Tuesday, June 5, 2012

A Good Reason To Get Up Out Of Your Chair, Turn Off The Computer And Vote Today

"Brevity is the soul of wit." - Wm. Shakespeare

If you can't clearly state an argument in a paragraph or less, and you need to expend vast quantities of words in order to make your point, then chances are pretty good you are going to lose most of your intended audience. The reason being that most people have fairly short attention spans, especially for long winded explanations.

But there is another reason as well. That being if you can't get it all down in a few sentences, then people will just figure you're just not being honest with them. And as the words begin to stack up, so too does their disbelief. Especially when you're not really making all that much sense in the first place. The volume of language being used in no way makes up for any meagerness in basic logic or fact.

Which is where we are at today with Measure A. I know, I have discussed this before, but I have to confess that I've grown fascinated with the whole thing. The entire sales pitch for this measure is just so wrong, and so patently dishonest, that I can't believe there is anyone who supports it. Or that someone would actually go out into public and with a straight face claim that Measure A is good for Sierra Madre. When it so obviously is not.

And why isn't it good for Sierra Madre? Because if for some reason it should pass today, Sierra Madre will be put into the unfortunate position of not being able to elect its own representative to the Pasadena Unified Board of Education until 2015. This while the majority of sub-districts within the PUSD bailiwick would be allowed to elect their representatives in 2013, a full two years ahead of us. All done during a time when hundreds of millions of dollars in Measure TT bond money is being divvied up amongst all of the schools in the PUSD system. And which sub-district schools will get the most? Obviously those with elected Board of Education representatives. And which ones will not? Well, Sierra Madre for one.

Now there is another interpretation of this situation. And over on that side of the story they will attempt to convince you that there was no other choice but to do things this way. And that in order to make things fair, they had to be unfair to Sierra Madre. Or something like that.

I thought that today I would post the argument for throwing Sierra Madre under the school bus representation-wise. And why this was supposedly a good thing. The person making the case is a Richard Moon, whose arguments in favor of Measure A are posted on the Sierra Madre News.net site. See if you can make heads or tails of what he says.

Seats 1, 3, 5 and 7 will be elected in 2013, and seats 2, 4 and 6 would be elected in 2015. The will of the voters for elections in 2011 or before were to be honored. According to Richard Moon, vice-chair, in his blog discussion of Sierra Madre Patch, "The answer is that it made the most sense to assign the districts where the existing incumbents' terms were going to be up at a particular year to have their sub-district election that year (that is, the one where there are two incumbents both up for election in 2013, that area should go up in 2013; where there are two up in 2015, that area goes up in 2015, etc.) That started us in a direction that, while we weren't necessarily married to it, made a certain geographical sense, and which set Central Pasadena as being an even-numbered seat, and south-central Pasadena and San Rafael as being odd. It was then decided that setting West Altadena as odd would face the least amount of opposition from the incumbents there ... Since putting both halves of Altadena up at the same time seemed like a bad idea (fears of encouraging balkanization), that set Eastern Altadena as even.

Is this making any sense to you? Do you find Moon's arguments compelling enough to deny Sierra Madre a rep on the Board of Education for an additional two years? Here is more of Mr. Moon's case:

"The question was then of either setting Sierra Madre et al at Odd (and Northwest Pasadena to even), and thus creating a sort of weird SOUTH block which would wind up creating some sort of north-south dynamic, or setting it to Even (and setting Northwest Pasadena to Odd), and thus delay Sierra Madre's representative election by two years. We talked about that question for a long, long time, and most of us did our level-best to take up both sides of the question at different points, so we weren't just being an echo chamber. Ken (Committee Chair Ken Chawkins) stayed pretty much silent on the issue, while Bart argued very strongly for SM being an odd seat ... we heard a *lot* more voices for NW Pas who desperately wanted a rep and felt that they were unrepresented on the current board than we heard from Sierra Madre. That isn't to say that the voices we heard from SM weren't listened to, they were. There were just more and more passionate voices from NW Pas, really. The vast majority of input we got from residents of SM was, "meh, why bother, won't change anything, anyway."

So that is Richard Moon's argument. It's all our fault.

However, I still do not see how this in any way justifies kicking Sierra Madre to the back of the bus. Especially during a time when hundreds of millions of dollars in Measure TT money is being divided up between PUSD schools district-wide. Wouldn't that be the time Sierra Madre needs its own representative more than ever? And won't those sub-districts with representatives have an unfair advantage over those that do not? Like us?

