Saturday, February 5, 2011

Mayor Walks Are Back

Back in late 2007 when Enid Joffe was Mayor and first began to hear the political footsteps that presaged her later defeat at the polls, the notion of Walks with the Mayor became a part of our lives here in the Little Giant of the Foothills. Here is how she introduced the concept in her "Coffee With Joffe" column in whatever Susan Henderson's paper was being called back then:

In search of better ways to communicate, I plan to have lunch with the Mayor of Burbank, Marsha Ramos. Marsha has apparently implemented a lot of innovative ways of communicating with residents, including a Walk with the Mayor. So get out your hiking boots, who knows what crazy ideas I'll come back with!

Oftentimes Mayors who find themselves facing a political headwind feel they have become isolated atop their mighty perch and long for a way to "get down" with the residents and have a good heart to heart. And since most people find sitting and talking with a Mayor to be something not worth getting out of their kitchens for, the notion arose that walking with one might be better. As it turned out this didn't work very well for Ms. Joffe. But given all what was going on back then, even Hang Gliding with the Mayor wouldn't have helped.

Today we have another Mayor who is apparently aware that the political climate has chilled for him lately. The uncomfortable notion that his inability to be more forthcoming about the reasons for the water rate hike has become a drag on the ship of state has perhaps settled upon him, and Mayor Mosca now realizes that he needs to get out and mingle with the lokes. And like Mayor Joffe, Joe feels his side of the story just isn't getting heard.

An e-mail blasted press release went out from City Hall recently, and almost all the other news venues in town printed it verbatim. Which is pretty much what they do. However, one fine journalist did wax reflectively a bit upon what was served to him on that small platter. Here is how Terry Miller of the Beacon Media family of publications shared the news:

The walk with the Mayor will begin on Saturday, March 5, 2011. Each Walk with the Mayor will be held the first Saturday of every month in 2011. Please meet at Sierra Vista Park at 9:00 am for a stroll with Sierra Madre Mayor Joe Mosca for the March activity. There is no need to register for the activity, just show up with your walking shoes and plenty of questions for Mayor Mosca to answer!

Now my first observation is that if these Walks with the Mayor are to be held every month throughout the year of 2011, then the current Mayor will not be on very many of them. Two to be exact. My question being - has the next Mayor signed on for some vigorous hoofing with the people as well?

But if anyone here is going for the walk (and I will find any number of ways to be otherwise occupied), please ask the Mayor why he tried to sell the people of Sierra Madre a water rate increase based on the need for pipe repairs when it was actually bond debt that was driving the hike.

Seeing how this matter is going to a Court of Law, it will give him some much needed practice.

In Sierra Madre, when Mayors get into trouble, the rule seems to be that they just start walking.

Not all the messages sent my way are sunny

Much of the criticism this blog receives is sent here by way of reader comments. Unfortunately, many of my critics' posts employ the inappropriately salty language that is unfortunately so typical of their ilk, and can't be posted. But occasionally I do get some that can be used, and I let them through.

Yesterday I received the following note. And rather than just pass it through to comments I thought I'd save it for today's column. This is what someone calling him/herself "the rest of Sierra Madre" had to say:

Thank God I don't have to spend money to read this rubbish, are you proud to call this your blog Crawford?

There are five news venues in town, and none of them charge money to share their wisdom. So I think it is pretty safe to say that when it comes to news, Sierra Madre is a Free Rubbish Zone. Bring your shovel.

But am I proud of The Tattler? Indeed I am. We've come a long ways with this blog, and I think we have accomplished quite a bit. It is by far the most read news source in town, and I credit that to two things; the fact that we do not say the same dubious things the other 4 venues parrot in perfect harmony week after week, and the quality of our readers' comments.

This site has attracted what I believe are Sierra Madre's best and brightest. The passion they feel for this town, along with an incredible depth of knowledge coupled with the ability to communicate their thoughts clearly and at times with eloquence, is a gift. I have nothing but gratitude and appreciation for the people who are willing to share their opinions on my site. Even when I don't particularly agree with them.

