Sunday, August 2, 2015

A Great Interview with Rachelle Arizmendi on the Brad Pomerance Show

Link to video here.

The consensus in Sierra Madre is that Rachelle Arizmendi is quickly becoming one of the best City Councilmembers we have seen here in quite a while. There have been some notable elected officials in town over the years of course, and Rachelle now needs to be numbered among them. And as the Foothill Village struggles with what has become an obvious burning need to reorganize the way it does city government, she will be one of those we can depend upon to make this essential effort work.

Recently Rachelle was interviewed on the Brad Pomerance "Charter Local Edition" news show, which is a pretty big deal. Brad's guests are often the likes of Congresswoman Judy Chu, State Senator Bob Huff and various Los Angeles County Supervisors, so this is definitely a couple of long strides up from anything you might see on, say, KGEM.

Here is how the show likes to describe itself (link):

Brad Pomerance has become a fixture on California’s television landscape, serving as the Host of California Edition, broadcasting statewide on the California Channel and on Charter Channel 101. In this capacity, Brad has interviewed a panoply of politicians at the local, state and federal level and countless celebrities about their favorite causes. Brad conducts his in-depth interviews at several bureaus throughout California, including Chatsworth, Glendora, Irwindale, Long Beach, Riverside, Sacramento, San Luis Obispo and Westchester.

Not bad.

How is the new City of Sierra Madre website better than the old one?


One of the highlights of any day at The Tattler is the time we get to spend researching stuff for the many informative articles posted here on a daily basis. There is certainly no greater joy in life, let me tell you.

I am actually serious about that. I like looking stuff up. Which is why I was so excited to hear that the City of Sierra Madre website was finally being rebooted and brought into line with the standards of what for us is still a new century. After all, there are 85 years of it left.

My big beef with the old website was that it had minimal search engine capabilities. Despite the hundreds of thousands of important documents stored there, you just couldn't get to very many of them using the site's search engine. At least not the good ones.

And outside of the many fine pictures of plants and village architecture you could always see there, along with current city agendas, what good is a city's website if you can't look older stuff up? Does Sierra Madre have no history?

So I thought I would give the new version a test drive and share the results with you here. And trust me, I take no joy in telling you the results are just about as bad as they were with the old one. If not worse.

Here is the City of Sierra Madre website search engine result for "Josh Moran."


The Google ad is a nice touch. Here are the search results for "Joe Mosca."


And "John Buchanan."


Now while it is true that none of these three recent Mayors have left us much in the way of a legacy, or at least one that is currently being celebrated as relevant, you would think that at least a couple of documents associated with them would turn up when you put any of their names into the City of Sierra Madre website search engine.

Right? To me the real proof that a City's claims of "transparency" are on the level is being able to locate important information on its website. All of it, not just the stuff from this week.

Good luck with that on Sierra Madre's new city website.

sierramadretattler.blogspot.com

76 comments:

  1. what happened when you searched "The Tattler"? Did it come up as "public nemesis number 1"?

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    1. I think it pulls up The Wistaria Vine.

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    2. I'm not sure the city website is meant to be used to look up articles about former mayors or any persons for that matter.

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    3. Actually what someone might want to look up on a city website is documents. John Buchanan, who served for 8 very long years, has thousands of documents associated with his name. In order to better understand something that Mr. Buchanan had been involved with during his service with the city, you would look for the associated documents, which by law must be readily available for public inspection. Are things a little clearer for you now?

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    4. This is a "semi-rural" city of 11,000 people website not the state of California site. Our resources are limited do you really expect a Google esque search engine? I guess we could setup a link to Google. Are things a little clearer for you now?

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    5. The city has spent a fortune on this website and it still doesn't work properly. Why would anyone vote to raise their utility taxes when city hall just throws it away on things that don't work?

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    6. Most people that live here think it works just fine. Most people that live here don't come come to this blog it's like preaching to the choir here. I realize you think most people are not as enlightened as we are here you are wrong Only one truth discussed here JC's truth.

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    7. How's are those UUT increases working out for ya, 8:27? That Noah Green is turning out to be one amazing City Councilman, right? Nancy Walsh's second term is hella cool, yes? The General Plan has been taken out and the town saved? Aww yeah.

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    8. 8:09, look a little closer at the graphics. The city site is linked to Google. The city hasn't made its documents available. That is the problem.