And here are my questions. Rather than privileging some districts over others in this way, why not just hold all of the elections at the same time? Let's say in 2015? Why would it be so wrong to conduct these elections on a level playing field? Or, if that doesn't quite work because some current at-large representatives run out of time in 2013, why not hold the election for all 7 sub-districts then and allow the remaining at-large reps to serve out their terms alongside the rest for a couple of years?

I am not going to try and tell you how to vote today. That is your business. But with one exception, however. Please vote "No" on Measure A. It is probably the worst ballot initiative to come down the pike since, well, last April.

And you know what happened to those.

http://sierramadretattler.blogspot.com

83 comments:

  1. No on A; yes on 29. Stop the lies!

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    1. If the tobacco companies are spending that much money to defeat 29, then it must be worth supporting.

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  2. Well said, Tatt.

    I voted NO on A when I mailed my ballot in 3 weeks ago.

    As they say in the South, that Dog Won't Hunt.

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  3. The vast majority of input we got from residents of SM was, "meh, why bother, won't change anything, anyway." - Richard Moon

    Sierra Madre residents thought they had a representative who was actually representing them, Mosca then Doyle. Turns out the residents were duped.

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  4. Well, I for one am so glad that Mr. Bart Doyle was Sierra Madre's representative for the redistricting committee. If the only reason that we don't get a rep until 2015 is because our voices weren't loud and passionate enough to be heard, I'd like to know why Bart wasn't coming before the city council and asking for the citizens help by making our opinions known during the process. I guess he preferred to be the Lone Ranger on this but ended up looking like Tonto. What next can Mr. Doyle mess up for the city of Sierra Madre? Oh yea, he's part of the successor agency board for the CRA money that went away. Pay attention!

    Please vote NO on Measure A and tell all your friends that live in Pasadena/Altadena to vote NO also.

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    1. Bart never wins anything. He has been on a losing streak for years. I fear what this man will do to us with this CRA situation.

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    2. Best thing Bart can do is to keep missing the Oversight Board meetings.

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  5. Bart's stable of loyal puppets is dwindling. He's being forced to go public. Watch him like a hawk. Moron and Walsh are devotees and will appoint him to anything he asks. If we can't stop 'em, at least we can be vigilant.

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    1. What are Bart'ss ties to Antonovich? And why would Antonovich appoint him to this CRA Oversight deal?

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    2. Yes, Antonovich is the critical link here. His appointees to the development, water and utility commissions assure his control over the overdevelopment of LA County, which brings in tremendous amounts of money. Note the connections to developers of exurban sprawl, it's been going on for decades in county territory.

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  6. Moon's explanation is quite wonderful in its own way:
    We made a very bad decision, and this is the way it happened.

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    1. Moon says we said "meh." Today we say no.

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    2. I just voted and I didn't see "meh" on the ballot. So I voted no instead.

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  7. Either way on Measure A Bart looses. If it fails ...VOTE NO today!... he looses today. If it passes all of Sierra Madre will be screwed by his position on this and we have more in our file against him.

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    1. That "file" on Bart is getting larger. Behind the scenes Tattler researchers are gathering information. We have some very, very good sources.
      Bart is a very bad man. He will continue to be exposed!

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    2. Bad man punted Baxter!

      Stay classy, Sierra Madre.

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  8. Moon brays ad nauseam about discussions regarding the numbering of the districts, and how involved this process was. Sorry folks, there is nothing in the notes of the task force recording this.

    Further, the numbering was purposely decided at the last minute. In fact, the numbered map wasn't even presented until about one week (!) before the task force considered their work complete. No task force meetings were held anywhere NEAR Sierra Madre or NE Pasadena, NE Altadena, SE Pasadena - the very districts being affected by the numbering. They were held in NW Pasadena and NW Altadena far out of the view of Sierra Madre residents.

    Bart says he was out of the country when the numbering of districts took place. In the March 3 task force notes where the lettering system was still being used, Sierra Madre is noted as being a district that would vote in 2013 due to overlapping with Pasadena City Council Districts and their election cycle.

    Or, maybe there were secret meetings out of the view of the public?

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    1. This guy was too busy to be intrusted with the interests of our town?
      He couldn't have told the City Council to send another representative while he was absent?
      What a lofer !

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  9. Children do Matter NO ON AJune 5, 2012 at 8:41 AM

    Let's be real. These are cruel twisted liars working on the assumption if they lie enough there will be many who will believe their lies. They cannot even speak nor write a coherent simple sentence. ( Can they even pass the CAHSEE on the first try? NO!!) And they are "representing" a school district!!

