Wednesday, June 15, 2016

Is the City Council Powerless to Stop Sober Living Homes?

 Dedicato TC
It went pretty much as we predicted it would. Sober Living Houses and those who live in them are a protected species that cities such as Sierra Madre are powerless to do anything about. The City Council agreed last night that cities do need to be notified when these group homes move into a neighborhood. They also agreed that they should be accountable and properly evaluated.

But how this was to be accomplished is anybody's guess. Rachelle Arizmendi asked if a fee structure could be built into registration. The City Manager said possibly. Of course, a sober living home entrepreneur would have to want to actually register with the city for this to happen. Something that he/she is in no way compelled to do under federal or state law right now.

The Dedicato Treatment Center located up on Carter Avenue being a good example of that. It existed there for months before anyone at City Hall found out. And only then it was because residents from that neighborhood told them.

The Director of Development said cities have been trying to get bills passed for the last 10 years, but they always fail. Apparently he wasn’t up on the success of the Malibu Mayor Pro Tem and City Attorney’s efforts described in the article The Tattler referred to yesterday (link). 4 bills were introduced in the Assembly last Spring, and 3 of them passed.

Who knew?

So last night the City Council agreed to write a letter to Sacramento. It was something that could be safely done. All the councilmembers called the letter a good first step. It was something they could actually do without upsetting anyone too much.

Like I said, it went pretty much as predicted - the shrug of the shoulders, the wishes that things were different. The sense was that nothing much could be said or done. Not the best attitude for the elected participants in a city's civic affairs. And certainly not what anyone would call inspiring leadership.

Councilmember Capoccia said something very wrong about Measure R2
John Capoccia has not had a bad thing to say about any tax increase since first being elected as an anti-tax Councilmember in 2012. True to form, last night he waxed positively rhapsodic over Metro's call for a half-cent sales tax increase. This on top of the many billions of dollars they are already getting from a previous sales tax measure.

This sales tax increase is something called Measure R2.

Measure R2 is designed to raise money for Metro light rail, freeways, buses, all the usual transportation stuff. However, quoth the Councilman, none of that money would ever go towards building the 710 Tunnel, which is a Metro project.

And John stated this like it was actually a completely a done deal. And that we should believe him.

However, according to Sylvia Plummer of the influential No 710 Action Committee (link), if passed by the voters later this year, some Measure R2 funds would actually be used to help build the tunnel. Here is what she had to say last January.

Many of us know that the language in Metro's new Measure R2 is going to include, along with mostly transit programs, further funding for the 710 tunnel. Since the, former transit Measure J lost because of anti-710 voters in our area, the new funding is "hidden" in the verbiage of Measure R2.

The draft language for Measure R2 DOES include a loophole to fund the 710 tunnels even though it is not one of the listed projects. We believe this deceptive language was drafted by a pro-710 board member and purposely buried, hopefully not to be found. Thankfully, Attorney Dick Helegeson, discovered this language after the Oct 22nd Metro Board meeting.

The Metro Board still does not get that we are serious about our opposition to R2. That's why we have to go to every board meeting from now on and tell them we will not support Measure R2.

Measure R2 was created as an “extend and augment” tax that would add an extra 18 years to the life of Measure R1. If passed it would enable the implementation of an additional half-cent sales tax with a 30 year life. This tax, Metro believes, could generate an additional $120 billion dollars for them.

And once they have this money, they would be free to do with it as they like. No matter what John Capoccia claimed last night.

Below is a video from the Metro Board Meeting of 3/24/2016. Groups opposing the tunnel project were quite adamant about not voting for Measure R2 because of its ties to the 710 Tunnel.

Click here to view the video.

sierramadretattler.blogspot.com

43 comments:

  1. Wow! A letter! Now that's taking strong action! Anyone think about buttonholing Chris Holden, or asking Antonovich and Portantino what they will do about it? What is that expensive lobbyist the city lays for doing about it! What is the world's smartest attorney, Theresa Highsmith, doing about it? It's here job to find ways around things like this. Tell her to start earning her money!

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  2. It is the Eeyore Council. Oh me, oh my.

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  3. I have reached the conclusion that the one-party state of California has become unlivable. I don't care what your politics are but to have the unions and the party effectively hand-pick who is going to run for office, you end up with what we've got. This has resulted in some very bad laws like with regard to sober living facilities in R-1 neighborhoods. Really, what killed California happened in about 1973, when Governor Brown (yes, the same guy) allowed the public employees to unionize. Its been downhill for the taxpayers and state ever since but certainly uphill for the public employees who are eventually going to bankrupt every city and state in the country as they retire at 50 with lifetime pensions, full medical benefits and cost of living increases. Meanwhile our taxes go up and up to pay for all this. The only way things can be fixed is if things get so bad, and I mean really bad, that the whole state implodes. Then maybe we will see meaningful change. The only problem with hoping that happens is that I live in California and will have to experience the collapse of a once great state.

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    1. You've just explained why there's been a mass exodus of working class families that have left CA, including 500,000 in the last 5 years that have moved to Texas.

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    2. They won't really be missed.
      http://www.businessinsider.com/california-gdp-crushes-everyone-2016-6

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    3. It was nice of Gov Brown to recognize that public employees have 1st Amendment rights.

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    4. 7:53 should be really proud:
      California Beats U.S. in Millionaires, Food-Stamp Users
      http://www.bloomberg.com/news/articles/2014-03-07/brown-s-california-outpaces-u-s-in-millionaires-and-food

      That was 2014. Bet the number of 2016 food stamp users is even higher.

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    5. “We have an increase in poverty and high-end earners and a decrease in middle class jobs,” said Rob Lapsley, president of the California Business Roundtable, a Sacramento-based group that’s criticized the high cost of doing business in the state.

