Tuesday, November 10, 2015

Sierra Madre Police Association Is Working To Put Sheriff Question On The Ballot: Could Next April's Election Be One Of The Wildest In Sierra Madre History?

An earlier SMPA political initiative
We are clearly talking about the potential for Measure V levels of intensity here. People lining up for blocks to vote, neighbors arguing with neighbors, lawn signs in every yard, folks pounding on your door demanding to know how you are going to vote and, of course, the ever present requests for large cash donations to "Help Save Sierra Madre!" Or whatever small part of it you might actually care about.

But blog-wise? Yes, we do love it so. We're talking about levels of interest, controversy and contention that this little foothill village hasn't seen in a decade. A near perfect storm of political woe and government employee dissension whose elements are only just now beginning to align. It will be strap on your helmet and bar the door time all over again.

If you look at the agenda for this evening's City Council meeting you will be able to note the following (link):


In other words the current City Council, should the latest biennial ballot initiative to raise utility taxes fail (and for the third time in a row no less), wants to keep its options open about hiring the Sheriffs. So they're continuing the process, so to speak, and making sure that everything would still be in place should they be forced to dismiss the Sierra Madre Police Department and hire LA County law enforcement instead.

At far more reasonable rates I might add.

Which, should the UUT increase fail for a third time, they would absolutely have to do. There is no way this town could afford the extremely expensive SMPD should the UUT sunset to 6%. Some even question whether the city can afford them at 10%. In many ways Sierra Madre's boutique police department has completely priced itself out of its native small town market.

So how does the cop union plan to counter this? How do they keep themselves from being fired should the UUT fail? Here is where things begin to get a little wild.

Verifiable rumors have reached The Tattler that the SMPD's union is now in the process of filing for an April 2016 ballot initiative. One that would put the question of replacing the SMPD with the LASD to a direct vote of the people.

The necessary paperwork has been delivered to the City ClerkCity Attorney and City Manager, and their decision on whether to sanction this move is expected soon. And should City Hall claim there isn't enough time to get this on the ballot for next April's election, the SMPD's union would then have the option of challenging that decision in Superior Court.

In other words, Sierra Madre's cop union is looking to rip the power to decide on the Sheriff's Department question from the hands of the City Council and put it to a direct vote of the residents instead.

Meaning that should the UUT initiative fail as it has two times already, and the Sierra Madre Police Association's "Save the Cops" effort prevail, City Hall would then be legally nailed to having to pay for its very expensive boutique police department out of the remaining 6% in utility taxes.

And how would City Hall accomplish that near mathematical impossibility? Obviously they would have to do some very draconian things. Like close the library, fire most city staff and sell the Water Company. Just for starters. Putting city buildings like the Hart Park House and City Hall on the real estate market would also need to be considered, along with contracting out for Paramedic and Fire Department services.

Practically the only thing left intact under this scenario would be the Sierra Madre Police Department. But since they are only concerned about themselves, how could they even care?

One more question. Any chance that Harabedian, Goss and Sheriff's Contract Proposal Review Committee Chair Lambdin might have been in on this? I'd say there's a good possibility they were.

But wait, there's more!

What if the SMPD "Save the Cops" ballot initiative prevails, but there is no UUT money whatsoever? Like 0% instead of 6%? This following advertisement ran in last weekend's edition of the Mountain Views News:


So if this initiative to get rid of Sierra Madre's utility tax altogether wins, while at the same time the one that forces City Hall to retain its very expensive police department also passes, what happens then?

Financial Armageddon, perhaps?

Like I said, this could be one of the wildest elections in Sierra Madre history.

sierramadretattler.blogspot.com

87 comments:

  1. Don't you have to be a Sierra Madre resident to submit a ballot initiative here? That would count out the SMPOA.

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    1. Maybe the members of the Sheriff's Contract Proposal Review Committee could sign it.

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    2. Sure. It's not like they weren't in the tank the entire time.

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    3. Anyone know who the signatories are?

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    4. Good point 7:17, someone please contact the City Clerk.

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    5. Two words:
      "GO EARL !

