Monday, July 30, 2012

Has The Tattler Become A Part Of The City's POA Negotiations?

As we have noted in the past, if you want to tease out the thinking at City Hall on certain matters, a place you can sometimes go is the Looney Views News. Every once in a while you will be able to find what appears to be a message to one party or another carefully tucked into a feature news article there. Which are always located at the top of the front page, and to the left. A little word to the unwise, as it were. And as opaque as City Hall's machinations can seem at times, and particularly on those issues we're keen to find out more about, this is often one of the few options available.

There is a caveat that needs to be explained. "Looney Gazing" is hardly a dependable system. What you are reading there could be something cooked up by the paper's oftentimes creative publisher, designed merely to leave the impression that she has privileged insider knowledge on some big secret or other. There is always that possibility. And a lot of dotty old dears, along with Gene Goss, still seem to believe everything they read in that paper. So there is always the "reality creation" angle to consider as well.

The article we're rummaging through today appears in the Looney's most recent edition. Entitled "Police Officer Association (sic) Claim Reopens Contracting Debate," it delves into certain issues that we here at The Tattler have been discussing over the past couple of weeks. In particular the influence the SMPOA's recently filed Public Employment Relations Board (PERB) "Complaint" dealing with a vacation pay issue may be having on the ongoing contract (MOU) negotiations with the City of Sierra Madre. The impression many have being that the SMPOA is filing legal complaints against the City while at the same time asking for more money and benefits.

One of the things a "Police Officer Association" always depends upon when negotiating for more dough from a city is the support of the people in town. We have all been raised to believe that the Police are a force for good, and as good people ourselves, also our friends. The result being that some folks are horrified by the notion that there might be misguided individuals out there who would even consider replacing the local Police Department with another law enforcement agency. No matter what the ramifications to their taxes, or the City's finances, might be.

That approach did work in 2008 when the taxpayers voted to increase their Utility User Tax (UUT) rates to the highest in the state. All so the SMPD could have a raise. But is this necessarily the case now? Judging by the 60% vote against extending that very same UUT rate increase last April, it would appear that the public's attitude on this matter may have changed. Couple that with the fact that 2 out of the 3 SMPOA endorsed City Council candidates went down to defeat in that same election and you could build a pretty good argument that love is no longer part of the affair.

Anyway, here are the two passages of interest from Henderson's "Police Officer Association" article that piqued our interest this morning. The first cite is the lead paragraph.

Sierra Madre residents who support the outsourcing of public safety services may look at the recent claim filed by the SM Police Officers Association (POA) for new ammunition.

The "may look" observation is a bit obtuse since this has been a burning issue for weeks in this town. With the only news source not discussing it until now being Susan's paper.

A very vocal group of Sierra Madre residents may see this latest claim as another reason to contract out public safety services as the cost of defending such actions is an additional strain on the city's budget.

Now who, I ask you, is Susan referring to here? That "very vocal group" meme has been used by her before, usually to describe any persons taking the side of an issue that Susan doesn't agree with. With the only "very vocal group" in town these days that I know about being the one that congregates here.

Which, if that truly is the case, leaves me feeling cheap and used.

Whatever the reasons, it would appear that somebody has been sent a message. The threat being held over their heads? Apparently us.

The Tattler gets a lot of traffic

July is the sixth month in row that this blog has attracted over 50,000 hits. In the grand scheme of things those certainly aren't Google or iTunes numbers, but for our little town of less than 11,000 souls it is a significant amount. Add in the 56,000 or so we'll end this month with and we're talking around 330,000 hits in half a year. The new readers we saw going into April's election have decided to stick around, and for that we are very grateful.

Thanks!

http://sierramadretattler.blogspot.com

61 comments:

  1. You provide serious information that was lacking in the town for years. The chosen few have to start taking you seriously. Congratulations. We applaud your pertinacity and your increasing success.

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  2. Oh, bad news Mr. Tattler, you do seem cheap. Who else would work for the community at the rate you are getting paid? Used, oh, your used all right! We use you to get the truth out and contact you at all hours of the day or night, FREE!! You are the best cheap employee of the truth this city has. We may not always see eye to eye (your so tall) with you but I know were hearing the truth and I can go with that. Hope you don't raise your price trying to get away from that used cheap feeling.

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    1. For John Crawford, nothing is stronger than the truth!

      Thank you John for all you do to get the truth to us.

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  3. Ok, the Tattler crowd is an educated crowd. I just looked up "pertinacity" at dictionary.com and it's a real word!

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    1. They know stuff, too!

