Sunday, March 20, 2016

Tony Brandenburg: Oh Mother of God, if I Don't Cave in We'll Lose Our ...

Tony and Dario Brandenburg
Mod: After about six triumphant world tours with his band The Adolescents (and I mean everywhere in the world, even some of those weird little out of the way countries most people will never visit), Tony Brandenburg, a guy who gets to have more fun than anyone I know (including me), has at last returned to the electronic pages of The Tattler. After the vast sea swells of sanctimony that have hit this town lately, it is not a moment too soon.

Oh Mother of God, if I Don't Cave in We'll Lose Our ... Library. Be honest. When was the last time you went to the library? I mean that cute one in Sierra Madre, the one that we drive past every day on our way to somewhere else. Yeah, that one. I don't remember either. Once in a while I go to the Walnut Branch of the Pasadena Library and get books. I am totally cool with their taxpayers paying for a library for me to get books from. Check it out, I am a big boy and I have big boy britches, and I can go a couple miles to get a book. Hell, Abe Lincoln did it, and he didn't even have a Ford to take him there.

Put that in your stove pipe hat and smoke it.

I think the last time I actually went to the Sierra Madre Library was around the time my youngest one was in grade school and half of the Sierra Madre Elementary School staff, the horse jockey, the Navy Seal, the then Los Angeles County Sheriff/prisoner beater, and the District Attorney all decided he was the most dangerous 6 year old on the planet.

Yeah, I haven't forgotten any of those fine people. I'm probably the only agnostic on the planet who prays to the Dark Lord to rain brimstone all over their pathetic souls.

But, yeah, the school had decided a punishment room was a better choice for the money, not a librarian at the elementary school. Much more practical to get the suckers in Sierra Madre to pay for a library so that Pasadena kids going to school here don't have to read cereal boxes, the Internet, and endless tax me mailers sent by the Sierra Madre Police Association PAC and Sierra Madre City Council turncoats.

Oh, hey, did I ever tell you about how the Los Angeles District Attorney and his wife went to the PUSD superintendent a couple three years back with a letter about how afraid of us they were? This being the big bad wolf that blows down all the gang bangers houses with cease and desists?

Hilarious. Remind me to find their whiney crybaby letter that they walked over to the superintendent  one of these days. Yeah, the Pasadena Unified School District gave it to us, mostly because they were as baffled by it as we were.

Notorious B.R.A.H.
We stopped fighting to keep our boys in the PUSD public sector a while ago. We finally decided to let the PUSD put them into a private school. It was the smartest thing we ever did - giving up that fight. Now my kids get an education at a taxpayer cost that would feed a third world nation.

Fine. You win, District Attorney, and so did your queen. And the rest of you namby-pamby twerps. Good on you. Lol.

Speaking of District Attorneys, did our smirky Councilman Little Johnny Sunshine really get himself a job with the rest of that piddle of pond scum? Somehow that makes perfect sense to me.

Oh yeah, I was talking about the Library. I know, I know. It's cute, it's ours, and it makes us feel all high, mighty, and superior to the other cities because we have it. We like to wear our privileges out in front like that.

But, much like the Assisted Living Facility, and its groovy street level shops that the marketing guy promised as they sucked out the water and kicked up the dust - and all of those groovy stores in town - no one actually uses any of it. Well, except for the bar and the coffee shops. Even those would get a boost if they sold hash instead of donuts. It won't be long.

Yeah. The library. We really care, man.

Police Department
Good grief. Again? What do they want now? A tank? More chalk to mark my tires? A bitchen Camaro with psychedelic blue and red lights? Paintballs? Another taser? Detective Amos back targets?

And oh, please God help us if they leave and we don't have our own Police Department. Those are the things that matter, right? Because, much like the Sierra Madre Library - the Sierra Madre Police Department is ours, and it gives us that pride that makes us better than everyone else.

I know, I know. They make you feel safe. Me too. I know that you will wear your seat belts correctly, and park between the lines. When they are actually painted there.

But what, exactly, are we worried about?

A home invasion in the middle of the night?