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    9. Y'all bite your tongues!
      Anyone can now get to an agenda in seconds.

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    10. 8:27, don't be foolish.

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    11. 9:11 - that was always the case. Now try and look up documents dealing with the water rate increases.

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    12. 9:14, it was a mess to get to agendas. Some people couldn't do it. I know, simple for you, it became simple for me, but for years people complained and had friends pull those up. It's a great improvement. Home page, one click, another and there it is.

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    13. Great. How much did fixing a problem that never should have existed in the first place cost?

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  2. I find the City Website to be direct and useful. For me, to open up to agendas, whereas before you had to flail around to get to what you wanted, is a real boon. The current City Council member's information is there. I am not sure why Moderator is interested in looking up past CC members as mentioned in today's Tat (losers all) except to rag on the Cities new and improved website. The exposé of their tenure is something best left to the "investigating" reporting of the Tattler.

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    1. Of course. Why would anybody need to look up anything on the city's website? Civil people don't want to know anything.

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    2. Civil people agree with Nancy Walsh on the "cake is yummy" issue.

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    3. If Noah Green had been elected there would have been more pictures available on the city's website.

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    4. The fact that Noah Green even got close underscores the need for involvement in the elections. Get the word out to the less informed residents.

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    5. If Naked Noah's Facebook pictures had not emerged this city would never have gotten its new General Plan. It was that close.

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    6. Thanks to John Crawford's Team Tattler

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  3. Rachelle is very impressive.

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    1. Rachelle is the real deal. She is becoming stronger and stronger. As a City we are very lucky to have both Rachelle and Denise on the City Council at the same time.

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  4. I think reorganizing city hall is going to require the assistance of an exorcist.

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  5. Rachelle Arizmendi is quite simply one of the best City Council Members this town has ever had. While I knew Denise Delmar was going to be a shining star, I didn't know as much about Rachelle Arizmendi but voted for her anyway. I think she has to be the biggest price in the sense of just how good she really is. She has a unique combination of being nice but forceful. I hope she will be on the City Council for more than one term.

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    1. I hope so, too, 8:00, but I'm thinking she's too good to be unnoticed by various campaign manager types....she could go for the state senate, and then on to Washington.

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    2. It would be great if Sierra Madre could finally be the launching pad of a big political career. It sure didn't work for Joe Mosca. I doubt it will happen for John Harabedian, either.

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    3. The great thing about Rachelle is she is both smart and unassuming. Compared to some of the overblown egos we have had to endure over the last decade or so on the city council this is very refreshing.

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  6. I agree 7:08 - Rachelle is very impressive and we are so lucky to have her and Denise on our Council to lead the town in the right direction. Speaking of the right direction - I'm watching CBS News. They just had a segment on light pollution. Thank you, Teryl Willis for getting that into our General Plan Update, and thank you City Council and Planning Commission for getting it passed and into effect, none too soon.

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  7. I really like Rachelle as a person and as a City Council Member. Sierra Madre is very llucky to have such a person.

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  8. I never voted for a Republican in my life until I moved to Sierra Madre. After watching Democrats like John Buchanan, Joe Mosca and Josh Moran in action I switched to "decline to state."

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    1. So you let others decide kinda cut your nose to spite your face thing?

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    2. No. Now I pick and choose rather than voting for incompetent jackasses just because they belong to a party. Make sense?

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    3. Maybe it isn't the city website's fault. Maybe John, Joe and Josh really didn't do anything.

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    4. 8:17 I think you may be confused,as you may vote in a democratic party primary election as they allow it but not in a republican party primary. The only difference is that you may not vote for a republican "jackass" in a primary thereby limiting your vote. Decline to state is another phrase for independent in Calif. So to answer you question No.

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    5. California has open primaries. You can vote for anyone regardless of party. Your ignorance is becoming tiresome.

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    6. Incorrect. Get more sleep

      "On June 26, 2000, the United States Supreme Court decided in California Democratic Party, et al. v. Jones 530 U.S. 567 (2000)[1] that California's open primary system violated the right of free association. In January 2001, following the passage of SB28 (Ch. 898, Stats. 2000), a new modified closed system took effect in which voters registered with a particular party can only vote in that party's primary, but voters who decline to state a party affiliation can vote in one party's primary if the party agrees to allow it (California Elections Code §2151).

