There is an interesting Frank Girardot article up on the San Gabriel Valley Tribune site today. Apparently newly re-elected U.S. Representative Adam Schiff is a little concerned about the level of corruption that has been seen in some of the Los Angeles County area city governments, and he thinks it might be time to bring in some Federal Prosecutors to help straighten things out around here.
Here is how the article reveals its essence:
U.S. Rep. Adam Schiff, D-Pasadena, Thursday called on federal prosecutors to examine political corruption in Los Angeles County.
Schiff, himself a former federal prosecutor, said the U.S. Attorney's Office has a variety of tools to use against local governments engaging in fraud.
"A much more rigorous focus is obviously merited by events," Schiff said, pointing to statutes that target ripoffs of taxpayer dollars. "Some of these cases are difficult to prosecute (at the local level) and where the U.S. Attorney does very well is chasing it down."
No word from Los Angeles District Attorney Steve "Hero of Bell" Cooley's office on whether or not they have been particularly lax on these matters, therefore requiring the help of the U.S. Department of Justice. Though things certainly have gone south in this regard during Mr. Cooley's tenure.
I wonder, would deliberately misrepresenting the reasons for a water rate increase to a certain city's rate payers be seen as something requiring the attention of the Feds?
Jerry Brown takes an inappropriate vacation
The local ABC News affiliate in Sacramento, News 10 - KXTV, is reporting that newly elected California Governor Jerry Brown has antagonized many of his Latino supporters by taking a post-election week of R&R in a place where they believe he probably should not have gone.
After a long, hard-fought campaign, Governor-elect Jerry Brown said he would take a vacation before tackling the enormous job of fixing the state's problems. Brown said he would take a week off, Sunday to Sunday, then return to Sacramento.
The Sacramento Bee is reporting Brown took his vacation in Arizona, the state that passed a controversial immigration law seen by many, especially Latinos, as racist. In protest, numerous California communities voted to boycott Arizona until it rescinds the law.
Brown said throughout the campaign he opposes Arizona's law.
At a Mexican-American Veterans Day celebration near the Capitol Thursday, there were many Brown supporters. Some thought it was a slap in the face for the new governor to choose Arizona, since Latinos overwhelmingly supported Brown this election.
"Traditionally, the Hispanic voters have supported Jerry Brown and they certainly helped put him over the top this time," said Daved Pacheco, who voted for Brown. "It's offensive. I wouldn't go to Arizona now for anything."
No word if Governor Brown, a man celebrated by his supporters for his fiscal frugality, got a good rate in that tourism starved state.
Following up on the news from El Monte
We would certainly be remiss in our obligations to The Tattler's loyal readers in El Monte if we didn't cover this one.
You might recall that a while back we took considerable joy in covering the demise of something called the El Monte Transit Village. Also known as the Billion Dollar Bus Station, it had all the looks of a vastly expensive example of the kinds of "Transit Oriented Development" that is spoken of with such breathless regard by the likes of our Mayor, Joe Mosca. Apparently it his dream that we - not him - give up our cars and enjoy the subtle commuting ambiance of Metro buses.
Only there was a situation. It turns out that the project's then developer, Transit Village LLC/Titan Development, had a problem with its executive leadership. It appears that two of key figures there were being investigated for such unpleasant behavior as fraud, embezzlement and theft. A minor difficulty that caused the entire project to sink back into the primordial ooze from whence it came.
What made this notable for the Sierra Madre reader is that a former mayor of this town, Bart Doyle (a gentleman now celebrated for his role in the 2003 Water Bond mess), was an executive at Titan Development, and served in many ways as that project's spokesman. Mr. Doyle, a nagging voice here in the relentless movement to redevelop Sierra Madre into something chintzy, crass and overcrowded, was not among those fingered in the probe, however.
Things are never quite perfect in life.
However, it appears that this fabulous bus station and mixed-use condo array has once again risen from its ashes. And it is being done at some considerable expense to the taxpayers of El Monte, of course. A city not noted for its budgetary providence.
This from sgvtribune.com:
El Monte takes on $22M in debt to advance transit village - The City Council took a $22 million leap into debt Tuesday to advance a long-promised development project that could one day surround the El Monte Transit Center.
The council voted unanimously to allow El Monte to issue $21.8 million in bonds to fund the relocation of the city's public works yard from its current site by the transit center at santa Anita Avenue and Ramona Boulevard to a vacant property across Valley Boulevard.
The move will open up 5.5 acres near the bus station that city officials hope are destined for greater things: the El Monte Transit Village, lately dubbed the El Monte Gateway Project.
Damn nice of them to help out like that.
In what I am certain is only related in the most coincidental way, the new developer for the Billion Dollar Bus Station, Primestor Development, recently became a member of the San Gabriel Valley Economic Partnership. A place of considerable local importance in the redevelopment world, and where Sierra Madre's very own Bart Doyle has long served as a figure of some influence.
Happy Friday to you!