Monday, October 4, 2010

So How Are Our Negotiations With The Sierra Madre Police Officers Association Going?

Probably one of the more significant things to happen in this town over the last few years is the rapid ascendancy of the Sierra Madre Police Department. From the rather modest community force of a decade or so back, the SMPD has now ballooned into a 31 member department that has become ubiquitous in this small town of around 10,000 people. And in the absence of much life threatening crime (our only recent shooting having been committed by an SMPD officer), the residents of Sierra Madre have probably become the most per capita traffic ticketed population in California. A dubious distinction that we've shelled out a full 51% of our General Fund tax money to attain. With a further increase in that percentage very possible, and soon.

An apt comparison here would be the sad fact that Sierra Madre Elementary School has just laid off 16 teachers, and now has a kindergarten class with one single teacher for 60 very young children. Which I guess means that close supervision of car driving behavior in this town is a higher priority than our children. Apparently those who govern the affairs of our little city feel that an expensive boutique police force is of far greater importance than the needs of this community's hardworking parents and their children.

How did it get quite this bad? Weak and complicit political leadership plus a rather ruthless police union would be the obvious reasons. And in case you are not aware, that union is now quietly in negotiations with our city for a new SMPD contract. One that just might lead to another round of stiff Utility User Tax increases. Mayor Joe Mosca, at our last City Council meeting, let it slip that the Utility User Tax Oversight Committee will be reforming in the not too distant future. A possible sign that the marketing for a new tax hike designed to cover yet another SMPD pay raise could be right around the corner.

So how did this happen you ask? Perhaps a review of some recent history is in order. Because, as Yogi Berra famously put it, we could be looking at deja vu all over again. And sooner rather than later.

On February 2nd of this year Larry Wilson published a column in the Pasadena Star News called "We're All The Victims When Police Union Lawyers Bite." It was a pretty good analysis of how legal concerns such as Lackie, Dammeier & McGill get things done for the many Police Officers Associations they control, including the one Sierra Madre's Police Department calls their own.

Now much of what Larry cited in his column regarding the likes of Lackie et al had already been discussed here before. The tactics employed by these folks are uncompromising, yet very effective in getting what their membership wants. But what impressed me about this particular column from the often maligned Mr. Wilson is his description of how the negotiating dynamic employed by organizations like LD&M really works. In my opinion he pretty much nailed it.

For 20 years, smart and greedy lawyers have shown police unions how to pressure dumb and gullible politicians into giving officers too much in both salaries and benefits. Not too much in a perfect world - just too much in the one we live in. We know what the lawyers have advised officers' associations to do - guilt trip the electeds, give money to their campaigns, use crime as wedge issue in order to scare the public, use work slowdowns and the blue flu to get what you want.

Some pretty good screed there. Too bad Larry has been such an abysmal sellout on so many other issues.

On April 17, 2009 we discussed the previous round of negotiations Sierra Madre had with the Sierra Madre Police Officers Association and its lawyers. The post detailed what was in effect a defeat for this community, despite all the sunny statements from our feckless elected officials at the time proclaiming otherwise. It was a loss that has set a precedent for even more tax hikes, especially now that our current leadership has yet to show any signs of standing up for our interests. Preferring so far to mail it in by sending mid-level city staff to negotiate with the SMPOA in their place.

So as Sierra Madre has now gone into negotiations with the Sierra Madre Police Officers Association and its lawyers, you should keep the following information in mind. Because what we'll be seeing soon will seem very familiar if you do.

How The Police Officers Association (POA) Got Business Done

In what was probably one of the most extreme cases of "Little Miss Sunshine" syndrome I have ever read, the Mountain Views "Observer" on 12/21/07 ran the following giddy headline:

Sierra Madre and Police Reach 'Historic Agreement' - "It ends years of discord between the city and POA" - Mayor Joffe

Discord that resumed a few short weeks after the passage of a Utility User Tax increase with a series of POA initiated lawsuits against the City of Sierra Madre. Apparently this fleeting love affair was only a one-sided fling, with the caddish Police Officers Association quickly leaving (by then former) Mayor Joffe alone at the altar. Oh, and the taxpayers of Sierra Madre holding the very large bill for a wedding that was never to happen.

