Tuesday, April 20, 2010

Today's Sierra Madre Planning Retreat

We should probably be able to get the first real indication of where Sierra Madre's newly elected City Council will be taking us today. Look for clues on such matters as hiring consultants, any new direction on the creation of the new General Plan, Canyon Zone Committee, development issues, the use of bonds for infrastructure repairs (aka "Sacramento Solutions"), and the role of regionalism in any future city development plans. Here is how an article in todays Pasadena Star News breaks it down:

Sierra Madre elected officials and city staff will gather for a one-day planning retreat today to review the city's key goals and update its objectives for the next six months. In recent years, the City Council has held "strategic planning retreats" twice a year to monitor progress and to come up with a 6-month blueprint for action that reflects the city's primary goals.

"It's a good way to make sure that we're moving forward on a lot of our goals so we're not just being reactionary," said Councilman Joe Mosca. "With so many things going on, we're studying our priorities and making sure that we are moving toward them."

Mosca's odd use of the word reactionary aside, the feel good goals described in the article are "achieving financial stability," getting people to trust the city's government more, get people more deeply involved with the affairs of the city, and hiring good people to work in City Hall.

Or, as Elaine Aguilar describes it, "a collaborative, in-put intensive process." Which I think means there will probably be a whole lot of talk.

A "revised strategic plan" comes out of this meetings as well, something to be approved at a future City Council confab.

The retreat kicks off at 8:30 this morning at 8:30, and is supposed to wrap-up by 3:30. It is being held at the Youth Activity Center at 611 E. Sierra Madre Boulevard.

Bonus coverage: The Supreme Court has just overturned a federal law banning animal cruelty videos, terming it a violation of the right to free speech.


  1. It also includes all the just-elected but not seated new council members, along with the folks who are not formally off the Council yet. Talk about ramrodding the development agenda...

  2. Should be quite a party. Hopefully the new crew will tip their hand.

  3. It's amazing that no-one knows what is planned by the new city council, since they never gave a straight answer during the election campaign.
    Except of course, the primary campaign slogan, "let's all get along". I guess Buchanan will let them know at the retreat, what to say.

  4. I expect we're in for some hellish impositions of the development industry agenda for the next not just two but four years. Joe Mosca has proven only one thing in this election, as have his running mates - he has escalated his lying into an art form.

  5. I like retreats, retreat to repeatApril 20, 2010 at 8:44 AM

    You cannot have a blueprint without SCAG's Compass input, don't you just love the way certain words are left out. That book I mentioned yesterday said the officials will continue to vote for SCAG COG matters unless a consensus is made, you are the outspoken consensus. Units must speak,

  6. This is an interesting meeting that is run by a facilitator who keeps everyone on point. During the afternoon session, the group breaks into smaller groups to define goals for the future. The public is welcome to attend and listen but not participate.

  7. "...the first real indication of where Sierra Madre's newly elected city council will be taking us..."

    Yes, indeed. The big yellow happy face will now show its long teeth.

  8. The cruelty of animals is a reflection of our society. I am sadden by the ruling to profit from man-made animal fighting and the suffering to people and the animals that "world" creates.

  9. About the bonus coverage. There is an old story about the place animals have in our lives:

    When a human being dies, that person comes to a bridge between heaven and Earth. Along the bridge are all of the animals that the person came across during life. It is the animals who decide who will cross the bridge.

    Good luck to the sitting court when they come to the bridge.

  10. channel 3 watcherApril 20, 2010 at 9:10 AM

    We can hold a good thought for the reasonable people who participate in these strategic planning meetings, and hope that the most verbose members of the council are less likely to drone on endlessly when the camera is off.

  11. You're right Channel 3 watcher. Mosca will be bending over backwards to look like a gracious winner and nice guy. After all, that's his primary contribution - appearing nice. And John Buchanan will probably try to keep his smug under wraps. They are both from the 'big daddy' school of politics, and underneath all that goes on, essentially feel entitled to decide what will happen to other people.

  12. 9:02.......and you know this how?

  13. "Animal cruelty videos" - does that include "snuff" tapes and child porn?

  14. 8:43, any idea how much the facilitator costs?

  15. Bonaparte's RetreatApril 20, 2010 at 9:36 AM

    It will probably take more meetings than this to find out where exactly our new regionalist Mayor and his help mates will be taking us. We have all seen the road map, of course, so nobody should be too surprised. But you know that they will need to market the more unpopular aspects of this grand plan quite carefully. I think that will be the real story over the next couple of months. How exactly they will attempt to sell what is at its core an unpopular pro-development agenda. Which is why I suspect they all want us to shut up about it.

