Saturday, July 5, 2014

Matt Bryant's E-Mail to the City Council About Building and Water Moratoriums

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(Mod: Matt Bryant is one of the main voices in the Coalition to Preserve Mater Dolorosa and Stop the Housing Project. His organizational abilities are outstanding, and he has helped many to effectively articulate their opposition to what would be a most unfortunate and destructive mistake at Mater Dolorosa. Like many in this community, Matt has sent an email to the City Councilmembers detailing the reasons for his opposition to any proposed unwanted development on that site. Here is what he Matt to say.)

Dear City Council Members:

First we want to thank you for serving on the City Council and making the effort to look out for what's best for Sierra Madre. We know its a difficult and sometimes thankless job and we appreciate the time you put into it.

As we all know, there is a water crisis, not just in Sierra Madre, but through-out California.  From what I've read, it appears that the water crisis is only going to get worse.  Because of that, there is no margin for error when you decide how to vote on the various solutions and protections.

Therefore, we would strongly urge you to freeze everything in place with both a Building and Water Moratorium.  In addition, I would implement the Phase 3 but I would reduce the penalties to those commensurate with the Phase 1. I think people will have a difficult time incurring onerous penalties for yellow and unhealthy water.

I don't think you can go wrong by implementing what amounts to a complete freeze on all development activity.  You can always release moratoriums at any time should the conditions on the ground change.  However, you can go wrong, drastically wrong, if further development is allowed to continue because it only adds more stress to our water emergency which then becomes irreversible. A bad situation that is already difficult to solve only becomes that much worse for this City Council or a future City Council.

Mr. Inman was quite candid about the precariousness of our reliance on water from the MWD.  Furthermore, we have no way of controlling whether the MWD customers are going to do a good job of conserving water.  If they don't and the drought continues, we may lose the MWD connection entirely since we are not a customer of the MWD.  I, for one, don't want to be dependent upon others for such a basic need as water.

We need to put Sierra Madre on a sustainable path so that we don't have to depend upon other entities and other people's usage for our very survival.  Let's implement the Building and Water Moratoriums and the Phase 3.  Then let's wait till the water consultant completes her findings, let's get the general plan approved, and let's gather up more information about all the further consequences if this drought continues. We can always re-visit the issue at a later time.  It seems to me that is the prudent and responsible thing to do.

We need to look out for the best interest of the existing residents of Sierra Madre first and foremost - not the best interest of possible future residents and certainly not the best interest of out-of-town developers.

Please consider your stance on this position very carefully and do what's best for Sierra Madre.  That's all we can ask of you.

Thank you.

Matthew and Mahvash Bryant

(Mod: Here is the latest e-mail blast from the Coalition to Preserve Mater Dolorosa and Stop the Housing Project.)

Dear Supporters:

After careful consideration, the Steering Committee for the Coalition to Preserve Mater Dolorosa and Stop the Housing Project is taking the following position on the upcoming issues up for vote at the important City Council Meeting on July 8th:

1. We support implementation of Phase III Conservation with Phase I penalties for over-use.
2. We support an immediate Water Moratorium.
3. We support an immediate Building Moratorium.

Our reasoning is as follows:

The city currently does not have a reliable water source.  The MWD has about a 2-year supply and can stop delivery at anytime.  Sierra Madre is not a regular MWD customer and will be the first to have its water supply cut off should the MWD run into a problem with supplying its own customers if the drought continues.

It will take a minimum of five years until the East Raymond Basin Aquifer has been recharged with sufficient water to resume pumping.

Phase 3 water restrictions with Phase 1 penalties will stop new water connections as long as Phase 3 is in effect.

A Phase 3 alone will not stop building that already has a water source.

A water moratorium is necessary so that the aquifer can recharge to a level that can justify the additional impact of new construction.

A building moratorium is necessary to complete the General Plan Update and EIR.

A building moratorium will allow the city time to develop a plan that will guide new development based on our resources and infrastructure to insure that Sierra Madre follows a sustainable path.

