Friday, July 27, 2012

Every City Council Meeting Between Now and October 9th

There is a very interesting document to be found on the City of Sierra Madre website. Entitled the City Manager's Report, this weekly accounting of all things bright and beautiful used to be for the viewing pleasure of elected officials and key City Staff only. But because all such documents are now required to be made available on-line to snoops such as you and me, it is now available to all. Should you wish to go right to it you may do so by clicking here.

As we all know, the premiere entertainment event offered by City Hall is the City Council meeting. You have your Planning Commission meeting, your General Plan Update Steering Committee meeting, or even the most otherworldly of all, your Green Committee meeting. But none comes close in drama or raw emotional impact as when the City Council gets together and discusses those topics so vital to the interests of our endangered species of a town. Think of it as C-Span meets Rob Dyrdek's Ridiculousness.

And, interestingly enough, within the heretofore difficult to obtain (not that finding anything on the City's website is much easier) City Manager's Report, is a list of every single topic up for City Council discussion over the next few months. Stacked up like passenger jets hoping to someday land at LAX, these babies patiently await their moment of glory. With some, in my opinion, being forced to wait too long. And maybe you'll agree. Like the COG discussion that Councilmember Harabedian proposed at Tuesday's confab. That shouldn't have to wait until October 9 in my opinion. Our legal and potentially devastating financial exposure would seem to preclude its being shoved to the back of the bus like that.

But that is just my opinion. And like dinners with in-laws, everybody has got some.

So as a public service (and a truly prodigious exercise in typing), here are all of the topics scheduled for City Council exposure between now and the second Tuesday of October. See if you can't find your favorites. I did, and those are here in red.

14-Aug --- Consent ---- AT&T/T-Mobile agreement
14-Aug --- Consent ---- One Carter/Stonegate Pedestrian Easement
14-Aug --- Consent ---- Warrants
14-Aug --- Discussion ---- City Council Succession Policy (Koerber)
14-Aug --- Discussion ---- Consideration of Green Committee to Commission Status
14-Aug --- Discussion ---- Ordinance Water Conservation - Appeal, Penalty & Phase 3
14-Aug --- Discussion ---- Strategic Plan Update
14-Aug --- Discussion ---- Annual Water Utility Revenue & Expenditure Review

15-Aug --- Special ---- Breakfast meeting with Supervisor Michael Antonovich

11-Sep --- Presentation ---- Retiring SMFD Employee Chris Morrison
11-Sep --- Consent ---- Quarterly Financial Report
11-Sep --- Consent ---- Warrants
11-Sep --- Consent ---- Conflict of Interest Statement
11-Sep --- Discussion ---- Transportation: Dial-A-Ride and Gateway Coach
11-Sep --- Discussion ---- City Council Liaison Duties (Capoccia)
11-Sep --- Discussion ---- Legal Services RFQ (Koerber)
11-Sep --- Discussion ---- Strategic Plan Update
11-Sep --- Discussion ---- Building Inspection Services
11-Sep --- Discussion ---- GPSC Technical Background Report

25-Sep --- Consent ---- RFP Housing Element
25-Sep --- Consent ---- Award of Bids for Janitorial and Grounds Maintenance
25-Sep --- Consent ---- Unaudited Balances and $25,000 Contracts
25-Sep --- Consent ---- Warrants
25-Sep --- Consent ---- Record Retention Schedule Modification
25-Sep --- Consent ---- E-mail Retention Schedule (Koerber)
25-Sep --- Public Hearing ---- Revised TUP Guidelines
25-Sep --- Discussion ---- Dapeer and Rosenblit rate increase
25-Sep --- Discussion ---- Evaluation of City Reorganization
25-Sep --- Discussion ---- Funding for Infrastructure Improvements
25-Sep --- Discussion ---- General Plan Land Use Alternatives
25-Sep --- Discussion ---- Plan to decrease sidewalk damage sites
25-Sep --- Discussion ---- State of the Infrastructure
25-Sep --- Discussion ---- Plan to replace trees lost in Wind Storm 2011
25-Sep --- Discussion ---- Ferguson Contract (Harabedian)

