Monday, January 8, 2018

How the City Council potentially lost a lot of money when they took away Melinda Carillo's $7,500.00

Link to the video here.

At the November 28, 2017 City Council meeting it was decided that then City Clerk Melinda Carillo should be denied the $7,500 her predecessor had always received for working on Sierra Madre's elections. An arduous and difficult job that requires lots of time and painstaking attention to detail, with much of it involving the intricate legal requirements of electing officials and placing ballot measures.

The sitting City Clerk, who had the dubious honor of listening live and in person to each City Councilmember's opinion of her and her work, was surprised and upset by what took place that evening because it had been her understanding when she first ran for the gig that this money would be paid to her.

It must have all appeared to Melinda to be a kind of bait and switch, as well as an equally upsetting and unanticipated bushwhacking. She appears in the video to be completely taken by surprise at the rather raw public excoriation. A month later she resigned.

The vote by the City Council to deny City Clerk Carillo the $7,500 she felt she had been promised to her was unanimous. Each of the City Council members had their special reasons for voting to deny her that money, and said so. Some were subdued, others not as much.

You can see all of that by viewing the above video.

Perhaps the most demonstrative Councilmember on this matter was John Harabedian. His speech  begins at 2 hours, 35 minutes into the video, and it really does need to be seen. Among other things, it is his stated (and perhaps unintentionally ironic) claim that he would never spend $7,500 of the publics' tax money unless he felt it was completely justified.

But what if that sum was $55,000? The final item on tomorrow's City Council meeting agenda deals with how to replace the now departed Ms. Carillo (link). Here is what it could cost the taxpayers.


So it seems that it will cost the city $55,000 dollars to save $7,500.00 dollars. Certainly that doesn't make a whole lot of business sense.

Of course, this is if you are to be allowed to vote for a new City Clerk. There is always the possibility the City Council will simply decide to just appoint someone to the job so they can save that $55,000.00. Which perhaps was in the plans all along.

But wouldn't that mean taking away your right to cast a ballot for an official that has, by tradition and legal custom, always been placed into office exclusively through a vote of the people?

Yes, it would. Does that bother you?

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107 comments:

  1. That Harabedian guy is the worst. The absolute worst.

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    1. if you sell carpets or collect trash he is your friend.

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    2. Totally agree 6:25am. He slithers...

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  2. So we should pay extra money to any elected official who threatens to quit to save the costs of them quitting?

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    1. Mmm, nope. In this particular instance things could have been handled in a much more humane way, and then the matter wouldn't have come up at all.

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    2. So once again the Tattler Illuminati know all that transpired behind the scenes. Every conversation and nuance. And you used this plethora of information to come up with yet another narrow minded conclusion. Why didn’t you reach out to Gabe this time? Afraid of what might come up? Doesn’t fit the narrative?

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    3. You seem upset. Maybe you can supply the tattler with a list of topics that you feel should not be discussed. I'm sure everyone will want to follow it very closely out of respect to you.

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    4. Every control freak longs to be a censor.

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    5. Not at all. I’m just one who believes in community and neighbors. This site does nothing but tear people down, without any evidence, just bias.
      Who is this helping? You claim to live Sierra Madre and want nothing more than to protect it, but how exactly are you accomplishing this by constantly attacking people without any facts. Are you so convinced that there is only one altruistic side to every story, and devoid of actual facts you just pick your side and stick to it?
      I’m by no means a fan of government, especially this town’s, but this method of “debate” is not constructive. How about this for a Tattler New Years resolution. Try to find something good to say about all the people you have crucified over the past several years. Unless of course they are guilty of murdering you’re family members or pets.

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    6. Thank you, President Trump.

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  3. The clerk told people she really quit because she is moving to Idaho to be with her boyfriend. Defending the ex-clerk who wanted money to do her job and attacking the people who do serve for basically nothing seems ginned up. She qui. She’s being replaced by appointment to save the expense of an election. Routine.

