Wednesday, February 9, 2011

The Canyon 1, Josh Moran 0

It was astonishing just how much time this one obstructionist City Councilmember could consume. Why Josh Moran felt he had to spend the better part of the evening lobbing bombs at the Canyon Zone Advisory Committee remains a mystery. And apparently it was all for no purpose. He chuckled like a chipmunk, mugged and shrugged, rolled his eyes and sighed, did all the stuff someone trying to sell so obvious lemon might do. But when all was said and done nothing he attempted got done.

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?


  1. I loved the fact that most of the council were willing to work together to get a canyon zone passed. Most of them were willing to listen to MaryAnn and each other to make some compromise. It tickled me that John Buchanan got lost in his own thoughts so that even he didn't understand what he was saying.
    Josh tried, but couldn't make sense out of disputing the issues at hand.

    Kudos to Leslee Hinton who read Dave Hinton's take on the medical pension fund benefits to make it understandable. Thanks too, to Chris Koerber for his enlightment.
    In all, even though it was after midnight that the council was adjourned, it was a good even. Thanks to all who came out to speak.

  2. Josh Moran is a REALTOR,and a SLEAZY ONE AT THAT, his purpose of lying to the canyon people to get elected was very obvious last night. He wasted hours of everyone's time.

    Nancy Walsh, I underestimated you. Thanks for not buying into the Josh Moran filabuster.

    Derek Bushe.....Crawford will delete my comment for you. You are another SLEAZY developer, you wasted a half hour of our time telling us about Grandview. Why are you so interested in stopping the canyon zoning law? Again, I would love to tell you what I really think of you, but Crawford will delete it.

    Thank you Canyon Zone Committee and City Staff and Planning Commission for all your hard work to finally get us a Canyon Zone.

    Fay Angus, you're the best!

  3. The only thing missing from Josh last night was a plaid suit and a tray of magic elixirs to sell.

  4. Barbara Leigh, your comments/questions always are great. Thanks.

  5. Raised on a diet of exploding cigarsFebruary 9, 2011 at 7:42 AM

    It's not hard to figure... the behavior of Moran. All you have to do is think back to his appearance at the first Canyon Outreach Meeting held at the Rec Center wherein he stood up on his hind legs and said "we don't need this committee, everything is fine in the Canyon. The R-1 zoning is just okay so why don't you people away." The usual sycophants in the audience gave him a round of applause and a couple of months later got him elected to the City Council. I think it's high time he be recused or recuse himself on grounds of extreme prejudice to the normal rational functioning of Sierra Madre government. He's proved himself petty, childish, and unfit to lead.

  6. I think last night's victory was great.
    I'm glad Moran got a chance to speak, showing his true agenda, and nature. The more he talked the worse he looked.
    Thanks Josh !!

  7. I couldn't agree with your more, Raised on a diet of exploding cigars at 7:42 am.

    This "man" Moran is a disgrace to Sierra Madre.

  8. To all of you who watched from the comfort of home, the Council Chambers were well filled with folks waiting their turn to address last night's lengthy Agenda. When it became apparent that their item could be pushed to a subsequent meeting, almost to a person they became supporters of the Canyon Zone Ordinance. Not all, but surprisingly many, new and unexpected residents took to the podium to voice their support.

    A well prepared Nancy Walsh came out of nowhere to speak with logic and well reasoned points to advance the Canyon Zone Ordinance.

    It's not over but it's very possibly in the homestretch.

    Thank you one and all!

  9. The Canyon Zone group got 4 out of the 5 Councilmembers. The three hammer jockeys got Josh.

    Insult to injury.

  10. Did anyone else notice the subdued tone and aspect of Elaine Aguilar and Sandy Levin? I'm only speculating but I would be willing to bet the closed session that preceded the regular meeting was brutal. So much so that the CM's performance review was postponed. Closed session was apparently a somber discussion of former Mayor and Councilman Kurt Zimmerman's letter to Elaine.

    Why is it anathema to the Council to vacate the water rate increase and start over with new notices and a serious consideration of MaryAnn's proposal? What are we missing here?

  11. Nancy was absolutely beaming when she talked about the renovation of Hart House. Animated, funny, and on pointe.

  12. PARKING! If you live in the canyon you have an instant reaction to what that word evokes. Not enough of it. To put a dedication on any new construction that two on-site parking spaces will be there in perpetuity will relieve at least this one new housing site and its neighbors the bane of existance in the canyon--NOT ENOUGH PARKING! To quote one of our old timers, Dorthy Hobiak, now gone a few years and very much missed: "You can take my husband but you can't take my parking!"

  13. Maybe the folks in the Canyon should listen to CEQA and SB97
    and just walk? Good exercise, and no parking problems!

