Tuesday, November 27, 2012

Is The British Home Going Full Tilt Into Elder Care Expansion Mode?

Bulldozer ready?
We have seen the future of Sierra Madre, and it is ... elder care? With the overwhelming voter approval of the ALF it seems apparent that our town is now seen as being a favorable place for large elder care facilities. Both by those who live here and the outside corporations who want to set up those kinds of operations in our little town. But what about our long established senior care facility on Manzanita Avenue, that most properly titled The British Home in California? Have they too seen the light, and are looking to expand their operations to reflect the bright new economic future that awaits all who ply this profession in Sierra Madre?

The British Home in California, which is in a part of the state called Sierra Madre, has been around since 1931. Which makes it quite a venerable institution for our village. Here is how they describe themselves on their website (click here):

The British Home is a non-profit organization well known for over eighty years of outstanding service to our senior citizens.  The Home is a unique care facility providing gracious retirement living for seniors of all nationalities, races and religions.  The Home is located in a quiet residential area of Sierra Madre in the superb climate and attractive foothills of the San Gabriel Mountains.

The Home's beautifully landscaped two and a half acres contain five separate cottages, each having its own lounge, kitchen, and individual en-suite bedrooms.  The five cottages combined provide high quality living for a total of 37 residents.  Three of the cottages are for independent living and two cottages are devoted to assisted living for current residents in need of additional attention. Nursing staff are on duty 24 hours a day, 7 days a week.

All well and good, and certainly this is an institution that has enjoyed both a fine reputation in Sierra Madre and a good rapport with its immediate neighbors. However, the British Home is now beginning to show very clears signs of wanting to expand their operation. That has some of the people that I have spoken to in that neighborhood expressing some reservations. And the way they are going about it has become a matter of concern as well.

There is a Public Hearing Notice on the matter in this week's Looney Views News. Here in part is what it has to say:

Subject: Conditional Use Permit 12-04 (CUP 12-04); The British Home Specific Plan - Specific Plan No. 12-01 (SP 12-01); Municipal Code Text Amendment No. 12-02 (MCTA 12-02)

Applicant: The British Home

Project Location: 647 Manzanita Avenue and 676 Ramona Avenue

The City of Sierra Madre gives notice, pursuant to State of California law, that the planning Commission will conduct a public hearing to consider a request for a Conditional Use Permit to allow 1) the addition of 754 square feet of floor area to an existing building at 647 Manzanita Avenue, and 2) demolition of an existing single-family home and construction of a new one-story, 3,591-square-foot, 8-bedroom residential building at 676 Ramona Avenue as part of the British Home site. The new building will allow an increase in the total number of residents on the site from 41 to 49.

Date and Time Of Hearing: City of Sierra Madre Planning Commission meeting, Thursday, December 6, 2012, 7 p.m.

So here is the catch. According to the residents from that neighborhood who contacted me, the Ramona Avenue location (pictured above) was purchased without any news of The British Home in California's plans for the site being shared with the City, or anyone else. They just up and did it, and with the assumption that when their efforts got underway they would receive everything they want. A process they have now begun.

It has also been noted that the Ramona home is a well-maintained and attractive residence. If this is the kind of property that is to be razed, then there are really no homes in the area that would not be considered for a similar fate by The British Home. The fear is they could march PacMan style all the way over to Michillinda should that fit their plans for business expansion. The residential ambiance of that community is apparantly not seen as being any sort of hindrance to such a move.

There is also the matter of zoning for that area. The British Home has been around for 80 some odd years, and its institutional status is likely grandfathered in. They were there before any such considerations even existed. However, the neighborhood that surrounds it is all R1, single family homes. This would likely require a zone change to account for the high density nature of their expansion plans, both on Manzanita and Ramona. No small consideration for these parts. Is that something we'd really want for that neighborhood?

Something else that also needs some discussion is this is not a Measure V neighborhood. Should the area be rezoned for high density institutional living, the sky could literally be the limit. And should aggressive elder care expansion become the rule in that area, as it now is elsewhere in Sierra Madre, there really would be nothing to prevent some extremely large structures being built in that area. Even if the rooms inside of them are suites.

