Tuesday, January 13, 2015

Jan. 13: Live Blogging Tonight's City Council Meeting

(Mod: I tried this at the Jan 5th Pasadena City Council "special meeting" on the $6.4 million dollar embezzlement scandal, and it worked pretty well. I am going to post my comments here with the time I made them. Kind of a rolling record of the meeting. Comments you make will be where they usually go, but I will pull a few up and post them here with my stuff. OK? Worked pretty well the first time. Let's see if we can pull it off again. 6:30 start time, give or take a few. This will mostly be focused on Agenda Item #2, the One Carter debacle. After that I will probably bail. Along with just about everyone else in this room.) 

6:30 - the Council has entered the room. Attendance taken. Pledge said. City Atty alluded to a disciplinary matter for a city employee. Minutes reviewed. Pretty much the usual rhythm. Gene Goss has some changes to the minutes. No other changes. Etc.

6:40 - Councilmember reports. Pumping station visit, Rose Float congrats, nothing to add, Public Workshop in response to all the challenges for storm water permits and incredible costs of compliance, EPA guidelines and 3rd party lawsuits, complexity, San Gabriel Valley Council Of Govts and they are strategic planning as well, water is everybody's biggest concern, they want to make sure they get their share of the money (of course), Happy New Year.

6:45 - Charlie Kissinger - stands up for public comment. Downtown incident at Kersting Court. As a kid he got in trouble downtown. But today kids have a lack of courtesy and a lack of respect. No roller skates and skateboards. Charlie wants the signs put back up. Barry Gold - List of current planning projects in the weekly City Manager Report. Barry thanks the City Mngr. 7 houses are in the current Planning Commission plan check, some quite large. Please include those in the list as well. Rob Stockley - Speaking about the Library. Attendance is up, books are being borrowed. Looking for teen docent volunteers. One book, one city coming up. The Long Goodbye by Raymond Chandler. Scotch tasting at the Library. Attendance will be up for that I am sure.

6:50 - Presentation. Bruce Inman's monthly update on water conservation. December conservation has improved by 30%. 30 million gallons of water. The state is watching. Great progress has been made. City saved 835 million gallons in 2014. Turf rebate program. 29 have applied. $28,000 in rebate money is left. Be sure to let the city look at your lawn before you rip it out. Otherwise you get no dough.

7:00 - No TV in the lobby. Overflow part of the crowd is leaving because they cannot see the meeting. The room is packed. UUT Committee members announced. Consent Calendar approved.

7:02 - Agenda Item #2 (One Carter) begins. Leticia Cardoza is giving the presentation. A review of pretty much the same material you can find in the Agenda Report. Some history of the "process" included. Lots of detail being provided. Nobody has seem to see the CETT people yet. The room is abuzz. Leticia is explaining the Hillside Mngmnt Zone. Key part of the challenge. The need to protect the hillside is also connected to the new National Monument that was the Angeles Nat'l Forest. Hillsides have unique qualifications. This is all good stuff. Leticia, you go!

7:12 - Attorney Richard McDonald has been sighted. He is in the back of the room watching Leticia's presentation very closely.

7:15 - Leticia is now covering Councilmember Delmar and Goss's suggestions. As explained in the Agenda Report, CETT rejected them. The table is now set. Options are being explained. Uphold, return to Planning Commission, Continue and request further information. Did I miss the reject option?

7:17 - Richard McDonald has just stated that he rejects the staff report findings.

7:18 - Heather Allen comments. Thanked Mr Goos and Miss Delmar for going the extra mile. A long journey and thanks the CC for going the extra mile. Jim Montequino (sp?) Carter issue is a tactical and  strategic one. City resource management challenges, water and sewer, money needed to fund them is a consideration. Moody's says we have junk bonds. Sorry Jim, this is a lot of old news. Mayor H says wrap it up. Stress test our resources for development is a nice phrase. Term limits for city staff? Good. Deb Sheridan thanks Goss and Harbedian. Deb spoke to Chris Sutton (Measure V lawyer) and he says the CC does not have to approve this project. Courts seldom if ever overturn a City Council's decision in these matters. Stay Strong. Marguerite Shuster sincere thanks to G&H, and Council. CC appears to be poised to do the right thing. This is a last chance, a privilege and duty to preserve this city. First City Council in memory to stand up to inappropriate development. We are fortunate you are there. (Next Person - didn't catch her name) moved her from Switzerland, SM is just like it was there. Don't turn us into another Arcadia! Diane Shear thanking the CC and city staff for having the courage to dpi the right thing. Caroline Brown says in staff report a reference to the mtns now being a National Monument. Hillside Ordinance was created to preserve our Village of the Foothills. Arcadia in greek means "place of beauty." Sierra Madre home of vintage homes and neighborhoods. Barry Gold says an approval of the first house at One Carter will set a precedent throughout the community. The subcommittee concluded this house does not comply, changes were requested, and CETT refused. This will set the tone for all future development. These projects must be respectful of the wildlife and land. Matt Bryant of Preserve Sierra Madre speaking. He wants to show his support for Delmar and Goss. The developer can show their support of our community, or go another way. Rene Casuda (sp?) The project looks like architectural arrogance. A new word is Wurban. Rural and urban. Does not include pretentious McMansions. We can become a really good wurban community. Teryl Willis I hope you don't mind more thanks. The hillsides represent our soul. Referred to 2004 City Council, "They made a very bad decision." Now this City Council has to fix it, 10 years later. Not fair, but it still must be done. One Carter was cut down and scrapped off the land. Make sure the house is worth that. Mike White - Pretty concerned that what he has seen on the screen this evening in no way represents Measure V. (Didn't Catch Name) Lived in Arcadia for a long time, and now they live here and hopes we can maintain that homey feeling of Sierra Madre. So proud to be a part of all these people here tonight. Susan Coleman defending the wildlife and natural setting. horrified that this could morph into horrible boxes that take none of that into account. Do not let this happen on our founding father's property. Carol Parker grew up in this town. The thought of the forests of our mountains being cut down to build houses like these is an atrocity. This is a town of intelligent, cultured and happy people who live in a special place. Deniece Viecht (sp?) lives right next to Arcadia. The obscenity started with one, then another, and soon that neighborhood has been filled with these huge houses. For what purpose? They are really bad. This is something to preserve for our kids, those who come after. We don't need 4,000 square foot homes on the hillsides. Gutsy 16 year old - Preserve my town! Comments end.

