Sunday, November 16, 2014

The Nancygate Scandal: In The End Politics Takes Control

Officially Toast
If you ever need to find out what City Hall is thinking about the big issues facing the Foothill Village, one place to go is the Mountain Views News. It very often performs the same functions that the newspaper Pravda did for the rulers of the old Soviet Union in that it serves as a willing platform for official government versions of the big events of the day.

And what the MVN is telling us now is that Nancy Walsh has most definitely become persona non grata at Sierra Madre City Hall. In other words, this former mayor, not all that long ago the ultimate voice of local government agency power in the Foothill Village, is kaput.  In case you don't get downtown much these days and haven't seen it yet, here is a steaming portion of the Mountain Views News article detailing what occurred Thursday evening. Along with current Mayor John Harabedian's somewhat delayed reaction to all of that excitement.

Titled "Council Stays Focused Despite Verbal Assault By Former Mayor," John Harabedian should be regarded as the likely inspiration for much of this piece.


Happier days
This is a rather remarkable accounting of what happened at this week's City Council meeting. And why might that be so you might ask? It is a very good question.

It is remarkable in that Nancy Walsh, who until recently many believed was the close friend and confidante of Mountain Views News editrix H. Susan Henderson, was so completely and utterly trashed. A reminder that once out of power in Sierra Madre you are likely to be of little further use to the publisher of this city's adjudicated newspaper of record, and should therefore expect no special favors. No matter how close you may believe your relationship might have been.

Poor Nancy's head must have been spinning once news of this article became known to her. I doubt she saw it coming, and probably assumed that she would receive far more positive reviews there for her performance than she did.

Mayor John Harabedian, the current recipient of the generous editorial largesse of Ms. Henderson, and in my opinion the driving force behind this article, is quoted thusly:


I am not completely certain what Susan Henderson meant when (or if) she wrote, "As Mayor John Harabedian stated when asked to respond to Walsh." Who asked? Nor have been I been able to figure why he needed to be asked before responding to this unfortunate situation. At the meeting itself the Mayor didn't really have all that much to say about Walsh's public comment.

Maybe what Susan means here is this is what happened when she asked Harabedian to respond? Or, more likely, it is how he wanted his response to appear in the newspapers, and e-mailed the response in himself. The matter not being something he'd care to have to talk about in a more spontaneous way.

This pretty much confirms what we have been hearing through the grape (or should I say wistaria) vine. Behind the scenes Harabedian was apparently furious at Walsh for her statements at Thursday's Special City Council meeting, and this probably is his somewhat lawyerly way of responding to his immediate predecessor's bizarre rantings.

Some have questioned Mayor Harabedian's silence at Thursday evening's City Council get-together in the face of Walsh's unhinged verbal assault. As the bearer of the gavel (and the public comment cut-off button), he would be the one person there who could have put a stop to the stream of obscenities and libels erupting from poor Nancy's mouth. Instead he somehow chose to allow her to continue for the full five minutes needed to get through the entire statement. And then let it pass without comment.

It is good to see that, after having had some time to reflect about all of this, our current Mayor did eventually get around to saying the right things. Though it probably would have been more effective if he'd said this at the meeting itself. Rather than in a weekly newspaper that appeared two days after the fact, and only a relatively few people are reading these days.

Susan's article ends with this rather odd claim:


According to the City Manager Report no such meeting is currently on the City Council's schedule. Here is how Elaine Aguilar describes next week's important City Hall events:


Which all goes to show, those in power here in Sierra Madre may change, and like Mary's Little Lamb wherever that gavel goes the Mountain Views News is sure to follow. But the steady stream of factual errors remains as constant as ever.

sierramadretattler.blogspot.com

65 comments:

  1. Now I really worry if she has a gun! Mr. Harabedian did the right thing. He let Walsh hang herself. I hope a real policeman is at the next few meetings.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I do not see how allowing that woman to call councilmembers child molesters can be the right thing.

