. OMG if somebody is actually quoting Palin, and then the next poster is going after MacGillivray, it's time for the comments to get back to the artcle....

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  67. There's some good news out of Rosemead. From an article in the PSN:

    "The previous city council approved a general plan – a sort of blueprint for development in the city – that would have allowed the expansion of mixed-use development in various areas throughout the city. Opponents said it would cause the city's population to boom and traffic to increase.

    When a new council swept into power a year ago, members implemented the temporary moratorium. Since then, they have voted to amend the general plan and scale back the amount of allowed mixed-use development."

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  68. 4:04. The only sell out that I can discern is that liar Joe Mosca.

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  69. A @ 4:04: Could you possibly cite what it was the MaryAnn MacGillivray did that was a "side deal to benefit her friends." What was the
    "sell out?" This appears to be the first smear (an unsubstantiated negative comment created to undermine the credibility of a person) in the election. Direct statements about the performance of Councilman Mosca over the past four years and the direct observations of last night's presentations by contenders Moran and Walsh that points out an unflattering truth is not a smear. It can be seen, it was seen and all can refer to it. Smears are political dirty tricks. You can be sure Alcorn, Watts and Crawford will not resort to this behavior.

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  70. Good for you 5:09.
    Thanks.

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  71. 5:09 and 5:19

    It's early Bart or Henderson or Mosca/Bosse, they live in dread of MacGillivray.

    MaryAnn is taking back Sierra Madre, Bart Doyle, you scoundrel.

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  72. Could someone please explain how EXACTLY Bart Doyle is controlling people, specifics please!

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  73. Maybe we need to sponsor "Day Trips to El Monte Train Station to See What Sierra Madre Could Become IF you Vote For Mosca, Moran or Walsh....."

    People who have a difficult time hearing the truth, might need to SEE it.....Bart Doyle is behind the lies and the liars.....

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  74. I thought Mrs. Doyle was in Jordan.

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  75. last time i checked the internets were in jordan too!

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  76. Yeah, but Bart isn't.

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  77. Hi all, just to clarify, Josh Moran isn't a liar regarding "living" in Sierra Madre. He might have changed his residency status but his person has been living in Madre for the majority of his life, including the last few years. He lived in Monrovia briefly, but was still involved in Sierra Madre more than many of us who have had legal residence here our whole lives.

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  78. 5:10, so he was living in Sierra Madre when he fought against Measure V, and also when he fought against the smoking restrictions?

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  79. Josh changed his voting registration just days before filing for the City Council election. Those papers exist, and can be easily reproduced anywhere.

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  80. Can they be reprinted here? People need to see that.

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  81. As stated previously, Josh Moran has lived in Sierra Madre for the majority of his life. You are correct that might have he changed his voting registration just prior to the election. No one is arguing that fact. I haven't checked the filing date, but I will absolutely trust your research. Many residence don't change their voting registration immediately when they change their address. I think the point some are trying to make regarding those who change their residence status simply to run for office is not an important point in this current election. Besides, didn't Mr. Zimmerman only reside in Sierra Madre briefly before he was elected? I might be wrong, but I think he moved out of Sierra Madre also. Most of the trio supporters elected Mr. Zimmerman and I don't think he resided in our town very long, definitely less time than Mr. Moran.

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  82. Why all this sensitivity about the carpetbagger issue?

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