City of Sierra Madre to host State of the City Event on February 19, 2013: On Tuesday, February 19, 2013 from 6:30 – 7:30 pm the City of Sierra Madre will host its 3rd Annual State of the City address at the Community Recreation Center in the Sierra Madre Room at 611 East Sierra Madre Boulevard. This year’s theme is “Finding the Right Balance”; the event will highlight programs and services the City has provided over the past year and give residents insight to the City’s goals for the next fiscal year.
Mayor Pro Tem Nancy Walsh will emcee the evening. A special performance by Sierra Madre Elementary School Students will precede Mayor Josh Moran’s State of the City Address. Representatives from each City Department will be available to answer any community questions and a City booth will highlight current programs and projects.
Refreshments will be provided by local Sierra Madre restaurants. This event is made possible by the support of our sponsors: Athens Services, Southern California Edison, Liebert Cassidy Whitmore, West Coast Arborists, San Gabriel Valley Municipal Water District, and Jan’s Towing.
While it is comforting that some of the large utility, legal and trash removal corporations who do quite well by us will be paying the bills for this event, the message being delivered will not be one of either prosperity or cheer. The City is in trouble, the money has mysteriously dried up and, as this beggar's plea will go, if you really love Sierra Madre, take real pride in this community and enjoy the many generous services brought to you by our gracious City Hall, you will dig deeply into your pockets and come up with --- Mo' Money!
Which is what "finding the right balance" is really all about. The finances of City Hall are now way out of whack, and in order to find the right balance again it is going to take Mo' Money.
Which is, of course, why the legendary M.C. Mo' Money is coming on this evening to address you about just such pressing matters. Because that is exactly what he is going to ask you for, Mo' Money. Tonight, and all the way up to election day in April of 2014. Believe me, you're going to get very sick of it.
In all seriousness, City Hall is in a panic. The attempt to extend the double digit utility tax rates we pay now, which are the highest in the State of California and twice what most cities pay, was crushed at the polls last spring by the voters of Sierra Madre. And yet despite that overwhelming vote by the taxpayers to sunset the UUT, the three characters currently in control of the City Council believe that they are somehow entitled to a do-over. Which is not only ridiculous, it is also undemocratic.
The assumption that they have the right to ask for a UUT do-over vote just because they didn't like the results the first time around is also unprecedented. And making believe it didn't really happen, or somehow thinking the voters' verdict could be ignored and that they could just continue on their merry big spending way, is just bad government. Their job was to carry out the elective will of the people of Sierra Madre, which was to cut costs to accommodate the rapidly approaching time when the UUT rate increases of a few years back would begin to sunset and there would be less revenue. They refused. And now they are going to have to ask for higher utility tax rates, all over again.
That is one of the two ways M.C. Mo' Money intends to ask you for more money this evening. There is another Mo' Money effort in the works as well, and that is to raise the water rates again. Despite an outpouring of opposition a couple of years back from this community through a Prop 218 protest, one that in the end was stolen from the ratepayers by City Hall, they're going try and raise water rates again. I guess because they didn't "get the balance right" the first time on that one, either.
This would be the second water rate hike since Mo' Money first found his way onto the City Council. And now he is asking all over again? Why not? It is a State of the City Address, after all.
Wouldn't you know it? There is a Board of Education meeting tonight as well!
It is a kind of special meeting, but then again most of their meetings are special. Even the ghastly boring ones. This one is a joint meeting taking place with the Pasadena City Council at their City Hall. The time is 6:30 tonight. Here is how this one was laid out in an e-mail to me from one of my wise friends:
Very important joint council/school board meeting this Tuesday evening (6:30, council chambers). Honowitz managed to schedule Judy Chu to make a presentation on "community schools." Then, the agenda calls for approval by council and school board of a boiler-plate 3-year city/district plan for non-profit "partners," further eroding the ability of the schools to perform.
In case you are not aware, the "community schools" concept is a cockamamie idea put together by the likes of Peter Dreier, Chris Holden and Judy Chu to build social equity housing on PUSD sites. The idea is to use Measure TT bond money and build low income small unit stacked housing to promote this social engineering project in the area covered by the Pasadena Unified School District. With the bond money used to finance much of the building of these projects coming out of our pockets. There is also Federal funding as well.
This, of course, at a time when the folks running the PUSD have attempted to convince us that there isn't quite enough money to rebuild Sierra Madre's half-demo'd Middle School like they'd originally promised. And perhaps there is not. How could the $240 million in remaining money be enough when the people running this bizarre outfit have decided to go into the social equity housing business?
This will also be a decision made by the City of Pasadena alone, with Sierra Madre and Altadena left out in the cold. This wasn't even mentioned when the Board of Education came here, Judy Chu or not.
Peter Dreier, in case you are not aware, has an interesting past. Peter was one of the founding members of the Democratic Socialist Party back in the hippy days. The idea was to tear off the left leaning fringe of the Democratic Party and use it to rebuild a long moribund Socialist movement in the United States. This effort failed, and miserably. Peter also spent nine years in Boston as the head of Redevelopment and Housing there, only to be run out on a rail after his various Utopian schemes led to predictable financial disasters costing that city millions of dollars.
Somehow Dreier landed a teaching position at Occidental College where he BS's teenagers for a living. And now he wants to do the same sorts of social equity housing experiments here that he tried and failed at in Boston. He also expects us to meekly accede to paying for much of it out of PUSD bond money that we had approved for the purpose rebuilding schools.
Now a partnership of rapidly aging '60s leftist Peter Dreier and Congresswoman Judy Chu is not as unlikely as you might think. The bromide spouting Congresswoman we know today was not always such an annoyingly generic political figure. Judy was actually quite like Peter back in her golden days, and was even affiliated with leftwing groups considered a bit "out there."
This from a writer named Trevor Loudon, writing on his New Zeal blog (click here):
So where is my evidence that Judy Chu, Congressional Representative of California’s 32nd District, is a long term affiliate of the former Communist Workers Party and its still surviving networks? The first significant evidence of Chu’s ties to the CWP comes through a long forgotten far left umbrella group, the Federation For Progress.
The Federation For Progress described itself in an undated brochure released circa late 1983 or early 1984. It was one of several attempts in the 1970s and ’80s to create a new US Marxist united front organization – this time by the Communist Workers Party.
The FFP put a half-page ad in the socialist weekly newspaper, In These Times in the July 14-27, 1982 issue, p. 8, entitled: “A natural follow-up to June 12: A national conference July 30-August 1 at Columbia Un., in New York City.”
It was a follow-up conference to the major “anti-defense lobby” march and protest in New York on June relating to the U.N. Second Special Session on Disarmament. The ad listed FFP’s “Interim Executive Committee” – the first name on the list was “Judy Chu, Professor Asian-American Studies, Los Angeles.”
Pretty fascinating stuff. If you go to Loudon's site you will find all sorts of documentation and other items that lend some strong credence to his claims about the past, and not so past, affiliations of Judy Chu.
Something that makes a "community schools" alliance of Peter Dreier and Judy Chu, along with Chris Holden, Ed Honowitz and the rest of his PUSD sideshow, not so surprising.
They want to build housing for the poor on PUSD property. The problem is it's your money they're using here, money that was supposed to go to help to rebuild our schools. Something they apparently could care less about.
Just look at our razed Middle School. Then imagine all of the low income housing they could build there instead. I am sure they have.
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