A "silent majority" (if such a thing even exists, which I doubt) is just that, silent. There is no wisdom or virtue in having nothing to say. Ideals and beliefs are the product of hard work and reflection. Those things don't just happen, they take time and effort.

No matter what "the rest of Sierra Madre" might think.


  1. If the truth hurts, Mosca must be in perpetual agony.

  2. Why does "the rest of Sierra Madre" read this blog?

    I don't read Henderson's rubbish of a paper, I don't read Patchy, I don't read Coburn or the Weekly. I know if there is something I should know, Crawford or other posters will tell us on the Tattler.

    Again, "rest of Sierra Madre" Why do you read the Tattler?

  3. Rubbish. Isn't that a word Mosca uses a lot? Is Joe "the rest of Sierra Madre?"

  4. Two months and counting, 65 days to go.

  5. Wow, 8:08 am.....good call!
    It's either Joe or Matt? Yep, betcha.

  6. Can The Tattler post a "Joe Mosca Countdown?" We need to keep track of the days remaining in his term as Mayor.

  7. At least the next in line, John pro-tem, has enough athleticism to enter and finish the Mt. Wilson Trail race in the past.

  8. We need a countdown to when Mosca is no longer mayor

  9. Mosca's legacy will be loosing the bond lie in court

  10. Start at Sierra Vista park, walk past the new entrance to the building, gloat, gloat, don't mention that the second story of the YAC was built with money purloined from the Open Space acquisition funding that the conservancy worked so hard to get for the city and never, even wanted redirected to that underused-by-our-youth facility, point out the city yards where the water walk (walkie, walkie) was held--too bad it is not part of the day's outting, or is it? Well point through the fence. Maybe go up by the settling ponds and remind all that Huck Finn Day is coming soon. La, la, la, la.

  11. Joe has a duck butt. This will be more of a "waddle with wishy washy."

  12. Not so very impressedFebruary 5, 2011 at 8:39 AM

    I was in the YAC recently. It was heartbreaking the condition of those rooms. Piled high with unused, disused, broken, dirty equipment, program materials, and empty boxes. Furnished with what looked like castaways picked up from the curb by Athens. Staff's desk a sea of papers. What a waste of taxpayer dollars. And what do we use the YAC for? Other communities' children mostly. Once again, since it was built with taxpayer money the program is open to all comers and Sierra Madre residents foot the bill.

    We should make more of what a generous little community we are, doncha think?

  13. Will not be walking with Mayor Mosca this month or nextFebruary 5, 2011 at 8:52 AM

    Mayor Bill Bogaard of Pasadena is arguably the most popular mayor that City has had in many a moon. Running unopposed for re-election he is well know for his accessibility to the residents. The Mayor has regular walks in the Rosebowl Loop that are well attended, even looked forward to, by citizens seeking face time with him. Need a letter of support written? Bill's your guy. Looking for a lunchtime speaker? Count on Bogaard.

    Joe proudly speaks of Mayor Bogaard and his relationship as a fellow mayor. My guess is Mayor Mosca has looked around for activities to emulate and hit on walking with the mayor as a sure bet to be seen with his constituents and pack his power base.

    But you do bring up a good point about 2011 walks; maybe Joe is counting on being Mayor past the next cycle. Maybe he is planning a coup d'tat again his good friend John Buchanan.

  14. It reads to me like just another clumsily worded and conceived publicity release from a City Hall hoping to help a Mayor that is in serious trouble. And make no mistake about it, Joe is in serious trouble. Lying to rate payers about the cause of a water cost increase is pretty bad. That there are residents in Sierra Madre willing to drag him into Court because of it doesn't make his situation any better.

  15. 8:39 Did you know that on Fridays when the public middle school gets out at 1 pm for teacher meetings the City provides free activities in Kersting Court? Why you may ask? Becasue many of the wonderful PUSD unsupervised children who are bussed to school were causing vandalism, shop lifting, and loitering until their parents picked them up. Again our resources being used to take care of issues caused by outsiders. PUSD should be watching their own.

