Saturday, October 10, 2015

Judy Gold's Unanswered E-Mails To Mayor John Capoccia

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Just so you know, we're big Judy Gold fans here at The Tattler. We're big fans of some other people as well, and the one thing all of these folks have in common is they ask a lot of questions. Cheap reverence for local government agencies just because they happen to be the government is not what we do here. We just let our questions rip and deal with the consequences later. Besides, city parties can be rather boring at times, so do you really care if you don't get any awards or dinner invites?

Of course, there are lots of folks who would not question the authorities even if you held a gun to their noggins. In some circles this is taken to be the mark of both a good citizen and a civil person. In particular by the easily confused. Which to our way of thinking is a entire load of nonsense.This is especially true when you're talking about the case of the Sierra Madre Mayor who first ran for office as this city's great tax fighting hero, only to later vote for every tax, fee, cost and rate hike opportunity that came his way once he got into office.

And he can get rather haughty about it as well. Here is a recent example of the reasoning behind the somewhat thin-skinned Mayor Capoccia's current capitulations on the utility tax question.


For the purposes of this post, the big line is found here:

I appreciate your suggestion to balance the budget, but it is not feasible. The majority of our personnel are represented, and even if they weren't, we still need to set compensation levels such that we can attract and retain competent employees.

And that is what the push to raise utility taxes to 12% (or more) is really all about. "Represented" in this context means unionized. Proving that this was never about "Services" or "The Library" or whatever other fallacious nonsense is currently being spooned down the throats of this community's most credulous residents. It is, and always has been, about city employee union compensation and CalPERS retirement benefits.

Which is, of course, why SMPD members make double what you, Mr. or Ms. Average Sierra Madre Wage Earner, are earning in compensation these days. If you think this is about infrastructure, then I have a Water Company you might want to buy.

But I digress. Sierra Madre resident Judy Gold has sent a series of emails to Mayor John Capoccia, none of which have been shown the favor of a response. We thought we would share them here in hopes that this will help Judy get some answers. Though we're not exactly holding our breath.


All reasonable questions I think. Hopefully we'll have some equally reasonable answers soon.

sierramadretattler.blogspot.com

72 comments:

  1. geez what a gadfly. These are all questions that are not meant to be responded to as there is no simple answer or the answer is obvious.

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    1. Dave - If I can ask a question. If there are no simple answers, why does that mean you don't have to respond to the questions?

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    2. Ms Gold has got to be kidding - non stop emails and questions - I wouldn't take her seriously either. Joe Mosca would tell her to get a life.

      I feel our elected reps do need to be accountable, but chippy questions and observations are counter productive.

      I'd ignore her also

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    3. All these questions/statements were written in a 10 day period ending this Wednesday. The woman fires off an email at the drop of a dime almost daily I would assume by looking at the date line. The mayor has no secretary and most of the questions don't merit a response. Read them.

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    4. "Joe Mosca would tell her to get a life." Have you seen Joe lately? Didn't he leave the country or something?

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    5. Yes. There are certain ways to ask an elected official questions. Crawling across the floor while knocking your head multiple times on the linoleum is one of them.

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    6. So is there state moneys for infrastructure repair? I have never heard that addressed by the City Council. Was that not brought up because it would interfere with the campaign to raise the UUT to the highest rate in California history?

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    7. Dave - please instruct us on what questions are and are not appropriate. Is the weather OK?

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    8. Well anon they say it was 105 yesterday today around 95 so yea the weather is OK could be a little cooler. How 'bout those Santa anna's' last night?
      As for your first question appropriate questions to an elected official should be brief, to the point, clear,concise and poised in a way that enables a response

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    9. Elected officials who promise one thing and then flip and do the complete opposite must be held accountable. Ms.Gold is trying to do that.
      Next step is a recall to see if that gets Capoccia's attention.
      Democracy fails without this control .It is called Honesty Mr.Capoccia.

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    10. 8:00, wait - back up a minute. Are you putting up Joe Mosca and his "get a life" sneer as something reasonable?

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    11. Clearly, for Dave, it's not so much what is said, but how it is said.

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    12. Dave I don't consider a gadfly as pejorative. We need gadflys to keep everyone honest.

