Tuesday, February 19, 2013

Tonight's State of the City Address - Brought to You by Mayor M.C. Mo' Money!

Mo' Money
Tonight's entertainment is hosted by the City of Sierra Madre and is, of course, this year's episode of the Annual State of the City Address. Initiated a few years back by now expatriate former Mayor Joe Mosca, it has grown in importance to those who run our fair city by becoming a way for them to make a yearly pitch for, you got it, Mo' Money! Don't they always want it? Here is how this evening's event is described on the City website:

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. 

http://sierramadretattler.blogspot.com - Graphic courtesy of Brandenburg Industrial Arts         

65 comments:

  1. Tax me, Mo' Money!

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  2. had a coffee through the nose attack. I thought it said Athens was providing the refreshments.

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  3. Include sociopathic to "ridiculous" and "undemocratic"!

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  4. Everybody knows the vote doesn't count in Sierra Madre.

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    Replies
    1. What happens if the UUT doesn't pass in 2014? Will we have to vote again in 2015?

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    2. Of course,at first you don't succeed,try try again.Trust the voting public in selecting the usual rouges again and again...

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    3. Actually we will vote in 2016 unless there is a special election. Vote NO on all taxes.

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    4. The UUT begins to sunset during the summer of 2014. April 2014 would be the last possible election opportunity for the UUT-3 to stop that from happening.

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  5. Brandenburg Industrial ArtsFebruary 19, 2013 at 7:12 AM

    That's a great name John, I'll have to add an Inc. to it and make it a consultation firm like all the smart guys do- and then screw the taxpayers out of their bond and program monies.

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  6. Of course our elected reps will never consider cutting the City"s overblown budget when they can hammer their constituents with higher taxes and charges.They could,if they were responsible as well as ethical,begin with slashing personnel costs and work down into other overblown expenditures which all bureaucracies contain.If they ever make noises that they will cut some cost,you may be sure the cost selected will be those that affect the citizens the most leaving enough fluff for them to continue to play with.The future will not be a happy one for the city's dwellers without dramatic changes within the mindset of the people we elect.

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  7. here's a sample from the PUSD/Pasadena community partnership plan. Item 6B: "PUSD and City will work with 2012 Economic Development Task Force and explore the use of surplus school sites for incubation of businesses compatible with learning priorities.".
    Can you say community housing on N. Canon?

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    1. Buchanan and Doyle must be loving this one.

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    2. Gee, anyone think this has anything to do with not rebuilding the Upper Campus?

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    3. 8:07, sadly, it's way more than just not rebuilding the upper campus.

      The plan is to take "surplus" schools due to falling enrollment (read:leaving inferior public schools for private) and sell them off. The land is in prime locations (Linda Vista). Either a private school can buy it, or some developers for the community housing stack and pack project.

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    4. The odd thing about community schools is that low income housing will be built right next to working schools. The idea is to build a community right on the school campus. I guess that means they don't belong to the community now.

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    5. That has a nice ring to it!The silly nonsense displayed by the PUSD over The Upper Campus would lead one to believe there are plans for that property other than another school.Which brings one to wonder,is there a master plan for these properties which the citizen proletariat are not privy to?

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    6. That the Board of Ed is telling the Pasadena City Council about their community schools scheme, while they didn't say anything about it to our city council, speaks volumes.

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    7. Oh yes, Pappalardo mentioned that there is a facilities update survey to be conducted in March to assess which campuses will stay open, and which ones will close. My bet, Sierra Madre middle school is on the chopping block.

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    8. There is a lot more money to be made in the slum lord business.

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  8. I want to thank all of you idiots that voted for Josh, Joe, Nancy and Johnny H for the mess to which they have added.
    I don't want to forget Doyle, Buchannan and Joffee to the list. Same goes for most of the PUSD school board.

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    1. There has never been a California city with a 12% UUT before. Josh wants to get in the Guinness Book of World records.

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    2. Hello...What does it take to wake up the good citizens of our Village!Paying the highest UUT in the State for starters.What about the other civic malfunctions this Blog has flushed out.Besides being the Sodom of the Foothills,we can also take the title of Zombies of the Valley!

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    3. Taxes is about it. After that only a few even get it.