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    1. If what you say is true, and I for one am taking your comment with a grain of salt, why hasn't this not been brought out by the city? Why wouldn't Carillo have said this at the City Council meeting? Seems suspect.

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    2. When Joe Mosca resigned he said it was to be with his boy friend.

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    3. 7:27, so funny! lol

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  4. This Council has already replaced Ms.Carillo with the assistant to the city manager, this was discussed further on the video.
    City Hall will now handle and run all elections.
    This is the most devious council, the fix was in.
    The set percentage of tax payers dollars from the UUT without a Sunset clause, or any future reductions, was important enough to guard against loosing; or so the conspiracy goes.

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  5. This was a group decision. The Mayor "she" and Mayor Pro Tem "she" turned on the city clerk, "she" must have really failed in "her" job. Or, the question must be that past council members like "Rob-em Stockley" have a lot more pull at city hall then we voters would like to think. Sadly, I could see the "guys" following Rob-em's request but not the so called ladies. This whole situation was handled in a disgraceful manner and I expect there will be a law suit following? If I were Mrs. Carillo I'd get the best attorney and get compensated for that public flogging they did to her, what an embarrassment.

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  6. 6:47, what do you mean pay extra money? Maybe you didn't understand that the $7500 has always been paid to the City Clerk to perform that function, you did know that, right?

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    1. No, it hasn't "always" been paid. Nancy Schollenberger had to fight for fair compensation, but she was totally outstanding in her job, and we were lucky to have her for 34 years, through many administrations. What is Rob Stockley's problem? I would not place the blame on the current City Council, which is the best we've had in the 30 years I've been here. It was Stockley, Mosca ("get a life" he said to Lee Cline when he spoke at the podium), Nancy Walsh ("lookie here," the no nothing Trumpish mayor) who tried to get rid of someone competent, to be replaced by someone totally incompetent. Anyone remember the debate when the Moderator asked incumbent Nancy and Karma, the challenger, about their listening skills, and Karma's response was "Would you repeat the question?" I do agree that this issue could have been handled better. My question is why did Stockley bring it up in the first place?

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  7. Some buddy must know the real reason that she was publicly striped of the $7500 to oversea the election?

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  8. Does anyone want to contribute to a legal fund to help Ms. Carill with her attorney fees? If she has a real case a good attorney will take it pro bono.

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  9. You ignorant fool 7:02.

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  10. Now days more political corruption has been uncovered this might be a first for the entire city council of Sierra Madre, California to expose themselves to another LAW SUIT only to have the entire process captured on video tape and in pubic. No wonder NO forward motion is to be had with the current band of crooks sitting in those seats on the dais, save Sierra Madre - throw the current bums out of office in 2018.

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  11. Maybe the Tattler can interview Ms. Carillo? Her side of the story needs to be told.

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    1. If you have contact info send it to the Tattler. A search revealed nada.

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    2. Are you kidding, 7:45? The Tattler is obviously championing Ms. Carillo. It's the council's side of the story we are not hearing.

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    3. Did you read the Mountain Views News hit piece? That was the city's version.

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  12. Are Capoccia and Harabedian termed out this year?

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    1. No....2 more years of nasty hot air.

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  13. Is there an election this year for new council members?

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  14. Do I read this correctly? We are going to pay $55,000 for the work that the City Clerk did for $7500. That must be a mistake, guess I better read that again.

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    1. It would cost $55,000 to hold a special election to replace the resigned City Clerk.

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    2. Blame Stockley who opened a can of worms, and kept trying to get Nancy Schollenberger's meager pay reduced, even though she was outstanding at her job.

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    3. Schollenberger was an excellent city clerk.
      The one who followed her was a real disappointment.

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    4. You are a real disappointment for not backing up your attack.

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  15. The City Clerk was just voted in and her compensation and function were already laid out. Shouldn't that have been voted on by the voters for this voted on position?

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  16. The better question than is there an election for new council members; and yes, three seats are open, is whether there will be a fair and independent election, with the city now in charge.