      The Democratic and Republican parties have both allowed voters who decline to state a party affiliation to vote in all of their respective primary elections until the 2008 presidential primary election, in which the Republican party disallowed the practice.

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    7. I guess Wikipedia might be incorrect. IDK?

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    8. You are both citing ancient history and improvising from ignorance. That and you obviously have not voted in any primaries lately. Here is how Wikipedia explains it:

      California Proposition 14 (2010)
      From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

      Proposition 14 is a California ballot proposition that appeared on the ballot during the June 2010 state elections. It was a constitutional amendment that effectively transformed California's non-Presidential elections from first-past-the-post to a nonpartisan blanket primary (similar to a two-round system). The proposition was legislatively referred to voters by the State Legislature and approved by 54% of the voters.

      It consolidated all primary elections for a particular office into an election with one ballot that would be identical to all voters, regardless of their party preferences. The two candidates with the most votes in the primary election would then be the only candidates who would run in the general election, regardless of their party preference.

      https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/California_Proposition_14_(2010)

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    9. You are both idiots. Presidential primaries are not open to decline to state. State office elections are open in Ca.

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    10. It says that in the Wikipedia article. Try and keep up, cranky.

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    11. 8:07, me too exactly! I am glad to hear you say that - I was genuinely surprised that the plunderers of the hillsides were Democrats. The way that council rolled over for the money boys made me assume they were Republican. Yes, I know corruption exists in each party, all governmental parties, but that particular form of corruption I had associated with the Republicans.

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    12. Record-High 42% of Americans Identify as Independents
      http://www.gallup.com/poll/166763/record-high-americans-identify-independents.aspx

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    13. The so-called Civility Party were all democrats, and the damage they did to this beautiful little town was immense.

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    14. Prop 14 applies to state office elections only not federal

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    15. Right, and that is what the Wikipedia article states. This is a discussion about local politics, not the cable news national ham show.

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    16. Actually this is a discussion about "decline to state" Read the thread. I don't know the local politicians' party affiliations I don't need to.

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    17. Sometimes conversations expand.

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  9. Congratulations on the great interview, Rachelle! We are so lucky to have you.

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  10. I do this webstuff tooAugust 2, 2015 at 9:13 AM

    Google has changed the way it searches over the last year, and the search engine embedded into websites and blogs don't work very well anymore, won't even find the titles or names of stuff that I know are there in websites I use. You have to use http://www.google.com/advanced_search and fill in the website name, http://www.cityofsierramadre.com, and then use the "exact word or phrase" box. Then hit the search button. This brings up a BUNCH of links for Josh Moran, for example.

    Lots of city websites have gone to the canned structure because it's higher-level programming language that builds the pages out of nested digitally coded "boxes" and so can easily format a LOT of information across all kinds of commonly-structured graphic maps. The information is put in via a dashboard that generally limits the formatting to text, links, and hanging pdf files. I note that the historic information pages are maintained by the Library, and the Council and Commissions are handled by KGEM via the website. This allows for outsourcing to local providers and community groups for content that the city doesn't have the funds to manage, which is fine as long as the source material is documented with an available contact. It turns into an information management project when you have a lot of assigned pages, as the new Sierra Madre site has. I count at least 80 pages, and there's no site map to get the entire listing, they need that. Understand that these "pages" are actually a tag to information that generates the page called up into a visual assembly of information on the video screen. That means the dashboard is set up to direct information into each named "page" via a set of text boxes. The pdf files are hung separately, and they are complete (legal) documents.

    A city is only required to make its own public documents available online, and therein lies the rub. Which documents are public material, which ones have been converted to pdf, how far back do you go, what materials contain private and personal information about private-party participants in public process, etc. etc. Most cities have a clerk that posts standard material, but they're not librarians. I'd assume the city has retained all the previously posted files somewhere on the server, but it takes the Advanced Search to get to it now. Sometimes actions have to be taken by residents to make sure the city has all of the required public files posted on its public server. This gets into Brown Act territory and sometimes the Freedom of Information Act. All public actions have to be transparent, because we paid for them.

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    1. Right. But how many people know that. Maybe 2%? Most people go to the city website, put something in the search engine and get nothing but garbage. The city has now redone the website twice, and at a ridiculous cost. I believe that our city government fights transparency every way it possible can. It put up new websites twice filled with lots of pretty pictures and brightly colored graphics, but both times made accessing anything but current city documents extremely difficult. It had to have been done on purpose.