I have seen some gnarly skunks, raccoons, a thirsty coyote, and a pack of marauding squirrels out late into the post-Buccaneer last call night creeping around. Maybe one of them could talk to the owl that keeps crapping on my car. I have a permit that I bought from the po-po so I have first dibs on that spot. I'm sure the owl does not.

Me, I've lived here 25 years, and though I had a neighbor around 20 years back who acted batshoot crazy, the only people who've ever pointed guns at me were Sierra Madre Police. They wanted me to drop my towel.

Good thing I was dressed.

UUT, or the Tax Hike that Cried "Wolf"
Just when the whiney crybaby crap had mellowed out as much as it could in this town, back came the rate hike that wouldn't flake-off-and-die.

Apparently the City Council hasn't figured out that after two elections we don't want it. So here we go again.

I know, there's this big huge DEBT that can only be fixed by raising taxes. I get it. We pay for a Police Department that outsources as much as they can (parking permits anyone?) and we gotta boost those revenues somehow to make sure we can pay their salaries and benefiber - I mean benefits - so they have the time to outsource more.

We can't seem to make enough bank on our craft fairs and all the streams of buses going up and down the street to see the damn wistaria. Porta-potties cost money! They don't grow on diminished pepper trees!

Oh, help me Jesus, if we don't do this we're going to lose everything that makes us so quaint and full of ourselves. God help us if we have to actually be responsible for ourselves and our well-being. Everyone knows we really need a city government to budget for us. What would we do without that Wistaria Fete, the Halloween Parade, and the oh-so-vital Huck Finn Fishing Derby MWD swamp.

Yeah, yeah. I know. Shame on me for fish bashing.

Donald Trump
Speaking of which. Thank you Dingleberry Don for dragging politics down to a whole new level. The best pissing match on earth. Grab your rulers, gentlemen. The candidate with the biggest hands wins.

sierramadretattler.blogspot.com

84 comments:

  1. The Adolescent's' Tony B and the Star News' Larry Wilson. That about covers the spectrum. If we ever had NO on UUT fundraisers they would certainly be more fun than hanging with the Fifty Shades of Dull crowd at Little Johnnie Sunshine's house.

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    1. Little Johnnie Sunshine is a sleazy union owned hack who thinks selling this town out will give him a political career. Kurt Zimmerman famously called Sunshine "Joe Mosca with brains." I'm beginning to think Kurt was only half right.

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    2. when you start your political career by flipping your middle snaggly lawyer finger at campaign ethics, then you'll never have a career, Harabedian will always be known as Photoshop John.

      instead of taking the easy way out, just keep pushing for higher taxes, he and the rest of the Council should grow a pair, tell the City Attorney to sue Calpers for fraud and then default on all pensions current and future

      contract out the library

      quit asking for more money and apparently the two ladies who ran as "outsiders" turned out to be the same dudes who we keep electing

      hope the majority of the city votes NO for the 3rd time


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  2. Great post as expected Tony, glad to see your back!

    But who is John Galt?

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  3. Laughter before breakfastMarch 20, 2016 at 6:07 AM

    The PASADENA StarNews editorial that recommended a NO vote in the UUT said the Yes advocates just want all of us to pay for nostalgia. Tony, you've said basically the same thing, but in a much more entertaining manner. Bravo!

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    1. The special people can pay for nostalgia all they want. But it would be even more special if they did all that paying themselves. Why should I be forced to donate to their delusions of grandeur?

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    2. you'd think that with all national attention of people being tired of the public sector employee unions bashing us with taxes to pay for their lifetime pension on "our dimes, quarters and 66% tax rates" that our local Council would first instruct the city manager to deal with the most pressing budget issue and fix that - the pension bloat

      we (taxpayers) are getting screwed over so government employees can retire at almost full salary at taxpayer expense and then we have to pay more into the system to keep it afloat

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  4. The phony baloney yes on uut crowd has been skewered.

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  5. The Yes On UUT Party has been running on-line ads on the Star News page. "Protecting Our Home Values by Keeping Local Government Strong." How does paying some of the highest utility taxes in there country improve "home values?" High taxes hurt home prices.

