Saturday, January 9, 2016

The SM Police Association's Initiative To Ban The L.A. Sheriff's Department Fails To Make This April's Ballot

I am not sure what happened. I think the assumption was that this would be a slam dunk and the SMPD's many supporters in town would get the job done quickly and efficiently. However, the effort to obtain the 191 signatures necessary to put the Sierra Madre Police Association's initiative to ban the Sheriff's Department on the ballot and give the SMPD a monopoly over law enforcement services here has failed. It will not be up for a vote next April.

There are several theories for why it might have come to this. The first being the SMPA had second thoughts about doing such a thing, and pulled back. They may have come to the conclusion that putting their "Prohibition Of Alternative Law Enforcement Service Providers" initiative on the ballot just wasn't going to fly with too many people, and that rather than helping their cause could have actually made things worse for them. To the point where they could have politically damaged the effort to pass Measure UUT, the City Hall initiative to raise utility taxes 66% here in order to pay for things like, you got it, the Sierra Madre Police Department.

The SMPD, along with its benefits, CalPERS pensions and lavish overtime pay, is the single most expensive employee cost this city has ever had to pay. And while there are a considerable amount of misguided people in town who believe Measure UUT exists to save things like the Sierra Madre Library, or repair water infrastructure, this utility tax hike initiative will almost exclusively go to cover the personnel expenses of costly city employees like the members of the SMPD.

Another possible cause for the failure of this SMPA initiative to get on the ballot would be the decline of the political organization that was its most obvious ally. The Buchanan/Moran/Walsh political satrapy that had been asked to gather the signatures necessary to put this initiative on the ballot just didn't come through. They no longer had the troops or motivation necessary to make it happen.

The third and last theory we have for this rather embarrassing SMPA failure is that they just didn't have it together enough to get the job done. This might also be a likely cause. Despite claims of somehow being organically connected to this community in ways that other law enforcement agencies could only hope to be, the SMPD's labor organization just isn't that politically an effective organization in town.

Out of town commuters all, few people here actually know the officers of the Sierra Madre Police Department. Nor do they know the residents.

This does leave the SMPD in a vulnerable position. Should Measure UUT fail this April, they are pretty much out the door. The Los Angeles Sheriff's Department would need to be hired in order to save the city $800,000 it no longer has. And without the SMPA's "Prohibition On Alternative Law Enforcement Service Providers" initiative in place there would be nothing to prevent this from happening.

One more thing before I wrap this up. What happened to all of those special people who showed up at City Hall a few months back to noisily proclaim their support for keeping the Sierra Madre Police Department? I recall some of them boldly stating that they would do whatever it takes to keep the SMPD here, no matter what the sacrifice.

My guess is that when it came time to live up to their edgy words, and actually get out there to knock on doors and obtain the necessary signatures, they just lacked the energy and motivation.

I for one am not that surprised.

sierramadretattler.blogspot.com

49 comments:

  1. Harabedian keeps his promises!January 9, 2016 at 5:21 AM

    I'll go with option 1. The city intends to take the $1 million uut tax hike and hand every penny of it to the police union.

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    1. I agree with your choice. Councilmember Harabedian may have pulled the police union aside and explained to them how their ballot measure might be counterproductive, and that they'd be better off just shutting up about it and let him do the work.

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    2. That was a very expensive postcard.

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    3. It would have cost more if PD badges and patches were included.

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  2. Maybe they realized the possibility that it's unconstitutional or otherwise violates state law.


    CALIFORNIA CONSTITUTION
    ARTICLE 11 LOCAL GOVERNMENT
    SEC. 8.
    (a) The Legislature may provide that counties perform
    municipal functions at the request of cities within them.
    (b) If provided by their respective charters, a county may agree
    with a city within it to assume and discharge specified municipal
    functions.

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    1. That is interesting. They haven't been very communicative so how could we find out?

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    2. I wish our chief was more outgoing when he is out and about. Never seems very approachable, and this is the town to have an approachable chief.

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    3. Maybe he was on a mission when you saw him.

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    4. So who are the brilliant lawyers who advised them to start that in the first place?

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    5. Apparently a similar initiative proposal was withdrawn in El Monte in 2012 after the city filed a lawsuit to determine its legality.

      http://www.sgvtribune.com/general-news/20121211/el-monte-police-withdraw-proposed-initiatives-after-city-files-lawsuit

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    6. Damn. They got Highsmithed!

