But in what was a rather bizarre move that more than a few suspect was orchestrated by the Downtown Investors Club, many of the attacks being leveled were against the sitting Mayor of Sierra Madre, MaryAnn MacGillivray. Someone who was not on the ballot. And even after the election was over, the onslaught didn't end. It is as if they thought that by continuing to lay on such abuse they could force her to resign.
Today we will be discussing an ugly and false accusation of negligence in office made against Mayor MacGillivray. One that has now, thanks to the hard work of outraged Sierra Madre residents, willing witnesses, plus one very thorough attorney, been thoroughly debunked. Why the out of town individuals responsible for publishing this garbage believe they can continue to function here in this manner defies logic. And questions remain as to who their local enablers might be.
The letter reproduced below - which is the combined work of several angered residents - was originally intended for mailing to The Sierra Madre Weekly and publication there. But as that publication has shown itself to be an unreliable and unprofessional venue, it was forwarded to The Tattler by Mayor MacGillivray for publication here instead. Which we are more than glad to do.
April 16, 2010
To: Terry Miller (Sierra Madre Weekly 124 E. Chestnut Drive, Monrovia, CA 91016), and Michael Bamberger
Dear Father Bamberger and Mr. Miller;
In the Sierra Madre Weekly newspaper, April 15, 2010, Michael Bamberger was reported to have asserted certain facts about Mayor MaryAnn MacGillivray, as reported on page 10, as follows:
"According to Bamberger, a priest (sic) and long-time Sierra Madre firefighter, events witnessed during the 1991 earthquake in Sierra Madre caused him and many others to have 'lost all respect for MacGillivray.' According to Bamberger, MacGillivray and other council members at the time were on some sort of retreat when the earthquake hit town. Upon learning of her hometown's serious quake which caused extensive damage, the then city councilmember MacGillivray returned to check on the status of only her own home before promptly returning to the retreat without attending to the emergency. She and the council did not declare a state of emergency to qualify for emergency government money and the fire department's hands were tied with the limited resources on hand. 'It took weeks for us to even have a Declaration of Emergency,' said Bamberger."
This is information that is false and specifically intended by you to tarnish the reputation of Mayor MacGillivray. We believe you intentionally stated facts that you knew were inaccurate because the true facts are as follows:
According to the Sierra Madre News, published on Thursday. July 4, 1991, following the Friday, June 28, 1991 Sierra Madre earthquake:
Sierra Madre City Council and Los Angeles County declared the area an emergency area the same day - The News called the Governor's office and was told by the deputy press secretary that the governor (Pete Wilson) is still waiting to gather all the data from the Office of Emergency Services. They will assess the extent of the damage and inform the governor.
The Mayor of Sierra Madre was Andrew Roy Buchan and the Mayor Pro Tem was Gary Adams.
The following week's Sierra Madre News published an account of the emergency meeting that took place in the City Council chambers on July 5, 1991, as follows: State, Local Officials Attempt to Solve Earthquake Problems - Those officials who met Friday at Sierra Madre City Hall to discuss alternatives to solving some of the communities' cleanup problems since the June 28 earthquake and the ensuing aftershocks were Robert Bartlett, Mayor of Monrovia; Assemblyman Dick Mountjoy; Richard Andrews, state deputy director of the Office of Emergency Services; Sierra Madre Mayor Andrew Roy Buchan; Assemblyman Rusty Arelas and State Senator Newton Russell.
Mr. Bamberger, you have falsely stated that it took weeks for the declaration of an emergency to take place under the clear implication that this was a result of a failure of Mrs. MacGillivray. This is false. The City Council declared an emergency the same day as the earthquake. One week after the earthquake, the city was hosting a meeting of six principals from local and state agencies, lead by Mayor Andrew Roy Buchan. It was at this meeting that the city received word that Governor Pete Wilson declared the state of emergency the day before (reported in the Star News, July 6, 1991).
In your attack on MaryAnn MacGillivray you have failed to acknowledge that she was just beginning her second year of her first term in office. As a City Councilmember without portfolio as Mayor or Mayor Pro Tem, she had no ability or duty to perform any affirmative acts to achieve the declaration of emergency, which was declared on the same day anyway. The State's declaration of emergency was announced to the City representatives on Friday, July 6, 1991, which was only 1 week after the earthquake.
In fact, you have distorted a few facts involving the day of the earthquake. The true and complete facts are that the entire City Council was attending a conference of the Independent Cities Association (not a "retreat") in Rancho Bernardo. Because the damage at Mrs. MacGillivray's home required rectifying and necessary clean up, she was perforce left at her home for a period of time during which the other council members decided to return to City Hall and pass a resolution to declare an emergency. This action was unknown to her until she was picked up again because in those days (19 years ago) people did not all have cell phones and many of the telephones were out. The Council then returned - together - to the conference to finish the City's business the next day.
Hopefully the information presented here has cleared this unfortunate matter up.
Signatories to this letter include: Tommy Ann Miller, Carol Parker, Don Watts, Shirley Moore, Melissa Thew, John Crawford, John Hermann, John Shear, Diane Shear, Sherry Robison, Fay Angus, Anna Laws, Marge Bourgeois, Lee Cline, Gary Hood, Barbara Cline, Barbara Leigh, David Darbyshire, Michael Howard, Pat Alcorn, De Alcorn, Teryl Willis, Deb Sheridan.
Research was done by Caroline Brown. Caroline has on file the pertinent Sierra Madre News and Pasadena Star News articles cited in the letter. Those interested in receiving copies of the cited articles are encouraged to send their name and address to The Tattler via SGVTattler @ gmail.com.