Wednesday, March 23, 2016

Arcadia McMansion Slump: Zillow Rates the Peacocktown Housing Market "COLD" - Sierra Madre "VERY HOT"

There is this blog from Arcadia called "Arcadia's Best." Run by some dude who now lives in Omaha, NE, it is where many decidedly naive development apologists go to post their extraordinarily clueless opinions about the town where they reside. In particular matters concerning that imported and imposed housing market cancer known to all of the world as McMansions. Something that they, folks who apparently live in a state of childlike innocence, believe will someday soon be a source of great wealth for them. You know, just like that other celebrated Arcadia investment engine, the GemCoin. Here are some examples of opinions from a few offbeat individuals.


Well, you know what? All three of these gents don't have the foggiest notion about what they're talking about. As misguided as they come I'm afraid. 

Fortunately we have a cure. What follows here are two charts from Zillow.com, which is one of the more widely read and consulted resources for what is going on with property values in housing markets all over the country.

You will see that Arcadia, which has allowed significant portions of its environs to be turned into an unfortunate imitation of the ultra-conformist mansionized cookie cutter suburbs of Beijing, is in quite a serious housing slump. Whereas Sierra Madre, which has put into place tough restrictions against such McBlight, is clearly on fire.

Here is a portion of Zillow's Arcadia report. For all of the sad news click here.


Pretty bad, right? Arcadia's -6.1% home value slide is truly awful. By contrast, here is some good news about what is going on in preservationist Sierra Madre (link).


Just in case any of those three oxymoronic "Arcadia's Best" correspondents are reading this, "very hot" means homeowners are going to get a lot of money for their wickiups if they sell. In this case Sierra Madre, which has a Planning Commission and residents who never sold the place out, is that desirable a housing market. 

Whereas the word "cold," as it is used here by Zillow, means that people who are attempting to sell their homes in Arcadia are likely to get hosed. Probably with ice water. Just like those now desperate developers who built the dozens of still unsold mausoleum-looking McMansions currently littering the place.

Not that they're likely to understand any of this, of course. 

sierramadretattler.blogspot.com

72 comments:

  1. It snowed in Arcadia last night.

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  2. If you buy a house in Arcadia - a city that has virtually no building rules - you will always be vulnerable to a neighbor deciding to tear down or add on to their home and potentially destroy your views, incoming light and privacy. You may have paid a premium for your home to have those attributes and all can be easily lost in a city like Arcadia where you have a development free-for-all. Eventually that kind of insecurity and vulnerability results in a loss in property values as we are seeing now. Pure greed is getting the best of them. Aside from all that, the character of the city is changing every day with each home being razed. If you grew up in Arcadia, you don't even recognize it any more. The current fight is for the soul of the city. The tipping point has been reached. We'll see after this election what happens. For the many people who don't want to see their city turn into block after block of McMansions, you may want to move next door to Sierra Madre which wants to retain its character and has rules in place to do just that.

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  3. Arcadia's City Hall wants those big bumping' development impact fees so they can pay themselves a quarter of a million bucks a year. But you should never call it corruption.

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  4. You said it perfectly, 7:01! By the way, doesn't Sho Tay run Arcadia's Best?

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  5. Even some of the buyers of the big McMansions in Arcadia are worried what would be built next door to them to block their views light and air if the little ranch house was torn down next-door and larger McMansions were buill surrounding them, destroying their privacy after paying 2 or $3 million for a house that towers over their ranch house neighbors. This is one of the reasons many of the McMansions are not selling. The contractors are smart, they'll wait until you buy the McMansion and after you pay and move-in they'll try to go to the surrounding neighbors to buy their homes, then they'll build a McMansion next-door to your new McMansion to destroy your views and privacy that you paid two to $3 million for. The Asians buyers are waking up to this, it is not just the Chinese economy that is stopping many of the unsold inventory of mc mansions from selling. The beauty of living in a McMansion is not having any other McMansion surrounding you. Towering over all your neighbors is actually a status symbol for them. Sorry for any typing errors I'm writing this on an iPhone

