Saturday, October 25, 2014

City Hall's Absurd $7,500 Fee To Appeal The One Carter Debacle Is Now Official - Possible Illegalities Identified

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Up until sometime yesterday that $7,500 appeal fee was mostly the stuff of rumor. People had been calling City Hall throughout the week and asking about just how much it would cost to appeal the Planning Commission's call on the Midi-McMansion approved for construction at One Carter, but it seems that they hadn't quite set the price yet.

Perhaps it was the lack of precedence here for resident appeals of this kind. Or maybe there were some other considerations at work. After all, sniffing out unusual opportunities to ferret money from the pockets of residents is a kind of specialty of our local government agency. The five figure city chargebacks against the Huck Finn Fishing Derby being a prime example. Here even children's events are fair game.

Apparently after weighing some of the "what the market will bear" criteria involved in double-dunning those who might want to appeal the issuance of a CUP to CETT over that beefy two tiered (though development impact fee rich) hillside eyesore, the price has now been officially set. And the City Manager seems briskly assured about this in her weekly Friday evening report. Check this out:


Legally proficient residents of Sierra Madre have been looking over this rather dicey "done on the run" mega-fee, and it does appear that there are a couple of instances where this McMess may cross the line into illegality.

The first is that this fee is not actually a fee at all. As the City Manager herself chirps, it is a "deposit against costs." Which means that this $7,500 price could rapidly inflate depending on what happens later.

In other words, should you decide to stand up for what most Sierra Madreans want for this town by appealing CETT's primitive assault on architectural decorum to the City Council, you really would have no idea what this will cost you going in. That would be in the unwholesome hands of City Hall. And given their permanent obsession with getting more money, and at every possible turn, who knows how much you will end up having to actually pay?

Fees such as this are supposed to be clearly defined ahead of time. People wishing to appeal something to a government agency have the legal right to know exactly what their fee costs will be before committing precious resources. What our merry City Manager is describing here is akin to handing over your AMEX card and allowing her to issue charges against it for whatever reasons she may wish, and at any time.

Something that, in my opinion, you would need to be certifiably insane to allow.

The other possible legal issue for this so-called fee is that it was obviously done of the fly. There is no established rate card for that sort of thing in Sierra Madre, which means this $7,500 figure was created with no clear policies or rules provided, and without the involvement of any elected officials. Even the dumb ones. That makes this a lawsuit risk, which is hardly the way government is supposed to get done.

The suspicion is that this $7,500 open-ended "fee" was cooked up to discourage people from appealing that controversial One Carter decision to the City Council. The expense of that fee alone being enough to give any resident pause. When you throw in the possibility that the price will go up, and without defining any criteria for this, it becomes something no serious person is going to want to do.

Which is, of course, the most likely purpose here. The last thing some folks on the City Council want is to have to vote on anything to do with One Carter. Obviously the tax happy Three Dudes want those big fat CETT development impact fees. When have they ever not wanted more money?

However, the 3D does not want to be seen in public as supporting hillside McMansions. That would be political suicide. So much of their strategy to date has been to dump that hot potato on the Planning Commission.

Unfortunately for the rather hypocritical Three Dudes, an appeal of the sort we are discussing here could end up putting them on record as supporting CETT's efforts to make a wide swathe of our picturesque hillsides look like Arcadia on steroids. Entirely undoing all of the dudes' painstaking work at responsibility avoidance.

So the City Manager, and with the possible assistance of our at times ethically flexible Mayor (we're not certain, but we do have our suspicions), came up with this legally deficient open-ended fee scheme. Apparently designed to scare off any parties interested in appealing the One Carter decision.

As has usually been the case these last couple of years, this has now backfired badly on them.

I thought Tom Love said we have lots of water!

Everybody loves Love, and never more so than when he wandered into a City Council meeting a few months back and assured anyone with the ears to hear that there is plenty of water to be had. So let's get out there and build us some McMansions.

So how do you explain the following article from the San Gabriel Valley Tribune (link)?

San Gabriel Valley’s largest water agency declares water supply emergency - The San Gabriel Valley’s largest water agency has declared a water supply emergency and is demanding that it receive its fair share of imported supplies, or it may have to shut down water wells.

A sternly worded resolution adopted by the Upper San Gabriel Valley Municipal Water District board late Tuesday night explained that the statewide drought, now entering a fourth year, has lowered the water table in the aquifer to record low levels.

