Tuesday, July 26, 2016

Banner Poles At Lima: Doesn't This Look A Bit Familiar?

The city that howled about its financial woes before Measure UUT was passed now wants to spend a whole lot of money on something called banner poles. Kind of in the vein of the generic saccharine nonsense being concocted for Kersting Court Park, it apparently is part of the current move to turn Sierra Madre's delightfully organic downtown into something that looks just like everywhere else. Which makes sense since the people responsible for this come from everywhere else.

There is an item to be discussed this evening that deals with City Hall's need to communicate with a community that often ignores them. And rather than trying to get folks attention by producing information that is relevant or entertaining, they instead are focusing on the hardware of communication. Which, as we should all know, can be futile. It is never the paper or the billboard, but rather the words that each contain. If people don't find your content to be interesting or relevant to them, it really won't matter where you put it.

Here is how a portion of this agenda item for tonight's City Council meeting reads (link). The following details all of the ways the city communicates with its residents.


You would think that would all be enough. But apparently not. Here is the paragraph dealing with the storied history of banner poles, and why spending $26,000 to get them would be fine and dandy.


The reason these banner poles were not accepted by the City Council way back when is they were a part of the 2006 Downtown Specific Plan. The very same sopping bucket of architectural processed cheese so unceremoniously dumped by the voters when they passed Measure V. That sort of thing was very unpopular back then.

Like I said, it was a suggestion that came with the DSP. Part of the make-downtown-extend-to-Lima idea, enlivening that side of town. So “downtown” would not be just Kersting Court and Baldwin, but instead lasts a few blocks longer. More businesses, more money.

That has now already happened, of course. Subway and all those little shops that opened in the block east of Memorial Park are part of it, with the Kensington further extending this theme. The successful bakery on the corner of Lima and the Boulevard, which is always crowded at meal times, the Mexican fast food joint that is also always busy, all of that.

Here is something interesting. Like I said, those banner poles were part of the 2006 DSP. And I still have the maps. Look for the purple arch on the left side of the following graphic.


I am not sure that a city that was so recently screaming poverty in order to get itself a utility tax increase should be spending $26,000 on banner poles. And those are 2006 prices. Who knows what they would cost today.

Of course, those poles wouldn't just take care of themselves. You would need to hire someone to maximize their potential, along with the rest of the communication network.


Good money if you can get it. However, don't get your hopes up too high. It is unlikely that a Sierra Madre resident would be hired.

sierramadretattler.blogspot.com

54 comments:

  1. Next thing you know, the City will be putting up these antiquated "way finding" signs that Nancy Walsh was so anxious to buy.

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    1. If there are any ADULTS on the CC ,would they please prioritize spending OUR money.Yesterday we had a water pipe emergency symptomatic of a city-wide problem that has been neglected for decades. And now they want banner poles!
      Sorry to be a bore but water supply trumps banner poles. Is it really necessary to point this out to the CC ?

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  2. It'd be for the developers and their attorneys; this way to the Monastery, that way to One Carter, this way to Stone House, that way to the drug rehab facility...

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  3. Maybe we could convince the city to buy some "go away" signs.

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    1. Good idea. Google "go away signs" for some ideas. There are some good ones there.

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  4. They can't seriously be spending money on this?!?

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    1. Yes. It is a financial emergency. There is money that hasn't been spent yet.

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  5. This city has real problems to deal with, and the focus is now on adding staff and banners as sort of expensive decorative elements.

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    1. The city is communicating just fine.
      Heck, city hall won the UUT funding in perpetuity, despite the facts.

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  6. I would feel a lot better about community communication if city hall would get this very important fact:
    NO NEW STAFF POSITIONS

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    1. What is the title? Director of Signs?

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    2. And get rid of some of the existing ones.

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    3. Minister of Information.

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  7. As revenge for standing up to the entire city council & City management for their bumbling of UUT and SMPD spending spree these fine folks in city hall are going to make Sierra Madre look like a cheap B movie set all year long for all the residents to see day and night. Time to set the wheels in motion to remove them one by one or all in one fell swoop.

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  8. No respect for George Mourer. When he wanted to have sign placement and study; he was told too expensive and drivers would be distracted in the higher traffic areas.

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  9. This is the 3rd time this has been brought before the Council. It has been voted down twice. Mosca brought it forward the last time. What part of NO does the City Manager refuse to accept. This is a never waste an opportunity situation. The topic of Communications was again brought up and this item was combined with other communication suggestions. No doubt Bart is hoping it will all pass under the guise of Communication improvements. AGAIN, you see a late night agenda item, before the Council's August closure, slithered in for passage hoping no one will notice. I didn't want the banner with Mosca and I still don't want it. Stop cluttering the city with more visual distractions. The downtown area is already a visual mess. Please let's keep it simple. Why do we have to look like Monrovia and every other city in the USA? We're losing our identity. Or is that the planned agenda?

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  10. This is the kind of thing that makes me skeptical when staff starts crying about how they have too much work to do, led in that chorus by the city manager. Somebody had time to put together this frivolity.

