John Buchanan kicked off the festivities by announcing that he would not break precedent and run for a third term. If anyone at the meeting cared either way I am sure this would have been met with a round of applause. John also stated that he never intended to run for a third term, which I guess means he was concerned that people might believe he had backed down because of all the criticism.
Mayor Buchanan also suggested that due to a now second wave of credit card fraud at one of our gas stations (where else?), residents should check their monthly statements all the way back to Dec 1. The Mayor also stated that this is all he could say on the matter as presently a Police Department investigation "is still ongoing." Of course, in this town Police investigations are always ongoing. The problem being that they never quite seem to finish.
MaryAnn MacGillivray discussed her adventures at the recent SCAG/CEHD meetings, which covered everyone's favorite topic, RHNA numbers and forced low-mod development imposed upon cities in the name of "social equity." Unfortunately for this now old school model in coerced planning, the skids on that sled, having always been copiously greased with CRA cash in the past, just won't be receiving any of that stuff anymore. Which means that SCAG's crazy planning notions won't be going anywhere for a while. If ever.
So how are cities supposed to accommodate SCAG's RHNA housing demands without any CRA money to spend? The answer to that one is they just won't be able to afford that honor any longer. Sounds like the best thing for cities to do now would be to just ignore poor SCAG. Which is what usually happens to those without money.
Sometimes Nancy Walsh puts her foot in her mouth even when she is trying to be nice. After stating that all she did over the Christmas break was party, Nancy then did confess to attending a General Plan Update Steering Committee meeting. While she didn't have a lot of details regarding what actually happened there, the poor dear did pronounce that it "was very well run." Of course, that was the night Denise Delmer was absent due to an illness and it was run by somebody else. Nancy, having loudly declared her strong antipathy to Denise in the past, apparently has not quite moved on yet.
Fay Angus got up and delivered an elegant speech about the negligence shown by Mayor Buchanan in the face of the Matheson affair. She read some of the Pasadena Star News article about the child pornographer's personal ties to some of this city's most elite society figures and politicians, and then wondered why the City's leadership had said nothing about the matter. In particular the "significant silence from our Mayor." When the City needed reassurance that everything was under control, Sierra Madre's political leadership remained silent.
Colin Braudrick, in perhaps a moment of weakness (there is no other way to explain it), then stepped up and proclaimed that he doesn't want to hear anybody blaming anyone for being involved in the criminal behavior of Bob Matheson. Which was an absurd thing to say since nobody has made that kind of accusation, especially Fay Angus.
Child pornographers, as Colin stated, operate mostly in secret, with even their closest friends usually being completely unaware of their crimes.
What this looks like to me is that Colin was somehow talked into carrying the offal bucket for the Morans. There is a huge difference between accusing someone of being involved in Matheson's crimes and laughing at the poor fool who tried to convince a newspaper reporter that he'd never met Bob before. All while that reporter was looking at photos on his computer screen of the two happily hanging out together at various gala Sierra Madre functions.
As far as I can tell it is still not a crime in this country to laugh at the antics of less than brilliant politicians. I can certainly understand why Josh Moran might have been embarrassed by his antics, anyone with an IQ of over 80 would be. But please, spare us the absurd spin. Otherwise you end up sounding like Lady Elizabeth Wistar.
John Herrmann responded to Colin's unfortunate moment of weakness by stating that much of the outrage in this community is due to the fact that while Matheson was arrested in October, the City of Sierra Madre only found out about it months later. People want answers, and only now has the Mayor of this town even acknowledged that something was wrong. And only because Fay held his feet to the fire.
Josh Moran, who rarely seems to know when it is best to keep the old lip zipped, then accused the Pasadena Star News of not printing what he had really said. Which, knowing Josh as we do, should be taken as a confirmation that he was cited correctly.
Meaglia-Mania then broke out as the City Council took up what seemed like hours on end discussing some failed McMansion project over on the hillside. The plans for this ridiculously oversized pile having recently been rejected by a 4 to 2 vote of the Planning Commission. This whole conversation went on forever, with the conclusion being a 3 to 1 vote to send this puppy back to the Planning Commission for a few new rounds of futility. Josh Moran, who has never met a McMansion he hasn't found "beautiful," casting the dissenting vote.
Of course, the Planning Commission had already told Mr. Meaglia time and again what is required here, so this will probably be a pointless and futile exercise. But like I said earlier, it was that kind of meeting. The buck was passed.
The matter of cash penalties for using too much water was then discussed. All of the City Council agreed that the proposed penalties were ridiculously high, and then sent the whole mess back to City Staff for a remedial reality check. This matter will return at a later date as levying fines for profligate water use is an activity mandated by the central authorities in Sacramento.
The City Council appointed itself the successor agency to our soon to be disbanded Community Redevelopment Agency, which was a smart thing to do when you consider that our only other option was to turn our sorry fate over to the County of Los Angeles. This was pretty much the preliminary round of all the CRA excitement we are soon to experience, with the really big news to be revealed at our next City Council meeting on January 24.
The meeting wrapped up with the exciting news that Josh Moran has written the ballot argument in favor of a 'Yes' vote for renewing the Utility User Tax, in the process raising it to a State of California highest of 12%. But we'll save that one for another time.