A building moratorium will ensure that all new construction is in compliance with the General Plan Update. The GPU is the people’s vision for the future of Sierra Madre.

A building moratorium will halt building that has a water source.

All three are needed to insure that Sierra Madre can:

Replenish its own water supply.

Approve the proposed General Plan and EIR.

Place Sierra Madre on a sustainable path

Please email your City Council Members and attend the City Council Meeting on July 8th.

JHarabedian@cityofsierramadre.com
JCapoccia@cityofsierramadre.com
rarizmendi@cityofsierramadre.com
ddelmar@cityofsierramadre.com
ggoss@cityofsierramadre.com

​Thank you for your support

Steering Committee

Coalition to Preserve Mater Dolo​rosa and Stop the Housing Project

(Mod: Be certain to attend the City Council meeting on July 8. It stands to be one of the most important held there in years.)

http://sierramadretattler.blogspot.com

99 comments:

  1. How can we have all this development, when the whole state is suffering from a drought. If we take action now, we can deal with this problem. Waiting to make the hard decisions only makes the problem worse.

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    Replies
    1. Maybe our city council should consider putting the needs of Sierra Madre residents ahead of those of the developers who want to exploit Sierra Madre to line their own pockets.

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    2. I'm tired of outside interests ruining out City. One by one other cities are getting ruined. Sierra Madre is the last bastion of a lifestyle that only those who live in Sierra Madre can truly understand.

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    3. We have been sold out before to outside interests. Until we get City Council members elected to serve the people first and not outside intersts or their own intersts, we will always have this problem.

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    4. 10:50, until we stop electing lawyers, utility company employees, mortgage salemen, construction company owners, commercial bankers you mean?

      outside interests like the Arcadia Board of Realtors that get involved with local politics

      I lump local realtors into what's wrong with SM - it's all about plenty of commissions

      developers to the front of the line at City Hall - residents to the rear

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  2. Hopefully, this City Council recognizes the severity of the problem and doesn't keep their heads in the sand. You can always lift the moratoriums if things improve. You won't ever be able to solve the problem if you allow further development to drain our water supplies even more.

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    1. Why should we save water so that developers have more water for themselves and their projects. That's why, if I'm going to save water, I want the building and water moratoriums in place so that everyone feels the pain.

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    2. I'm only conserving more water if the ultimate goal is to return us to our own wells. We never had a problem with that water.

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    3. if there is not a water crisis for developers and residents who don't even live here yet

      there is not a water crisis for us residents

      the city can't have it both ways

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  3. The drought has now eclipsed the Mater Dolorosa issue. Its become a bigger concern than just that one project. What happens if we run out of water? What if the MWD 2-year supply runs out? These droughts can go in cycles that last hundreds of years. We live in a desert that was made inhabitable by securing water supplies from outside our state. What if that dries up, then where will wel all be? Why do we want to keep adding more water users to the already overextended system. It would be suicide.

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    1. One mountain fire could easily use our total MWD allotment.

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    2. Even if El Nino came, it wouldn't help much because you need a sustained rainfall for a prolonged period of time. And now it appears that even the El Nino may not materialize. Sierra Madre needs to rely on itself to get through this. That means its own wells that have always served the community for so many years.

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    3. Too bad the Bart Doyle City Council squandered all of that bond money on DSP related infrastructure than actually finding us new water supplies. Then we wouldn't have the golden showers Joe Mosca gave us.

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    4. Unlike some other issues that have divided this town, preservation Sierra Madre and placing it on a sustainable path are issues that all of us can unite around. Let's hear someone speak up about having Sierra Madre look like Arcadia or someone tell us that our water situation is not an emergency. I take it back. We did see one person speak up - that One Carter lawyer McDonald. I'd like to see one resident in Sierra Madre support his position. It won't happen because those who live in Sierra Madre must know that what we have here is special.

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    5. Bart Doyle did as much damage to Sierra Madre as anyone. He should have a special place in our hearts for that.

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    6. Bart Doyle keeps on keeping on in SM - he endorsed John Harabedian

      supported John Buchanan who endorses Gene Goss

      we are surpised by what is going on?