Something to keep an eye on next week.

Live Blog Tonight's City Council Meeting!

We'd been kicking this idea around for the last couple of months or so. The notion being that anyone could come onto this blog and comment about what was going on during the City Council meeting as they were watching it on SMTV3. Or even from the Council Chamber itself as City Hall does share its wifi with visitors these days. And during the last City Council meeting Live Blogging really took off with over 180 comments posted by the time everything was over. This was not only highly gratifying, but I also had a lot of great leads and ideas to explore for the next day's meeting wrap up on The Tattler.

So we'll be doing it again tonight. I will be on hand, as will some of The Tattler's most experienced commenters. And, I hope, you will be as well. There will be a wide range of important topics under consideration by the City Council tonight, from budgets and city finances all the way to chickens. Here is your chance to be heard.

Drop by tonight around 6:30 p.m. and join in the conversation. We'll even let you type for more than 3 minutes.

http://sierramadretattler.blogspot.com

171 comments:

  1. i thought there were only seven dwarves. ah. the eighth cottage is for nurse snow white. ok. i get it. that way she won't need to come in on the sierra madre radio-flyer.

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    1. That radio flyer has now been swapped out for a unicorn drawn pedicab.

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    2. i hope it is equipped with an oxygen tank and a defibrillator

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    3. CARB has identified unicorns as a Class 1 greenhouse gas source.

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  2. Has the British Home in California identified their additional water sources yet?

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    Replies
    1. the ramona avenue garden hose trickle

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  3. autumn cleaning. in with the old, in with the new.

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    1. Are they suites or units?

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  4. Nancy Walsh is hoping the project is finished by 2014 so that she can campaign there.

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    1. if you vote for me, i promise organic creamed corn every monday, and mashed potato surprise, cut with..... i mean, mixed....... every tuesday- with a different surprise each time!

      if you vote for me.... i promise our very own, home grown, fermented and lamented- sierra madre vino- a very, very dry whine which goes well with all of the delights here, at the british elders mirage and toot suites

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  5. Our city council overwhelmingly approved the behemoth The Kensington. Undoubtedly this expansion will be overwhelmingly approved too.

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  6. If the city was genuinely worried about water, we'd have a moratorium on new water hook ups. That means the Brit Home would be entitled to the existing hook up for that house they bought, and nothing more. And the Alfington would be entitled to what is in place at the old SNF, and nothing more.

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    Replies
    1. The City's approach to the water crisis is schizophrenic at best.

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  7. Let's say for the sake of argument that the home in question was going to be converted to a group home for recovering drug and substance abusers. Something not quite so feel goody as genial grey haired elders. How would that shake out in the neighborhood?

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    1. A rehab center for well-heeled junkies? That would set off some alarms. Have there been any assurances on that possibility? Honestly, I am hearing about any of this for the first time today. Frankly I am puzzled and a little upset that this was kept a big secret.

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    2. if this were the case Josh Moran would hold the Council meetings there - any Council member who will get obviously intoxicated at the 4th of July beer garden has issues

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  8. Looking at the picture, why did the city put their sign all the way to the left instead of in front of the house?

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  9. The city threw out the welcome mat for a for-profit corpo from out of town who caters to the wealthiest elders, and who will pack 'em in there. There is no way they can say no to a non-profit home grown small expansion. It's done.

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  10. The expansion of the British Empire ended long ago.
    I also wonder what the newly formulated general plan for Sierra Madre says about this area. does it call for adding to the Institutional zone here?

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    Replies
    1. Mayor Easy says no worries. We'll just get some white out and change a few words.

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    2. It's a fantasy to think that the general plan actually informs councils' decisions.

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    3. I agree with that observation, 8:19, but t least the General Plan is there should an outraged resident want to sue the city for taking an action that is prohibited by the GP.

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    4. Defending the General Plan is defending resident rights. That we have a city government that would willingly trample all over our rights for a couple extra dirty tax dollars is disgraceful.

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  11. If the blogging is "live" tonight, does that mean that this mornings is coming from the Pioneer Cemetary?

