Tuesday, April 24, 2012

Tonight's City Council Reorganization

It is possible to be bigger than the City Council, you know. I doubt that statement comes as much of a surprise, at least to some of you. But I believe it is true. City Councilmembers basically live in a legal and public relations straitjacket. None of them can lawfully speak with their colleagues except in officially designated meetings, often with TV cameras on. They have to watch every word they say out of a concern that people will beat them over the head with any poorly considered statement later on. Something that does tend to curb spontaneity.

And each is obliged to entertain the conversation of anybody that might walk up to them on the street, or at some less than thrilling function they had to attend. No matter how unimpressive that person's intellectual grasp of the issues, or the eccentricity of their ideas.

Which is why this evening's swearing in of three new City Council members is such an interesting occasion. While they do assume the ultimate municipal power, which is the ability to legally spend the taxpayer's money, it doesn't come without sacrifice. And that sacrifice is the loss of some options that we take for granted. You go from being a member of the audience with unlimited rights to living with the constraints that come with being a part of the show. An experience that ennobles some, while exposing others in ways that they probably hoped no one would ever see. And there are some people who do watch.

Of course, this is still a City Council meeting, and before that changing of the guard money must be spent. And since the April 10th City Council meeting was canceled due to the election, double spending duty will be done. Between Payroll Transfers, City Warrants, PFA, the Library, and some CRA residue, the total amount comes to a cool $1,458,782.60.

Which is what being a City Councilmember is really about. At least in my opinion. That biweekly spend number is how taxpayers should be keeping score. And any Councilmember that causes that number to go up needs to be called out on it. In difficult times such as these, that is the challenge they all need to answer. And I suspect that some of them do not possess the wisdom or resolve to do that correctly.

By the way, quietly tucked inside that nearly $1.5 million dollar outlay is $309,000 that goes to pay something called the Public Finance Authority, or PFA. Although it is not identified as such in either the Meeting Agenda or staff Agenda Report, this impressive sum will be used to cover a portion of some old CRA Bond debt. Old bond debt being in my mind synonymous with government failure. Which I suspect is why it was slipped in there now when few would be paying any attention.

Just in case you wondered why it is important to elect people who actually know something beyond living financially for today.

I would encourage anyone whose knuckles don't scrape the ground to come down to City Hall and honor one of the greatest City Councilmembers this City has ever seen. Nobody has worked harder for this community, or done it with greater intelligence and wit, than MaryAnn MacGillivray. MaryAnn's accomplishments are legendary, her perseverance in the face of the grotesque dishonesty of her detractors admirable, and this community owes her an enormous debt of gratitude.

See you there!

http://sierramadretattler.blogspot.com

56 comments:

  1. with all the opposition that John Harabedian got by this blog regarding his illegal campaigning in particular with the photos with the police, it seems that issue has laid to rest by this group. If it were truly illegal, why is this blog not pursuing and making attempts to recall Harabedian. Or was it just a bunch of flack to sway readers from voting for him. The Tattler I believe reports the truth (although slanted). This is a serious matter if he truly "cheated". Tattler follow up on the Truth for us.

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    1. While I can't speak for "this group", I know that Harabedian was completely unethical in using police officers as publicity gimmicks in campaign material. What I don't know is whether he played around with the laws in order to get elected, but will then find integrity as a council member, or not. Remains to be seen. But it is of course a great disappointment whenever laws are broken and there is no consequence.

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    2. Steve needs to remember that there is an investigation by the City of Sierra Madre into this matter. While they cannot discuss their findings yet because the matter remains under investigation, we can expect information eventually. When that information does become available we will be more than happy to cover it here.

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    3. We know from past comments that Steve is a Harabedian cheerleader. Hope s/he sticks around for conversations that ensue once we see Harabedian making decisions about Sierra Madre.

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    4. I doubt it. Like most of his ilk you get him past gossip and he's lost.

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    5. An attempt to recall a newly elected council member is folly and not even possible. We all need to wait and see how Harabedian performs. If he continues his shady just above the law tactics, then recall talk can be in order a year down the road.

