Saturday, August 29, 2015

City Manager Dominic Lazzaretto Attempts To Stop The Bad Press Arcadia City Hall Has Been Receiving In The Pasadena Star News

Big boys do cry.
There is blaming the messenger, and then there is going to the messenger's boss and complaining about that messenger. The latter apparently being the preferred method for Arcadia City Manager Dominic Lazzaretto. A gent who does not take criticism of those whose interests he is apparently representing lightly.

Thanks to a Public Records Act request filed on behalf of that portion of Arcadia concerning itself with integrity in government (rather than enabling cash only McMansion sales, GemCoins and the opinions of Realtor combines), what we can see here is a full throttle City Hall attempt to silence a Pasadena Star News reporter. One that had the temerity to write about a dicey development scheme in a way that Mr. Lazzaretto would have preferred not see in print.

A project that, should it ever go forward, would contribute additional property taxes and development impact fees into a General Fund administered by, yes, you got it, Dominic Lazzaretto. It's a small world, isn't it?

We're posting here today a highly indignant email sent by City Manager Lazzaretto to a senior figure at the Los Angeles News Group, which oversees the Pasadena Star News. The target of Lazzaretto's ire is Courtney Tompkins, the author of the following article. Her crime? Apparently being seen talking to members of Save The Arcadia Highlands, and then publishing what Lazzaretto feels are its points of view.

Apparently Save The Arcadia Highlands is an organization Lazzaretto views as an enemy, and must not be allowed any press coverage without consulting with him first.

First Courtney Tompkin's Star News article, then Mr. Lazzaretto's many complaints.


Here is City Manager Lazzaretto's email to Ron Hasse of the Los Angeles News Group:


Granted, perhaps Ms. Tompkins should have made inquiries about the whereabouts of Tim Schwehr, an Arcadia city employee who apparently prefers not to update his telephone voicemail when he goes on vacation. Something most think of as a professional necessity.

However, since this article has a lot more to do with a situation involving the conflict between a private resident and a developer, rather than whatever was going on with staff at Arcadia City Hall that week, why would Courtney have been required to talk with everyone working there? Would their opinions have really been all that relevant to her article?

After all, there is only so much space in a newspaper. You can't bring everyone into the mix that wants to be there.

And where exactly did Tompkins suggest that Arcadia's City Staff was complicit in a bribery scheme? I didn't read any of that in her article, did you? In his email Lazzaretto appears to be guilty of the very wrongs he accuses Tompkins of committing.

Perhaps Mr. Lazzaretto sees himself and his employees as being at the center of all that goes on in Arcadia, and that their opinions must be consulted no matter what the topic. But was that really the case in this instance? Though certain past City Hall decisions do serve as background to this story, I don't see why everybody there is automatically owed their own personal soapbox.

That is, unless Dominic Lazzaretto sees himself as somehow representing the interests of those accused in this article of allegedly using a form of bribery to gain a questionable development end.

In which case yes, there is a City Hall problem, and Ms. Tompkins might want to look into it.

Is Dominic Lazzaretto the Arcadia Tattler?

So here is something. There were several comments attached to the Tompkins article on the Pasadena Star News website (link). Including this one from the "Arcadia Tattler."


Notice any similarities between what City Manager Lazzaretto complains about in his email to Ron Hasse and the gripes of the Arcadia Tattler? Especially that bit about the alleged bribe, along with Tim "No Current Voicemail" Schwer?

It does make you wonder.

sierramadretattler.com

77 comments:

  1. Seems Dom is a little too sensitive. Do any of these develoers realize that Cypress trees are a fire hazard? Plus it appears they want to put the privacy trees on her property....why not put it on their own property? Nothing new about having a voice mail advising a caller that you are on vacation....at least in Arcadia. It happened to me several times when I lived in that city. When I complained that my calls were not returned, I got a chuckle and was told the gent was on vacation. Like I should know that? Arcadia is a pit of vipers. Maybe Wuo could suggest building a Great Wall around the whole city.

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  2. Government often has problems with a free press. Attempting to shut it down is also an unfortunate tradition.

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  3. By the pictures provided in the article it looks like Tijuana, level the whole neighborhood.

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    1. There's an unfortunate element that believes more is more and less is an object of scorn.
      This is a unique place, and it's great that the people who live there like it enough to stand up for it.

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

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  4. I may be a bigot but I grew up in TJ Hills. (Tijuana suburb) reminds me of home. I "emigrated" here @ a young age never been back I'm afraid La Migra would stop me at the border

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    1. Hate where you're from, huh?

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    2. No many fond memories I guess you've never been there it smell of sewage,diesel fumes,and trash. No desire to return my whole family is here (Arcadia) now.

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    3. But isn't that what you just said about Arcadia?

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    4. Nope you must be confused? Maybe op............

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    5. Ok. I'll go find your nurse.

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  5. Call government on Monday and Fridays and leave a message, then, call back Tuesday through Thursday and refer to the message you had left. This may help you get better service especially knowing how the system works. No guarantee but I hope you see the picture.