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    1. who reads the Star News online?

      what a laugh - keep our local government strong? seriously

      isn't it the same local government that got itself into this mess?

      same old nonsense - its' more about protecting real estate commissions and development interests cause those are the primary supporters of the yes vote

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  6. Increased government has never added to property values.

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    1. would you please stop thinking

      thank you

      The Sierra Madre City Council

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    2. Let Elaine do the thinkin'March 20, 2016 at 6:41 PM

      Rachelle, john C and Denise have stopped thinking. So should we.

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  7. The idea that the same City hall that ran the water company into the ground, stood by with their pinkies in their ears while the Police department collapsed, and has accrued over $30 million dollars in water bond and CalPERS debt, somehow helps Sierra Madre property values must be the work of insane people. Sierra Madre succeeds despite those low energy idiots, and not because of them.

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    1. 8:12 I paraphrase in agreement:
      The idea that the same City Hall that drained our Water Company & destroyed our water quality , stood by while the Sierra Madre Police Department sued us & then deserted us, and has accrued over $30 million dollars in water bond and CalPERS debt, somehow helps Sierra Madre property values is both foolish & illogical.
      Sierra Madre succeeds despite the City Manager and C.C., not because of them.
      Imagine how Sierra Madre property values would soar with HONEST people in charge at City Hall?

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    2. we need to stop hiring city managers who are looking to make a mark for themselves for their own resumes and careers

      with the UUT, it's not a honest tax request. from day one it was clouded with outright lies, manipulation of the public trust and today it's a scapegoat for the mess we are in

      jeez, just declare bankruptcy, dump the pensions (all of them), start over with reality, contract out the library and sign with the Sheriff's and quit wasting out time and our tax money with postcards selling us a tax for the 3rd time

      I just want to puke

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  8. Looking around and back in time how many times has Sierra Madre city hall cried, 'The Sky id Falling' and we have to or you have to follow our demands or directions blindly? Your right too many darn times - the madness has to stop. Voting NO UUT will be the first steps in the right direction.

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    1. you're completely wrong. the library closed four years ago like the city threatened would happen

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  9. Great to hear from Tony. We miss his astute analysis of what's going in the world and all done in his imitable style. People don't use the library anymore but still are afraid to let it go and that applies to our own police dept.

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  10. The library is Sierra Madre's white elephant. It serves no real purpose, consumes a lot of money, but everyone fears doing something about this because they'll be scolded by the usual sanctimonious idiots.

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    1. aka The Anointed? They know what's "best for us." Just hold on to your wallet.

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    2. Actually, the drum-beat here has been that the library is beloved and city hall is engaging in scare tactics that it will be cut, because of course it won't be. Are we moving to the concept that the UUT is actually needed for the library, but we don't want it anyway? I can't keep up.

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    3. The baseline is a combined $30 million in water bond and CalPERS debt. The library is just a pawn.

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    4. How many highly paid librarians does it take to run a small city library that gets used by only a small number of people?

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    5. 1 active + 2 retired at $100,000+ each

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    6. we have a retired librarian, someone still in prime earning years, retired at almost a full salary funded by taxpayers and we hired her back at a salary for what reason?

      and we need to pay more in taxes for what reason?

      I'm okay with the Sheriff's dept

      I'm fine with the library being contracted out with the county or Pasadena

      I'm fine with the public pension plan going bankrupt - not my problem

      so, I'm voting NO and doing more good than those that support the UUT rate hike

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  11. You folk sure like to blame our elected officials for our problems. Please be reminded we voted for them or they would not be in office. I don't think every elected official in Sierra Madre for the last 30 years is corrupt,incompetent,unknowing or plain stupid. We are in charge of our city,always have been.Take a look in the mirror you will see the problem. Yes I know reality sucks.

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    1. Three sitting City Councilmembers ran as anti-utility tax increase candidates.
      1) John Capoccia
      2) Denise Delmar
      3) Rachelle Arizemendi
      All three are now actively;y campaigning for a utility tax hike.
      Unfortunately our local politicians are not honest with us. And neither are you.

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    2. Hell, I didn't vote for several of them. So no, they don't represent me or they'd be figuring how to spend less.

