Wednesday, September 12, 2012

Last Night's City Council Meeting Was Real

"State Senator Carol Liu wants to give our students the same due we give our prisoners." - Mayor Josh Moran's take last evening on an interesting Liu campaign theme

This is going to be the speed version of what went down last night. It is very late and all I am really thinking about right now is getting some rest. Or so I hope. Maybe not. Of course, the City Council meeting was restful at times and, I'll be the first to admit, the moments of excitement were not that common. But there were a few. If you made it through the whole thing and caught these brief shining moments of clarity then you truly walk among the select. You are also probably an insomniac.

A few interesting points were raised during the discussion of the Consent Calendar. John Capoccia brought up the Michillinda/Sierra Madre Blvd traffic light, which apparently partially desecrates Sierra Madre territory. It appears that we share ownership with Pasadena, and that costs us $2,800 a year. Chris Koerber commented that this is a very good reason for never wanting another one.

John Capoccia commented on the $25,000 fuel bill for Sierra Madre's fleet of vehicles. Using the current average price per gallon and vehicle milage estimates that comes out to 62,000 miles worth of driving in a 3 square mile village. Elaine Aguilar assured him that it takes a lot of driving to get the City's work done. It turns out that this $25,000 figure covers only 4 months, and that the actual yearly total amount needed to fuel the purple fleet is $75,000. Which I guess translates to 186,000 driving miles. Perhaps the Green Committee should look into the global warming aspects of this. And maybe more walking is called for here as well.

Chris Koerber discussed the $705,000 Joint Powers Insurance Association payment the City needed to make. A staggering amount of money made even worse by the fact that apparently there is an additional $2,000,000 in payments to go. Out of this evening's figure the breakdown is approximately $192,000 for Workman's Comp, with the balance going to cover General Liability. If you were to take the insurance and legal expenses of every City in California and add them up, the total figure would be enormous. If Sacramento is looking for a way to free up some tax money to pay down its billions of dollars in debt, maybe this is it. Time to do some legislating.

Both Josh Moran and Nancy Walsh emoted glowingly about State Senate candidate Carol Liu. Which is reason enough to vote for her opponent. Apparently Carol impressed them with her perceptions on the RHNA issue, and how built-out foothill cities such as ours are in no position to accommodate the heavy layer of new development this could create. Carol apparently charmed them with her skepticism about the so-called "RHNA Process," and how, if elected in our new State Senate district, she would do something about it. I doubt that very much.

Two appointments to the Senior Community Commission were made without much undue comment from the City Council. The two candidates who achieved their goals were Fran Garbaccio and Marilyn McKernan. Pat Birdsall did have an impressive resume, which included the establishment of a publication for retired Sierra Madreans called "Senior Moments."

Water Conservation and the need for controversial fines and other penalties was aired out a bit. I found it interesting that apparently this is not just for times of severe drought and other water emergencies, but for non-crisis times as well. In a City where the water billing haul has declined markedly because of resident conservation, the need to create penalties for over-usage kind of rings false. This was hardly the first time the penalty portion of this Ordinance has been reviewed, with Bruce Inman commenting that what he was presenting last night fairly represented the easing of penalties requested by the City Council the last time this matter came up for review.

You could easily see that the City Council wanted much more than a ten foot pole to touch this one, and the item was once again sent back to staff for further tinkering. And, of course, not for the first time.

The more interesting portion of this discussion came during Public Comment. The call for capturing more rainwater runoff, plus using "gray water" for things such as toilets and garden watering, were once again brought up by concerned residents. There was also the matter of bizarrely inaccurate water billing. We have all heard the horror stories, and an especially compelling one was repeated last night. The question being how can a City claim the right to levy financial penalties for over-usage on residents when it can't even get its water billing straight?

The "Requests for Proposals for City Attorney Services" was taken on next, and as slow moving a process as this is, you could sense that something inevitable is on its way. It is expected that once our offer to entertain bids from legal firms is sent out by City Hall, there will be a robust response from an industry that has suffered terribly during the Great Recession. Which is why it makes so much sense to go out for an RFP at this time. There are a lot of hungry attorneys out there looking for business, making it a buyer's market. Plus it would be nice to have a City Attorney that puts the peoples' business ahead of specious agendas that have much more to do with the interests of those who threaten our way of life here. We won't be seeing much real action until 2013, but I think that now we at least know it will really happen.