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    2. I'm baking a blue velvet cake for my man before it gets to hot onto something more important.

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    3. 9:51 Right. But how many people would ever want to know that. Maybe 1%?
      The vast majority of us like pretty pictures and graphics that pop.
      1 unit of water is 750 gl. appx. btw

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    4. Out of site, out of mind.

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    5. They're just using the basic freebie Google search that has ads, not customized with SEO formats to make the website easy for the search engines to find stuff. It's all basic canned website stuff, so it's not very efficient and they're not information managers, just city staffers.

      https://cse.google.com/cse/

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  11. I have not found the new website great at this point. They are taking their time adding all the old info to the new site. I get that. But I do feel the city council should have its own place. I should not have to go to the city manager area to find them. A little Elaine ego, maybe?

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    1. Elaine has career anxiety. She tries real hard to make herself seem indispensable.

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    2. Elaine does not do her job. She needs to be FIRED!!!

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    3. 10:56, huh?
      You can get to the council on the home page.

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  12. 11:15 WHO CARES! The city council is a complete joke!! Have you ever tried emailing any of the city council members? Hundreds of Sierra Madre Residents have!!! The city council members do not return emails or telephone calls either ! The city council has No pulse on this town! Rumors are that city council member could be sleeping with city staff? Can anyone verify that one way or the other ? Maybe that is why Elaine & Bruce are still employed?

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    1. Someone is sleeping with Bruce? Is it Gene Goss?

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    2. 1:12, every time I've sent an email to the council, I have received replies.
      You come off a bit wacky.

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    3. I've always received answers to my emails from Denise, John Capoccia, and Rachelle. Never from John Harabedian and Gene Goss. I've even received phone calls from the above for clarification. As for the new website, I found it a bit daunting but then I'm a dummy when it comes to computers. The old site used to have a list of meetings for the week. I tried to find a meeting date on the new site with no luck.

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    4. Gene only replies to his imaginary friends.

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    5. 3:48, home page. Look to the left and there are choices. Click on calendar.
      Or you can look up the particular commission by clicking on agendas and reports, and then choosing the one you want.
      No, I didn't work on it - I am just so grateful that it's been improved as much as it has, so I don't mind figuring it out. Everything is much easier.

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    6. I've had responses from every council member.

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  13. 11.13 Who is qoing to fire her!

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  14. One of our long term residents just got her water bill. She lives alone in a small 2 bedroom house in the canyon. She does not use any outside water ! Her water bill was $356.00 she was charged penalties for using to much water inside he house. You know there is only 1 kitchen sink - 1 bathroom sink & tub and only 1 toilet. Please comment as to how she should conserve water?

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    1. The meter reading was wrong, or there's a major leak somewhere.

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  15. fACT. City hall has 39 city wide water meters! City hall has failed to reduce its water usage by 30%. I feel that those city employees should have the water penalties taken from their weekly paychecks! Anyone have any thoughts???? IF THE CITY EMPLOYEES THINK THAT THEH ARE EXEMPT FROM PAYING WATER penalties... THen the residents should be exempt also!

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    1. Why do you think the City is not paying penalties? Your gripe with Bruce is getting quite tiresome. There are many city employees who have no control over the amount of water used. The resident's have not reduced their water by 30% either.

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  16. Can anyone tell me why the Mountain Views News gave no coverage to John Hutt and Leslee Hinton being chosen for the Planning Commission?

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    1. Henderfibber promised Preserve Sierra Madre that she would publish a correction to the "typo" in the article she published last week about the monastery protest. The one where she said the attendance was 40, which was 60 less than everyone else. She didn't.

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    2. It's not a newspaper.

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    3. Come on, you really thought it would make the paper?

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  17. The woman with the $356.00 water bill needs to have the meter reader meet her at her meter. She needs her old bill in had and show what the reading was. It may be that the wrong meter was read and added to hers as was pointed out by a canyon resident whose bill was added up with his neighbors. Something seems out of whack.

    My house, 3 adults, some outside watering 2 x week, late at night on 5 minute cycles, 3 stations with 3- 5 fixtures per station, no overflow onto the asphalt, was 10 units of 14 allowed* (two adults on a two week vacation during that billing period) and our bill was $140.00! (*last billing cycle in the winter "season." )



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