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    6. I truly find that some of the comments in response to my request for the Tattler and most of its reader/followers promoted on Harabedian's illegal campaign. I find it rather humorous that 7:23 thinks Im a Harabedian cheerleader. I in no way supported his campaign. In fact I did not even vote as I do not have an address in SM currently. I am however involved with community organizations. I do go to St. Rita's as well. But I was not a supporter of him. My request for the truth is to keep the Tattler accountable for its claims and attempts to sway votes either way. If we as a community are going to rely on the great reporting and investigation that the Tattler has been doing already. Reporting that we have grown to trust, we really need to have the truth. We read this blog because of John's ability to expose this city with its pants down. I enjoy all the gossip and able to sift through any bs but clearly the conversations on Harabedian's illegal campaigning are more than gossip. The Moderator responded to my request and I appreciate that and will continue to ask the question until we get a final answer from the city. Are the readers who made all the comments against Harabedian just going to let it rest?

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    7. OK, Steve. You do that. In your opinion, is there a requirement that you be taken seriously? Will you become dangerous if ignored? I ask in case we need to alert security.

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    8. 11:22 I don't get what you are contributing to the conversation. Except complaints wrapped up in faux admiration.

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    9. Steve's one of Harabedian's out of town lawyer friends who contributed to his campaign and is trying to provoke Tattlers to disparage him in the hope of unearthing a slander/libel lawsuit. Not too smooth, Stevie.

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    10. Ignore Steve! He's/she's a troll. Additionally, "Steve" has a posting trait not usual for Tattler regulars. Watch for it when the "anonymous" posts in favor/defense of Harabedian start to pour in.

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    11. It is pleasing to think that The Tattler is this important to Steve.

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    12. Steve is fishing. There is something he is concerned about.

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  2. You seem to be be confusing a blog with law enforcement, Steve. Do newspapers attempt to recall the characters they expose? It was an election story that got covered. You got a problem, take it to the police. And good luck with that.

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    1. Actually, Steve, pick up a phone or send a letter to the Fair Political Practices, and file a complaint, and hope beyond hope this ineffectual agency does something.
      They are the only ones who are empowered to do so.

      Good Luck.

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    2. Alot of lies, smears and misinformation fly around during elections, as in the case of what happened to MaryAnn, but that is how dishonest people win.
      It seems dishonesty is rewarded in our political system.

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    3. Perhaps Harebidian should be appointed mayor first as his reward.
      Perhaps he can then do a Mosca.

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    4. Harabedian will have a hard time doing a Joe Mosca flip flop since he has stood for everything already. At least when Joe took sides it was for more than a couple of weeks at a time.

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    5. Actually, Harabedian didn't really take "sides" during his campaign. Outside of being for the UUT Measure, he never really expressed more than being qualified because 1) he grew up in Sierra Madre and 2) he is a lawyer. That he was endorsed by the Police Union wasn't really a side until it comes time to negotiate with them.

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  3. Prosecutors in LA County only go after those offenders that can get them headlines. Otherwise crime here goes unprosecuted and unpunished.

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  4. Hopefully, civility will reign tonight. But, then it depends on who's defining the word.

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  5. Good God, look at all that money.

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  6. Took a little look at the other news sites this morning, and the City Council reorganization is not being covered. Coburn's site has an article up about bingo, and the Patch is leading with the weather. It is going to rain they say. Fascinating stuff.

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    1. Well, it does make the flowers grow.

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  7. I guess we are stuck with Josh as mayor for year. Rumor has it Nancy does not want to be mayor pro tem. So if the council follows tradition and is civil...then Chris Koerber should be the mayor pro tem since he received the most votes.

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    1. I think the Harabedian camp will claim their guy deserves it since he spent the most money.

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    2. From her performance so far, I doubt the veracity of that rumor, 9:33. When councilmember Walsh has an opportunity to stand up and grab control, she's not exactly shy about it.

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    3. I wonder if this means Nancy won't be running for reelection?