    I question who would admit to following their lead. If you back them, to me you are neglecting children and both those men need to be questioed for Child Neglect. Acting as if children just don't matter is acting like an emotionally inbalanced adult. We will be reverting to the 12th Century.

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  10. "So that is Richard Moon's argument. It's all our fault."

    That wasn't intended as an argument, nor intended as a push to get anyone to vote in any direction. Was solely intended as an explanation for the process that lead to the result. I'm not really interested in trying to force people into my viewpoint, I just tried to answer the question asked.

    Wasn't even intended as a condemnation of Sierra Madre; we got even less input from Altadena and San Rafael, despite our efforts to get people to the meetings (and to just *talk* to us). I, myself, spent a lot of time on the two Patch sites trying to encourage people to give me input.

    If the final result is not what you guys want, then vote no on it. It's cool, it won't hurt my feelings, and I'm perfectly fine with democracy working the way democracy is supposed to work.

    As for there being "nothing in the notes of the task force regarding this", it's right there in the March 3rd minutes, and the Feb 22nd minutes outline how we were going to talk about just that for a solid 2 months before the Board informed us that they were cutting our work off at the end of March. But, beyond that, we'd been discussing which seat went where since the first presentation of the first draft maps.

    We didn't take the final vote on the numbering until after Bart was back and we had more discussion about it. And Bart *did* argue strongly in favor of Sierra Madre getting a 2013 seat. So did I, and at points so did most of the other people on the task force. Most of us also argued in favor of Sierra Madre getting a 2015 seat. We discussed making the whole election one big shebang (that is, putting all the seats up in 2013) long before we were even drawing maps, back when we were working just on the proposed charter language.

    The unfortunate thing is that the options for holding the elections all at the same time are just not legally tenable. I wish they were, because it would've made life a lot easier for me, but they weren't. They weren't inherently better for Sierra Madre, either (unless you like the idea of having your rep early-termed out and then re-voted on in just two years, before having both of those election results tossed out due to a lawsuit, and then having district lines drawn without any regard for your input)

    I am sorry that the result is not to your liking. I'm sorry that it proved impossible for anyone in SM to drive as far as Allen ave and New York dr (and again, that's not really a condemnation; it proved impossible for many people *in Altadena* to drive to Allen and New York dr). I'm sorry that I heard more voices from NW Pasadena than from Sierra Madre (though I heard more from both than I did from San Rafael, so there you go)

    But, y'know, that's democracy for you. If the only time you choose to be involved is at the ballot, then that's way, way, way, way more preferable to never getting involved at all, and I'm satisfied.

    I like Sierra Madre, and honestly think that Measure A would benefit SM more than the current system does, and I've got no issue with anyone who honestly disagrees with that. I can completely understand that. But my motivation was honest, in and of itself. Please, please do go out and vote(or mail those ballots if you're vote by mail). If every eligible citizen of Sierra Madre votes against Measure A, then I'll be a happy camper, because my major, sole, entire motivation in this process is for people's voices to be *heard*.


    (and, I have to say, I enjoyed the juxtaposition here of an opening paragraph stating "If you can't clearly state an argument in a paragraph or less, and you need to expend vast quantities of words in order to make your point..." which then took eleven paragraphs to get to the point. Well-done, that. Very enjoyable. Would Read Again.)

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    1. Moon, we simply don't believe you, actions speak louder than words.

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    2. Then are we to believe that the Measure TT money will be allocated fairly? Without any representation?
      Did the Redistricting Task Force actually trust the PUSD?

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    3. Wow. Sierra Madre doesn't get a Board of Education seat until 2015 based on responses on Patch?

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    4. I, too was struck by the irony of the brevity quote; however, I'll take 100 paragraphs of the Tattler's clear writing instead of one paragraph of that hopeless morass of contradiction and obfuscation that supposedly explains the bamboozling lack of logic the task force swam in.

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    5. Moondoggy,

      You are the print-version of John Buchanan's oral inanity.

      Meh.

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    6. The only thing that would benefit Sierra Madre more than a no vote on A would be to vote themselves out of the PUSD completely.

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    7. Using Patch means you "reached" about 20 people.

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    8. Using Patch means you "reached" about 20 people, half of them editors from other Patch sites.

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    9. Who are soon to be out of a job.

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    10. There is always folding laundry.

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  11. The fact is the commission that drew up the maps and decided which sub-districts would get elected first was made up of failed school board and Pasadena City Council candidates.

