Saturday, June 21, 2014

City Hall Shows Its Hand On The Building Moratorium

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Obviously certain members of the City Council will not want to be seen in public Tuesday making any bold or decisive decisions on a building moratorium. A cautious bunch, this is not something they would enjoy having happen. They'd prefer to punt.

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.

http://sierramadretattler.blogspot.com

58 comments:

  1. You're right. The EENER Commission is nothing but a bureaucratic, feel good creation of Nancy Walsh's and Josh Moran's. While there are a few nice folks on the commission, their expertise in trees, not water. A few of the commissioners, when asked, had no idea what AB32 and SB375 are and how they affect our town. Why would we ever think they have the knowledge to deal with the water situation? This is just a bureaucratic smoke and mirrors. It looks like something important is being done, but not really.

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    1. Staff makes me vomit.

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  2. Hey, is my termite inspector guy an expert? When he was here a couple of weeks ago he assured me that El Nino is coming for certain this winter. He is a fisherman and he said that the ocean water is already 75 degrees and that the tuna have already come up as far as San Diego.

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  3. either we have a water crisis or we don't
    we don't as long as the city pushes forward on large scale developments
    start watering your lawns

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    1. The City wants to get as many houses and developments in the permit process so that the moratorium is useless. Once it goes to the EENERS, then the council will take a couple of meetings, nothing will happen in December. If it passes first reading in Jan, there must be a second reading, then it gets published, finally the ordinance becomes law sometime next spring. There is no water shortage because of the MWD line.

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    2. Johnny Process hard at work for outside money interests. How wonderful for us!

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    3. I can't believe they thought people would fall for this. We need action, not process.

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  4. Haven't we seen enough of this kind of nonsense over the years? John Harabedian is quickly becoming the male Enid Joffe.

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    1. with a heavy dose of John Buchanan

      boring - droning - full of himself and not to be trusted

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  5. October? This is a joke, right?

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  6. So how does this all impact on Tuesday's City Council meeting? Isn't anyone willing to make tough but prudent decisions.

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    1. Harabedian and Capoccia will insist that they cannot make any decision on a building moratorium until they have read the EENER findings on water. Which won't be ready until October. Something that will give city hall the time they need to push through a bunch of McMansions.

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  7. remember when Josh said that he was going to appoint his friends and supporters to committees?

    therefore I assume the EENER is a sham

    especially if Walsh was involved

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  8. As a member of the EENR I will expect to draw fire for my comments. In spite of that, I feel that a response is necessary.
    These are in no particular hierarchical order:
    1. The commission itself asked for public participation for the July 16th meeting. We want to get ideas for conservation from the community. We enjoy public participation in our meetings, which we do not often have. For instance, at our last meeting, there was no one, not one person, in the audience. Makes public comment kind of dull. All of the city's commissions are there for the public to participate, either as commissioners or as citizens providing input and suggestions.
    2.To disparage the character or intelligence of members of this or any commission is a cheap shot. It indicates, to me, that the writer would rather slur the intelligence of commission members (who I might add, he knows very little about), than offer anything in the way of a constructive criticism.
    3. I have never seen the writer at any EENR meetings nor have I had occasion to converse with him so as far as I'm concerned he doesn't know a thing about me or what I know or don't know about AB 32 or AB 375.
    4. The writer clearly has some sort of fixation on a member of EENR. This is not the first time he has selected Ms. Kelly as a target, and I just have to ask - why?
    If the issues discussed at EENR meetings are important to you, attend a meeting. See what we are about, make a contribution, have a discussion, engage yourself. That goes for any of the city's commissions'.

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    1. Who do you see at your meetings? And can the lack of public participation at your meetings be seen as a rejection by the public of your efforts? And finally, you do know that you are being used to help the pro development faction on the City Council evade a building moratorium, right? You are OK with being used that way?

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    2. I think part of the dislike of Ms. Kelly is because of the smear campaign she conducted against Council member MacGillivrey and for Joe Mosca.