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    4. So now instead of getting a lot of press about having one of the first gay mayors in the San Gabriel valley, we'll get that press for having one of the first Tea Party mayors in the San Gabriel Valley.

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    5. Moran does not have to be mayor. The council can vote on it.

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    6. Oh, jeeze! If Moran is passed over his mother and Mrs. Buchanan will organize a revolt right on the floor of the Council Chambers. Remember when MaryAnn, Don and Kurt took the "traditional" mayorship away from Joe Mosca? However, I'm leaning toward the rumor that Nancy Walsh will turn down Mayor Pro Tem. I hear she's not well. Moran, Walsh and Harabedian hold the majority on the Council. I predict we'll see Harabedian voted in as Mayor Pro Tem.

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    7. Oh my God yes. It would be like the world ended. The matriarchy would go bananas. The city council is becoming a place to give boys who never left home soemthing interesting to do.

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    8. That is scary, 12:59. I hope this doesn't turn out to be like an Englebert Humperdinck concert where grown women throw items of intimate clothing at the stage.

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    9. TMI, 1:16, definitely TMI.

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    10. Too Much Information, or Too Much Internet?

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  8. "Nobody has worked harder for this community, or done it with greater intelligence and wit, than MaryAnn MacGillivray."
    Beautifully said Tattler.

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    1. Wholeheartedly agree

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  9. I agree. If we are abiding by tradition and making Josh the mayor, and Nancy demurs, then Chris Koerber should be mayor pro-tem because he received the most votes. That was the Mosca argument. And I know we all want to be civil.

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    1. I am certain that Joshie would have a perfect aneurysm if Chris became Pro Tem.

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  10. Former Councilman and fighter for Sierra Madre, Lee Cline having a birthday tomorrow, April 25th Lee will be 90 years old!!!!!!!!!!
    Happy Birthday, Lee Cline! Thank you for all your years of service to our community!

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  11. Question - how soon before Josh starts talking about the need to put the UUT back on the ballot?

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  12. channel 3 watcherApril 24, 2012 at 6:37 PM

    Can't take another minute of Buchanan's preaching. Just hit mute.

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  13. MaryAnn got all the flowers, John got Enid.

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  14. Mr. Buchanan just made a slip of the tongue that he corrected:
    "Josh is my mayor pro tem - our mayor pro tem, not mine."

    No, you had it right the first time.

    Was it a compliment when he said that Josh was a person who has grown well into this job, and will continue to do so?

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  15. Outgoing praises should be given by the public, only. The governmental pieces of paper could just as easily be mailed, doncha think?

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  16. Moran just read out that Buchanan, who helped developers rape the hillsides, protected the hillsides.

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  17. Anybody want to time Buchanan's last sermon?

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    1. By the time it is over I will be retired.

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    2. And I will have finished taking the dogs for a walk.

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  18. By reading all the responses to my post it appears that all the Tattler readers and the Tattler itself regarding the illegal campaigning (in particular the photos taken with PD and Harabedian), was just "flack" to distract and sway votes. If the people that made all the fuss about his improprieties were true they would be taking action. You readers believe that I am a mole for Harabedian calling me a "troll" and that I support him. I actually dont really care either way I just want the TRUTH. If it is true that his campaigned was illegal then he should be recalled otherwise Ive lost respect for the majority of the readers and the Tattler of this blog because I rely on the truth from this blog. Say what you want to say about me. I wanted Mary Ann to win. She was right for this city.

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    1. Steve: I had a grand dad who towards the end of his life began to say the same things over and over again. You are starting to remind me of him.

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    2. Ach, Steve, why are you so presumptuous? Do you know everyone who was offended by the dirty political trick that the hometown boy pulled, and do you know what actions they are taking, or not taking?
      In light of your suspect neediness, why would anyone tell you.

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    3. Steve is obviously after something. And in true WC Fields style, nobody here is going to give him an even break.

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    4. You are really clumsy with the bait, 10:12.

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  19. 10:12 demands that everyone must say what they are thinking and doing about campaign skullduggery perpetrated by the young Harabedian, or he won't come back to the blog.
    Shhhhh.

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