Saturday, May 23, 2015

Monday is Memorial Day - Your Attendance is Requested


McMansion Development Brown Act Lawsuit in Arcadia 

Mod: Here is some excerpts from an article that ran in the Pasadena Star News earlier this week.

Arcadia resident may file lawsuit against city for alleged violations of California’s open meetings law (link) - An Arcadia resident Monday gave city officials 30 days to respond to alleged violations of California’s open meetings law before he files a complaint with the District Attorney or pursues a lawsuit against the city.

In the letter, Highlands resident David Arvizu offered two alternatives to litigation: the council would either set aside the decisions made in closed session on May 5, or make the meeting minutes available to the public.

In a closed session May 5, the City Council voted to suspend comprehensive updates to the city’s commercial and residential zoning codes, postpone the Neighborhood Impacts Committee and proceed with a historic preservation survey, excluding the Highland Oaks Homeowners’ Association.

Kelly Aviles, open government attorney and vice president of Californians Aware, said the analysis of the act is not cut and dried but rather more fluid.

“We are talking about the intent of the Brown Act and how these types of laws are supposed to be interpreted transparently,” she said. “Closed sessions are supposed to be for the exception to the rule ... and are supposed to be interpreted narrowly.”

Aviles has prosecuted several cases involving Brown Act violations. If the decisions were ones that could not have been made in closed session before litigation was initiated, she said, they cannot be made in closed session just because litigation is pending.

In the lawsuit, filed March 12, Save the Arcadia Highlands challenged the council’s approval of two residential developments. The suit asks the city to conduct an Environmental Impact Report based on the cumulative impacts of the two projects, in addition to several others that have been approved in the past few years.

Arvizu, who is also a member of the grassroots organization, said since 2012, nearly 30 homes larger than 5,000 square feet have been proposed in the Highlands neighborhood alone.

(More …)

A common thread among Arvizu and other residents who spoke during public comments Tuesday was concern the city did not give notice about its intention to take action on the three items, something open government advocate Gil Aguirre said is clearly stated in the law.

“They can’t piggyback items into a closed-session agenda item,” he said. “The agenda has to be very specific.”

April 7 and May 5 special meeting agendas state only that the city will confer with legal counsel regarding the matter of Save the Arcadia Highlands v. the City of Arcadia, et al. It says no business other than the above would be considered at the meetings.

Arcadia resident Arthur Lane said he was concerned the city was not being as transparent as it could be.

“I am discouraged very much by not seeing these kinds of topics that affect so many residents being discussed in open session,” he said.

Highlands resident April Verlato said because the public had no idea the city was going to be discussing zoning code updates or the historic preservation survey, they were unable to direct comments toward those items.

“It’s kind of huge that they excluded the Highlands from a historical preservation survey,” Verlato said. “I think a lot of my neighbors, had they had proper notice, would have liked to come and comment on that. The biggest problem now is none of us really know or understand why they made those decisions, and I don’t think that’s fair to the public.”

(Mod: There is a great reader comment attached to this article on the Star News website. I thought I should post it here as well. Note the City of Bell connection.)


Sierra Madre Middle School Update

The PUSD is saying that new contractors are supposed to be in place and they're stating that the same timeline will be met. As to why the three project leaders were let go, that is "confidential."

They are apparently doing everything they can to keep a lid on this story. Here is a reader comment from this morning that might shed some light on what are some pretty murky doings:

After several years of increasingly fractured leadership from senior PUSD administrators, Frazer resigned and has taken an administrative position in the SF Bay area. Had there been a history of open and honest communication from PUSD, as well as some assurance that his work on behalf of the District was appreciated, he would have stayed because he really didn't want to uproot his family. 

Other long term Facilities staff has either left or is planning to leave in the very near future and it is likely that things will slow down considerably while Mr. Cayabyab tries to get a handle on the work. If he follows his past history at BHUSD, PUSD will probably hire a much higher priced construction management firm (such as Bernard Bros.) . Gee.... I wonder when the witch hunt will start..... 