There was one odd moment. Nancy Walsh asked Chris Koerber to discuss the numbers he'd gotten from the legal firms he had already spoken with. Chris responded by saying he had spoken to no legal firms about this matter, and what inspired him to initiate an RFP for legal services came from reading articles on the topic in The Wall Street Journal. Apparently many businesses have achieved great savings by going out for new bids on legal services. You really have to wonder who it is that coaches Nancy. Obviously she does not come up with these odd gambits all by herself.

I found Item #5 to be particularly interesting, in part because the issues spoken about last night were covered here on The Tattler years ago (click here). The topic was all about our local City run bus business and what in the world we are doing being in it. Which means this blog is finally going mainstream, I guess. On August 17 of 2009 we noted the following:

Gateway Coach Express - The numbers:
1) Ridership: June 2008 229 trips, June 2009 219 trips. Quantity of riders is down 10 trips. Assuming 1 person rides both ways, that is 5 less riders for the month.
2) June 2009: Assuming 1 person equals 2 trips, that comes to 109 round trips. Assuming 22 workdays per month, that comes to fractionally less than 5 riders to and from the Gold Line every day. Meaning this shuttle is more often than not empty.
3) Youths and Seniors ride for free. Adults made 80 of the trips, so at .50 cents a throw the City of Sierra Madre took in $40.
4) Cost considerations: An average of just 5 people are using this shuttle roundtrip daily. This works out to 3 hours of bus time plus driver salary for 5 people.

That was 3 years ago. Last night concerned residents supplied similar figures to the City Council, some of whom expressed shock at the profligate waste of funding this represents. John Capoccia pointed out that it costs the City $75 to bus someone to the Sierra Madre Villa Gold Line station, which is almost quadruple the cost of a cab. We're talking about hundreds of thousands of dollars a year in state funding, some of which could be used for far better purposes. Thankfully it looks like we are finally going to get some action on this. It certainly took long enough.

The promised flow chart detailing the progress being made by the General Plan Update Committee in rejiggering Sierra Madre's General Plan was revealed next. Things are going well and soon this project will be completed. The atmosphere during this discussion remained civil, which is quite a contrast to the strange outbursts on the topic in the past from Joe Mosca and Nancy Walsh. What an adventure it has been for the volunteers involved in updating this important document.

Finally the City Council had its long needed discussion on "City Council Liaison Duties and Responsibilities." This is actually one of the more important topics to come up in a while. The failure of City Council liaisons to attend meetings or to participate effectively when they do show up is far costlier than you might have imagined. And I am not just talking about Sierra Madre alone here because this is a problem everywhere.

A strong example of the consequences of this failure to lead would be the San Gabriel Valley Council Of Governments, or COG. For years this organization was used as the personal piggy bank of an unscrupulous official, and it was done in plain view of the City Council liaisons who attended COG's meetings. And right up to the point when this individual was arrested by the D.A. on three (correction: four) conflict of interest felony counts, only a select few liaisons to the COG were reporting that anything was wrong. Among them our own Don Watts and MaryAnn MacGillivray.

Democracy only works when the citizens are intimately involved. A category that especially includes City Councilmembers.

That's enough preaching for today.

http://sierramadretattler.blogspot.com

81 comments:

  1. It could be said the statement about laisons to the COG is not quite accurate. When MaryAnn and Watts were attnding these meetings, they did complain about this organization to the point of wanting the city to withdraw membership, without directly making this accusation. This was vetoed by Buchanan and Mosca.

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  2. I think it would be cheaper and more effective if we issued travel chits to the 7 people who take the bus and let them call a taxi cab. it is certainly more "green" than having these empty vehicles roaming the town all day.

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    1. Why do tax payers owe anyone a free ride to the Gold Line Station?

      Especially, considering that one of the Metro buses going through town already goes to the Gold Line Station.

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  3. The Gateway Coach was established to link Sierra Madre to the Gold Line/219 "Transit Corridor." This to show that we are a public transit community and therefore firmly under the purview of SB 375. Only problem is nobody wanted to take this bus. Thank God it is going away.

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    1. Don't be too sure it is going away. More delays by the council and even wanting to bring it back to the Community Services Commission will certainally mean they will come up with a reason the Gateway should be kept. And remember, some of that gas money is going to fill up the Gateway and Round About buses that run around Sierra Madre empty most of the time. Just because we can get funds from the government doesn't mean we have to spend them on useless projects. (The bullet train to nowhere, for example)

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  4. Carol Liu says she opposes the whole RHNA debacle, but one of her top contributors is the CAR?