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  2. Rip the power from the City Council? Another reason to love the Police Department. I'm sick of their lawsuits and bullying tactics.

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  3. Arcadia's police are already fighting hard against the UUT proposition on the ballet. It appears the next few months will be wild in the foothills. As they say, hold onto your hats and glasses.

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  4. Perhaps there are some who would choose to spend our precious city funds on a commodity - police services - when it should be applied to Improve facilities for our softball and little league families, the library, and senior facilities. But only if they are unaware of the facts.

    To be clear, the sheriff will provide 20% more patrol hours for 20% less money. That will deliver $850k of savings annually to fund the activities above and more. The numbers are plainly stated, along with other informative data, in the sheriff's proposal. The members of the council know this. It is up to them to lead on the issue.

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    1. Quite true Rick.

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    2. no lawsuits either

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    3. if the deputies got mad they could sue LA County instead

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    4. Actually the math is worse than 20/20. Ex-Chief Diaz said the SMPD want to hire 2 more Officers.

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    5. We need to replace the water pipes before we can afford to spend $$ on the softball field.

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    6. Agreed - because we need the water to water the softball field ..and the residents. Priorities right?

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    7. If the pipes hadn't been allowed to go to hell under mayors like Lambdin there would be plenty of water for everything.

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    8. Let's Spend that 20/20 SurplusNovember 10, 2015 at 9:53 AM

      This discussion about how we spend the $850k annual budget surplus there for the taking is great. however, we need to secure the money before we can spend it. That means, as 9:23 astutely notes, we need to spread the bling around now to secure the votes.

      The politicians that have been bought - I mean endorsed - by the police union have to this point been able to argue they are for the police union without any analysis of the cost. The cost is that we can't afford to take care of our other public needs, including water infrastructure and better facilities for the literally thousands of people who spend inter-generational family time at Heasley each year. The need for these machine politicians to pay back their handlers is standing in the way of these public improvements. They need to be called to account.

      Just think. In (election) year one of the 20% more for 20% less Sheriff era we can spend $200k to upgrade Heasley, $200k to upgrade the library, 200k for senior facilities, and have $250k left over for water infrastructure. In the out non-election years we can have this same "how do we spend $850k" discussion, with a greater emphasis on long term improvements. This is going to be a great. Just think, Rather than annually saying we don't have enough to provide minimal services and asking for a tax increase, we can keep taxes where they are and annually discuss how we spend the excess.

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    9. we don't need to upgrade the library - after we switch to the Sheriff's department we should approach Pasadena and sign a long term deal to annex the library into the Pasadena system, retain our branch and be done with the library as a city expense

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    10. Pasadena doesn't want our library.

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    11. Let's Market Dreams!November 10, 2015 at 11:25 AM

      keep selling castor oil boys, and you will get nothing but an overpriced police department to go with your crappy library, crappy fields, and crappy pipes. .

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  5. 0h no, this has the potential for being a perfect storm! Enough, enough, enough of this P.D.

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  6. Im confused. If the council will not spend its existing funds wisely, why would the city vote to give it more?


    .

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    1. Vote no on everything. Gets rid of this parasitic police department and keeps utility taxes at 6%.

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  7. Bankruptcy can be a good thing and this may trigger it.

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    1. As much as I don't want bankruptcy for Sierra Madre, this City Hall needs an intervention. And if it comes to bankruptcy, so be it!

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    2. If the CC does not act, much bigger,unstoppable forces take over. BK is inevitable if the CC snooze on issues like Elaine Aguilar's mismanagement.History will judge them harshly for this and by name they will be remembered for their disservice to this fine City.

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    3. yeah but 8:32 they'll get paid for years and years with pensions

      the best thing for this city is bankruptcy - gut the pensions - start over and have those still able to work to get out and work like the rest of us

      the Calpers system is what is wrong with the city and California

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    4. Agreed that Calpers is a problem but then there is this Entitlement issue -the serve therefore they deserve !

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  8. Looks like the same element that opposed Measure V is supporting this SMPA initiative. Will they be blowing up mailboxes this time?