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    3. Yes. And who elected these people to make water and development policy tor our town?

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    4. Paul Alva made a disastrous introduction to the community for this commission. Emphasizing that you were all experts, but that you had no work product that you could produce, other than the UN articles, was a very bad beginning. People will respond better once something is actually accomplished.

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    5. Sometimes the soap box you stand on is far more significant that what you actually have to say, 9:01.

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    6. 9;13 There was no smear campaign just somebody with a different idea than you which is what this country is about

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    7. Kelly isn't fit to clean MaryAnn's dishes. And look who she did her dirty work for! Naked Noah, Lying Joe and Worthless Walsh. What a credit to the community.

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    8. !0:30- 9:13 you are doing the same thing you accused Ms Kelley of , you must be really afraid of her and if one person made MaryAnn lose her seat then she must have not been very strong . I think she lost by alot more than ne vote45

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    9. 10:22 there was most decidedly a smear campaign. The lies about MacGillivrey were vicious.

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    10. Kelly was so busy attacking MacGillivrey and supporting Mosca that she failed to notice one of them was an honest person and the other a proven liar. She also fanatically accused MacGillivrey of fanaticism. Kelly was the real extremist.

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    11. She is a good fit for the EENERs. I think the term is "useful idiot."

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    12. It's called sleeping with the enemy, 9:01. McMansions are not green, yet you are helping to enable them. Get over yourself.

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    13. are you a friend of Josh or Walsh?

      if so, sorry but can't trust you at all

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  9. I guess it's official. The EENER water review meeting is front page news in this week's Looney. It is a City Hall initiative. Susan doesn't put anything on her front page that isn't.

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  10. If the EERNRS are such great experts, why did we just have to shell out fifty thousand dollars to a consultant.

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    1. Why would the public be expected to go to an EENER meeting in July when the real meeting is the City Council one this Tuesday night? You mean they aren't going to even vote on a building moratorium?

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    2. Mayor Johnny does not like to do or say anything that might cause people to judge him poorly. This will go to the EENERs just like One Carter went back to the Planning Commission.

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    3. I noticed the City Manager stopped call it EENER last year. Nancy Walsh must have set Elaine straight.

      PS: eener eener eener!

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    4. As part of the move to undo everything Nancy Walsh did as mayor, the name of the EENER Commission will be changed in the next month or so. It was stolen from the COG anyway.

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  11. Looking down the road a bit, after the Mater Dolorsa, 1 Carter, and Stonehouse McMansions are built, after assorted Sierra Madre bungalows are torn down and resized and rebuilt, after Kensington inmates change their voter residences to Sierra Madre, the UUT will come up again. And guess what? City Hall will have enough votes to pass it! Stop the overdevelopment, over building now! We'll never have a better chance.

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    1. amazing that the city for the last 15 years and today, the city caters to future residents instead of those that already live here

      I've said it before and it still holds true to for me - SM will implode and we'll have to annex into Pasadena

      we keep electing those that are pushing SCAG agendas and their own aspirations or personal greed, like when we elect utility company lawyers, a commerical banker, construction owner, mortgage salesman and what do we receive?

      development regardless of what you or I want

      where is Bill Tice when we need him to run? he had more character and care for the city in his left thumb than Buchanan, Mosca, Moran, Walsh and Harabedian have combined (course Walsh had zero)

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    2. if John Buchanan would have had his way (with his buddies including Gene Goss) SM would already have 150 condos built downtown

      Goss said he will stand up to development, guess that means from his knees

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  12. Here is my question. This EENER meeting is not until July 16. Yet it is being given a major PR campaign this weekend. The Star News, Sierra Madre Weekly and the Mtn Views "News" are all pushing it. Why is this being done so early? Why the rush, and why now? The only answer I can come up with is because the building moratorium question is up for grabs Tuesday evening, and this is their answer.

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    1. The timing is suspicious...

