Friday, December 6, 2013

Pasadena Star News: Moderating Trends In Local Elections (4/14/10)

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Mod: After I was clobbered in my somewhat dubious run for City Council in April of 2010, the Pasadena Star News ran a kind of postmortem on my failed efforts. It was a remarkable editorial hit piece and in some ways actually convinced me to continue with this blog. I figured if whoever wrote this anonymously authored editorial wanted me gone that badly, then I must be doing something right. Now it is nearly 4 years later, Joe Mosca has still resigned and left the country under never really explained circumstances, and things have gotten so bad in Sierra Madre that it is widely rumored Nancy Walsh and Josh Moran won't even attempt to run for second terms. Their damaging and utterly inept efforts in office rendering any potential attempts at a second term both futile and absurd.

So let me ask you, has there ever been as awful a political fate in this town as that of the cranky and cantankerous leaders of our so-called "Civility Party?" That is, if it even exists anymore? It is funny how things turn out sometimes.

Our View: Moderating trends in local elections

IN local elections Tuesday, the status quo carried the day in successful, steady-as-she-goes Arcadia, and no one should be surprised at that.

But in neighboring Sierra Madre, no one was really sure what precisely the status quo was anymore.

Was it down-the-middle, Kiwanis Club-attending, community voluntarism? For maintaining, as ever, the foothill village atmosphere that no sane Sierra Madrean would ever give up, but not waving the bloody shirt about it?

Or was it the much more radical vision that had lately seemed to take hold of Sierra Madre politics, as chiefly exemplified by the blogger who calls himself the Sierra Madre Tattler? Those politics are actually hard to put a name to - one commentator has labeled them an odd combination of hard right wing and no growth.

In the other election Tuesday in Sierra Madre, Measure ED, citizens overwhelmingly voted against the city ever using eminent domain in a 2,245-372 tally. It was a curious measure, in that there was no threat of City Hall using eminent domain in the first place, if an easy one to say yes to. Still, symbolism is important.

But when it came to the City Council, Sierra Madre voters soundly rejected the Tattler style - snarky, funny, eloquent, nasty - by giving the Tattler's author, John Crawford, the least votes of any major candidate.

Somewhat amazingly, they also ousted a sitting councilman, Don Watts, a Crawford ally, and resoundingly returned incumbent Joe Mosca by giving him the most votes of any candidate. Crawford had been withering about both Mosca, his sworn enemy, and associated "Moscateers," acting as if they had no chance.

Instead, radicalism was rejected. Extremely slow or no growth was not - that's what the moderates who were elected stand for as well, and that's what's best for Sierra Madre. The election of the sensible, hard-working Mosca along with longtime civic volunteers Josh Moran and Nancy Walsh is a victory for common sense. Here's hoping the misplaced mudslinging introduced to town in recent years will fade away.

Mod: Given the current sad state of affairs in Sierra Madre, I wonder what the unidentified author of this editorial might think of their verdict on "sensible" government here today. Maybe I'll call over to the Star News and ask. Or, since this editorial no longer exists on their website, I'll just forward it in an email.

Nancy Walsh and the EENER Commission at … The COG? 

In case you are not aware, the disgraced regional planning organization known as the San Gabriel Valley Council Of Governments has its own EENER (Energy, Environment and Natural Resources) confab.  With our own kinda confused mash up of EENERism pretty much modeled on the COG's version of the phenomenon. Right down to the name.

As Nancy Walsh apparently lifted the EENER name from the COG and stuck it on our own somewhat disorganized version, would it come as any surprise that she serves there as its Vice Chair? See this link.

Something that does raise at least one or two questions. Can we suggest there is a conflict of interest? I don't recall ever being told we were taking on a franchise here. And don't you think it is time Mayor Walsh actually explained what the purpose of an EENER actually is? After a year our so of its existence I am not sure anyone really knows.

And that includes our EENER Commission's own members.

http://sierramadretattler.blogspot.com

51 comments:

  1. You forgot the other missing person Kurt Zimmerman who quit on us

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    1. After City Hall shut him out on the forensic audit what was the point in staying? The dirt and corruption that led this city to $20 million in debt was left to fester, leading to today's outrageous rate and tax increases.