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  2. Capoccia has gone from being the guy who was going to fight taxes to a Mayor who won't even answer tax questions. Quite a career arc.

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    1. @ 8:25 here ya go http://www.mercurynews.com/drought/ci_28947371/california-drought-leaky-water-pipes-losing-billions-gallons

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    2. So why doesn't the Mayor of Sierra Madre know this? Are utility tax politics at play here?

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    3. We must pay attention to datelines.The article was published yesterday the same day the bills were signed by the gov.

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    4. I'd have hoped our city officials would have been aware of this legislation long before that. How much do we pay the League of California Cities again?

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    5. John Capoccia is a good, honest and decent person although he is still off base on the UUT.

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  3. What proof does mayor Capoccia have that there is huge support for a 12% UUT? Everyone I talk to says that is insane.

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    1. I think that could be a perfectly legit statement.
      The people who speak up for that have organized, somewhat.
      Hope they lose, badly.

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    2. Nebulous forces abound in Sierra Madre

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    3. Gene Goss' imaginary friends talked to Capoccia, too.

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  4. I'm telling you all, their drinking Kool-Aid up at city hall, it may be in the bottled water they have in the back room.. I can't figure it out, once in office they are no longer fighting for the resident tax payers. There is one other possibility, they are afraid of the local authority. I can't figure it out but something happens.

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    1. I figure Mr. Capoccia is too nice a guy, and he trusts what city staff presents to him

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    2. He should answer emails. It is not a lot to ask. There are more voices in town than just the City Mngr.

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    3. No he shouldn't answer emails. I wouldn't either. It's counterproductive and Ms Gold is just baiting him.

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  5. The answer to Judy Gold's question about the blotter is, I believe, that the blotter is public info. The newspaper is responsible for editing the blotter items they wish to publish - something the SMPD has little or no control over. Mr. Mod, what a great use of the Sunday Tattler column to publish the entire SMPD blotter weekly.

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    1. Just like the local San Marino paper, ours want to preserve the 'Mayberry" mood...they are not interested in telling people what is really happening.

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    2. Our adjudicated paper lives off our taxes. There should be some accountability.

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    3. The SMPD blotter used to include the humorous ones like a person calling in two suspicious men in white shirts on bikes going from door to door and it was Mormon missionary's or the neighbor who called in an unknown person going into the house next door and it was her neighbor.

      The blotter started getting edited by the SMPD when former Chief Diaz was posting arrests outside of SM during the night when SMPD was patrolling down into Arcadia and not in SM. Making a traffic stop on Live Oak in Arcadia

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    4. I should think the SMPD would love to get the whole blotter in print to justify their inflated salaries and bloated numbers.

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  6. This City is run by the City Manager, it is her serfdom! The City Council except maybe the two ladies, do as they are told.
    John Capoccia is a wolf in sheep clothing. The Wolf is a true turncoat. The only questions that are ever answered are the ones approved by the City Manager that continue her spin. The UUT is only about maintaining her benefits and her pension. The City of Sierra Madre is corrupt! If investigated present and past Council Member & administration would go to jail! There is a strong believe that the City of Sierra Madre is too small to be investigated but it will happen. We might be small but we are no different then the City of Bell

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  7. The Wolf should answer his emails to keep the citizens informed
    The real question is why does the Wolf have so much to hide
    Is it because he is in the hen house, I believe so!

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  8. Politics 101: If you are going to raise taxes you need to answer your emails.

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  9. we gotta stop electing John Buchanan clones

    blowhards who like to tell us how much smarter and enlightened than us common folks

    meanwhile demonstrating blatant stupidity

    hey John, when the UUT gets voted down again, how will you spin it?

    I'm voting NO and will do so every time it's put before us

    Just like I vote against every school tax issue

    Until Calpers is gone - I vote NO on everything - Calpers is the problem and the money drain

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  10. Oct 7th email

    Yes you are being insulting

    why doesn't Ms Gold run for Council?

    put her money where her mouth is

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    1. Mrs. Gold is merely expressing her frustration at the lack of responsiveness on very important issues. Obviously the Mayor job has gone to the ever larger head of Mr. Capoccia. It will take the voters to deflate that.

