Tuesday, May 29, 2012

What 'Measure A' Is Really All About

Things do seem rather puzzling when you first start to grapple with Measure A. We have been told it is for our own good, and that this ballot initiative will improve the influence of each community by giving the 7 now termed "sub-regional districts" their own exclusive PUSD Board of Education member. One who will fight for their own special district in a way that the current "at-large" representatives apparently do not.

Which becomes problematic when you consider that Sierra Madre, along with the other more suburban sub-regional districts, will not receive their representation until a full 2 years later than the more urban sub-districts. Not until 2015 will we be allowed to elect our own representative, whereas the majority of these sub-regional districts will be permitted to elect theirs in 2013. Which means that, using the argument of the proponents of Measure A, we will be forced to endure an inferior and weaker form of representation a full two years later than the others.

The argument is made by those who support Measure A that the results of the 2011 Board of Education elections must be respected, with those current members being allowed to serve out their entire terms. But none of the class of 2011 live in Sierra Madre. I have doubts that a couple of them could even find us without the aid of Map Quest. So why are we being called upon to make such a profound sacrifice so that they can continue to rule in an at-large capacity? Which is, by the PUSD Districting Task Force's calculation, not as good as the sub-regional district variety?

I have spoken to a number of knowledgeable people about this over the past few weeks, and the consensus seems to be that it is more about the $350,000,000 in Measure TT money than anything else. The period between 2013 and 2015 is when much of these vast sums in school bond money will be split up amongst the now sub-regional districts, and those with this new and proclaimed superior form of representation on the Board of Education will have the added and more potent influence needed to swing bond money to their special projects. Leaving those without sub-regional representation during this time vulnerable and unprotected.

But why is this? Why couldn't all of the sub-regional district voting take place in 2015, thus leveling the playing field? Why rush through 4 sub-districts in 2013, while leaving the other three hanging out there unrepresented until two years later? Again, follow the money.

It now appears likely that a deal was struck. Those who have controlled the hundreds of millions of dollars in Measure TT bond money over these past few years do not wish to see so lucrative a deal slip from their hands, and have made arrangements assuring this will not happen. By allowing certain sub-districts to have an advantage over the others, an understanding was reached. That being those facilitating this rather massive flow of cash would remain in their current lucrative positions, continuing to do so by having won the support of certain influential constituencies within the four privileged sub-regional districts. Along with the sympathetic at-large representatives elected in 2011, of course.

There actually is some potential for more local control over Measure TT bond money under a sub-regional districting plan. And that by having individual areas bargain with other equally motivated sub-regional district areas, those who have traditionally controlled this bond money centrally could have found themselves being eased out of the equation. Which, considering how poorly they have handled that responsibility recently, ought to happen.

By staggering these elections, and therefore privileging certain sub-regional districts over others, a divide and conquer strategy was successfully implemented. And during the crucial 2013 to 2015 period, when this vast fortune in Measure TT money will be spent, and at great profit to some, the old boy network would still be in charge when it counts.

That is, of course, if Measure A passes a week from today.

After that the money will be gone, and with it their concern. The Pasadena Unified School District, and the children whose interests it is supposed to represent, will no longer be of interest for them.

Measure A is PUSD corruption, plain and simple. And its worst effects are being aimed directly at us. Please vote no. Don't throw Sierra Madre under the school bus.

http://sierramadretattler.blogspot.com

80 comments:

  1. I don't think this will pass.
    People are getting wise to these scams.
    That said, don't take it for granted.
    Go VOTE and VOTE NO on all these TAX SCAMS!
    It's your wallet. Why give these things anymore of our tax dollars? What have we gained?
    Nothing. What have we lost? Plenty.
    NO MAS.

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  2. It's an interesting history. The foxes now watching the Measure TT money learned the game during Measure Y, when alliances were formed with Sacramento and the contractors/subs running the school construction game. Sacramento rolled into Pasadena and other local communities during the Measure Y timeframe and set up camp. Now that game is being perpetuated by their handpicked "overseers" as well as the interests in the State Legislature that are backing Measure A and the gerrymandered scheme now embedded in it. Tattler is right on.

    The school districts have no capacity to oversee this kind of thing because under State Law, they are not allowed to maintain employee departments for oversight, only maintenance departments. The whole thing is rigged.

    Starve the beast.

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  3. Talk about being asked to vote against your own interests. Where else but the PUSD can parents be asked to vote against the needs of their own children?