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    7. Gee Wally, I wonder where we would be right now if we hadn't hooked up to MWD? Thanx George Mauer!!

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  4. Please everyone, please plan to attend this critical meeting!
    Support these neighbors fighting to save our town.

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    Replies
    1. Every person is affected by the lack of water and the tenuous connection to the MWD. Make your voice heard and come to the July 8th meeting!

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    2. If you have never been involved before in the affairs of this community, now is the time to get involved. Tell someone you know to come to the meeting. If everyone did that, we will prevail. This issue is too important to stay on the sideline and let other people shoulder the burden.

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  5. dear City Council members, Severalof us are unable to attend the July 8 meeting but will be able to watch it n TV. we would like to make two simple requests; please make certain the amplification system is working properly and then, when you speak, please turn on your microphone and speak into it. thank you.

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    1. 7:14 perhaps send this email to the city not the Tattler?

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    2. Better yet, come to the meeting or at least send an email right now. Nobody can tell how many people are watching at home. We need people present at the meeting. If you can speak, all the better. If you can do neither, send an email to the Council Members. At the very least do that. Passively watching on the TV is not going to be enough. If you need a ride, let someone know. Sending an email will be of immense help to the cause.

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    3. Watching on TV will not help the effort.
      If you can't be there write all City Council members, City Manager, and Public Works Director.
      Let them know that you are 100% behind what Matt's letter stated.

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  6. Any city councilmember who doesn't vote for at LEAST TWO of these important moratoriums....should be recalled,
    This is our survival here, not just our property values.

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    1. This is the most important vote that this City Council has had to make. Let's hope they do their homework and get it right. They simply can't make a mistake with a decision as important as this one is to every resident of Sierra Madre.

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    2. I would not want to be the City Council member who makes the wrong call on such an important issue. If they vote for the moratoriums, there may be a few developers upset. If they don't vote for the moratoriums and the water situation and drought gets worse, that City Council member will never recover from that decision. Every resident in Sierra Madre is affected and angry. They would have just signed their own recall papers.

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    3. It really is a great moment. Instead of the usual steady diet of nothing we get to listen to at City Council meetings, they actually have a huge decision to make. One that there is no easy way out of. The only dodge available to them is this Phase 3 thing. But people are way too smart for that.

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    4. That's right 10:06. Phase 3 by itself would be a political disaster for any City Council member who only votes for that. That's the One Carter lawyer's position. We all need to tighten our belts and conserve more water so that water is available for their housing project. Only a lawyer could spew that kind of garage. I would hope that our City Council Members are smarter than that.

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    5. The moratoriums should be implemented because it is the right thing to do. But even aside from that, the politically smart move for the Council Members is to vote with the residents and not with the developers and lawyers.

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    6. I will gladly help in any efforts to recall any Council Member who doesn't for the water and building moratoriums. It would be the ultimate sell-out. I voted for them so that could preserve Sierra Madre as they promised to do. No more going back on your campaign promises.

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    7. When you talk about recall, think about money and time that would take to do it, and have a candidate ready to take their places. You already have one petition going (repeal the UUT) which will take lots of energy to get signed. Why not focus on the immediate instead of empty threats.

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    8. It is as easy to carry two petitions as one. And the issues are closely linked.

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    9. you can't be surprised that Harabedian and Goss are going back on their campaign promises are you?

      Goss said he wouldnt' accept any outside endorsements and money and did so until he caught heat so he gave back the $ but kept the endorsement - already catering to outside special interests

      Harabedian used a photoshopped campaign picture with the SMPD in clear violation of the law, but just gave us the finger cause he's a "lawyer"

      they both need to hear LOUD and CLEAR that they were elected for us, not their own agenda's and egos

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  7. Phase 3 without severe monetary penalties is akin to exempting the more affluent from the ordinance. If you are unwilling to sacrifice you should pay a lot

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    1. The last two water rate hikes combined is an increase of 100%. That wasn't enough for you?