      Delete
    2. I think that Mayor Harabedian was probably as stunned as anyone by Nancy Walsh's vitriolic comments. He would have made a bad situation worse by cutting her off or having some guys in white suits drag her out of the chambers kicking and screaming and shouting more profanities. Upon reflection, he did the smart thing by having something appear in the record that he doesn't condone this type of behavior. To show how far Nancy Walsh crossed the line, even Susan Henderson doesn't want to be associated with her and published a very accurate article about the event. I am also hopeful that there is a new era of true civililty in town where we can disagree about certain issues without the personal attacks.

      Delete
    3. That last bunch of civility advocates worked out real well.

      Delete
    4. Hunh. So I guess it is open season on Councilmembers. What's next? Accusations of pimping?

      Delete
    5. A little speech about appropriate behavior at the podium. We've seen 'em before. Last time I recall the politeness lecture was from Buchanan.
      I think this council wants to get on with important considerations to save the town from Arcadia's fate.
      There have always been Sierra Madre eccentrics spicing up the meetings - Bart Doyle drunk, Hale Hamilton coming unglued, Joe the writer asking if the mayor wanted a piece of him....
      It's fun, but the council has serious things to do.

      Delete
    6. Don't worry, 7:00. City Hall is a gun free zone, just like Va. Tech and Sandy Hook.

      The gun banners will keep you safe. No one would EVER bring a gun into a gun free zone.

      Yes, sarcasm is intended.

      Delete
  2. Does anyone know who did the singing at the veterans memorial service?

    ReplyDelete
  3. I agree with you 7:00 - Walsh is becoming literally dangerous, rather than just figuratively. I hope Chief Giannoni is vigilant!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Her concealed carry permit needs to be revoked.

      Delete
  4. Johnny Harabedian did what any savvy politician does: he let Walsh make a fool of herself and then he proceeded on with the business at hand. And then later n he issues a statement, via the local paper, placing himself above and beyond culpability for Walsh's performance. pure politics on Johnny's part. And on the part of Susan Henderson too. An experienced politician once noted that "If you want a friend in politics, get a dog."

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Nice spin, and certainly appropriate to today's conversation topic of politics. But there is no excuse for losing control of a meeting like that. The cursing and accusations of child molestation are way beyond the pale. And as far as allowing Nancy to hang herself, what difference does that make? Outside of her ability to disrupt City Council meetings, what possible relevance did Nancy Walsh have? Political or otherwise?

      Delete
    2. Actually, Mayor Harabedian did not lose control of the meeting. This tirade occurred during public comment and the rules are that there is to be no comment from the Dias regarding what has been said. If any Councilmember had responded, it would have escalated the entire scene nt something even more unpalatable. letting Nancy rant and leave was the better part of valor.

      Delete
    3. Cursing and libel are not appropriate in any circumstances. Certainly not at a City Council meeting. And whatever happened to the 3 minute rule? Are you saying that is not enforceable?

      Delete
    4. Well played, Mayor Johhny. Well played.

      Delete
    5. Yeah, if you like psychos and freak shows.

      Delete
    6. Letting her freak flag fly was the best thing that could have happened.
      And then have a statement about how crazily inappropriate it was at the next meeting.

      Delete
    7. This should have been stopped, and it should have been called out by the Mayor then and there. This was a sad failure of leadership.

      Delete
    8. Mayor Harabedian did exactly the right thing. He has consistently let people speak at meetings beyond the time periods. To suddenly stop Nancy Walsh mid-sentence would not have been a good idea. While he issued his statement in another medium, at least he made his views public about that tirade of Nancy Walsh. In my view, Mayor Harabedian continues to run an excellent meeting. What he did in allowing Nancy Walsh to continue was the bes thing that could have happened.

      Delete
    9. It would have been better if Harabedian had cut Walsh off. The message that people such as yourself are apparently getting from this is such behavior is OK, which it is not. Perhaps your understanding would have improved had the mayor done his job and explained why Nancy's behavior is not appropriate. Obviously his silence has confused you, and that is unfortunate.

