This Steve Scauzillo penned piece ran in yesterday's paper. If you didn't get a chance to catch it then, here is a small portion of it. To check all of it out on the Pasadena Star News website (and you really need to do that), click here.
Just awesome. So you know, before moving on to his important water board duties Mike Touhey was on the West Covina City Council for 16 years, and also served as Mayor (link). Here's hoping that Waterwise Owl does a fly-by on 2-Hee's head.
The California Water Boards site (link), which 2-Hee is supposed to be all about, has some hard and fast rules about this kind of noncompliant misbehavior. Here they are:
Last October the Center for Investigative Reporting ran a piece called "California water officials aren’t following own call for conservation," which you can link to here. Partially penned by Lance Williams (the journalist who broke the news about our very own Susan Henderson back in the 1990s, and Chris Holden more recently), it shares some embarrassing details about all sorts of water officials who seem to believe they don't have to walk the same kind of walk you do.
NBC LA ran a related piece on their website last October called "Biggest Water Wasters in Southern California" (link). Here's the list of these fine public officials:
1. Mike Soubirous, Councilmember, Riverside City Council: 2,996 gallons per day (8.3 times average California user)
2. John Powell, Board President, Coachella Valley Water District: 1,808 gallons per day (5.01 times average California user)
3. Andrew Walcker, Riverside Utilities Boardmember: 1,799 gallons per day (4.98 times average California user)
4. Nick Ferguson, Riverside Utilities Boardmember: 1,791 gallons per day (4.96 times average California user)
5. Peter Nelson, Coachella Valley Water District director: 1,521 gallons per day (4.21 times average California user)
Did City Hall screw up some closed session meeting noticing?
During last night's City Council marathon lawsuit-o-mania closed session meeting with City Attorney Highsmith, many items were discussed. All of which we pointed out yesterday. Including in this stack of legal woe was this obscurely stated item:
Very mysterious. Now this caught the eye of a Tattler reader, who then made the following two comments. The first is the original, and the second is a clarification that became necessary when somebody asked our dauntless commenter if he (or she) thought they were a "legal genius."
Which he/she could be. You just never know who is going to show up on The Tattler.
Here is the first:
And here is the second:
Being a curious person, I decided to check up on this. Here is what Government Code Sections 54956.9(b) and (e)(1) have to say about this (link).
54956.9. (a) Nothing in this chapter shall be construed to prevent a legislative body of a local agency, based on advice of its legal counsel, from holding a closed session to confer with, or receive advice from, its legal counsel regarding pending litigation when discussion in open session concerning those matters would prejudice the position of the local agency in the litigation.
(b) For purposes of this chapter, all expressions of the lawyer-client privilege other than those provided in this section are hereby abrogated. This section is the exclusive expression of the lawyer-client privilege for purposes of conducting closed-session meetings pursuant to this chapter.
(c) For purposes of this section, "litigation" includes any adjudicatory proceeding, including eminent domain, before a court, administrative body exercising its adjudicatory authority, hearing
officer, or arbitrator.
(d) For purposes of this section, litigation shall be considered pending when any of the following circumstances exist:
(1) Litigation, to which the local agency is a party, has been initiated formally.
(2) A point has been reached where, in the opinion of the legislative body of the local agency on the advice of its legal counsel, based on existing facts and circumstances, there is a significant exposure to litigation against the local agency.
(3) Based on existing facts and circumstances, the legislative body of the local agency is meeting only to decide whether a closed session is authorized pursuant to paragraph (2).
(4) Based on existing facts and circumstances, the legislative body of the local agency has decided to initiate or is deciding
whether to initiate litigation.
(e) For purposes of paragraphs (2) and (3) of subdivision (d),"existing facts and circumstances" shall consist only of one of the following:
(1) Facts and circumstances that might result in litigation against the local agency but which the local agency believes are not yet known to a potential plaintiff or plaintiffs, which facts and circumstances need not be disclosed.
It does look to me that a sensitive piece of legal information has been put into jeopardy of unwanted exposure by somebody's inability to get those little letters and numbers in the parentheses correct.
Anybody interested in filing a Public Records Act request and see what happens? It just might be something interesting.
Jeff and Taryn Hildreth vs. the City of Sierra Madre
Some were asking about the court date yesterday, so here's the details:
Los Angles Superior Court
April 13th, 2015 @ 8:30
Burbank Court – Dept A
300 East Olive Avenue
Handling the case for the City of Sierra Madre? Dapeer – Rosenblit - Litvak. Here is how the firm is described on Martindale.com (link):
Dapeer, Rosenblit & Litvak, LLP is comprised of a dedicated group of ten litigators emphasizing the resolution and trial of business, real estate, municipal law, land use law, professional liability and related matters. A time-tested approach of meticulous analysis, careful planning and excellent execution has resulted in consistent successful performance on behalf of the firm's clients. While settlement is at all times sought, it is the philosophy of the firm's principals that the willingness and readiness to proceed to trial are the most effective method of securing above average settlements and judgments. Excellent client communication and involvement round out the successful approach used by the firm. The firm has extensive experience in representing business entities, both public and private, successful individuals and governmental agencies.
That "willingness and readiness to proceed to trial" line could be telling.
Last night's City Council meeting
My apologies, but I could neither go nor watch last night. I'll be tracking down some info today and posting it tomorrow. Most of it was held in closed session as you know, so there might not be a whole lot to report.