Wednesday, July 29, 2015

Leslee Hinton and John Hutt Get the City Council Nod for Two Open Planning Commission Seats

New EENER Commissioners please take note.
Honestly I would have voted for Barry Gold if I was making the choice, but would that have been over Leslee Hinton or John Hutt? Yes, sometimes being an armchair politician does have its advantages.

But now that this is over and nobody has to pretend to be fair anymore, it can also be said that this was a huge triumph for slow growth in Sierra Madre. A truly historic victory.

It is also something that would have been inconceivable just a few years ago when big development still had strong City Council support. But those people don't seem to have very much influence in this city anymore, right? It's like they have completely dried up and blown away. Does anyone even think about them anymore? Or care about what their opinions might be?

Sierra Madre now has the Planning Commission needed to back up and enforce the new General Plan. And if I can be so bold, I think it is now safe to believe that mansionization in this town is for all intents and purposes dead. Along with a lot of the other things people have fought against hard and long.

The soon to be seated new Planning Commission will be a fierce guardian and advocate for the Sierra Madre way of doing things, and will serve the desires of the people actually living here first. And not out of town developers or the nuts over at SCAG.

As was the previous one, now that I think about it. It does looks like we are on a roll with good Planning Commissions.

Here is the screen shot from a celebratory Facebook entry posted by Leslee Hinton.


This is how the City Council's deliberations shook out. All five candidates showed up and spoke. Only one audience member commented and that was Pat Alcorn, who supporting Leslee Hinton. Mayor Capoccia called for Councilmembers to pick their top 3 candidates, and this is what they came up with.

Denise Delmar:
John Hutt, Leslee Hinton, Matthew Blaine

Rachelle Arizmendi:
John Hutt, Leslee Hinton, Matthew Blaine

John Harabedian:
John Hutt, John Vandevelde, Leslee Hinton

Gene Goss:
John Hutt, Leslee Hinton, Matthew Blaine

John Capoccia didn't even have to give his selections. And since all four had named John Hutt and Leslee Hinton, he called for the vote and those are the two candidates that prevailed.

Another bad night for Bruce Inman

"Let's see if I have this straight. The city has failed to adequately secure water, causing us to suffer greater short term consequences than "three days a week" Arcadia. Having so failed, the city is now providing inferior water. For which it is now charging a 50% premium. And now they want to fine us for using too much of that bad tasting/residue leaving swill. Yup. Let's hire Bruce a consultant." 
                                                              - Reader comment from late last evening

Nothing that Bruce Inman advocates for these days seems to live. Both the $30,000 SRI/Raftelis water budget consultant and Ferguson Group renewal requests were shot down. Neither got a single positive vote from the City Council.

It could very well be that Mr. Inman has become a victim of the yellow water fiasco. He was given a lot of money and authority by the City Council to fix that problem, and nothing he recommended did what he said it would. The problem still exists.

Bruce apparently doesn't have a lot of credibility left with the City Council, and I am beginning to wonder how much time he has left here. They are still polite to him of course, but people who are about to be shown the door are always treated kindly.

It helps avoid lawsuits.

sierramadretattler.blogspot.com

54 comments:

  1. so let's see, In the past John Harabedian has voted for Dave Loera Jr. To be placed on a couple of Commissions, he voted for John Vandevelde last night, and he endorsed Paul Tanaka (who is under investigation) for Sheriff. Either this man is all about the back room deal or he is a very poor judge of people.

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    1. I'm going with back room deals. Quid Pro Quo uber alles!

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    2. It is puzzling. He doesn't have to do these things, you know. Yet he does.

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    3. Me too, 5:32 and 6:13. He'd better figure out who should be supported if he wants the support of his constituents when he runs for higher office (as quite a few of us think he'll do). I gave him money for his campaign, then told him never to put my name on any endorsements after Nancy Walsh's name was prominently displayed as a supporter.

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    4. he got elected in SM, what does that say about us?

      that we are easily impressed with some dude with a law degree?

      I won't ever vote for another male lawyer on the Council - unless Kurt Zimmerman returns

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  2. I think its a great day for Sierra Madre. To have all four council members agree on the two top candidates is unprecedented. Mayor Capoccia didn't even have to vote. That alone says it all about the City Council now in place. Sure, they don't agree on everything but, overall, when you look at what has been accomplished, its remarkable:
    1. Building and water meter moratorium
    2. Emergency demolition moratorium and later demolition ordinance
    3. Rejecting the first house at 1-Carter
    4. Saving 126 E. Mira Monte, the 1907 Craftsman home from demolition
    5. Embracing almost all of the Planning Commission's recommendations to improve the R-1 building codes which put a stake in the heart of mansionization.
    6. Passing the General Plan
    7. And now unanimously agreeing on two great people for the Planning Commission, Leslee Hinton and John Hutt.
    My hats off go all the members of this City Council who helped to make this possible. Sierra Madre has literally been saved from predatory development and consequently if you have to move out of Sierra Madre for some reason, you can return in 20 years and it will still look like the Sierra Madre you left.