The MVO (so-called) article concluded with this little bit of unmedicated delirium:

Everyone clapped, cheered and shook hands as the City Council approved during a special meeting Tuesday night, the first police pay raise in years. The increase is subject, however, to Sierra Madre voters approving an increased Utility Users Tax on April 8, 2008.

Of course, not everyone was quite that chipper. Many who read the agreement worked out between Enid Joffe and the POA realized that this raise, which would need to be paid for via a much higher UUT rate, was going to be a large new financial burden on the City's taxpayers. And there were even those who took this to be a fairly significant defeat for the residents of Sierra Madre, with the joy offensive by City Hall and its obedient newspaper merely an attempt to put lipstick on an unattractive barnyard animal. A widely held impression that could very well have contributed to the defeat of Enid Joffe in her failed attempt at re-election.

So who is this Police Officers Association that so completely took City Hall to the cleaners? Turns out its leadership isn't quite as local as many had assumed. Here's a passage from a March 21, 2009 article in the Union Tribune dealing with an acrimonious police labor dispute in Escondido.

The association should be like a quiet giant in the position of "Do as I ask and don't p--- me off," the law firm advises ... As the fight between the City and the Escondido Police Officers Association unfolds, the association appears to be taking some of its cues from the hardball battle plan devised by Lackie, Dammeier & McGill of Upland, which is representing the association in negotiations ... The law firm was founded by a former deputy sheriff, Michael Lackie, and a former police officer, Dieter Dammeier, and represents more than 120 public safety unions in California.

Among those 120 "public safety unions" represented by these gentlemen is the Sierra Madre Police Officers Association. And if you recognized the names of Lackie and Dammeier you get an extra point because these are the two gentlemen who won their clients a significant victory at the expense of the taxpayers of Sierra Madre in 2008.

How this was done shouldn't be a secret. The hardball tactics used here were displayed on the Lackie, Dammeier & McGill website for years. And in a March 23, 2009 piece called "Caring For Union Cops, Not Their Bully Tactics," syndicated columnist Logan Jenkins highlighted a few of them for us.

Storm City Council: No meeting should take place without association members publicly chastising council members for their lack of concern for public safety.

Billboards: Nothings seems to get more attention than a billboard entering the city limits which reads that crime is up and the City could care less about your safety. The message being city councils love crime and hate safety. (Remember all those Arcadia billboards a while back?)

Job Fair: Encourage cops to sign up at job fairs, sending an alarming, but false, signal of imminent flight from the department, leaving virtually no one to protect the public from gangs, parolees and sex offenders.

Work Slowdown: Drive the speed limit, make investigations as time-consuming as possible, while "asking for back-up on most calls." In other words, perform the job in malingering slo-mo, thus inflating the need for more officers and better pay and benefits.

Focus on an individual: "Avoid spreading your energy. Focus on a city manager, council person, mayor or police chief and keep pressure on until that person assures you of his loyalty and then move on to the next victim." Victim? You heard it right.

Press Conferences: "Every high-profile crime that takes place should result in the association's uproar at the governing body for not having enough officers on the street, which could have avoided the incident." Read: Exploit suffering, fear and anger.

In its summation, Lackie, Dammeier & McGill acknowledges that cops often come up with their own variations on the theme of beating public officials into submission. "Just keep in mind, the idea is to annoy your opponents into giving in to your position and almost equally as important, to let them know that next time they should agree with you much sooner."

