I hope I am not being too insensitive here, but Noah Green breaking down in tears at yesterday's Kiwanis Club debate over his much too candid Facebook photography being sent around the community is one of the more bizarre moments in the political history of this town. A place that has has seen far more than its share of highly eccentric episodes.
Let us be blunt. If you are running for political office and you post sexually suggestive and unclothed pictures of yourself on a very public Facebook page, somebody is going to eventually notice. And when those pictures get passed around town as they almost certainly will during a political campaign, the blame belongs to nobody but yourself. It is your own damn fault.
Rather than trying to play the victim card, or attempting to win the votes of the incredibly credulous by bawling about the pain of his extreme embarrassment, Noah Green really does need to man up and take some responsibility for his actions. Admit that it was a stupid thing to do, apologize for what really was a very unfortunate indiscretion, and for God's sake have the plain and simple decency to say you're sorry.
Pointing fingers at others and indulging yourself with some frankly over the top hysterics in public about how unfair it all was just isn't going to cut it with very many people. It certainly isn't what people look for, either in a strong community leader or a credible adult.
Fortunately there were no tears at the City Hall debate, though there were a couple of moments that were enough to bring on a bout of melancholia. One was the continuing struggle Gene Goss seems to be having over what has become know as the "Goss Pledge." Here is how it was put in a blog comment last night:
Goss is saying he won't accept contributions from outside organizations. On his website he says he will not accept support of any kind from labor unions, etc. That is clearly a change of message.
The observation is very true. It appeared last night that Goss was trying to deal with the increased perception that he has gone back on his pledge to not accept any kind of campaign support from outside organizations. Here is how it is stated on his campaign website (link):
The trend in recent years of outside organizations trying to influence Sierra Madre politics is unacceptable. Therefore, in the interest of the independence of this town, my solemn commitment to fellow Sierra Madreans is that I will absolutely not solicit nor will I accept any support from political parties, outside political organizations, outside political interest groups, outside political consultants, labor unions, law firms, developers, etc.
At the Kiwanis debate Goss admitted to receiving $500 and the endorsement of the United Teachers of Pasadena. Goss claims he returned that money, but did not renounce the endorsement. Last night he tried to make it seem as if all he had "pledged" to do was not accept money from outside groups. That just is not true.
All of which adds to the growing perception that Gene Goss is a fudging humbug who will do or say anything to get elected.
One of those moments came when he spoke passionately about Police Department response times. He claimed that there is no other PD in the area with quicker response times than the Sierra Madre Police Department. However, there is also no town in the area that is smaller than the City of Sierra Madre. Those quick response times having more to do with the town being a mere 3 square miles than anything else. There is just so much less geography to cover.
The weirdest Noah Green moment came during his very strange rant about the nature of the opposition to development at the Monastery. Here is how one commenter put it:
Green just told the Passionist Fathers organization that he was totally into developing the monastery! That was a one hundred percent message of surrender and capitulation. Keep him as far away as possible from any negotiations.
Noah then proceeded to claim that opposition to development at the monastery was soon to become a source of great turmoil in the community, and that if we don't give the developer everything he wants we could be sued. The term he used, "knee-jerk hard line stance," being just flat-out offensive to anyone who cares about preserving our last remaining open green spaces.
It is also, as anyone familiar with the disastrous One Carter disaster can tell you, an argument straight out of 2004. Noah, who then went on to sing the praises of such discredited development dinosaurs as Bart Doyle, Rob Stockley and Glenn Lambdin, has clearly been absorbing ancient wisdom at the feet of the old boys network. If elected, he'd obviously sell us out to the development special interests in a heartbeat.
That Green would express acceptance of the long discredited idea that the people of Sierra Madre should not be allowed to defend their interests because some damn fool developer might decide to sue the city is antithetical to everything this very independent community stands for. The last thing we need is yet another surrender monkey on the City Council. We have had enough of those, thank you.
Another odd moment for Noah Green was his riff on how, having now gone door to door in the community, he discovered just how knowledgeable and smart Sierra Madreans are. Good to see that after 18 months he has finally gotten around to meeting his neighbors. Turns out we're not the dumb "townies" he thought we were when he first got here. This is how one unhappy commenter put it:
Noah says he found out that we are smarter than he thought when he first decided to run. You betcha we are Noah. That's why you have been chopped up like the East Coast obnoxious jerk you are.
Two questions I had submitted to the League of Women voters that were passed over:
1) Why does Sierra Madre pay the highest utility taxes in the State of California?
2) Why does City Hall offer the highest costing health care plans in the state to a very select group of City Hall employees?
Both Rachelle Arizmendi and Denise Delmar did very well in keeping to the issues, were well informed, and covered all of the subjects well. Both left the audience with the impression that they are strong, ethical and capable managers, qualities that are desperately needed at City Hall right now.
Their principled and courageous stands against gross overtaxation and resulting fiscal irresponsibility deserve this community's gratitude and support.
Gene Goss didn't disgrace himself, but was not as accurate in some of his statements as he could have been. Perception problems over the "Goss Pledge" were clearly on his mind, and his attempt to fudge on this matter by claiming he was only talking about cash donations was both self-serving and smacked of dishonesty.
It was obvious that Noah Green doesn't know very much about this town. Many of his self-styled important stands came across as being either naive, factually incorrect or inauthentic. He is clearly malleable and naive, something clearly shown by his worshipful praise of the old boys network.
Here is how one commenter described Noah's performance:
O.K. folks, here is why none of us should even hover over the Green name on your ballot.
Q. His main platform is to support an ordinance to require gray water installation on all new development?
A. The City Council discussed, then passed an ordinance re: gray water requirements at their last council meeting. He was there.
Q. The way to bring more business to town is to have some activity on Halloween?
A. The merchants already sponsor a trick or treat in all the businesses. Afterwards there is a parade from Kersting Court to the Park where they have a costume contest. What else should they do?
My alphabetically arranged verdicts?
Rachelle Arizmendi was very impressive.
Denise Delmar is strong, ethical and exudes competence.
Gene Goss will say or do anything to get elected.
Noah Green is Fredo Corleone.