  16. The Medium Is the MessageFebruary 5, 2011 at 9:31 AM

    4-1-1 on H2O, the Walk with the Mayor, Meet and Greet, how many ways are there to say Lie and Cheat?

    Hey Joe, time to Walk with the Judge and get the 4-1-1 on 218. See you in court where you can Buzz with the Bailiff.

  17. Why isn't the City Council Meeting Agenda for Tuesday
    not up on the city website yet? Isn't there a deadline??

  18. Maryanne did not have a walk with the Mayor. She actually gets out and walks (fast I may add). She is accessible to the town on all of her walks. No phoney publicity or press release to say she is going for a walk. Just another way she is superior to the rest of the council. They can't keep up!!!

  19. Public School TeacherFebruary 5, 2011 at 9:36 AM

    To those who want to spend more money "on the schools," what exactly go you think gets accomplished at those "teacher meetings"? If you're thinking creative, innovative solutions to the failing schools, you're wrong. It's called wasting time.

  20. I'll bet the Tattlers can't wait to go on a walk with "the rest of Sierra Madre", oops, I mean Joe!
    What a pirate this Mosca is!
    He steals every other popular politicians lines, even tries to imitate their speech.
    Such an a-hole, this mayor(with a small M) joe mosca.

  21. "Rubbish" is an east coast word. Here we call garbage "garbage."

  22. @ "the rest of sierra madre"
    Why, as a matter of fact, yes. The Tattlers and the Mod are very proud of what takes place on these pages each and every day. This blog consists of a vibrant, dynamic community that engages with meaningful exchanges of ideas about a range of topics all driven by an overwhelming desire to preserve our high quality small town way of life. We don't always agree, but we do always participate on some level. The "silent majority" should do just that, stay silent. Feel free to stand back and watch while the rest of us do something about what's happening to Sierra Madre.
    I just don't understand, if the "rest of sierra madre" doesn't like what goes on here, why do they read it?
    Keep up the outstanding work Sir Eric! Thank you for doing what you do, and thanks to the Tattlers for caring enough to participate.

  23. I love how the different factions, people who value honesty and want to preserve the town, and the liars who have a variety of motives, both claim the "majority".
    Sad but true that the majority is too used to reaping the benefits of living here without participating in local politics.
    To me, one of the preservationists who values honesty, it's clear that the majority are in Sierra Madre because of the mostly peaceful, not crowded and otherwise friendly to human conditions.
    To those with other motivations, the majority is seen when they look into their own mirrors, or go about their social engagements.
    The majority here is too passive for anyone to claim.

  24. Ex campaigner for Mosca: Why did you lie to me about supporting the vote on the DSP, and then deny it?
    Mosca: Thank you!

  25. Crawford, no one will get far asking Joe why he was hustling the residents on the water-rate-hike-for-bonds.

    Don't you think he'll have to say that on the advice of counsel he can't discuss that?

    And 10:23 is right. An active majority of residents could have prevented those bonds in the first place.

  26. I also read this blog every day. Big thanks to John Crawford for keeping it going, and for telling the community what it really needs to hear.

  27. You think Joe will take the 5th?


  28. He'd better, 10:34.
    Somebody might show up walking their dog with a tape recorder on the dog's collar.
    There is no way Joe can answer 'plenty of questions' without cooking his own goose.

  29. Sam Watters in today's LA Times "Home Section" chroniclizes a lone standing Oak Tree in the middle of Orange Grove Ave, in Pasadena. Eventually it was felled to make room for McMansions and autos. He moves on to Eli Broad who will build his museum in DT LA as of now with no trees. He ends with a legacy left by our next door neighbor. "The following week, city workers took the arcadia out of Arcadia when they mulched 200 oaks and sycamores to make room for silt and rocks dredged from an aging reservoir. We can land a nuke on the head of a pin but we can't fix a big hole in the ground without stumping a forest?"

    It must be dishearting to our Caroline Brown who labors to save what remains of our hillside and our trees that have to fight off drought, disease, fire and their most potent enemy "government and developers"

    Thumbs down to Supervisor Antonovich who is definately not a "tree hugger" and a friend to the chain saw.