  16. dr doolittle, reread the post, especially the part that says "There is an old story"

  17. good memory skillsApril 20, 2010 at 9:48 AM

    B Retreat, good point. The marketing will have to be far more subtle than it has been in the past. But hey they did a pretty good job marketing their candidates.
    There was a very interesting moment when the DSP was being sold to the citizens. The chief salesman from RBF consulting, clever young man, told the people that the plan had to include four story buildings for economic viability. There was a great moment of theatre when he bit his lip, shook his head and proclaimed there was no other way for Sierra Madre to survive economically. Kind of a "Shucks folks, I hate to tell you but...." And then, almost as if on a cue, John Buchanan said, "Never four stories! We'll never go for four stories," slight pause, quieter voice, "Maybe three."
    It's on film somewhere if anyone wants to check it out.

  18. Somebody needs to oput in some Google time on how to market big development to communities that don't want it. I'll bet there is a lot of information on line. Be interesting to see what strategies they use here. Think about it, a city council that doubles as real estate salesguys.

  19. ahhh 9:51, are you familiar with the California Association of Realtors Handbook on Strategies for Fighting Slow Growth Initiatives at the Local Level?
    Mentioned a few times on this blog. It's a gem.

  20. I get a little tired of folks who suggest "somebody needs to put in some time...". If you see something that needs to be done, why don't you do it? As the ad says, "Just Do It".

  21. I have seen the CAR book. I think that is pretty old school now. I suspect a much more chipper and politically correct approach this time. Like the election. Expect to see expert marketing people with the sun shining out of their behinds.

  22. so, we've got Councilmembers who don't have a real job and can take off in the middle of the week like this?

    oh my, are we in for an awful four years

  23. It'll take some serious bad mouthing of
    our downtown as well, 10:07. You'll need
    to create quite a perception of a problem
    before Mountain View Estates (or whatever
    they'll call it) seems like a solution.

  24. Some Coffee Beaners Know...April 20, 2010 at 10:52 AM

    9:48...Titan wanted a 10 story building, the location just happened to be at the end of an airport, it also squared the corner to his little fiefdom, which he also kindly provided offices to both EL Monte and South El Monte Chamber of Commerces, within walking distance to his building and the foreign trade zone. A bio building, was discussed then I understand the ten story building was going to be limited to was shrunk to five stories, but it was still at the end of the airport!

    9 years worth of shuck and jive, Grifters R us, at SGVEP, SCAG meetings, well you all read the papers, you know the collateral damage.

    Finally, El Monte told Mr. Doyle very recently, They will no longer do business with him.

    Buchanan's a salesman, he works for Edison International. They have been divesting themselves and developing the leeway lands they own around the utilities lines.

    Only when you get up and above these men, watch those who claim to have best interests at heart. Local citizens concerned with their city's agendas aren't aware the men contrive and cross city boundaries to influence other city's officials.

    You are right to be on guard

  25. Its a numbers gameApril 20, 2010 at 11:08 AM

    Part of the various grants require your local notification and participation, one grant says 14 meetings, another, like health and wellness, the questionaires they used to entrap innocent locals is a sandwich and participation in the building of new curbs, were required and say three workshops, retreats, are what is required to fulfull this compass blueprint. I was researching, browsing and found a file called "programming" ten pages into a SCAG search. itis a cal trains document, it descibes the process a cal trans goes through to get funding from the higher ups grant trough. Lucky sierra madre is getting a retreat, you are participating. Moscas got a photo op, Smile Wide..
    you are being treated to a retreat. Smile

  26. That's why SB 375 claims to be about "local participation" with stealth developer appointments (Mosca) and superficial meetings that exclude local resident input.

  27. all I know is that I hope we have a few more citizens with deep pockets to sue the city when Mosca and his posse start razing downtown for some disjointed and convulted condo building scheme

  28. i keep asking and never get an answer. so, i'll ask one, last time? what the heck is the boy wonder josh moran an "account executive" of? amway?

  29. Wish I knew 1:07.
    Mr. Moran's business was hooking up people with mortgages last I heard.

  30. Tattler, funny catch on "reactionary" - of course what he meant was reactive. Get ready for 4 years of that kind of almost-got-the-word-right language.

  31. If you use the Ron Paul definition of reactionary (i.e. "corporatist"), then
    Joe's usage could be appropriate.

  32. Anybody want to give the odds on the "need" for the UUT tax to go up to its top, 12%, and that pesky 'sunset clause' to be voted away?
    Would an old timer fill us in on the history of utility taxes here? Think once upon a time there was a promise from a council there would only be one for a small time & then it became permanent.

  33. With the SMPD MOU up for renewal, you can
    only wonder what the tax rate will increase
    to. We could be going to the PUSD system
    of a new tax every couple of years, which
    comes with the hope that they'll only be
    viewed one at a time, and nobody will add
    up the accumulated total.

