Friday, February 20, 2015

Eric Maundry Interviews Ann Erdman On The Pasadena City Hall Embezzlegate Cover Up

Ms. Erdman
Mr. Maundry
It wasn't a real interview, of course. Former Pasadena City Hall Public Information Officer Ann Erdman really didn't have the foggiest notion who she was talking smack with on the celebrated Pasadena Politics Facebook page. Which, in my opinion, makes it all the better. There is nothing quite as joyously entertaining as a stalwart establishment opinion enforcer rebuking the picture of a famous comic strip character. Of course, when it comes to Pasadena politics, almost everyone is a comic strip character. It must be hard for a crusader of accepted government truth like X-PIO Erdman to tell the difference sometimes. I certainly know that I can't. Even when I am wearing my eye glasses.

For some relevant background I turned to our good friend the Pasadena Insider. This voice from "Under the Dome" has given us some enlightening insights before. Mostly on the rose colored reality that shines from the local government agency ruling from a building that looks a little like the capitol of Bolivia. And I mean that in the good sense.

So I turned to that generous source once again. Here is the Insider's take:

Following a life threatening illness, Ann Erdman left the City of Pasadena in 2012 after serving as Public Information Officer for many years. She represented the interests of the Mayor and City Council, as well as the City of Pasadena, in the very best light.  

Ann's prime directive while serving as PIO was to rule with an iron hand - no one spoke to the press or opined on an incident without first being briefed by her. Frequently she sat by their side while they were interviewed or chatted on the phone. Welcome in almost every salon or newsroom, and privy to the secrets of the Rose City intelligentsia as well as the hoi poloi, she is genuine, lively, and sanguine.   

For her tenure under the dome she could and did demur in a folksy, non-threatening manner with which few could find fault.  She has emerged to follow where her literary, journalistic and blogging talents lead, and we are all the richer for her effervescence.

That certainly is a most positive take, and does set us up nicely for the following exchange of opinion. This is taken from the Pasadena Politics page (link), located on the oftentimes annoying Facebook.


Alas, this is where X-PIO Ann Erdman vanished from our impromptu Facebook interview on the slipperier aspects of responsibility avoidance by Pasadena's elected officials in the Embezzlegate Scandal. Maybe she finally figured out that I am the guy from The Tattler, or something. I did try to resuscitate our conversation, but it did not work.


So exactly what is there to excite people about the Pasadena Mayoral election? Will more than 20% of eligible voters even bother to show up this time? Apparently the big message from the Embezzlegate Scandal is it's all the fault of the help. This while at the exact same time letting City Manager Michael Beck, that most ultimate in Pasadena City Staff uber-rule, off the hook completely. 

Go back to Ann's explanation for why this wasn't the fault of Pasadena's elected officials: 

"… the mayor and council do not oversee departments and are not responsible for managing or overseeing most administrative staff. The only three staff positions that report to the city council are the city manager, city clerk and city attorney."

This has been the standard PeeDee City Hall explanation throughout the scandal. If it actually is the case, and City Staff does have a near complete run of the asylum, then why should anyone vote for or against the powerless and responsibility-free stuffed shirts in Pasadena's election next month? If what Ann says is true, then this really does become nothing more than a beauty contest election.

If you think about it, this makes Pasadena's Mayor and City Council a figurehead government. Kind of like the Royal Family of England. There to give the appearance of governmental order and demonstrable rule, but without the real juice to even call incompetent officials onto the carpet and fire their useless selves. 

Even when over $6.4 million dollars was embezzled right from under their upward turned noses.

You do have to admit one thing about the voters of Pasadena though, they are civil. Kind of like the way the Eloi are civil in the movie Time Machine.

Just before they get eaten.

sierramadretattler.blogspot.com

45 comments:

  1. "Not me!" - Terry Tornek
    "Not me!" - Jacque Robinson
    "Not me!" - Bill Bogaard

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    1. "Not Me" - response of Pasadena voters when asked if they'd reward Terry Tornek or Jacque Robinson with Mayorship in the upcoming Pasadena election.

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    2. Let's hope they are engaged enough to figure it out. In three Council bailiwicks the candidates don;t even have opposition. Royal government indeed!

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  2. I do think the Michael Beck is the guy who gets paid the big bucks to make sure that embezzlements don't happen. Bill Bogaard was just a figurehead who was good at going to parties, shaking hands and backslapping. In order to have the time to do all that, he had to delegate everything to City Staff. This also meant that the citizens who elected a City Council to represent their interests essentially had no one in place looking out for their interests.

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    1. The Pasadena City Council does dress respectfully.

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  3. Life Rule # 2:
    When someone says they don't have a dog in the fight - that means they have a dog in the fight.

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    1. In Pasadena the dogs don't fight. They go to Larry Wilson's house and discuss art instead.

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    2. Then they go to Mayor Bogaard's house for a cheesburger.

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    3. I hear it is heart stopping.

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    4. Larry Wilson's hosting a salon this weekend. The Pasadena illuminati will get a lecture from Ann Erdman on the etiquette of dealing with bougeois filth like the Tattler while eating french cheese, drinking Italian wine and smoking fine Cubans. Then they get an update on progressive politics and the importance of keeping secrets from John Fuhrman and Jeanette Mann.

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    5. I refer to that bunch as The Rusnak Generation. I don't know of you are familiar with a fine red clay country band called the Texas D-Rangers, but they have a great song that starts off something like this:
      "He's just a wine sipping
      Lexus driving a**hole."
      Kind of applies here.

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  4. Ms. Erdman has a better looking hat than Mr. Maundry.

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    Replies
    1. Mr. Maundry has problems sleeping.