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    1. If the election in Arcadia goes the wrong way, Arcadia will be lost. It will be over for that city. This is their last chance to preserve some resemblance of what their town used to look like. It would be a very sad day for that city and all who grew up there. When people ask me if I embrace the demographic change that is occurring in the San Gabriel Valley, I say no. Why would I. The Chinese are tearing down every property they can get their hands on. The majority of Chinese also seem to only do business with other Chinese, so if current trends continue, I will be out of business in 10 years. I can't read the names of certain businesses who evidently don't care whether I can read it or not. Why would I embrace that. Now if they came here and didn't do those things and assimilated into the milieu here and respected the neighborhoods where they want to live by not tearing down homes, that would be a different story. Its not a race issue, but a clash of cultures that will come to a head very soon in Arcadia.

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    2. Why should anyone have to assimilate to you? This is capitalist America, they should be able to run their business and personal lives however they want. If you are out of business in ten years because you choose not to adapt then... that's your business.

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    3. 10:04AM Hasn't assimilation always been an important thing when you come to a new country to try to succeed? You must be accepting of world government. As a citizen of the United States, I should not have to adapt to a foreign entity. If you are our future, I am very afraid .

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  6. Sierra Madre has higher housing values because we have Pasadena Unified Schools! really, that's the reason!

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    1. I think it is more accurate to say the PUSD has Sierra Madre. Because if they didn't they'd be one of the lowest rated school districts in the country.

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    2. Guess it's a good thing we finally got Sierra Madre Middle School built.

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    3. Sierra Madre has higher housing values mainly because we have the people of Preserve Sierra Madre watching out for us.

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    4. Well it sure isn't due to our part-time, daylight hours only, police dept.

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  7. Sorry to report the actual truth of the matter is Arcadia has lost it's charm to become a noise filled car chocked city complete with political crime filling it's city hall and spilling over to resident's of old and new, until this drama is handled prospective buyers will shy away from this bad location. Sierra Madre has started taking back it's city before it fell over the cliff's edge to be mired in political high crimes such as Arcadia.

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    1. It didn't hurt that the redevelopement slush fund went away, as well as the voters killing 2 UUT increases in 2012 and 2014 so the city couldn't give away raises and more platinum pensions.

      I notice that the 8% UUT since July 2015 hasn't hurt home values. Another lie from the Yes on the 66% tax hike crowd?

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    2. Perhaps the lower taxes have encouraged people to buy in Sierra Madre?

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  8. The Pasadena school system actually participated unknowingly in saving Sierra Madre from unbridled Mansionization. If the Pasadena high schools were as highly rated as San Marino , La Canada and Arcadia, Sierra Madre would've been destroyed years ago by development, thank God for our recently created high quality and smart building standards protecting the city.

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  9. You want a dependable way of quantifying the corruption of a city? Count how many McMansions it has.

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  10. If John Chen is any indication it looks like Bulldozer Bob has the idiot vote sewn up.

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  11. It's the current city council, which this site trashes on a daily basis, that has saved Sierra Madre from Arcadia's fate. And if Sierra Madre doesn't have its UUT revenue fully restored it is going to hurt the quality of life here. And the ridiculous idea that Sierra Madre should have its revenue reduced so that it is unable to pay its debts is childish and ignorant. The lying gadfly Barry Gold is going to be a laughingstock as soon as the "Bankrupty Barry" mail lands.

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    1. I don't think this site has ever trashed the city council for its stand on development in Sierra Madre. Plus I think everyone is aware by now that much of the attacks on Mr. Gold are based on anti-semitism. Taking his statements out of context and then lying about them is just that. Lying. The fools who gave you their money to fund your hate cards might not like some of the legal remedies that are on the way. But what do you care? You're just a hater who loves to hurt people.

