Friday, February 26, 2016

How Do You Know The "Yes On Measure UUT" Campaign Is Being Run By An Out Of Towner?

Pasadena campaign manager Martin Truitt spelled "Wistaria"wrong. It is really just about as un-Sierra Madre as you can get. A kind of local litmus test. The previous campaign manager for a utility tax hike, Nancy Walsh, is looking smarter all the time.


If you are impatiently awaiting a "No On Measure UUT" yard sign, The Tattler heartily recommends that you order one of these "Wisteria" colored signs from the fellow Martin Truitt from Pasadena has assigned the sign jockey job, cross out the word "YES," and then replace it with a robust "NO!" They might have a big bucks budget from as yet unknown origins, but that does not mean their money can't be put to a better use.

Here is another question that needs answering. Who exactly is "Chairman Ed?" We now know that the gentleman's full name is Edward Garcia. And while he might live here (the jury is still out) he apparently does not own a home in town. Here is the "Realist Report" on the house The Edster is claiming as his address.


Whoever does own this property got quite a deal. $75,000 for any kind of property in Sierra Madre really is a sweet price. So sweet you might find yourself wondering how it could have happened.

YoMUUT Spam

This Facebook style ad is now appearing on a lot of sites associated with the phrase "Sierra Madre."


Kind of an inappropriate slogan if you think about it. The local government here hasn't been strong for years. From the badly neglected water company, to the mountains of bond ($21 million dollars!) and CalPERS debt ($9 million dollars!), to a Police Department that's now lost fully half of its members, City Hall has been a basket case for quite some time. I am not exactly certain how this level of mismanagement is helping anybody's property values.

The UUT had been at 10% for almost a decade, and that money was mostly funneled into city employee retirement and benefits accounts. It did nothing to strengthen this city or its government. And nothing this city has put out so far is indicating that should Measure UUT somehow pass, that unhappy condition will change.

The Tattler has filed a complaint with the CA Fair Political Practices Commission

It seems more than obvious to me that the City of Sierra Madre's "local government" is illegally spending taxpayer money to campaign for Measure UUT. In some ways it is actually a much better organized advocate for this government sponsored ballot initiative than the Pasadena run "Yes on Measure UUT" effort.

Here is what the complaint looks like:


If you want to see all of this tax propaganda you are paying for, the link is here. I suggest you get there soon. Like that press release from January about the cops all leaving and Arcadia PD taking their place, things such as this do tend to vanish from that site.

Additionally, The Tattler has filed a CA Public Records Act request for Mayor Capoccia's e-mails on UUT and Police matters. Since Yosemite Sam claims that his mail is running "20 to 1" in favor of whatever it is he wants, I figured we ought to take a look. Here is the e-mail response from Elaine Aguilar.


Awesome. And yes, I do try and keep busy.

Another boss Sierra Madre Weekly story


Link here.

http://sierramadretattler.blogspot.com

46 comments:

  1. Those purple signs should read
    KEEP YOUR GOVERNMENT CORRUPT

    I want to make SIERRA MADRE STRONG AGAIN...VOTE NO ON UUT

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    Replies
    1. Vote Barry Gold only...a vote for one of the other two will just take away a vote for Barry.
      Harabian and Capoccia do not deserve your vote

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    2. Poster Wording suggestions?
      " You want
      Sierra Madre STRONG ?
      Go for GOLD "

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    3. Agreed - ONLY GOLD !No dross

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    4. The Gold Standard!

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  2. Read The Sierra Madre Weekly.
    Read the Tattler.Thank you Terry and John for your integrity in journalism.

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  3. Sierra Madre city council was on Fox11 this morning .
    The spot stated city council voted for LASD from 6 to 9 and Chief Whiggam is aggressively looking for 9 places to fill ,the 9 of the 20 full time officers left due to retirement and better paying jobs.
    Just sharing .

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    1. better paying jobs I can understand

      how many retired, who, what age and how long/how much we gotta pay in the future?

      are we gonna have to pay Ruben 90 grand a year for the next 20 or more?

      for that, he can come sit his rear end in the lobby and at least answer the phones and retire at age 65.

      or is he a youthful looking 65 all ready?

      if a public sector employee retires below the age of 65, there should be a penalty like the rest of us

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  4. I can't figure out why the city didn't hire a security guard company to patrol at night. It would have saved a lot of money. If there was any trouble, all they'd have to do is call the Sheriffs. They'd come here no matter what the deal.