Without supplemental water from Northern California and the Colorado River, the San Gabriel Basin’s levels could drop another 20 feet, rendering active water wells inoperable and sending some cities scrambling for drinking water supplies, according to district officials.

The district, which serves 1 million residents in 18 San Gabriel Valley cities from South Pasadena to West Covina, is teaming with the Main San Gabriel Basin Watermaster and other districts. The Watermaster formed a drought committee whose task is to identify which areas of the vast underground basin will be affected first and which wells would go dry if the drought persists.

The Beatles once sang, "All You Need Is Love." That may no longer be the case.

http://sierramadretattler.blogspot.com

82 comments:

  1. The fee seems illegal to me. As the Tattler rightfully points out, its like giving the City a credit card and you have no control whether or not they are going to be frugal with the costs. If anything, based on past history, you would have to assume the opposite. An open-ended fee for those who want to simply preserve Sierra Madre from the blight of McMansions in their hillsides and canyons.

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    1. The city does not discriminate. They will take money from both sides.

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    2. pffffttt, this city charged the Mt Wilson Trail Race over $ 18,000 for 200 hours of staff time to pre-plan the same old same old race so I suggest that the $ 7,500 come out of the city's slush fraud fund

      it's like we are run by petulant children -

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    3. City Hall is parasitic in nature. It devours everything that isn't nailed down.

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    4. Its really an exorbinate amount to pay for any appeal. However, there is another path for the appeal and that's to get two councilmembers to call it up. Hopefully, there are at least two out there with some backbone.

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    5. if not one Councilmember considers this to be an issue and ask for it to be agendized they all should resign
      cause they aren't listening or thinking about this city's direction and we don't have to be run over by own of town foreign investors who want to plow down the hillsides and dump 150 condos downtown cause that is what the SCAG councils or Councilmembers of SM past and present still support - Harabedian for one cause he was endorsed by John Buchanan who in fact attempted to strong arm 75 condos at the Nursing lot and another 55 at Howies - still being chatted about among the realtors in town with not "if" but "when"

      I sincerely hope that when a house is built at One Carter or Stonehouse that a mudslide wipes it out as long as nobody gets hurt - cept the Chinese millionaire in his pocket

      that's all he cares about - his pocket - screw the wildlife, screw the safety of us below the hillside or screw the nearby residents - I own the land I can do what I want

      hope at least one on the Council says "no you can't"

      and if our legal team tells us to settle? fire them and get real lawyers not government slackjaw lawyer parasites

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    6. I hope the City Council will do the right thing here and call it up for review. I'd say after a 10 year fight, the residents are owed as much. If they end up ratifying the Planning Commissions decsion, so be it if that's the right things to do. But let's make sure for once and follow the procedure that is available to a city.

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  2. Thankfully, very few things slip by the Tattler. I saw the same article in the Pasadena Star News about the water emergency over at the SGVMWD, the very same place where Tom Love is Sierra Madre's representative. For those who don't remember, you can findTom Love's comments on Youtube when he spoke at the all-important City Council meeting that was set for a vote on the moratoriums at https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=zZ-NrDpKAnc There was a huge crowd there and everyone was concerned about the water shortage and everyone was there to support a yes vote on the moratoriums and to speak up about how bad the drought was. But own own Tom Love had a different plan. He was introduced by the Mayor as the President of the SGVMWd and very deliberately spoke first, passed himself off as an expert on water issues and as our representative on the SGVMWD. He then went on to give such a rosy view of our water situation that if he would have been allowed to sit down after his lengthy presentation, everybody in the room would have given up and gone home thinking that somehow we had all been mistaken about the severity of this drought and its effect Sierra Madre's water supply. Then the moment came....when Councilwoman Arizmendi basically said the emperor has no clothes and asked Mr. Love a few questions that caused him to backpedal from his rosy predictions about our water supply. But he only did that after he was forced to do it. And now you have a mere few months later, a statement from Tom Love's SGVMWD, that the drought is even worse than any of us could have imagined which leaves Mr. Love with further doo doo all over his face. The bottom line is that Mr. Love, either on his own or he was put up to it by the pro-development interests, came to that meeting to speak first in a deliberate and dispicable attempt to change the trajectory of that meeting. Mr. Love, for his own cynical purposes, was willing to throw Sierra Madre residents under the bus and play politics with something as vitally important to the very survival of the town as our precious water. For that, Mr. Love should go down as one of the biggest scroundrels in Sierra Madre history. Nothing short of dispicable. Roll the tape and see for yourself.

