Monday, July 25, 2016

Letter: Resident Concerns About No. Michillinda Water Main Repairs

Mod: The following is on the schedule for tomorrow night's City Council meeting (link).


Mod: Bruce Inman's rush to judgement contracting predilections are apparently at play here once again, and this has raised concerns for at least one Sierra Madre resident. The following email went out to the City Council over the weekend.

Date: Sun, Jul 24, 2016 at 3:14 PM
Subject: Concerns about work by Stephen Doreck Equipment Rentals
To: ggoss@cityofsierramadre.com, rarizmendi@cityofsierramadre.com, jcapoccia@cityofsierramadre.com, ddelmar@cityofsierramadre.com, jharabedian@cityofsierramadre.com


Dear Mayor Goss, Mayor Pro Tem Arizmendi and City Council Members Capoccia, Delmar and Harabedian,

At Tuesday’s City Council meeting, City Staff will be asking you to approve an “emergency” contract with Stephen Doreck Equipment Rentals (“Doreck”) for a quarter of a million dollars to replace a water main, bypassing the normal bidding process.  The report notes that Doreck has worked for the City previously and states “Staff has had no problem with the firm’s work quality or scheduling.”  This statement by City Staff is extremely troubling.

Our property, and our neighbors’ property, were significantly damaged by Doreck during the company’s September 2014 installation of the Mountain Trail water main.  Doreck personnel failed to exercise due care in re-connecting the new water main and their error created a huge water pressure surge, more than a normal household system could tolerate. 

Doreck’s error destroyed our garden irrigation system and damaged our neighbors’ shower systems and hot water heaters.  Again, this was an incredibly basic mistake by so-called professionals. 

At that time, City Staff were well aware of what happened, and also aware of the fact that, adding insult to injury, Doreck refused to reimburse us for the damage done until we filed a case against them in Small Claims Court.   Only then did Doreck did reimburse us for our repairs and for all the wasted water.

How can the City’s Staff tell you they have “no problem” with a company that has previously done significant damage to Sierra Madre homeowners, let alone recommend the company receive a no-bid $250,000 contract?

Mod: So what is the rush? This water main has been around since the Roosevelt era. The extra month required to properly bid this out for repair is suddenly the end of the world?

This from the Mountain Views News


A couple of things that we can take away here. The first being Chief Giannone is having a hard time finding people willing to take the job. So much so that he is actually asking Sierra Madre residents if they would be willing to sign on. Has that ever been done before? 

The second? It appears that the LA County Sheriffs are going to be in Sierra Madre for a lot longer than anyone at City Hall has been willing to admit. Including the elected ones. Meaning that $100,000 a month hit will go on for quite a while. 

Of course, the cost of maintaining separate day and night police forces is not cheap. About $1.4 million a year in additional expense is my guess. 

Propping up a sacred cow Sierra Madre Police Department could end up being one of the most expensive things the city has ever done. Not exactly what the city was supposed to be doing with that utility tax hike.

sierramadretattler.blogspot.com

46 comments:

  1. Has anyone noticed many of the patches of asphalt (several feet square in front of many properties) throughout the neighborhood are substantially subsiding - likely due to poor compaction of the backfill when the contractor did the job. I hope the City is inspecting these, was smart enough to have a period of performance clause in the contract, and is going to make the contractor repair these. A few of them are now deep enough to cause a biker to go head over wheel, and the patches appear to be only a few months old if that.

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  2. Sierra Madre continues to give insult to injury as they say. We pay the highest taxes around and we get the worst service around. Who ever is running that expensive mess at City Hall needs to be replaced. Smiles and kind words are not keeping my family safe.

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  3. As you can clearly see it's back to same old 'cash give away' that got this municipal into a money shortage in the first place, remembering back when UUT was such a serious issue but since the money coffers are full it's back to the same old methodology of doing business. Besides no one will notice that when the coffers run dry we can ask for another UUT increase? The stripes don't change and that apple doesn't fall far from the tree either, a chance was missed and it was kicked down the road to correct and straighten out city hall management.

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    Replies
    1. Bruce must go.

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    2. The situation will only change if the City Council makes it change. Which means it won't. They're lazy, indifferent and more concerned with how they look to their special political constituencies than anything else. Which in most cases means the municipal employee unions that paid for their campaigns.

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    3. I agree with the lazy observation. City Staff sets them up with all the decisions laid out for them. Sometimes they even get a multiple choice.

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  4. One thing is missing; the majority of people in Sierra Madre have to care and they don't! They're happy with their soccer mom (in this cas Little League) mentality and a Latte in Kersting Court.

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    Replies
    1. The city has a solution. A new parcel tax initiative in 2018. It will be to save the library, the police department, and make Sierra Madre safe for Little League.

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    2. We need to stay safe. That is why we have two police departments.

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    3. Concerns about safety trump every other argument.

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    4. Protect yo' crèche! They are coming for it

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  5. Bruce has his favorite contractors. When asked to put out for bids; often the timing on the filing dates or "new" required paper work are left out of the bidding process. The city then must fall back o the original bid.

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    Replies
    1. I am sure he tells them he'll take care of the City Council. Don't you worry.