  34. Vote No on CC.
    No more taxes!

  35. That No on CC mailing was excellent.
    Specific data analysis.
    Sound logic may doom its message in this town town though.

  36. My advice to all of us is get our legal defense fund going because we've got laws in place--they're just subject to "interpretation" and that's wherein will lie the rub. If you can't influence the application of the laws at the Council end, you better be prepared to go to court. Sorry to sound negative, but let's get real here.

  37. True Dr. S.
    Or just leave the place to the barbarians & hit the road.

  38. Now that would be a good Tattler topic:

    "Is Sierra Madre worth saving?"

  39. No on CC. check this link.

  40. Is Sierra Madre worth saving? Yeah, I guess.
    But is it fun messing with the plans of the
    despoilers? Without a doubt.

  41. That is a very interesting question - is Sierra Madre worth saving, no matter what it becomes? or will state mandated and acquiesced to overdevelopment make it just like every other place around it?

  42. 3:14, depends on which Sierra Madre you mean.
    A DSP'd Sierra Madre would not be worth much.
    A Sierra Madre in violation of Measure V would not be worth much.
    An Ihkrata SCAG Metro Trans High Density RHNA stuffed Sierra Madre would not be worth anything.

  43. There's one big obstacle in the way of these expansion dreams - some brilliant Sierra Madre resident got it into the general Plan that there will be no traffic lights in SM.
    Imagine that insight and the consequences for the pro-development crowd.
    Of course now they're in control, watch out for that GP protection to be monkeyed with.

  44. Nothing that a $300,000 consultant can't fix, 4:39.

  45. And that $300,000 has been budgeted for, been sitting there waiting for that lucky consultant. Just needed the ok from the council, yeah? I say hold the uut tax to 10% and keep that 300 thou.

  46. From the PSN about Measure CC:
    "The group supporting a proposed parcel tax on residents in the Pasadena Unified School District this week began offering money to those willing to stump for Measure CC."
    Great, so that's how they spend our money, hiring people to try & convince us to give them more of our money.

  47. Rich J.

    With respect to Susan Henderson's dispute with Katina Dunn, you state matter of factly that there are two sides to every story.

    What you neglect to mention is that a Los Angeles Superior Court Judge heard both sides of the story during a lengthy trial, where a mountain of evidence was presented including testimony of witnesses. He didn't believe Susan's side of the story and ruled in favor of Ms. Dunn.

  48. Yes, the judge did rule in favor of Mrs. Dunn.
    He also told Susan he was tired of her lies.
    I know, because I was in the court room.

  49. Scarlett T is for tattlerApril 20, 2010 at 7:20 PM

    Hi tatts any comments on the retreat?

  50. ....Legal Defense Fund is our best investment. You know the level of deceit. There was and never will be transparency. To them it was and always will be about the money not our town. Period.

    Get ready everyone. Joe thinks he deserves this one.

  51. Scarlett T - very little was revealed at the retreat. No cards were
    shown. The two rookies sat speechless and lost, while the bloviants
    basked in full wonder of themselves.

    But don't expect any dramatic gestures from these folks. As the
    old saying goes: "They don't bite, they chew."

  52. 8:52 I see, mental mascication.

    A legal fund would be a good idea, The council has a dilemma, they have a pro dev potential of 4 to 5. (In any decision or matter right?) Directly opposite, a constituency that voted against eminent domain, by a landslide. (but I haven't read the text? consent?) The only money in town is MTAs right now agree?

    They can still use nuisance and abatement, to wear the desired property owners folks down, and while they may not use obvious eminent domain they can do absolutely cruel things, to pressure and coerce solitary homeowners to willing sell to save their lives.

    Call Chris Norby, he referred me to Christopher Sutton he is very close to you. Mr. Crawford did a story on his interests and run for successful election. He talked to me for a long time free.

    I am not saying all and everybody is corrupt, I can only truly tell you what happened to me very carefully.

    So your MIP's are up, you can smell it but you can't see it. So to be forewarned is to be legally forearmed. A trip to the legal library
    at 3rd, in LA and you can read all the cases and law books you want or need to.

    And you have the Tattler, take care of Ms. Mary Mayor, she is the immediate concern..She's a Smarty and has a long term.. Piece of cake, piece of pie.

  53. Mr. Mosca now feels he has a mandate to do anything he wants.
    He needs to be called out at the meetings. He will then show his true character.
    He needs to be publicly hobbled, or life here will truly be hell over the next 4 years.


The Tattler is a moderated blog. Annoying delays when posting comments can happen. Thank you for your patience and understanding.