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    2. It has gotten me to drastically cut my water consumption it was enough for me. But by the way I see wet lawns, muddy sidewalks, water flowing freely and wastefully at many homes obviously not enough for some.Conservation is not optional if you can afford it. It is mandated by the voters.You must comply or you are breaking the law and will be punished under P3.

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    3. Conservation only became an issue again because the residents are asking for a building moratorium. This is a wedge issue cooked up by the 3 Dudes to blunt a protest against their destructive development money grab. Don't fall for it.

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    4. We have a water emergency and everyone will need to feel some pain. Future residents of Sierra Madre and Developer's greed, is low on my list of concerns.

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  8. I disagree water conservation in this town has been an issue since SMEAC in the 1970's and it was taught @ Sierra Madre School in the 60's it's our most vital resource

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    1. Yes, but you also have a reading comprehension problem. The water conservation issue took on its current renewed focus only after the call for a building moratorium became as load as it has. The 3 Dudes are engaging in a level of cynicism ghis town hasn't seen in a few years. It is all predicated on money, of course. That is all they are really concerned about.

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    2. The "3 Dudes" (love it!) just want development impact fees. When you are paying over $160,000 a year for just 5 employee health care plans, money becomes the most important issue.

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    3. The unions tell Mayor Johnny to jump, and all he can say is "How high?" If the McMansion developments don't go through there won't be enough money for those Cadillac health care plans City Hall gave away. Which means Johnny can kiss his political ambitions bye bye. That's how it rolls in LA County. Earn or burn.

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    4. Mayor Johnny goes nowhere if he alienates the residents of Sierra Madre. He must have the support of the vast majority of residents of Sierra Madre to have a successful political career. Looking out for the public employee unions, developers and other special interests would be political suicide.

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    5. Harabedian has the bonehead lawyer mentality, he's smarter than us and he wants to show us

      he ought to remember Joe Mosca who wanted to bounce out of SM into regional politics and became such a joke that regional politics just ignored him, which is what will happen to Harabedian

      could be worse, imagine if we'd elected Noah Green, he'd be ignoring the water issue and focusing on promoting Halloween

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  9. The Passionists were kind enough to allow my friends and I to watch the fireworks from their property great show!
    Thanks Charles

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    Replies
    1. Some people can be bought for very little.

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    2. My home is worth on the market $750,000-800,00. I have been offered $990,000 it's not "very little"

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    3. Then you'd better sell now, Link. Because once your pals like Father Chuck start packing the hillsides with water hog McMansions your love shack will be in one of those 5.5 toilets.

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    4. Mater Dolorosa and their developer are now in full "divide and conquer" mode. They are trying to meet with small groups of neighbors and influencial people in this community and buy them off one by one. This is a standard strategy of developers. Don't fall for it! We must maintain a united front. Mater Dolorosa already sold their souls for their "30 pieces of silver". Let them have that on their conscience. Don't sell your own soul also.

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    5. You are going to see a PR campaign by Mater Dolorosa and its developers the likes of which haven't been seen before. We must see through it for what it is. Don't be fooled and don't let yourself be manipulated by them. They have meetings every day to figure out the best way to defeat the opposition. They were warned about the water problem too and they have gone forward any way. All they care about is how to get what they want and how to get their money. They don't care if Sierra Madre's water woes get worse, or if we have to pay higher rates for yellow water or whether we run out of water entirely. They just hope it happens after they have sold off their McMansions.

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    6. The 3 Dudes are reading right from the MD script.

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    7. These developers literally do research to find areas of land in different communities that no one has wanted to see get developed. They use their lawyers, PR people and others to cram these projects down the throats of the residents and then move on the next project. They make money off the backs of the people by ruining cities. Obviously not all developers but most of them. Their motivation is their bottom line and nothing else.

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  10. All I know is that the drought is more likely to continue which is only going to make things worse. We are wrestling with a severe problem now and trying to come up with good solutions. Imagine if we could fast forward ten years after all these housing projects are in place. Because the water consumption will now be so much higher, you severely limit your options for a solution. Everything becomes much more difficult. I hope that Bruce Inman is adamant about the need to take some drastic steps now. We can't wait until things get so bad there may not even be a viable solution.