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    3. @9:17 Possibly they get into office and find out the realities about our financial situation and try to correct them?
      @9:23 I'm sorry you don't understand the political process,but yes they do represent you like it or not. No need to curse on Sunday morning............

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    4. Pathetic apologist.

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    5. There is a remedy for this.
      If they lie to get elected,they should be recalled.
      We have done it before

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    6. I don't recall there being a successful recall in Sierra Madre? Have we?

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    7. 9:31 is a lying skunk.

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    8. 9:31 is admitting that Council candidates don't look at the financials when they run.

      They're not confidential. The "I didn't know how bad the finances were until I got in office" is a big lie. The second lie is when the "tax-fighter" (s) support tax increases so we can keep spending over 50% of budget on our private security force aka SMPD

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    9. Stop the madness. Hire the Sheriffs.

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    10. 9:31, there are no "realities" of which they were not aware before running. You must mean the celebration kool-aid they drank once they got elected, right? Or could it be they were lying all along to get elected? Crazy thought, right?

      Please specify exactly what "realities" you are referring to before you spout any further nonsense.

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    11. When city councilmembers break their promises they no longer represent the people who elected them.

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    12. So I guess everyone that has been on the city council for the last 20 years is paid off by some anonymous evil empire whose goal is to tax the entitled Caucasian class as much as possible

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    13. Oh good. It's happy hour.

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

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  12. The library is less than 10% of the general fund expenditures, so why is everyone talking about it? Let it be for goodness sake. The high cost of law enforcement is really what we are enabling if Yes on UTT passes.

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    1. The library is always the whipping boy. Yes crowd can't just be truthful - if they make it about SMPD and CalPERS they will lose.

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    2. Sierra Madre is carrying huge amounts of debt. That is why Measure UUT exists. They Yes On UUT mob is lying.

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    3. Quitter cops must go.

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    4. So Sierra Madre shouldn't pay its debts? It should follow the Barry Gold for Sierra Madre Bankruptcy Plan?

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    5. 11:11, increase your dosages. The Tattler's never said anything about forcing bankruptcy. And make your next anger management meeting!

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    6. Notice how the only thing the Yes on UUT have are lies? Maybe they're an indication of a local outbreak of insanity.

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    7. Getting control of city spending is the exact opposite of forcing bankruptcy. It is called fiscal responsibility. 11:11 is not telling the truth.

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    8. Should Sierra Madre pay its pension debts or not?

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    9. Good question. Certainly our elected officials shouldn't lie about them by omission on their expensive big tax campaign material. Plus we should make sure we don't commit to even more community killing debt by retaining the deserter SMPD.

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    10. When the city deals with spending by, for example, going with the sheriff and saving $3.6 - 4.8 million over the next 8 years, we can take bk bobos like 11:11 seriously.

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    11. i agree 912. the library is bait.

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    12. The police department is already closing. You're like a Japanese soldier on a deserted island still fighting for the emperor in 1952.

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    13. Dear 11:11,

      I do not have a bankruptcy plan. I have a plan designed to keep our city from going bankrupt.

      This plan includes contracting with the sheriff and saving an average of $400,000 a year over the next eight years by implementing a blend of the sheriff's proposals A & B.

      The next step is to reduce additional expenses and then to have a Utility Users Tax of 9% with a Sunset Clause and an Advisory Measure recommending that a portion of the UUT goes to infrastructure improvements, just like the current UUT has a portion of the UUT going to public safety.

      I would be happy to meet with you at your convenience to discuss this or any other items of interest to you. All I want to do is see Sierra Madre survive our financial difficulties and continue to be the cherished, unique, small town we all love.

      Restfully,

      Barry Gold
      213-804-1820

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    14. Keep it simple. Go with proposal A, get rid of the public safety director. Get 20% more patrol hours. City verified savings of $4.8m.

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    15. 11:11AM Are you Mayor Capoccia? Why do you keep harping on Mr. Gold and bankruptcy? I remember talking to you about that very subject over a year ago. You had a major hemorrhage and all I did was ask what would happen to us as a city. You need to stop being such a juvenile!

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    16. How absurd. Not only Mike Amerio but now Barry Gold is stating they support higher UUT taxes but with their own personal conditions (rather than the conditions of the elected city council). Even the opposition knows Sierra Madre can't function without a higher UUT.