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  12. So if the Pinney House/Sierra Madre Hotel doesn't make it as an outrageously priced boutique bed & breakfast it can be converted to a elder care facility? In our lifetimes Sierra Madre can re-emerge as a foothill village of wealthy seniors in need of help with hairbrushing and buttoning. Instead of school children painting Halloween scenes on downtown shop windows, we can have parades of aluminum walkers pushed by local residents in sheets demanding sweets. If it makes money, our Council wants to tax it!

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    1. There are worse places to be.

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    2. Yep.
      So it begins.

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    3. Yes there are, 9:18. Pioneer Cemetery would be one of them.

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  13. Time to expand Measure V! What's good for downtown is good for ALL of Sierra Madre. 2-30-13 all the way!

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  14. Fountain Square is positively salivating! Foothill Elder Village has a sort of nice ring to it.

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    Replies
    1. Elderville. Where full service means full assistance.

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  15. Unfortunately, assisted living is permitted in ALL areas of the City. It appears the lot is large enough for more buildings so consider this a done deal especially because the Planning Commission doesn't give a damn about parking of which the current site has very little. I truly feel sorry for the neighbors. The next thing that the City will see are group home for unmanageable teens.

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    Replies
    1. Or unruly chickens! Group homes for unruly chickens!

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    2. My solution is we move City Staff down to Howie's and then finance our town's needs by turning City Hall into an assisted living facility. The profit in these things is immense. This would allow us to sunset the UUT back to 6% and pay down some of the water bonds.

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  16. See General Plan Institutional Land Uses Objective L 36, L36.1, L36.2. Also check out the zoning code.

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    1. After you check those out, get ready for the council to 'amend' them in order to accommodate the British Home project. It'll go something like 5-0 for.

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    2. I think the line will be that this is the kind of development that makes sense for Sierra Madre.

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    3. Acceptance of the Kensington makes the acceptance of this, and any other smaller projects, automatic.
      That's why it's a bad idea to give an inch.

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    4. The irony is Measure V was designed to preserve downtown Sierra Madre. Yet when the time came to use it the issue instead became preserving Measure V.

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  17. The Mayor just used his chicken-on-the-agenda for comedy.

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    1. He's the one who got it on the agenda. He's entitled.

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    2. the bet chicken joke ever--- Lately my aunt has been acting a bit strangely, she seems to think she's a chicken. really? Why don't you send her off to a mental institution? We can't, we need the eggs.

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  18. Paulie Goosebumps! Speaking on the fiscal cliff no less.

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    1. OK, no joke anymore - anyone know any of Hovesepian's friends? Somebody's got to help him.
      Preaching about Jesus?

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  19. Harabedian is trying to hide his Public Safety deal. Moved it to the end.

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    Replies
    1. I agree with you 6:41. That was odd.

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  20. Oh no, Paulie Goosebumps thinks the consumer is the job creator! Really? Where does the consumer get his money to spend if it's not from a job from some "rich guy"?

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  21. Paulie Goosebumps called Jesus a socialist. Paulie should donate his house to the poor.

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    Replies
    1. Paul was inaccurate in that. Jesus was a communist.

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  22. The poor residents who were there to honor the police chief just got treated to a nut case's 3 minutes.

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  23. The new Chief is letting Marilyn Diaz pin something on him. He has great faith.

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  24. Oh No! I just noticed that Harabedian is wearing a Joe Mosca green tie! What can is possibly mean?

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  25. Chief Giannone has just assured us that he doesn't want to overthrow the government. That is reassuring.

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  26. Guess there is no weight requirement for the police dept. Did you see his gut?

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    Replies
    1. Maybe that will prevent him from trying to overthrow the government.

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  27. Damn. And I thought everyone was there for the chicken ordinance.

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  28. Heck I missed Public Comment and Paul. Phooey

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    1. I think he is getting ready to run for City Council.

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  29. Do you think that Paulie G will become a regular fixture at council again? I think we should allow him all the time he wants except we should make him wear a sign tha stays "I'm a friend/supporter o Joe Mosca.".

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  30. Ok . Pat and De Alcorn have taken their seats. let's get this meeting moving!