      Delete
    10. How dare you to assume "that people such as yourself" approve or disapprove of Nancy's behavior beause they don't jump on the Behavior Police Bandwagon! The Mayor's job is to invoke the long arm of the law to remove the offender from the podium if their behavior is threatening or breaks the law. Free speech is alive and well in small town America whether or not you approve! You have the right to ascend the podium at the next City Council Meeting and decry such behavior (in three minutes more or less). We'll watch for you.

      Delete
    11. Nancy sure has a lot of defenders.

      Delete
    12. 12:16, it's not about Nancy.

      Delete
    13. No, of course not.

      Delete
    14. Mayor Johnny doesn't do "I'm sorry." That is the issue.

      Delete
  5. I doubt she will ever show up at city hall again.
    Her family and what friends she has left, if any will do an intervention

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. For her sake I hope that's true.

      Delete
  6. I think the mayor did the right thing. She after all is the past mayor and some respect needs to be in play. I will guess she has wore out her welcome as a person and a mayor. She needs help.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Allowing Nancy Walsh a full five minutes to accuse two Councilmembers of being child predators was not right. Try thinking for a minute before posting nonsense like that.

      Delete
    2. Respect? For what?

      Delete
    3. Mayor Harabedian certainly did the right thing. He doesn't know what's going to come out of her mouth and when something does, he doesn't know if that kind of vitriol will continue. The Mayor continues to handle himself well up there and deserves our credit. There have been other emotional comments at public comment - granted they don't rise to the level of what Nancy Walsh did, and he has yet to cut anyone off. I think its a good policy which gets the views of the community out there. Nancy Walsh didn't need Mayor Harabedian to punish her or reprimand her, she did it all by herself. Let people talk and the truth will set us all free.

      Delete
    4. Maybe other unhappy infividuals should call City Councilmembers child molesters. I mean, we have to be fair to them, too!

      Delete
  7. Actually her cuss words were "Baffled them with b...s..." as she was trying to paint Councilmembers Delmar and Arizmendi decevious in their presentation of the plan to restructure City Hall. So, what was her actual argument and who wrote this for her. It had such a mishmash of referenes and comparisons that it sounded very legalistic. Who would Nancy's lawyer pals be in town? One of them just threw her under the podium and the other one walks around town hunched over and haggard looking. Another quote: my how the mighty have fallen.

    I do agree that Harabedian just let her go on and make a complete fool of herself, but it would have been interesting to see the sputtering if he had gaveled her after the second b...s... Her whole diatribe reminds me of boiler room telephone sales calls where they launch into a prepared speech and hang up on you when you ask a question they cannot possibly have prepared for.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Nobody needed to let Nancy make a fool of herself. She was already there.

      Delete
    2. Walsh was projecting her own state - bafflement.

      Delete
    3. I think Nancy wrote it herself.

      If her lawyer friend Noah Green had helped, it would have involved naked pictures and mannequins. Ack!

      Delete
  8. And Susan even gets the slander wrong. It was "...come here little girl, let me show you the puppies...you like puppies don't you?" not candy! I wonder if there is a copy of this speech out there somewhere with the reference to candy and Nancy changed it at the podium into puppies.

    ReplyDelete
  9. I'm worried Nancy could be dangerous.
    I fear for all our city council members.

    ReplyDelete
  10. What if it was the mayor who was being called a child molester? Would Nancy have been allowed to rant about it for more than 5 minutes?

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Walsh obviously has delusions of grandeur, and sees herself as the only one brave enough to spit out hard truths about dark governmental practices. Really nuts. So maybe she'll be back to go after him, and then we'll see what he does.

      Delete
    2. I hear she is going to accuse Gene Goss of being a lesbian.

      Delete
    3. Does that make him a bad person, 10:03?

      Delete
    4. I think if Nancy Walsh would have called someone a child molester or some such thng, then she should have been cut off. She was making a comparison. No doubt it was dispicable but I see it as one level of egregiousness below actually calling someone a child molester. The Mayor did the right thing to let her speak and then move on from it. He also did the right thing by getting his views known in the local newspaper.

      Delete
    5. Not that there's anything wrong with that.

      Delete
    6. Only in California.