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  4. Best point I've heard about this mess so far:
    "Why couldn't all of the sub-regional district voting take place in 2015, thus leveling the playing field?"

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    1. There is no reason why it couldn't take place in 2013. Selinske and whomever could still serve in whatever capacity they like right next to all 7 of the new representatives.

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  5. Pasadena Star News endorsed Lowe and Rusnak for Assembly. And trashed the holy heck out of Holden. And to think Joe Mosca thought he could run for this seat.

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    1. Tattler readers know the truth about Measure A. What about the rest of the district especially East Pasadena which will also have no representation?

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    2. A lot of people here are going to need to vote against Measure A.

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    3. Of course the Star News endorsed Rusnak. Do you think they would take the change to lose all of the Rusnak advertising money? How many glossy mailers have you received from her?

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    4. The Maybach Mama.

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    5. I've been getting glossy mailers against her.

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  6. I know some very smart Democrats in Sierra Madre who will NOT be voting for Mr. Holden. These people are professionals and know. They don't like his PSUD connection. What does that tell you?

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  7. This will end up in the courts one way or the other. And a lot of bond money that was supposed to go to schools will end up in the pockets of lawyers. Just one more reason to never vote for a PUSD bond issue. The chances of the money raised going for what it is supposed to go for are slim and none.

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  8. Just look at Pasadena since Holden has been in charge.
    He is in favor the the 710 tunnel.
    He thinks pushing small business owners out in favor of national chains is part of the process of bringing business to areas.
    He is proud of the huge parking structures in Old Town Pasadena.
    He is a nightmare.

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    1. Holden is an LA County Machine Democrat. How many of those do we have on our City Council?

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    2. I am not registered with either party, and I have been getting Holden mailers a couple of times a week.
      The man is backed by an incredible amount of money.

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    3. We have 3 Democrat Machine puppets on our Sierra Madre City Council......that's bad news, but it's gotten better, we used to have 4, but Joe Mosca fled!

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    4. Rusnak was a Republican right up until she decided to run for Assembly. Then she switched to the Democrats. All the while proclaiming that she has nothing to do with politics, and she is running only to make things better. Total phony.

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    5. With a quarter million dollar political war chest and a check writing daddy, Ms. Rusnak can be anything she wants. I hear she's trying to choose between Cinderella and the Tooth Fairy.

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    6. If 10% of the stuff alleged in the mailer sent out about Ms Rusnak is true, she has all the qualifications needed to fit right into the State Legislature. Cynical View of Herself, Any Party Loyalty, Made Money the Hard Way...Inherited It, Shady Past, Do Anything for a Vote, A Family Trust, and a Family Worthy of The Corleons. She's got it all!!

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    7. Maybe the Assembly seat is a birthday present.

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  9. A "no" vote on Measure A would continue to send the message to the pols that they have gone much too far and we're all "mad as h*ll and not going to take it any more." Hopefully, the rest of the voters in the region will recognize what a badly constructed measure this is and also vote against it. And, as always, if Bart Doyle supports something, I will most likely not, and he supports Measure A (helped write it, apparently) wholeheartedly.

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  10. Across the Country repeated over and over again there was a gang of four friends. They went to school and then: One became a lawyer specializing in City / County Legal Affairs, Another became the town Banker, Next was the owner of the Asphalt and Concrete Company and the fourth became a City Councilman or County Commissioner. They rigged bids, votes, elections. and funnneled the tax dollars into their pockets. The catalyst was the Eisenhower Interstate System which made billions available to those clever guys (all men then) Once the routes were settled (known to the savy four) it was a picnic to the bank.

    So if your graduating from the Uni soon gather four together and follow the model plan outlined above and start your many trips to the bank. (The only qualification is that you must be ethically challenged and ruthless)

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    1. It's a shame you have to broadcast the template, 10:16, but that's how this works. Don't know how to stop it, it's all backchannel stuff, nothing on the books. A real audit, perhaps, but those are rare, too.

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  11. So who are the honest candidates? anyone have a clue?

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    1. I'm in the dark too, 12:15.
      I do know Prop 29 is being fought by big tobacco. As always, it's fighting for its life - doesn't care much about yours.
      Just got a robo call about Prop 28, saying it would actually increase term limits, so that would be a clear "No" if that's a true robo.

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  12. I'm worried that the big lies about having more power will sucker in people to vote for Measure A.

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  13. Why is so little of what we hear from government true?

