Tuesday, January 25, 2011

Is John Buchanan Running For A Third Term?

Agenda Man was fully prepared to start writing about this evening's City Council meeting. But then he took a look at the actual agenda, rolled his eyes, and flew off somewhere without even saying a word of goodbye. Just flat out fled. And having now seen it for myself I can't say that I blame him. It is mighty sparse, and about as exciting as a 6 PM freeway drive to Glendora.

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.



  1. How can all this bad stuff be happening in Sierra Madre?
    How come the city is run by criminals?

    Oh yeah, the voters re-elected Joe Mosca and elected Josh Moran and Nancy Walsh.

  2. If John Buchanan breaks the three term rule, then Joe will as well.

  3. corn flakes with my tattlerJanuary 25, 2011 at 6:58 AM

    i should think three terms as a councilman on a small town city council would just about seal mosca's political career and send it into obscurity. buchanan? different aspirations. he's a bi-monthly paycheck sort of politician. it's okay to be a joiner and be seen at events but the security of a good salary, benefits, health insurance and a retirement plan conspire to capture any higher political ambitions he may have entertained. besides buchanan's ramblings at the podium could never be captured in an evening news soundbite.

  4. I think that John and Joe are rewarded for their council work by the big utility companies they work for. Pushing a big development agenda is what is expected of them by their employers. That John has not been able to get his work done in 8 years could be a mark against him. Something that might also be driving his need for a third term.

  5. A mechanism exists to put a stop order on non-permited construction. If worked is deemed to be in excess of $200 is done, it needs to be permitted, including re-roofing. He knows that. Remember, the people who wanted a wine tasting business on Montecito. They were building retaining walls without a permit, and eventually they were caught and the city took them to court.
    What really matters is if the City has the will to enforce the laws. That is the question.

  6. John and Joe get paid by the utility companies to do very little real work. They are encouraged to advance the pro-development agenda.

  7. I guess John has grown accustomed to the leisurely lifestyle.

  8. The idea of 2 terms was pushed to prevent the very thing that is happening now. Yes, it is only an understanding, to sit out for four years before running again for a 3rd term.
    It was away to keep too much power from being given to one person.
    Maryann is a case in point. She stayed out of a 3rd consecutive term because of that understanding.
    I am really hoping to see Doyle running again so he can be savagely raked over the coals publicly for what he has done to this town for his personal profit.
    It will be fun to watch.

  9. Borrow and spend Bart. Enjoy your new tiered water bill, Sierra Madre!

  10. You're right 6:58, Buchanon's ramblings couldn't even be captured in a documentary; it would take a mini-series, no, a regular series, month after month, year after year, oh, that is what he has, God help us all.

  11. Oh No! Not another Timmy screwupJanuary 25, 2011 at 7:53 AM

    Dagnabit! That Timmy! This'll cause Chief Marilyn and the Building Department to collaborate to add another 15 Code Enforcement Officers with authority to peer into the Canyon's bathrooms checking on illegal jacuzzi spa rehabs. All for what? To add a third story two bedroom with a 3/4 bathroom to a garage that collapsed? Tim's building skills are notorious. After all Lambdin quit when he worked with Tim on 679 Brookside over undersized studs (no pun intended). The latest on 679? An improperly engineered retaining wall channeled water from a neighboring barn into the basement where the MEPs and HVAC were located flooding the it to the ceiling and adding more to the owner's woes. No no, Timmy! Impermeable parking pads not basements!

  12. We, the voters of Sierra Madre, passed a referedum some years back for term limits. You sit out one election cycle. In the case of the CC you might be back after two years not four. I will look in to the language of that referendum and see if two, not four, is correct.

    Since then, this has been the pattern and it has been applied to all the commissions. You serve the two terms, or a partial plus one if the partial is longer than .....?.... or the partial plus two full terms (if the partial is less than a year ?) and off you go for at least ONE year. They have never made a volunteer wait a full term before going forward with a reappointment

    In many cases, the volunteer pool has been so small and some volunteers so hardy that they apply for another commission and move over to volunteer some more without much waiting.