      Delete
    7. The best way to marginalize Nancy is for the council to ignore her and to carry on with the tasks at hand. Stay the course. keep taxes as low as possible by making certain city hall operates as effectively and efficiently as possible, and if that means some jobs go away or get consolidated, so be it.

      Delete
  11. Wow, Henderson's article! Talk about rats deserting a sinking ship.

    ReplyDelete
  12. The descriptions of Walsh's speech and behavior are eloquent - so yes, not Henderson's.

    ReplyDelete
  13. at the request of a neighbor I attended noah green's campaign launch party, which was held at walsh's house. henderson was there. green's wife described her as the 'unofficial mayor' of sierra madre.

    ReplyDelete
  14. Susan Henderson needs some accolades too. She published a very accurate description of what Nancy Walsh did at the City Council meeting and did not pull any punches. Those who read that and weren't there or didn't see the video get a pretty good taste for what transpired. Susan Henderson also did a great job of accurately depicting the Council meetings on the Building Moratoriums too. Let's give credit where credit is due... and no I'm not Susan Henderson.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Will you be at next Tuesday's City Council meeting on the General Plan?

      Delete
    2. If it was written well, there's no way Susan Henderson wrote it. So if you want to say let's give credit for Henderson knowing which way the wind is blowing, and compromising her supposed principles and friendships accordingly, and getting someone else to put pen to paper, well, ok.

      Delete
    3. Susan is available to the highest bidder. That means whoever is Mayor at the time.

      Delete
  15. Can you see the headlines? Mayor Harabedian Rewrites Constitution! Elderly Female Former Mayor Has No Freedom Of Speech Rights in Sierra Madre! Small Foothill Villages Proclaims End To First Amendment!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I find it horrifying that there are people who are willing to condone what went on at Thursday's city council meeting. I honestly do. This is shocking.

      Delete
  16. Even atty McDonald had the smarts to use b.s. during H's comments at the planning commission -as in "self serving b.s."

    ReplyDelete
  17. I wonder if anyone remembers Hail Hamilton's tirade at the podium against MaryAnn while she still held the gavel. It was so bad that even his biggest supporters blushed and turned away. MaryAnn did the right thing by letting him speak as she had let others speak, without comment and without interruption. Hamilton left the council chambers right after he spoke. I heard someone say as he walked out the door, "A--H---. That is the most that was said that night.

    He was writing a column in Henderson's paper at the time, and there wasn't a peep about it in the next edition, and his column continued for some years after that. I wonder about Henderson's double standard. It was not o.k. to slander this council, but it was o.k. to slander Mary Ann. Nor do I remember anything said about the mental break-down of Nancy during one council meeting when she blasted Denise Delmar and MaryAnn accusing them of back-room deals.

    Another thing should be said. This was not an off the cuff rant. This was carefully written and rehearsed. No one can say that Nancy addressed the council because she became angry at what was happening that night.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. All good points 12:21. You make one particularly good point. It may be one thing if Nancy Walsh heard something at the meeting and, in a fit of anger, spontaneously went to the podium and lost her composure. Maybe she could be somewhat excused for that. In this case, however, she had evidently thought carefully about what she was going to say and wrote up a statement in advance after having given it much thought. Since Nancy compared two City Council members to child predators I guess I can use a criminal analogy also. Her conduct was the difference between committing a murder in the heat of passion vs. a premeditated and deliberate murder. Because her conduct was the latter, it makes it all the more egregious.

      Delete
  18. Don't be suprised to see a proposal for Charter "reform" calling for a separately elected Mayor with guess who presenting himself as the candidiate.

    ReplyDelete
  19. As to who wrote the speech - my guess is that a few of the Grandaddy Dirts fed Walsh points, egging her on in her self-righteous indignation, and then she tried to pull them together on her own, and ended up with disjointed remarks with random hostility in all directions.

    ReplyDelete
  20. Remember Citizens of Sierra Madre the Dirts have declared you are all : Week , Timid, and Easily Manipulated via Large Reports and Swift Approval. It appears Nancy is familiar with the process.
    http://www.cityethics.org/

    ReplyDelete

The Tattler is a moderated blog. Annoying delays when posting comments can happen. Thank you for your patience and understanding.