I just hope Sierra Madre's fab four didn't commit to selling any more water bonds to obtain some kind of Federal matching funds like the last time. That is how we got into trouble back in 2003. I am not sure this town could take another nearly $15 million in debt.
There was also supposed to be a report about the yearly audit last night, but the guy responsible for it couldn't make the meeting. So that item was shelved until next time. Had it happened this would have been the lion's share of the meeting, complete with all of the expected bathos about Measure UUT. So maybe it was for the best. We'll get to experience all of that next time I'm sure.
The General Plan Update Committee finally got out from under its Brown Act cone of silence. The prisoners are finally free. This happened when KGEM's audio was off. I guess there could have been some irony in that. You'd have to really look for it, though.
Something that I found difficult to decipher was the ordinance on "legacy trees." Apparently if you have a protected (or legacy) tree on your property, and you've decided you want to put a swimming pool in its place, all you have to do is go to City Hall, get some kind of a free permit, and then chop that sucker down.
If this is how Sierra Madre's "urban forest" is supposed to be saved, then I have to say I am underwhelmed. Sounds like an invitation for clear cutting the place to me. From "tree city" to "stump city" in no time. Or, if you prefer acronyms, we'll go from Legacy Trees (LT) to Plain Old Trees (POT). With saplings.
Watching Josh Moran get punked by the Chief Giannone over his flippant remark about illegal fireworks was kind of fun. You just don't go saying those sorts of things in the midst of the worst drought in modern times. Sierra Madre is a tinderbox. Plus the Chief led the anti-illegal fireworks detail for 10 years at his previous gig in Monterey Park. Josh can't seem to help but play the jerk sometimes. He needs to learn to keep that in check when there are practicing adults in the room.
The Mayor's strange Hart Park bathroom obsession went on for a while. I cannot quite muster the interest to write about it except to say public restrooms in city parks generally are not the most pleasant places. If you don't like the ones at Memorial Park, go to Starbucks. They have the most modern in conveniences there, and we don't have to pay to maintain them. Plus they serve coffee.
I do remember the City Council voting to allow the building of some kind of a Hart Park House storage facility. I think it was called Option 4. Everyone was for it. Finally the legendary ping pong table will have a home. We can only pray that this matter has finally been laid to rest.
The Library was discussed for a long time. In between bouts of intermittent slumber I recall John Harabedian and Josh Moran talking nostalgically about their Sierra Madre upbringings and the smell of that library when they were kids. I hear it was a lot like Old Spice.
There was also the obligatory bleating about Measure UUT. Here I thought the utility tax increases that many people voted for a number of years back were supposed to be for public safety alone. Now it turns out these moneys were for the Library as well? Did we vote on this, or did somebody just up and do it without asking us for permission?
At that point I turned off the TV and helped one of my kids study for a vocabulary test. If anything else happened, I'm all ears. But that is about all I got out of this one.
Another item of note. The Gene Goss campaign postcard is out, and it appears that he has been endorsed by almost all of the 2004 City Council. You know, the City Council that voted to destroy One Carter? To the point where 10 years later there still hasn't been a single house built there?
Not a lot to brag about in that, Gene. Maybe you can get the 2002 City Council to endorse you as well? Most of them were still on the City Council in 2004. The interest only payments they initiated on their 2003 water bonds, a scheme which created the millions of dollars in unnecessary debt that helped drive this year's rate increases, are almost as popular as the moonscape at the top of Baldwin.
If you could do worse than that, I really don't know how.