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    7. Another article on the 2012 El Monte initiative proposal.

      http://www.dailybulletin.com/general-news/20121122/el-monte-files-suit-against-prominent-residents-over-ballot-measures-to-protect-police-department

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  3. No, he was on a motorcycle.

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    1. Maybe he was showing a little biker 'tude.

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  4. Information source 7:06. Can you look into this? I had a neighbor who worked out of Temple Station as a homocide detective. We were having trouble with a "frat house" and all their party noise...shut down when the Sierra Madre PD showed up, then full blast when they left until they were called again, somtimes 3 or 4 times. Neighbor sheriff said we could call the Sherrif's as there was a provision that if your local police authroity could not police the situation they could be called to do the job the locals could not. Is this still the case?

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    1. News story where the Sheriffs were called in by the SMPD.
      http://www.whittierdailynews.com/general-news/20150720/grenade-at-sierra-madre-police-station-had-been-disarmed

      SIERRA MADRE >> A World War II grenade brought to the police station over the weekend wasn’t live and had already had its pin removed, police said Monday.

      Sunday’s incident led to the evacuation of the Sierra Madre Police Department and to another police agency handling 911 calls for the city for an hour.

      Sierra Madre Sgt. Ruben Enriquez said a woman clearing out the belongings of a dead relative found the grenade and brought it to the station shortly after 3:30 p.m. Sunday.

      Not knowing the status of the device, the box with the grenade was moved to a secure place between the police department and City Hall, according to Larry Giannone, director of public safety, in a statement.

      The station, at 242 W. Sierra Madre Blvd., was evacuated while police routed emergency calls to Monrovia police and called in the sheriff’s Arson and Explosive Detail.

      Giannone said residents at a nearby senior living facility were moved to the rear of the facility.

      Sierra Madre Boulevard was closed to traffic between Lima Street and Hermosa Avenue.

      The bomb squad examined the grenade, determined it wasn’t live and took possession of the device.

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  5. Fact... The city council and city management failed bably at mismanagement of the hard earned taxpayers monies who feed the machine (city employees families / paychecks, pension, Cadalic Health Plans). Now the taxpayers will have ti pay for their costly mistakes. The taxpayers must push the city council to fil BK and termite the dead wood starting with the city manager!

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    1. 9:01 Please slow down,take your Seroquel and try again. Your misspelled double negatives make it seem as though you are congratulating the CC. ie failed mismanagement is good management........

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    2. Just wait a minute, 9:27 am. I'm finding 9:01 am to be a delightful Tattler correspondent. Where else could you find out that city management failed "bably at mismanagement"? What about the suggestion that the CC "termite the dead wood"? These are novel takes on honest approaches to the political process in tiny little Sierra Madre. I look forward daily to searching for 9:0am in all of his/her grammatically incorrect, spelling challenged attempts at joining the dialogue!

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  6. I do not trust the police union. They must have a backup plan to prevent the sheriff from coming. We need to stay alert.

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    1. I think the plan is to throw their support behind Measure UUT.

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    2. Sure, why not? That money goes straight into their pockets.

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  7. As many who read the Tattler know, it's hard to get signatures. You really have to be committed to your cause, and invest lots of personal time and energy.
    I vote that they didn't have enough dedicated individuals.

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    1. Back in the old Dieter Dammeier/SMPOA days of 2009 they'd have knocked this one out of the park. The SMPD's union is not what it used to be. This is embarrassing.

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  8. I support our local police (no I didn't embarrass myself or the city at that awful meeting). However I would never sign a petition that would prevent the council to do the right thing for the city. And I refused to sign this one. When the council decides it is time to go to the sheriff's department, they should be able to get it done.

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    1. Why do you think the SMPA didn't get this one done in time?

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    2. No clue, I think there were too many like me that wouldn't sign.

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    3. I didn't sign Earl's petition for the same reason.

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    4. Harabedian probably convinced the PD that it wasn't in their best interest.

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  9. 1029... Who cares about the grammar.... This dude knows how to make better decisions than the CC and correctly manage a check book. You need to go back and get another msters.

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  10. More yellin', less spellin.'