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    1. Tom, like John Buchanan are just corporate BS spinmeisters

      say it often, say it like u is smart and brush off any questions with looks of "you people are idiots"

      now,what's worse, is that John and Tom are our neighbors and they take the time and pretend to be scholars when they are just burping cow methane as enlightened knowledge

      John used his position as Councilmember and Mayor to push a large scale developement, lied to us about the original focus of the UUT and did absolutely nothing unless it benefited his employer (SoCal Edison) or his own ego/image or rode on the bandwagon with a popular issue, such as the General Plan while he worked behind the scenes or appointed buddies to dismantle what we actually want for the city.

      So, Tom was just full of high brow corporate stupidity - he's actually a nice guy but now I think, "what a PR doofus" for trying to convince us that there wasn't a water issue that he had the inside knowledge and apparently he had a business reason to basically lie / spin so the city wouldn't slow down new water meter placement - oh wait, that'd benefit his career

      how do you spell conflikt of enter est?

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    2. The water board that sounded the alert this week wasn't the SGVMWD.

      I do believe that Love jumped the shark at that City Council meeting but SGVMWD wasn't sounding the alert.

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    3. Is it in the San Gabriel Valley?

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    4. Yes, Tom Love lied at the meeting because the drought, even at the time of the meeting, had been labeled by all experts as one of the worst in California's history. And Tom Love decides to get up there and tell us it was all untrue. That everything was just peachy at the SGVMWD. Watch the video of Tom Love's comments on July 8, 2014 and compare them to the article that came out the other day. Only a mere few months later, the SGVMWD is saying that we are all in really dire shape. Care to make a comment Mr. Love here on the Tattler and explain what has occured in the last couple of months that has changed the situation over at the SGVMWD so much or was it almost as bad then as it is now and you just sought to mislead people.

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    5. I don't think Tom lied or can be construed as a "liar" - not fair

      he's just spinning a yarn like the trail hucksters of years past selling us a magic exlir of free flowing water

      but sort of surprising that he wasn't aware of how drastic it actually was and making statements of fact that were already being refuted by the Jerry Brown's water conservation ads.

      I just thought jeez Tom, go spin that BS in another city but don't pretend to be a neighbor and speak on our behalf and make the corporate spiel in your own backyard

      all we should know that if he shows up again as a water company rep, he deserves to be lampooned and ignored

      but he shows up as a neighbor, then I'll listen

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    6. I know "liar" is a strong word and its not used lightly. But us amateurs all knew from what we've read that we're in a severe drought that's going to get worse. If he's not a liar than he's grossly incompetent and has no business being on this water board.

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  3. Sorry Tattler, just claiming the fee is illegal doesn't make it so. The developer had to sign the same blank check to the city.

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    1. The morning's first ADD commenter has now checked in.

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    2. I'm not sure if its a fair comparison to compare what the developer has to pay to what the residents have to pay to appeal it. At the end of the day, if the residents are successful, they would get a further modified project but there would still be a project. In other words, no return on their investment other than enforcing the City's own General Plan. The developer stands to make hundreds of thousands of dollars even with a further modified project. That's why the appeal fee seens to be unfair and perhaps illegal.

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    3. Sierra Madre residents pay a lot of taxes, including the highest utility taxes in California. To say that they should have to buy the same kinds of access to their city government as trash development outfits like CETT is just plain offensive.

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    4. All we're trying to do is have people follow the General Plan. To have to pay as much as the developer who will make the big profit seems grossly unfair.

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    5. I'm sure developers are watching how we respond here. Certainly, CETT is. If they thnk they can roll over us, then its a greenlight for whatever they want to do up there. Sets a very bad precedent.

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    6. I agree. This outrageous back-ended appeal fee is designed to help end any resistance to the McMansioning of Sierra Madre. It is all done deliberately. The city manager and city attorney has been working with McDonald all along. It is all about selling Sierra Madre off piece by piece.

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    7. This fee was put in there awhile ago and has never been an issue because nobody has appealed at least not in a long while. This is why General Plan's and Municipal Codes matter and why every word has significance.

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  4. Tattler researchers are finding that neighboring cities have fees to file protest of PC decisions are a fraction of Starter Fee in Sierra Madre. It should go the way of the solar permit fees where Sierra Madre was charging "valuation" and other cities around the state were charging nothing or about $500.00! Valuation could cost upward of $5,000.00! What smucks!

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    1. This was cooked up by the city manager to discourage any appeals. It is an ugly and dishonest tactic that needs to be widely condemned.