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  14. It's really unfortunate how much misinformation and conspiracy theories you people will buy into just because it makes you feel like martyrs. Measure A is not about Measure TT money, it's not about back room deals (all of the Districting Task Force meetings, and all of the numerous arguments and discussions that lead to the current form of Measure A, are all public record and available for anyone, anyone at all, to peruse). It's about changing the electoral system to better represent local interests, that's it, that's all.

    The reason the elections weren't set-up for all happening in 2013 is because it would require a complicated mish-mash of limited terms and special elections to get the district back onto a 4/3 two-year stagger, not to mention tossing out the results of the 2011 election, which, while it didn't elect anyone *from* Sierra Madre, was still voted on *by* Sierra Madreans (Maybe you guys don't give a rat's butt, but I don't see it as a great idea to establish the precedent in the City Charter that election results can be tossed completely out the window by a non-elected task force). The reason for having a staggered election rather than an all-at-once election is because all-at-once elections generally leave the elected bodies in a disorganized and massively inefficient state following every election, which in the case of the PUSD would mean lots of business going undone for the better part of one year out of every four.

    The reason for not putting all of the seats up in 2015 is because, again, you need a complicated mish-mash of limited terms and special elections to get the system back into a state where the disruption to school services caused by election change-overs is minimized while still allowing the most effective election results in times of dissatisfaction.

    The discussions about which district to assign which seat number go on for *pages* in the meeting minutes of that Task Force. With a lot of arguments and reasoning in a variety of different directions, sometimes at once. The idea that it has anything at all to do with Measure TT is a myth fabricated out of whole cloth for no other reason than to get people upset.

    I'm not a huge supporter of Measure A, myself, and I doubt I'll wind up voting for it (mostly because I think at-large elections do a better job of selecting good candidates and Pasadena is not Madera, CA), but for pete's sake, people, stop buying into every single comforting lie that comes across your noses. If you're going to vote against something, do so because of actual reasons that have anything to do with what it actually does or does not do. Not because someone sold you a dramatic tale built out of road-pies and wishful thinking. Do some actual research, such as the Tattler here chose *not* to do any of.

    Especially don't buy as lame an argument as this one. Burning down the fruit stand because you don't get first pick of the apples on this particular day is just plain old fashioned stupidity.

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    1. Sorry, but the fact remains that Sierra Madre will not have it's own Board of Ed rep until 2 years after a majority of the other subdistricts get theirs. You can stack up all the words you like, but the basic unfairness of this is clearly obvious. Plus your denial that Measure TT decisions will be made during the 2013 to 2015 period is just sad. Have you no shame? After the disasters of Measures Y and TT, how can it be you expect people here to put much faith in this mess?

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    2. I'm thinking 3:33 should cut back on the medicinal pain killers. Wake up and smell the freakin' coffee.

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    3. A point of disagreement lies here:
      "It's about changing the electoral system to better represent local interests, that's it, that's all."
      Then an opponent might say:
      "It fails to do that. In fact, what it does is bring back segregation."
      And the response is.....?

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    4. Rather than have a precedent in the City Charter that election results can be tossed completely out the window by a non-elected task force, it's OK with you to shove Sierra Madre to the side for a couple of years. Really? Not one of the brilliant people on the Redistricting Task Force could figure out a way to solve this problem, to structure the policy as a one time only, to lawyer it up so that everyone could have representation? No one?

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    5. Ah yes, it's too "complicated." Made everybody's brains hurt.

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    6. Honestly, if Tom Selinske were pushed aside so that a representative from Sierra Madre could be seated at the big table with the rest of the PUSD, I doubt many here would lose sleep over it. I don't see how something like that could ever be a justification for denying Sierra Madre its equal rights.

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    7. Just curious - what part of any of this could be categorized as a "comforting lie"?

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    8. "you people" ?

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    9. It isn't a very comforted one. There is $350,000,000 in school bond money on the table and we're being asked to go for a couple years without someone representing us. That doens't seem right to me.

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  15. 1:41, ask Josh. He'll tell you the truth.

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    1. I hate being patted on the back...

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  16. While I take objection to the projection that I aspire to martyrdom, I am glad that you posted 3:33. Certainly helped a dull thread!

    Picking apples on a day isn't quite the same thing as losing representation for two years.

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    1. I think what we are seeing here is a plea for trust. Too bad that post was very short on reasons to do so. Cow pies and all.

