Tuesday, April 6, 2010

The 3 Minute and 45 Second Public Comment that Changed Sierra Madre

Judging by what we have read in the weekly throwaways the last couple of weeks you would have thought some horrible cataclysm had befallen this town. The howls of rage, coupled with nasty and over the top allegations against the City's Mayor, Mayor Pro Tem, and candidates for the City Council, have been bizarre and completely unfounded. And, like most attacks of this kind, they were at first met with astonishment, which was quickly followed by disbelief.

All of which makes statements published this week in the Mountain Views News equating legitimate public debate and free speech with Adolf Hitler's Mein Kampf and sexual cruelty even more troublesome. And while it is the right of someone to say such things, any sane person can only shake their head and laugh at such lunacy. That is a Constitutionally guaranteed freedom as well.

So it's time to clear the air a little. Freedom of speech, and the rights of citizens to confront their elected officials when they let them down, is a sacred and guaranteed trust in this country. It is one of the great principles that our nation was founded upon, and as something that poses a threat to those who might not profit from having inconvenient truths spoken to faithless power, must be protected at all times. The attempts to intimidate and silence those who would stand up and speak out at our City Council meetings during the time set aside for public comments must be deplored. The opinions of the citizens of this town must be heard, be it on the topic of flowerpots, dog ordinances, or the failure of a City Councilmember to keep his promises.

It is in this spirit that we are taking a few moments today to bring to your attention a YouTube website known as Neuroblast Films. The people who developed this site are keenly aware of how government works best when its dealings are fully revealed, and they have put up video clips of key moments from our City Council meetings to help accommodate the public need to know. You owe it to yourself to spend a little time going through their video archives and see for yourself what is to be found there. Some of it is quite eye opening.

Yesterday Neuroblast Films posted a public comment given by Shirley Moore at our most recent City Council meeting. During her less than 4 minutes at the podium Shirley detailed many of the reasons why she, as a former supporter of Joe Mosca, would never consider voting for him again. She carefully lists the broken promises and failures in office that have caused many of Joe's backers from 2006 to now look elsewhere for leadership. Rather than summarize what it is she had to say, you can view Shirley's comments for yourself by clicking here.

The reaction of Councilmember Joe Mosca upon hearing such an indictment of his record in office is now legendary. Despite rules of order agreed to by all the currently seated City Councilmembers - which includes not getting in peoples' faces during public comments - Mosca basically melted down. Many of the things said by Ms. Moore during her time at the podium were issues Joe has worked very hard to keep from becoming topics of discussion in this election, claiming instead that "decorum" and "attitudes" are really the burning concerns of 2010. Obviously what he had just heard was something that didn't quite fit in with this reelection strategy.

Joe's clearly panicked reaction, plus the Mayor's efforts to convince him to adhere to rules of order that he himself had voted to uphold, can see seen here.

We are now one week away from our City Council elections.

Bonus Coverage - In the latest Mountain Views News Susan Henderson makes the following tendentious statement:

You will see in this edition numerous letters to the editor. For your information, although the majority of them seem to be of the same persuasion, these are the letters that were authorized to print. So if you notice what appears to be a bias, it isn't.

So is Ms. Henderson saying here that letters not in agreement with her somewhat narrow worldview weren't printed because the authors didn't fill out the proper forms?


  1. Going on two weeks that Mosca, Moran and Walsh have left the campaign trail. Well, have you seen them? Have you heard them? I didn't think so. Instead the very local media have devoted entire issues to defeating the Tattler and John Crawford. And they're not being civil!

    What happened to candidates telling the public where they stand on issues?

  2. The Mosca Mob doesn't have any issues. The strategy was always to go negative. Now that they are in a panty knotting panic their behavior has gotten even worse.

  3. Shirley Moore is a honest person.
    She spoke her truth.

    The Mayor was right to call out this out of order, violator of Robert's Rules of Order.

    The police chief stood up at the back of room, called in additional officers from the foray and was ready to walk up the aisle and escort Mosca from the dais. I was there and saw that happen.

    Shirley Moore would not have spoken that night, except for the fact Mosca sought and bought the endorsement from the L.A. Democratic Party.
    Shirley is a registered Democrat and was outraged by this repeat offense by Mosca and the L.A. Dems.

    Joe Mosca has been detrimental to this town.
    He needs to leave the city council.

  4. Shirley Moore has been speaking out against Mosca since his first night in office. It is her right as a citizen of the United States. Terryl Willis has been speaking out against Mosca since his first night in office, as has Fay Angus. These women were among his supporters leading up to his election to City Council.

