Monday, November 12, 2012

Your Bubble Packed City Council Preview

TUP wear
It all kicks off with a little Public Comment before the Private Session. The ying and yang of City business, all tied together in a few passing moments. Tuesday evening the sub rosa sessions will involve two action items. The first being Elaine Aguilar's "public employee performance evaluation," which since it is done in private does seem a bit oxymoronic to me. The other will be yet one more troublesome episode in an endless series of whiney time sessions with the Sierra Madre Police Association. Who, in perhaps their most momentous and bold move in months, dropped the word "officer" from the name of their organization. I'm sure our boys (and girls) in blue paid Lackie, Dammeier and all the rest quite handsomely for the legal product needed to make that one happen. None of this sort of thing comes for free, you know.

Open Session then follows, and after the salute, silence, chat and inspiration, the money starts getting spent. As it always does. Wouldn't it be nice to have one meeting where no money gets spent? It is just a dream, I know. Besides, what would the involved parties do with all that time?

On this fine evening Consent Items (a) and (b) combined involve the spending of $1,484,199.49 in taxpayer gold. This includes $949,422.50 for something identified as the "revolving note for the demands paid by the City on behalf of the Public Finance Authority." Whatever. It is still a way large sum of money.

Consent Item (c) is for a Temporary Use Permit (TUP) that will allow a lot of people from various churches to march in solemn procession down Baldwin Avenue singing Christmas carols while holding lit candles. The City seems to think that is a lot to ask of people. According to the City Staff report participants in this procession will be closely monitored by "Fire personnel with CO2 and H2O extinguishers ... in case a participant's clothing or hair should catch on fire." In addition the Police Department will be on hand to close off Baldwin so the procession can proceed down the hill. "The Department will provide maximum patrol staffing for the day and night team (1 sgt/cpl and 2 officers) as well as Reserve Officers to do the lead and rear car for the procession."

I don't know how you feel, but for me this all somehow detracts from the spiritual spontaneity of the event. The Staff Report goes on to note that burning numerous votive candles while singing Christmas carols is exempt from any CEQA considerations. Some good news there. A picture of the required dress for all young persons attending the Candlelight Walk Procession is provided above on the left. Stay safe!

Consent Item (d) is a second reading of "Ordinance No. 1333," which is designed to keep some slick future City Council types from appointing their relatives and cronies to elective positions. Required in case someone does a runner like Joe Mosca did last year. Joe, you may recall, resigned out of the blue and left the country so fast you'd almost think he'd done something wrong. Tuesday evening is the final ole' for this one as it has already been worked over in the past. It is one of the better things the City Council has done this year. Right up there with the RFP for a City Attorney.

Item #2 is grandly entitled "Consideration of Resolution 12-87: Adoption of the Parks and Facilities Master Plan." This was put together by the Community Services Commission, so it has a lot of logical good sense to it. It is also a rather challenging report because it deals with the future, a place that none of us have been yet. Fortunately nobody else has either, which is a good thing because it would give them an unfair advantage in the stock market.

The members of the Community Services Commission will be on hand to answer any questions that either the City Council or omnipresent staff might have. Their answers will be short and to the point, which will be refreshing. That shows a certain level of confidence, aplomb and a mastery of the prepared material. Something at times sorely lacking in a few of those seated at the dais.

Item # 3 is all about the Green Advisory Committee. Yes, again. I'm telling you, these guys get more face time than Justin Bieber. This little doggy with the waggly tail is called the "Green Advisory Committee to City Council: Review of Sierra Madre Environmental Accords Work Plan." Their work plan so far consisting of cutting and pasting documents akin to those originally produced by the United Nations, adding a few notes, and then putting it all in a handsome binder with their name on it.

We posted some shocking news about the Green Advisory Committee on Saturday. Apparently they no longer wish to call their work product "Accords," and are fishing around for a new marketing handle. In their world such things lose credibility with the public rather quickly, so fresh names are constantly required. Fortunately, and thanks to the work product of those who post comments on The Tattler, we can now provide a compendium of over 100 new names for the GAC to choose from. If we get the opportunity to compile them in time we'll pass the list out at this City Council meeting.

Sadly, while the Green Committee does see the need to sever themselves from their initial "Accords," what they are proposing as a replacement to them is strikingly similar to the stuff they'd originally cribbed from the UN. Including their controversial call for DSP-style so-called "transit village development" in our downtown area. Something that, no matter how much unsustainable greenwash you slap on it, will still be a very hard sell in Sierra Madre.

