Well, thanks to the determination of two fine folks on the Tattler Research Team, we now have our answer. It was none other than one of this evening's City Council meeting Planning Commission candidates, John Vandevelde. Below are your smoking gun screen shots.
If you look over at the far righthand side of that page you will see something that clearly identifies the author of all of the above, plus the architect's stamp establishing responsibility. For those of you who would like to avoid the unnecessary eyestrain, here is a close-up detail shot.
Yesterday we posted a video (link here) that pulled a few minutes out of a rather long and controversial public comment delivered by Mr. Vandevelde at a January of 2015 City Council meeting. In his spoken word performance John called for a lot of things that would have helped make his project happen. This included getting rid of the demolition moratorium that eventually did put an end to his plans.
In hindsight this was clearly the one true source of concern for Vandevelde, and the inspiration for his unnecessarily lengthy talk that evening. He was trying to save his project.
It is also a good indication of where his sympathies lie on slash and burn mansionization development issues, and why he is not a very good match for a Planning Commission seat this year.
One more thing. Here is another quick video clip from John Vandevelde's talk that evening. In this one you will be able to see exactly how he identified himself to the City Council that evening, and what he claimed was the purpose for all the talk.
|Video link here.|
Did you catch it? Not a single word about the actual reason for that long speech, which was saving the project he had put together for the Brown family. A project that, in my opinion, led the Browns sadly astray in their expectations while also making them the target for what was a lot of community anger over the threatened demolition of the Henry A. Darling home.
The last I heard the Browns were also suing the city. Another legacy of this sad misadventure.
Here is how one informed resident put it:
You have a critical City Council meeting where the members are about to vote on whether or not to pass an emergency interim demolition ordinance. The impetus for the emergency ordinance was that the Brown family was about to tear down a 1907 Craftsman home known as the Henry A. Darling House located at 126 E. Mira Monte. Then John Vandevelde goes to the podium and tells the City Council, the citizens in attendance and those watching at home, that he is here as a citizen of Sierra Madre, a former member of the Planning Commission and as an architect with 20 years of experience.
In short, he presents himself as an unbiased expert who is opposed to the demolition ordinance. What he doesn't tell anybody is that he is the architect hired by the Brown family who designed the plans for the structure that is to replace the historic home that is about to be turned into a pile of rubble. One of the Brown's family friends even had the nerve to shout "He's an expert, let him speak!" when Mayor Harabedian tries to get him to wrap it up.
Vandevelde should have disclosed his connection to the Mira Monte house forthrightly so everyone could decide for themselves whether he had a vested interest in not having the moratorium passed. Instead he concealed that fact from everyone in the room, those watching at home and even the City Council themselves.
Hopefully this will all be taken into account when the City Council makes its Planning Commission decisions this evening.
Can you make any sense of this?
One of the later items on tonight's City Council agenda (link), which is where controversial topics such as the following are often parked in hopes the community will have fallen asleep by then and won't be witness to such horror, involves hiring yet another consultant.
In this case we are talking about the $44,000 in combined consultant and new part time employee hires demanded by City Staff. This so they can issue cash money fines to Sierra Madre residents who use too much water.
Which I guess would be fair if we in turn were allowed to fine City Hall employees for spending too much money.
So let me ask you, does any of this make sense to you?
"Plant Factors" and "water budget methodology" aside (neat jargon, eh?), why is it City Hall needs to spend nearly $30K on a consultant so that they can issue fines to residents who use too much water?
I am not sure that a city government in perpetual whinge mode over the sunsetting of what were among the highest UUT rates in California should be asking for that kind of money right now. Especially when it is to be used so they can better levy fines on the very same people who supplied them with that money in the first place.
Raftelis, as you must know, is the consultant the city used to justify its most recent rash of water rate increases. Something that could make you wonder if this is all about the additional money that will be taken in, and not curbing anyone's bad behavior.
Whatever the case, this is all something that they should have been able to figure out for themselves months ago. And with the resources already given to them.