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  11. There are too many things in flux right now for the City Council not to freeze everything as Matt Bryant says, You have the drought, you have the hiring of the water consultant and wait for her findings, you have the General Plan in play, you have the MWD that seems to be facing its own challenges. Too much. We need to wait and gather up the facts before all these housing projects and McMansions continue forward. Its irresponsible and bordering on dangerous. We can't live without water. Our community can't survive without water. Let's figure this out first.

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  12. I agree we need all 3 restrictions until we can sort it all out. And I'm holding out for 1.5m..........

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    1. A moratorium can be rescinded at any time if such a decision is warranted by the facts. What can't be rescinded is a building boom that adds additional stress to our water infrastructure and all of our other infrastructures. Our goal should be to be sustainable community relying only upon ourselves. That means controlled growth that is compatible with our ability to provide adequate services to our residents now and in the future.

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    2. How can freezing everything in place now be a bad decision until as 9:38 points out, we "sort it all out". That just about says it all. Let's sort it all out first.

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  13. It is estimated that if Sierra Madre runs out of water in two years property values here could drop by as much as 50%. This is not an issue the City Council should be playing development politics with.

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    1. That will slow down city spending!!

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    2. Trust me, the first thing city hall will do is push for a tax hike.

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    3. If we don't have access to a reliable source of water, Sierra Madre values drop and significantly. If we have yellow water, values drop. If we have to pay exorbitant rates for our water, values also drop. Since all City Hall cares about is the money and not our quality of life, maybe they will understand the ramifications of that argument.

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    4. Our city government is literally killing this city.

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  14. We can only hope and pray that the City Council will make the right decsion on July 8th and not think about their own ambitions or which special interests got them elected. They need to put all that aside and do what's in the best interest of Sierra Madre residents.

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  15. No moratorium? No UUT. The big payback is coming.

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  16. How can an elected City Council vote against the interests of the community that elected them? I don't understand this. Can somebody please explain?

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    Replies
    1. easy, look at who they were endorsed by and those are the same clowns that got us in this mess to begin with

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  17. Two things when you are writing to city council members. Don't cut and paste Matt's arguments but instead say what you think in your own words. City often gets form emails that say somewhere in the body "insert name here" but the writer fails to individualize. Those emails are read, but little credence is put on them. Second, don't attack council members, staff or the City. You will not do any good by mentioning high pension costs, high health care packages, "greedy city only wanting tax monies", "greedy developers", etc. Council members want lucid, valid arguments on an issue. Matt makes them. Use his facts to write your own email. signed, not a Sierra Madre council person, but one who has received those types of letters.

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    Replies
    1. I totally agree. I have received many form protest letters. When I realize it is a cut and paste letter, I really don't give it much weight in making my decision.

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  18. Earl Richey, one of the proponents of the UUT repeal is a developer. Why do you think he wants to repeal the UUT? If there is no UUT revenue then the City of Sierra Madre is more dependent on development fees.

    Suckers.

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    1. FOR THE PAST 20 YEARS - WHERE HAS ALL THE WATER & SEWER MONIES GONE - WHICH THE CITY RESIDENTS HAVE PAID CITY HALL FOR WATER & SEWER SERVICES???

      THATS A BUNCH OF RUBBUSH! MR RICHEY IS A REAL ESTATE BROKER AND CONDUCTS HIS EFFORTS OUTSIDE THIS CITY! Mr Richey is in the same sinking boat that the residents of Sierra Madre are in... the city needs to take care of business and quit miss appropriating and commingling city monies!!!

      Mr Richey has requested forensic audits... Why has this not happened?

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    2. Lets get real! City Hall has miss managed the residents monies for years! Our city manager, Jim Mc Cray got caught with his pants down and was fired? Elaine is doing the same thing. Why is this found to be acceptable? Why has the city council failed to fire her and the others found to be responsible?