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    2. And the price tag on that trust would be how much more?
      Don't think I can afford it.

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    3. Citizens need to learn to trust the professionals. Now, go do your part and shop.

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    4. But didn't Bart say we could make some new bonds? Maybe the third time will be the charm!

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  17. I get sick of the spin on all the information. Wouldn't it be great if candidates would list their top ten priorities, distribute those lists, and that's what we vote on?

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    1. This year all the politicians are saying they aren't politicians. And that their politics are not politics. Then they get their pictures taken with the Gold Line.

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    2. I love the politicians who say the Gold Line is a jobs program...

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    3. I care about schools, and want everyone to have an education. Jobs are the future of a working California. Today we will move forward to a better world, and it all starts with your vote. I care about our environment, that is why I am wearing this green button. There is no town I appreciate more than the one where you are from. It is as special as the people who live there.

      Vote for me.

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  18. This is the funniest thread I have ever seen. Gods, I love politics, if only because it's the best way I've ever seen of getting people to passionately believe in all sorts of lies, and be certain that they're the truth because They Won't Be Lied To Anymore.

    Incredible.

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    1. The Tattler aims to be entertaining. Are you running for an even or an odd seat?

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  19. I'm gonna be sick...

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    1. What did you eat? The even or the odd seat?

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    2. Can I get you some ipecac?

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  20. "Sorry, but the fact remains that Sierra Madre will not have it's own Board of Ed rep until 2 years after a majority of the other subdistricts get theirs. You can stack up all the words you like, but the basic unfairness of this is clearly obvious."

    Sierra Madre and two other districts, no less. Where is the outrage and consternation for those two other districts? Where is the cries of conspiracy that they are being sidelined in a bid to reap all that sweet, sweet Measure TT money?

    I mean, if it were three *other* sub-districts that were getting screwed, but Sierra Madre was in there with our totally-not-a-member-of-the-city-council-cabal-machine Board member, well, sure, that might be a little unfair to them, but at least it wouldn't be unfair to Sierra Madre!

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    1. Yeah, but the fact remains that Sierra Madre will not have representation on the bord of Education until 2015. Other communities will have theirs in 2013. This at a time when $350,000,000 in Measure TT bond money is being handed out. Hardly seems fair.

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    2. You have to feel sorry for 5:25. It is not easy trying to justify the unjustifiable.

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    3. I feel sorry because it seems that there's no ability to envision a scenario of win-win. Somebody has to "get screwed" in Doyle speak.

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    4. That we do not seem to be willing to accept the role of passive partner is offensive to the Doilies.

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  21. "Rather than have a precedent in the City Charter that election results can be tossed completely out the window by a non-elected task force, it's OK with you to shove Sierra Madre to the side for a couple of years. Really? Not one of the brilliant people on the Redistricting Task Force could figure out a way to solve this problem, to structure the policy as a one time only, to lawyer it up so that everyone could have representation? No one?"

    Sure seemed like they tried, actually. But apparently none of them is anywhere near as smart as you all.


    Maybe some of you should have gotten involved in that, before it was endorsed by the PUSD board, the Pasadena City Council, the Sierra Madre City Council, the Pasadena Chamber of Commerce, the Altadena Chamber of Commerce, and so on and so forth. Probably would have gone better for everyone had some of the extremely intelligent and honest and clever people here had gotten assigned to that group, rather than the gaggle of moneys they wound up with.

    I mean, those clowns only had 50 some-odd public meetings! What a bunch of jokers!

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    1. 50 odd public meetings. Very odd, I'm sure. Plenty of time to make some really interesting deals. Not certain if you remember Measure BB, which was the last time the PUSD asked the voters to give up their rights to district wide representation. Shot down by the voters. And aren't they the ones who get the final say? Of course they do. That's how democracy works. You can hold all the meetings you like, or discuss the "process" until the cows come home. Doesn't matter. The voters will decide.

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    2. The PUSD task force did try. They failed, but they did try.

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    3. Some of the people who post here were involved.

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    4. They were odd, but we'll get even on June 5!

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  22. Some-odd, some-even. That's how they vote those representatives now in the PUSD!

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  23. Can we please just follow the money?
    Why on Earth would any sane person trust the PUSD?
    I'll give you that there is no conspiracy, that there is no network of corruption a la Slick Nick and COG, but then it becomes a painful truth that there must be foolishness of the highest degree. Look at the money wasted and stolen. Look at the money.