In the same issue of the Mountain Views "Observer" discussed earlier, then Mayor Enid Joffe, in one of her "Coffee with Joffe" columns, (grandly entitled "Peace In Our Time?"), had this to say:

The entire MOU (Memo Of Understanding) is conditioned on the passage of the proposed Utility User Tax (UUT) ballot initiative approved by the City Council on December 18th. Without approval of the Measure, the POA agreement is null and void, and we will go all go back to our previous adversarial positions.

So that was then. Today in October 2010 we can see that there really was no "peace in our time" purchased at the cost of a nearly 100% UUT hike in 2008. Nor did the SMPOA ever abandon its adversarial positions as they have been suing the crap out of us ever since. The UUT hike was jammed through so that the City Council could honor the pay raise the SMPOA intimidated them into supporting. And rather than being the end of anything, it became a precedent for an expensive "raise and tax hike" process that will occur regularly as the years go on.

You can only wonder if Mayor Joe Mosca will go the Mayor Enid Joffe route and proclaim that another POA coerced Utility User Tax increase is an "Historic Agreement" and "Peace in our time." Weak city governments are often forced to rely upon Public Relations campaigns since they are incapable of delivering on the kinds of concrete accomplishments people really want.

Many have little doubt that the Sierra Madre Police Department favored Joe in the recent elections. The SMPD was fully aware of who would get them what they want, and give them the political cover they need when doing so. Just in case you've been wondering why those contract negotiations with our Police Department are being done so quietly. In the secretive world of the Mosca City Council, that is something considered to be none of your business. At least until you'll be asked to pay for the outcome, of course.

If this turns out to be the case we will soon find ourselves the target of yet another public relations initiative designed to coerce us into paying even more Utility User Tax money for a poorly regarded vanity Police Department that has grown both too large and too expensive for the small town it now holds captive.

Which I guess also means that this City Council is more afraid of the Police Officers Association and its negotiating tactics than it is us.

70 comments:

  1. Joe relied heavily on the Police and Fire Departments for his re-election. He dare not turn his back on them now. He continuously declares his allegiance to them and he will go for a huge raise and whatever else they want. The other three are equally beholden. Why do you think Crawford, Watts and Alcorn were attacked in the MVW regarding the fire and police depts? The PD and Fire knew they would hold the line on raises and benefits and wouldn't be bullied.

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  2. ok let's see...Officer Amos is now sitting behind a desk at the station ...house are being broken into at the rate of one a day in Sierra Madre (during the day)apparently three houses were hit last week on Carter..funny how this stuff never makes the "Police blotter"..Some of our officers are the most out of shape individuals I have ever seen --
    They have been sitting on Sierra Madre Blvd giving tickets to the preschool parents as they drop off their kids..gee one would think it would be a great time to patrol the neighborhood...

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  3. I was downtown yesterday and saw three police cruisers, lights wildly flashing, engaged in giving a ticket to a middle aged woman and her daughter in a Mercedes Benz. Why is it so many of the people the police in Sierra Madre stop are women? Is that why they hang around schools at 8 AM?

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  4. and our negotiator has the qualifications to do this job? I don't think she has any experience but that is ok considering the outcome is to roll over before the negotiations begin.

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  5. The nickname the kids in town have for one particularly portly office is "potato salad." The story is a kid was riding his skateboard and eating potato salad at the same time, and was stopped by this officer. Officer Salad threatened to give the kid a ticket, but eying the spuds, said if he turned them over he'd let him off this time.

    He's been known as "potato salad" ever since.

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  6. absolutely hone up on all your driving skills as you cruise through Sierra Madre. It will be better for your pocketbook, insurance points, peace of mind, safety for all, and it will free up the SMPD to go after some real criminal activity. Well, if they just sit around and the crime rate continues to rise we'll know the level of policing we are getting--pretty low by the estimation of many.

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  7. I have always thought that Mosca and Buchanan knew damn well, they would probably have to get rid of the police and the VFD. The lies they spread to get the gang of 4 elected and defeat HONEST candidates was shameful, and will eventually be obvious to all.