More when we find it.

sierramadretattler.blogspot.com

24 comments:

  1. I encourage everyone who can to attend the VFW Post 3208 Memorial Day Observance. It is an extremely moving experience. Wish I could be there.

    May God Bless the Fallen Who Gave All in service to our country!

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  2. The VFW's Memorial Day event is one of those occassions that makes you realize what a great community this is.

    ReplyDelete
  3. Replies
    1. Attend and see experience it yourself.

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    2. You should attend and find out. Then afterwards you can come back here and share your thoughts.

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    3. I like to talk with the Veterans after the ceremony, during lunch. Amazing stories.

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    4. They got ya there 8:14.

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    5. True. Respect and appreciation needs to be shown n

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  4. Does our city council violate the Brown Act in closed hearings? How would we know?

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    Replies
    1. I think that the city councilmembers don't see eye to eye on some things, and if one side attempted some monkey business the other would tell them to knock it off.

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  5. After several years of increasingly fractured leadership from senior PUSD administrators, Frazer resigned and has taken an administrative position in the SF Bay area. Had their been a history of open and honest communication from PUSD as well as some assurance that his work on behalf of the District was appreciated, he would have stayed because he really didn't want to uproot his family. Other long term Facilities staff has either left or is planning to leave in the very near future and it is likely that things will slow down considerably while Mr. Cayabyab tries to get a handle on the work. If he follows his past history at BHUSD, PUSD will probably hire a much higher priced construction management firm (such as Bernard Bros.) . Gee.... I wonder when the witch hunt will start.....

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. If there is a way to screw things up, PUSD senior management will figure out how to do it.

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    2. Can anyone make sense of this? Comes from this site: http://education.tdprofiti.com/pusd-names-new-academics-facilities-and-special-education-officers.html

      Nelson Cayabyab is an gifted propagandize comforts central who has
      directed vital propagandize construction and modernization holds during school
      districts opposite Southern California. He formerly served as arch of
      facilities and formulation for a Beverly Hills Unified School District
      where he supposing care and support services for their $334 million
      Measure E bond module and led a prolonged operation comforts master
      planning, comforts deputy programs, and a operational functions
      of a upkeep and operations department. Cayabyab also served as
      chief of comforts for a Huntington Beach Union High School District
      where he was a devise manager in a doing of their $264
      million Measure C bond projects and as a executive of comforts at
      Irvine Valley College.

      “My idea as Pasadena Unified’s arch comforts officer is to be a
      responsible valet of taxpayer’s income while creation certain that high
      standards are benefaction in a construction and upkeep of PUSD’s
      historic facilities,” pronounced Cayabyab. “I am also a large follower in
      transparency and devise on operative closely with a Measure TT Citizens
      Oversight Committee to make it easy to see how taxation dollars are being
      spent.”

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    3. What is a "Chief of Comforts?"

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    4. tdprofiti.com looks to be a news gathering site, but obviously is put together by a robot or a non-English speaker. Can't find anything about who controls the site, so it's worthless.

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    5. OK, but there is nothing much else you can find about this guy on Google. It looks to be just about the only information out there.

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    6. The PUSD is on total lockdown on this one. You can only wonder why.

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  6. I was watching the news last night about a coyote in Irvine. The man being interviewed said they had disturbed the coyotes territory by building 9,000 units on vacant land. I thought Irvine was built from what I saw the last time I was there a coupke of months back. 9,000 units. It never stops.

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  7. Who is Cayabyab?

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  8. Announcement at the MWTR this morning, Adam of Community Services is leaving. Wanna bet that position will be "frozen" until enough time is passes until we no longer need a manager for Community Services? This department costs least to run and does the most for the City in the way of sponsoring events. Looks more and more that we'll be just an ordinary city. Might as well build those 50 houses planned for the monastery, another tract coming to town.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Cops come first. They are eating up everything.

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  9. Why is Adam leaving?

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    Replies
    1. His crystal ball told him to.

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    2. This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.

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