So what happened? The attempts to set these meetings up have been turned down. Instead if the candidates wish to have a sit down with the Chiefs, or any other staff dignitary for that matter, they will have to attend a formal meeting where these city employees will be available in a Q&A format. A meeting that will be run by the City Manager, and in a tightly controlled setting. And why is this? No really good reason is given.
As another example, there is the mysterious decision by our Mayor to not seek re-election. In most cities when a sitting Mayor has decided not to seek re-election, it is considered big news. There are usually press releases, or even press conferences. It is treated like something important. Yet this year the sitting Mayor of Sierra Madre didn't bother to say anything. She just let the deadline for filing go past. And even after that nothing official was said. Why? Apparently it wasn't any of your business.
Yesterday morning a plane containing our Mayor, Mayor Pro Tem, City Manager and Director of Public Works took off from one of our fine L.A. County International Airports, heading for our nation's capital, Washington DC. Nobody knew about this. We knew they were going to go sometime because it had been budgeted for at a City Council meeting last September. And yesterday's unannounced departure was a make-up trip for something that was postponed by last fall's sequester.
But did we know they were going yesterday? Nothing was ever said. There were no goodbyes.
We do know that the mission has something to do with lobbying for water funding. Which on the surface seems like it would be a good thing. There are some inherent dangers to this, however. No money given by Uncle Sugar, even for something as basic as water infrastructure, ever comes without strings attached.
The 2003 Water Bonds, which our secretive city government is loathe to discuss in any real detail as well, came as a requirement for receiving Federal money having something to do with water. A matching fund, apparently. And while we are unsure why this happened, we do know where it all led.
And in Washington DC, where the centrally mandated high density "Smart Growth" contagion is as strong as it is in Sacramento, certain onerous development requirements could easily be attached to any water earmarks coming our way. There is always dough enough available to small cities that would allow themselves to be turned into tightly packed travel villages.
We can only hope that the pressure Mayor Pro Tem Harabedian is feeling to "do something" doesn't lead these four mysterious travelers to sell the soul of our City in exchange for a few easy bucks. Things are becoming bad enough as it is without throwing things like that into the mix. And whatever deal they do work out, if any, will need to be looked at very carefully.
But for whatever the reason, yesterday's abrupt departure was unknown to the people of Sierra Madre. A closely guarded secret. And the reason for this trip taking place in such secrecy? Unknown as well. Who exactly are they meeting with? Nuh uh. Not for you to know, either.
The City of Sierra Madre has become a very mysterious place.
A rather bizarre headline
This from yesterday's Pasadena Star News (link):
Cops firing on newspaper carriers during Christopher Dorner manhunt violated LAPD policy, Chief Charlie Beck says - Los Angeles Police Chief Charlie Beck said Tuesday that officers violated department policy when they opened fire on two women delivering newspapers in Torrance during last year’s manhunt for Christopher Dorner.
The eight officers, who fired more than 100 rounds at a truck driven by a mother and her daughter, mistook the sounds of a newspaper hitting the pavement for gunfire, Beck said. The violent response took place during a massive dragnet for Dorner, who terrorized the region during a 10-day period last February.
“I sympathize with the officers, but I have very high standards,” Beck told reporters. Citing department policy, Beck declined to discuss what disciplinary action the officers will face.
Maybe a reason why unjustified and random shootings like this take place is because the people doing the shooting know that they will be shielded should their actions be later called into question?
After all, questions about appropriate department policy are far preferable to any discussions about 100 rounds being fired by Police at a 71 year old grandmother who makes her living delivering newspapers.