  14. Nancy did not have a lot to say so she kept appropriately mum until she did and she was just fine;
    MaryAnn astute and clear about her analysis, listens and responds and evaluates with a depth of understanding;
    Joe, move the meeting along and worked to stay focused but he dosen't know what he dosen't know, which is quite a bit-example: lack of knowledge current financial interest rates;
    John better than I expected from what I had heard but muddled around engaging in circular logic;
    Josh he had much to say, claiming to know a lot about Sierra Madre Canyon but long-time canyon residents are still scratching their heads--Which canyon was he talking about?

  15. Josh is a canyon carpetbagger.

  16. Public transportation is a big problem for Southern Californians. I was at an Eaton Canyon meeting for the Sierra Club last month and two women who had gotten there earlier in the afternoon, when the busses were running conveniently up from the Gold Line, needed a ride back as the meeting ended at 9 p.m. I have been to many meetings where I would have liked to have taken public transit but I did not have the extra two hours to spend on the transfers and waiting and just drove.

  17. long time residentFebruary 9, 2011 at 8:28 AM

    Ed Vanderpool should be the Sierra Madre Citizen of the Year.
    He is a true representative of this town.
    Thank you Ed.

  18. Did Tim Hayden say something last night that had any bearing on anything?

  19. I noticed a very pleased MaryAnn MacGillivray.
    MaryAnn has a large constituency of supporters in this town, many of them showed up at the council meeting last night and spoke.

  20. To me it looked like Mr. Moran had one goal: "Let people build whatever they want" and he had to torture his words and arguments around that one point. It was actually tough to follow him, because it almost seems like he is speaking in an orderly progression of ideas, but he's not. It's a mosh pit around "Let them build what they want"

  21. Let me see--a person buys a piece of property in the canyon and it has a wash adjacent to it or through it and it is not obvious that it somehow limits how you get to use that piece of property? Or how it was limited in the past when you look at the house, parking structure, bridge, etc. that was built there? And somehow that is the work of the 2009 canyon zone committee or the 1972 specific plan or the 2003 canyon zone committee, the canyon residents in 1926 or the city?

  22. The finances were a hard item for the mayor.
    He's got such a big ego, it would never occur to him to ask someone before the meeting to give him a little intro to econ.
    He was obviously trying to keep up, wasn't succeeding, and trying to project eager youthfulness frisking about in ignorance.
    One talk with an astute counselor could have helped Mr. Mayor. A number of knowledgeable residents got up and explained the matter. Maybe next time, seek them out as preparation.

  23. Ed Vanderpool was the only speaker not followed by Joe's chirpy Thank you!And on the subject of Joe's twitches, it'll be refreshing when his laborious practice of calling the votes, reporting them, and then saying "and I vote....,so" is over.
    61 days, 4 or 5 meetings.....

  24. 8:21, clear observations, but I do disagree on one point. Mayor Mosca only now and then moves meetings along. He's usually prompted by Buchanan or MacGillivrey suggesting public comment, or a motion, or whatever is appropriate to get out of the muddle.

  25. Josh is a realtor, he is a sycophant for the CAR and the BIA. He is also a very disturbed little creep.
    Joe and John are low echelon "attorneys" for energy companies. They lobby for their employers and their friends like Bart Doyle and the dirts. They do not, nor have they ever had the best interests of Sierra Madre as a priority.
    Nancy Walsh is misguided, but hopefully she will see the truth.

    MaryAnn MacGillivray is the voice of the people of Sierra Madre. A very wise voice.

  26. Josh Moran will be mayor one day, right?
    Sure hope he learns about his responsibilities before then.

  27. Ed Vanderpool!

    You're the KING! The KING!
    Sure would like to see you on the City Council?????

  28. It appears Josh Moran will be Mayor Pro Tem in 61 days... traditionally. God help us!

  29. Josh is why John Buchanan will run for a 3rd term. He doesn't believe
    It would be right to leave business in the hands of the Banty Rooster.

  30. I would rather see Nancy Walsh the mayor than Moran.
    We would have to recall him.

  31. Lambdin now joins a long list of wiser fools who thought Joe
    Mosca was his friend.

  32. Moran is yet another example of Buchanan's decision
    making power at work. He's the human equivalent of
    One Carter.

  33. They listened to MaryAnn because she is logical and knows what she is talking about. She does her homework and it shows. John cannot run next election but I'm sure they will find someone to take his place with the same philosophy. Thank you all for showing up and speaking at the meeting last night. It was a joy to see different faces. It proves that there are more than 4 or 5 that are interested in what is going on in Sierra Madre.

  34. Light on the horizonFebruary 9, 2011 at 10:11 AM

    Don't despair! If Zimmerman et al prevails, perhaps the GangO4 will slink away with their tails between their hind legs.