    Oh yes, Josh. I believe you.

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    1. I guess this means Josh is a Liu-ser.

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  5. Walsh was coached to ask that question of Koerber, and looked a proper fool when he responded. She was out of it once again.

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    1. Obviously that came from Buchanan.

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    2. Walsh was sharing her civility. She learned that from Josh.

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    3. Josh was right in there with Walsh trying to zing Koerber. I need to watch the meeting again to get the exact quote, but at the time, I thought, "what was that all about, and why are they trying to discredit Koerber?" Of course the answer is that they are not wanting to change law firms and will do anything to discredit Koerber for even bringing it up.

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    4. C&L bend the rules for a price. There are people in Sierra Madre who see that as worth the money.

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    5. Worth the money. Our money.

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    6. when the agenda of Council members is to berate other Council members it's time for Josh and Nancy to leave the council after one term

      a total waste of time and energy - counterproductive and self serving

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    7. Nancy Walsh doesn't need anyone's help to make her foolish and unprepared.

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    8. Good point, 11:35. You are absolutely right. Josh was trying to carry a point that Nancy dropped, and that they both had been told to do.

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    9. Not certain that worked out for them.

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    10. Might be Neuroblast worthy.

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  6. Part of the reason it is so clear when Council member Walsh is prepped is that she never has anything to say when she gets a reply.
    Her coaches give her the first line, but they don't rehearse particular responses.
    Or maybe they do, and she forgets them.

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    1. Realistically, it is a miracle she even remembered the first question.

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    2. She has crib notes on a pad.

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    3. The most frustrating thing about this current Council is that no matter who is speaking, be it audience or council member, Josh has to put his three cents in before anyone else has a chance to speak. Protocol mandates that the Chair (Mayor) allow all to speak before he has his say, Having the discussion prior to public comment often leads to the impression that no matter what the public has to say on a subject, the council members have already made up their minds.

      Proper way to run a meeting, Mr. Mayor is to have a staff report, have council ask questions to clarify (not discuss), have public comment, and then have your discussion. And, Mr. Mayor, you should not give your opinion each and every time someone speaks. You need to hear everyone out, and then express your opinion. Debating from the dias to the public is never in good form. Chris Koerber was dead right on when he asked the Mayor to have public comment first. Mr. Mayor, you have a lot to learn about conducting a public meeting.

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    4. let's face it folks, we elected a couple of blooming incomptents on the Council, Josh and Nancy

      I never thought I'd miss the wandering meanderings of droned monotones of John Buchanan, but Josh comes across as a spoiled brat who wants to chide everyone who he disagrees with and has to give his self annoited enlighted opinion whether anybody cares or not.

      hey Josh, do us a favor and just be quiet. you sound smarter when your mouth isn't open.

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    5. Good observations 12:04. I hope the mayor and/or his helpers will give them consideration. I get the feeling that Mayor Moran thinks he's being a Master of Ceremonies, and the chatter is for entertainment.

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  7. Check the odometers of the city's fleet of cars and trucks!

    $75,000 for gas at $4.25 per gallon equals 17,647 gallons - annually.

    186,000 miles each and every year divided by the number of cars and trucks would reveal how many average miles should be racked up on each vehicle.

    So if there are 30 vehicles (cars, trucks, vans, buses), then the average miles per year would be 6,200 miles per vehicle.

    If one divides 6,200 miles by the major and collector streets in the city's general plan (circulation element - Parking and Traffic), one might find an interesting figure that may or may not make sense.

    If the number of trips and miles per vehicle do not add up, then one may wonder "where is the city-purchased gas being consumed?" If access to and consumption of the city's gas is granted to city employees, one would hope that this "perk," if allowed and being used, is properly reported to the IRS and State Franchise Board as taxable income.

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    1. That is a lot of donut runs.

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    2. Don't some of the staff have cars to drive to their homes in other cities?

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    3. Let's not forget the three police cars that always gather when they have a traffic stop outside of city limits

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    4. That is because they're in hot pursuit of a major crime. Like a broken tail light.

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    5. Sierra Madre may be three square miles on the flat map but within that is probably over half a square mile that takes no gasoline at all--ask the hikers and the wildlife.

