Instead, while they would like to appear to be everybody's friend, and will therefore claim to be extremely concerned about such things as the enduring character of our foothill village and its essentially chronic water crisis, nothing much will get done. Since we're basically out of the local wet stuff anyway, and what has replaced it is turning bad, that is unfortunate. But no matter, it's imperative for them that they not be put into the unhappy position of having to make any commitments to either side on this question.
Because should that happen, these members would be forced to vote against a building moratorium. Thereby facing the highly unpleasant prospect of being seen as favoring one of the most predatory and destructive building booms in Sierra Madre history. That being the McMansion invasions at One Carter, Stonehouse and Mater Dolorosa. Something that would render them politically toxic, and therefore consigned to an ignominy approaching that of the now disgraced Civility Party.
The priority for these members of our City Council is to enable the development impact fees that such a building boom would lavish upon City Hall. We are talking about the couple million dollars that would be fed to our always cash craving city government should these three McMansion developments go forward. Having already been handed a crushing defeat on Measure UUT, it is something they are now quietly determined to make happen.
And why is that? These members of the City Council are fully committed to an agenda that funds the pensions and benefits demanded by the municipal employee unions representing Sierra Madre's city staff. Something that includes such extreme cases as the state leading $36,000 a year health care plan given to a salaried member of the Water Department. With other similarly outrageously expensive benefit packages not very far behind.
This is, if you think about it, a pretty raw deal for the residents and taxpayers. You will be forced to give up your Sierra Madre birthright, and the current members of City Staff will get for retire in comfort. With the Mayor, having delivered to these unions the pound of flesh required by the corrupt one party political machine that runs Los Angeles County, getting his big chance to move up the political ladder.
Ever get the feeling there's nothing in this deal for you but losing?
Like I said, there is very little that certain members of the City Council would enjoy less than having to publicly reveal their actual position on the building moratorium question Tuesday evening. Or any evening I suspect. And there is now an avenue that has been put into place that will allow them to avoid so awful a prospect. It is one that involved ginning up a "process" that includes pushing the entire water matter off on the EENER Commission instead.
This from an article in this morning's Pasadena Star News (link):
California Drought: Sierra Madre commission to review water conservation ordinance - The Sierra Madre Energy Environment and Natural Resources Commission will review the city’s water conservation ordinance at a July 16 meeting.
City officials recommend that residents participate in the meeting so the Commission could collect as many constructive ideas as possible.
While reviewing the ordinance, the Commission will look at similar ordinances from other cities, community input and analysis of the effectiveness of the current ordinance. It will also study building code amendments and include water conservation measures such as gray water use and water conserving fixtures.
The Commission expects to present its recommendations to the City Council in October.
Since much of the case for a building moratorium is built upon the need to come to grips with the nasty water crisis our city is currently facing, what better way to avoid having to come to a decision on this matter Tuesday evening than proposing instead that some other entity within City Hall's organizational apparatus deal with the problem?
Not coincidentally, the following also shows up in the latest installment of the sometimes inadvertently revealing City Manager's Report:
WATER CONSERVATION ORDINANCE TO BE REVIEWED
The Energy Environment and Natural Resources Commission has begun its review of the water conservation ordinance. The regular Commission meeting of July 16th has been set aside by the Commission for the sole purpose of discussing the current ordinance. Public participation in the meeting is desired by the Commission in an effort to capture as many constructive ideas as possible. In order to generate participation in the meeting, the Commission and staff will publicize the meeting to the greatest extent possible.
Commission study of the ordinance will include review of ordinances from other cities, community input, analysis of the effectiveness of the current ordinance, study of building code amendments to include water conservation measures such as gray water use and water conserving fixtures, and analysis of the effectiveness of public education efforts. The Commission expects to present its recommendations to the City Council in October.
Note the plea for public participation. "In order to generate participation in the meeting, the Commission and staff will publicize the meeting to the greatest extent possible." Right. Anything would be preferable to having that participation and discussion on this matter occur Tuesday evening.
Let's just use those poor EENERs and push it off until October instead.
Isn't public participation what we are supposed to be having Tuesday evening? Despite the Mayor's attempt to bury the matter at the very end of the meeting, by all accounts the room will be filled with people waiting to speak out on behalf of a building moratorium that addresses just these kinds of water crisis generated concerns.
To be perfectly blunt, what does the EENER Commission really have to do with any of this anyway? While there are some nice and well-informed people on that commission, there are also some knuckleheads that I would not trust to clean my trash cans. Which really could use some work.
And what real difference will their opinions on this City's disastrous water situation make? Both from a supply standpoint and the very real concern that the stuff is turning toxic? And will do so way before October?
Didn't we just spend $50,000 on a consultant who is supposed to come up with just these kinds of answers? So why is the City of Sierra Madre about to expend so much effort and precious billable hours to find out what the likes of Kim Clymer Kelly thinks? And then actually pretend that it matters?
This is a sad and obvious dodge. City Hall, and those City Council members who put development impact fees ahead of this city's safety and traditions, do not want to deal with the growing building moratorium movement in this town. They don't even want to be seen talking about it. And they certainly don't want to have to make any decisions in public.
They now have their escape route in place. Late Tuesday evening you are going to be told to go and talk with the EENERs instead.
You need to tell the City Council that this is not a realistic option, and they should just do their jobs instead.