  35. OMG Moran as mayor pro-tem!! Nancy did a fine job as chair of the Senior Commission. She would be the best choice. Let's hope.

  36. Joe Mosca, John Buchanan, Nancy Walsh and MaryAnn, please, please do not allow this Moran creature to be Mayor Pro-tem or Mayor.
    In the name of common decency, please.

  37. The mixed messages for businesses in town are crazy making. If I had a business here I'd be with Ed.
    On the one hand, the city councils claim to want to support businesses, make them economically sound, shop!eat!live! Sierra Madre blahblahblah
    And then they raise the license fees on exactly the types of businesses that could do OK here, the small ones.
    And they want to subsidize a farmer's market, to out of town business people, and not patronize the produce section of Taylor's.
    Is it incompetence or just out and out hypocrisy?

  38. Nancy is a good listener. Josh hears nobody but himself.

  39. Moran talks over, around, under, beside, between and next to a point, but never makes the point. Do ya think maybe he forgets where he's going midstride?

  40. The G4 wants to bring chain retail in. They don't want any mom and pops in their mixed use palaces.

  41. Hate to burst anybody's bubble, but there's a genuine limitation to business success in a town of around 11,000 people that is just far enough away from main transportation routes. It's a fool's dream that Sierra Madre can support chain retail.

  42. Sierra Madre works best as it is now. People who want to change it do so because they think they can make money. What happens after that doesn't concern them quite as much.

  43. I agree with 1:46 that the signs of mutual attention and respect were most welcome from our council.
    Compromise is always tough, but necessary when good work is being done.
    MacGillvray is clearly a source of intelligent leadership.

  44. No more massive development in Sierra Madre!February 9, 2011 at 1:28 PM

    What has been the population year by year of Sierra Madre over the past 20 years?
    I doubt we can support many more residents.
    That's just the way it is.
    If they put more people in town, our business will go broke because of the parking mess.
    Also, out of towners who come here won't want to anymore, because it's the small town ambiance they come here for. Many people have told me that over the years.
    I recall when we were fighting for Measure V.
    People from out of town pleaded with me, "please fight to save Sierra Madre's small town ambiance".
    Many people told me that if they build up Sierra Madre it would be very sad indeed.
    Thankfully, the residents voted it in and saved our downtown and our property values.
    We would be in far worse shape here had that DSP gone through.
    Remember everyone, John, Joe, and Josh all were on the developer funded No on V. They lost.
    MaryAnn was for Yes on V. She had our sign in her yard. All the rest had No on V.
    Nancy signed our petitions to put Measure V on the ballot, then claimed she made an error.
    I hope you reconsider Nancy, and are sharp enough to realize now, "hey, it was the right thing to do". For God sake, MacGillivray was for Yes on V, and she wasn't even involved with politics at all, at that time. MaryAnn told me at the time, the DSP was very wrong. She was right of course, as usual.
    How could anyone think Josh Moran or Joe Mosca knew more than MaryAnn about Sierra Madre?

  45. This was MaryAnn's victory. Credit where credit is due. And if you want a second place winner? Danny Castro. Again, credit where credit is due. Danny is completely on top of his game and just as rational.

  46. Helen at 1:15

    I have an idea. Let's get a measure on the ballot to make MaryAnn MacGillivray the mayor, for ever!
    Every 2 years we elect 4 councilmembers, but MacGillivray is always the Mayor!


  47. We have to live together in this small space, slow growth folks and pro development folks. The problem is that the development folks think it's fine and dandy to mess with shared space. As long as someone pays for their property and abides by the laws of the land, I have no quarrel with them, though I might find some of the monuments to conspicuous consumption revolting, that's a taste thing. Legally I have no quarrel with them. But when they start impacting shared space - roads, public safety, water supplies, parking, views, downtown, then they have to be confronted and made to stop.

  48. My eyes still burn from last night's long haug in the CC chambers and it is not from lack of sleep--have managed on less from time to time. Also, noticed that the CC members were drinking lots of water during the meeting. Is there something out of wack with the air conditioning system for the chambers? Another audience member said his throat was dry, too.

  49. City staff and council were in there for seven hours, 7 hours. My hat's off to them for not needing transfusions let alone being thirsty. And the chambers are always a tense and uncomfortable place to be.

  50. The Council Chambers were warm, but there were a lot of people in there. The air would kick in once in awhle with a loud roar. Usually it is very cold in there.

  51. General Plan Update Steering Committee
    City Hall Council Chambers on Sunday, February 13th from 1:00 pm until 5:00 pm.

  52. Kurt Zimmerman has never lost a case!

    That's got to make certain people very nervous.


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