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    2. Funny, I don't remember Kurt Zimmerman resigning from the City Council. Wasn't Joe Mosca the first and only? I was at a council meeting when there was a discussion about what would happen if that ever happened again and a policy was written.

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    3. Joe skedaddled fast. Just resigned and left the country. Doesn't look like he'll be back anytime soon, either.

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    4. If he comes back and wants to run again he will win again

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    5. Will Joe have another campaign kickoff party at Bob Matheson's house?

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  2. Love the cartoon, but it should read government employee, government worker is an oxymoron!

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    1. Is today a "no work Friday" at City Hall?

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    2. The balloon should read:
      "I got a raise, a guaranteed pension with COLA, and lifetime healthcare!"

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    3. ".... and I am still going to sue you!"

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    4. I was always impressed with the respect shown by our Police Department after we voted ourselves 10% utility taxes so they could get a raise. All of the lawsuits against the city was such a nice way to show their gratitude.

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    5. At least you didn;t get one of those Officer Amos one gun salutes.

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    6. Having worked in both the private sector and public sector, I can say with absolute certainty that most public sector employees have far greater demands placed on them and work much harder than private sector employees.

      All too frequently the public sector fails to convey to the public the competing demands placed on it, how those sometimes contradictory demands are served, and how successfully the demands are met. Basically, the public sector does not know how to sell itself. The private sector doesn't have this problem. After all it's most important function is selling itself, whether to consumers, suppliers, regulators, or shareholders.

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    7. Of course, 8:02. I believe you!

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  3. Hey there! This post could not be written any better! Reading this post reminds me of my old room mate! He always kept talking about this. I will forward this article to him. Pretty sure he will have a good read. Thank you for sharing!

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  4. There is this announcement in the new city email blast:

    Final Water & Sewer Rates Community Meeting
    On Thursday, December 12, 2013 at 6:30pm the City will host the final water & sewer rates community meeting. This meeting will provide a brief summary of the first four meetings, an overview of the rates the City Council initiated under the Proposition 218 Notification and Protest Ballot process, and an explaination on how the 218 process works. Please contact City Hall at 626.355.7135 for further information.

    But don't call today. They're closed. Try Monday. After 11.

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    1. This could be the first city meeting ever with no attendance.

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    2. When are the community meetings about the UUT increase?

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    3. Probably in February and March The infinite money pit wants to get their water rate increase done first.

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    4. I like it! Infinite Money Pit = IMP.

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  5. The Down Town Investment Club, for lack of another group name is waiting for the dust to clear before they use the EENERs. People forget that the government employee is just there doing what they are getting instructed to do, plus pay and pension. There are companies and people that get paid to influence employees of government. Employees are just doing what they are told to do by upper management. Unfortunately, companies and people join organizations that our government employees attend. With time, friendships are established and influences are felt. The HOME OWNER on the other hand goes to work early, comes home late, just in time to eat with the family and tuck them into bed. We have to trust our socially prominent neighbors to do what is right for the city and here's where the problem is. As a home owner I don't have time to hang out and be a political socialize r, I have to trust the right decisions are being made. As a home owner the answers seem obvious sometimes and this is one of those times. It's one of those times when the proper care of our city is not taking place. We are being asked for more tax money at a time when we should be evaluating how local government has gotten this city into such a financial mess. Detroit has filed for bankruptcy and there are over 20 other cities preparing to do the same. When you see the real reason these cities have failed it should open your eyes. It is time the tax paying home owner start looking at whats going on and get involved. If you love living in Sierra Madre then you as a home owner need to get involved or at least get educated so you can vote for what you know you want in the town you live in. Our city needs to be managed a whole lot better than it has been. We don't need more taxis and we don't need to go bankrupt, we need smarter people running this city. We need people running this city that have the cities and homeowners best interest at heart.

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

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    2. If it is a typing or spelling error there is no need to point it out , you got what they were trying to say , You don't have to criticize everything.

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    3. Actually it was Steve's unfortunate reliance on foul language that got it bounced.

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    4. Sorry I guess I hit the wrong Reply button it was for 8;49 .It just seems a lot people just like to point out small mistakes especially if they don't agree with anothers post.

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    5. Best comment of the week 8:12. Thanks for posting.

