All Josh Moran managed to achieve was to consume 3 hours of the City Council's valuable time and get a lot of agenda items bumped to a later meeting. In the end staff was given instructions, and an ordinance will be returned for a final vote soon.
Josh Moran lost, and the people living up in The Canyon won a huge victory.
There was a post to yesterday's article that pretty much called it. This is what some wag commenting under the name of Harry Lillywhite had to say:
The Gang of 4 has always had its special interests and cronies. They are here to help their friends and patrons make money in real estate and development. It is at the heart of everything they do. The thing to watch for tonight is whether the three people named in today's article really have the political heft in town to make their case stick. My guess is the G4 (perhaps with the exception of the unctuous Mr. Moran) have much bigger fish to fry, and these three handymen will be tossed to the mob as a distraction.
It seems pretty clear that John and Joe know that in order to achieve their big development goals certain sacrifices to political propriety will need to be made. And those sacrifices at last night's meeting were named Glen, Greg and Tim. Obviously small potatoes in the eyes of the Mayor and Mayor Pro Tem.
Despite the fact that more than half the meeting had to be scrapped in order to accommodate Josh's verbal long march to nowhere, a couple of other things were actually accomplished. The CalPERS investment percentage was lowered from 7.9% down to 4.5%. This is, of course, the kind of government employee benefits package that threatens to bankrupt the state and many of its cities. And the 7.9% figure seems typical of the carefree financial speculation that has cost the taxpayers dearly already in this state.
Why government employees are afforded such special care when those who actually pay for it are left out on their own is one of the great California mysteries. More on this one tomorrow.
Some CEQA stuff was aired out, especially the effects of SB 97. Which apparently is yet another Sacramento scheme to save the world from global warming by modifying behaviors (ours, not theirs) that produce greenhouse gases. One way these savants hope to achieve their mission is by eliminating large amounts of parking spaces for cars. Something that they believe will get people to take buses and trains. Or walk.
Of course, when retailers discover that people will refuse to shop in areas that are not easily accessible by automobile that notion will come crashing down in flames, and rather quickly.
The real solution, affordable greenhouse gas free automotive technology, is about 10 years away. And when that happens all this so-called "Transit Oriented Design" nonsense will just dry up and blow away. Hopefully before any deleterious development effects are felt here in Sierra Madre.
Finally (it is a work night and I need at least a little sleep) Ed Vanderpool delivered what I think is the public comment of the month. A longtime resident and business owner, Ed is justifiably outraged by the recent 174% increase in business license fees here. He publicly stated that he will no longer pay for his, and urged other business owners to join in a boycott as well.
Ed's mantra? "We can't afford you people! You're spending too much money!"
Remember when Joe Mosca told us that City fees were not going to be increased? It looks like folks are starting to wake up to that one as well. And yes, City Hall really is quite an expensive proposition. Do you think we are getting our money's worth?