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    1. Amen. We've got to persuade Harabedian and Capoccia to run again. So much has been accomplished under their watch!

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    2. Really? I was hoping for some new blood. Eight years is too long for people to stay on the city council.

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    3. We are one election away, by a largely apathetic populus, from a pro over-development council.

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    4. Do you know the cost and effort it takes to run?

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    5. I say no on Harabedian because of how he cheated to get elected but I'd vote for him over John Buchanan or Noah Greene but that's not saying much

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  3. Leslee Hinton and John are not only eminently qualified for the job, we also have two genuinely nice people on the Planning Commission who will do an outstanding job in preserving our town with responsible and reasonable development that recognizes the balancing of private property rights between the developer and the neighbors..

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  4. I will sleep a little easier at night knowing that good people like John Hutt and Leslee Hinton are looking out for Sierra Madre's best interests for the next four years. It is hard to overestimate what their selection means to the future of Sierra Madre.

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    1. It is a great day in Sierra Madre. I am not sure I can remember a time when things have gone this well downtown.

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  5. Remember that Bruce Inman was asked by the City Council to look into the possiblity of changing the way we allocate water (rationing) based on usage in 2012 or was it 2011 when our wells were drying up, changing to a Water Budget system that is either used or being implimented by many Southern California cities. Imann is not advocating for this approach and the city council may still have to adopt such a system, just not yet.

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  6. Question - on the new city website it says there is a City Council meeting on August 11. Is that true? I thought they took the month off.

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  7. Is Inman totally responsible? Isn't the City Manager the decision maker? Does she not bear some responsibility? And still, I am not sure co-mingling water is a good thing. All in all, the CC did another good job last night. I still shudder at the thought of Goss as Mayor. Even on TV he comes across as pompous. I can't imagine what sitting in one of his lectures would be like

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    1. There is the good Gene and the bad Gene. You never know which one is going to show up.

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    2. Last night it was the Good Gene. Just don't get him started on taxes.

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    3. Or invisible friends.

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  8. The city manager is the problem, not Bruce. Manager controls everything that goes on at city hall, even the mood of the day. For everyone who doesn't know that, you should. Get involved, watch and listen, the city needs you/us.

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    1. If that is the case, then she is setting Bruce up.

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    2. They both need to go !
      If you have had any direct dealings with them, their disdain for the Citizens of Sierra Madre is blatant .
      One more for the failure list:
      Bruce Inman has failed to repair the leaky pipes he fussed about.He fussed and postured and preened for photos with rusty pipes but did not fix them.
      In case you think this is trivial, we loose 30% of all out water ,every day due to leakage.
      Doubtless he needed a consultant to help decide where to start? My Mom is available still !

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    3. How did you calculate 30% loss of water due to leaks?

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  9. Baily canyon would be safer if there were more people around and Carter ran to Sunnyside. This was a unlucky situation but fortunately a raging fire didn't consume the place.

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    1. Thanks for the comment. I took that part of today's post down. On second thought I figured it was too much of a buzzkill on what is a great day. Probably put it back up tomorrow.

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    2. And a mountain would be safer with no trees. Baily Canyon would be safer if it were a parking lot. I have never heard of a forest that is more resistant to fire when heavily used the opposite is true

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  10. You are a wise JC. That is a whole subject that area.

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  11. I was holding my breath last night when the votes were called for. Hinton and Hutt were brilliant in their short words about what they'd bring to the Planning Commission. Gold was well prepared as always, and would have made a good Commissioner. Vanderveld shot himself in the foot with his duplicitious speech in January "as a resident of Sierra Madre," rather than as the architect for the Browns who wanted to destroy the Henry A. Darling house, and droned on for 10 minutes instead of the allotted 3. Rumor has it that the Browns have moved out of state. Hmm. What was Father Higgens's apology all about? With the rally staged last Thursday before the Mater Dolorosa gates, could he now be realizing that there are more than a handful of people who oppose any cookie cutter houses on that property? He was in Council chambers, speaking, at the same time there was another reception for certain invited Sierra Madreans to try to get them to drink the koolaid (or is that wine, in this case?)