    Mosca seized the opportunity to feign outrage and force the Mayor to use the gavel to return Community Comment to the people. Mosca heard nothing that night he hadn't been hearing for four years - he lied to supporters to get elected.

    He knew this was his last opportunity in front of the SMTV3 City Council cameras - his last performance as a Councilman - to grab the spotlight and campaign on his platform, MARYANN IS MEAN TO ME!

    I'm proud of Shirley, Terryl, Fay, Barbara Lee, Carol Parker, Heather Allen, Gary Hood, and all of the 2006 supporters of Joe Mosca who have the courage to speak out and say, "I made a mistake".

    Joe Mosca is a liar.

  5. My favorite nutty comment from Joe is where he admonished Teryl Willis for speaking out of turn, and that such commentary was only appropriate when spoken only to him in a private meeting. How patriarchal of Joe!

  6. This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.

  7. Enlgihten me. What is Susan Henderson's disclaimer saying? These were letters authorized to print (she being the authorizer) and if all of them have a similar pursuasion how can that not be a bias if they were authroized by the biaser? Talk about doublespeak!

  8. Typical Susan. Her coverups are even more clumsy than her attempts to censor peoples opinions.

  9. Loved the correction on the amount of time Mayor MacGillivray allowed those horrible, freedom to speak, women used at the podium, when she editorialized in the "correction" that one spoke "well over 7 minutes." The modifier "well" is an editorial attack on MaryAnn as subtle as it is and it needs to be noted.

  10. Harri S. Henderson is almost as horrific as Joe Mosca.

    She's a liar, a cheat, a con artist and this has been proven and documented, over and over.

  11. Jiohn, can you take post &:30 down? It's trollish.

  12. 7:30 - while Hail exhibited questionable judgement when discussing the personal employment of others in print it doesn't mean we should reciprocate here.

  13. The dogs always throw out the "Hitler" allegations while they are simultaneously using the same fascist tactics. Clearly MVO is no different.

  14. For people who are long time veterans of blog posting there is something known to many as Godwin's Law. It was coined by Mike Godwin in 1990, and it was meant as humorous commentary on a special kind of idiocy. It states: "As an online discussion grows longer, the probability of a comparison involving Nazis or Hitler approaches 1."

    It looks like in the case of the MV News it is time to invoke Godwin's Law.

  15. Spring Break for candidates? Are Moran and Walsh so confident of election to City Council that they are no longer campaigning? No canvassing the neighborhoods? No sending surrogates out to tout civility? Measuring the column inches dedicated by the Mountain Views Distorted News to defeating Crawford, Josh and what's her name have spent their election treasure toward printing Susan Henderson's "community" newspaper for at the better part of four weeks. In January she announced she was verging on bankruptcy; suddenly in March and April the paper is on time in both the ether and on the street.

    Anyone spotted Walsh's financial filings yet?

  16. @ Webster:

    Those old listserv discussion threads were quite interesting and seem to indicate that over 20 years human nature just hasn't changed.

    However, new Warrior Variants can be found here

  17. It is maddening the way the Looney Views and it's supporters completely ignore facts.
    The longest speech that the Mayor presided over during community comment at that meeting WAS FROM JOE"S SUPPORTER.
    Damn, how many times do the facts have to be pointed out to these people?
    Do any of them actually follow the council meetings, or do they just make up fantasy ones?

  18. I'd be willing to put money on the last statement! Why should they watch when they are just going to make up the ending? It's always the same: MaryAnn was mean to me.

  19. The Henderson "no bias" comment is fabulous.
    That bias stank to high heaven, so much so that even she must have smelled it.
    Guess by her remark she was trying some proactive hustling.
    "Do not believe what you see, believe what I tell you."
    It's so thoroughly corrupt that it must mean the fever will break soon.

  20. I heard that Josh is out partying during his spring break at Lake Havasu?

  21. I sent a letter to Mountain Views, and they did print it. It was unfavorable to Joe Mosca. His behavior was deplorable and the Mayor was very professional about the whole scenario.I don't know where some of these people are coming from. I really feel bad for Mary Ann.

    Carroll Brown

  22. What ever happened to freedom of speech? Why can't residents stand up at community input and say what they think? No one used unacceptable language; no one was slandered; no one was defamed. If the truth is being spoken there is always the likelihood that someone will find it uncomfortable.

    In the incident being talked about the facts are irrefutable - go to the record. It is well documented over the course of four years how Joe Mosca has voted. In 2006 Joe accepted invitations into the homes of some of Sierra Madre's most prominent hostesses, including the mother of Barbara Lee and wife of Lee Cline, Barbara Cline, and the well known and eminently respected attorney, Linda Thornton. These women, their families, and their guests remember what Joe said, even if he doesn't.

