Whether he willingly goes back to being a regular old City Council member, or demands to become Mayor Pro Tem once again, remains to be seen. That this would be a break with the whole succession tradition thing he flogged so hard when he wanted to be Mayor previously is obvious. But I don't see that stopping the ambitious Mr. Mosca should he determine that just being a Councilman no longer suits him. And look at it this way, should he step down and then abide by tradition, Joe will have finished his only turn as Mayor in his 8 years on the Council. Which, coupled with a paucity of sustainable accomplishment during his one term, won't look so good on his resume.
This also means John Buchanan will soon become Mayor for the last time. Unless, of course, he too breaks with all Sierra Madre tradition and runs for a third term. Which, given the low caliber replacements he would be leaving behind, must nag at his conscience at least a little bit. Look at it this way, would you want to live out the rest of your days knowing that you left almost 11,000 people in such a lurch?
But so much for The Restoration and its consequences. We do have to deal with the issues facing the City Council this evening. From the Consent Calendar $535,000 will be spent on many fine things. City Warrants, the Library, employee salaries and, of course, the Community Redevelopment Agency will get its inevitable cut as well. Hopefully for one of the last times ever.
Also on the Consent Calendar is what will hopefully be a final vote - and approval - for the Canyon Zone Ordinance. I cannot think of any possible way that the Angry Handymen can stop this one from being approved. Their moment of opportunity has passed, and despite the energetic arguments put forth by these hardy gentlemen of sweat and toil, history has now moved on and left them in its dusty wake. City Staff has requested that the Council wrap this one up and move on. But you just never know. Stranger things have happened in Sierra Madre.
The Sierra Madre Room is completed, and the City Council has been asked to say it is so. They should all be able to handle the task. The world's most complicated utility pole raising will also be considered once again. Apparently it is going to take a little longer to put it into the ground than it did to grow it. And then a Congregational Church request for a fee waiver is going to be shot down. Or so City Staff recommends. Which means the Downtown Specific Church is on a bit of losing streak this week. Should we all be worried about lightning?
Item #2 is some lobbyist driven Southern California Edison initiative designed to promote the money making propositions that they want us all to fall for. Entitled the "Long-Term Energy Efficiency Strategic Plan," this is where they hope to force us to pay out the nose to make our town and homes energy efficient and green. All done with the selfless assistance of City Hall. This is a kind of first pass on this stuff, but you know it will be back. With an Edison employee about to become Mayor, you have to figure that they got this thing (pardon the pun) wired.
Item #3 is where Fiscal Year 2011-2013 budget priorities will be identified and discussed. The is all part of the run up to May 4th when the full budget will be put before the City Council. Which will probably be right around the time Mayor John Buchanan announces that we have fallen into truly dire economic circumstances and the only thing that will save us from an imminent and final destruction is to sell millions of dollars in new bonds.
Item #4 is obliquely entitled Request For Proposal For General Plan Update Technical Support. If you're as dumb as a post (or write for Patch) you probably find this sort of language to be very impressive. But what this really is all about is identifying just how much cash needs to be handed over to some consultant to do the Environmental Impact Report for the new General Plan. City Staff's assumption being that the General Plan Update Steering Committee would never be able to do this all by themselves, and therefore we'll need to spend God knows how much treasure to get someone to paste one together for us. An atrocious waste of our tax money, and one the G4 Council will gladly shell out vast quantities of City treasure to enable.
Item #5 has something to do with a Public Safety Report. I'm not certain but I think that this report will state that running with scissors, or driving your car with your feet, is dangerous and people should be strongly discouraged from doing that sort of thing. But I could be wrong.
Item #6 will see to the resurrection of the Frankenstein's monster of City initiatives, the Farmers Market. This mythological creature died from neglect the last time we had one around, and there is absolutely no reason to bring it back now. If people really wanted a Farmers Market then the one we had last year would still be in business. The Community Services Commission tried to kill it, but since the big spenders on the City Council desperately need a place to plow some of their at risk CRA funds into, it is back. This is a classic example of how the G4 Council can't help spending more money on the same old bad ideas.
One more thought. Were those guys you saw at our old Farmers Market really farmers? Or were they just dudes hired by some guy who bought a bunch of vegetables at a downtown food distributor and then had them sell the stuff here, and at vastly higher prices? You can get the exact same stuff at Albertsons, and at half the cost. So how does paying almost double for the same cabbage from some fellow wearing overalls in a parking lot enrich your life?
And you do know how much we'd be forced to pay off duty SMPD to guard these vegetables, right? Who don't work cheap I'll have you know.
Item #7 is all about SCAG and the Community Economic and Human Development (CEHD) Committee. The CEHD being where they cook up the RHNA numbers that result in things like the demand that we build so-called low income housing on Highland, or flophouses for the homeless on Montecito.
Interesting fact: Do you know where the head of SCAG, Hasan Ikhrata, originally got his career start in the planning game? Would you believe the Soviet Union? I kid you not. He studied at a Soviet engineering school and then worked for Moscow Metro where hopefully he made the trains run on time. Welcome to the exciting world of Eastern European SSR inspired central planning, California style.
Last Night's Community Service's Commission Scorecard
The 4th of July Committee financial investigation was put off until a future date. Though Elisa Weaver did say that The Committee is meeting very soon to figure out how to raise some more money. Which they are going to need to do. Last year's total parade expenses came to a whopping $12,872, while only $8,251 was taken in. With over $5,000 of it being spent for live music. Not exactly the best fiscal management, though I'm sure the bands enjoyed having a paying gig.
There will be no Memorial Park bandshell amplification for the Congregational Church this Easter, which means the rest of us will be able to sleep off our chocolate bunny hangovers in peace. A prefab restroom was approved for behind City Hall, but this was pretty much an exercise in desperation. The Gang of 4 is aching to spend a bunch of CRA money on Memorial Park restrooms, and they will do it no matter what anyone else says. Otherwise Jerry Brown would just abscond with all that cash and squander it on schools, universities, and taking care of the sick and the aged. All things that experienced medieval budget cuts in Sacramento last week.
And we certainly can't let that happen, right?