A couple even appeared to be drunk. Like I said, it was not a pretty sight last night.
Representatives of the Los Angeles Sheriff Department, who were invited here to provide proposals for law enforcement services by the City of Sierra Madre, gave what I thought was a thoughtful and professional presentation. I also suspect that they thought this was a going to be more of a business meeting with actual functioning city officials rather than an organized community lynching.
Unfortunately for them they had walked into a room partially occupied by some rather wild-eyed and paranoiac individuals, folks who had somehow been convinced that they were facing the enemy of everything wonderful about themselves and their little world. And, thus assured, began repeatedly berating the Sheriffs during public comment, and in at times the most unpleasant of manners.
It was pretty embarrassing.
Equally painful was watching as nobody from Mr. Lambdin's Committee of the Unwilling did anything to stop this verbal assault on these law enforcement professionals, people who supposedly were their guests. Rather they sat and said little as some of the more rude and clueless attendees accused these senior Los Angeles Sheriffs Department representatives of everything from financial exploitation to, in one lengthy and uninterrupted tirade, actual murder.
This while also informing the Sheriffs of how unique and wonderful Sierra Madreans and their community are, and that the Sheriff Department was just not worthy of so fabulous a people and place.
I am not certain these Sheriff Department representatives left the meeting with quite that same impression.
The truth is the Sheriffs would deliver 22% more patrol hours and save the City of Sierra Madre over $800,000 per year. A figure that would help take care of up to 80% of the city's financial shortfall. Such savings could be used to improve the Library, enhance the senior center, and build improved little league and softball facilities.
The Sheriff's Contract Review Committee did exactly as it was told to do, and just as we predicted they would. They rejected all 3 of the Sheriff Department proposals, while at the same time not only calling for no cuts whatsoever to the SMPD's budgets, but that the cops should actually be receiving even more in more funding than they do now.
Rather Level 3 cuts should be instituted everywhere else. Except for the Library, of course. As City Council liaison Gene Goss was quick to note.
The committee even pondered telling the City Council that 10% utility taxes are not enough, and that they would need to institute a 12% UUT instead. Proving that the Sheriffs Contract Review Committee believed it was also empowered to advise on tax policy as well.
You have to wonder why this committee even bothered to hold the meeting. It isn't like what they heard made any difference to them. The committee came out of this so-called process thinking exactly as they did going in. They might as well have just submitted City Hall's applicable press releases to the City Council and spared everyone the aggravation of having been put through this.
Chief Giannone got his signature Eeyore act on, making much about how little he felt his people are being paid, and how difficult it is to attract new cops to the SMPD. This while also keeping the ones he already has. Since he did not give any figures to back up his claims (no surprise), here are some examples of just how little the Chief feels these people are being paid (link).
At nearly twice the median income of working Sierra Madreans (link) whose taxes sustain them, you can easily deduce that the quite highly compensated SMPD are not missing out on any meals or forced to sleep in their patrol cruisers. At least not when the choose to do so.
Personally, and at these very high levels of compensation, I think the city should throw these jobs open to the public and let everyone apply. The line of eager applicants would likely extend down Sierra Madre Boulevard all the way to Michillinda.
|The Assistant City Manager prays.|
Which is, of course, what this really has been about all about. Money, union payoffs in exchange for campaign support, and things such as incredibly expensive CalPERS pensions. All in a town of less than 11,000 already heavily taxed people.
Agenda item to watch for tonight
Link here. Apparently this report was submitted very late, with Dr. Baribeau not living up to the billing given by Director Inman when he was asking for her $50,000 fee.
And is there a conclusion from the good Doctor? Watchwords to go by? Nope. Not even close.