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  12. Congratulations Leslee and John! Two folks who totally support what is best for Sierra Madre. Equally important is that understanding issues and applying the General Plan will become an important part of any deliberations.

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  13. We've come a long ways from Nancy Walsh's "Take You Out" speech. A turning point in this town's history.

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    1. Next, let's 'fix' the Council using Nancy's famous line?
      If Councils fail to represent us : We can take you out !"
      Please Note 1.John Cappocia- a turncoat
      2.Gene Goss- a trivial fool
      3. Harabedian - the only fool to vote for Vandevelde too !

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    2. C'mon. Last night they all did the right thing. Credit where credit is due.

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    3. I miss Nancy Walsh & Josh Moran. Well, not really.

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    4. Some people want to complain no matter what.
      If a person is railing at the wrong person/group, it confuses where the real problems are coming from.

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    5. The council represents,and listens to all points of view not just yours. California Republic Ooh Rah!
      And who is we? got a mouse in your pocket?

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    6. Sorry the Council did not give a unanimous choice. Yes, the outcome is perfect but Harabedian voted for Vanevelde and we will never know what Cappocia would have voted.Surprisingly Goss was sensible.
      Do not credit the outcome of the Council vote to them all.Be careful to specify the individuals who 'stood up and were counted' .Harabedian does not deserve any part of the praise for the Council.
      We need to be vigilant and very specific in theses issues.

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    7. Harabedian voted for Hutt and Hinton in the final round. It was unanimous.

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    8. Does anyone know if Vandevelde is the architect for the Falikian project at 110 Rancho Rd.? Thats the teardown that's on hold due to demo moratorium. If so that could explain Harabedian's vote. At any rate, Vandevelde is part of the greedy, developer/contractor cabal that threatened to change or wonderful foothill village. Very happy with the CC's vote last night. Preserve Sierra Madre !!!!

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    9. 12:43 thanks for your accuracy. Hope 10:25 reads it.

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    10. I'm shocked, so shocked ...are you suggesting the Felikian/Vandervelde/Harabedian alliance is a little shady?
      If so, what took you so long to figure it out?

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    11. Easy enough to prove, 1:45. Go to the Planning Department and look at the applications. Then you could speak with knowledge and not speculation.

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    12. Ha ha...a little slow in my old age! Also a bit hung over from the celebration last night. But very happy to run any greedy shysters out of town.

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  14. Thank you City Council.
    Barry Gold? Please apply again when opportunity comes up again.
    You are a good candidate. ....as would be your even better half.....Judy.
    In any event...we got 2 great new PC commisioners.
    Thank you Barry and Judy Gold for all you do to preserve Sierra Madre.....I am a former 30 year resident of Arcadia....so I share your passion to keep Sierra Madre a good place to live.

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    1. Great idea - Mr. Gold would be an excellent volunteer. For myself, I just hope he keeps participating in the council meetings. He raises the level of discourse because he's always eloquent and thoughtful.

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  15. Preserving Sierra Madre by allowing responsible development is the goal of our new general plan. Last night the city council appointed to the planning commission the two most experienced people who truly believe in this goal. I could not be more pleased.

    Barry Gold

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    1. Thank you Barry.

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    2. Better idea.
      Make the Director of Public Works a volunteer position.
      Any volunteer would perform better than Inman.
      So I propose Barry Gold for the new position of Volunteer Director of Public Works.. An outstanding leader,manager and he is honest -imagine what a change that would be.I am sure the other Public Works staff would be confused by such things but am sure they would adjust happily.

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    3. Sometiimes you are more affective on the outside bringing forward issues that the Commissioners themselves don't have the chance to do as the agenda's have often been controlled by the staff (and the city manager).

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  16. "Let's see if I have this straight. The city has failed to adequately secure water,(let's see..without that MWD hookup, WE'D BE OUT OF WATER) causing us to suffer greater short term consequences( DUH WHAT?) than "three days a week" Arcadia. Having so failed,(SEE ABOVE) the city is now providing inferior water.(SEE ABOVE) For which it is now charging a 50% premium. And now they want to fine us for using too much(YA,SO) of that bad tasting/residue leaving swill.( MINE RUNS CLEAR AND TASTES JUST FINE) Yup. Let's hire Bruce a consultant."(OK)

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    1. You don't have to shout. I can hear you just fine.

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    2. Maybe we can have a consultants for Bruce bake sale.

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    3. Has anyone told you there is a drought?

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