  30. no fan of our current narcissistic mayor moscaFebruary 5, 2011 at 11:37 AM

    Do people want "face time" with Bogard because he is popular or do they want to know how the city is going to withstand the EMPTY high-density buildings that are all over and have ruined Pasadena?
    Is that what Joe is trying to emulate?
    And where was he when he should have been at the CEHD SCAG meetings representing our interests? He has time for a walk but no time to represent the interests of the community in a forum that levels consequences?
    Anyone who can stand to attend one of these "walks", please ask these questions of mayor mosca! DEMAND an answer.

  31. Anyone wonder why joe has these walks scheduled for Sat. mornings?

    Oh, I know, Papa Crawford is at the Little League games with his sons. He won't be able to go question the "mayor".

  32. As he proved in both of his campaigns, the Mayor's best ability is walking.

  33. Perhaps that's why it's called Walk with the Mayor, and not Walk with Joe. John will continue the walks to make sure that everyone in Sierra Madre knows that he runs the Mt. Wilson Trail Race, and call it Fawn with John.

  34. Moseying with Mayor Mosca or Misleading, Malfeasance and Misappropriation either way you need a new button on your BS meter-- push MMM.

  35. better stay away from my doorFebruary 5, 2011 at 1:13 PM

    Mosca has been successful by walking the town, knocking on doors, giving folks the big sincerity pitch, loving the village, etc.
    It works for the guy.
    It might be the only thing that does.

  36. The county had a twenty year plan for sediment storage--the Station Fire blasted that down to five years. No where for it to go, folks. Can we get out of its way? Next target Hahamonga and La Tuna in folks back yards. Morris and Cogswell up in the middle of the forest--easier to deal with than 'open space' disappearing from the valley floor. A couple of other's too. It's gravity of all silly things.

    (pssst: the county may not have a permit for removing those trees nor a stream bed alternation permit from the California Department of Fish and Game!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!)

  37. Thanks again to all the petition signers from Sierra Madre. Also, the group that formed to try to save the Arcadia oak/sycamore/coastal sage forest from the "ax" man hired by the county (not Arcadia) is meeting regularly, starting a blog for information sharing and moving to the next last space in LA County.

    Sometimes the dragon wins but you don't put down your shield. When it melts off your arm pick up a new one.

  38. Ah the privileges of office - instead of Mr. Mosca going to residents, now residents have to come to him. And you're right 12:42. There will be one walk with Joe, and then it'll be Buchanan time. We better get that hidden camera together soon. No way will Buchanan babble out things like Joe will.

  39. I think someone could spell the Crawford poppa for a little face time with Joe so he could ask some probling questions. I know a couple of women that the kids spent time with during the election to free up poppa for the stump--you betcha they will do it again.

  40. If only it were the Ministry of Silly Walks sponsoring the Propaganda in Motion Saturdays

  41. Question 1.

    Joe, why did you and John Buchanan lie to us and create a fictious emergency with the intiial push for the rate hike?

    Question 2.

    Again, you avoided answering. Why did you and John B lie to the citizens of Sierra Madre?

    Question 3.

    Would you please quit dodging the question? No, that's not my question....

    Why do you and 3 of your Councilmembers believe that SCAG is right in it's analysis that our city should double it's population.

    Question 4.

    Why did you and John B lie to us.....

  42. This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.

  43. 1:13, I hope the lack of permit makes a big difference, but I'm afraid it will be a fine, and that will be waived because blahdeblahblah

  44. if Joe can't answer serious questions because of legal reasons, he won't have anything to say

    you know he'll have his boyfriend or a couple supporters with him to go on the offensive if Joe is asked questions about his lies and deception with the water hike for secret bonds ponzi scheme he and Buchanan were plotting

  45. Joe had better be careful on his walk.

    Last I heard from Joe was the water pipes in the city were exploding left and right and the city was in a state of dire emergency because of a catrostrophic collapse of our water system.

    Oh yeah, that was a lie.

    Never mind.