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    6. WHERE IS OUR CITY EMPLOYEES FILLING UP THEIR CARS?

      1. At a Sierra Madre Gas station ?

      2. or does the city yard have its own gas pump?

      3. if the city yard has its own gas pump, it is possibility that their are no highway taxes being collected...That's illegal to purchase gas, drive on highways, and pay no gasoline taxes !!!!!

      So in that case the cost of gas would be much cheaper than $4.25 a gallon!

      > Therefor the city employees are driving more miles

      4. Why in the hell does any city employee need a company car?

      > Why does the residents of sierra madre have to pay those city employees a gas incentive to drive their car to work and return home and go on vacation?

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    7. Bruce Inman, who lives in West Covina, has been given a City vehicle that he drives from work to home and vice versa. I wouldn't be surprised if he and his family used it for non work related driving. I'm fairly certain that Elaine Aguilar enjoys the same perk.

      I see the police driving to Pasadena several times a day, every day. At first, I thought that the Sierra Madre Police had been surreptitiously taken over by Pasadena, at our expense. Then I remembered what cops really do, and figured they were just going to pick up their bribe and/or drug money.

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    8. Chief Diaz admitted that they patrolled outside of the city because arrests made deep into Arcadia and Pasadena "used" to be listed on the police blotter.

      But, she said that the arrests and traffic tickets were made as our PD went back and forth to the PD jail and courthouse but never explained why our PD was making arrests at 2 am or so up on Live Oak in Arcadia. Said something lame like they were following a suspicious vehicle which just shows how incompetent our PD is, they have to follow a vehicle for miles and miles and then pull somebody over?

      Nope, our PD patrols outside of our city limits - how else can they explain their fuel costs?

      making donut runs to Alhambra?

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    9. there is a very simple way to track and monitor fuel costs even with a fuel storge tank in the city yard but the current system isn't very good and allows for easy fraud and misuse because it only is used with fuel cards and the costs are not isolated to individual vehicles - an employee isn't given a fuel card - the vehicle is given and fuel card and each employee has a PIN number to activate the pumps, which id's the employee - time of transaction and the odometer reading

      and Elaine should pay for her own gas - total BS to give a city employee a fuel card or vehicle for personal use with commuting.

      if she doesn't like losing the "perk" - quit.

      it's our money - not the city managers



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    10. the system in place for fuel management allows for the perception and opens the door for misuse, fraud and stealing.

      there are simple sytems that can be installed and managed by outside contractors providing reports of per vehicle use and costs per vehicle for fuel - typically when a company refuses to use a proven fuel management system somebody is either hiding shrinkage or feel that using a unsophisticated fleet card system is cost effective which is proven not to be the case

      the post office fuel uses such a fuel card system and the same pin code system can be installed at the city pumps



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    11. @11:53 am -

      I'd be concerned if city employees are using city-owned vehicles for non-city business. It might be wise to check with the CJPIA to see what the city's exposure/risk is to real- or frivolous lawsuits for accidents (or near misses) where a victim and their lawyer sees deep pockets and sues the city for big bucks.

      One little accident (or worse) would possibly be a very costly expense to the city or the CJPIA. (perhaps someone should alert the CJPIA of this exposure so they can take appropriate steps to review the risk to the "pool" that all the insured pay into. I'm sure that other cities and municipalities in the pool would like to be sure that Sierra Madre is equitably paying into the pool commensurate with their risk and exposure)

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  8. Come on Tattler, give COG Executive Director the credit he deserves. It wasn't three felony counts he was arrested for. It was four.

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    1. You're right. I have sold Nick short.

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    2. Don't insult Nick with a mere three felonies. He has a reputation to uphold!

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    3. Nick "Four Felonies" Conway will take down the whole COG with him. His arrest continues to be nothing but good news.

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    4. Why did the Mayor of Sierra Madre fail to put the removal of our City from the COG on the Agenda?

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  9. You simply cannot count on the water bill to give you an accurate picture of what your water consumption is for any 60 day period. Last night I heard that you are to conserve 45% of your 2006 consumption IF we hit a stage 4 drought stage.

    Was anyone else listening last night? One fact Councilman Capoccia brought out was that other ordinances penalize on the consumption ONLY, but Sierra Madre's stage 4 penalizes on the whole bill. That would mean that at the first penalty you would be paying double on your meter rental (it is their property, remember?) and the sewer monthly fee?

