Thursday, April 17, 2014

The Campaign To Raise Utility Taxes In Sierra Madre Begins Again Next Tuesday

Who is Dario Frommer? ~
There was a lot of speculation yesterday about why John Harabedian would be soliciting RSVPs for his campaign to become the next mayor of Sierra Madre. Well, OK, they aren't so much reservations to endorse the John Harabedian for Mayor bandwagon as they are for a party celebrating his imminent elevation to Mayberry supremacy. Just so you know.

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.

http://sierramadretattler.blogspot.com

53 comments:

  1. Anyone checked the Post Office, maybe their pictures are hanging up on the wall there.
    Maybe on the milk carton in 2015.

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  2. please stop aggravating the residentsApril 17, 2014 at 6:11 AM

    They won't let us be because they have no downside. So, if they go forward with yet another but increase proposal would it be possible to set up a decrease initiative? One that is facially reasonable. For example "SM shall annually set out at no more than the statewide average for the prior 5 years."

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  3. The UUT four did not need to appear because they sent their representative, Susan Henderson.

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    Replies
    1. Yes, she was about as welcome there as a skunk at a
      garden party.

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    2. She had her stink eyes working.

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    3. Give her the soccer trophy that says "I tried" (to raise your taxes up).

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  4. The local paper of record run by the lady in the Victoria's Secret undies still hasn't posted the election results or removed the asterisk. Maybe smpd should check in on her?

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    Replies
    1. yeah ole Susan was all over the "breaking news" but nary a peep since the actual results

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  5. nancy and josh dodn't show up because they disengaged from the city rig around the time they voted to put this UUT on the ballot and Johnny H has been too busy schmoozing Dario Frommer so that he can get a political job somewhere else. although of course, he must first pad his resume with the title of Mayor.

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    Replies
    1. Nancy was disengaged from the Council while she was on it

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    2. when the greeter at the local diner is a former Mayor, it's not that big of a deal

      sort of like being Little League President, it's a job nobody really wants and people are glad to let you do it so they don't have to

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  6. As the Tattler points out, after leaving public office, you then enter law firms or lobbying groups, so that you can continue to work in favor of the special interests you looked out for while in public office rather than looking out for the citizens you were called upon to represent. These politicians never change. It looks like Harabedian is of the same stripe. He wants Sierra Madre to just be a stepping stone for his own political ambitions. If that's correct, that means that every decision he makes will be made in the context of how it can help him rather than the residents of Sierra Madre. God help us.

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    Replies
    1. As evidenced by the premature invite extolling Harabedian's ascension to glory and power, this is really all he is looking for in life. Unfortunatley, he is required to pretend that he cares about what happens to the little people, you and me, and he will throw us a bone every once in a while just so we will continue to vote him into office. Johnny really works to please the pols so he can be lauded by those in power. the rest of us eat cake.

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  7. Guess next week's Council meeting will be a short one with it starting at 6:30 and then the big reception at 7:30 at Corfu. Can anyone RSVP? Doesn't look like much will get done next week...

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    1. My dear 6:41 am, does anything much every get done? Just a lot of puffing and posturing, empty words, and giving the Council's blessing to spending money that's already been spent. So much for local gummint control.

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  8. ahhhh. that's so cute. little big britches from st. rita school is all growed up and the mayor now. now he gets to play with the big kids.

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  9. A career in Sacramento? Isn't that like choosing a life of crime?

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    Replies
    1. I think his sights are set on DC

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    2. What about England?

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    3. I hear Joe Mosca may be coming back?

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    4. Not making a whole lot of progress in his life, is he.

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    5. Why? Does he owe you money?

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  11. If JH can tax and build us here he gets moved upstairs to sharpen his skill of taxing and building on us there. It's a hell of a job but by the grace of god someone has to do it.

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  12. 7:53, and the creek don't rise.

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  13. so they guy who photoshops police patches out uniforms and uses the pics without consent in a campaign is sort of sleazy?

    say it aint so...

    next I'll hear that he's a big shot lawyer

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  14. A Mayor aligned with Sacramento's various paid for agendas, and when those agendas are the very antithesis of what many people want for our town, is in no way a good situation. What compromises will a Mayor Harabedian make in order to advance his personal political career?