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    2. He sleeps just fine at work.

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    3. True. Kind of like they do at Pasadena City Hall.

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  5. The real power behind the Crown is Martin Truitt. Never met an election he couldn't influence.

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    1. Who is Martin's dog in this fight? So to speak.

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    2. You mean the Puppet Master?

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  6. Replies
    1. Interesting. So maybe the whole message about city council members not being responsible for the screw ups of the government they are rumored to run comes from him? Maybe he should be Pasadena's next City Manager.

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  7. Wow, Mod. Do you realize that the Pasadena FB page let you dialogue as opposed to the Sierra Madre City FB page where they've blocked Eric Maundry?

    Sad when Pasadena is more open-minded than Sierra Madre.

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    1. Pasadena Politics is actually a private site. Getting on the City of Pasadena Facebook page is about as easy as getting on Kim Jung Un's page. I've tried both.

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    2. That's a shame. Who doesn't like Eric Maundry?

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    3. The Tattler is taking the war into enemy territory. Long live Sierra Madre!

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    4. Eric Maundry can be a little needy at times, and doesn't handle rejection well. I know for a fact that his problems with the City of Sierra Madre Facebook page have hurt him personally.

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  8. Ann Erdman (Via Facebook)February 20, 2015 at 10:37 AM

    I'm flattered that you're so fascinated with me, Eric. I knew exactly who you are. I look at the Tattler occasionally, just as I take a look at a number of blogs in the greater Pasadena area. I never "talked smack" about you and it is regrettable that you interpreted it that way. As I said in one of my comments, I simply clarify when I think it might be helpful to the discussion on the Pasadena Politics page. I appreciate the insider's kind words but take issue with the remark that I ruled with an "iron hand" at City Hall. I made myself available to counsel staff at the city manager, department director and division manager level to ensure that they would be comfortable and prepared for media interviews and also made myself available, if they so desired, to be in the room when they talked to reporters. If it was a telephone interview, this was always on speaker and I always announced my presence to reporters. The City of Pasadena Media Policy can be found online in the Manual of Personnel Rules, Practices and Procedures on the Human Resources Department page. It sets forth protocols for rank-and-file staff regarding speaking to media.

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    1. I never said you talked smack about me, I said that we shared a little smack talk. It was an important experience for me. So it is safe to say you are not the control freak as depicted by the Pasadena Insider?

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    2. (More)

      Ann Erdman From your blog post: "Former Pasadena City Hall Public Information Officer Ann Erdman really didn't have the foggiest notion who she was talking smack with on the celebrated Pasadena Politics Facebook page."
      23 mins · Like

      Ann Erdman Did I misinterpret that?
      20 mins · Like

      Eric Maundry Yes. But that is OK. We all struggle with the language of others from time to time. But let's get back to the core question, one I have been trying to get an answer to for weeks. Why haven't Pasadena's elected officials acknowledged their responsibilities for the Wooten Embezzlegate Scandal? To narrow it down, specifically Bogaard, Robinson and Tornek. All of whom had direct oversight responsibilities in this matter. To me this is a fair question, and one that deserves an answer. City Hall (and I do know that you are not a part of it anymore) owes the voters and taxpayers at least that amount of respect.

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    3. HA HA HA Mr. Moderator. No way in hell Ms. Erdman answers this question. I gotta say this, even as a retiree she's better at doing PR for the crown city than bald-face liar Billy Boyer. That guy is a drooling, lying fool who has been very silent in recent weeks. Come to think of it, maybe Ann is getting paid on the side by Tornek and Boyer's been asked to sit it out because every time he says something it makes Pasadena look that much worse.

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    4. For someone who "doesn't have a dog in the fight" Ms. Erdman sure seems to be obsessed with Mr. Maundry.

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    5. Eric is a handsome man who also plays piano.

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    6. 12:19 I think you are on to something.

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    7. Ann pops up every time this issue is raised. I guess it really is a cover up.

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    8. Damage Control.

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    9. It's not the crime, it's the cover up.

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    10. In the dictionary under the term "blogger extraordinaire" there is a picture of Eric Maundry.

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    11. It is too big a scandal to fit under Ann's hat.

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    12. Why does the TRUTH stay untold? Re: Ann Erdman's comment that there is a Media Policy for rank-and-file City of Pasadena employees to follow: http://cityofpasadena.net/Department.aspx?theme=Olive&pageid=6442453787 See 1.55. "Purpose: To improve media relations, protect and enhance the image of the city of Pasadena and ensure that accurate, appropriate information is released to the news media." [Note: not just accurate but "appropriate".] "Any city employee who speaks to a reporter or editor about a sensitive or controversial issue without authorization and prior approval by the city manager will be subject to disciplinary action. The public information officer must be made aware of any such authorization or approval." In other words (and speaking from experience, since I had to SIGN this policy, which was placed in my personnel file), employees are NEVER allowed to speak to the media because any topic can be deemed to be "sensitive" or "controversial". I was also disallowed from writing a letter to the editor of the Pasadena Star News, and God forbid I might have commented on a blog back then using my real name. Yet, City Manager Beck thinks that existing employees who "see something" are going to actually "say something"? Ummm . . . NO! That's why employees are asking me to speak FOR them now.

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  9. The Crackocracy holds. Tornek just got the endorsement of the Pasadena Star News.

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    1. Puppet Master Martin Truitt scores again!

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    2. He must have pictures.

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    3. He does. Just ask Noah.

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    4. Tornek is a developer. Does that answer the question?

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    5. The road to the heart of the Pasadena Star News runs through the San Gabriel Valley Economic Partnership.

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  10. 12:19 - you were right. The Hat never did answer that question.

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