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    2. The Golds do plenty for Sierra Madre. Few do more. If she ran for CC -that would be great.At least she is honest and straightforward ! Kind of a low bar isn't it.Pity John slithers under it.

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    3. I would vote for Judy in a heartbeat.

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    4. The Golds have been a godsend for Sierra Madre. I would walk thru a wall for those guys.

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  11. I certainly understand Judy Gold's obvious frustration.

    What are we to do when we are told by the city manager that not one city employee has had a raise in five years and we cannot attract competent people to work for the city at the current pay rates?

    What are we to do when we are told that we need to raise the UUT tax to as high as is possible, that we need a parcel tax to fund the library, that we need an assessment tax and other taxes to fix our infrastructure ($40,000,000.00 to replace the 90 year old water pipes)?

    What are we to do when we are told that there is nothing we can do about CalPers, when the cost of CalPers increased last year by $300,000.00?

    One thing we can do is write to our Mayor and hope he can explain this mess to us and have solutions that include more than just raising and creating new taxes.

    Judy Gold, I share your frustration.

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    1. The fact the city neglects to tell you is that civil set ants get step increases (pay raises) on s regular schedule. All civil servants in govt. get them.

      It's easier to lie and say no one got a raise, tho.

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  12. I'm sorry I'm confused exactly what did the mayor do to upset you? He has concluded we need a higher UUT as have most of the council including your "ladies" and Judys husband and many prominent citizens who have studied the problem.

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  13. Dave-if citizens give up the right to say what they feel to their elected officials then we, as citizens have lost a great voice. If you have a complaint with a company, you write or call. If they don't answer, you write or call again and again and again. I also do not believe there is a right or wrong way to communicate with an official. Short of threatening him, you can say what you feel. Just maybe, capoccia feels like you do, that he is intitled and above we ignorant peasents.

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  14. 10:21A- You are confused. The mayor didn't answer e-mails. He ran on no new taxes. The UUT goes into the general fund to be used for whatever the city deems necessary at the moment. It does nothing to pay off loans or bonds. It does nothing to fix the water pipes. If you ever sat on a committee you would realize how limited you are on the decision making. I believe Mr. Gold sent a letter to the CC regarding his feelings. He was not totally for a UUT. I have no clue what you are referring to as "your ladies." Another point: do couples always agree? The UUT can be go as high as CC wants it to go for as long as they want. It does not solve any of the problems. It will go to maintain status quo. If that's what you want, you and your prominent citizens want, so be it. I would rather have a city that is concerned about debt.

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    1. Unfortunately I don't know how to post a link, however when I went to my search engine, typed in John Capoccia up popped a link to a guest op-ed - part 1 of 3 on the www.sierramadrenews.net in which John explained why he did not support the UUT measure extension the year he ran, but did explain why in 2012 he did support the measure. If one only speaks in half-truth, then the story gets muddled quickly. Read his editorial and you'll see that he did not promise No new Taxes.

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    2. Yes. John said everything and spoke to all sides of the issue. He wanted to get elected. Kinda like Joe Mosca.

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  15. When your dealing with a 'Mafia orgnizied city council' your not going to get any response from your inquires to each one or all together it will be a short and well crafted 'lock step reply' they will stick to it even if heaven were to fall on them all.

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    1. Ridiculous post. "Mafia" run as they don't agree with you? Capoccia did not run on no new taxes. He was careful to say while he was campaigning that he didn't believe in the UUT measure on the ballot and there was time to fix things if needed. Apparently he found the time was right to fix things in 2014. It's amazing what you learn as you sit in the council chairs. Elaine not withstanding (and I know she has heavy sway with the gentlemen on the council), Capoccia is a man of his own mind.

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    2. Yes. It is popularly known as flip flopping. You should call it that and cut down on your word usage.

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    3. When flip flopping is done by the tax hike crowd thru call it "evolving".

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  16. 9:39A-You make a somewhat valid point, but should any citizen have to do that? If you disagree, you have to put your money where your mouth is and run for city council?

