Friday, July 28, 2017

Move the Library Originator Ryan Baker Is Leaving Town

Mod: This one originally went up yesterday afternoon as a "breaking news" story, but I have now moved it over here and made it our Friday post. Notable today is that in the midst of what has become a community-wide debate about the fate of Sierra Madre's library, the originator of the plan to move it to the back of the YAC, Ryan Baker, is now leaving town. The reasons for his departure are benign, yet as of this late night typing there has been no announcement from City Hall. All we have seen is the brief item from an upstate newspaper that I reposted here. 

It looks like Ryan Baker is bailing out. That didn't take very long. A year and a month by my count. A short stay, even by Sierra Madre standards. Ryan is apparently heading to the greener Silicon Valley library pastures of Los Gatos. You can only wonder why. This from The Mercury News (link):



Ryan achieved quite a bit of local fame here recently as the big concept guy for the Sierra Madre Library move to out in back of the YAC. Now he's moving himself as well? More news as it hits.

No word from City Hall yet. I've asked the City Manager for a comment.

The City Manager sends a comment

Ryan and his family were living in San Diego, where his wife was completing her PhD. He was commuting to Sierra Madre from San Diego during his time here. Shortly after she completed her PhD program she was offered a job as a professor in the bay area. Ryan applied and accepted the job in Los Gatos to be with his family.

He was easily the most creative Library Director I have ever worked with. His separation was not at all driven by performance. He was a fantastic employee.

Thanks,

Gabe

Gabriel L. Engeland
City Manager
City of Sierra Madre
626.355.7135
GEngeland@CityofSierraMadre.com
www.CityofSierraMadre.com

They should have announced all of that at this week's City Council meeting. Especially in light of all the interest in the Library right now. They really do need a publicist at City Hall

sierramadretattler.blogspot.com

89 comments:

  1. Ah Jeez. What is going on with that library???
    Death throes?

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  2. He was an Aguilar hire, and he's staying for a little over a year? Maybe Elaine picked him for revenge....

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  3. Jumping ship, huh?
    Would have been more polite to do it before the hundred thousand was spent.

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    Replies
    1. But that WAS the planned agenda, spend the money. What's polite got to do with it?

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    2. I think they held back the news of Baker's departure until after the $100K was safely authorized by the City Council. Couldn't allow anything to get in the way of that.

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  4. I think he knows where this all is heading.

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  5. Maybe Gene Goss would want the job.

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  6. I wonder if he'll tell us how difficult a decision this was, and that he will always think back on his months in Sierra Madre as some of the finest times of his life?

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  7. I wish him well...
    Graduate from San Jose, could be that Northern California is not in the fast lane, like the County of Los Angeles.
    Besides I like Los Gatos; reminds me of how Sierra Madre used to be.
    Good Luck Ryan.

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    Replies
    1. Nice of you, 1:58. Hope you're not in a position to hire anyone.

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    2. You might want to try prune juice 2:21. Just trying to help!

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  8. Whatever. Doesn't change anything. Is city hall still going to try and have the library and community services under one director.

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  9. This city...You can't make up this town. Living here is like watching a bad soap without commercials. Stay tune for the next episode of Sierra Madre...Believe it or not.

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  10. Why wasn't this departure announced at the Council Meeting?

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    Replies
    1. They don't do that sort of thing well at City Hall.

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  11. All community services were combined under the Libary years ago.
    Many services are contracted with YMCA, no longer under City services.
    You must be new to town, eat more prunes.

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    Replies
    1. Looks like 2:29/4:20 is way into prunes.

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  12. Something about bringing back the show Twin Peaks; now Sierra Madreans work for the City, then relocate up North.
    Ryan B., say hello to Danny C., our last City Planner and Karen S., our finance Director, they both located in and around Northern California.
    Could be that Sierra Madre can move it's charter status up North.

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    Replies
    1. Maybe they could form a club and meet every few months at Pea Soup Andersens.

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  13. From the city manager's explanation, looks like this guy was a temporary hire in the first place.

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  14. Naw, they all are closer to the Golden (CalPERS Parachute) Bridge.

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  15. How much did this guy have to do with lobbying for the destruction of the old library? Was he really a leader n the effort? I was suspicious that it had been going on for some time, and that a developer was working hard behind the scenes, before he was hired.

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    1. Ryan was credited at a recent City Council meeting as being the guy who came up with the idea of moving the library to the YAC and selling the old library property to fund it all.

