But that said, there are plenty of other fine topics to talk about. Some rumor, and some just guesses. After all, this is a blog, and we get to talk about things like that. You want stories about fluffy kitties, ice cream socials and prestigious awards ceremonies honoring exalted people that you've never heard of before? Then you have obviously come to the wrong place.
But that's OK. Oftentimes magical things can happen for people who meet merely by chance.
Is John Buchanan running for a Third Term?
Rumors are flying around town about the possibility that John Buchanan might be positioning himself for yet another run at the City Council. Many here are of the mistaken belief that such a thing can't happen, and there is an ordinance somewhere preventing so crass an attempt at becoming de facto Councilman for life. But there is no such law I'm afraid, it is only a custom that every Sierra Madre Councilmember to date has had the decency to honor.
But for John Buchanan the stakes are high. The prospect of having to turn a rapidly maturing development process completely over to Joe Mosca, Josh Moran and Nancy Walsh is not a happy one for the power players that John is aligned with. The thought of all that hard work and planning falling into the hands of a lounge emcee, sideshow circus barker and a cha cha dancer has left them feeling concerned. You just can't take those kinds of risks when you have big money bonds, water mains, street paving, sewers and a big old DSP to bring home.
And after all, there are those investors to think about as well. Some of whom have been sitting on the same downtown property for close to 10 years now. They can only be expected to have so much patience.
There is a second part to this rumor, and that one involves none other than Bart Doyle. The word is they've been trying to clean the fellow up a bit and allow him the opportunity to take another shot at the glories of City Hall's televised rubber room.
The evidence is there, and it is intriguing. Why did the G4 attempt to hide Bart's 2003 bond debt when they asked for this year's water rate hike? You know, the $10 or so million dollar boondoggle that was used to build water tanks and other new infrastructure designed to supply the DSP with plenty of delicious Sierra Madre Mountain Spring Water? Only to have this pristine water apparatus sit barely used because the purpose it was designed for was staked in through heart by Measure V?
And wait, there's more!
In last week's Looney Views News there was an article that actually attributed water bond debt as the genesis of the water rate hike. It was a bit of a breakthrough for this city's adjudicated throwaway because until now it had been pimping the fully discredited line that this was all about fixing old pipes. But in this edition the LVN's publisher falsely claimed that ALL of our bond debt was from the 1990s. Why? Because the 2003 water bond debt, which remains the lion's share of the damage, came to be during the year when Bart Doyle was Mayor.
Yes, it does appear that they are trying to clean Bart up. Because let's face it, John and Bart are the only two dirts left with the intellect and drive to push through the big time development that has been their reason d'etre for over a decade. And the guess is they'd sooner run over their dogs than turn the dream over to such weak links as Joe, Josh and Nancy.
Pasadena is now in Jerry Brown's Redevelopment Lab for Testing
This big news in the latest edition of the Pasadena Star News is that the City of Pasadena has been singled out for some very special treatment by Jerry Brown's very own State Controller, John Chiang.
Apparently what is going down here is that Governor Brown, faced with a League of California Cities (along with other equally weaselly organizations) that is besides itself with woe over his plan to pull the plug on 450 or so Redevelopment Agencies and save a few billion dollars, has come up with a pretty good plan. He has identified 18 cities all across the Golden State to undergo CRA audits. My guess is that the purpose of these audits is to prove to these whiners that vast sums of money under the control of local redevelopment agencies is being wasted on utterly stupid things. Which, of course, it is.
Obviously Jerry knows all about using power. Here is how the PSN breaks it down for us:
State Controller John Chiang picked Pasadena Community Development Commission as one of 18 redevelopment agencies that will be audited this spring ... Redevelopment agencies have come under fire since the election of Gov. Jerry Brown, who said he plans to eliminate the tax scheme. The audit will look at whether the redevelopment agencies are fixing blight, funding schools and providing low-to moderate income- housing, or have become a vehicle for politicians to line their own pockets and the pockets of their political allies.
So here's my question. What would we have to do to convince State Controller John Chiang to audit Sierra Madre's CRA?
Build whatever you like in Sierra Madre. No one will stop you.
Yesterday a rumor swept these bloggish precincts that a certain unscrupulous Canyon developer had built a new second story on a house, and did so over the weekend without a permit in sight. Which, since there is a building moratorium in the Canyon, wouldn't have been available to Bob the Builder had he even tried to get one. And that the Building Department, informed about this crude act of defiance, even sent their fine agents up the hill to red tag the rogue structure.
Sounds good, right? Especially when this Bob the Builder fellow is one of the Fab 5 Canyon Wreckers who has been speaking smack at recent City Council meetings about his supposed victimization at the hands of the Canyon Zone Committee?
Of course, that is not how the rest of the rumor goes. These building inspectors apparently have very limited powers when it comes to enforcing planning laws. They lack the snooping powers of the SMPD and therefore cannot enter an offending property unless the unlawful development is clearly visible to them from the street. Which can mean they cannot go onto that property to examine these unfortunate happenings at all.
So how do you make sure that an unlawful construction project is kept from the view of our intrepid inspectors? You hang a big old tarp in front of the place and tell them you were doing some roof repairs. The inspectors then cannot see the project, and since they are forbidden from going on the property and pulling aside the tarp to see if you're telling the truth, have no further right to investigate. They then go back to City Hall to write reports nobody will care to read.
Maybe I should get a big tarp and put something interesting on top of my house? It would certainly improve my beautiful nighttime views into the sparkling San Gabriel Valley.
Maybe you should, too. Properly disguised nobody would apparently be able to do anything about it.