7:57 - Denise Delmar impressed by eloquence of all the speakers. Called for the review to make sure the CC did all of its diligence. Is this home that will be built what we actually need in our hillsides? No, it is not. Met with CETT, asked for them to scale back so we can see the mountain, they said no. They think view means what you can see from the house, but we think view means what everyone can see. Disappointed the developer did not want to go with the changes, and now we have to start the project all over again. Send it back to the PC.

8:00 - Gene Goss Took a pretty good look and it was obvious it just didn't fit. Real question is can it design it in such a way that history and area is respected. Disappointed the developer could not respect his plans.

8:02 - John Capoccia - HMZ articulated what the community felt was needed for the hillsides. Design guidelines were not properly applied. Purpose of guidelines was to help everyone interpret what was needed for hillside mngmnt. tried to give the developer good guidance. Thanked the community for helping them to understand what the intent of the ordinances was. Quoted Mr McDonald from Star News article about one story and SM not wanting any houses up there. That was just not true. Capoccia called him out. In good faith we tried to help the developer, and I never said those things.

8:07 John Harabedian agrees with his colleagues. Applicant refuses to compromise. But he does think Mr. McDonald's suggestion of one story is a great place to start. Much laughter and applause. Called for a formal motion.

8:09 Denise Delmar - I move we overturn the Planning Commission decision. All voted yes. Standing ovation! Crowd exits.

Barry Gold - "A great night for Sierra Madre!" Amen, brother. Amen.

Excited chatter in the room as the crowd exits.

Mod: So now it goes back to the Planning Commission and everything starts all over again. Yes? Or does it go to Court. Will One Carter ever see a house built? In our lifetime, I mean? I do not know. It is now a decade since the 2004 City Council voted to destroy One Carter. This so-called process could end up being as eternal as the mountains themselves.

sierramadretattler.blogspot.com

43 comments:

  1. i want to know who is being disciplined......

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  2. Where is Adele?????????????????

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    1. Awaiting her grand entrance is my guess.

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    2. Had the night off apparently.

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  3. My understanding is that a local geezer in green pants pushed and F bombed a kid from the public school - likely not significant as the kids from the intermediate school f bomb like sailors. Or frat guys. Moreover, the geezer was cuffed - not the kid.

    Regardless, skateboarding is not a crime. Now get off my lawn!

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    1. Skateboarding is crime when the city states it is .

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  4. By the way charlie, no one has roller skated since 1975. Now go back and polish your tin lizzie.

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    1. What is a tin lizzy?

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    2. 6: 55 and 7:07 you both do not know the facts , but also it is a crime if it in the downtown buisness district

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    3. Charlie K

      LOL LOL LOL LOL you have become a pathetic joke

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    4. Kerstig Court is the after school pick up zone for the middle
      school set ... On Fridays I go to the Starbucks on Rosemead I refuse to be held hostage by the mini van set and their rude,over indulged children ... This area isn't a baby sitting zone and I feel our police officers need to start walking the beat in this area and bring a little order to the chaos ...
      I'd like to suggest that the city puts the metal bar things on the brick fence surrounding the little park in the court area a skater was doing jumps off the wall ,fell and almost rammed his head into the bumper of my parked car .

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  5. The CETT attorney is in the back of the room.

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  6. Mod,
    Thanks for the live blog. I appreciate your efforts!

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  7. Go Dianne Shear! Great words.!

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  8. hey mr.mod, you didn't mention the last speaker, the gutsy 16 year old.

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    1. Got a little behind. just added in now.

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  9. Yea, miracles of miracles.!