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    2. So is it too cynical to think he did that because somebody else talked him into it?

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    3. 6:48, not too cynical at all.
      Probably sometime before the Downtown Specific Plan was hatched, the Downtown Investment Club members got together and figured out where they could make the most money. The library was to be remodeled within an inch of its life, jazzed up and teated like a 40 something wife who was required to spend many months in plastic surgery recovery. The plans were drawn up by PBWS Architects in Pasadena, though they no longer seem to be available on the company's web site. From that time, the oh-so-desirable high density library land would start to be in play. Some enterprising person or persons in the development community no doubt started lobbying then.

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  16. I quite frankly could never figure out why Ryan came here from Irwindale where he had a nice bunch of citizens to work with. He had done a historical piece on the old agricultural days of Irwindale (who knew). It was vrey well done. I found it on line when I learned of his appointment to SM position created by the former City Manager merging the Library Director's position with the Department of Community Services. This was an idiotic move not well thoughout any more than the collapsing of the Tree Commission and the Green Committee into the EENR (Energy Environment and Natural Resources) Commission. Elaine Aguilar was a nightmare. Good for him to find something in a place where his wife also has a great job.

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    1. An academic job is far harder to come by than municipal employment, so no doubt they had to move if his wife wanted to try and have a career. Still, what's with the advocacy of tearing down a clearly loved library, when he wasn't even going to stick around to help.

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    2. Just another out-of-town staffer who didn't really give a damn about the place.

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    3. Just when were they going to tell us that he was leaving the position?

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    4. They still haven't.

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    5. Good response 9:09. Your so right!

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  17. Excuse me but the Tree Commission and the Green Commission were thought out. That was the AGENDA! For Pete's sake, do you think otherwise? This was planned out in advance. Nothing here is a happening.

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  18. Check out the Los Gatos library facility...Ryan is happily moving on, you can be sure of that! Sierra Madre had to be a frightening happenstance between Irwindale and Los Gatos. And hurray for him and his young family!

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    Replies
    1. Yeah, I'm glad for him that things are working out so well - but that's not what we're dealing with. We are dealing with a lovely, useful library being torn down, and a crummy and congested space being offered as a replacement.

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  19. Not a dry eye in all of Sierra Madre over the announcement? No one is more happier to finally see the destruction person leave the city than I. Don't let the door hit you in the rear as you leave!

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  20. First of all, you have to imagine what load of bull former City Manager Elaine Aguilar used to lure Ryan to take the combo position of Libraian/Comuunity Services Director in Sierra Madre. Some one posted that the two departments have been combined for a while. I didn't know that. Could someone in the know give more information on what transpired?

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    Replies
    1. Who was zooming who in that job interview.

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    2. the library and community services were combine when they hired Ryan, not before.

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    3. That's what I remembered. Combination was to save money. Same reason they combined the Tree Commission and the Green Committee to the EENR to save on meeting time allotment of staff. Most of these decisions do not result in greater efficiency...time is just spent somewhere else.

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    4. Does that commission even meet anymore?

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  21. Ryan's employment here had to have been a temporary understanding all along. There apparently is a lot of employment mobility options when you are working for city governments. Sierra Madre was something to pay the bills until a planned for real thing came along. There is now doubt that Ryan is a cheerful and energetic guy who is not afraid to (cliche' alert!) think out of the box. So now the process of moving the Library is out of the box, and so is he. Not the best outcome I think.

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  22. The Sierra Madre Library holds all City Council taped video meetings, or so we resident's have been told.
    Videos are the antiquated version of past recorded records, hopefully the CD's are available for viewing and transparency of city business conducted now and over the shenanigan years.
    About the time that many manager's took their CalPERS retirements was when most of this cities departments and committee's were dismantled.
    These were designed as exit strategies inorder to cover up mis management from so many levels. They were presented as "cost savings" for the city.
    Funny thing; community-based committee's are made up of volunteers.

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  23. Moving forward. The current Library that we all have spent our growing years, is in really sad shape.
    The numbers will speak for themselves.
    Repair or relocate.

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    Replies
    1. Where was the money spent that was supposed to be used for library maintenance?

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    2. 7:41, one hundred thousand dollars would not have helped with the highest priority repairs?

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  24. Ryan's time in Sierra Madre as Library Director, shook off the cob webs.
    Yes; it is time to think outside the box.

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    Replies
    1. There has been an adjustment. Moving the Library into the YAC is now inside the box thinking.