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    3. Elaine serves kool-aide to members of the CC. Those without backbones go back for more.

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    4. Elaine billed the Mt Wilson Trail Race and the Race Director paid the city for over 200 hours of staff time for pre event planning

      if that doesn't reek of fraud, imaginative accounting and public mistrust nothing will save this city

      I'd like to hear the race director and the city manager explain how it takes over 200 hours of city staff time to "pre event plan" the race that is the same every year

      I think this issue is something that if not explained the city manager could be fired and lose her pension over cause it's fraud - not a simple mistake of "oh we meant to bill for 20 hours not 200" cause the Trail Race paid the city for it

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  19. Our city government agendized mandatory water conservation, a water hook-up moratorium and a building moratorium for a public hearing and action in three days. Mater Dolorosa hasn't been approved. Carter One hasn't been approved. Stonehouse hasn't been approved. Why don't you stop bearing false witness and accusing them of treason until you have an actual reason to do so? The fact is many of you should just shut up because your obnoxious lying behavior and threats alienate most people.

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    1. How's that Measure UUT workin' out for ya?

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    2. Strong and, dare I say it, rather obnoxious talk 11:38. There are very good reasons for the distrust many in this community feel. Screaming baseless epithets like you have hardly changes that.

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  20. Do you really think if we didn't put pressure on them, they would do the right thing anyway?
    It's naïve to think that.

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  21. 11:38. You are mistaken. Carter 1 was entitled nearly 10 years ago. All infrastructure, including water to the lots, are there. Each indvidual buyer of a lot will need to go through an approval process in order to actually build. I have to think you are new to town, or just don't research the facts before you pop off. In my opinion, it would be irresponsible for the residents of this town to try to deny the owners of Carter 1 the opportunity to build according to our zoning standards and settlement agreement. If the taxpayers of this town think we are over taxed now, we will be in a lot worse shape financially if we are sued by the owners of Carter 1. Please....no angry retorts. These lawsuits on Carter and Stonehouse cost we the taxpayers over a million dollars. It would be best to focus on the monestary and Stonehouse.

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    1. The sell out city council of 2004 approved development at One Carter almost ten years ago. Not one house was ever built. You must be new here.

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    2. you tell em girl.

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  22. 12:37 - while I can agree that fewer lots at Carter 1 would have been preferable, I don't think it is fair to call the councilmembers at that time "sell outs." There is a little something reasonable folks believe in. And that is private property rights. The land is zoned residential and the owner has every right to develop their property. Irrational comments rarely helps our cause.

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    1. There is something that those supporting "our cause" believe in. And that is the people who belong to a community have the right to determine how that community is to be planned and eventually look. Just like they have the right to determine how much in taxes they might want to pay. That is "our" cause. You seem to be advocating a kind of surrender based on some nebulous notion about private property. That is not how it has ever worked in Sierra Madre. I believe you are misrepresenting yourself here.

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    2. the 1 Carter Council weren't sell outs

      one was a utility company lawyer another was a commercial lending banker

      they sold out before they were elected and never should have been elected or any endorsesments or opinions they may have are self serving for their employers

      please, we elect a mortgage saleman with realtor family and expect him to be unbiased?

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    3. Dear 1:25, Here's something else reasonable folks believe in: Governments derive their just Powers from the Consent of the Governed. The 2004 Council did not have the consent of the people to do what they did. And they knew it.
      One Carter was a betrayal and a sellout and a key reason why residents of Sierra Madre don't trust their city government.
      As for private property rights, your right to swing your arms ends where another person's nose begins. Nobody has the right to develop at One Carter, or anywhere else, when such development endangers the safety, security, and well-being of the residents of the town.

      Maryann MacGillivray said it very well: 'our resources cannot support additional development.'
      It's really very simple. And rational.

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    4. ...and the monastery does not have the right to a zone change.

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    5. Bess of HardwickJuly 5, 2014 at 9:19 PM

      Who said that the monestary has the right to a zone change? Try to keep up...or you will have to sit in the corner.