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  31. Bad organization here - the City Manager should be up and ushering the crowd out tout suite. This is a business meeting, not a party.

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  32. Ok, so now we have official rules and procedures on running the council meeting. I think that's a good thing. didn't Nancy vote against this?

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    1. Nancy is an anarchist. She thinks rules are for fools.

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    2. Nancy just stated she is against it. Finds it to be "too cast in concrete." I guess she fears it will keep her from doing her own thing.

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    3. Nancy is afraid of being held accountable for anything

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    4. I think she is afraid she won't be able to keep track of it all.

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    5. You Know, I think Nancy is looking down the road to being mayor and she is intimidated at the prospect of having to learn the rules on how to properly conduct a meeting.

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  33. Is City Hall the last building in town to be repaired for wind storm damage from a year ago?

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  34. Josh is using the water main breaks to pitch for higher rates.

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  35. How many lattes did this water main break cost?

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  36. Josh has a hair horn. Is it some sort of unicorn thing?

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  37. Hey, does the tree commission have to approve the installation of the "monotrees"?

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    1. 3 towers and I still can't get a decent cell phone signal. Maybe the leaves get in the way.

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  38. Nancy just said mono deciduous.

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    1. does that mean that the tree sheds its leaves only once?

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    2. I wonder who came up with that term? Why wouldn't you call it a metal transmission pole with plastic leaves?

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    3. Was John Harabedian's tie picked from the mono deciduous tree?

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  39. Thank you Koerber for pulling item J. why,if something is on the agenda for transparency purposes, is it lumped into the consent calendar?

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  40. Item 2. so if Colin Brauderick was as responsible as he would have us believe during the election earlier this year, we wouldn't't be having this discussion. Wasn't he a BFF of Josh's?

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    1. Colin was on the fast track to nowhere. The good thing here is that there are obviously no special people running for a Library Board seat this time.

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  41. The chickens are up!

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    Replies
    1. At last. A core Sierra Madre issue.

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  42. Oh I get it - Moran put the poultry on the agenda for comedic relief.
    Because there's so much time to spare. Because we don't have any real problems.

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    Replies
    1. Josh just handed it off to the Planning Commission. They have a lot of spare time.

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  43. The city manager is gurgling with laughter. Good to see that she and the mayor are having such a blast.

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  44. Urban farmers? is this a contradiction in terms?

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  45. when the council is done with this very important topic, will the council as a whole get up and do the chicken dance?

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  46. Is there a pecking order at City Hall?

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  47. We give so much time and importance to such silly things as chickens and rabbits. will we give this much consideration to the budget?

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  48. John Capoccia steps up to give the adult perspective on the chicken question.

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  49. Moran is getting a smackdown.

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  50. Instead of passing this along to the planning commission, will the council take the lead? In other words, does the "cluck"stop here?

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  51. Looks like Moran failed in his pre-meeting politiking. He didn't get Harabedian, so he won't be taken seriously.

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  52. Thank you Chris Koerber.

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  53. Good Lord, Walsh is going against Moran.

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    Replies
    1. I'm going to Happy's to play the lotto.

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    2. I think Josh is embarrassed by himself.

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    3. A low point in Sierra Madre history.

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  54. let's be clear here that we are discussing chicken coops as opposed to "chicken ranches" like they have in Nevada.

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  55. You know, maybe Josh wants to raise chickens on his small lot. Oops. so nothing happened. does this mean everyone chickened out?

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  56. Public Safety Master Plan. Anyone got a spare $80,000 for the consultant?

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    Replies
    1. Hey hire me. I can google up some fine Plans from cities our size. Paste & copy & there you go.

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  57. $50,000 to $80,000 dollars for a public safety consultant? And you want to raise my UUT rates when??

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  58. this topic falls into the same category as the chicken ordinance. We have more important things to do, like balancing the budget. Listening to the Ci Mgr, ot sounds like the monies for this would come from the general fund and would take two years. Elaine isn't doing. Very good job of selling this.

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  59. So they want to giggle and crack wise about poultry laws, and then spend eighty thousand dollars? Argh.

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  60. An $80,000 road map, Chief? Can we take it out of your salary?