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  4. For those of us with the time to see what is going on in town I agree with what the Tattler writes. Problem being that most people work out of town and don't have the time to see whats going on and they only get the word from the Star News or the local papers. These local papers seem to be for increasing the population of town and taxing us more, this is neither Green or Sustainable. I think it's good that some people print up the blog and share it with others, we need to see both sides of what is going on, I hate being a sucker.

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    1. Once Harriet Susan Poole Henderson realized she could never make it just being a local paper in Sierra Madre, and she both diluted and beefed up her pages by going valley-wide, it should have been obvious to everyone. That paper is nothing but a propaganda organ for city hall, an advertising venue, and it exists because of the revenue from legal notices, especially the DBAs. Just another throw-away.

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    2. I hate being a sucker too, 8:06, and have been here long enough to remember when the paper was good. Katina Dunn created and produced an excellent local paper. In Henderson's hands, it's turned to dross.

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  5. It is beyond time to outsource out PD to an adjoining agency or the Sheriff's office.

    We can contract out out parking enforcment and maintain a person or two for code enforcement.

    We don't need 30 police officers and we all know that an overwhelming majority..okay almost every one....is under qualified for the standards of other police departments.

    I for one would feel safer with the Sheriff's Officer or Pasadena or Arcadia but I cringe when I have to deal with a SMPD officer. I honestly don't respect them.

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    1. This seems to be the views of nearly everyone I talk to about the police situation in Sierra Madre,8:24.
      The city better pay attention to what the residents are concerned about!
      They had better pay attention.

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    2. The lawsuits that were filed by the POA after the residents voted themselves a utility tax increase for a police raise did a lot of damage to their cause. I don't know if the department will survive it.

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    3. I agree 9:01. The relationship between the police and the residents of Sierra Madre has only gone from bad to worse since then, no matter how hard the sacred cow worshippers have tried to pretend it's better. I disagree with the posters who slam all the police officers altogether - there are some very good officers on the force. But we just can't afford what they want, and their lawyers are belligerent and greedy.

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  6. And the SMPO can't do anything by them selves, always takes 2 or more to write grandma a ticket. They must want to go to another department!

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  7. As usual, Henderson's writing skills are in sad shape.
    What she meant to write was "a very vocal minority group" a phrase she has repeatedly used, ad nauseam, in the past.
    The old gal must have a new proofreader.

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    1. Maybe we're not a minority group anymore. Is Susan finally admitting that the people she speaks for are only a small part of the community?

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    2. The last election probably made her take out that pejorative adjective.

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  8. The POA has shot itself in the foot.

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    1. Better than a shot in the butt.

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  9. Yes, the POA depends on the goodness of police and the goodness of residents, and that's why they are successful with that shame tactic they wield. Somewhere right now council members and city staff are saying "Ours is the lowest paid force!" and that continues in a perpetual loop.

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    1. Anybody remember the postcards they sent out last time? Pictures of Teddy bears in police uniforms? How insulting that was.

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  10. One piece of good news in the Looney News is that Rich Snyder was finally promoted to Captain of the SMFD. Why the City took so much time in recognizing his skills is baffling but they finally did the right thing.

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    1. That is excellent news! A hard-working knowledgable guy.

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    2. Always good to see someone who is on the 'outs" with City Hall win!

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    3. City Hall lost all of it's credibility years ago. The Tattler picked up on that and ran with it.

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  11. Top of the font page and to the left, huh?
    Maybe that's part of Suzie's hustle of city hall, always premiere location for the PR blurb.

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    1. Only Susan gets to write those kinds of articles for the "Views." They're the money articles.

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    2. Pretty soon she'll be calling the Tattler a "right wing extremist"!

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    3. There is some irony in that. The alliance of corporate money and government (local and state) is about as right wing as it gets. And isn't that what John Buchanan and Joe Mosca brought us?

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    4. Beg to differ 11:18.
      Word has it that Susan can't write anything on her lonesome.

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    5. It's a blessing she ever got through law school.

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    6. Good one 2:15.

      Joking aside, it rankles that such an essentially nice town has to do business with such a con.

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    7. While the good people are off doing their daily chores, certain individuals stay behind in town and work their mischief.

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  12. Somehow I don't think there will be a long line of City Council candidates standing at the POA's door looking for endorsements next election. Call it a hunch.

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    1. But how can we account for Harabedian's strong showing?
      I know it was just 1 out of 3 of the police backed people who won - but there was that one, and he was slimy about the using the police as PR for the campaign.
      He's been impressing me with his decisions on the council, so far, but I haven't forgotten the picture.

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    2. He's afraid to side with his supporters, Moran and Walsh. Koerber and Capoccia are much better prepared so he takes their lead. Not much thinking on his own yet.

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    3. I think Harabedian went with the dirts during the election because our side rejected him. I think now that he is on the council his real instincts are starting to show. He could turn out to be quite a disappointment to the people who supported him during the election.