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    1. I've heard that Denise, Rachelle and Gene will all be running for reelection.

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    2. You heard correct. All signatures are gathered. I signed both.

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    3. And no one is running against them, so there may not even be an election.

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  17. Why couldn't the City Clerk election be put on April's ballot?

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    1. Too late for this election. Even if the three incumbents are the only ones running there is still the idiotic mesaure to ban the UUT. That is the waste of money, not a special election.

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  18. I would like to know both sides of the story before I make a decision on this whole scandal.

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  19. 8:20am Because this City Council no longers wants to have an elected official serving in the capacity of City Clerk.
    The city meetings will be recorded as action items only, a snippet of information.
    The assistant to the manager may have her job description lengthen in duties.

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    1. City employees will now control the city's narrative as this will no longer be done by someone who answers directly to the people.

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  20. LMAO and rolling on the floor. This is toooooo funny.

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    1. Somebody just ate a Happy Meal.

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    2. Yup. One pot brownie washed down with a Bud Lite.

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  21. Attend tomorrow night's City Council meeting to ask your questions, instead of lazily posting something you haven't researched yourself.

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    1. The reason nobody goes to city council meetings anymore is they don't say very much. It is no longer a worthwhile experience. People now look elsewhere.

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    2. I don't go to meetings because it's a pain to try and schedule work and family around those meetings, and I don't have to.
      There are some trustworthy people on the council.

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  22. This Council by their own heavy handed tactics, publicly ganged up on an elected official and chased her from office.

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  23. The city clerk of Pasadena is a city employee. In most cities it’s not an elected position.

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    1. Pasadena. Now there's a role model.

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  24. That's what I'm seeing 9:03. Some questions really need to be answered on this matter. Us Voters need a 3rd. party to show us the facts and not he said she said. This is a very serious problem that I would like to know both sides of the story.

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  25. Ah yes, add an employee to CalPERS, that's genius.
    The council cuts the $7,500 stipend so that a new employee can be part of a now, not so transparent city.

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  26. How many residents feel that having a city council is relevant?
    Bradbury does not have a council.

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    1. I think the whole town of Bradbury is the city council. They keep city employees on a short leash there.

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    2. Sierra Madre is always a second away from over-development. We need a council that won't sell us, and for once, we have one.

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  27. So, Tattler, you going to get the story from both sides of the fence? I for one am still on the fence.

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    1. Going to try. In the beginning I didn't know what to make of this story. However, after that awful hatchet job in the Mtn Views News I thought I should look into it. Definitely is still very much a mystery, though. Which is fine with me. I like a mystery.

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    2. Ask around, about missed deadlines and incompetence.

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    3. It isn't about the quality of Carillo's work. Good or bad. The point is she was an elected official, not an employee. The only people who can decide whether an elected official is doing the job or not is the voters. This was for all intents and purposes a firing. The city council took her money away. That was wrong. If elected officials are to be fired because of their job performance, then we might have very few elected officials left.

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    4. Hold on a minute. The Clerk chose not to do the election if she was not paid for doing that work. I totally agree with her. She chose to resign her position for whatever her reasons were. We will never know the true story. Hurt feelings, missed deadlines, moving to Idaho??

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    5. Not being paid the money she was promised is my guess.

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  28. Didn’t the CC start this with the clerk right after she was elected? Seems I was at a meeting where the CC discussed her pay, taking it away, and revised the kind of minutes they wanted.

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  29. 10:05 am. The Vote NO on the UUT is on this years ballot.
    The City Council took away the SunSet Clause that said, if the town were to straighten out their finances, -the UUT would decrease year after year.
    Now, with this UUT the way it was written, Sierra Madre has a permanent tax from the residents, and it still is not enough to run the town and all of the expense it takes to remain a Full Service City.

