|Not how we do it, but cool anyway.|
Somebody yesterday made the following rather apt observation: "If the City Council saw fit to change the name of Development Services to Planning and Community Preservation, you would think that a new staff hire would need to be far and above qualified to fulfill that position." This comment referred to the inappropriate hire of our brand new Director of Planning and Community Preservation, Vincent C. Gonzales. Someone whose background as both a Pasadena Redevelopment Project Manager, and Metro flack for some of the bad things going on in LA County (including the 710 Tunnel), makes his coming here unfortunate.
Something that has those in town who have taken the "Community Preservation" part of that gig to heart in a state of outrage. And that irony we're discussing today can be highlighted by taking a look at what is going down in Boyle Heights, of all places. A community with very little in common with Sierra Madre. At least on the surface.
You see, it appears that the people of Boyle Heights are quite angry over the kinds of high density predatory redevelopment that are also unpopular here. With the actual connection between the two cities being our new Director of Planning and Community Preservation, Vincent C. Gonzales.
This from the Detroit local affiliate of Fox News (link).
This was an inappropriate and secret hire made without the knowledge of the City Council. His past is redevelopment and high density mixed use planning. Is that the kind of guy that should run a department that calls itself "Community Preservation?" This is not how city business is supposed to be conducted. The fact that it was The Tattler who had to tell the people of Sierra Madre about this disaster is as good an indication as any of how badly this whole affair was mishandled. Elaine needs to go and find another job.
It is my opinion is that this hire, intentionally or not (I personally believe it's the former), completely undermines the judgment and decisions of the City Council when they created the Planning and Community Preservation department in the first place.
While under the current set-up at City Hall the City Manager does the government agency hiring in this town, such decisions should always be made with the wishes of the City Council in mind.
With this hire those wishes have been seriously subverted. In my opinion, anyway. The remaining question being will the City Council actually defend its policies on community preservation, or further cede its authority to run this town's affairs to a hired employee.
The San Juan Capistrano - Sierra Madre Connection
In the most recent City Hall e-mail blast the following observations were made about the recent Court of Appeal decision on tiered water rates.
I have no reason so far to doubt that this might all be true. Of course, I probably haven't looked into it as much as I should. At least not yet. But did you know that the same law firm that provides us with our City Attorney is also the one that lost this water tiers billing case for the defendant in this case, the City of San Juan Capistrano?
I kid you not. Check out the law firm in the following document from Capistrano Taxpayers Association, Inc. v. City of San Juan Capistrano (link).
I'll bet Michael Colantuono (et cetera) told the City of San Juan Capistrano that they had their tiered water rates done properly as well.
Except a Court decided otherwise.