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

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  12. More bad news. Elaine is at it again.
    Read the staff report for item #5 "STOP THE UUT" MEASURE on next Tuesday's city council meeting agenda. Elaine is recommending , page 3, 1st paragraph, last sentence, that the council direct the staff to conduct an impact report which would delay the Earl Richey No on UUT Measure from being put on the ballot until 2018.
    Somebody please figure out how to stop this "In-Your-Face" blatant attempt to totally disregard the wishes of the people.
    I will write to all of the council members and tell them not to abuse their power and disregard the right of the citizens to put a measure on the ballot.

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  13. The more I hear the more I'm leaning EarlJanuary 9, 2016 at 2:05 PM

    Let me save the city the time. The UUT revenue line will read 0.

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    1. Clear, concise and truthful. You must be a private citizen.

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  14. After all the hard work Earl and his friends have done to qualify the meadure it would be a crime if the poeple were denied the chance to vote yay or nay on the issue.

    Any council member who votes for the impact study, thus postponing the vote for 2 years should be recalled.

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    1. Will the impact study be done by staff or a consultant?

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    2. A consultant. For a cool $50,000. The EIR will be bias and has no bearing on the out come of the vote. This time city hall screwed with the wrong group of Sierra Madre Residents. city hall eithers needs to Repeal All UUT taxes or put it on the ballot and let the taxpayers vote. It's the taxpayers who own this town, not the city employees and their pensions! Thank you Earl

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  15. Has anyone seen the proposed initiative now circulating, something called the Prohibition on Alternative Law Enforcement Donut Service Providers?

    I get what the proponents of what they're calling the PRO-NUTS initiative are trying to do, but it seems a little greasy-handed to me. Here's some of the text:

    The residents of Sierra Madre declare that the City's top priority is to provide the best level of freshness and deliciousness in donuts crossing into the City's boundaries. To obtain such level of freshness and deliciousness, upon passage of this measure and thereafter, the City of Sierra Madre shall maintain that its own Police Department and all Police Department employees may import and/or consume only donuts from the approved vendor, Winchell's.

    Contracting with alternative donut providers often results in a lack of freshness and deliciousness by the alternative donut suppliers, interfering with police-related matters. Additionally, donuts from the alternative donut suppliers do not have the same quantity and quality of tasty filling and sweet glazing typically desired by our community. In order to ensure minimum donut quality, freshness, and deliciousness, the citizens of Sierra Madre desire to maintain one donut supplier, rather than to contract with alternative donut service providers.

    The initiative provides that if the City contracts out the City Police Department's donut requirements to an alternative donut supplier prior to passage of this measure, resulting in the importation of donuts from alternative donut suppliers, the contract shall immediately terminate, and any such alternative donuts remaining upon the effective date of this measure shall either be either destroyed or consumed outside the City limits. The initiative provides that it may not be amended or repealed except by another initiative approved by a supermajority of 75% of donut consuming voters. Additionally, the initiative provides that any law enforcement employee who is in possession within the City limits of a donut from an alternative donut supplier after the effective date of the measure shall have said donut confiscated immediately without an opportunity either to dunk said donut or to "take just one bite."

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    1. Awesome, and definitely a change from the current "leave no donut behind" philosophy they follow with such devotion now.

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  16. It's state law, put the Repeal of all UUT taxes on the darn ballot. I am voting to Repeal it! Enough is enough...

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  17. I was told that the hildreaths lawsuit cost city hall close to $500,000. What will the UUT tax lawsuit cost city hall? It is clear that city hall is violating state law! The taxpayers are dealing with a bunch of cc dumies! Lawsuits are expensive $$$$$$

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  18. We must be at the Co meeting this Tues. And tell the council to put Earl's No UUT measure on this April's ballot so the voters can decide, not Elaine and the staff.

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  19. Gloves are ready to come offJanuary 9, 2016 at 7:46 PM

    Contempt. That is what the council views you with. I urge each of you to support earl by voting to (i) reject the 67% uut increase that will be used to pay off the police union, and (ii) vote only for Bill Tice who has consistently respected the will of the people.


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  20. I promise to help fund the recall of each council person who votes to study the city's review of the no doubt calamitous impact of the repeal of the uut. See you all in November.

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  21. A recall effort not only costs money, but lots of leg work and effort, then you have to find someone to take the place of the recalled councilman. Are you up for that?

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  22. See you in November. I can respect differences. Not contempt for citizens of good will.

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    1. What is your version of good will? Also, Sierra Madre's election is in April.

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    2. Obviously 8:41 doesn't live here.

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