    There would have to be a public discussion, agenda man have at it if the time comes, for Councilman Buchanan to seek a third term. This would be at the end of his serving as our next mayor, a year during which we will see plenty to expose.

  13. Some talented party looking for material for a new TV comedy series should look no further that the "doings" at City Hall including the police,fire and code enforcement.You couldn't make up this stuff.No wonder Crawford's Blog has obtained such area wide readership.The " goings on"of so many inept,crazed nincompoops within a three square mile area in Los Angeles County is truly remarkable.

  14. People who call Sierra Madre 'Mayberry' are missing the point. For the most part it is really a whole lot more like Hooterville.


  15. Post EVG experienceJanuary 25, 2011 at 9:34 AM

    Interesting advice from MSM about how your bank tracks your credit card transactions:

    "What seems like innocent behavior to you can be highly suspicious to the bank's software. If, for example, you top off your car's gas tank and then head over to Target to stock up, you might trigger a red flag. That's because credit card thieves often try using a card at a gas pump to see if it's active. If it is, they may barrel over to a retailer to use the purloined account to buy electronics and other easily fenced items.

    Of course, thieves change their tactics all the time, and bankers constantly tweak their software, so it's hard to predict what could set off a fraud alert. To keep disruptions to a minimum, give your bank plenty of ways to contact you. Make sure it has your current cell number and consider signing up for e-mail or text alerts that can let you know when a problem occurs. Call your bank when you plan to be out of the country and consider giving it a heads-up when you're off to buy electronics of high value, such as a new television or computer system."

  16. Sierra Madre is a nice Mayberry town on the surface, and some of the niceness stays true, but there are other aspects as well. Anyone who's been involved in politics here for that last two decades knows that there has been a lot of intense fighting and downright meanness, mostly caused by the pro-development forces. It's not unique to this town, but without all that greed, we'd sure be better off.

  17. I have told many people that there is no three term rule. All one needs to do is read the Municipal Code. People need to read the law.

    Get it put on the next ballot if you want to keep Joe off the CC in the future.

  18. This is from the City of Sierra Madre's official site:

    "A five-member City Council governs the City. Municipal elections are held every two years. Two or three council seats are elected every two years. Each member serves a four-year term. Although the City has not adopted term limits, traditionally, Council Members serve no more than two four-year terms."

    If you have specifics on the referendum was passed/adopted this would be a good time to post them.

  19. Buchanan cannot and must not serve again. How much pomposity is one town able to bear?
    It would be cruel and unusual punishment.

  20. jeez, that's all we need is another 4 years of Buchanan lying to us like he did with the water rate hike and him hiding the fact that he was railroading the city with a 7 million dollar library

    Dasterdly Bart Doyle. Maybe he'll take the Mosca approach and borrow a dog for a photo op for a campaign photo.

    With the SMART campaign, it should be pointed out and it is factual that Buchanan lied about the reasoning for the water increase and the misinformation he spread, to help seal his fate among the community so everyone's first impression of Buchanan is that he lied to us and lied and lied until he got caught and let's point out that he works for a utility company and his record has been that to protect his employer's interests.

    In the same SMART campaign, it should be pointed out who specifically were the ring leaders in 2003 that got us into this mess, mainly Bart Doyle, Doug Hayes and Glenn Lambdin.

    It's about time they were exposed for what a cluster mess they created.

    Councilman Buchanan, why did you lie.....

  21. Buchanan has got to be looking at his weak bench
    and wondering if he has any choice but to run again.
    Stack those 3 up against MaryAnn and Kurt and it
    would be hilarious.

  22. Buchanan doesn't care about the traditions of Sierra Madre and neither does Mosca.

    Both moved into town and immediately started plotting a course and voluntering in profile organizations for a image to run for Council.

    Mosca didn't wait more than a couple weeks before he decided that Sierra Madre was so wrong that he needed to change it.