    A lot of us fell for the Police petitions, they needed a raise, and all that bs.

    Some of the more notorious DIRTS, such as DSP rumored investor, Rob Stockley, et all were very much against the police raise.
    Many were calling for a contracting to other agencies.

    As for the VFD? They promised those naive fools they would be made a PAID dept. More BS from the Bart Doyle Criminal Enterprise.

    I'm sorry to hear about the increased crime in SM, Rich. Are you the same Rich that works for (free, of course) for Harriet Susan Poole Carpenter Henderson?

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  8. Our negotiator has no experience. In fact doesn't even have enough experience to be a good leader of the department. You got it, it's roll over time.

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  9. Not this time aroundOctober 4, 2010 at 7:04 AM

    All you doubters out there, how hard can it be to just say no? Experience? Nyet! Nada! No. No UUT raise! No UUT PERIOD! NO SMPD RAISE! NOT A DIME! Got that Elisa? We're behind you a 100%. You experienced enough to just say no. You'll be our hero.

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  10. Stop the Spending!October 4, 2010 at 7:08 AM

    The key figure is 51% of the general fund. We spend over half of every free city dollar on a staff of glorified meter maids, each of whom is bitter because they can't get a job in a city with real crime.

    The fact is that La Canada - a city with twice the population, a larger footprint, ten times the business, and freeway crime access - pays less than half of what Sierra Madre does for police services. We could save at least $1.5 million a year (25% of the general fund) if we contracted out to the sheriffs department. We could use that to stop further tax and fee increases and still have $1.5 million a year to apply to the John Buchannan Books on Paper Library and the Joe Mosca Eco Values Wilderness Park.

    Let's forget the money. Let's ask what we get for our decision to blow $1.5 million a year on the SMPD. We get the right to have the rude and charmless officers of SMPD - think Officer Berry - hassle soccer moms in mini vans, St. Rita parents who don't curb their wheels, middle aged guys on bikes, and smoking teens on skateboards. Why? To mask the true cost of employing this group of unionized security guards.

    I have lived in a town policed by the Sheriff. The officers when called arrived promptly and were in all cases professional and polite. They were well trained, as not one was allowed on the street until they had served in the toughest county jails. They do not shoot citizens sleeping in the back of Muranos. They know when not to write tickets. And we will never have to negotiate with their union.

    These fine officers will serve the city well, and save us $15 million over the next ten years alone. Let's sign them up and have a ball spending the savings.

    Finally, THE MODERATOR should post the MVN's interview from about three years ago in which the one and only Chief Diaz concedes the SMPD is not adequately trained and will need even more money to bring it ut to snuff.

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  11. If there is one thing that defines the Mosca Mess, it is spend spend and spend. Can't we get our credit card back from this irresponsible spendthrift?

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  12. Rule #1..Never vote for higher taxes...Expect the "Elected One" to work towards solutions rather than taking the easy way out thru increasing and/or creating new taxes.Remind them,that they serve the people and it is their duty to perform in a honorable manner.

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  13. Tickets written do not generate income for the city, do they? They go to the county. So, what we are seeing is this increased police presence to justify their large numbers and demands for increase salary, etc. If your drive a "mom" car you will be a target for this display. Be on your best driving behavior. Leave in plenty of time. You will get stuck in Sierra Madre's morning traffic. Don't, whatever you do, roll through a stop sign. Not a bad idea, anyawy, no matter where you drive.

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  14. Democrats Buchanan and Mosca assisting a government employees union in sucking more money out of taxpayers? Gee, when does that ever happen in California?

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  15. The fact that the SMPD pulls over women in cars and has to have TWO cars to do this is outrageous!

    Unless this woman and her car have an APB out and she is wanted for a felony violent crime? Why are TWO police cars needed?

    Time to get rid of the SMPD, once and for all.

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  16. 8:21 am, same reason a male gynecologist has his nurse in the room during an exam - insurance against improper claims.