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    1. jeez, the social elite of SM

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  9. Hey Gene and Johnnie,November 10, 2015 at 6:48 AM

    Has SMPD offered to match the sheriff's proposal?

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    1. The Best of Gene Goss WhoppersNovember 10, 2015 at 7:33 AM

      If we don't have a UUT increase 911 calls will go unanswered!

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    2. Ha, and don't forget the Fire Department will still be here. They are not leaving.

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    3. They care about Sierra Madre.

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    4. the Sheriff's department will be answering SM calls from the Antelope Valley station

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    5. Antelope Valley? When I talked to Mayor Lambdin at Starbuck's he told me it would be Mars.

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    6. Lambdin would have told you it was an "apples to apples"comparison. He served on Mars when he was in the military.

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    7. Glenn used to say that he served in Vietnam until he got called out and turns out he didn't

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  10. When you look at the salaries and the overtime of the police, it is quite evident that they are grossly overpaid. It would perhaps be fair compensation if they were working in South Central, but its way to much when you are working in Mayberry. The union is going to overreach once again and the people are getting tired of it. These guys get to retire at a very young age when, instead of retiring, they should just have a desk job and continue to perform services for the community. They should not be able to "retire" with a pension for life to enjoy a lifetime of Sundays.

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  11. If we go with the Sheriffs will we still have the police volunteer? He's the only one that patrols my neighborhood.

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    1. with 20% more patrol coverage from LA Sheriff Dept., you could have a sworn law enforcement officer patrol your street!

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  12. I'm so tired of unions and their fight for retirement/calPERS funding. You are right, this is Mayberry and they are overreaching again!

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  13. Either way we will have Union police officers. The only differences are that the county will be responsible for all employment issues and lawsuits, as well as future pension obligations.

    Moreover, the sheriff will higher the best and brightest from SMPD, though the less qualified officers may not be retained.

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    1. so what you are saying 7:15, no officers from the SMPD will be hired by the Sheriff's department?

      there is a reason why officers come here - nothing to do - good pay - rack up the pension and what else?

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    2. Eat donuts and check out the babes.

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    3. Take late night naps just over the Pasadena line.

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  14. That's all we need, low informed or misinformed residents voting on the Police vs. the Sheriff's Dept. But I suppose the P.D. is counting on that.

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    1. The City was counting on uninformed voters for the UUT proposed tax increases in 2012 and 2014. Informed voters don't vote to waste tax dollars with the highest UUT in the state.

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  15. It is up to us to get the word out. Off this blog and out into the streets with handbills!

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  16. Of course they are 7:15. Just like Measure V - I still know people who say they saved Sierra Madre by voting No for Measure V. The misinformation that we got daily confused lots of people...came from the well funded Builders Association.

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  17. I'm sure the Sheriffs' would do a wonderful job.

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    1. seems to be a glitch the second part of my comments arent posting today ;-)

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    2. Probably for the best.

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  18. The bottom line is that this is about dollars and cents, common sense. The City is in deep debt. The Police Department is too expensive for our budget, so cut the budget by bringing in the Sheriff's Dept. and save the money for other City needs.

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  19. To be fair, does anyone have anything supportive or congratulatory to say about SMPD?..............................crickets...crickets....Sad.

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    1. I can't think of any.

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    2. I really liked Officer Ford, but he just retired.

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    3. The volunteer patrols the residential areas.The youthful skateboarding menace downtown seem under control.The cars are shiny and clean and sometimes they roll down the windows!

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  20. I agree because "a sworn officer of the law is a sworn officer of the law, and that's that."

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  21. There was/is one SMPD that the ladies really like -oops , It was the other way round wasn't it. House calls and welfare checks were is schtik.

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  22. The police officer union is now taking Sierra Madre to a whole new level of insanity. It is the one thing they are good at.

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    1. They do have their constituency. In particular the looney toons who showed up at the Sheriff presentation at city hall the other week.

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  23. This issue is too complicated for little old me. I will be following the lead of Ms. Pig Lady, BA, MA, PhD, BFD and voting to retain our independent police force!