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    2. Pat Alcorn - Can you tell us how you feel about the hate campaign being run by Yes On UUT? Are you comfortable with the way things are going?

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    3. Mr. Gold is a man of great personal integrity. I guess it was inevitable that the members of the Civility Party can't tolerate him. They are allergic to honesty.

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    4. 7:55 aka Martin,
      It's spelled "bankruptcy".

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    5. The Yes people are running a very ugly campaign. Shame on John Harabbedian and John Capoccia for not saying anything.

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    6. Barry Gold is in a different league to the 'politicians' on City Council. If you take the time to talk with him ,I guarantee he will impress you as a decent ,honest ,modest and gentle soul. I do not care a jot about his politics or anything else other than the man is honest. The others are not.

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    7. I have e-mails from the mayor re relevant issues if we are going to play games.

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    8. Truth is not a game.

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    9. Tell it to the Yes people.

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    10. I think Pat was told that if she played ball in this election she would get a City Council seat in 2018.

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    11. 7:55AM The CC did what was expedient. The Preserve organization deserves all of the credit for that. The Planning Commission deserves praise, also. If it had been left up to CC without the many people who showed up meeting after meeting to force the CC to listen. It was a hard fought battle which apparently you had little to do with. The other issue I have with you is your down right nastiness! If you researched your info you'd know Mr. Gold does not favor bankruptcy. To call someone a "liar" and a "gadfly" with no proof is beyond the Pale. You, sir, are an obnoxious abomination to the citizens of Sierra Madre. All that you say about Mr. Gold are lies. His phone number is out there and he has many times asked for people to call him regarding these matters. You obviously one who has not availed himself of that. Instead you follow like a brainless sheep. Personally, I am sick of this kind of politics. It is obvious who fosters this kind of hate and animosity. It isn't Mr. Gold. Sounds more like Capoccia to me.

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    12. Yeh, Ms. Alcorn! Let's hear about how you like the hate speech bandied about!

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  12. Much of the established housing that is recently sold in Sierra Madre has been purchased by Chinese buyers who can afford to beat out the native born buyers on price. Many have no intention of tearing down the Home that they bought and rebuildi as new. The reason they're buying here is to get away from the McMansions so prevalent in Arcadia and the horribly over crowded schools in that city. These wealthy buyers from Asia due appreciate the small town charm and village atmosphere of Sierra Madre and do not want it destroyed by overdevelopment.

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    1. Great if true. But I will need convincing by more than one optimistic assertion.
      The idea of immigrants adopting the customs and behavioral standards of their new country is rather fundamental. Worked for most immigrants in the past.Those that isolated themselves often became estranged from their own children because of these differences.

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  13. Sierra Madre has the unerring good fortune of preservationist history from way back. The first one was accidental, the result of the greed of Lucky Baldwin when he and our founding "father" Nathaniel Carter, had a water war over land development. Carter lost and Baldwin, in his obnoxious braggadocio was said to declare '...I'll show you, Sierra Madre will be confined to the small number of square miles (3?) and the water from Little Santa Anita, while I will have all the water coming out of Big Santa Anita.'

    In the late 1940s, the Sierra Madre Water Department/City Council bought up the inholdings along the Little Santa Anita Canyon and some properties at Bailey Canyon to protect our water sources permanently. Then the real "preservationist" actions stated: Sierra Madre Historical Wilderness and Bailey Canyon Wilderness were declared in late 1960s, the city declared itself a Wildlife Sanctuary in 1972, the Sierra Madre Mountain Conservancy incorporated in 1989 and began to put all of the open space under conservation easements in 2002. The City is part of the Rim of the Valley Corridor of the Santa Monica Mountains Conservancy. Arcadia did not participate in the designation studies and the Rim boundary stops at the border of Sierra Madre and Arcadia. Santa Monica Mountains Conservancy bought a 40 acre parcel that abuts the Sierra Madre Historic Wilderness to protect in perpetuity.

