Thursday, January 10, 2013

Former Sierra Madre Mayor Bart Doyle Gets Dissed by the SGVCOG

Bart and a pal out sheep shearing
As Tattler readers know, Bart "El Monte" Doyle had somehow been turned into a hat and then tossed into the ring of candidates being considered for the position of Executive Director of the troubled San Gabriel Valley Council of Governments. The position becoming available recently as the previous Executive Director of the COG, Nick Conway, had been hauled off to the pokey by the Los Angeles District Attorney on several felony conflict of interest charges.

The apparently humorless D.A. did not realize that this is how they get their party done over there at the COG.

Be that as it may, at $190,000 per year it is obvious that when it comes to the COG greasing big wheels like its Executive Directors, the taxpayer's dime is no object. Battery recycling campaigns have never had such well-financed leadership.

But despite the strong qualifications of our former Mayor, the SGVCOG has now turned elsewhere for its Executive Director leadership. This news from the Inland Empire's own, the San Bernardino Sun (click here):

San Bernardino's acting City Manager chosen to lead San Gabriel Valley Council of Governments: Acting City Manager Andrea Travis-Miller, credited with discovering many of the problems that led the city to file for bankruptcy and guiding the city through that process, has accepted a position as executive director of the San Gabriel Valley Council of Governments.

Travis-Miller confirmed Wednesday that she's planning to take the job, but the full board of the San Gabriel Valley Council of Governments must approve the decision.

If approved, Travis-Miller would go from running a city government that serves 200,000 people to leading an agency responsible for longterm planning in a valley of 2 million residents in 31 cities.

"I think there is a lot of interesting opportunities there," she said during a brief phone interview. "And it's in L.A. County."

Certainly we can understand Andrea wanting to get out of San Bernardino County, recognized throughout the region as the SCAG housing infested economic wasteland that it is. And it is good she discovered that the city where she had been working, San Bernardino, is bankrupt. Big time score there. I'm certain that must have been a well-disguised secret known only to those who were actually paying attention. Which, given the locale, couldn't have been very many.

But why was Andrea chosen over Battlin' Bart and whoever all those other guys were? Let's go back to The Sun article for an important clue.

Travis-Miller's ability to manage a city under the most stressful financial conditions, plus her expertise in employment law, were two reasons why she was picked from a field of about 15 candidates, according to sources at the San Gabriel Valley Council of Governments.

The full 30-member governing board of the San Gabriel Valley group will meet on Jan. 17 to confirm the choice of the six-member Executive Director Recruitment Ad Hoc Committee. The full board is scheduled to convene in closed session to learn about the recommended candidate, and then take an up-or-down vote in open session, according to sources familiar with the process.

If approved, Travis-Miller will replace the agency's interim executive director, Fran DeLach, the former city manager of Covina and Azusa.

What is interesting is that Travis-Miller has been extended an offer, yet the entire Governing Board has not even met to consider her nomination. The problem here being that the COG's helpful Executive Director Recruitment Ad Hoc Committee had "decided," and all on its own, to extend Andrea an offer, fully confident that the docile Board will obediently ratify their big surprise choice when the time comes. After all, it has already been in the newspapers.

Ad hoc committees (which are exempt from the Brown Act), are supposed to only act in an advisory capacity. Something that doesn't normally include going public with $190k taxpayer funded job offers.

And who exactly is on this "ad hoc committee" you ask? Barbara "710 Tunnel" Messina, Monrovia Mayor Mary Ann Lutz, Angel Carrillo from Azusa, Denis Berlone from San Dimas, Kevin Stapleton of Covina and Fernando Vizcarra from Temple City. A group of folks that pretty much comprised the die-hard and to the bitter end Nick Conway forever faction at the COG.

The San Gabriel Valley Tribune published an interesting article last December titled, "San Gabriel Valley Council of Governments' committee holds secret meeting to begin executive director process" (click here). These are some of the insights to be found there:

Gil Aguirre, an open government advocate from San Dimas who sued the COG and was given $50,000 in attorneys fees after the board admitted violating the Ralph M. Brown Act, says he is monitoring the latest situation. He said he believes the Ad Hoc Committee is going beyond the bounds of the Brown Act, which makes an exception for such committees.

"While an ad hoc committee can be exempt from open meeting requirements under specific circumstances, with everything that's been going on at the COG, you would think they would want to be transparent," Aguirre said.

"I think they are going far beyond the scope of what an ad hoc committee is designed to do. This ad hoc committee is secretly picking the next COG executive director."

As is usually the case, Gil's prediction here has turned out to be right on the money.

COG board member and Claremont councilman Sam Pedroza said Thursday the entire board should be handed the short list and given a chance to recommend a candidate back to the Ad Hoc Committee. Then the decision should be returned to the governing board.

"I would expect the five candidates would go before the Executive Committee and the whole governing board," Pedroza said. "Why would we be making decisions in a vacuum?"

