|All glory is fleeting.|
Of course, there is a wrinkle in this otherwise time honored picture. Had Sierra Madre's traditionally determined order of succession been followed in 2013's Mayor Pro Tem selection, we could very well have been watching Mayor Chris Koerber passing the gavel of all Foothill Village power to John Harabedian tonight.
Is it possible that soon to be Councilman Harabedian will find himself wondering why he was in such a big hurry back in 2013? The last year of his term could end up being something of an anti-climax for him.
I'm not sure that the soon to be former Mayor of Sierra Madre ever really found whatever it was he believed he needed to get so quickly. Good things come to those who wait, as they say.
Then there is this. Mayor John Capoccia may be called upon to deliver a UUT increase, one that could be on the ballot in April of 2016. The third of its kind since 2012. This could end up being the theme of his year in that office. Rather ironic considering that he was originally elected as a tax skeptic.
But enough of that. There isn't much beyond the largely ceremonial reorganization of the City Council on the agenda for this evening, but it is possible to find two items on the Consent Calendar worth being concerned about.
Taken slightly out of order, here is the first:
Judging by the Agenda Report everything is just hunky dory with this one. However, not everyone agrees with that assessment, and there are some people in town who are of the opinion that Sierra Madre is being rather blatantly ripped off by the YMCA, and for quite a bit of dough.
Here is what one concerned resident wrote in to The Tattler:
An interesting sidelight re: agenda item 1C for April 28, regarding the YMCA contract extension. The City is essentially giving away the store on this one. The extension is to be in use until the end of September when contract negotiations are finalized for a contract renewal. However, under the current contract, the Y pays the City $600 something a month for the use of the Fireside room which has been converted into a nursery school classroom, and the YAC which has their very expensive after school babysitting program. The City pays all the utilities and maintenance. This extension gives them the right to use the Sierra Madre Room six days a week, 8:00 a.m.to about 9:00 p.m. week-days and Saturday mornings to conduct exercise classes. They will give the city 25% of the income from the classes. If the city wants to use the Sierra Madre room when they have classes scheduled, they need a 2 week notice.
They also are granted use of the offices which for now they say will be for childcare. But who knows what will be in the contract renewal. My take on it is that the Y will have overall control of the building. Waterworks at least pays enough rent to allow for maintenance, and they pay utilities. The Y claimed at the Community Services Committee that they are non-profit so they can't afford to pay much more.
The other item that could cause a bit of agita tonight is this one. It is in the second slot of the Consent Calendar, right behind the spending of $763,000.00 or so big ones.
Now you may recall that at the last City Council meeting this matter devolved into something of a rhubarb. One that resulted in a tight 3 to 2 vote in favor of what will become an effective check on the kinds of unfortunate mansionization found in such blighted cities as Arcadia.
This conversation had its more bizarre moments, with Mayor Harabedian and Councilmember Goss actually inferring that many in this community had become paranoid or delusional over the McMansion threat facing Sierra Madre. Which was unfortunate, especially when you consider that it was only a few weeks earlier that they too had expressed strong concerns about the troubling potential for mansionization and over-development here.
You almost have to wonder what unsettled spirits had taken possession of the guys. Here are two video segments that will take you back to their dark places. We'll start with John Harabedian.
|To view video click here.|
Gene Goss also had some particularly unhappy things to say on this topic that evening.
|To view this video click here.|
In a Mountain View News article the following weekend titled "Preventing The McMansionization Of Sierra Madre," Mayor Harabedian spun the fracas this way:
I wonder if Mayor Harabedian was including himself and Gene Goss in this cheery assessment of the "manner and tone" that evening.
Hopefully things will go a little more smoothly tonight.