    Their names are:
    Ken Chawkins who lives in West Pasadena. He failed in his run for school board and so drew a District for himself and designated it as open in 2013.

    Roberta Martinez who lives in Northwest. She failed in her run for school board and so drew a District for herself and designated it as open in 2013.

    Khatchik Chanhinian who lives in North East Pasadena. He failed in his run for school board and so drew a District for himself and designated it as open in 2013.

    This is the true reason why the Districts were drawn the way they were and why Sierra Madre has to wait until 2015...because the Sub-District Commission members designated the seats they intend to run in up front in 2013.

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  12. Perhaps if Measure A goes down to defeat, it will allow for a more tenable solution to be crafted.
    As far as Antonovich and his cronies on the Oversight Hiding Board goes, it may be time for Antonovich to be retired. He seems to want to keep the corruption hidden in the "family".

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  13. "And Bart *did* argue strongly in favor of Sierra Madre getting a 2013 seat. So did I, and at points so did most of the other people on the task force. Most of us also argued in favor of Sierra Madre getting a 2015 seat."
    What?

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  14. Correction to 9:12 am...Khatchik Chahinian is actually a failed City Council candidate that now intends to run for school board.

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  15. This is why the latest Clown mailer says "Ken" on the shirt of the angry clown. It is a reference to Ken Chawkins and the political corruption that is at the heart of Measure A.

    Mark my words. These three Commission members (Ken Chawkins, Roberta Martinez and Khatchik Chahinian) will all pull papers to run for school board in 5 months to run in the sub-districts they created for themselves and made sure were available in 2013. Tough sh*t, Sierra Madre. You get nothing.

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  16. Replies
    1. Wow. Just wow. This is an astonishing thing. They did it for their own benefit!

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  17. Moon is clearly trying to cover his a#!. Sorry, Moon, you are just a flat out liar. The 3/3/12 meeting at Allen and NY Drive DID NOT place numbers on the individual districts. The numbering came out at the VERY end. The DTF had the responsibility of taking that final map, with it's numbering, to ALL corners of the district for input. The DTF failed miserably in presenting the NO vote until 2015 to a huge swath of the district which was affected by this outcome.

    I, for one, hope Measure A goes down in flames. If it passes, and any of the idiots who served on the DTF run for school board, I will actively and aggressively work hard to make sure their bid fails.

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  18. Replies
    1. You are not supposed to recognize race or national origin, just facilitate the balkanization based on it.

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  19. Ken Chawkins, Chairman of Measure A task force, failed PUSD candidate, now magically in a custom built PUSD seat for whites, open in 2013

    You people didn't think this was really about anything other than keeping control of the PUSD in the hands of the politically corrupt establishment, did you?

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    1. I think everyone here assumed it had something to do with corruption. After all, we are talking about the PUSD. However, it would have been nice had you shared this stuff a few weeks earlier. Just saying.

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  20. If Moon relies on Doyle to "take the message back to Sierra Madre, vet it in the City, urge citizenery feedback, and show up support from Sierra Madre citizens" then forget it. Moon and cronies think like Supervisor Antonovich who did not adequately publisize the destruction of 150 acres of Oaks and Sycamores below Santa Anita Dam, then granted a 24 hour moritorium when it became known, before the dozers destroyed what nature took a century to grow. They all start with what they want then design a "now you don't see it and then you do" senario, burried in blather, steeped in cronyism, all with plans for their own futures. What a joke Mr Moon and friends seem to be.

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  21. Very few people at the polling place I went to. Very few.

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    1. Good. Then the motivated will prevail.

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    2. Pretty good turnout at the Cong Church.
      I have a feeling their will be a very heavy Republican vote turnout in Sierra Madre. They worked very hard to get the vote out.

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    3. There is a definite "throw the bums out" mood in town lately.

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  22. Forgive me if someone has said this already, but the main reason for voting NO on Measure A is because it appears to conflict with PUSD's policy of 'open enrollment,' which is that a student who lives on the east side of the district can sign up to attend a school on the west side of the district. Who represents that student and his family?

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    1. The answer to "Who represents that student and his family?" is, under Measure A, no one represents them.

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  23. We voted NO on A. Also voted against Antonovich, time for that fat cat to go away!

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    1. Yeah, didn't vote for the Antman either. Anyone who would appoint Doyle to anything has lost my vote for as long as I can breathe.

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    2. Mine too, voted straight Rep ticket, except for him.

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    3. Thank you, Supervisor Antonovich! Except for that Bart Doyle thing.

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  24. Explain it to me because I missed this big time...how did Antonovich figure in to Bart Doyle being appointed to the CRA restructuring over site committee?