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  23. How Elaine and Bruce orchestrated the crisis. First shut down the wells because they were not drilled deeper. Next stop the diversions of rain and spring water from the drainage canal into our settling ponds. Get the MWD out of the wings and into our water opportunities. And lastly start a scare campaign unless developers are allow free access to do what they do. (It is probably in a "Cty Managers Handbook For Success"). They are a savy and secretive group, just like the POA and other organized tax payer dependent groups. Fines and voodo are in the works to shake you down.

    Be tough, be smart, and speak out.......as Sierra Madre Homeowners you have more at stake than you can possibly imagine.

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  24. Please don't write nonsense. Elaine and Bruce did not orchestrate the crisis. If you think they have that much power, think again. Bruce has no control on how much it rains, nor does Elaine have a scare campaign. She is not that smart.

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    1. These are the people who run our city. Look at the results.

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    2. We could have God running the City and would have the same results.

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    3. The good thing about God running the city is we wouldn't have to give Him a $37,000 a year health care plan.

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    4. wait, Elaine approved and sent out complete misinformation and misleading information regarding the original UUT

      do that in the real business world and you get fired

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  25. There is a wonderful tongue-in-cheek article in the Wall Street Journal today entitled "Weapons of Mass Construction" by Joe Queenan. In it he writes that a "McMansion the size of the Louvre is going up directly across the street from my house. Nine other monstrosities are also being deployed in what was a beautiful, empty meadow." He wishes that the economy is not dependent on the health of home builders. ". . .they are bulldozing whatever stands in their way and throwing up their eyesores. Throwing up being the operative term."

    That is how I feel about the Mater Dolorosa project . . . a beautiful empty meadow being turned into a 49 house tract. Enough to make you want to throw up.

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    1. Great article, thanks! I hope Joe will comment on this blog sometime.

      "The housing industry builds trash: malignant, socially corrosive, architecturally putrescent stuff that I hate. They tear down adorable bungalows and build McMansions...

      And we get lurid vile houses with bogus cathedral windows and four-car garages and faux-Belgian cobblestones and Philistines for neighbors."


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  26. 3:26 Elain & Bruce may not control the rain, but they do have control over drilling our wells deeper, control over the settling pond system that was allowed to deteriorate and most of all the shady colaberation with developers. You don't seem to get it.

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  27. San Francisco has so much development going on that the city bird is the Crane.

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  28. Has anyone stopped to think about how much money the city is going to make on the new water bills? For residents who live west of Baldwin, their meters will be read tomorrow. The number of units printed on their bills will reflect their usage from May 13 to July 8. They will have consumed water (at the new rate) for only eight days. But they will be charged the new rate for the ENTIRE billing period!

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  29. In the comments above I see a lot of blame game, which is counter productive, and not much recognition that over the long term the leadership (not sure whether political or emanating from the the city planning officer) has done a fairly good job of providing pay as you go upgrades on the water infrastructure of Sierra Madre. Our current crisis results from our having a basic source that supplies about 2/5 of our needs and so we have to make up the difference with imported water which is about 20% more costly. Imported sources seem to be unreliable in the future so we are left with Pay more, find more, or use less. The most attractive option is to use less because it costs less but this option has hardly been explored by the above commentators and the options given us by the city. The following three options would save a great deal of water and at relatively little cost. 1. Install gray water systems on all residences (probably not practical for businesses). Install storage units and capture roof runoff for reuse when needed. 3. Replant lawns with ice plant, sage, lavender or other drought-resistent plants. This could be accomplished by a small use tax to set up a subsidy plan for residents who convert to a more water friendly facility.
    One other thing could be done that would help the supply situation is to contract with the forest service to have prescribed burns in the drainage basins above Sierra Madre. This would rejuvenate those streams because it would diminish the transpiration rate in those areas. This is common knowledge among the ranchers of northern Coast Ranges - that when there is a fire in the mountains, the streams flow longer and deeper afterwards.
    One size fits all ban on new hook ups gives the managers no flexibility. Certainly, large new hooks-ups will exacerbate the problem but individual permits will not be a significant problem.

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