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  9. This State of the City event is a waste of staff time and resources. I am sure staff has better things to do than planning, setting up, and cleaning up after this dog and pony show. If Athens wants to support the city....how about lowering rates?

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    1. Oh please, Athens and all the other contributions are nothing more than mafia-like protection payments on the part of the city. It's legal extortion.

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    2. Oh indeed,all those willing residents who take the easy way out and pay the extortion instead of running the brigands out of town.

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    3. What are they donating?
      Cookies?

      Besides of which we pay these companies. It's not free.

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    4. We are a cheap date.

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  10. Is there any area in California that has seen public education completely disappear yet?

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    Replies
    1. Yes, everywhere in the publice school system in California. The children attend the schools, but they don't receive an education.

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    2. Public school is good because it gives working parents a place to send their kid during the day. Just like private school is. But neither is a substitute for sitting down with your children at night and helping them study. If you don't put in the work with your children, they will not learn. There will be nobody to blame but yourself.

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    3. 12:29, but then why are we sending our kids to school? So they can spend the entire day working at school, then come home to work some more? What should be sent home is reinforcement for what they already learned at school, not a whole new course of study. They also need time to be children.

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    4. There are many ways to avoid responsibility.

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  11. Doesn't everybody want Mo' Money?

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    1. But, he's Married!

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    2. There are scrupulous ways of getting a comfortable amount of money, and then there are the ways our city hall goes about it.

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    3. Well, yes. She hasn't turned thirty yet.

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    4. 11:47 - you mean to say running around in circles screaming the sky is falling is not scrupulous.

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    5. 11:48 - Josh's wives are like beer. They come with freshness dating.

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    6. Best served before 2020.

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    7. Ah leave his wife out of it. There's plenty to discuss just about him.
      Her, I feel sorry for.

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    8. NO, I feel sorry for the baby.

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  12. The staff time involved in tonight's dog and pony show will be paid for by the residents - if nothing else, it will be taken in time credit. So we pay for that, and did we pay the postage for the mailed announcement? And of course the event has the children performing. Imagine the turn-out if the kids weren't singing. Our pols never hesitate to use the kids.

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    1. It will give Mo' Money a chance to pay lip service to public education. Middle School is a wreck, we'll never get our due on Measure TT money and we don't get a chance to vote, but who cares about that?

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    2. They present the children to soften your heart and open your wallet.

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    3. Fortunately the kids get to leave before the Mayor's speech.

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    4. Why are only children from the public school asked to preform. The city hates the private schools.

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    5. It gets the balance right. Most of the City's benefits go to those who can afford to send their kids to private school. Having public school kids sing for Mo' Money once in a while makes it seem like somebody downtown cares.

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    6. Last year Bethany School performed and they did a tremendous job!

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  13. With the PUSD going into the development business, I see a perfect confluence of corruption. They bring with them the leeches that have already figured out how to live off of them.

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    1. So let me get this straight. Your kids attend PUSD, you live in housing that is on PUSD property, and you get your medical care there as well. Does this make you a ward of the school district?

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    2. This is part of a bigger picture

      http://www.theatlanticcities.com/politics/2013/02/end-neighborhood-school/4687/

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    4. If providing housing worked, the projects would not be the neighborhoods they became.

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    5. The PUSD is diversifying. Downsizing their education operation and transferring assets into real estate.

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  14. Hearing our mayor at state of city I have come to the conculsion he is quite an "ASS"

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    Replies
    1. If he was sober, you have to give him credit.
      How many people were there?

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  15. I am trying to remember something. What situation comedy was located in the town of Bugtussle?

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    1. lol, you mean mayor hogg? lol x2...... well this is the story of a man named jed, poor mountaineer hardly kept his family fed....

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  16. @Mod: I've been out of the loop for a bit. I'm wondering if you could point me to any reference material regarding low-income housing on PUSD sites that I could share with various resident associations... to educate and pre-load them with what looms ahead. I know the West Pasadena Residents Assoc might be interested given that San Rafael Elementary is slated to be shuttered.

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  17. Slated to be shuttered.......and talk about the land being sold. Madison reminded the Board tonight that there wouldn't be a school on the west side if they closed it down...

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    Replies
    1. The PUSD is getting into the lucrative low income housing and state welfare game.

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