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    2. Other cities don't sell open ended appeals either. You pay the fee and that is it. How Elaine Aguilar comes up with this crazy stuff is beyond me.

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    3. An open-ended appeal process effectively makes it almost impossible to appeal. There's something wrong about that.

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    4. This onerous fee is a remnant from when developers ruled this town and now it comes back to bite us.

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  5. Other city's appeal fees are much lower. Why should we trust profligate city hall with our "deposit". Imagine if you paid the $7,500 and then they ask for more money and you can't afford any more money. I guess you just lost $7,500.

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    1. It is an illegal practice. They got caught.

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    2. "It is an illegal practice. They got caught." So it's illegal because you don't like it and they're caught because you said so. Tomorrow are you going to expose the illegality of the lotto that you didn't win?

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    3. How sweet. A crook enabler is pitching a fit.

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  6. Most cities require a small filing fee for an appeal. One or two hundred dollars. Sierra Madre has a city manager who apparently does not want to follow due process. The Council should put the matter on the agenda without cost. .Other cities allow any member to do that.

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    1. $ 7,500? It's part of the process.

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    2. Make the City Council vote on the appeal. That is part of the process, too.

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    3. The City Council should be making the decision on this rather than an unelected Planning Commission. The decision is too important for the city. After a ten year fight or so, its the least that should happen.

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  7. We make the laws we can't change the outcome when the laws are followed if we don't like the outcome. That's the rules.Fees may not vary depending on who is applying for something,very basic law.

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    1. Residents are being asked to pay $7,500, though it is open-ended. CETT paid $10,000. Please explain why this doesn't conform to what you have claimed here.

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    2. Residents living in Sierra Madre already pay once with their taxes. Out if town developers do not pay taxes and therefore they must pay fees. But making Sierra Madre residents pay TWICE? That' sick.

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    3. 11:20 Because that's the Law.

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    4. No, it is not. Please provide us with a cite that proves your erroneous contention. I doubt you will. City Staff was unable to come up with a dollar figure until late this week. There is no set law dealing with costs for appeals like this. It was made up on the run. The purpose of this outrageous fee is to discourage anyone from filing an appeal.

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    5. Here's the cite: http://cityofsierramadre.com/i-want-to/find/documents/file/769-fee-schedule-fiscal-year-2013-2015

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    6. Where is the part about resident appeals? Developer appeals are covered, sure. As they should be. But what about the taxpayers? There is nothing on there about the city being able to double dip the people who pay their way. How can residents pay 75% of an CUP application fee that they never filed for and certainly never paid? Please.

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    7. There's no special resident rate. Anyone who wants to appeal can do so by paying the same fee. Same way in every city. The only thing that's different here is the fee is mighty high. Most cities charge $500 or less -- for everyone; however, the Sierra Madre City Council decided otherwise for some reason when they adopted the fee schedule.

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    8. Correct. There is no resident rate at all. There is nothing about taxpayers appealing in their own city. What you are erroneously citing here are applicant appeals. The kind of thing a CETT would need to do when the Planning Commission crapped all over Adele's McMansion designs. That is the point. There is nothing there about resident appeals. That is for people applying for things like a CUP. Nobody opposed to the One Carter atrocity wants anything to do with a CUP. What you are saying here is like somebody getting a car license to fly an airplane. It makes no sense.

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    9. If the fee don't fit you must acquit.

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    10. "Correct. There is no resident rate at all. There is nothing about taxpayers appealing in their own city. What you are erroneously citing here are applicant appeals."

      There's no error. There is one appeal fee for everyone. Applicant, neighbor, resident, whomever. It's called due process. Everyone is treated the same. Everyone pays the same fee if they want to appeal. Every city does it this way.

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    11. Other cities have $500 CUP applications. What are you, dialing this in from the Ice House? I guess your argument is fine for a blog argument. But try this nonsense in a court of law and they'll laugh you out of the place.

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    12. "Other cities have $500 CUP applications. " Really grasping at straws. No one said other cities' CUP applications were $500. They said appeal fees were $500 or less. Compare that to $7500 and see how far Sierra Madre is out of the ordinary.

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    13. You said there was one appeal figure for everyone. Now you say there isn't. You're like an arcade duck. Constantly changing your position.

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    14. No city that really cares about its residents would charge them $7,500 to appeal a planning decision. This is an act of intimidation. Sad to think they live off our tax money. I for one cannot wait to vote to get rid of the UUT altogether. Payback is a, well, a lot of fun.