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  17. @ Anon 8:32
    Any time you see a 2 patrol car stop, it is considered a "felony stop" by police procedure the 2nd officer should be "back up". If is not a "felony stop" then the officers are just wasting time and money hanging out together.

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  18. They're just doing what Lackey Dammitt and whatsisname have told them to do. Call in backup and make even the smallest thing look like a big deal. It's supposed to impress the rubes.

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  19. Well, 8:54
    no one I know is very impressed.
    They are PISSED OFF

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  20. I'm not fat....I'm fluffy.October 4, 2010 at 9:00 AM

    the comments about our out of shape PD reminds me of a story that my son and his teenage friends relayed about the PD and I think Officer Potato Salad.

    it was maybe 3 or 4 years ago, there was a armed robbery alert at a store downtown, turned out to be a false alarm, but that didn't stop our Barney Fife PD department for going all Rambo.

    Downtown was full and my son and his friends were hanging around Kersting Court when he saw the action and the resulting comedy.

    Picture this.

    One of our female officers was running up the block with her gun out and while running was putting the gun back in her holster.

    What my son said was hilarious was Officer Potato Salad (if he is the older fat white cop) was running recon and he stepped behind a light pole to hide. Yes I said "hide".

    The teenagers as they told me the story were laughing in histerics.

    The cop was fat and when hiding, his gut was sticking out.

    When he moved his gut back for cover, his large backside was exposed.

    The teenagers, along with others in downtown just sat and watched the comedy show.

    It was like a Will Ferrell movie.

    Fat cop hiding behind a light pole.

    The only thing that would have made it funnier was to see him reach up to his shirt pocket and pull out his bullet.

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  21. Did anyone see the Loonie Views News this week? There is NO NEWS in it. Nothing about the cop contract, nothing about the water rate hike, nothing.
    Just fluff and gossip. Talk about news suppression. I guess there isn't a single real news story they can cover without embarrassing their darling Joe...

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  22. Let me get this straight. We now owe 10's of millions in bond obligations, and we can get the County Sheriff's Department at a million dollar savings every year, but can only find ways to raise taxes. How about dumping the local rascal filled police department, go to the Sheriff's department for policing, and use the savings to pay back the Doyle, Stockly, Buchanan Bond dept.

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  23. I wish I had my camera the day I went to Albertson's and there were two SMPD cars parked at the doughnut shop.

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  24. Boy, the town really avoided a dangerous situation on Saturday evening. At 8 pm a call reported a dangerous situation. The helicopter was called to give assistance from above and the police showed up in full force. The reason: The middle aged and seniors residents who live on Valle Vista, Foothill and Acacia plus Frank the mailman were having a neighborhood block party in someone front yard and someone called the police. I repeat the party was at 8 pm. Great use of money for the helicopter and resources.

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  25. Page views are through the roof this morning. We are now well over 25K for the last month, and might even break 26,000 today.

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  26. Local kid started QB for Boston CollegeOctober 4, 2010 at 9:09 AM

    Chase Rettig, a kid from Sierra Madre and Saint Rita's grad was the starting QB for Boston College. Had a rocky start but settled down and threw a 58 yard TD.

    He got his ankle hurt in the 2nd quarter and didn't return and is getting a MRI today.

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  27. Ture Story.

    Before they were outlawed, a neighborhood kid and friend were walking up Canon with their Air-Soft play guns with red tips. Both were around 11 years old and had those ridiculous big AK-47 looking guns, obvious a toy.

    A cop car pulled up on the sidewalk in front of the school and cut them off as if we lived in Compton.

    The cop got out with his hand on his holster, YELLED at the boys to DROP YOUR WEAPONS and had the two boys lay on the sidewalk, frisked them and threatened to arrest them and then let them go with a warning when he finally saw the red tips.

    I asked the boys if they were scared and both said no. They said they tried not to laugh at the cop and both giggled the whole way home and because they were afraid of getting in trouble with their parents, didn't share the news until the next day.