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    6. 8:12 Renters are also residents and citizens with rights who deserve their best interests protected, too.

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  6. 8:12 that's taxes not taxis :-) and I agree with you.

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    1. Oops, now you did it. Get ready for an increase in our taxi taxes.

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  7. FYI, the City's EENR commission held its first meeting in Sept. of this year. This may be confirmed by looking at the documents on the City's website. It has not been in existence "for about a year", but for 3 months.

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    1. But the "green" committee was meeting the whole time. And after all those meetings, they never did exhibit the cost effectiveness of their gazillion UN accords.

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    2. The process was in the works forvever, and so was the conversation. When it was an official done deal is really kind of moot. Politically it existed for far longer than you care to admit.

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    3. The billions of dollars that one member of the Green Comm said were coming haven't arrived?

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    4. I know, it is hard to believe. Though I do know they run out to the mailbox everytime the mailman shows up.

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  8. So if Josh and Nancy don't run, who will the dirts run?

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    1. Josh and Nancy are running. Their egos are too big to pass it up.

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    2. I hope so. From a comedy perspective, it just won't get any better.

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    3. Reality TV has nothing on the Josh and Nancy Show.

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    4. City government is ready for a comedy show. We have just the people.

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  9. The Green Committee did meet all along and if you want to get an idea of what they were able to accomplish ask for the minutes of their meetings. Precious little.

    Then take a look, on line, of the minutes of the Tree Commission and their agendas for the past year (no need to go back farther) and you will see a vast difference in focus, effort, accomplishment.

    The tragedy is the election of Nancy Walsh and her grandiose notion that the City of Sierra Madre has any use for a commission named after (certainly not modeled on) the SGVCOG: Energy, Environment and Natural Resources Commission.

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  10. Ha Ha, I love the remarks that say "Nancy and Josh long time volunteers", and the one about "misplaced mudslinging introduced to town" As I remember the only mudslinging was by Mosca, Moran and Walsh supporters. Didn't the MVN accuse Crawford of going through people's trash and that the police were called? And wasn't that a bald-face lie? Didn't the opposition accuse Crawford of wanting to get rid of the volunteer fire dept. to save money? And hasn't Nancy told out and out lies at the dais regarding MaryAnn and hasn't Walsh slammed volunteers. I hope if she runs someone will remind all the voters of her lines "we put you in and we can take you out", and "you can keep coming to the podium and saying that the General Plan Update is the People's document, and you will look foolish." Imagine saying that those who come to the podium to speak at a council meeting will look foolish. No wonder no one goes to the council meetings since that is the attitude of the mayor.

    Oh, I sure hope Walsh runs, I can hardly wait to see how it can be pointed out that the civil party died when she got on the council. Civil indeed. And for Josh, I hope someone has the clip of him assaulting Koerber after a meeting.

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    1. Josh's picture with Bob Matheson would make an interesting postcard. Backed by his statement that he never knew the guy. Classic!

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    2. Does anyone have an audio of Josh calling Koerber an a&$*!!? in the City Council chambers? there were at least 10 witnesses.

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    3. Josh is civility challenged.

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    4. What a stuff of un-ambiguity and preserveness of valuable experience about unpredicted emotions.

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  11. Ya, I remember that election, you got your ass kicked, how embarrassing for you, at least you can laugh at yourself along with the rest of us.

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    1. So which is better? Sitting on the city council or laughing at the rest of you?

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    2. Hey, 7:09. You want to laugh? Check this out.
      http://1.bp.blogspot.com/-U5jCWeSlMYY/Up7IrG9VvlI/AAAAAAAALm4/0XYWEEZDM3o/s1600/MnM.png

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  12. Did the Tattler unintentionally reduce the Wattage of the city council?

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  13. Yeah, but no, 7:09, not embarrassing, and not an ass kicking, either. More like a snookering. Wherein dubious vote-getting mechanisms are engineered so as to save and preserve the nefarious status quo.

    But you are right about one thing, it turned out for the best as far as the rest of us are concerned. Because this blog is the last thin thread of hope the place won't turn into the same nightmare the rest of SoCal has become. The arc of the universe is long, 7:09, and it bends. We may count on that, at least.

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