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  14. The city staff CalPERS pension plans will bankrupt the city if that's where it's headed not the lack of more UUT taxes.

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    1. Imagine if the CalPers loot had been spent on our rusty pipes and other dilapidated infrastructure....

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    2. Don't call it corruption. That would be uncivil.

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  15. The fact of the matter is, why has our cc failed to quit paying Pensions to new city employees ? We want out of the Pension Business!

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    1. New employees are on 401k type plans. The problems are the defined benefit CalPERS plans that the SMPD gets when we can pass the future police pensions to LA County.

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  16. Why is the YES on UUT campaign focused on HATE? Hate is not a family (or Sierra Madre) value.

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    1. It is either a hate campaign or someone near the top of the YES bunch is suffering from some kind of awful mental illness.

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    2. They hate because their position is unsupportable by facts,reason or decency. Quite frightening really. Totally unnecessary in a mature democracy.Observe carefully and remember the people who lead "Yes" and pity the gullible who blindly follow them.
      It is a sinister aspect of human nature. Germany in the 1930's and 1940's was similar. Generally decent people lead by haters. Hate does no good in this world.Peace.

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  17. Haven't most major corporations and businesses switched over to 401(k)s and a eliminated classic pension plans. Most people don't even have classic pension plans like CalPERS pensions anymore. In fact most of the working people in the United States never even had pensions anywhere near as lavish as the CalPERS. It's organize labor that would bankrupt the city of Sierra Madre not the lack of a few percent of UUT taxes.

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  18. I've always thought people who have their thoughts published as Anonymous are cowards and have no credibility in what they say what so ever. These are serious issues being discussed and should be treated as such. For the sake of our cities and credibility if you have a legitimate comment stand being it not anonymous.

     

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    1. So Nick, what's your take on the article?

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    2. Nick had a piece written about him in the always laughable The Magazine. He is supposedly one of the SGV's "50 Most Innovative Men." He owns a billboard company.
      http://www.osikmedia.com/images/The_Magazine_Pasadena_Foothills_The_50_Innovative_Men_of_2012.pdf

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    3. Is The Magazine still around? I used to receive it for nothing, and then it stopped showing up in the mail. My take is if you bought an ad from The, they would publish an article telling people how important you are. The epitome of vanity journalism.

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    4. A billboard magnate? How about doing us a service and taking down some of those Rosemead Blvd monstrosities. They run the view of the mountains.

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    5. This is why to be Anonymous:
      Nicholas Petralia
      President at OSIK MEDiA, LLC
      Greater Los Angeles AreaMarketing and Advertising
      Current
      OSIK MEDiA, LLC, Clubhouse 66
      Previous
      Outdoor Media Specialists, Inc., Clear Channel Outdoor
      Education
      School of Hard Knocks

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    6. Again coward show yourself. You obviously have something to hide. I do not!

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    7. Pretty hard to hid those big ass billboards.

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    8. Nick is sore because he can't place any if this'd monster billboards in Sierra Madre

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    9. McBillboards.

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    10. "Again coward show yourself" Cowards??? Nick you are funny... Nicholas Petralia wrote on March 23, 2016 at 2:25 PM. The Tattler has always been a place where Sierra Madre citizens can voice there concerns as Anonymous. We love our neighbors even when we think they are or maybe on the wrong side of a current issue. In order to voice concerns without directly offending our neighbors, or submit ourselves to persecution from the few neanderthals floating around, "Anonymous" folks will always be more forthright and truthful expressing viewpoints in this response section of the Tattler.
      Nick, You could be a lot of help to Sierra Madre, can you create a "No on the Sierra Madre UUT tax increase and Berry Gold for City Counsel display on one of your premium and largest billboards? That would be great and make you a hero here. By the way did you know that there are some very highly intelligent people participating in these responses; MENSA levels. Did you know that highly intelligent people have extremely... dry senses of humor? even with very serious issues on the table.
      Now it is getting time for my daily London Dry Gin and Tonic, extra lime :-) :-)
      COWARDLY SIGNED BY: ONE OF THE "Anonymous"

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    11. Dialog is concluded with Coward. Go ahead and hide behind anonymous you dry sense of humor gin drinking mensa.... hardly.