    Neither of the parents called and complained because both said "it's Sierra Madre. what do we expect?"

    It's no wonder we are stuck with the dregs of the police candidates.

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  28. jeez, imagine we've got mental heavyweights like Josh Moron and Nancy Walsh in on these meetings

    Walsh is asking for a discount for PD security at her old foggie dance contests

    Moran is hoping they don't check his car.

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  29. Same cops who received a tip that KIDS were seen sneaking into the Nursing Facility directly across the steet from the PD station a few years ago.

    What was the over reaction of our PD?

    They went in with their guns DRAWN and POINTED at kids, local kids just being kids. With the ineptitude of our PD, if one of the kids had made a move to run, he might have been gunned down, especially if Officer Amos was around.

    The kids weren 't vandalizing or lighting fires, just snooping. Not teenagers, kids.

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  30. Depending on who's add and take away you believe the City appears to be on the hook for $18 to 23 million dollars over the next few years for water bonds. We'll be looking at extending and increasing the UUT if the POA has their way. The SMVFD including the EMTs is angling for $$$. The City administration is at about 40 employees all looking for COL increases. Where is this money going to come from? Just tell the POA there'll be no increases. Start cutting back here and now. Nobody gets anything more. Don't hire anymore City employees. No more raises. So what if they leave? We probably didn't need so many anyway.

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  31. anybody remember the banner the SMPD displayed during the Wisteria Festival about 7 years ago during the first round of negotitations?

    visitors were greated with a big sign by our PD proclaiming with great glee and admiration for it's citizens.

    it read:

    SIERRA MADRE SUCKS

    nothing has changed, still a bunch of rejects who can't get hired anywhere else, looking for an easy gig and still chomping at the bit for some real action.

    why don't some of our cops apply for the LAPD?

    because they are afraid of real police work and would rather hassle old ladies, write parking tickets, scare kids and solve major crimes like petty vandalism.

    everytime we have something major happen in town, we have to call County or Pasadena.

    I never hear of our PD being called to other cities for assistance. This should tell us something.

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  32. The spending is out of control. It's unbelieveable. Are they trying to bankrupt us?

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  33. just a prediction, but based on the past boondoggle decisions and present 4 idiots we have on the Council, we should not be surprised that within a few years we have to annex into Pasadena or Aracdia.

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  34. the SMPD is a stumble step up from Post Alarm and sorry Post Alarm, did not mean to insult you in that manner

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  35. 9:53

    They just might be trying to bankrupt us!
    You may have got it right.
    Why else would they try to promote this insane over development of Sierra Madre?
    We will cease to be a city, be turned over to the County or Pasadena/Arcadia and just be an extention of the Arcadia Highlands and/or Hastings Ranch?

    In the meantime the Downtown Investors Club, better known on this blog as the DIRTS....make their ill gotten profits and leave town.

    That works well for the Doyle gang.

    The rest of us, well, we're screwed. We lose our town, our investments in our homes.

    No problem for the dirts.

    Wake up, Sierra Madre. Wake up, before it's too late.

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  36. Thanks a lot to those gullible citizens who voted for the UUT.What a mess!About the same time,I believe,Zimmerman asked for a forensic Audit.Not long afterward a large sum of money "
    Appeared"that had somehow been "Unaccounted for".Anyone who votes for raising their taxes is frankly an Idiot.

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  37. Good idea, 9:48 - a hiring freeze is what we need now. No new employees period, not even replacements.

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  38. Just to add one more story about Sierra Madre's Finest...Anyone remember when the Girls Softball Assn sold Christmas trees in the empty lot next to Arnold's, across from the Police station, AND they all got stolen?

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  39. Thatsa lottsa views..Hey did you know the Glendale sunroom August 4 2010 did a story on citizens confronting their cities, and if you hit the link it takes you to the Sierra Madre Tattler "We won" story?