    As far as I can tell, they let the language of the January 2012 Ordinance stand without revision, but then there was this:
    1st violation: double the consumption (water usage) cost , 2nd violation: tripple the cost of the consumption, 3rd violation retrictor installed to decrease the flow to the point where (and this is from Inmann's report) the property may not be inhabitable.

    Can you legally do that? A landlord has to provide water to his/her tennants or face stiff fines. Can a city be different? We pay property taxes to live in this town on property we may own, or pay the bank towards our owning, or rent to an owner. Wouldn't the city have to provide water if we are paying for the sewer, meter and H2O. What part of the bill keeps coming if the restrictor has made the property inhabitable. A house for sale has to have running water to show that the lines work, do not leak, etc.

    What is this city and the city council thinking? Geez!

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    1. 09/11 $1,633,230

      It was truly a 9/11 Meeting!

      The city warrants exceeds a Million Dollars Once Again!

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  10. What was the remark about the penalty cost was really not much more than $15.00 so people's concerns were a "joke.". Did I hear the mayor correctly?

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    1. That is pretty much Josh's shtick any time money is to come out of the hide of the residents. Remember when he said the UUT increase was only the price of a couple of lattes? Said something similar during the water rate hike. Josh is big on nickel and dining people.

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    2. Moran doesn't really mean many of the things he says, especially when they are the little throw aways in between other statements.
      He suffers from the keep-talking syndrome, where an idea will be finished but he feels compelled to continue dribbling out words rather than close his mouth and be quiet.
      The words are coming out, and the brain is trying to catch up.
      Our council seems to attract people with that syndrome.

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    3. It is a tell. He wants to be liked, but he knows his intentions are not really what people want. So he oversells himself.

      The explanation for Uriah Heep on Wikipedia reads this way: "The character is notable for his cloying humility, obsequiousness, and insincerity, making frequent references to his own "humbleness." His name has become synonymous with being a yes man."

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    4. I have observed the same thing, this version of endless verbiage. Of course Buchanan was the past master at it, so maybe that influenced the Mayor. To me it shows fear of not having control. As long as an "uh" "um" or "ah" is coming out, no one is supposed to interrupt.

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

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    6. You neglected to mention the Prince of Uh, Joe Mosca.

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    7. Sometimes Joe's brain fell behind his mouth.

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  11. THE CITY RESIDENTS NEED TO CREATE A WATER & SEWER BALLOT INITIATIVE,
    1. the residents would determine the water and sewer rates,
    2. the residents would remove the power from our local government.

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    1. Sounds good to me 10:56. The less power the council has, the better. You get the initiative together & I'll sign it. Think the cost starts at $10,000.

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  12. Water is a utility so residents can't determine water and sewer rates. Our only recourse is the 218 process that we went through last time with the water rate hike. And you see how that worked. We won't have a chance again as long as C & L are in control and they can change the rules as they please as they did last time.

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    1. You know Buchanan and the rest are going to play dirty on the RFP. You saw Nancy last night. This is life and death for the people who want the people of Sierra Madre kept in their place.

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    2. Nancy and Josh aren't going quietly.

      What are they so afraid that we'll find out about?

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    3. Nancy and Josh are C & L stooges. Harabedian will probably back one of his campaign contributors.

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    4. As We saw, Prop 218 failed to protect all Sierra Madre REsidents.

      Yes its true, the Residents can vote - pass - the water & sewer Ballot & Initiative - and the residents will have new sewer & water rates...
      we can take the power away from the city council...

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    5. what date was it that the Tattler ran the article about Josh, John Buchanan, and Nancy having dinner at the League of Cities convention with C & L law firm paying the bill?

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    6. August 1st. It is titled "A Brown Act Dinner With Colantuono & Levin?"

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  13. We have their support...

    I have talked to Political Agencies for help!

    If you care to get involved, lets talk!

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  14. RE - We have their support

    As We saw, Prop 218 failed to protect all Sierra Madre REsidents.

    Yes its true, the Residents can vote - pass - the water & sewer Ballot & Initiative - and the residents will have new sewer & water rates...
    we can take the power away from the city council..

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  15. Somebody posted on yesterday's thread that Colantuono and Levin want out. Anyone know if that's so? I can't figure out why there's so little opposition to the RFP. I don't think Sierra Madre's firing them will make much of a dent in their robust income. Did they bring in Highsmith as the exit attorney?