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    15. If the high fee is correct, it must be a carry-over from the pro-development days. Its outrageous and should be changed immediately. Its an open-ended fee that essentially forfeits any right to appeal because nobody will appeal under these parameters. If I were a developer, I could not have come up with a better fee structure. Once again, everything seems to favor the developers.

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    16. Don't forget the fee is not $7,500. That's only a depost. While it could be less, it also could be more. With our city hall charging so much money for the Mount Wilson Trail race, which do you think it will be?

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    17. That $7,500 is a developer appeal fee. There is no resident appeal fee to be found anywhere in Sierra Madre's schedule of such costs.

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  8. On top of all the local water shenanigans, we have this revealing position from Cal Watchdog on the deficiencies of Prop 1 on the ballot. It's not what it seems, just a corporate water snatch.

    This week, however, one of the relatively few think tanks that specializes in water issues came out with a 26-page analysis that in low-key fashion suggests Prop 1’s merits are being exaggerated. The Pacific Institute, based in Oakland, says it is neutral on the measure. But its concluding chapter strongly suggests that the bond is likely to disappoint anyone who sees it as a game-changer for state water policy.

    http://calwatchdog.com/2014/10/25/are-benefits-of-prop-1-being-oversold/

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  9. And here's the Upper San Gabriel Valley Municipal Water District water supply emergency declared last Wednesday amid record-low levels.

    http://www.latimes.com/local/lanow/la-me-ln-san-gabriel-valley-water-agency-declares-supply-emergency-20141022-story.html

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  10. Back to the Stonegate approval appeal issue.
    Surely we Tattlers can get one Council member to get this arbitrary fee on the agenda before the next Meeting?
    Let's just have the Aguillar explain whatever legitimate basis she had for concocting this fee. If necessary all Council members should vote on it. If the P.C. screwed up or were coerced into approval, nobody should pay to appeal an invalid approval?
    But one other thing bothers me more -Tattler contributors frequently accuse City Manager Elaine Aguillar of malfeasance, dishonesty, incompetence, bad faith and worse - but these issues are not raised against her at Council Meetings. There are no consequences for such travesties. Why is she spared any censure by Council ? In my simple life, if I did any of these things I would have been fired for cause on the spot. And deservedly so. Moral turpitude seems a badge of 'honor' in our City Management and we do nothing other than whine.Why?

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    1. If you don't like what you see on this blog don't read it. Go try the Mountain Views News. I suspect stories about poodle currying are more your style anyway.

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    2. I stained my back deck with turpitude last July. It was a big improvement. However, I did not ask anyone at Arnold's if it was moral turpitude. Am I in trouble?

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    3. I think 11:30 has made a good comment that has been misinterpreted.
      Councils are beholden to city managers - the city manager is supposed to be driving the bus, and all I can figure out is that councils are worried about losing her.
      She has not been spared by Mr. Richie. Only time I've seen her visibly lose her cool.

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    4. Elaine is supposed to take orders from the city council. Unfortunately many city council members over the last several years have either been too damn stupid or lazy to do any real work themselves. This opened the door for Elaine to turn them into rubber stampers and become de facto ruler of Sierra Madre. Things have changed a bit with the election of Denise and Rachelle. Two smart women who are on to Elaine's cheap act. I think her days are numbered here.

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  11. How is that different from the Tattler's advertising rates? ;-))

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    1. Good one. Nobody buys those either. But at least they're publicly posted.

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    2. 11:49 who are you talking to? Everyone I read here is of the same mind?

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    3. Do you hear voices when you read?

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  12. What happens if you complain about Elaine Agulair, families gets sued or the city manager tries to take away, your pig or is that a hog. I once read a letter by the Hildreth's complaining about corruption of our City Manager, asking the City Council for help. Look what the City did to the Hildreths, a lawsuit where the city wants to destroy them, their home and kick them out of the City. To teach everyone in this town...Mess with the City manager, and Elaine will do to you what she did to the Hildreths.
    Does anyone know when the Hildreth have to move out of town?

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    1. It's amazing the Hildreth's house hasn't collapsed yet. What a mess.

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    2. It's still far better than anything Adele Chang designed for One Carter.

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    3. The Hildreth's are still waiting for their day in court. In fact the city has been stalling due to the fact they have admitted that the basis of their case (no permits) has been proven false, and the permits have been submitted in discovery. The city continues to demure (postpone) the case's progression at every juxtaposition in order to wear out the opposition. Elaine has underestimated their resolve and we will see that play out in the weeks to come.