    If it is the Police Unions, to them I say I deeply respect the law and police officers. But there simply is no money right now. Don't worry about a raise, just keep your jobs. You are heroes, but there are so many people out there with no jobs. The dream of a pension is beyond some peoples reach.

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  40. We have a useless police department that can't even bust a corrupt criminal enterprise, known as Bart Doyle's dirts.

    When the naive people of this city elected the gang of 4, Mosca, Moron and Walsh to join Buchanan.....it was the beginning of the end times for Sierra Madre.

    We're finished.

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  41. 9:53...I would guess in addition to being lazy and inept most of the bunch would not be qualified to join LAPD.Los Angeles Police force still has standards.

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  42. Looks like the Sierra Madre Weakly is having a story about the letter, A response by the city manager, under latest news dated 9/30/2010. There are two responses to the story both not positive to Millers take.

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  43. The only reason the Weakling has Elaine's letter is because it was printed on The Tattler. If it wasn't for this site the Weaklet's editor wouldn't have a clue about what is going on in Sierra Madre.

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  44. Miller is:

    A Mosca "devotee".

    Unqualified to call himself a jounalist.

    All in all, an a-hole! He's even worse than Henderson, well, almost.

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  45. Hey Tattlers, if you have any "funny" SMPD pictures or video please send them to
    neuroblastfilms@yahoo.com
    Thanks

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  46. 11:50 yeah, "4 outraged citizens" and saying "we don't know if we want a rate increase or not", after a mailing and a protest!
    "Approval", instead of a vote. Ms Levin exudes all right but not with confidence. Ms. Aquilar I vote no confidence, in fact I am confident they are not competent. Millers hissy fits masquerading as journalism, pathetic...

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  47. From now on I will always bring a container of potato salad in the car with me when driving in town.

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  48. Every Sierra Madre Cop I've seen upclose in the last 10 years or so has been an advertisement for the Sheriff's Department. The idea of a local police department, staffed by professional local men and women, is a great idea, but I'm afraid that is not what we have. If the local cops are going to treat me like an outsider, I say bring in the Sheriffs. You're not going to reform these guys.

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  49. Can somebody elaborate on the three robberies on Carter?

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  50. Carter? Must have been an in-town job. No out of town crook would want to drive all that way to the 210 with a trunk filled with somebody else's stuff..

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  51. Once those mansions are up and running, there'll be a whole new bunch of criminals willing to make the drive.

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  52. Tattler, the school lay-offs are brought to us courtesy of the PUSD.
    Got nothing to do with this city government.

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  53. Are you defending the city gummint, 3:50?

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  54. Yes. Just because our tax money goes to the PUSD that is no reason why we should have any influence there. Hell, we pay tax money to Sierra Madre and they ignore us, too.

    Who is it that is representing our intersts at the PUSD these days?

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  55. Why wouldn't Sierra Madre give money to Sierra Madre elementary to help save some teachers jobs? Is that against the law?

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  56. 3:41.....your so right because thieves and crooks are so practical in plying their craft, must have been an in town job!!

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  57. 3:52, a teacher once told me that the only way a school board would listen to any tax payers was if said tax payers forced them to listen - yep, more meetings, public speaking, organizing protests.
    What can one say about this need to spend full-time job hours in monitoring and correcting our government?

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  58. There has always been a lot of burglaries in Sierra Madre. They just aren't reported in the papers.

    I have heard of many. I've known people who have gone on vacations and come back and their home was cleaned out.

    It's going to get worse, as well.

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  59. This whole situation is making the LA Sheriff's department look like a better and better option. It couldn't cost as much and we'll get professionals, not a fiefdom built on aggrandizing the police structure in this town. Done right, it could just resolve this hold the POA has over us. There was a time in the past when I wouldn't have said this; but the real community policing that may have benefitted us years ago is over now. I'd be happy to have policy that didn't amount to 31 police trying to justify being overpaid.