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    Replies
    1. We have that during the day.

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  5. The Huhn family has quit a interesting historical connection to political entanglement's looking beyond the grand father, son and daughter there is Hun & Huhn law firm located in Pasadena California. So if your wondering how anything is taking place look no farther that what you have read.

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  6. I will be voting no on the UUT. This has to stop. The City needs to live within its means and not keep reaching into the pocket of the residents to pay for the high salaries, benefits and pensions for the City Employees. It does not make any sense. Starve them of money and we will force fiscal responsibility and fiscal discipline.

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    1. if a private business took over the city the first expense they'd gut is the pension plan because it's patently absurd, completely irrational and those that vote for it are those that benefit - it's insane

      what's our $ burden for those we are already paying pensions for?

      I don't believe what John, John, Gene and Elaine tells me. I will vote No.

      and to the out of town dude running the yes campaign....get lost

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  7. Everybody who can needs to go over to Barry Gold's house at 441 Ramona for the "Meet and Greet" from 12-5 pm. Barry is one of the voices of reason in the city of Sierra Madre. You put him with Denise Delmar and Rachelle Arizmendi and you have a dream team on the City Council. Harabedian must be defeated.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Gold can win this thing but he needs a strong ground game. His is an insurgency campaign. Harabedian is vulnerable and a victory by Gold would be a huge upset. Gold will win or lose this thing in the last week before the election. If he walks the city and gets some assistance, he can get enough votes to win but that last week is the most important.

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    2. It would be an incredible victory if Barry can pull this off. I don't think anybody in the city has been a write in candidate who has gone on to win. Barry's a smart guy. If anybody can pull it off, its him. He seems to be laying the groundwork now in preparation for an all-out effort as he gets closer to election day.

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    3. Barry Gold will never sell Sierra Madre out to the developers. Can you say the same of his two opponents?

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  8. I don't like it when out-of-towners try to tell Sierra Madre what's best for them. Whose paying for Martin Truitt's salary anyway? He's from Pasadena. Pasadena has a huge unfunded pension liability and city salaries consume about 70% of their total budget. Even former Mayor Bill Bogaard was concerned about that. Doesn't leave much left for fixing potholes, senior services and other benefits for the residents.

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    Replies
    1. This is Martin's hobby. He does it for free.

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    2. Don't kid yourself. Martin loves to mail postcards. I'm sure there's a commission markup from the printer to the campaign. That's SOP for the political guys to make $$ win or lose.

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    3. 9:01 - judging by the quality of his work so far Mr. Truitt should be paying the Yes on UUT people.

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  9. What are the unions doing in all this? I'd like to know how the yes on UUT is being funded and who is involved? You get bet that the city employee unions are pulling the strings behind the scenes. And then you have the City spending taxpayer money to promote a tax whose primary beneficiary will by city employees. Houston, we have a problem!

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  10. Any relation to the LA County Hahn political machine?
    http://mayorsam.blogspot.com/2015/02/tgif-briefs-on-los-angeles-political.html

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Assemblyman Chris Holden is a product of the Hahn political machine.

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    2. So much corruption in Los Angeles County.

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  11. Actually it is a reference to the color of the plant itself and the name of the plant is spelled Wisteria (Wisteria frutescens). Sierra Madre's Wistaria Festival uses an alternate spelling of the plant's name.

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    1. In Sierra Madre the spelling is Wistaria. This in honor of Caspar Wistar. Sierra Madre uses the correct spelling. "Wisteria" is the product of a typo. This from the Oxford University Press published "New Dictionary of Eponyms."

      "The wisteria is a climbing woody vine clustered with drooping, pealike, purplish or white flowers. The name of this vine was given by Thomas Nuttal, curator of Harvard's Botanical Garden, who made an error in spelling the name of the man he planned to honor. That man's name was Wistar. But at the death of the honoree in 1818, the plant was named wisteria. Nuttal wrote in his General North American Plants II, "In memory of Caspar Wistar, M.D., late professor of Anatomy in the University of Pennsylvania." But too late, Nuttal had already named the plant wisteria. Later writers followed the error, thus perpetuating it."

      Please apologize.

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    2. Martin from PasadenaFebruary 26, 2016 at 9:14 AM

      I'm sorry. I'm from out of Pasadena and had no clue this was a big deal.

      Delete
    3. The World's Largest Flowering PlantFebruary 26, 2016 at 10:09 AM

      I am sorry, but this is not easily forgiven.