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  10. Well done Sierra Madre! I wish I could be there to celebrate your victory.

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    1. Halcyon, just imagine - a standing ovation for a city council!

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  11. Without Matt Bryant this would not have happened. He had the courage to rally the troops and ask the C.C. to take a second look at the Planning Commission's decision. Many thanks Matt.

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    1. Every time this city gets into trouble someone stands up and rescues it. It is a kind of a miracle. We need to start a hall of fame.

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    2. Absolutely, 8:31 - thanks Matt, but also thanks to Denise Delmar, who put it on the agenda, and Mayor Pro Tem John Capoccia to second it! Thank you all. I agree, 8:33. You know the well-worn phrase "Freedom is not free," well, Sierra Madre is not Sierra Madre unless we all fight to keep it the way we want it, and why we moved here (as pointed out by several speakers).

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    3. Yes, thank you Matt!

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    4. What a town! There is simply no other town like it. Let's give credit to the the City Manager, Elaine, Leticia Cardoso, and the City Attorney who I'm sure provided great legal advice to the City Council and thanks to our remarkable City Council that had the courage to resist the legal threats coming from CETT and their attorney. Too many other people to name but Anne Chesterman who rode her bike around town handing out flyers about the meeting. John Hutt who provided expert advice to Preserve Sierra Madre. The Golds, Marguerite Shuster, Teryl Willis, Linda McManus, Leslee Hinton , Deb Sheridan, Clem Bartolai and every person who came to the meeting or wrote an email. I'm just astounded by the show of support and interest in preserving our community. By the way, does anybody regret voting for Densie Delmar? I suspect the only people who have regrets are those who didn't vote for her. Great job Denise!,,,,,and Gene and the two John's and Rochelle (we all know how she would have voted). Last but not least, John Crawford and the Tattler. How many people who have to move out of Sierra Madre still care about the town they have left. Couldn't have achieved this success without the Tattler. Amazing night!

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  12. I think the surprise of the evening was John Cappocia calling out Mr.McDonald. Way to go!

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    1. McDonald is the big loser here. The big winner? Denise Delmar. Denise is so good she actually made the City Council work effectively.

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    2. I agree. Did you see how quickly lawyer Richie left the building? Thank you, John - you've disappointed me in the past, but you were awesome tonight! Denise is totally amazing.

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    3. MacDonald didn't respond to Capoccia's busting MacDonald for that lie. Wonder why.
      I also wonder why Rob Stockly left before the development discussion. That was his chicken coming home to roost.

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    4. Agree with you 8:34,
      Capoccia took the attorney to task. It was an important legal point too. Thank you Council member Cappocia.

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    5. 8:53 - that is precisely why Stockley left! Hmm...wonder why he didn't tell us the library is closing because we didn't pass the UUT, like he usually does. Oh, wait - maybe he's lying about that too!

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    6. When Capoccia is on his game, he can be excellent. Great job John!

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  13. Thanks Mod. Your blow by blow is terrific.

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  14. What an awesome night for Sierra Madre. If you didn't see the Council meeting - you shoulda been there - but be sure to watch on TV or your computer! If you were there, thank you, and especially if you spoke. I doing think everyone who spoke influenced the Council as much as they influenced lawyer MacDonald, architect Chang (who I hope is thinking "why did I ever take this on?") and Mr Ho. Now they know who they are dealing with. We are SIERRA MADRE STRONG! Please join Preserve Sierra Madre - we can rest on our laurels tonight, but the overdevelopment fight will begin again soon - Planning Commission Thursday night 7 pm.

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  15. Thank you Deb Sheridan for reminding everyone to not be intimidated by development attorneys bs threats.
    We are not afraid....give it your best shot McDonald. ...we win.
    Thanks Mrs. Sheridan.Needed to be said.

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  16. "So now it goes back to the Planning Commission and everything starts all over again. "

    It's not going back to the PC; it's going to court. Lawsuits are cheap to file. The costs don't really spike until the trial gets close. The city fired a shot across the bow, and the applicant will respond. If they don't they've lost all their leverage. They need to keep the threat of lawsuit alive or their other applications have no chance of approval.

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    1. Hit me with your best shot.

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  17. This city council good not have been any stronger in their support for preserving this town. Every one of them deserves our accolades. There are so many other people too numerous to name who have been behind this effort. Last but not least, this all could not have happened without the Tattler behind us. What a special town we have the privilege of living in!

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  18. Long time residentJanuary 13, 2015 at 9:07 PM

    Ten long years of suffering = one sweet night of VICTORY!

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  19. Out to the parking lot passed by Chang/McDonald huddled in the dark. Pretty rough night for them. They will finally get it, that all of this support for the City Council decision will show up for the court case.

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  20. McDonald comes across like a petulant child - he's got the lawyer bully syndrome except he's not that impressive

    if he's the best the developer can afford we don't have much to worry about

    we can bury him with motions and ordinances

    he's got us quaking in our boots....

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  21. I hope McDonald and his masters sue. Then we can beat them again. Get out of our Sierra Madre, you bums!

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