We heard a whole lot last night from Chief Giannone and others about how the City of Sierra Madre has adequate 24 hour/7 days a week Police Department coverage. This despite the fact that half the department has left and, according to the Chief, more cop desertions are on the way. So if this is all true, and everything is just quacky ducky, why did City Hall put out this following scary notice in late January?
"Staffing levels within the Sierra Madre Police Department (SMPD) have reached a level where there are insufficient personnel to provide safe and reliable police services twenty-four hours a day, seven days a week."
Quite a radical message swing from El Jefe. Get too close to this stuff and you could get whiplash.
Not only did City Hall create the January notice, they also placed it in The Mountain Views News, SierraMadreNews.net and Pasadena Now. It is hard to figure out what is actually true here. Is there adequate policing in Sierra Madre or not? I guess it depends on what week it is, and which public relations message they believe is working best for them at the moment.
It must also be noted that the above press release has been pulled from the City of Sierra Madre site. Orwell style, like it never even happened. But some of the info sources that published it as news items at the City's request still have it up on their sites. One being the Mountain Views News. Here is what that looks like.
Last night Chief Giannone said even more officers are leaving, yet everything is under control and everyone should be happy and grateful for all the fine work they're doing. However, and given what the city said just a few weeks ago, why would anyone believe that? With more SMPD officers beating feet, how are things getting better?
|Carol wanted to know what's up.|
The opposition to bringing the Los Angeles Sheriffs Department to Sierra Madre is not only bizarre and delusional, it's also dangerous. Those claiming to love Sierra Madre more than the rest of us, along with certain elected officials, could end up being enablers for one of the worst ideas ever. That is, gambling with public safety in order to get City Hall its tax hike.
Hopefully nobody gets hurt.
Steve Salisian's Illegal Structure Gets Crushed
Watching Bob Spears read off a strangely disingenuous John Harabedian last night over his double-talking up an illegal and very possibly dangerous structure was the highlight of the evening. It also makes you wonder why kind of guardian of the General Plan the pettifogging Councilmember Harabedian is going to be in his second term.
A few years back Kurt Zimmerman could be heard referring to John Harabedian as "Joe Mosca with brains." Time has shown that to be an accurate assessment.
In the end things turned out well. Preserve Sierra Madre put out the following statement late last night:
Dear Supporters: We brought to your attention a few days ago our concerns about an illegal 2-story 1322 square foot structure that was recently built at 156 W. Highland without architectural plans, engineering specifications, licensed tradesman, building permits, notice to the public or any approval or oversight whatsoever.
The applicant, Mr. Salisian, originally intended it to be a dwelling unit with a kitchen and two bathrooms. Only after it was discovered by the City after a citizen's complaint, was the use changed to a "recreation and exercise" building.
The Planning Commission rejected the after-the-fact CUP that the applicant was seeking which caused the applicant to appeal that denial to the City Council. City Staff recommended that the City Council support the Planning Commission's decision and deny the CUP as well.
We are happy to report that the City Council denied the CUP at tonight's meeting. Council members Capoccia and Delmar had to recuse themselves because they lived too close to the applicant's property. Council Members Goss and Arizmendi voted to deny the CUP. Council Member Harabedian was the sole vote in favor of granting the CUP to Mr. Salisian.
Preserve Sierra Madre is grateful to Council Members Goss and Arizmendi for their own judgment in this matter as well as giving due deference to our experts on the Planning Commission and due deference to the rule of law. A powerful message has been sent that Sierra Madre's General Plan and Municipal Code exist to be followed and not flouted. These rules and regulations exist for many reasons, not the least of which, is to insure the health and safety of those who will be inhabiting the structure - namely the applicant himself.
We are also grateful to Planning Commissioner Spears who attended the City Council meeting and provided insight into the reasons for the Planning Commission's denial.
Let us be clear, we are not happy because the applicant is now facing a consequence for his actions. We are happy because the importance of our General Plan and Municipal Code have been affirmed by the highest governing body in the City of Sierra Madre. That is why we are pleased with tonight's decision and grateful for the result.
A Better Tax Show
The "Stop the UUT" people haven't been showing up at the meetings. And from my perspective that is disappointing. Watching Earl Richey and John Capoccia going at it tooth and nail would be marvelous entertainment. Kind of like a Lucha Libre match without the cool masks. Think of the videos we could make.
Hopefully we will get to see some of that soon.