Item #4 deals with Parliamentary Procedures. Something that was deemed necessary for this City Council due to certain conceptual lapses shown by Mayor Moran. We do understand how needy Josh can be, and how badly he wants everyone to respect him. But City Council meetings are hardly a forum for chatting up the locals. It isn't Lucky Baldwin's. The sheer length of these meetings, along with the resulting lack of quality output versus time spent, has been widely noted in town. Hopefully this item will help the Mayor get his act together before he steps down in April.

Item #5 has gone missing from the on-line Agenda Reports. If anybody has seen this one wandering around their neighborhood, please phone City Hall and let them know where you are. It isn't a particularly attractive stray, and will most likely need some kibble and a bath.

What Item 5 apparently deals with is "Auburn Parking Lot Restrictions," which is an arcane topic I know little about. Why would anyone want to restrict parking in an area where there isn't all that much to begin with? This reminds me of a bumper sticker I saw a while back in Pasadena. It read, "Sorry Pasadena: No Parking, No Shopping." It seemed to work there as the move to limit parking as a way of boosting public transportation use ended rather abruptly. Hopefully we won't have to print any of those here in Sierra Madre anytime soon.

Item #6 is the finale. Let's see if Mayor Loquacious can dummy up long enough for this one to make it to the finish line. It is called "Strategic Plan From October 24, 2012." Apparently not much new happened at that meeting because this particular Strat-Plan reads an awful lot like the previous ones. Which also got jammed in at the end of City Council meetings and never got properly discussed.

However, there is one big difference! It is the very last of the five 3-year goals, and reads:

Make Sierra Madre an Economically and Environmentally Sustainable Community, especially regarding water.

Now these 3-year plans have been harping on that sustainable tip for a long time, and only a few really cared to hear about it. And since nobody has really figured out what "sustainable" means in regards to Sierra Madre anyway, nearly all pretty much forgot about it. Along with much of the other similar jargon we have seen from downtown.

But water is deeply reality based. If we run out of that stuff our homes will immediately lose half their value and we'll become a regional, and perhaps even national, laughing stock. Nice to see that someone thought it might be necessary to include this one in the Strategic Plan.

Hopefully it gets discussed.

http://sierramadretattler.blogspot.com

50 comments:

  1. What if the bubble pack catches on fire?

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  2. Thank goodness for the government watching over our little parade! It is the government's job to make sure we have no risk in our lives and that we suffer no consequences for our actions, no matter how stupid they may be.
    Adeste Fideles!

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  3. The city needs to initiate a tuck in program.

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    Replies
    1. In order to be a full service city this would be a must.

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    2. With mints on the pillow?

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    3. Yes, but with no peanuts.

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    4. This thread gives me hope for America. It's too bad half the country is embracing the Nanny-State.

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    5. So let's divide the country in half. All those in favor of the nanny state live east of the Missippi, and the rest of us live west of the river and never the twain shall meet. How long will those Easterners last without the responsible behaviours of those on the west side?

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    6. Why not just embrace con brio the percentages provided by that great symbol of the GOP, Mitt Romney?
      Or file a secessionist petition with the Whitehouse, to show your patriotism.

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  4. The Green Committee turn Commission would not be as hard to swallow if that lying female were not being given this for printing lies about MaryAnn. Here let me pay you back for those lies that changed the election. She should be ashamed of herself, instead she gets to head up a new DSP attack. Just makes you sick of politicians. Excuse me while I go toss some cookies.

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    Replies
    1. Political correctness run amok.

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    2. What makes the current Green Committee think they will be chosen for a new Green Commission? Won't they have to go through the process like any other Commissioner? I know lots of citizens who are more qualified to serve on such a Commission.

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    3. Well that's a good point that will likely be ignored, 11:20.
      I myself object to these people because the reach of their work is so great.
      If someone is going to tell me how to live my life, I at least want to be able to vote them into that power.

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  5. My hair caught on fire once. I put it out with a hammer.

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  6. thankfully we'll have enough water this year to put out the carolers should they ignite, but i certainly hope the city elders will discuss what we'll do in the future (item #6) should the great northern baldwin christmas light should ignite after alf sucks up all the water

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  7. No problem 7:53, were going to ration and super charge home owners.