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    4. A reverse Mosca as it were.

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  13. Now, Duarte... sounds familiar...
    http://www.pasadenastarnews.com/rss/ci_21185928?source=rss

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    1. Yes, this is very interesting. I urge everyone to read this today.
      Duarte is going to raise city sales taxes to try and balance their budget.

      I wonder if Michelle Keith, the city manager of Bradbury is going to try to pull some dirt bag scam on those people up there.

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    2. Not much danger of that. Bradbury is a unique place and has done very well protecting itself. The residents know what they have. They'd probably push that modular-unit like city hall past the border and into Duarte if it came to a throwdown.

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    3. There is a definite connection between cities that bought into "smart growth" and financial troubles. Those that remained independent and didn't allow themselves to turned into generic design are the ones getting the past this mess.

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    4. That's the truest post of the day 4:44.
      You spelled it out.
      Thank you.....'nuff said.

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    5. The DSP would have killed Sierra Madre.

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    6. Absolutely, 4:57.

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  14. It is crazy making the way individual city's desires are ignored by state legislators.
    There are cities begging for more development, and cities begging for less.
    Why their voices are ignored is a mystery to me.

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    1. Sacramento doesn't care. Why does SCAG make their RHNA decisions based on census data rather than what cities can really accommodate? Because they do not care. They're just honoring obligations made to lobbyists.

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  15. There is an article up on the Pasadena Star News site that talks about how the cops in Pasadena take bribes.

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    1. That's depressing.

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    2. It's an epidemic.
      "Former Santa Fe Springs Councilman Joseph Serrano is expected in federal court Monday afternoon to formally enter a guilty plea to a bribery charge officials said.

      Late last month, he admitted to soliciting $11,500 in bribes from the onetime owner of a medical marijuana dispensary, according to court documents."

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    3. Thank God the D.A. Is finally doing his job.

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  16. Another interesting tidbit: The California Public Utilities Commission has now commenced an inquiry into the SGVCOG Grants under which the Executive Director, Nick Conway was arrested. Grants received under conflicts of interest are by law, invalid. The torpedoes are making wakes toward the good ship COG.

    Do you think maybe the PUC will put their decision off until October 9. Barbara and Dave must be choking on their buffet sandwiches.

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    1. Sorry to say I'm OK with any of the Conway loyalists having trouble digesting, but won't the cities who have been scammed have to pay the bill?

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    2. That is unfortunately the catch. And with guardians of our interests at the COG such as Mosca and Walsh, chances are we are going to get creamed.

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    3. Any contract made in violation of section 1090 is void and cannot be enforced. An official who commits a violation of section 1090 is subject to felony prosecution and civil and administrative sanctions.

      A person convicted of violating section 1090 is also forever disqualified from holding any office in this state.

      If the Conway loyalists had an inkling of intelligence they would fire Nick now. They are making all member cities liable for their cronyism with Conway. The COG taken on about 2 million in grants, and has about 600k in the bank. That leaves them 1.4 million short. Divide that by 30 Cities. You do the math.

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    4. Looks like Duarte is a little short too:
      http://www.latimes.com/news/local/la-me-0731-duarte-20120731,0,4157282.story

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    5. It IS truly an epidemic, 5:47! It really is.
      California must now be the capital of CORRUPTION in the entire United States?
      What is so troublesome is that we are all getting so used to reading these shocking stories, they are no longer shocking us anymore.
      This is very bad. Very bad.
      While our politicians are corrupt for the most part, we cannot blame them, they are what they are. We must blame ourselves for voting these people into powerful positions, the ones that are destroying our country.
      We truly are the "CULTURE OF CORRUPTION", and it is the fault of complacent voters.

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    6. We're Number One!!

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    7. Corruption knows no borders. Global pandemic. Greed is good....

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    8. Greed very well might be good. Which would mean that the bad news here is the greedy are leaving for other states.

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  17. I'm not sure that my adopted state is the capital of corruption. What many people of good will consider corrupt and what may be indeed codified as illegal in California quite often constitutes ordinary bidness in many parts of our country. Don't be fooled by the contrived and self-proclaimed "honesty" sold by "rugged individualists" in cowboy hats and boots.

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  18. The rubber stamp of city council members Koerber, Capoccia, Moran, Walsh and Harabedian are pretty much the same. Harabedian did appear to take up the good fight, of past council member McGilvery's insight to agendize discussion regarding COG and ridding the city of this corrupt government group of slush fund finance.
    Speaking of generic design; you mean the ALF? The lack of APN numbers on the November ballot is the same as the DSP! The town will lose the "not like Los Angeles" appeal, and those 96 oldsters won't count towards the census of data.

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