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    1. The LA Board of Supervisors had two picks, same as our City Council. Antsy is our boy, and he chose Bart and X-Chief Diaz.

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  25. So does the LA Board of Supervisors pick two for each city in LA County. Doesn't each city have one of these committees, that is if they had CRA funding within the city. Who serves on other restructuring committees in other adjacent cities?

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    1. These boards and who sits on them is dictated by the state for the purpose of raking back as much property tax money as possible. This isn't about the local chuckleheads trying to hang on to the town kitty so they can still make nice with Bob the Builder and Rhonda the Realtor. It is serious business.

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  26. 3 more hours til the polls close......

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    1. Ypu can whet your appetite at 6 PM Sierra Madre time and see how Scott Walker did in Wisconsin. I'm betting that he wins.

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    2. CNN exit poll has it a tie.

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  27. Votes are more powerful than money! Keep an eye on Wisconsin tonight....

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    1. Walker is up 59-40 with 9% in I like the way this is starting out!

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  28. "Moon is clearly trying to cover his a#!. Sorry, Moon, you are just a flat out liar. The 3/3/12 meeting at Allen and NY Drive DID NOT place numbers on the individual districts."

    Incorrect, on multiple points. I'm not trying to cover anything, just answering questions and correcting misconceptions. I'm also not lying. Were you *at* the 3/3/12 meeting? Were you at *any* of the meetings? I know you weren't at the meeting held in the Sierra Madre city council chambers, because only one person showed up for that and I've talked to them subsequently.

    Guys, seriously, I've got no problem with you disagreeing with the results here. Like I said, vote no on it, vote yes, whatever, as long as people are getting out to vote and be a part of the process, then I'm happy and I've succeeded in my goals. I've got no intention of running for any school board seats, or any other elected position. I'm not interested in aggrandizing myself or anyone else, for that matter. I work against corruption whenever I see it.

    Calling me a liar doesn't change any of that. It doesn't even actually make me into a liar. I worked hard to provide what I see as the best possible change benefiting the whole PUSD, including Sierra Madre. You guys disagree with the result, and that's bound to happen. Fair enough, and so be it.

    Whatever the outcome this evening, I hope as many people's voices were heard as is possible.

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    1. I think we've been mooned.

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    2. Looks like Measure A will pass - so what a great opportunity for Mr. Moon and others like him to come through and show us in deeds, and with money, that they will protect Sierra Madre.
      Great opportunity.

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  29. Tragic day for AmericaJune 5, 2012 at 7:27 PM

    Walker won. My heart goes out to the public school teachers of Wisconsin and our nation. you will never understand Collective Bargaining rights until you are the person unfairly accused by a boss who has a issue about you, not your job performance.

    Again, our children will suffer and 99% of the teachers truly do their job and TEACH!

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    1. I wish it were possible for all the public school teachers in the state to quit and go teach elsewhere.
      Wouldn't that be justice.

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  30. Walker did not WIN....big money paid off....helped the propaganda machine...sell/intimidate the voters.
    The Supreme Court has changed our voting process.

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    1. BS, you're dreaming. It's over.

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    2. Yes, the Supreme Court changed it so the GOP had the same chance as the Dems. I love it.

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    3. So you're saying the GOP needed the court in order to make it a viable party.
      How very dependent. On Big Gov.

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    4. Yes, just like the Dems need union money to win.

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  31. Scott Walker wins in Wisconsin!

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  32. Holden won by 29%......

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  33. Don't know where everyone is getting their election results from. Only about 1% in on Measure A and it is close. Long night. Trust me.

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    1. I'm looking at KCAL9.com, click on election results.

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  34. The turnout in Sierra Madre was pathetic. One precinct with 398 listed active voters minus a few dead ones and a couple who moved years ago, had 81 voters at the polls. Yes, several vote by mail in this precinct, but, come on. If we lost Measure A, it was because of low turnout. What does it take to wake up the voters? Only when it hits their pockbooks, will the voters take notice, maybe.

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    1. With so few voters turning out you'd think the results would come in quicker. Been stuck at the preliminary results for about 2 hours now.

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    2. That's always the toughest thing about being involved in politics - the apathy of the majority.

      For results, I check the L.A. County Registrar site:
      http://rrccmain.co.la.ca.us/0602_StateMeasure_Frame.htm

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    3. Thanks for that. On Measure A only 7 precincts out of 126 reporting. Probably all Pasadena.

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  35. Measure A passed. And Big Tobacco won.

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