      Delete
  12. Great work, John. Thank you.

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  13. The Grandview property looks like it was transferred between family members, so that's why the price is so low. My guess is that it wasn't an actual buy/sell, but more something along the lines of one family member giving up a portion owned, or somebody marrying/divorcing, somehow figuring out a way to keep the property in family trusts.

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    Replies
    1. Yes. It is a guess.

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    2. Arlie Hahn is Margaret Switzer's mother. Looks like the family transferred it to trust and kept the $75,000 Prop 13 value as is their right to do so. Garcia is most likely a renter or related to the family

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    3. Garcia is married to Margarite Switzer's daughter. All in the family.

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    4. Isn't it great how Prop 13 allows longtime owners to freeload on the backs of new owners?

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  14. It's all about the money and city hall salaries. You need to decide how much more money you want to give them.

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  15. Hahn & Hahn legal firm have been connected to illegal activity associated with their stockade of lawyers and the California Bar Association beware when dealing with these do gooders or Law Breakers.

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    Replies
    1. I'm disgusted with those tattlers who are writing smears and innuendos about the Sierra Madre Hahn Family. John and Arlie Hahn were exemplary, upstanding long time Sierra Madre Citizens who worked always for the betterment of the City. If you have any proof of any illegal wrong doings, please lets hear them. John and Arlie lived on W. Grandview, their daughter lives next door to the property and granddaughter Amy Garcia lives across the street. Looking at the date of property transfers it appears to have happened after Arlie died. It also appears to me to be a wonderful gift to give to a daughter/granddaughter. So, you may disagree with the yes on the UUT movement, but knock off the personal attacks.

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    2. I'm surprised you even read this blog. Most people wo do not like it don't.

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  16. Mr. Crawford,

    You may not like what the City wrote about the UUT, but what they did is clearly lawful. In Vargas v. City of Salinas the Supreme Court distinguished between public fund spending for “campaign purposes" which was not allowed, and for "informational purposes" which was permitted. What they wrote is true.

    And this is a good thing that the government can provide facts about the measure because otherwise the government wouldn't be responsive to us, the people. After all, isn't the purpose of the government to be responsive to the citizens? Especially when we have a bone to pick with them.

    In the future before you file complaints with the FPPC, you might consider seeing whether the complaint is well founded. What I'm sure ended up happening is that the city ended up referring the matter to its lawyers, and we (the taxpayers) end up footing the legal bill for the lawyers to look at this matter. A waste of time and money. I'd rather that money be spent on other things in this town like improving our roads and decreasing our taxes.

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    1. I don't recall anyone here saying that utility tax initiatives cannot be discussed by local govt agencies. The question for the FPPC is the appropriateness of what is found on the City of Sierra Madre website. Are you OK with me asking that?

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  17. The issue is that every time you file a complaint with the FPPC, it ends up costing the city money. It sounds like you didn't know the law as to what is permissible for a city website, and what the city shows is legal. But if the goal is to find out whether it is legal, you can do some research, or you can ASK the FPPC. Then they tell you the rules. ASKING the FPPC doesn't cost the city money. But what costs the city money is reviewing a COMPLAINT and then having to respond to it. So I guess I'm suggesting that before filing a COMPLAINT that you do some quick research beforehand. That's a lot to ask, but it is the price of public service, I suppose.

    ReplyDelete
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    1. In the United States citizens are encouraged to keep an eye on their government. When a city government such as Sierra Madre gives even the slightest appearance of campaigning for a tax increase, it needs to be carefully looked at. That is why watchdog agencies exist.

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  18. What I'm getting at is maybe there is a balance to be struck. It is just and right to call in the watchdog agencies if there is a reasonable likelihood of a problem. But if we demand the city prove itself in triplicate every time there is the mere appearance of a problem that we the citizens haven't researched, then the city ends up wasting time and resources. If there is a reasonable possibility of a problem, then fine -- correction. Please. We don't want the City of Bell all over again. But I guess what I'm suggesting is that the standard for complaining should not be "even the slightest appearance" of a problem -- it should be that there is the "reasonable possibility of a problem." Otherwise, we're just increasing the cost of the government that we want to keep low every time we personally don't have the time to research it. And I don't want my taxes going up.

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    1. Answer this. How much did it cost to put the exact same UUT measure on the ballot 3 times? Even though the residents voted it down twice?

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  19. A lot more expensive for sure. 5 or 6 digits every time. Again, not a fan of wasting the public's money.

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