|Dennis "Mayor Poopgate" Kneier caught in the act. Videos here and here.|
(Mod: The following article was put together by some residents of San Marino. They are facing the same kinds of wacko development pressures that a lot of other small cities are facing, and rather than let their little piece of the valley paradise descend into developer hell, they've decided to fight back. Sound at all familiar, friends? Of course, they have the additional burden of their very famous Mayor Poopgate, that adamantly developer forward fellow who attracted so much attention recently for a very inconsiderate act. Who could have known that this moment of doggy decrepitude would soon serve as a remarkable metaphor for so destructive a record in office?)
A Little Town Under Siege: If you drive through the town of San Marino these days, you'll see lots of new city construction work - street and sidewalks torn up, the ficus trees along Hungtington Drive ripped out and replaced with new trees, a center median irrigation water system replacement all throughout town on Huntington Drive, new and unneeded drives along Lorain Road, and lots of curious street reworking projects such as those at Monterey and Oak Knoll. Add to it the new bicycle lane striping on Del Mar Boulevard, also forced upon the city residents by City Hall, along with many other unwanted projects being rushed to the front of the construction pipeline, and things aren't looking so very good right now.
Additionally, streetlights are about to be "replaced" with entirely new lampposts, this even though they were relamped a few years ago. City Hall has also completed its very own building reconfiguration and remodel of its interior spaces, with a strange little "fountain" being built outside the place, embedded with the City's seal. As if that shiny civic badge somehow sanctifies their many bizarre activities.
And therein lies the tale. Tremendous numbers of proposed and mysterious new construction projects are being spawned from the dark heart of City Hall, then released upon the residents of this town as if they are Dorothy's flying winged monkeys. And just in time for Halloween, too.
All things that are neither needed nor wanted by the local folks. Tearing down the trees in Lacy Park to expand unnecessary parking lots being yet another if these travesties.
And oh, yes, there's that "parklet" in the middle of town, built for no particular reason except maybe to say there is now a parklet. They're all the planner rage these days, you know.
Or how about spending thousands of dollars on consultants to create a rationale for painting 30% of the streets with striping? Narrowing Huntington Drive down to two lanes in a vast bike lane scheme, and in a town with comparatively little such traffic.
Then there is the spending of $50,000 for public meetings designed to manipulate and manufacture public consent for tearing down one of the city's prime historic structures, Stoneman School (now owned by the city), done so that the actual program provider could maximize her personal profits. Oh, and City Hall will get more revenue, of course.
The cost? Upwards of $15 million dollars!
Where is the city getting the money for all of these misappropriations? The word coming from the City Manager and former Police Chief is that these folks plan on shifting some new bonds to pay for it all, done so that residents can pay out their collective nose for the destruction of a building on the historic register. One containing a mural that is both historic and irreplaceable.
Add to all this new olympic-sized pools, repaving and rebuilding the Huntington Drive interchange at the Civic Center, remodeling the Women's Club building, build underground parking structures, oh my!! The list is apparently endless.
But the city's coffers are nearly bare.
So where is all of this massively expensive wizardry coming from? From none other than former Mayor (and still Councilman) Dennis "Poopgate" Kneier. That very infamous gent has now inflicted upon us all a massive construction juggernaut, done by instigating projects that he himself puts on his own quite spurious "Make San Marino Better" list.
It's like handing out candy at the door to all the little goblins and ghosts that put in an appearance on Halloween night.
Those little hands-out-at-the-door have been clearly abundant in the last few years, and with outsourced construction and services going to all kinds of interested outside providers, these trick-o-treaters have now grown into a full mob of Poopgate entitled developers and contractors.
All of whom have found abundant candy love in their new happy home at City Hall.
So, as a result, a group of concerned local residents has recently emerged. Their purpose? To get rid the city of Profligate Poopgate once and for all. Their website, recallkneier.org (link), is now collecting signatures to recall Dennis Kneier, with a filing set for October 22.
Good information can also be found at https://www.facebook.com/recallkneier (link).
While he has resigned as San Marino's Mayor, Poopgate Kneier continues to insist that he will stay on as a member of the City Council. He has sought legal counsel in order to complete his doggy term, which ends in October 2015. Clearly, both he and the City Manager have a predatory development agenda that they keenly desire to further implement during his remaining time on the Council. Hence the urgent need to remove him.
But until that happens the development siege continues, and San Marino's seemingly endless Halloween night continues to cast a pall over the town.