    Four years is a short time in the memories of Sierra Madre voters - and not nearly long enough to have forgotten exactly what Joe Mosca promised us.

    Long live freedom of speech at the podium! Lying to the voters to get elected is not protected speech.

  23. Interesting (and now familiar) strategy from page 2 of John's Troll Zone link:

    Many trolls find it amusing to pose as a new member of a community and ask clueless questions until the discussion collapses as a result. These trolls often attempt to present themselves in a sympathetic light. The goal here is to encourage others to start flinging insults. The troll can then point to the other person and accuse them of being unfair or mean while maintaining the role of innocent victim.

  24. It's interesting. When he was running for office, leading the Measure V campaign and serving as our Mayor, Kurt Zimmerman was branded by the DIRTS as a mean, nasty man that never smiled. Now that Kurt is stepping down, the DIRTS are applying those monikers to Mary Ann.

    the irony, of course, is that Kurt and Mary Ann are two of the nicest people you'll ever meet. They're certainly nicer than Joe "get-a-life" or Josh "boycott-our-businesses" Moran.

    What a topsy-turvy world the DIRTS live in.

  25. Yep it's funny too that Terry Miller and the DIRTS complain about how poorly Joe is being treated in the press, but they never made a peep when Dunn, Angus, Watts and Zimmerman were blasted in the Downtown Dirt or in the Cumquat.

  26. Somebody posted a few weeks ago on this blog a comment about how voters dislike politicians that play the victim card. Something about how we expect our politiicans to be strong and not wimps like Mosca.

  27. I think that whole vote-for-Mosca-because-he's-a-wimp campaign strategy is going to fail.

    Just like Mosca's previous campaign strategy which was to take credit for everything Kurt Zimmerman accomplished during his tenure as Mayor.

  28. How "ironic" that in her opinion column, Susan Henderson also touts free speech, quoting from a 2008 article of hers: "Freedom of Speech is still a valued right". She goes on to say "When you dishonor that right, you only help perpetuate the myth that the people of Sierra Madre are crazy ".

    Nothing has "helped to perpetuate this myth" better than Mountain Views News itself. This lackey paper for the developers, had done little less than do everything in its power to thwart positive change in Sierra Madre, and along the way, give us some real laughs over their flip-flopping. Hail Hamilton's "Coffee with Joe Mosca" is emblematic of this. Hail writes, in all seriousness "One thing that sticks in my mine (about Joe Mosca) is his courage to advocate unpopular ideas". You can say that again, Hail! although most of us wouldn't call what Joe Mosca has done to our town "courage", we call it selling out. Rich Johnson picks up Hail's tune, as he dares to scold the Tattler for "abusing the plaintiff": "Those of us familiar with out local blog community have seen this in practice". Oh yeah? those of us who actually read the Tattler have been blown away by the comprehensiveness and daring of its reporting. All of the "abuse" has come from the other, jealous, side.

    Let the losing camp over at MVN continue to throw their stones and toss out "Hitler" accusations. They have exposed themselves over and over again for what they really are, a worthless paper beholden to those who do not serve our town as the people here want and need.

  29. A past supporter of joe mosca, with regretApril 6, 2010 at 1:07 PM

    Another observation: MaryAnn is a strong woman and Joe is a weak man who is not the most intelligent. It is somewhat obvious he has always had someone behind him to enable him.

    It has been tough for Joe to be sitting at a table with a bright articulate woman who is 1000 steps ahead of him. He cannot handle the emotional psychological impact of a woman quicker/brighter/more informed than him. Imagine his psyche when Ms Moore/Ms Angus arrived at the podium. His entire synapse shut down and all he could do was go into baby-babble temper tantrum mode.

    This scene is every reason why he did not deserve MAYOR. Thank you MaryAnn for handling this with grace and dignity. You have incredible patience, you are professional. We are grateful to you.

    What a revelation to the people of SM to see the true JOE. A man not capable to lead the people of Sierra Madre. Thank you NEUROBLAST!!!!!

  30. A Note On Commenting To This SiteApril 6, 2010 at 1:26 PM

    The Moderator has posted an important message in the upper right hand column of the Tattler.

    Please be aware that more aggressive troll enforcement will be practiced.

  31. And this from Daily KosApril 6, 2010 at 1:54 PM

    Apparently the Tattler isn't the only Blog having issues:

    Let's start this conversation with a statement we think everyone who comments on Daily Kos can agree with.