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  11. My biggest concern is the visual pollution.

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  12. So, are they trying to bring back the DSP?

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  13. I'm appalled that the Council would bring back this item and even consider spending money on this unnecessary banner? Every day the City crews are out repairing water leaks, Don't tell me you need big bucks for a banner when the basics are not done. Take care of the infrastructure, replace the darn pipes! Forget the banner.

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  14. As is governments way, the more you give them the more they will need. If there is money left at the end of the year they will spend it on something so they can say see, we need more money. Too bad residents and council don't under stand the government employs way. KEEP THE MONEY COMING, we're going to need more.

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  15. I recall they tried putting ads for dominoes pizza on those poles at Kersting court several years ago. I called city hall to complain I spoke to someone very that couldn't seem to understand what the difference was between dominoes and and a concert in the park was. I yelled and they were removed a few days later. These poles will be used to advertise local and possibly non local businesses.It's a very ugly sight and a bad idea for the city to sell advertising above our streets.

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  16. These billboards are nothing less than billboards,ugly,cheap,distracting,invasive,obscure the beautiful view of the mountain,commercial advertisements on our property.

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    1. I agree with you 9:11. They are ugly!

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  17. Has anyone else taken a look at the staff report? I'm confused. The staff is recommending an upgrade to the reverse 911 system. What is Nixie 360? I noticed it doesn't require that residents "opt-in". Does that mean the city will have access to our private phone numbers? I hope not!

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    1. I assume,and hope the 911 system already has caller ID with no opt in or out option.

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  18. I think we should just hire a drug addict with a "Twirly Sign" to jump around and act like a moron crazy person to stand on the corner of Lima and SMB and draw attention

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  19. Just let staff stand on corners in costume wearing sandwich boards. Teens could paint the messages.
    Put signs on all of the city vehicles.
    Coordinating Council is a joke.
    Those that want to know what's happening make an effort. Those that don't , don't.
    This is just another empire building scheme to grow city staff and expenses.

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  20. the city is a "Valley Girl" with her daddy's credit card, heading to the mall.

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    Replies
    1. Fixing the pipes would be nice. But that would be hard.

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  21. Check out the applications for the Library Board on tonight’s city council agenda. Where do you think they will want all of the Proposed Parcel Tax money to go? Hint: Not to fixing water pipes.

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    1. WHAT proposed parcel TAX? ? ?

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    2. City Council will start rolling it out in September. It will be pitched as needed to take care of a lot of the things Measure UUT was supposed to fix. Like water infrastructure.

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    3. The Library Lovers, little league people, the seniors, and of course the city employees, will all be fighting for their share of the new parcel tax. Very little, if any, will go to infrastructure. Sad, to say the least.

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    4. The library trustee "reviews and makes recommendations for library budget proposals, monitors expenditures; acts as rhe steward of the library's present and future; and supports adequate funding for library operations."

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    5. Sorry, I sent before I was finished. Yes, if there was a proposal for a ballot parcel tax came up, I would support it. Outside of that, fund raising for the library should be the purview of the Friends of the Library.

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    6. The library trustee "reviews and makes recommendations for library budget proposals, monitors expenditures; acts as rhe steward of the library's present and future; and supports adequate funding for library operations."

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    7. Oh; and the funds for the library come from the general fund. The water department is a separate entity so any parcel tax would be strictly for the water dept and none to the library.

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  22. Not in my backyard.

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    1. What is not in your backyard?

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    2. Savings from the UUT sunset to 6%

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  23. I think the agenda links, Items 2 and 3, to the library board and planning commission applications are reversed.

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  24. These banners could end up on wall hangers in the city council chambers attached to SMPD cars and city vehicles next, it's called a sell out. The city hall has sold your city to make bank and CalPERS payments for city halls retirement funds. Happy Trails to you all.

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  25. Save money. No city asst mng. needed.
    Eight or ten years ago the city only had a city administrator.

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  26. Pevsner, the man who never met a big house he didn't like, has been appointed to the Planning Commission.
    Good luck Sierra Madre.

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    1. Don't be so gloomy, 8:15. There are fine commissioners still. Build 'em big Pevsner will not be the only voice on the commission.

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    2. I understand why Goss and Harabedian pushed "build 'em big" Pevsner, but what's with Arizmendi? I thought she was pro-preservation.

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    3. She sold out. Nothing that is new in Sierra Madre/

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    4. It was probably just to hard to compete with Pevsner's eloquence on the application:
      http://www.cityofsierramadre.com/common/pages/DisplayFile.aspx?itemId=4684043
      Scroll down 4 pages

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  27. Notice who gave their vote for Pevsner?

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    Replies
    1. It was 3 for Pevs, 1 for gold, 1 for Vandevelde.

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  28. I watched a little bit of the City Council meeting but then I turned it off. I just can't watch those people anymore. They lied about Measure UUT and I just don't trust them anymore.

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    1. Sounds like you need a little time with the Director of Community Communications.

      Did they approve that new staff position?

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