|~ Who is Dario Frommer? ~|
Why is John Harabedian soliciting so highly select a group of RSVPs for a party celebrating his City Council appointment to Mayor even though he hasn't actually been given the gig yet by that august legislative body? My guess is he's actually doing a little political organizing. Johnny is trying to build himself some in-town political consensus, a strong base of influential support here that will watch his back when he begins to do some rather extraordinarily unpopular things once he really does become Mayor.
And one of the most unpopular things he is likely to do is renew the "process" (so-called) to raise utility taxes back up to the 10% level they had been at since 2008. This despite the voters here having soundly rejected some very similar efforts in both 2012 and 2014. Perhaps Johnny believes the third time will be the charm? Certainly he feels it is important. And for those potential backers of his glittering political ambitions, it is.
The only question in my mind is whether the UUT will be put back on the ballot in November of this year, or in early 2015. The plush pension promoters at City Hall still have a little time to get this done before any damage will be incurred should the UUT begin to sunset in mid 2015. And despite the two consecutive defeats our double digit utility tax initiatives suffered at the polls, there is still the possibility that the end result will be our utility taxes won't ever actually sink below the lofty10% mark.
Look at it this way. It just might take three elections for you to get that 2% reduction in your utility taxes in 2015. Three elections. And if this anticipated third attempt by the city to raise our utility taxes succeeds, then your votes on this question will have been nullified twice.
So much for democracy in Sierra Madre.
When it comes to tax money in this town, your vote just might not be as sacrosanct as you think it is. Certainly it's not the top priority. Tax money, and lots of it, is always the preeminent concern at our City Hall. Townie votes be damned.
In Sierra Madre representation will still get you taxation. Even when the majority of those who have to pay it voted NO. And our jumped up soon to be Mayor is all about that. His Sacramento political ambitions are riding on it. Like a screeching circus monkey on a dog.
If you want to have a political future in our neck of the once Golden State, you need to earn. And in one party Los Angeles County that means raising the taxes necessary to reward valued constituencies. Such as our own municipal employee unions.
Expect the worst because you will see it happen.
Who is Dario Frommer?
Pictured up top is our soon to be Mayor and three other grinners. And one of those grinners is a local political VIP of the very first stripe. Situated in the front right of that photo, his name is Dario Frommer and he is a former California State Assembly Majority Leader.
In the world of state government that makes him a major dude. That is why his much anticipated presence at John Harabedian's "I'm the Mayor" party at Corfu next Tuesday is a bit of a feather in the cap of our boy. By all accounts The Great Dario will be there.
Too bad you won't.
Here is a recent publicity release on the topic of Dario Frommer announcing his hiring to a very influential law firm in this state (link).
Dario Frommer, Former California State Assembly Majority Leader, Joins L.A. office of Mayer, Brown, Rowe & Maw -- Mayer, Brown, Rowe & Maw LLP is pleased to announce the addition of Dario J. Frommer to the California Government Practice Group of its Los Angeles office. Mr. Frommer has served as majority leader of the California State Assembly and brings more than 20 years of experience in government and law to the firm.
"Mayer, Brown, Rowe & Maw affords me the opportunity to continue my involvement in good public policy in California while working with some of the best legal and political talent in the country. I'm excited about joining Mayer Brown's government practice and acting as a bridge between decision makers in business and government while continuing to work on some of the issues I focused on in the Assembly like health care, tax reform, and the environment."
Frommer joins other notable California Government Practice attorneys Mickey Kantor, former U.S. Commerce Secretary and U.S. Trade Representative, Bob Hertzberg, former Speaker of the California Assembly and recent mayoral candidate in Los Angeles, and Phil Recht, former Chief Counsel and Deputy Administrator of the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration of the U.S. Department of Transportation.
As majority leader of the State Assembly, Frommer was responsible for reaching agreement on legislative and budgetary issues, and working with diverse interests and stakeholders to find innovative solutions to pressing issues. His legislative accomplishments include the creation of California's Urban Parks program, which put $130 million into new neighborhood parks and preservation of urban open spaces.
Definitely a serious player, and not quite the sort of person you'd ordinarily expect to find at a downtown celebration for the next one year Mayor of Mayberry. No wonder you townies aren't being allowed in.
I can tell you one thing without any fear of contradiction, however. Dario Frommer was not at any of Mayor Nancy Walsh's celebratory parties. I don't think he made it to Josh Moran's parties, either.
This truly is special.
Measure UUT's MIAs
Election night was April 8, and that evening at the City Hall ballot count the only two Councilmembers to show up were John Capoccia and Chris Koerber. There had been no official sightings of Josh Moran, Nancy Walsh or John Harabedian in a couple of weeks.
At the April 15 provisional ballot and final vote count, only Councilmember Chris Koerber showed up. And since then there have been no official appearances or news quotes from any of the UUT 4.
Have they been kidnapped?
We are talking about Measure UUT here, something that in the past has been described by the four folks named above as being extraordinarily important, or should I say vital, to the future of so many things here in Sierra Madre.
Yet in the last few week's of our just concluded election campaign the 80% of the City Council supporting that utility tax increase pretty much disappeared. Outside of a few screeds in the Looney Views News, of course. Which, given its pithy circulation, is tantamount to hiding.
So maybe the reason is alien abductions? Or perhaps they joined the Navy so they can travel to exotic ports of call and drink coconut milk? Straight from the nut itself?
I think we should start thinking about putting their pictures on milk cartons.