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    1. Full service= bull service= Residents getting ------

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  30. The position of an elected City Clerk is outdated. In reality, in Sierra Madre, and all cities that elect their City Clerk (very few of them left), the true work is already done by paid staff. They are the ones responding to public records requests and running the elections. Okay, maybe the city clerk prepares minutes of council meetings -- is note taking so important we need an election for it? Having an elected city clerk just wastes taxpayer dollars and adds a layer of duplicative bureuacracy and obscured chain of command. Staff that know what they are doing are required to report to someone that doesn't know what they are doing. And if the city clerk is an absolute idiot, the clerk realistically cannot be fired until the next election (if the voters even know the person is an idiot). Not a good system.

    There is a reason that most cities no longer have an elected city clerk. A city clerk is required to run elections in a non-partisan manner. It doesn't make sense to elect someone (based upon a partisan vote) to run a fair election. Far better for someone whose entire livelihood depends on conducting the election fairly to run the election - if they don't run it fairly, they can't eat -- that is, they get fired. If the public loves a particular city clerk, that goes to show that the clerk is picking sides and is a politician -- everything that a good city clerk should not be.

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    1. The more elected officials we have, the better off we are. If anything is outdated it is the City Hall / CalPERS axis that is driving California's small cities into bankruptcy.

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    2. Although elections are good, there is a limit. If we should always have more public officials being elected, we should elect the dog catcher, the trash collector, the pool lifeguard, and the city note taker -- er City Clerk.

      My point is that the actual work of a city clerk is so limited that it doesn't make sense to have an expensive election every few years. It is a waste of money to have an election to ensure we have our choice of note-taker in chief.

      While I agree that pensions are too high, having staff do the work is simply making law which is already reality -- why pay for a service when it is already being done by someone else?

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    3. I disagree. I want a City Clerk that answers to the people, not just another city employee.

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    4. I saw that meeting. The CC started off their disrespectful response to the newly elected City Clerk almost immediately.

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    5. I can assure you that Nancy Schollenberger was voted for by residents of the City of Sierra Madre who are registered voters of both major political parties. In our house she had three votes: 2 registered Dems and one Ind. Same as for Ms. Carillo. Same as when Nancy had an opponent.

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  31. 8:50, you R right. Stockley brought it up because he disliked Nancy and he was a poor looser, much like some high public figures we have been seeing in the news lately. RS is vindictive and was on council when the city was placed into this water situation and long term debt.

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    1. Stockly and his minions who put up the oppoistion to Nancy's reelection ONE time, and lost in a count off, was a poor loser. He is a sap and nothing will change that fact.

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  32. Thank you Moderator for bringing this up regardless of the outcome.

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    1. Seconded. This is something that needs to be out in the open.

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  33. 10:45 AM, Costs the City Money? A small pittance for maintaining transparency and looking out for fraud and voters rights. You really don't have an understanding of resident rights do you. We have the right to know the truth. You should seek some of that!

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    1. Excellent comment, loved the part about transparency and looking out for fraud and voters rights! I remember well the last 218 water protest. City Hall got the signed public protests from Nancy . Low and behold, many were disqualified, and we lost.

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    2. Yep, I have 2 lots and two water bills. Elaine tossed out one of my properties.

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  34. 10:22am JOKE OF THE DAY!!!!!!!

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    1. Well? When are you going to tell it?

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  35. After many years, Sierra Madre finally has a competent City Manager.
    This may be the time to do away with City Councils.
    Look at the money that will be saved.
    Extremly poor and legally expensive decisions have resulted from incompetent City Councils, including this council.
    The Law firm of Caluntino could be on a retainer basis.
    In past years, the town never had an over priced law firm sitting on Council and Planning Commission meetings.
    The current city employees should be given job reviews by the new Manager that include anonymous public input on how "we" are treated at the counters when entering City Hall.
    If cleaning City Hall has begun, clean all of City Hall.
    The Library? What role is Rob Stockly playing in this enormous expense that has been completely orchestrated by this Council? and why over these many years has the Library been the cash cow?
    It used to be said that the Water Department was a slush fund. Has the Library been set up in a similar manner?
    Zilch, has been shared from this council reguarding the expense of contracting out departments or the savings of placing them in a unrelated department, such as the library.
    Why isn't the Senior Center being put to better use?
    The very rough public flogging of the City Clerk has opened up so many more questions about what is really happening at City Hall and what should we Sierra Madre residents be expected to continue to fund.