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  24. Sierra Madre might just have too much of a voice. When the public is invited to "Have a voice," it really means a voice that the task force wants to hear - not the harsh, unpleasant call for financial stewardship and accountability - that's not the voice they are talking about.

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    1. I miss Floyd the Barber's voice. Oh.oh..ohh.... yyeeesssss.

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  25. In a totally unrelated note, Tea Party-backed Ted Cruz just caused a runoff for Tx seat in US Senate.

    Paging Earl Grey, Mr. Earl Grey...

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    1. Meet the new boss, same as the old boss ...

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    2. Gotcha 8:20 :)

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    3. Earl Grey, the tea for those who don't like the taste of tea.

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  26. Yikes! It seems we have a troll haunting the board today. The fine folks here in Sierra Madre should know the truth rather than endure this condescending attack of the troll

    - The Districting Task Force meetings were attended by very few constituents for the most part. Those who did attend here and there were from special interest groups (LULAC, Armenian Coalition, NAACP). The troll very well served on that task force and is defending its work, which I will unpack below

    - Over 50% of students attending PUSD DO NOT attend their neighborhood school due to open enrollment. So how, exactly, does having "your own" representative help you? And why would the representative in the area where you attend school want to go to bat for you when he/she is not counting on your vote? Holding the power of 7 votes instead of 1 is much better for full representation, so stop trying to fool the electorate in to believing that they will have "more power" under Measure A

    - As I mentioned here on the Tattler previously, the task force started the mapping process with a NUMBERING system, and guess what Tattlers....Sierra Madre was assigned the #3 - that's an odd number, troll. And please don't try to fool us by saying that the map changed and that is why Sierra Madre got the shaft with an even number. You know how it really went down, pal. The area south of the freeway, which is currently in the same sub-geographic district as Sierra Madre, was also an odd number. Hmmm...when the special interest groups started whining about how they didn't like their prospects for electing their special interest group, the brilliant task force went to a LETTERING system

    - Troll, I am especially disappointed with the lie you tried to pass off as truth to all of us Tattlers. As you know, the task force went to a lettering system right after the first maps were presented in late December 2011/January 2012. There was NO indication EVER that the numbering would change (reference DTF minutes 1/3/12, 1/14/12, 1/17/12) and in fact the 1/17/12 minutes clearly state that seats for election in 2013 will be 1,3,5,and 7 - BUT THE DTF WAS DISHONEST AND CLEARLY TRIED TO DUPE US WITH AN 11TH HOUR NUMBERING CHANGE that did not come remotely close to the previous numbering

    - When the task force finally presented the maps with numbering ONE WEEK (see 3/6/12 DTF meeting notes) before their deadline, Sierra Madre was no longer an "even" number, but an odd number. Those task force meetings showing the numbering were held in NW Altadena, and NW Pasadena - far away from Sierra Madrean's eyes.

    With all that said, Troll, please go crawl back under the bridge you came from.

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  27. PUSD board members vote to place a bond measure on the ballot. Holding all seven board members accountable for the stewardship of those hard-earned tax dollars, and demanding that reports and audits are conducted ON TIME and bond money which is supposed to go toward constructing Sierra Madre Middle School has EVERYTHING to do with Measure A, 3:33pm. Puhleeese!

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  28. This is 9:17 making a correction to second to last paragraph. Should read...Sierra Madre was no longer an odd number, but an even number." Sorry about that!

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    1. We'll get even on June 5th when we dump this sorry Measure A mess.

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  29. Even a cave man can do it...May 29, 2012 at 10:56 PM

    You folks really do not see the big picture here....tear down school....close existing school....sell off land at great profit...cheerio!

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    1. You don't think that there might be an element of social engineering to all this? That people are sick and tired of Sierra Madre's schools always scoring higher than the rest of the PUSD schools? Creating hurt feelings amongst the perennial losers? You see, if you close these schools, then they can't score higher on their state tests anymore, right? Personally I think this is genius. Honkiewitz, Selinske, Doyle? I salute your genius!

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    2. It's not as if the "upper campus" has been a middle school from the get go. Don't forget that for almost two decades the campus had been rented to Maranantha. When their lease wasn't renewed (2006-ish?) it was turned into a middle school? Then after only a very few years of operation , torn down, to await the rebulding of Fred Wesley's grand opus. It has been trailers and weeds ever since. It seems clear that the PUSD never intended to rebuild, thinking perhaps no one would notice.

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