    The bottom line is that both Mosca and Buchanan lied to us and they both had staff spew misinformation and misdirection meanwhile they were both plotting special interest projects regardless of the traditions and desires of the community.

    Buchanan Lied.
    Mosca Lied.
    Moran Lied.
    Walsh Lied.

    Bart Doyle is the backbone to the Buchanan Mosca platform of building out Sierra Madre and we don't need a lobbyist for developers and builders on the Council. It's bad enough that we have two pawns for utility companies and a mortage salesman pushing the agenda to maximize development within our city limits.

    Mary Ann spoke the truth and listened to the people.

  23. Buchanan has to run or Nancy Walsh won't have a clue what to say, vote or think.

    And he has to keep a leash on Josh Moran's rants and attacks.

  24. Nancy Walsh was badly misled and mistreated.
    She is obviously uncomfortable and confused with the council business, and it's hard to watch her.
    Shame on the people who pulled her into the struggle for their own gain and her loss.

  25. if Buchanan doesn't run, anybody he endorses doesn't get my vote

    same for Mosca's, Moran's, Walsh's endorsements.

    I'll automatically assume anybody they endorse has the same gutter ethics and disregard for the people as the Gang of 4.

    Buchanan's endorsement will ring of "Vote for ..... He/She will lie to you just like I did"

  26. If John runs for a 3rd time it would be to keep Josh and Nancy out of leadership positions. That can't rest well with them.

  27. yes Chris, even so she has been abrasive and argumentative without having a clue about the discussions.

    She hasn't come prepared once for Council meetings and so far, I haven't heard her utter a single concise and well thought out position.

    You'd think if she thought she was misled and mistreated she'd take being a Councilmember seriously and start doing her homework.

    She was selected to run for Council because Buchanan and Mosca knew she could be controlled and would not contridict them.

    Shame on her for being a pawn.

  28. Huh huh huh huh, clean up Doyle? Not possible.
    He is down and dirty and anyone deluded enough to try is down and dirty too. For all their help Leung, Doyle, through Titan, have set back any Asian-American relations 25 years. Nobody ethical will talk to them or let me say there are quite a few cities that won't.

    So glad Chiang is come callin to Pasadena. So glad the redevelopment "Tax increment" agency scam will be stopped.

    I was told code officers are actual policemen, they can carry guns and shoot you, or arrest you. The need a warrant to come on your property if you do not let them on willingly.

  29. On second thought, it would be sort of funny to see and hear Nancy Walsh as Mayor. Tradition dictates that she have her term and we all know that newbie resident Mosca is a stickler for tradtions of Sierra Madre...

    Josh and Nancy don't care - Josh is on the Council for inside scoop for peddling mortages and as he stated in a public forum, so he could appoint his friends and associates to city committees.

    Nancy was promised that she'd get ample time off to attend old foggie dance contests and she'd be the official city liason to the National Square Dance Association.

  30. You're once
    Three times a councilman ..

  31. John has to run to keep busy, there is certainly nothing pressing for him do at SoCal Edison.

    The guy shows up for everything regardless of the time.

    And he can't stop until he gets a new library in Sierra Madre so he can have the bathrooms named after him.

    It's all in the legacy.

    And given the last few months, his legacy has been cemented as a liar with murky ethics.

    SoCal Edison must be proud to know that one of it's valued employees is known as a liar in his community.

  32. My take on it is there has to be a vote of the people to run for a 3rd term. If it is proposed, we must flood the council to prevent this from ever seeing the light of day.

  33. SUPPORT THE CANYON ZONE ORDINANCE-AS IS!!!!!!January 25, 2011 at 11:46 AM

    It will be curious to see if we get any action on the property at 41 Vista Circle Dr.
    Tim Hayden, better known as the canyon SNITCH, is breaking the law. Hayden who has turned more neighbors in for BOGUS violations is now trying to use his connections with Mosca and Moran to get away with this?

  34. Lisa Volpe has been protecting her pal, Tim Hayden for years.
    How do you think he gets away with this crap?

  35. I wonder if Hayden was washing down his driveway would Volpe pull her gun out and arrest him?

    Or, the PD could send the former dispatcher promoted to a gun toting ticket writing machine to enforce the ordinances.