9-Oct --- Consent ---- Warrants
9-Oct --- Consent ---- TUP: Halloween Happenings
9-Oct --- Discussion ---- Plan to enhance on-line services
9-Oct --- Discussion ---- COG Discussion (Harabedian)
9-Oct --- Discussion ---- Resolution: Revised Commissioner Selection Process (Koerber)
9-Oct --- Discussion ---- Public Facilties Fees
9-Oct --- Discussion ---- Discussion regarding contract for Parking Enforcement
9-Oct --- Discussion ---- TAC recommendation for tree ordinance
9-Oct --- Discussion ---- Revenue Discussion (variances, CUP, trees, tobacco, events)
9-Oct --- Discussion ---- Park & Facility Master Plan

So there you go. So much to look forward to, I'd say.

http://sierramadretattler.blogspot.com

54 comments:

  1. As usual a lot of power hidden in an unelected position: she whose agenda must be followed.

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    1. But doesn't the Mayor have the final say? It was my understanding that the Mayor and the City Manager make the agendas together, and that the Mayor is the one who has more authority.

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    2. Speaking of restructuring, with the outsourcing of the management of the YAC programs to the YMCA and the aquatics center to Waterworks Aquatics, why has their not been any significant reduction in the Community Service staffing? Yes, the “Department Director” position was deleted but that was really only a shell-game with the position being moved to the newly created “Human Resources Dept.” Does it really require five full time staff positions to manage outside vendors particularly given that the majority of the program registrations are now done directly online? Additionally, with the city parks being maintained by outside vendors were any staff positions eliminated at Public Works? If not, then how can the claim be made that the City is “saving money” when they still have the same personnel costs but are now in addition paying for outside contract services?

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    3. Thank you 12:44!

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    4. Actually the Community Services Dept. only has three fte's. Adam, Kristi and Rosemary (secretary). Our City Manager now has full control over our Community Services.

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    5. True, Susan Clifton's position was transferred over to City Hall (Admin. Services?) and there was the actual elimination of one Administrative Assistant position (per the FY 11/12 Approved Budget). However Community Services still has retained two additional "part-time" positions for "Special Events" and "Film Coordination".

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  2. My favorite part of the report was the 13 positions being recruited.

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    1. Don't you get it 7:30? That's how we are saving money - restructuring and hiring.
      Common sense might tell you, "But the city needs to be firing, not hiring, in a time of economic crisis," but common sense, abundant in the small town we live in, is banned from city hall.

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    2. It is a bit of municipal government magic. Somehow it became possible to save buckets of money and also have new hires. Not that it means there was excess to begin with.

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    3. Empire building. Hire the people now, and then when the cash runs out ask the taxpayers for more. After all, you residents wouldn't want to be mean and have those nice people fired, right? Just so you can avoid a tax increase that will cost the same as a couple lattes a month?

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    4. I don't buy lattes, and I resent Mayor Moran's assumption that everyone is as foolish with their money as he is with his.

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  3. Every City Council member has a right to put something on the NEXT agenda. Either the Mayor is sand bagging this or the City Manager. The City Manager works for the City Council. The Council works for the people. That is the way a General law city operates.

    A COG discussion should last about thirty seconds. Make a motion, second, and pull out.

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    1. That efficiency would cause the whole city staff to go into shock.

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  4. This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.

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    1. You'll need to rephrase that.

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    2. I would ask 'what?' but I don't really want to know what kicked off this exchange....

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    3. Somebody with their mind in the gutter is trying to troll this fine blog. Imagine that.

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    4. Why would a troll be uptight about this article?
      Against transparency in government perhaps?

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    5. My guess is it's someone with an all-consuming inner rage brought on by unresolved parental issues.

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    6. My guess is that someone at City Hall just became irate because someone posted that they work for the people.

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    7. It must come as a shock to them...Poor Dears!!!

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  5. I hear the Mayor gets to decide the order of agenda items for every meeting.

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  6. Consideration of Green Committee to Commission Status,,,, This is a joke,farce, not needed what ever you want to call it. Why would we spend the money to have a Green Commission when we don't even have a commission for Life Safety things? We don't have a Police Commission and lord knows we do need an oversight for the council regarding our police, these people carry guns and sue us but no commission there. The Fire Department, they save lives daily, they are responsible for being trained in their skills that save our families lives and houses, and no Fire Commission exists. We don't even have a Safety Commission, nothing that deals with the safety in the community has a commission but they want to spend Money on a green commission, is it because they have their friends on that committee or what, go figure. We have employes who carry guns, drive fast through or streets, do life saving procedures and keep our property safe and they don't have a Commission to oversee what is going on and make sure council is informed and the community is getting what we are paying for. This is not only an insult to the community but an unsafe situation being ignored while they spend money on some thing we have experts right here in town to guide us and not just use what the United Nations think fits everyone. This just is not right and I want some answers. What do all of you think??? It's time for some answers and action.