Messina defended the closed process. "This is not something that you would bring in the public, to pick an executive director," she said, adding: "The final decision rests with the whole board."

Of course the final decision "rests with the whole board," because otherwise it would be a clear violation of the Brown Act. But since Messina's ad hoc committee has now already made the job offer to Andrea Travis-Miller, and all by themselves, it certainly appears that nothing has gone before the whole Board.

The decision has already been made, and it was done in private by the same small clique that has been calling the shots at the COG for years.

Somebody needs to call the District Attorney. And not just to see how Nick is doing.

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65 comments:

  1. You can only imagine what went on behind the scenes at Barbara's secret conclaves...

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    1. The participants probably think very highly of themselves - and are childishly susceptible to flattery.

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    2. Messina must make her chosen few feel like the cognoscenti.

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    3. I suspect she selects them for their subservience and treats them according.

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  2. Does this mean that John Harabedian's vote at the COG is meaningless?

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    1. I am sure he will tell us that a good process is taking place and things are really good now.

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    2. Harabedian is probably jockeying for position, and working the room at the COG. I imagine he'll be pretty successful in that crowd.

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    3. He's swimming at the very bottom of the sea.

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    4. do you think he cares? As long as it advances his career he's there.

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    5. Wouldn't he just be better of staying at home and watching TV?

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  3. From my own short tenure at the COG, where they had to "vote" on these issues, it was generally done as aN afterthought, and a show of hands while having a coffee break in the lobby.
    I hope she doesn't just become a Conway clone in skirts, but knowing who really drives the agenda, I don't give this "change of horses" much hope. I hope I am wrong.
    Policy will still be driven by the big money people. Just look in the shadows to see who really runs the show.

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  4. Messina, IS the whole board, and the decision has already been made. She chooses those who will be part of the faithful (to her).

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    1. It looks like the Brown Act training Gil Aguirre arranged for Barbara Messina didn't quite take.

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    2. Messina no doubt feels she's entitled to rule like her former colleague Conway did.

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    3. The big stakes now is all of the Asian money flooding into the country. COG is a clearinghouse for a lot of that. Of course the powers that be at COG would want to keep their hands on the wheel.

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  5. We pay tax money to these crooks?

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  6. Interesting Pre-emotive move by the ad hoc committee. If the "losing" candidates protest about the process they will be nixed because they obviously aren't team players.

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    1. The rank and file sheep will knuckle under as well. After all, the selection has already been announced to the media. I'll bet there is a real yummy buffet that night!

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    2. Surely at this point the SGVCOG has put a stop to the enraging expenditures on food?

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    3. The COG works on a reward system. If a liaison votes the way the executive board wishes, he becomes eligible for a cheeseburger.

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    4. I know there are always lots of jokes about the COGians waddling up to, around, and over the buffet, but seriously - this practice must be stopped. It comes from an earlier time when there was not such a terrible financial situation? In today's reality, it's crazy.

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  7. Keep in mind this nomination process is just a cover story for the real fear looming in and on sgvCOG members.

    What will finally happen to Nick Conway, how much will it cost the sgvCOG as a whole and which piggy bank account will the money come from to make Nick Conway's problem go away?

    Of coure the New Exective might have to handle this prickly issue right off the bat, of course you all know this was one of the MAIN question posed before each candidate applying for Nick's old spot.

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    1. Must be why Messina found her experience with San Bernardino's bankruptcy so appealing.

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    2. If only Bart had actually been able to drive Sierra Madre into receivership. He'd be COG Executive Director now!

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    3. Can the COG itself declare bankruptcy?

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    4. COG is just a couple rented rooms in an Edison building with some chairs and desks in it. It's not like they own or produce anything of value.

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    5. The real reason Bart Doyle didn't get picked? The COG didn't want to interrupt his valuable work for Sierra Madre & PUSD.

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    6. Good point. They're not conducting classes in tents yet.

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    7. Tents are OK. As long as they're sustainable.

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    8. I think you now need an EIR, permits, insurance and Willdan inspections before you can set one up.

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  8. Hey Travis Miller might be handy here. She can inform the council about the inevitable bankruptcy coming our way unless significant changes are made at city hall.

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

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  10. Messina is no stranger to watch-dog organizations:
    http://www.alhambrasource.org/news/alhambra-councilwoman-messina-pay-14000-violating-political-reform-act

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    1. So how many violations has Messina racked up - and why does she get away with it time after time?

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    2. The more they keep cutting the state budgets for Courts, the bolder these crooks will become.

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  11. On another subject, but in the "nothing ever changes department," can anyone explain why Marlene Enmark was chosen Citizen of the Year? Last year John Shear, a 90 year old man who saved a little girl's life by risking his own, wasn't deemed worthy enough for this "honor." All I've known Marlene to do is spread falsehoods about our Councilwoman MaryAnn MacGillivray, and attend Civic Club meetings.