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  24. I wonder - does the Sheriff's Department promote a deputy who freaks out and shoots an unarmed person in the back?

    didn't think so

    but Sierra Madre PD does

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  25. I have yet to hear a solid argument for retaining the SMPD

    If the SMPD really wants to put this to a vote I'll vote to move to the Sheriff's Department

    with the Sheriff's we save $$, increased patrols, no frivolous lawsuits by the PD against the city, get rid of the pension, higher quality officers



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  26. This shift in tactics concerning who really gets to vote for or against the Sheriffs Department taking over and increasing police presence along will lowering over head cost along with CalPERS payments for the SMPD employees, see there is another cost savings already. The petition tacit is for stalling purposes only and then there is that 51% or majority needed to accept the Sheriffs Department? How many people end up voting? Knee jerk mail in ballots could happen what is the average % of registered voters who cast a vote?

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  27. Lots of $$$$ will be spent. So many voters are uninformed.

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  28. Then there is the move to combine our polls with the County elections in November. Think how many uninformed voters that would bring to the polls who only come out to vote for state and federal offices.

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    Replies
    1. All done with one purpose only. To get more and more money out of the residents.

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    2. More power to 'em.Hello BK sooner!

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  29. ENOUGH IS ENOUGH !

    I AM FOR SMALLER GOVERNMENT and REDUCTION OF CITY TAXES!

    OUR CITY GOVERANCES HAS AN OVER SPENDING PROBLEM.

    $$$ WE NEED TO GET RID OF ALL UUT TAXES & QUITE FEEDING THOSE TWO LEGGED BIRDS $$$

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    1. Welcome back, CAPS GUY!

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    2. WHERE HAD YOU GONE ALL CAPS GUYNovember 10, 2015 at 2:32 PM

      A NATION TURNS IT'S LONELY HEART TO YOU!

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    3. The neveг еndіng ρг&#1086cеɗuге tօ ɑсc&#11423mρlіѕҺ t&#1211e գuеѕtіonnaiг&#6513. Іt ɑ&#11427рeaгs aѕ thο&#6489ɡh օne ρage iѕ οmρlеtеԀ Ьү уօս, thеn агге tаҝеn սρ tօ ɑnothеr ρaǥе to &#1088егfοrm, and tɦеn ɑnotҺег, ɑnd ѕo f&#11423гth. &#5034 ls&#11423

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    4. Obviously took the brown acid.

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  30. Cunning move by the police union, I have to admit, because once election propaganda is in play they have such an advantage. It's not like the LASD is going to barrage us with emotional pleas (not to mention, it would probably be perceived as weird if they did). After a month of reading election signs a lot of voters will probably be thinking, okay, so we have "Save the Cops" vs some sort of pro-Sheriff's campaign.

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    1. Let's figure out how to spend $850k a yearNovember 10, 2015 at 2:31 PM

      The way to frame the issue is this: Do we keep our own police force, or hire the sheriff and decide how to spend the $850k annual windfall that will result from that one budget decision.

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  31. Again, I have to say it, the masses are asses. Anyone choosing to follow the pig lady deserves what they get. I don't care if she isdegreed or lying about it, either way she is rude. I shudder to think what she teaches her students. It's really simple. It's about money; mine and yours. If you make so much that you can continuously pay more taxes at the fed, state and local level, more power to you. I refuse to pay for an inept PD and orange water. Let the city go bankrupt. And for that idiot at the police meeting who said he would write a check that very night if the city needed it-all 225.00 of it. Wow! Thanks!

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    1. Do you suppose he will write a check in the name of each and everyone of us that don't want the police department?

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  32. sierramadrepolicesucks.com

    domain is available

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    1. That would be an interesting read. Maybe we could get those 3AM pictures of napping SMPD officers on Michillinda posted there.

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    2. Just get the water patrol to take the photos. There out there patrolling for water wasters in the early morning hours. I'm not kidding.

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  33. Off topic:
    Thanks Ron Coleman for your water comments at the Council meeting tonight. Cappocia doesn't look too happy with you.
    GO Ron!

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  34. 6:40PM That can be done!

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  35. The loons are at the CC meeting tonight.

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  36. Goss is such a jackass.

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