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    2. Will the community have any say in this? So far, I have heard nothing but opposition, from young and old alike.

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    3. Trust me, the city will try. And now they have $100,000 to do it.

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  25. Who is buying the library property?

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    Replies
    1. That will be very interesting to see.

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    2. City Hall denies that anyone has shown interest yet. I find that very hard to believe.

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  26. Big problem with moving library into YAC...you will lose forever the opportunity for community activities that need a big recreational space. That will never be regained. Y-type activities classes cannot all go upstairs. They will go to Monrovia. Only single room open for such activites will be the Senior Center...about 1/3 the size of the YAC downstairs space. However, it is filled with talbes and chairs for the Senior lunch program that can be pused to the edge for a bit of space in the middle for small Yoga classes and the like.

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    1. The City's spin has been that this is a wonderful opportunity for the Library. It is not. It is an act of desperation, brought about by years of financial mismanagement by the Mayberry Development Club. No city sells off one of its most valuable properties unless it absolutely has to do so.

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    2. Do any of the people that live in Sierra Madre even use the Y? I went to check it out when they first took over our rec. center not a nice place at all reminded me of the public pool corporation that took that over to make money for their stockholders.

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  27. Did anybody hear just what the parking accommodations would be? There is no more parking at the YAC lot, so what's the idea? Is the plan to take some of the land in the park for a new lot, or....

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  28. Parking was discussed and a mock up of additional parking was presented at the City Council, when this idea was first presented.

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    1. Where did the additional parking come from?

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    2. They're filling in the pool.

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    3. That pool is already filled with something… My neighbor got sick there last spring

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  29. If the current Library property is shown to be of an astronomical burden of costly repairs, then relocate.
    The Senior Center combined Library/Community Center?

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  30. Again; sell the "greenspace" park property created on the One Carter housing tract, along with Cat Box park/Greenberg park on Ramona ave. That with the Library vacant lot that was created from past poor decisions from past Councils , should give the City the repair costs for a re-do of the current Library.

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    1. You think anybody would buy anything up in that clearly cursed One Carter Stonegate mess?

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    2. So-called greenspace park property created in the One Carter housing tract are not properties of any use as building lots to anyone. Unbuidable.

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    3. Everything from Buchanan was bullcrap. Including that "greenscape park."

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  31. Did the Pentagon just confirm that a second ICBM missle "hit" Alaska?
    or that after 1,700 miles into space, it fell back into the sea?

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    Replies
    1. No. North Korea did not launch a missile that hit Alaska. And it flew 700 miles. Where do you come up with this BS?

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    2. Sarah palin can confirm... she can see Russia and korea and she's really smart

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  32. I hear the SMPD courageously put a stop to the playin' o' the pipes in Kersting Ct.

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  33. What? Smoking Joe; no more?

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  34. No matter how much you like the sound of the Bag Pipes at a program of pipe music you would have to imagine that if you went to a Yoga or medication class (across the street from Kirsting Court in two directions) or a quiet lunch at one of several spots nearby, or in your law office or the bank or at a coffee shop that you use as an office in this day and age, the sound might interfere.

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    Replies
    1. Yoga place needs better insulate or they need to just be better at meditating

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    2. It's Kersting Court. Where you from? You're not the boss of me.

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    3. Where do I find one of these "medication" classes? And where is "Kirsting" Court? Not is Sierra Madre.

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    4. According to Councilman Harabedian medication classes could be on the way. But not from a shop located in Sierra Madre.

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  35. This town does does not appreciate the Arts...

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    Replies
    1. Even the Elvis they get is fake

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    2. The real Elvis is dead. Don't know if you'd heard. Harry is the best we can do right now.

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    3. But there's been so much good and better music in the past 50 years. Keep rehashing that baby boomer fantasy.

      Sad!

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    4. Uh oh. A Smiths fan.

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  36. Colossal Trump fails this week!

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    Replies
    1. Almost too many to count. Crazy man president!

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  37. Perhaps you should not do yoga or try to meditate in the most congested noisy part of Sierra Madre or use a coffee shop as your office. It's not your mission to police others.Bet you hate those loud kids also,go away stay at home.....

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  38. Anybody know what was going on today at Carter and Baldwin? Fire trucks, police, somebody arrested - looked like it was outside the Dedicato rehab center.

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    1. It was somebody who was trying to erect the aluminum permanent holiday tree.

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