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    1. I believe that there is opposition to the RFP. But this opposition will not be evident to anyone outside of the inner circles. The bids that will come in from other firms will be vastly cheaper than anything C&L will do. What makes C& L so necessary to the downtown development crowd is that they bend the rules. And for what they have in mind that is a necessary thing. They will fight this hard and long, but again, not out in the open. They do not want to be seen as people who will spend a lot more than necessary for a City Atty. But they are, and for very specific reasons.

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  16. As frustrating and dull as city meetings are, it is still a great pleasure to watch Capoccia and Koerber ask questions that show they've done their work and they have better ideas than those that have been in place.
    Thanks gentlemen.

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    1. It really is good to have two functioning adults on the council. Such a contrast to Josh and Nancy.

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  17. unless the city has an automated card system for the fuel tanks and fuel budget management, I guarantee you that fuel costs is being mismanaged and most likely there is a percent that is being re-routed into personal vehicles and/or being totally wasted

    we see our cops gun their engine at every stop sign and race through town and i would venture an intelligent guess that our fuel costs with our PD is probably inflated and probably nobody analyzes fuel costs with the exception of just paying the bills

    i wonder what the fuel costs are for comparable cities (3 miles wide and self contained) and what the mpg is for each city vehicle (it can be managed quite simply if the city lifted a finger and tried)



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  18. if the two blooming iditos Josh and Nancy are endorsing or backhanding supporting a political candidate during the Council meetings, I know and believe that the candidate they support cannot be good for Sierra Madre because neither Josh or Nancy are good for Sierra Madre

    Josh openly admitted to desiring to use the Council position for payback to this friends and supporters and Nancy is just plain clueless - hasn't contributed anything since being elected expect insulting volunteers and spreading vile.

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  19. city vehicles, except on official city business should remain in Sierra Madre.

    like our PD - stop patrolling outside of the city at night - we all know they do it and until Chief Diaz went on the record of admitting that our PD does and then stop listing any outside the city arrests or traffic tickets on the police blotter reeks of cover up or just ticket padding

    tell Bruce to pay for his own gas - or quit - that's not a job perk in the real world and he should be given a 1099 for the value of the fuel

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    1. Just night time?!

      I see them in Pasadena during the day time....most of the time. I've seen Sierra Madre cops pulling people over on Rosemead a number of times...during the day. Don't give me this garbage they're only outside the city at night. Like the fire department, they spend most of their time OUTSIDE of the city.

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  20. The City Manager drives a big hunkin' truck whch gets terrible gas milage. She bragged about this monster truck being buffeted about in the wind storm at 3 in the morning when she was driving into town Dec. 1st. She lives in West Covina. Inmann lives in Irvine I believe.

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  21. John Capoccia and Chris Koerber are the only two members of that council who have any integrity, the others are either incompetent or malefactors.

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  22. The city brings up the idea of an expensive ATM machine installed for the library making paying fines easier for those patrons that have no cash; and now we Sierra Madreans find out that the real ATM has been down in the city yard for years, in the form of a gas pump, free to the elite city employees and staff.

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    1. At last we know what EVG stands for. Elaine's Vigorish Gas.

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  23. Lack luster do nothing canadiates should not be elected to the state senate.

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    1. We're new to Liu because of redistricting. But she is currently a State Senator. And for the life of me I can find no record of her opposing the RHNA process anywhere while in office. There is nothing on the Internet anyway. Do you think that maybe she was pulling Josh and Nancy's legs?

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  24. Thank you poster: 7:26 am and thank you 11:45 am and thank you 12:04 pm. Knowledge is strength.

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  25. Carol Liu's website has lots of good words, good causes, and then there's this:
    Member, Select Committee on Climate Change and AB 32 Implementation

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  26. Other municipalities have saved tremendous amounts of money securing less expensive legal services as well as contracting out for police (sheriff)services. We in Sierra Madre need to do both.

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  27. City officials drive their vehicles outside of city limits all the time, probably just going to lunch or running errands (I've seen police vehicles at Hastings Ranch shopping center in Pasadena as well as in Arcadia on several occasions). At $5 per gallon, the cost of service for using city vehicles inappropriately rises astronomically for each unwarranted trip outside the city limits.

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