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    12. I am confused. Not a gin drinker, or not a Mensa? Please clarify.

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  19. “If you tell the truth you don’t have to remember anything.” – Mark Twain.
    I hear the Yes people have to carry notebooks.

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  20. The reason why Anaokia gated community worked (in terms of raising property value for the entire area and Arcadia) was because all the (6000 sqft) houses are harmonious and compatible within it's area. AND That's what people want, harmonious and compatible. When you bought one of those Anaokia houses, you knew what you were buying and getting in to. You knew that no McMansion would be built next to you. That's why the developers tore down the Anaokia mansion - because it was out of scale with the new houses being built.

    Think about this, the 12,000 sqft Anaokia Mansion was as big as some of the new Mansions being built. They should have kept it because that's what people want now - BUT NO, the developer wanted a harmonious and compatible community because they knew it would be more profitable to be harmonious and compatible. SO YES, HARMONIOUS AND COMPATIBLE with similar sized homes are move valuable!

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    1. You could have also built the Anaokia mess at Rose Hills. It is very compatible with the mausoleums found there.

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  21. The "gadfly" writer , the one who can't spell "bankruptcy " mentioned a new postcard coming out. They no longer seem to be sending these out to the general populace only to members of their Yes on UUT organization. More hate-filled garbage. So, M's. Alcorn? What's your take on any of that? And for the idiot who said we shouldn't be anonymous? Not in this city! Look what's happened to those in the past. Mr. Gold is only one of them.

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    1. Interesting that this Pasadena campaign manager for the YES people is allowed to do what ever. No matter how hateful it is. I would be embarrassed to have a Yes sign in my yard- a tacit approval of that hate.

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    2. The nasty Pasadena dude is just like them. Mean as a snake.

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  22. John, did a lot of visitors visit the Tattler today to see this informative article?
    I hope it was thousands!

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    1. Just under 3,800 hits. Pretty decent day. Plenty more good stuff coming including this question: "Has anyone ever spent $20,000 to defeat a write-in candidate before?"

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  23. One day you should just put up a photo of a peacock and see if it takes any longer for the UUT flame war to break out in the comments.

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    1. I love the smell of burning feathers in the morning.

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  24. BOB HARBICHT WILL SET ARCADIA BACK ANOTHER 30 YEARS

    Arcadia needs fresh voices on the city council to support reasonable development standards. Please vote for April Verlato and Peter Amundson.
    For two years Roger Chandler, Sho Tay and John Wuo discouraged and actively blocked updates to the residential zoning code. They even halted updates to the commercial zoning code. Chandler and Tay are for “manisonization as usual” in Arcadia, building on the 30 year legacy of Bob Harbicht. They do not listen and they do not care.
    John Wuo, a professional realtor, resigned in disgraced stemming from his association with professional con men Steve Chen, Eiji Sakurada and Leonard Johnson.
    The last thing Arcadia needs is another councilman who is in the pocket of developers and speculators, the moneyed interests who pay to get their way over Arcadia’s residents.
    Make no mistake: Bob Harbicht is NOT John Wuo. His 30 years prove he is MUCH WORSE.
    DO NOT VOTE FOR BOB HARBICHT

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    1. Bulldozer Bob has been in and out of power in Arcadia for 30 years. He needs firing.

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    2. Bob Harbicht will win the coming election, no doubt about it. Arcadia needs some sanity back on its city council, Bob is the right choice

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    3. Sorry sparkplug, but the old pirate's booty is cooked.

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