|One way to get PD attention|
So apparently Sierra Madre is in the throes of yet another of its periodic crime waves, and as is usually the case the SMPD wants you to help them do something about it. Not only that, but 32 Sierra Madre Facebook users "Like" it. I'm scratching my head over that one.
Sierra Madre has experienced an increase in residential and vehicle burglary activity. From December 9th 2014 to today, there have been OVER 20 reported burglary incidents. Please remove any items of importance and significant value from your vehicle before leaving your vehicle. Items have been stolen from BOTH locked and unlocked vehicles. In some cases the suspects have smashed vehicle windows to gain access to items left on the vehicle's seats. If possible, hide or remove garage door openers typically left in vehicles.
For residences, always lock and secure all windows and doors. If possible only keep windows and door unlocked that are in your immediate area while you are home. While away from home, try to place money, jewelry, and small high value items in a safe.
If you have a camera security system please make sure to activate it prior to leaving. In numerous cases the residence had a camera security system but it was either off, not connected, or wasn't working and they never got to fixing it.
All incidents are happening during various times of the day. Please be very vigilant and REPORT anything that may seem suspicious to you. Do not allow yourself to think it may be nothing or not a big deal, call Sierra Madre Police and we will determine the nature of the incident. If you SEE something, SAY something! As a community there is a need to band together in vigilance and reporting anything to Sierra Madre Police.
I am not certain if you remember this, but I certainly do. It was just last June when the various City of Sierra Madre public relations arms known as the local press pronounced themselves to be very excited by a Movoto Real Estate blog report that Sierra Madre had made its "10 Safest Places In California" list (link). A #8 finish to be exact. Written by the evocative Natalie Grigson, this is how they reported the Foothill Village's remarkable law enforcement success:
I don't know about you, but I sense something of a disconnect here. I am going to forward this report to Movoto and see if I can't get them to enlighten us a little bit about this. It doesn't make any sense.
Pasadena's City Council Handed Out Administrative Employee Raises AFTER Learning About $6.4 Million Dollars In Embezzlement - No, Really!
Speaking of disconnects, I think they've lost their cotton picking minds over in the so-called Rose City. Yesterday I wrote about the lack of real consequences in California cities like Pasadena when faced with employee incompetence and malfeasance. Today we have some remarkable proof of just that very thing from The Pasadena Star News (link):
Pasadena city manager gave pay raises to department heads amid embezzlement probe - One month after an audit criticized the management of a multi-million dollar utility fund, which allegedly had been swindled for $6.4 million, City Manager Michael Beck gave pay raises to department heads, including the two managers who oversaw the fund and its accounting, city documents show.
At Beck’s recommendation, the City Council approved the raises, and also renegotiated his contract, allowing Beck to turn unused vacation hours into a $64,000 “deferred compensation” package, according to the documents obtained by the Star-News.
The moves occurred in November and December. City officials learned in May of an alleged $6.4 million embezzlement from its Underground Utility Program. On Nov. 11, Beck received the results of the audit that showed there had been lackadaisical oversight of the obscure fund intended to reimburse residents for the cost of placing their utilities underground.
At least one city council member said he now has questions for Beck. “Given what we know now about what occurred, I do question why some department heads were provided with raises,” said City Councilman Victor Gordo, who, along with the rest of the council and Mayor Bill Bogaard, approved the pay increases as part of a routine vote on various items of city business.
The City Council, on Dec. 8, authorized Beck to give a 1 percent pay increase to 12 executive management employees, including Public Works Director Siobhan Foster and Finance Director Andy Green. In May, when the city uncovered the suspected embezzlement scheme, officials went to the district attorney seeking a criminal probe. Additionally, the city began its own administrative investigation and hired KPMG to conduct a forensic audit of the fund. The audit was completed Nov. 11 and publicly released last week.
You just can't make this stuff up. There is a lot more to this Sarah Favot report, and you need to get over there and check it all out. Here is my favorite part:
Resident Brian Weiss, who spoke at a special City Council meeting Monday and called for officials to take responsibility for the embezzlement, characterized the pay raises as “unbelievable and unacceptable.”
“A pay raise for any of these department heads is outrageous and a reflection of the cozy culture of complacency at City Hall that contributed directly to creating an enabling climate for the embezzlement,” Weiss said. “If we reward mediocrity and underperformance and fail to demand accountability, we will get mediocrity, underperformance, and lack of accountability. And that’s what we have.”
I'm going to take all of this as proof that Monday's "Special Meeting" at Pasadena City Hall was more of a public relations stunt than anything else. Something designed to placate residents and preserve the status quo rather than any kind of meaningful attempt to come to grips with that city's extraordinarily serious problems.
I mean, the Pasadena City Council gave raises to city administrators after (AFTER!) having learned that these people had been unable to detect $6.4 million dollars in embezzlement by a City Hall employee over an 11 year period?
Madness is just about the only word I can use here to describe it.