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  6. An "Emergency" to repair a water main in Sierra Madre ??
    By Inman's current definition the entire system City-wide is in need of an "Emergency" repair. And it has been that way the many years Inman had been Director of Public Works. So why has he just noticed? And why just one small area to be patched up? And we've had the money to do this from the Water Bonds.Oops, don't tell me those Bond monies were spent on Pensions instead of water pipes ?

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  7. Stephen Doreck is a fireman. They stick together, ya know.

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    Replies
    1. One hand washes the other.

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    2. I wonder what is in it for Bruce. It could be he simply wants contractors to be nice to him.

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    3. http://transparentcalifornia.com/salaries/search/?a=los-angeles-county&q=Doreck&y=2015

      You need to understand that Doreck only makes 250,000 USD a year in his part-time job as a firefighter.

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  8. Screw the parcel tax I am buying a water truck

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  9. The grumblings on the street are that it will be a diffult sale; but the parcel tax will be passed.

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    Replies
    1. It will be sold the same way Measure UUT was sold. For the exact same reasons. Few will remember that they were told that Measure UUT was supposed to fix the very same things the parcel tax is supposedly going to fix. The city will not be held accountable for the lies of its political surrogates and consultants. Salaries will increase, and the $9 million (and counting) in CalPERS debt will be shaved a bit. Nothing much else will be taken care of.

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    2. I would also like to buy a water truck, who do I call?

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    3. ...whom not who do I call...

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  10. The problem is that, in all too many cases, politicians make promises to various government employees that include future retirement benefits, but they don’t actually spend the money to fund those promises. And those unpaid balances keep adding up until the future becomes today, which is what is happening in Illinois and other states around the country.

    When the current political powers that be in Illinois decided that they couldn’t afford to pay for the promises made by past politicians, the unions and retirees (not unjustifiably) asked the courts to force the various government agencies involved to keep those promises.

    And the courts determined that, under state law, retirement benefits cannot be reduced after the fact.

    http://ggc-mauldin-images.s3.amazonaws.com/uploads/pdf/160724_TFTF.pdf

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    Replies
    1. Maybe the law needs to be changed.

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  11. As the stomach churns. Same old same old in Sierra Madre! Nothing anyone says or does will make a difference. If you care get to the meeting and let the CC know how you feel. They'll have the whole month of August to think about what you say! Well a coupe of them might.

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    Replies
    1. City Hall takes in a lot more than it puts out. It is a very unproductive place.

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  12. According to CNN the FBI is now investigating the Russian hack of DNC emails. Not a good thing for Donald Trump.
    http://www.cnn.com/2016/07/25/politics/democratic-convention-dnc-emails-russia/

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    Replies
    1. FBI Suspects Russia Hacked DNC; U.S. Officials Say It Was to Elect Donald Trump
      http://www.thedailybeast.com/articles/2016/07/25/fbi-suspects-russia-hacked-dnc-u-s-officials-say-it-was-to-elect-donald-trump.html

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    2. Trump will wash his hands in innocence... His lack of conscience is what makes him so dangerous.

      https://medium.com/@Elamika/the-unbearable-lightness-of-being-a-narcissist-251ec901dae7#.hq5p0p9nn

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    3. What happened to innocent until proven guilty? Even Brazil(sp) the e-mails should never been written! On Hillary's server.

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    4. It's politics.

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    5. 4:47 PM.

      There can still be suspects.

      It is unlikely though that the Russian hackers will ever be brought to court.

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  13. A great big Thank-you to WikiLeaks; keeping all honest.
    When Obama told Putin he could make better deals after he was re-elected (hot mike),i don't think he realized he was playing in the big leagues. Do you think he and Hillary are worried now?

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    Replies
    1. The DNC Wikileaks hit was a KGB style operation, done to help Putin's pal Donald Trump. Who apparently is not happy because he has been included in the FBI's investigation. Stay tuned.

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    2. How could have Obama made better days if he wasn't president?

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    3. 5:36, if it was a hot mic as you say, there must be a record. Share your source, demonstrate your proof?
      Didn't think so.

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    4. 8:33 - it was a real story picked up in the new four years ago. I remember it too. Stop whining and just google it.

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    5. Right, no proof.

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    6. When did asking for a source citation become a whine?

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    7. http://www.defenseone.com/technology/2016/07/how-putin-weaponized-wikileaks-influence-election-american-president/130163/

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    8. http://www.thedailybeast.com/articles/2016/07/25/fbi-suspects-russia-hacked-dnc-u-s-officials-say-it-was-to-elect-donald-trump.html

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  14. I can't wait for the next topic to discuss this one has fallen apart and blown in tot he wind like controlling Sierra Madre Government official's and SMPD and UUT spending tax limit.

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  15. What do you mean? Better days as a Union Organizer, don't you feel that we have enough of those. The populace clamors for orators from both sides of the isles.
    Listen closely to promises. Are they overlapping from the haze of glory days past? I'll take a chance on a non politician.

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    Replies
    1. There aren't any non-politicians running for president. Either way the electoral college will ensure that the 'chance' you take is rendered meaningless.

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  16. Repeat of the hanging chads.

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