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  15. I HEARD THAT A BALLOT & INITIATIVE IS IN THE PROCESS TO ALLOW SIERRA MADRE RESIDENTS TO VOTE IN "YES" in NOVEMBER TO _APPEAL_ THE UUT?

    CAN ANYONE LET THIS SECRET OUT OF THE BAG?

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    Replies
    1. Oh, please do, CAPS GUY!

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  16. This is DISGUSTING! All of the hard work that J.C. and others did to do what is right and defeat this UUT nonsense and the beggars are waiting on the sidelines to throw a temper tantrum and get their way against the will of the people. You'd better believe that if they go this route, you'll see me at the next city council meeting raising holy hell over this. Let me ask you a question, if they were to get their way, would we the citizens get an opportunity to propose a sunset on every election ballot thereafter until we got our way??? Plus, look at all of the taxpayer money that's been spent on these proposals time and time again. Absolutely disgusting! Listen to the will of the people you represent you backstabbing filth, rather than the employee unions you're bending over for. This has got to STOP!!!

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    Replies
    1. take away the legal notices from Susan and she'll turn on the Council in a heartbeat

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    2. Sure, the voters can put on a ballot measure to repeal the UUT and make it a 2/3 vote to raise it again. Need to have good legal to make sure it doesn't get kicked out in court.

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    3. Actually, I believe the council has the authority raise the UUT tax to 12% until July of this year. Do you think they have the "conejos" to do it?

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    4. we gotta stop electing lawyers

      with the exception of Kurt Zimmerman (who is a real attorney), the lawyers we keep electing are wanna be politicans and have egos that are overblown - lawyers talk alot and don't say much of consequence

      and we gotta stop electing those with direct ties to the development industry, we've elected mortage salesmen, utility company lawyers, building industry lobbyist, construction company owner, commercial banker and so forth

      let's make sure Harabedian is a one and done candidate and make sure he is kept in check and those that he is trying to impress will see him as a liability, much like Joe Mosca became to the Democratic Party

      he's really a lightweight, treat him that way

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    5. 11:48 - of course they don't. They wanted the voters to do it for them.

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    6. 11:48
      How many rabbits do you they need? They got us by the short hares!

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  17. Funny,the pic reminds one of viewing a bunch of jackals preparing to feast upon the carcass formally named Sierra Madre....bon appetit

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    Replies
    1. Let's steal Sierra Madre's rights to do their own community planning and sell it to the BIA for campaign cash. We can tell the townies it has to be done to save the world from global warming!

      All: Oh ho ho ho ho!!

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    2. who are the other two guys in the photo?

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    3. They have mothers who love them very much. They care.

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    4. Looks like an ad for the Godfathers...The next generation!

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    5. The white haired guy is Donald Voss, La Canada Flintridge Council member. The bottom left guy is Jack Hadjinian, Montebello Council member (and current mayor pro tem).

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  18. crash the RSVP and if you feel inclined, protest the gathering

    the big time mucky mucks who are in town cause John wants to impress them will look at him differently

    alot of realtors on the invitiation list - so we can't trust John to be there for us - he has an agenda and it's himself

    in his Yes editorial in the Mountain View News, he talked more about himself and his actual arguement was buried into the article - he's a me me me me me me me me dude

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  19. what an massive ego

    throwing a party for himself

    even this is a first for Sierra Madre

    and it's an undeserving ego

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    Replies
    1. The size of the Corfu crowd celebrating Johnny will fill Council chambers. Too bad for the 3 individuals who just won council seats.

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  20. I just reread the invite from yesterday's Tattler posting of the invite to the John Harabedian Mayoral party. Since the first part is at City Hall for all, we must assume that second part at Corfu is for all. Everyone should RSVP to jharabidian@cityofsierramadre.ca.gov and show up for the lovely Corfu food and drink in honor or hiz honor! Think about it!

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  21. Any update on the Taylors Market location, reguarding possible plans for store fronts and condos?

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  22. Harabedian wants what any politician wants. Status and power. That he thinks he is going to get it in Mayberry is hilarious.

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  23. How did Sierra Madre get stuck with a bunch of worthless bunch of Do-Nothing politician's in the first place? Was there a shortage of intelligence that year?

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