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  6. "Sherilee Pocino, a retired industrial engineer who lives next door to Clemmer, said she drafted a blueprint of a similar two-story home that was about 2,200 square feet and fit into the city's code, but the designer and developer turned it down, saying any reduction in square footage would cut into their profit."

    One more time, people, there is NO LEGAL EXPECTATION OF PROFIT in single-family R-1 neighborhoods, they are for homes and families. These outside profiteers are destroying our communities, using a ploy established in multi-family zoning which is used as an investment vehicle.

    It's pure intimidation of the residents into "following harmonious leader" which is a classic Chinese Communist ploy used in our neighboring communities to remove resistance to this cultural takeover by fiat. It's corruption under color of authority. We don't do that in the USA, all our public policies are founded on preventing that. Look at the Constitution and separation of powers.

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    1. 'legal expectation of profit'? what are you talking about? if they turned down the draft it's because they are capitalist. Neither Wuo or Tay are from China or are 'communists'. You're silly. one more time.

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    2. You don't have to be from China to use and abuse the ideals and conditioning of the Communist regime, ya dunce.

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    3. 10:05- easy kid. No need to slander them or me. mature a little please.

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    4. Live in harmony with the leaders!

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    5. 10:05 I think you're confusing Communism and Capitalism.You've led a sheltered life,to much Fox news.

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    6. The kid here - 10:13 I have seen you make this point a few times when the Tattler features the corruption in Arcadia, and just wonder if you are being paid to defend Tay and Wuo, to direct the discussion away from the real issues and focus on criticizing posts.

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    7. Sho Tay!
      Johnny Wuo!
      They will tell me
      What to do!

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    8. 9:45 I can't seem to find the part about "no expectation of profit" in the U.S. Constitution. Are you talking about the U.S. Constitution?

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    9. Dear kid @10:19. I don't make this point when the tattler alleges corruption in Arcadia. I make this point whenever slanderous trolls like you make false assertions.

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    10. You'll know all about profit when you finally experience it. Unfortunately American laws will not allow you to victimize others to get it.

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    11. There seems to be an attempt at disinformation here by the kid at 10:19. The issue being addressed is indeed the corruption in Arcadia and in many other communities being overwhelmed by huge cash investments in real estate to get it out of China, Russia and other countries that have no civil rights.

      And the developers are using the propaganda of "rights to profit" to undermine communities by trying to wipe out the rights of individuals that own their property just so developers can make a profit. But there is NO right or expectation of profit in areas zoned R-1 by their community General Plans. They are for families to live there in peace. That's how property rights are structured in General Law cities, and established in Sacramento. It's all based upon private property rights that evolved out of Constitutional law in each state. Local cities are required to protect the residents in R-1 and their rights to privacy because of the zoning protections.

      Developers are expected to make profits in other kinds of zoning as part of their contribution to the improvement of the general infrastructure and resulting tax revenues. Lots of that is multifamily housing - condos and apartments. They've always been cash cows. But not in R-1, that's pretty sacrosanct because it's built on the legal structures established in this country, PRIVATE property rights, etc.

      Not developer rights, that doesn't exist in R-1.

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    12. Mr. Tay says
      My way or the highway

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    13. You mean the 710?

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    14. So we should assume r1 construction is done pro bono. The house you live in was originally built by your ma and pa out of mud and straw? Nothing is done without a profit motive, genius, because nobody works for free. You can make an argument for controlling the size and scope of development In an r1 zone, and it should be controlled for obvious reasons. but the reality is, most homeowners do not have the resources to build their homes. Wether a community is a newer tract home development or an established community, they were bought sub divided, built and sold. For a profit. Even Sierra Madre fella. Just ask Mr carter who bought Sierra Madre from lucky Baldwin, and Henry darling who created the Monte Lado sub division. They didn't do it for free or with altruistic intentions. To think otherwise is delusional and ignorant.

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    15. Thank heavens there are people like you to shatter illusions and dispel ignorance. You do it so gracefully.

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    16. I'm here to help. I'm a giver.

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  7. That lady's prison-like cinderblock walls are lowering her neighbor's property values.

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    1. So make it worse by putting in a looming mass over it, huh?

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    2. looming mass? are you the same fellow that called the Kensington a 'monstrosity'? it's one of the nicest looking structures on the boulevard.

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    3. No, I'm not that fellow. I can see that the proposed structure would ruin this small scale area. So one person or group could make a buck. Not worth it.

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  8. Funny that Dom felt he needed to mention how he trained his employees to talk on the phone.

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    1. why is that funny? seems sensible.

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    2. Most people don't need that kind of instruction.

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    3. Uh oh. That's private sector thinking, 10:03. Shame on you.

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    4. I work for a private company. On day one they gave me an employee handbook with a chapter on telephone etiquette.

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    5. Did they have the chapter about changing your voice mail when you go on vacation?

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    6. Wonder if Arcadia has one of those big time phone systems. You know, the one that forwards your phone to someone else when you're on vacation? You know, like in the real world?