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  61. Harabedian wants to do the police study only to save money. What a prince. We get to pay so he can honor his obligations to the Police Union.

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  62. We are talking two different things here, one is a safety plan and the other is what the public expects from the police/fire dept. Either way, it's a waste of time and money. sort of like the very successful Buxton marketing plan. Oh, but Nancy likes it. Really,if you ask the community about public safety, what do you think they will say?

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    Replies
    1. They'll say that they don't want to feel safe?

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  63. That's how it's playing out, 8:05. Harabedian and Walsh are gung ho for spending big bucks, and then they want to economize, spend not quite so many big bucks. Prune it because they are such good stewards of our money.

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  64. This is a complete rigamarol hustle and it's making me dizzy.

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  65. Koerber brings the elephant out into the open. None of the cities around here have Police Master Plans.

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  66. Go Capoccia! speaking truth to power-we don't have the money!

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  67. Capoccia is speaking good sense once again. Cost/benefit analysis, sunsetting the UUT/reality based understanding of repercussions.

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  68. Good point from Councilmember Capoccia. If the UUT sunsets none of this matters. I will not vote to raise my UUT costs so the City can pay a consultant $80,000.

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  69. Koerber - What are we trying to accomplish with this public safety master plan, Councilmember Harabedian?

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  70. Maybe Johnny's dad will come up with the $80 grand.

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  71. Harabedian complimented Koerber for asking "What are we trying to achieve with this?"
    Harabedian offers:
    Is staffing sufficient?
    Are we deficient?
    Infrastructure?
    Public sentiment?

    Why ask? We don't have the money to afford the rapacious police department anymore!

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  72. Oh he's good. Harabedin just spoke for both sides.

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  73. Oh great! After all this Harabedian says he doesn't have anything specific in mind. then what the h--- is he raising this question for?

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    Replies
    1. Oh he has something specific in mind. But you'll have to guess what it is, because he ain't gonna fess up.

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  74. Maybe the Tattler can do Johnny's police survey for him?

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  75. Harabedian does not trust residents to design and conduct a survey on public opinion about the Police Department. Well buddy, the feeling is mutual. I don't trust you either.

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  76. Once again Nancy admits she has no idea what things cost. It's complex.

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    Replies
    1. She's s high roller. Obviously has more money than is good for her.

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  77. Oh give it a rest, Walsh. If the residents want to tell you something, they'll tell you.

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  78. Hooray! nancy wants to spend money on a survey! Where are we going to get this money?

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  79. Josh is concerned about the public sentiment. Harabedian and Walsh are as well. In other words, this is political.

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  80. The general plan steering committee devised a very good survey and they all had a vested interest in the community. It garnered excellent information and was FREE. We cannot spend money on Harabedian' s pay-back obligations. Policing is simple: stop burglaries, get the bad guys and stop suing the city

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  81. How much will the survey cost, Josh?

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  82. Uh-oh. Survey says: raise the UUT taxes. that's what mayor Josh is selling

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  83. So it's 3 to 2, for a management audit and a public survey.
    Damn these fools.

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  84. The Chickens and the law in AZ.

    http://www.latimes.com/news/nation/nationnow/la-na-nn-backyard-chicken-farmers-arizona-20121127,0,2480866.story

    Even hardnosed cities in AZ are taking time to rethink their ords.

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  85. We get to pay for a survey designed to create the impression that we want to raise our taxes.

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  86. so, the gang of three are bucking for the city to pay to do their political research for them. This is immoral!

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  87. Guess which 3 councilmembers are in the cop union's pocket.

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  88. This isn't about anything but the UUT. They're trying to save it from sunsetting.

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  89. No Capoccia! You are buying into the gang of three's political agenda!

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  90. Any guesses what this "objective" survey would cost us? Anybody?

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    Replies
    1. $80,000 has been mentioned, so regardless of what it was meant for originally, regardless of whether it has any value or not, $80,000 will be spent, at a minimum.
      It'll be a template and it's already done.

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  91. Why not take James Carlson off the Green Philosophical Society duty and have him conduct the research for the management audit and the survey?