    The atmosphere, tone, and standards of Daily Kos posting have degenerated to an unhealthy and deeply personal level. The once high standard of accountability and accuracy in Daily Kos comments is now a thing of the past.
    Charges of racism, sexism, blind hatred, blind devotion, hysteria, tantrums, childishness and pony wanting...and literally every other personal insult imaginable are thrown about like candy. Almost none of them are backed up when challenged, and many can't be backed up at all. The use of insults and abuse roundly condemned in the Real World have become the de rigueur stock in trade of the warring political factions at Daily Kos and have by and large taken the place of substantive debate. When this is accepted as the standard of 'debate,' real, substantive, debate becomes impossible.

    Any and all comments based on fact, reason and logic are instantly rendered irrelevant when they are responded to with personal attack.

  32. ...anyone who uses the HITLER card is purely a fool and ignorant of history. take a trip to a concentration camp to find the real truth.

    Adolph Hitler lied and lied and lied and used one group of people as his scapegoat: the JEWS. He made them wear a yellow star of DAVID and he identified their stores. He ELIMINATED the senior citizens and anyone HANDICAPPED.

    As much as we dislike one another here, our depth of HATE cannot go that deep. Seriously.
    I have never seen the police gather up a family and them disappear forever. I have not heard the rhetoric in this town which existed in the JIM CROW south. Unless it was a person so low they had nowhere else to go....

    Stop throwing around the vitriolic Hitler and examine your conscience about how you value free speech and make it meaningful.

  33. It may be difficult for some in Sierra Madre to be faced with bright, strong, articulate city administrators, who also happen to be women, such as the Mayor, the City Manager, the City Attorney, The Chief of Police, the Director of Administrative Services, the Director of Community Services, and the Director of Library Services.

    Sierra Madre has a history of bright, strong, articulate women in its civic leaders as well as its residents.

    If Joe Mosca, Josh Moran and Nancy Walsh can't stand the heat, its time for them to get out of the political kitchen.

  34. 1:57. It's not about hate with the DIRTS. They just want to make a fast buck by over-developing the downtown. Once the election is over and they have lost, they'll revert to their charming (albeit) phony selves like they did after the Measure V victory.

    Nobody including Birdsall really thinks anybody is behaving like Hitler.

  35. Wacky hyperbole is hardly an alien concept to the dirty ones. It's used as a way of compensating for their poor communication skills.

  36. Whoa. You people are just so wrong. The reason Josh is in Lake Havasu is he's working on his tan. He's going to look dope for his big campaign push.

  37. Well, Hail, you missed it on the alliteration possibility--Coffee with Joe Mosca comes off as usurping Enid's former column "Coffee with Joffee," and while not alliteration was a clever rhyme that worked nicely with her name (or was that an advert for her "morning with the mayor/council member" somewheres in town? Was a while back, so I forget).

    Java with Joe? or Joe with Java? or Java with Java? or Joe with Joe?

    Truly hope it won't matter one bit a week from tomorrow.

  38. A cup of Joe has a bitter taste and is way too hard to swallow for four more years.

  39. Frappuccino with Flipper.

  40. It will be UNSAFE if Joe and Josh and Nancy win. Poison on our village!


  41. John, that comment on the side of your post is the weakest thing that I have ever read... You have preached about taking this blog to council... are you seriously blowing off your entire group? "On the other hand, I might now be in a position where I might have to shut commenting down altogether." Talk about a flipper... look no longer than the end of your nose.

  42. Just trying to keep it nice and sweet for you, sonny. But you know, you can't please everyone. And I've preached about taking the blog to the City Council? C'mon. This blog has been there for over a year. Day in and day out. Why do you think that fine folks like you complain about it so much? My suggestion is that you start one of your own. Of course, that would require having something to say and the ability to say it. Otherwise who would ever want to read it?

  43. Anon 11:09PM,
    When you all loose this election will you be gracious to the residents of Sierra Madre? Will you show dignity then? I doubt it very much. I am sure you will be back, and we will be there to catalog every mis-quote, slander, and bizzare statements that Bart Doyles minons will continue to allow to spill from their lips, on camera no less. For that I thank you in advance. I thank you Joe Mosca for being well ...you. Not many proud gay politicians will team up with a running mate (Josh Moran)that hired a PR firm that helped to defeat Prop 8. That's got to be one hell of an interal conflict, yet you endevor to perservere. Then you add Nancy Walsh, a self admitted confused, frustrated, and afraid individual (see nancy walsh against measure V video clip)to your ticket, ..well hats off to you. That's a tough hill to climb up, or worse back down.

    Neuroblast Films

  44. Damn I hate type-o's, you all know I ment "lose the election" right?

    Neuroblast Films

  45. one of the entire groupApril 7, 2010 at 1:30 PM

    Anonymous @ 11:09, maybe you should try reading the announcement about comments in the daytime? A clearer mental state might improve your reading comprehension skills.