  36. can we get the factsJanuary 25, 2011 at 1:13 PM

    Searching on the city web site for term limit referendum, all that comes up are 3 documents about the Stonehouse settlement.

  37. From a L.A. Times article April 5, 1992 "Mayor Roy Buchanan cannot run again because of a two-term limit approved by the voters 2 years ago." That might give someone a clue about where to find the actual wording. I didn't find anything that would indicate that it's been changed.

    An interesting article that I found, was that a termed out council member from Long Beach did a write in campaign, and won!

  38. If Buchanan is seriously thinking about running again, there will no doubt be months of foot work put into the effort, long range smear campaigns started, special attention paid to voting blocks, and the same door to door schmooze that worked for young Mosca.

  39. Chapter 2.04 of the Sierra Madre Municipal Code covers the city council. And there's nothing about limits.

  40. There are no term limits in Sierra Madre. There is a tradition of serving only two terms in this town, but why would that stop John? He doesn't give a damn for Sierra Madre.

  41. Buchanan sells many, many people on the idea that he loves the village.

    As insufferable as we who watch city council meetings find him, there's a much more cheerful and avuncular personality that comes out when it's persuasion time.

    He really is a politician.

  42. Joe and John can be most pleasant. But there is nothing behind it.

  43. shucks, I was sort of hoping the Buchanan would realize that most of us believe him to be a liar and would move away

    no such luck

  44. If there are no term limits in Sierra Madre for City Council why are there term limits for volunteer commissioners?

  45. Council Members are ELECTED officials; Commissioners are APPOINTED members of the commission. Not all is equal in life.

  46. Yes, some comrades are more equal than others.

  47. My guess would be that Mr. Hayden was trying to get a little something something done before the canyon code was put in place. And I bet there's more shenanigans like that going on that nobody's seen.
    It seems like Mr. Hayden breaks rules and then goes to the council and gives them big friendly smiles.

  48. True about the rush to do things before new regulations take place, and the new gov might be siccing Chiang on the cities CRAs for much the same reason - if he doesn't, that money will be gone in a poof of municipal magic.
    In Sierra Madre, why would we mess with that nice old church and ignore that empty lot on the Blvd. a block or so east of Baldwin? Why didn't we offer that empty lot for 'potential' housing, instead of the Highland property?

  49. Sierra Madre News, April 12, 1990, reports the results of the April 10, 1990 City Council election and the results of the measure to limit terms:

    Election results for two only successive terms:

    No: 242

    YES: 1579

    "The (consecutive) two-term maximum issue was passed overwelmingly by the voters. Bartoli, who introduced the measure, told The News he was 'very pleased to see it pass.' "

  50. I believe that parcel is private property, we could probably acquire it through eminent domain.

  51. O.K. 5:49. If it was a resolution, then why wasn't the municipal code amended to reflect the new ordinance?

    Was it an advisory resolution like what Joe proposed with the DSP?

    Do you have a copy of the Sierra Madre News from April 12, 1990?

    If so, can you post the entire article?

    Clem, can you shed some light on this issue?

  52. 5:49.

    It was a non-binding resolution. Joe Mosca would love it.

  53. It is embarrassing to think a LIBRARY would be named after John Buchanan.

    I frequent the library and have NEVER seen him there. I doubt if he has ever read the classics much less knows any great literature. He is not scholarly and cannot speak a complete complex sentence. He is tea party material who like Joe, Josh and Nancy represents people who resent anyone who can think, read, speak with high level educated intelligence. They are a shame to all Americans Democrat and Republican.

    I shiver thinking they are supposed to represent this lovely town. Agggggah.

  54. As we all know, the rule isn't a Rule, it's not binding, it's a guideline or recommendation. If you're governed by a messiah complex, then possibly you might be tempted to ignore somebody else's guidelines. Imagine him saying, but they didn't know about Me! when they wrote that guideline.


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