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    1. Love the moniker "Green Philosophical Society"! However, Analyst Carlson probably wouldn't get this research done. if you recall at the last council meeting he hadn't done his homework on the SMART matrix and the cost benefit analysis for the agenda 21 items.

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    2. It wasn't his task. It was the committee's assignment.

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  92. wow, Harabedian is dissing our city employees. he doesn't think our city employees can do an adequate job of creating questions about the job our police are doing. this is disgusting! This seems to be operating on the presumed close. Get ready citizens your pocketbooks are about to be picked!

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  93. When Harabedian ran for office he said that the first thing he would do would be to establish a CITIZEN public safety commission and now he does not trust the public to do a survey or compile information.

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  94. Amazing how this has gone from a public safety master plan to assessing if we want to have the sheriff or the police.

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    Replies
    1. They want a survey to back up the UUT vote in 2014.

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  95. How many councilmembers are in favor of the UUT sunsetting do you think?

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  96. Moran is excited now. He thinks it will be "neat" no, he means "educational."

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  97. The survey will help the City push the idea that the next UUT vote will be a referendum on the police. Vote no on the UUT, lose the SMPD.

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  98. Yep. Workman's Comp is the real issue for the SMPD. We'll be paying these guys for the rest of their lives.

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  99. Brilliant Walsh. Wants to compare us with Compton.

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  100. No! do not spend any money on this stupid survey!

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    Replies
    1. That happened when Harabedian won.

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  101. Ok, how stupid is this? Josh who has been pushing this RFP just said that if it comes to a decision of sheriff/police he wants it to go to a vote of the people. so why do we need a survey?

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  102. Councilmember Harabedian just revealed the City's strategy for passing the next UUT ballot question. Nice.

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  103. Ok, so let's have Paul H's job creating consumers pay for the survey to increase our UUT taxes so we can all feel just as safe as those chickens in their (Nieman-Marcus) coops.

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  104. Who is going to pick the consultant that will conduct this survey? Does anybody really believe there won't be a pro-UUT tax bias to this survey? Do you really think the city would hire a consultant that might come up with a result they don't want?

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  105. as much as i hate chickens, except for eating them, and as much as i loved the chicken jokes here, i was disappointed to see it blown off tonight like it was no big deal. it is a huge deal. there are a number of reasons.

    1. the code is being used by neighbors to hassle other neighbors- bully elitism.
    2. it is being used to stop people from doing what they want to do on their own land. it hurts noone. if the flies are down, and the area is clean- whatever, i don't care where in YOUR yard you keep it.
    3. it is a stupid, archaic law that was designed to stop commercial interests occurring on citizen's property. So, establish they aren't utilizing them as a commercial venture.
    4. The whole set back, and all the other restrictions make that clear. it was probably a health code thing, treat it as such if it crosses that line. a couple chinchillas or chickens or rabbits don't cross that line.
    5. it's being used to punish people who live on smaller lots- economic elitism and bullying.

    i don't care what you do with your land. grow weeds, grow california poppies, grow tomatoes. i don't care. it's not my business unless you hav a meth lab or a bomb making hobby and you blow up my house.

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    Replies
    1. do you think the surveys on the family feud cost $80k?

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    2. The survey is nothing more than politics. They need to do something to keep the UUT from being wooden staked in 2014.

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    3. and $80k would pay more than one officer's salary. ya wanna cut down expenses, use older cars with less bells and whistles, keep them until they need to be buried. no person should lose a job if stupid spending is curbed and the money is spent efficiently. i like having a pd that i can approach for a face to face when i need one, and also like having face recognition when i'm on the street.

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    4. It's hostage taking. The City wants what it always wants, more money. Pensions, benefits, all that is good to get if you can. But here we are being told we will lose the SMPD if we don't vote ourselves a UUT increase in 2014. The cops are being taken hostage in order the leverage more taxes. Oldest trick in the book.

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    5. i mean, it's not like there is a need for a "bullit" or "drive" or "french connection " car chase here

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    6. 'Bulky elitism'? If a neighbor is in violation then that make them the bully. If the code is antiquated that it should be reconsidered, until then it is the law.

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