  46. The pipes certainly are calm lately. I'm sure when the bond sales draw near they'll start acting up again.

  47. If water pipes burst when they wanted a water rate increase, what will happen when the sewer bonds come up for discussion? Hold your nose and get out your hip boots!

  48. Wouldn't that be a Brown Act violation, 3:12?

  49. This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.

  50. 1:13 It all sounds so logical. The station fire became a big fire because: the Feds fund fighting big fire that calls for: hellicoptors, fixed wing aircraft, portable dormitories, mess halls, latrines, showers, headquarters, buldozers, lots of manpower & firetrucks and oh yes a great deal of OT. The LA Times pinpointed the transition of the small station fire into a big big station fire on a lack of simple communications to "call for hellicopters" which supposedly never happenedor at leasst didn't happen until the fire got out of hand so we are told.

    All of this resulted in the old Santa Anita Debris Basin to fill up with muck, and a loss of 250 oaks and sycamores and a pristine wildlife habitat.

    Go Figure, but it seems pretty clear what happened.

  51. City Council Agenda is up for Tuesday, February 8th.

  52. It looks like the City Atty intends to brief the Gang of 4 on their legal exposure for fibbing about the water rate hike. What did they think, Prop 218 was a joke?

  53. Sandy Levin briefing the GangO4? Didn't she get them in this mess in the first place? Exactly what is it that we get for the money we spend on legal advice anyway?

  54. Sandra says the Prop 218 process was conducted properly. Sandra is the one who conducted it. It's kind of like a hoop snake biting its tail.

  55. If the Gang of 4 thinks Sandi is going to save them, then
    they are living in a deep state of denial. I doubt her opinion
    of those folks is all that high. When it comes to Prop 218,
    she has far more important matters to worry about.

  56. 4:47 yesterday laid out the sequence of events linking the destruction of the Oak/Sycamore/Coastal Sage woodland to the Sation Fire that needs one small addition of information as a correction.

    Woodland site for disposal part of the county plan long before the Station Fire. Clean out and seismic repairs for debris retention was deferred for years. Station Fire upped the ante by 15 years. Old solutions will no longer work for the county and they should have shifted to plan B after the environmental community got the picture the county tried to slide past them three years ago.

    There were far better alternatives plus information on the benefit of woodlands: carbon sequetration, water retention, air pollution scrubbing, not to mention wildlife values that are unmeasurable. Means of removing and storing the never ending supply of post-fire, post-flood, continuous gravity-supplied "debris" needs long-term soluntion that the county will finally have to address.

  57. The reason why Joe has to stage these walks is because nobody wants to sit with him in Kersting Court. Outside a few of the social clubs this guy means nothing.

  58. Thanks 2:16 I left out of my scenareo a contributing factor that I cannot proove or validate but the buzz is:

    The Forrest Service tried repeatedly to fund and buldoze "fire breaks" up the San Gabrielas,but were denied the equipment to carry it out, reportedly because the "environmentalists" would not allow it. Voila the big station fire and we now see many buldozed fire breaks up the San Gabriels. Do you think there is a connection?

  59. Not watchin footballFebruary 6, 2011 at 5:49 PM

    The bottom line is he cannot talk the talk or walk the talk. He is going to dissapear into nowhere land.

    Give him not more than 3 years to move. Betcha.
    Josh, John too. Why would they stay where they know they are known as liars and only here to take the money and run when there is no more money.

  60. One thing Joe can do is give stink eye. He is a stink eye master for certain.

  61. 5:20 . . . it seems that firebreaks had been abandoned as a pre-treatment for fire for some time. They were put in as access in the time of a fire to be used to stage for a fire front. Environmentalists may have had some interest in this as the vegetation removed does affect habitat and erosion. Today the realization is that embers are blown miles ahead of a fire front and will jump firebreaks, most of which can’t be more than two or three dozer blades wide down a ridgeline. During the Station Fire vegetation was removed for a swath from Lake Ave in Pasadena nearly to Azusa Canyon behind the developed areas to make space for fire fighters to work in if the fire blew back from east to west. I would like to know why the effort to fund fire breaks that was not successful.


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