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    Replies
    1. Water rationing could be based on your tax rate. More taxes, more water!

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  8. I remember previous discussions about the Auburn lot - maybe 4 years ago. People were parking for days, playing music and/or fighting at all hours, especially after the bar closed, and steps were taken to change that. Don't know what this latest round is about.

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    Replies
    1. I wish someone had filmed it. Sierra Madre Parking Lot. ha. hahaha.

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    2. That was before this city got so uptight it squeaks out both ends.

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    3. Not quite as amusing if you live next to the parking lot.

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  9. Is bubble pack listed in the Buxton report?

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  10. Urban Design 21 in the Green Manifesto. Stack and Pack and make sure it's in the General Plan

    http://66.92.220.85:8090/tylercm/eagleweb/downloads/Item_3___Sierra_Madre_Environmental_Accords.pdf?id=DOC53S76.A0&parent=DOC53S76

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    Replies
    1. So the Green Commission is dictating what should be in the General Plan? I thought that was determined by the residents as a whole.

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    2. The Green Commission wants most everything to run through them. They are to be our final arbiters of environmental correctness.

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    3. How astute of you, 9:25 am. The Green Commission will soon assume oversight of the City Council as the Commission begins its mission of rendering citizens impotent in the decisions of their own community.

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    4. Yes, remember the Green Commission wants to advise us on all phases of science, enviroment, building, roads, etc. And they are EXPERTS to boot. I can hardly wait for the dictums from on high.
      Josh should be careful. James Carlson may end up with more power than our illustrious mayor.

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    5. I think that is part of the con. Convince people that they know the answers to all of life's problems, and then trot out development as the solution. It is sad to think that this can work in California.

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  11. According to a report on the LA Times site Measure B, the porno condom law, failed in Sierra Madre. 2,101 for, 2,437 against. It passed county wide with 56% of the vote. Does that mean pornographers can film here without condoms? Did Buxton foresee this as a business possibility here? If so, the DIC can turn Howie's into a film studio.

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    Replies
    1. DIC's with or without condoms present a serious health risk to the community.

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    2. The Unicorn God Meats the Earth Mamas, and The Birkenstalker, both filmed right here in prophylactic-free 3D

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    3. A City ordinance needs to be passed requiring bubble packing before filming.

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    4. That's right, 8:49 ; no condoms required, but all porno actors must be encased in bubble wrap!

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    5. Then there's that epic "$@#%!!! By the Green Commission" but we'll need to wait for the new high rise to be built......

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  12. Ying and Yang, the hiphop duo could bring some needed energy to the council meeting, but they probably will fail to show up, leaving us with too much bland yin murmuring, unless Nancy wakes up with a shocking yang attack a la "We will take you out!"

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  13. Tuesday evening public comment will be limited to 3 minutes per person. The council members will also be limiting their comments. The meeting should be shorter.

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    1. Let's hope our esteemed Mayor will find it in his heart to limit his comments to only twice on a subject instead of after each and every person has talked. Hoping also that he stops arguing about other council member's comments. That will shorten the meeting an hour or so.

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    2. Josh believes that nobody's opinion is complete until he has given his version of it.

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    3. I think he's trying to show that he's one of the smart kids in class.

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    4. Josh is all talk.

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  14. Water is probably the biggest crisis Sierra Madre has faced in quite a while. Yet I detect no urgency at City Hall. Where is the disconnect?

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    Replies
    1. Just as city hall repeatedly declaims that we are broke, and yet continues to advocate spending money, the water crisis is declaimed, and then ignored in actual decisions. Say one thing, do another.

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    2. The ALF took precedence over the city's water crisis because it would produce tax money. That is always the number 1 concern downtown.

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  15. The scope of the Green Committee is huge. No wonder it comes out as gibberish when the expert among experts Chair tries to say it simply. They are out to control what we eat, what we live in, and how we move around. It's an impressively ambitious grab at power.

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    Replies
    1. The Brave New World. Fortunately we're still allowed to laugh.

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    2. but only to ourselves

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  16. So, you all need to come and offer your three minutes on the Green committee at tomorrow night's council meeting.

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    Replies
    1. What happens if you go over your three minutes?

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    2. i think they blow raspberries at you.

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    3. Josh will spend 15 minutes explaining why 3 minute public comments help move the meeting along.

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