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    1. Yes. You would thing that Sierra Madre would be so eager to get out of a criminal enterprise like COG a special session would be convened. I cannot understand the casual approach here.

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    2. 7:57...whoever you are.Have you ever considered running for City Council? We need more like you!!!

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    3. Next election I am going to write in the time 7:57.

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  7. It doesn't matter how green we get, China and India will continue to burn coal. see la times today. http://www.latimes.com/news/nationworld/world/population/la-fg-population-matters4-20120727-html,0,4128486.htmlstory

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  8. Buchanan does not have sole control of the agenda. Neither does the City Manager. SGVCOG dues must be paid by September or SIerra Madre is out. Watch them send the check. October is after the deadline. We are being scammed again

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    1. I think you meant Moran, but a damn good point. Would City Staff send COG their $8,000 without getting the say so from the City Council? Can that actually happen?

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    2. That would mean passing on at least three good buffets. Does Sierra Madre have a council member with the GUTS to put it on the NEXT meeting? Walnut put it on the agenda on a Thursday and bailed 5 days later!!!

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    3. I bet the crisis team at City Hall is already scrambling to create an answer for this. After all, the tail wags the dog, right?

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    4. City Hall has a lousy fastball, but they sure know how to throw curves.

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    5. Just imagine the 24-7 brain racking PR blitz COG must be working on!

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    6. "Who's zoomin' who?" - Aretha Franklin

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  9. They could surely get rid of those Strategic Plan Updates, and just put the report out as a memo to the council and the community. Shorten the meetings.

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    1. There is no serious interest in shortening those meetings.
      If there were, small and effective changes would have been made already.
      In fact, I think there's a desire to stretch them out, and put certain things later in the night.

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    2. Those late meetings sure cut down on those pesky public comments!

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    3. Things would run a lot more smoothly if the residents would just leave people alone.

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    4. The practice of moving controversial items to the end of the agenda reached a new height during the Stonehouse/Carter hearings. Anyone else remember listening to Greg Galletly's purchased handmaidens at midnight during some of those hearings?

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    5. Putting the Green "Commission" question up for grabs at the only meeting in August might qualify as well. Somebody wants that one really badly.

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    6. Maranistan won't be complete without a Green "Commission."

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    7. You mean Buchanania - Moran is an onlooker, Buchanan is the engine.

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    8. The Green Committee is just the latest marketing scam from the development crowd. Buchanan picked up the idea at a League of California Cities meeting.

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    9. Don't forget the Edison connection.

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    10. The COG grant with Edison is one that Conway is charged with a felony. Edison is the home of Fasana, who cut the deal to sell us out for Measure R. Edison was formerly run by the US Commerce Secretary who just resigned. An environmental kook.

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  10. Here's a suggestion: the Strategic Plan Updates are entirely predictable, "You (council) wanted this and here it is" or "You wanted that and it's on the way." So since those are the only 2 things said, in essence, couldn't the reports be a tally of sorts, like there are 5 thises to 2 thats? And maybe a few words about the thats.

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    1. Can't the Strategic Plan Updates be pushed to 2013? Would anybody really care?

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    2. Those reports are offered under the name of Greater Transparency and Improving Community Trust.

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    3. How's that working out for them?

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  11. If there is going to be any reorganization of the meetings, please oh please put those damn council member reports at the end!
    They are not valuable, they are misused for self aggrandizement and face time, and nothing is said that the council members can't bring up elsewhere in the meeting.
    Walsh has done us all a favor by demonstrating clearly, beyond any doubt, just what a waste of time they are.

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  12. Meanwhile Rome burns while the City Council fiddles. Which Councilmember will show leadership and put the COG membership out to vote?

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    1. Since the COG exit discussion has been put off until the Fall, the council in all good conscience must withhold any dues until after the discussion.

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    2. If it turns out COG was paid before the City Council gets to discuss this stuff, then we will know the fix was in and this was all a lie.

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  13. In my town, the City Manager has more power than the mayor. Many of our city council votes are decided prior to the public council meeting. Usually one or two of the council members will take the side of the people, but that's just them playing good cop / bad cop.

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