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    2. This has Aguilar and Harabedian's fingerprints all over it. I can't believe the Star News fell for this.

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    3. Regular old media blitz. Since when did an EENER meeting become so important?

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    4. the Mt View News is supposed to be a regional paper but the only issues that get front page news or editorial coverage is SM

      do away with the legal notices with the paper and Henderson will shut up

      The Weekly ought to grow a pair and go on the offensive - they have nothing to lose and respect to gain

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    5. the Star News covers this but doesn't pick up on city staff double billing for it's time with the Mt Wilson Trail Race

      staff charged the event over 200 hours of time for "preplanning" and it gets zero attention

      the Race Director should be ashamed cause he told us the Trail Race would fund trail maintennce and instead the city takes about 60% of the operating budget for the annual event


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  13. Who hired the 31 year old union committed mayor to over see my pocket book!

    He does even own a house in any town.

    does have any experience to spend my money....

    Look at 60 year old Cappoucha,,, cant even keep his grass green.

    Why do you think he can keep your grass green?

    We need to get rid of the bunch of them and hire qualified people or we will all be broke...

    looking for sensible comments...

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    1. At least we don't have to pay them a salary

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    2. Do they get health care?

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    3. 1136 turn off spell checker you're talking gibberish

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    4. yeah but he's a big time lawyer looking for a polticial gig so he's entitled

      be careful, he'll whine to his mom and dad and they'll make another appearance jostling us cause we are holding their precious little boy to adult standards

      jeez, we gotta stop electing lawyers period

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  14. please be corrected

    1) Johnny do not own a home!
    2) Johnny does not have experience spending large blocks of money..

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    1. Do he or don' he? idk idc................

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  15. Enter another consideration. When there was brief talk about a building moratorium, our City Attorney said a city could only place a moratorium for two years and it could not be renewed., We should not take her word for that part of the law. I think she didn't know what she was talking about but making up something - just like Elaine makes up an answers.

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  16. There is no reason that the EENER Commission can't go ahead with their study of the water conservation ordinance while there is a building moratorium in place. In fact, this might be a good thing to prove to the State or whoever our City Attorney (claims has a claim over whether we can have a moratorium or not.) that we are eager to let building occur once we determine that any building project is sustainable. Right now, we all know by education from our own Bruce Inman, that we have no water, that we will have to conserve indefinitely, and the Metro hookup will most likely be for 5 years at the very least. Let the EENERS study and come up with an ordinance that will help us through the next 5 years after that.

    The plan is to have them study the building codes, effectiveness of the current code and public education. This is a great idea. If a moratorium is put in place NOW it will give them time to determine if Mater Delorosa should be rezoned, if people really are educated about conservation (example - Capoccia's brown lawn and my brown lawn) and if all of California will be able to sustain mass building. Instead of focusing on the negative, we should all come up with positive ideas on how the Commission should proceed while a moratorium is in place.

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    1. It won't happen that way. The 3 council men will say they cannot proceed with a moratorium without the EENER's guidance first. Which wont be revealed until late next fall. This is all a stall.

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    2. come on, let's at least give them the idea. Then if it happens like 3:45 says, when Mater Delorosa comes up and the Carter plans appear again we can argue that the EENER is studying this and we shouldn't have any building until the Commission does its job. Either way, we can stall as well as the next guy. We just need enough people to push back as we did for the DSP to make things happen. Oh, and by the way, when Bruce gets up and tells us the wells are still sucking dirt, we can remind them that building in Sierra Madre is unsustainable. Sustainable, isn't that the word the EENER likes to use? We can use it too.

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    3. Only takes 3 votes to disband EENER and go back to a Tree Commission. Just sayin'

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    4. From your lips to God's ears.........this is a good place to start a discussion!

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  17. So how much abuse do the good citizens of this community have to take before they wake up and realize they are being screwed by their city's establishment commitment to benefit outside interest as well as benefit themselves.How much is Enough!

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  18. Enough is when you give up and don't push back.

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