They threw me behind the cashier. I mean the cash register. And I didn't skim anything, then or now."
- New Mayor, Josh Moran
As one wag put it last night, MaryAnn got the praise and the flowers, and John Buchanan got Enid Joffe. But we hardly need to be reminded that life is not always fair, because while we were finally rid of someone we dearly hoped to see the last of, we also lost someone we really needed to stay. Sierra Madre came within a couple hundred votes of being run by three people who would have turned everything around, and given our City government back to the people. But instead we only got two.
And who knows, maybe I am wrong about John Harabedian. Nobody would want that more than I.
The changing of the guard was done in a very respectful and traditional Sierra Madre way. And the contrast with the last City Council Reorganization was striking. Nowhere to be seen was the ugly and vengeful mob that turned out for Joe Mosca in 2010. Hail Hamilton didn't show up to repeatedly insult any members of the City Council. Instead it was an evening as good and sweet as the town itself. Last night left us all with an awful lot to be proud about.
Despite the rumors, Nancy Walsh accepted the job of Mayor Pro Tem.
The position Josh described as "showing up where the Mayor is not, like at a 100 year old's birthday party" actually seemed to sound good to our new Mayor Pro Tem. And there was no opposition to recognizing Josh Moran as this City's next Mayor, either. For the newly seated members of the Council, it just wasn't that important an issue. As with most everything in life, to them it really is apparently about the man, not the title.
For me the better part of the evening was brought about by the unlikeliest of occasions, the privatization of Sierra Madre's City Pool. Why is that? Because it could very well have been our first look at a significant power shift on our new City Council. The three new members had a series of hard hitting and insightful questions to ask about our new relationship with Waterworks Aquatics. The two now titled carry-overs? Not so much.
Chris Koerber asked the City Attorney about our insurance arrangement regarding the pool and the folks that would be running it. Done with the purpose of both saving this cash strapped City some money while also protecting us from liability in what will now be an outside party run facility.
John Harabedian expressed some concern about the costs to the residents for using the City's now run-for-profit swimming pool. Especially to our low income and senior citizens. People who could not only be priced out of this excellent facility, but are also the most likely to use this it because they obviously don't have a pool of their own. Waterworks Aquatics said they would work on that.
And John Capoccia had a series of questions, each laid out clearly and to the point. His question about how the advisory board for the pool would be named being the one that hit home for me. Obviously John's concern here is that while our City Pool would now be run by a private company, community input must still play an important role in the running what is still an integral part of the fabric of our town.
Again, the Mayor and Mayor Pro Tem did not really participate in this conversation. Instead that job was done by three people who collectively had been on the City Council for about an hour and a half.
The true highlight of the evening was saved for the very end. When Mayor Moran asked if anyone had any items they wanted to agendize for a future meeting, Chris Koerber dropped the bomb. "I'd like to call for an RFP for legal services. It has been a long time since we have had a market check. There are a lot of lawyers and law firms out there who would compete to work for us. It is a buyer's market out there."
Let the revolution begin.