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  36. Not funny how City Hall fights Transparency !!!!!

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  37. 1:09pm. I also remember that Elaine and the Law Firm changed the criteria on the 218 Water protest while standing at the city's xerox, an overwhelming amount of protests were received and it was then determined that only one water main per Landlord of apartments or one homeowner water main would be counted.
    That was not the way the Council had presented, or the way that the city mailed protests went out to each resident.
    That's transparency!

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  38. http://www.cacities.org/Member-Engagement/Professional-Departments/City-Clerks

    You might want to take a look at this site for important information on the roll of City Clerks in the running of California's cities.

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  39. Our elections should be run by a professional city clerk....not a grasping amateur like the one that just quit. My favorite is how she keeps citing her Masters degree as the reason she should be paid money to do her volunteer job. She's a skin care consultant. Here she is in Idaho last month visiting her boyfriend. https://scontent-iad3-1.xx.fbcdn.net/v/t1.0-9/18882309_10209260786851982_792506008238903658_n.jpg?oh=36a23c0c3b55252ca05c50eb5fd6c209&oe=5AB7CD1A

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    1. Maybe 3:28 is into accuracy.

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    2. My guess is 3:28 just makes crap up.

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    3. Interesting use of the photo, tho. Reminds me of something a certain political consultant from Pasadena might do. But why in this case?

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  40. 2.12.020 - Compensation.
    The city council shall, by resolution, from time to time, establish the compensation for the positions of the city clerk and city treasurer.

    (Ord. 1084 § 1(part), 1992: prior code § 2861)

    I don't see the City Treasurer demanding money to perform his job.

    The council has the absolute legal authority to establish compensation for the city clerk anytime it chooses to do so. The $7,500 paid to the clerk for supervising an election was usually part of the agenda item calling an election. This time around, the council decided not to pay our skin care consultant ex-city clerk and so she quit. Now she can move to Idaho like she wanted to all along.

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  41. When was the last Treasury report given on the status of the city's General Fund.
    Now that we are seeing rain storms and possible mud slides, how much money is set aside for emergencies?
    I can only recall the oversight committee's saying that there was not enough money to continue the Paramedic Program, but the council overlooked that expense and drove up the costs for years.
    Maybe if the Paramedic Program had been labeled City Clerk, that gravy train would have been pulled into the station.

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  42. Carillo lost the job through bad job performance. Happens every day in the business world, which is what some of the people on the council know. They expect better.

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    1. Sigh. Like a broken record this one.

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    2. Yeah, the facts can be like that.
      Not as colorful as the Delmar/Arizmendi/Goss/Harabedian/Capoccia conspiracy to disenfranchise the voters.

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    3. Elected officials are not fired for "bad job performance." If that was the case we'd be down to 2 city councilmembers.

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  43. 9:11 yes and look what happened to those cities. No thank you.

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  44. 5:21pm City staff have been mediocre for years, yet this council gave them increase in pay. Why?

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  45. The city of Sierra Madre has a bad reputation among builders and contractors.
    Each time you walk away from the Planning Department, you get different answer to your questions, and it all depends on who is behind the desk.
    Where is the oversight? Who is in charge?

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  46. Interesting that all of this business about the city clerk has occurred before decisions on the library and the UUT have been presented.

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  47. Did any of you Dump supporting uneducated hillbillies notice how Dump was about booed out of the stadium during tonight’s college football national championship? Oh wait, I guess that noise was fake, eh?

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  48. No fake noise, what you heard was cheering from the ticket holders because their portfolios have increased ten fold.

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