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    6. Brown wasn't the governor in 1973. Reagan was.

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    7. And the nice thing about today's food stamp (EBT card) users is that because it is all electronic there are no pesky food lines like we had during the 1930's Depression to continue to remind us of all those who are unemployed and receiving government ( I.e. Taxpayer) assistance.

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    8. Just keep in mind that most homeowners received much more governmental assistance (in the form of tax deductions that others do not receive) than those food stamp receivers.

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    9. 3:55, you don't do well with math, do you?

      $100 of food stamps received for free beats the hell out of spending $100 on mortgage payments to save $28 off on taxes.

      I hope you don't give people financial advice.

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    10. 4:46
      You may not like to look at yourself as a receiver of government handouts, but most middle class people are. Most could not afford the homes that they are living in if they did not receive those and other handouts.
      In fact, "the average subsidy for those earning $200,000 to $500,000 is three times that for those earning $10,000 to $20,000."
      http://www.economist.com/blogs/buttonwood/2012/09/fiscal-policy

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    11. http://www.bloomberg.com/view/articles/2016-06-03/yes-a-six-figure-income-means-you-re-affluent

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    12. Wow! 4:46's mortgage is only $100 per month so he only gets a $28 benefit.

      A lot of people pay $2500 to $3000 and more, so they get tax breaks of $700 to $840 or more. So 4:46, do recipients of food stamps get that much per month for 30 years?

      More importantly, please tell us where you got such a killer loan that calls for only $100 per month in payments!

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    13. Maybe if Veritas would stop shopping at Walmart, which not only pays low wages but also puts small business owners and their employees out-of-business, the need for food stamps would decrease.

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    14. Some people are successful in life, 7:55. I can understand why you might have a problem with that.

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    15. Ivan understand 7:55's pain. That is why 7:55 is feeling the Bern. Oh, never mind, he lost too.

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  4. "Those who are too smart to engage in politics are punished by being governed by those who are dumber.”
    Plato

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  5. If you take away the engine that powers those politician's who seem hell bent on destroying California than VOTE NO on all those ballot issues that need your vote to allow then to throw away your so call self imposed taxes.

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  6. That just about sums it up 6:13. I wish that everyone of our elected officials who pass a law were obligated to experience firsthand the consequences of their laws. I'd bet a million dollars that the lawmaker who proposed that sober living facility law doesn't have to live next door to one of those places. Our public servants are increasingly becoming a new elite class more similar to what is seen with Communist party members in China as an example.

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  7. Let's see. The state of California guarantees sexual predators the right to live near schools, and resettles small groups of drug addicts into quiet residential communities. Aren't you happy that we live in such enlightened times?

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    1. "Registered citizens" have a lawyer who fights for their rights.
      Regular tax payers? Not so much.

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    2. The lawyer we pay for fights for city hall. A place with interests that are often at odds with ours.

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    3. Yes, the city attorney is there to make sure the city doesn't find itself in a lawsuit situation. It may well be that the Council Members were asked to be careful re: action taken, especially since one of the council members lives next door to the sober living house in question. Most likely some of you were not in Sierra Madre when action was taken regarding group living homes, and the furiour it caused.

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  8. I just don't get why all the compassion goes only one way.

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    1. If you need help for your medical condition, you will receive the same compassion - or maybe not, depending on whom you have as a neighbor.

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    2. Unless you're willing to claim victimhood, there won't be any concern for your well being.
      A strong sense of personal responsibility is not valued very highly.

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    3. 11:58
      They are already claiming to be victims of their addicted neighbors - it was not their fault that they moved in next door.

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  9. One gentleman spoke movingly about the homeless last night. Of course, Dedicato is not for the homeless, but never mind. He said he didn't approve of these places being "foisted" on neighborhoods, but also that people had to get over it. You can control your backyard, but not what is next to it, and he hoped Sierra Madre would be welcoming.
    The upshot was that he's fine if it happens to you. Don't know if he'd be so fine if it happened to him.

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    1. It was an interesting little talk. He was talking in two very distinct directions at once, and I thought he might actually tear in half.

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    2. Mayor Goss praised Emmit, the man who spoke, for his confusing remarks.

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    3. The Mayor values confusion and lack of basic comprehension in residents. It makes him feel intelligent.

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  10. No LA County sales tax money will ever go to pay for the 710 Tunnel. No, really!

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    1. Thank you Mr. Antonovich.

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  11. To the person who posted their concerns that a family member is at the Dedicato Treatment Center and they live 2,000 miles away. There are other facilities with a real track record of success like "Charter Oaks" or as someone mentioned the Impact House which I have also heard nothing but good about.
    I am a neighbor in pretty close proximity to your family member and would be happy to transport them to another location if transportation is a problem for you.

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    1. Are you offering your transportation assistance to anyone or just to addicts?

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    2. No not anyone but certainly addicts who are being charged 15,000 per month for sub standard care and their family is living too far to make changes easily.
      And I am serious, if this persons family is in need of transportation they can let the Moderator know and we can make a connection.

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    3. Sometimes addicts need to get away from their families to get started with their rehabilitation.
      A former neighbor of mine was a professor with a wife who had an alcohol addiction, that she developed after a traffic accident resulting in severe back pain. She is recovered for some years now and learned how to deal with her pain, but he was initially quite shocked to learn that his behavior had to change to enable her to recover... It is often more complicated than it may seem from the outside.

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  12. Well, I think since there is not much the city can do about the"Dedicato Center" the neighborhood should show support by having all the neighbors display a directional Drug Rehab yard sign starting from Mt. Wilson trail to the east and Eaton Canyon 100 ft.to the west. This will help those who are seeking help find it and those out hiking get back home.

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    1. No problem finding it at night. The place is lit up like a Las Vegas business.

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