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  17. So when a particular state or federal government issue comes around and I'm bombarded with e mails telling me to write,call,and fax I should only concern myself with those two entities of government and ignore anything and everything that has to do with my cities government ?
    Dave ,I'm guessing you missed out on few elementary classes regarding what a democracy is and the rights it intitiles it's citizens to ... And your reference to
    "Your ladies " is patronizingly moronic.

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  18. When did mayors and council-persons become indentured servants of the people? You have no "right" to have every email answered.

    Sure, it may be polite for the mayor to answer some polite emails, but what mayor or council-person has the time to answer every constituent email, particularly smarmy gotcha attempts.

    If you don't like unanswered emails, respond at the ballot box. Or get a law passed requiring responses to every question. If the latter, do not whine at your increased taxes to pay for the inevitable legal challenge re constitutionality, and, if the "must respond to all emails" law is upheld, do not whine about increased taxes when the city hires assistants for the mayor and each council-person, paying salaries, benefits, and OMG CALPERS!

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    1. Hmmm. Respond at the ballot box? You mean like when we voted down a utility tax increase twice? Only to have tax hero John Capoccia push to put it back on the ballot for a third time? Yeah, that works.

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    2. Well, we did elect an anti-tax city councilman named John. That didn't work out either.

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    3. Don't forget the "fireman first" rule. Tax proponents always threaten those in favor of lower taxes by saying that if you don't vote to increase taxes you have to cut the fire department, police, paramedics and close down the parks and library. In other words only those things that will scare or inconvenience the voters the most. They never say you have to cut salaries, raise retirement ages or cut the lavish benefits for public employees or cut waste or inefficiency which is found in every enterprise public or private. 70 percent of the city's budget goes towards salaries, pensions and benefits for city workers. Why is that off the table? Because the public employees helped get those councilpersons elected In other words the unions help elect the very people they will be bargaining with. That is why public employees should never have been allowed to unionize. They have too much leverage because we depend upon them for vital and often life and death city services. Even Franklin Delano Roosevelt felt it would be dangerous. A union in the private sector at least has some constraint - they will bankrupt the company if they overreach. Their is no similar constraint with taxpayer money.

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    4. 2:36 Yes, the ballot box. If you don't like him, vote against him when you vote for Trump.

      I suspect, though, what you really don't like is that John the child-candidate is now John the grownup-mayor who, now that he truly understands the nature of running a city, can no longer in good conscience play the way you want him to play. Sorry, but it's time to let the grownups take care of things kids.

      (I do agree, however, that the salaries and enhanced pensions of paid firefighters are disgraceful, especially when there are so many people willing to do the same job on a volunteer basis. The volunteers are true heroes.)

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    5. Oh c'mon. He just spooned out all the anti-tax rhetoric in 2012 to get elected. Spare us the condescending BS.

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    6. Please don't confuse yourselves with the facts, it's much more fun to read your blah, blah, blah.

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    7. Seems to be a common refrain here about council candidates 6:13.

      What you really seem to be saying is "Fool me once, shame on...shame on you. Fool me — you can't get fooled again." Perhaps you misunderestimate them.

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  19. Did anybody catch the recent article about how federal employees on average are paid 78 percent more than their counterparts in the private sector. At every level the taxpayers are getting fleeced by the public employee unions. The public servants have become our masters. This applies to Sierra Madre too. The UUT in every city is always increased to pay for higher salaries and pensions for the public employees. We should all raise our retirement age to 80 so that we can keep paying higher taxes so that the public employees can retire as early as 50 with a lifetime pension, cost of living increases and medical benefits. I'd call that a fair deal.

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  20. Judy Gold is the best of the best. People need to be held accountable. Otherwise Sierra Madre turns into the City of Industry or Bell.

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  21. I expect more from our city elected officials. Being enablers and apologists for CalPERS is not enough.

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  22. The number one reason that any city is in financial difficulty is from the salaries and pensions for city employees. Once that exceeds 70 percent of a city's budget, there is a problem. It's never from too many services. You have to cut the 70 percent. Unfunded pension liabilities is also what is bankrupting cities.

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  23. All I can say is don't mess with the Golds.

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  24. Unfortunately we can't write the governor because he is behind them all the way. Bleed us dry of every cent and take whats left when they die. It's just a shame you can't even look to your local government for relief when you need it.

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