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  60. I hope they do put a UUT tax increase on
    the ballot. It will go down in flames and
    they'll have a lot of mud on their faces.

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  61. Nancy Walsh is now the city's rep at PUSD. I guess the kids will now learn the rumba.

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  62. great stories, the LaTimes has the Artiga resigns and refusal to grant bail on possible tainted real estate owned by a friend of Rizzo and his mother in law, and another mother in law deal with Spaccia !!

    The Huff is dealing with those tweaked loan originations and the tweaked foreclosures.
    good story plus a side story by a zombeck, on how many folks were already illegally foreclosed on.

    I know my city had many workshops to get people to buy the overpriced new development homes, during the 2003 to 2005 to 2008. They raked in the fees to build, it was a frenzy. "J" Jueventino Gomez of deputy of Antonovitch, was a big sponsor in my town, and I understand he was influential in Arcadia Monrovia etc. Just Saying..

    I would not want to be one of the people involved in any level of this slaughter and fraud. To have caused such physical and spiritual chaos for mere money? I don't think the Creator is going to buy their bullshite as to it was the best for all concerned, for the greatest good, you know what I mean Jelly Beans?

    I imagine over the ocean far away some foreign investors are holding their mortgaged backed secured but synthetic loans/bonds and mumbling strange curses.

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  63. Dr. S 4:23 But then they have LASPA, the sheriffs union and county legal representation.

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  64. Furloughs for all!

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  65. This has been a real interesting blog board today, Tattlers. Congrats to Crawford's site, we're getting a lot of readership! I hope you're able to type with the right hand now, John?

    Don't want to tax your bad wing, but sure hope the column gets up early tomorrow morning.
    We have to leave very early, I hope your column will be up early, my family hates to miss a column, and the way things are rolling right now, everyday seems to be another bomb.

    Thanks again, John, for all you do!

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  66. Can the SMPD and the union it rode in onOctober 4, 2010 at 7:24 PM

    Yes 6:59, they both have unions. The difference is that the county negotiates with the Sheriff, not the city. The city has to negotiate with the sorehead union that represents the sorehead officers of SMPD.

    Which leads to the question. Why go through all the hassle of negotiating with these people and spend an extra $1.5 million a year to have a staff of 31 minimally qualified, rude and bitter union members on the payroll?

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  67. Here's something that happened in Banning (small city in Riverside county).

    They used a $35 million water bond to build a $14 million police station (they call the "Taj Mahal"). Specifically flouting prop 218's requirement that use of the water bond $s for anything other than its stated purpose requires a vote of the people. At least according to this Tattler-esque website in Banning:
    http://www.thebanninginformer.com/?page_id=3154

    The developers seem to be doing this everywhere -- the more we know about what happens in other places, perhaps the more prepared we can be.

    Maybe if we're prepared we can at least stop something like this.

    I found this by following this comment by caroljscull at the end of the LA Times article on Community Redevelopment Agencies:
    http://www.latimes.com/news/local/la-me-redevelopment-20101002,0,1187883,full.story

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  68. It is easy to make fun of SMPD, and I have to admit I do it myself from time to time. However, let us not forget, that these guys take time away from their families on Halloween, Christmas, Easter, and every other holiday so we can be safe. Also, SMPD makes a whole lot less money than anyone else in LA County. I understand the risk/reward issues in pay, but imagine having a a LAPD southend copper up here. You guys would tolerate having your hands out the window on every traffic stop for about a day before you would revolt. Be thankful for Barney Fife, he might accidentally shoot you, but his heart is in the right place.

    As for contract talks, too bad it isn't with Leroy Baca, instead of the police union. As for negotiations, we should have them becoming employees of LASD on the table, they would make twice as much, and the liability of a bad shooting would shift to the County. It would be a win/win.

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  69. Why not start a cause against this nonsense and see what the city of sierra madre thinks about it.

    http://www.socause.com

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  70. I hope the PD gets every penny they ask for.

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