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  9. These pesky nighbors are in the way of the developers' profit. What dio you think the Zhang Investment Group paid for that piece of property?

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    1. Whether it is Arcadia, San Marino, Sierra Madre or South Pasadena, property owners have the right to protect their city from developers who swoop in, build MacMasions and then move on for the sake of their profit. Race and country has nothing to do with it. To say otherwise is sheer folly. The same goes for the development at the monastery of which the dear priests claim anything else except a housing tract there would not pencil out. So glad to see Sierra Madre citizens are not the only ones who are pushing back

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    2. Last sold for $550,000 according to RedFin

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    3. From Zillow:
      "his Fixer-upper/Tear-down is selling at Auction! The list price is the Starting Bid! There is No asking price. Property is offered "as-is". Cash Sale. No financing contingencies. Court confirmation is NOT required. Buyer (and broker, if applicable) must register the day of the auction at the property. "
      So it's one of those distressed real estate deals.

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    4. Zhang! Bang! Thank you ma'am!

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    5. Someone paid $550,000 in cash for a lot in a run-down area.

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    6. Nah, there are no run-down areas in Arcadia - there are mansionized areas and yet-to-be mansionized ares.

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  10. This is a low profile, modest neighborhood. It deserves protection just as much as any other neighborhood.
    Arcadia seriously needs to adopt some of Sierra Madre's general plan policies.

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    1. It's a pocket of poverty redevelop it.

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    2. Yeah, let's move those low income folks right along. Redevelop, make it impossible for them to live there.
      Are you an American, 10:23?

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    3. I thought there was room for all kinds of economic classes.

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    4. 10:23 here Not in my backyard. Lots of Sierra Madre anons here move the starving masses to S.M.
      And my nationality is none of your concern. Are you one of those keep "America for Americans" entitled race folks?

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    5. A lot of Arcadia is now made up of a made up of a privileged majority posing as an oppressed minority.

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    6. 10:49 is getting paid to be here. Pay him/her no mind.

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  11. Wow, such vigorous troll activity today! Looks like the Tattler has hit a nerve. Again. Good going Mod.

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    1. Or maybe it's the same to people just arguing with each other.

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    2. I think all the pro-development posts are out of the Arcadia Assoc of Realtors office.

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    3. 11:06, this is not honest arguing - it's attempting to turn the posts away from the issue (an inappropriate development in a low profile neighborhood and the city manager's part in it) and towards personal insults.

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    4. It always strikes me as funny that the trolls don't realize how much they help the articles. They can be frustrating, but really, the more the merrier

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    5. More comments, trolls! Makes the blog look reallllly big!

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    6. Right 8:47. When they realize that, they tend to scoot off.

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  12. The first house is the block buster. Once it is approved, more lots will sell at crazy prices. Just wait.

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    1. Yep. And snakes will be going door to door with those "whatever you want" offers.

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  13. Is this what we are really paying the Dom $267,000+ (transparentcalifornia.org) per year to do?

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  14. Does Elaine know how much Dom makes? Maybe she can undermine him and get his job. One can only dream.....

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  15. Maybe the block fence is what she can afford. As for the rest of the neighborhood looking like TJ....in your dreams. By American standards it's okay. The lady said the house is all she has. The yard looks clean and neat. She doesn't need a 2 story house next to her peering down on her yard. She has rights, too.

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    1. Thank you 4:12. We all need people to watch our backs.

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    2. My guess is it's Chip Ahlswine. Somehow he has convinced the dumbass Arcadia Realtors that trolling blogs is important political work.

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  16. It's right there, on the right hand side of my screen: "Journalism is printing want someone else does not want printed. Everything else is public relations." (George Orwell) Kudos to Courtney.

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  17. Talk about not wanting to speak to people with their minds made up ...why are folks in the Highlands so hopping mad? Arcadia CC and staff has their lockstep opinion on development. Making a comment at Arcadia CC meetings ...like talking to the wind.

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    1. There are two respectable members on the council. They are in the minority but they are there. Talk to them, write them, call them.

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  18. At least her back wall was built to code and she obeyed the city law, the developers here are asking for variencies because they don't Want to build to code. The 7 homes on Hollis lane all face west into the back yards of 5th ave. the interesting fact here is that Hollis lane is not ot the city lot map. All 7 homes documented title deeds say: parcel 1 and parcel 2 "parcel 2 is a easment for egress and ingress for all resadents on Hollis Lane. What's interesting here is that the lot that Mr. Zhang owns is techenechly under 6,000 sq feet unless he and the city are adding the lane into the property's buildable sq footage. So is it now a new city building code in Arcadia to add the street infront of all homes into a homes property sq footage?

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  19. "The Dom" is becoming more bias and political as the days go by. Perhaps he's still upset he didn't get to go on a trip to China.

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    1. He does whatever the developers tell him to do. Dom is a puppet.

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  20. All of them except 2 need to resign. They are pilfering our beloved beautiful Arcadia for a buck. Once we loose it "she's gone" we must act now!!!!

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