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    17. People aren't allowed to have opinions in the Yes On UUT Reich?

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    18. 4:07PM Are you trying to sell Capoccia coins? Neither of those gentlemen ever said they were against a UUT. You're thinking of yourself who was once against the UUT and is now for it. I believe both have said they are against the way the UUT as it is written. Mr. Gold, on the UUT commission was for a (% UUT with a sunset. There's nothing personal about that. You're an idiot.

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    19. So many of the Yes On UUT crowd are not truthful people.

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  13. i shook john harabedian's hand once and it took weeks to get the sleaze off

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    1. Harabedian and Arizmendi are just using & abusing Sierra Madre to climb the political ladder.They are proving their political chops to their Masters at our expense. It seems obvious and I am surprised Sierra Madre seems O.K. with that.

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    2. Notice the article in the Looney Views this weekend about Arizmendi's award? She also got appointed to some board by Jerry Brown. Are these the kind of goodies you get when you sell out your people?

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    3. awards are management's doggie treat for inefficiency

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  14. Needles CA contracts with SB county sheriff for police, AND the city charges a 10% tax on CANNABIS sales. Problem solved.

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    1. i'm going to tackle this one soon. john's blog a while back got me thinking.

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    2. Gee I wish I lived in Needles and anyone who buys Marijuana from the retailers is a fool.

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    3. The retailers can pay taxes, just like we have to pay UUT

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  15. Who is behind an initiative to repeal utility taxes in Sierra Madre?

    Pasadena Star-News exposing the fact that Sierra Madre is being targeted.
    "TeaPAC, a political action committee that has raised more than $222,000 since 2011, has helped set up small, grassroots groups targeting utility user’s taxes in their cities. One of those groups, the California Tax Limitation Committee (CTLC), successfully got a measure seeking to repeal the utility user’s tax in Sierra Madre on the ballot in that city."

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    1. This has nothing to do with the 2016 Sierra Madre election or Measure UUT. Nitwit.

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    2. I wish! We could use the money. Instead we are fighting a guerilla political war with no money against a portly Pasadena politico financed by Sierra Madre's most elite and monied citizens. You know, like Carol C, Johnnie B, and the mayor who is acting like the middle manager he is.

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

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  16. it's a donation, man

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  17. Come on Tony, the library isn't all about you. They have an average of 6,700 per month visitors July through February. Those who use the library believe it is a needed service to our city. There are those in Sierra Madre who are not on a vendetta with the Pasadena School District, and I get it. But you need to think about what Sierra Madre is all about and think about what is good for all citizens, not just a few who don't use the library, or the community services, or other services where the tax monies go. And as far as the tattlers who think Denise, John and Rachelle have gone astray, put yourselves in their shoes and sit on the dais for one night. You will see that it is very difficult to make decisions for the City to function as a City without a balanced budget. Police department not withstanding, the City needs the money to function.

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    1. Where Denise, Rachelle and John have gone astray isn't so much their support of Measure UUT, though that does contradict one of the main tenants of their election campaigns. Where they have failed, and dismally so, is to tel the voters the real reason why they need that money. Instead we get nonsense about the Library, or the Wistaria Festival, or any number of cooked up baloney. It is about CalPERS debt. $9.7 million unfunded dollars worth. If they had told the truth from the get-go it would have sailed through. But they did not, and now they're running scared. And rightfully so. I hear the turnout at Harabedian's house was low, btw. How are you going to pay for Martin's witless postcards now?

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    2. the library is a ruse to stage a battle over the library and fudge through a tax that won't ever get funds to the library anyway.

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    3. so. what you are saying is that during the months of march, april, may, and june the library should be closed? that's actually a great idea.

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    4. They are like junkies. Don't give them money until they clean up their spending habit. Hire the sheriff and show us you're clean. then we can talk taxes.

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    5. The Yes On UUT campaign sure does lie a lot.

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  18. Hair in training.

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    1. "Give me a head with hair,
      Long beautiful hair..."

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    2. shining flaxing waxing

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    3. Oh, say, can you see my eyes
      If you can then my hair's too short

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