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    1. There definitely is a small town component to Sierra Madre. You can find it in any little burg all across the country. People with little ability or understanding of their own banding together so that they can exercise their resentment of those who speak a language they cannot even begin to understand. They have all the time in the world and no real responsibilities to speak of. It is unfortunate but there it is. Every town has them.

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    2. Oh, thank you Steve! It's so good to know you're out there to dismiss the voices of reason that represent the minority thinking in our fair community - the voices that pay their taxes and pay attention to the voters' and property owners' right.

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    3. It's the Chamber of Commerce's dog and pony show. It's not like it's a community wide, sponsored honor or anything. Big smile, little brain - you're a natural.

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    4. You mean the Chamber that is rumored to be in shaky financial condition, as in, are they going to last a year? That Chamber?

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  12. There have been some very upstanding Citizen(s) of the Year selected in the past and some bone-headed decisions, too. I think I may have gone to one celebration and although I really, really respected the person chosen that year, I took a look at the attending crowd and decided once was enough. Just more of the Prom Committee. Alas!

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    1. Here's a reality check for you. the citizen of the year is selected from the applications submitted. However, one need not receive the most votes to win because the winner is chosen by how many people they can get to come and fill the room. Marlene will have all of Civic Club there and that makes for a good evening for the Chamber. Part of the evening includes the installation of Chamber Officers for the next year, but at many of these evenings, several of the new board members can't even bother to show up.

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    2. I am not sure in the Chamber would know a good promotion if it sat in their lap and kissed them on the mouth.

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  13. Funny how Messina thinks it is appropriate to exclude the public from having any meaningful input, or to be involved in the selection of the new Executive Director for this public agency. Tell me again who the COG is supposed to be representing?

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    1. Who does the COG represent? Corrupt cronies looking to get their snouts into the public trough.

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    2. Remember how Mosca bragged about being so proud to represent the 31 cities? Thanks to Neuroblast, here's the link to Heather Allen's brilliant response to that absurd claim, just for old time's sake. It's quite refreshing:

      http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ID7Rd0B4M74&list=UUzhy_EFmIG3p9ifyHMMgCEQ&index=65

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    3. 31 cities is a lot of recycled batteries.

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    4. Joe must have had one of those save your reputation on the net companies to get rid of that link. It's gone.

      Joe had tons of bad publicity on the internet....most of it here in the Tattler...it was all true, too.
      Another reason the Dems dumped Joe.

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    5. Heather! If you read this, maybe you have the tape of that wonderful comment you made. You really put that idiot Mosca in his place.
      Anyone have it? Let's put it back up.

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    6. Thanks for that 1:36. As good as a cup of coffee!

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    7. It would take mass amnesia to fix Joe's reputation.

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    8. 2:48, go on Neuroblast. Heather's speech is there.

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  14. I think if Joe came back to town he would win a counsel seat if he wanted to run.

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    1. I think so too, 3:20. As depressing as that is. Sometimes when people back a phony, they will commit blindly with a loyalty that defies all logic - and absolutely refuse to see what is really going on. No matter how disrespectful and hateful Joe was to many of his followers behind their backs, they never figured it out, and bought again and again his persecution schtick. Wouldn't want to have his karma, in the long run. It's despicable to set out to fool people.

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    2. Joe's appeal will fade as he ages. Like most pretty boys his looks is all he has.

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    3. Especially with the backing of seniors like Mrs. Marlene Enmark, Chamber of Commerce Citizen of the Year.

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    4. Looks fading? Joe looks like a dweeb. Spare me

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  15. From the WSJ:
    California is predicting a surplus for its next fiscal year, in a turnaround from the steep deficits of recent times, as cost cuts, tax increases and an improving economy have started to put the state on firmer financial footing.

    "Right now, for the next four years, we're talking about a balanced budget, we're talking about living within our means," said Gov. Jerry Brown, a Democrat, as he unveiled his budget proposal for the coming fiscal year, which begins on July 1. "This is new."

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    1. Have another sip of Kool-Aid if you believe that crap. Sheez.

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    2. To Guv Moonbeam - Liar,liar, pants on fire!

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  16. Doyle gets dissed by the SGVCOG; you mean the Brown Act Violation bunch of Banana's group? Too bad; this group drools for self importance, which is Doyle's middle name. No wonder the south land is in trouble with this group of unimportant people charging the way into bankruptcy.

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    1. I don't judge people based on race, creed, color or gender.

      I judge people based on spelling, grammar, punctuation and sentence structure.

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  17. Not sure who this sweet lady was at the Women's Club Thrift Store ( was there donating some stuff ) but when one of the regular workers asked me when the SNF was going to start up destruction of the old community hospital, we were asked what was going to be built there. Let's hope she was visiting from way out of town, but there will be many residents here who will ask "...what the heck?..." when they see that monster under construction. People just don't pay attention.

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  18. Middle School (non-construction) update is on Organize Sierra Madre Schools Facebook Profile. Apparently there may be no money left to pay for any construction at Sierra Madre Middle School's moonscape / demolished site.

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