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  13. RESPOSE TO SEVERAL POSTS

    1) Fact... we are in a drought!
    2) Fact... the city of Arcadia has NO WATER SHORTAGE and further are continuing to drain the (one common field wide water reservoir) shared between sierra madre and arcadia,
    3) fact... sierra madre has poorly mismanaged the residents city hall moneys for years and has failed to improve our water in fracture "a.k.a. city water wells", resulting in a sierra madre water shortage,

    4) fact ... the city of Arcadia has correctly spent its residents money, improved its cities water in Fra structure and is producing - draining sierra madres water reservoir - and watering ARCADIA RESIDENTS properties with THE CITY OF SIERRA MADRES $4.00 dollar a unit water. Just think, Arcadia has been selling Sierra Madres $4 Unit water to Arcadia residents for $1 a water unit.
    5) fact... Arcadia has No Water Shortage, No Yellow Water, No Water Rate Increases, No 30% Water Usage Restrictions, No Water Ordnance as to watering grass only 2 times a week,

    6) Question... Why do the residents of sierra madre continue to allow this non sense to continue to happen?

    7) fact... the answer is No to increases taxes, No increase UUT taxes, we need to create a smaller city government, with less city employees. The two city council women hit the nail on the head 1) our city spends 76% of the city's gross income - money revenues - monies spent on employees wages - salaries - pensions & health benefits!

    the other 3 men - city council member have their heads in the sand and do not want to address these issues - and have failed to reduce spending!

    THE men need to step down and GIVE THE WOMEN A CHANCE TO SUCEED!

    This is a prime example of the bankrupt cities you see on the news!

    Its your choice, the residents need to demand a change!

    The "YELLOW WATER" Issues which Sierra Madre is experiencing, the water rate increases, the $4 a unit water charge was "ALL CREATED" by our local government - our local sierra madre employees - our local city council.

    We need to give Arnold Swartsnagger "the terminator" a call and ask for help, termination of our city management & council!
    Therefor, the only conclusion that we have is that the Sierra Madre residents should revolt, remove all city management ant the 3 city council men. Nothing will get better if we continue on this path!

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  14. Fact: Arcadia is downhill from Sierra Madre. That's how they steal our water. Gravity trumps bureaucracy.

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    1. I could never make much sense of that argument. Doesn't that water have to go under us before it gets there? The problem is we just never drilled deep enough.

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    2. good thought; but there is only one field wide water reservoir which is shared between Arcadia and sierra madre and as we all know, the city of Arcadia has 4 large water wells working 24 hours a day filling that huge above ground city of Arcadia water tank next the Arcadia fire department located on Orange Grove near Santa Anita!

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    3. We have shallow wells, ancient rusty pipes, and Bruce Inman.

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    4. This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.

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  15. I'm no fan of Elaine Agulair nor the city attorney, but all this talk of illegal fees and conspiracies only serves as cover for those who are truly responcible: the city council. They are the ones who adopted the current fee schedule that set this outrageous appeal fee, and they are the ones who could call this horrible McMansion up for review at no cost. They are also the ones we elected and need to hold accountable.

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    1. That is why it is so important to get the City Council to vote on the appeal. Once they do that they'll have nowhere to hide.

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    2. This City Council cannot be blamed for the outrageous pro-development appeal costs but they should be blamed if they don't call this thing up for review to make abasolutely sure the Planning Commission got this right. Is that too much too ask of our City Council

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    3. Exactly ! Use this simple example of mismanagement(at best) to force the Council to represent the interests of the people who elected them. Insist on a simple up/down vote on an appeal of the PC approval. After that we can continue forcing the Council to represent us and not meekly pander to Elaine Aguillar.
      This is a simple issue to comprehend and get a majority of the citizens behind us. Once we establish the novel principle that Council members and the City Manager should act in the best interests of Sierra Madre, many problems will get solved efficiently, honestly and effectively. Until then we have this quagmire .
      The point made about hounding the Hildreths instead of blocking Developers is well taken

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    4. "This City Council cannot be blamed for the outrageous pro-development appeal costs"

      Why not? They adopted them.

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    5. The CC set them for development applicants. What we need to know is who perverted the process and turned them against the taxpayers.

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  16. Remember, Elaine works for that nasty old coot Bart Doyle. I blame the people of Sierra Madre for letting this disgusting man destroy your town

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    1. It would be interesting to know who exactly was responsible for setting the fee at 75% of the initial filing fee and who made it an open-ended fee. Talk about discouraging appeals....unbelievable. Only in Sierra Madre.

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