Friday, January 5, 2018

Public Burning: The Mystery of Former Sierra Madre City Clerk Melinda Carillo's Resignation

Mod: I filed a public records request to get a copy of Melinda Carillo's resignation letter. This was in no way difficult to do, or obtain. I sent my request in on January 3, and the information I wanted was in my e-mail box a few hours later. Under the previous City Manager I wouldn't have received this letter until a week later, if at all. Often all I got for my trouble was a note from the City Attorney telling me my request was wrong.

As far as I know nobody outside of City Hall has seen this letter in its entirety before. So this is an exclusive for The Tattler, if only by default. Sierra Madre is now a city with no functioning news outlets besides this one. It's not like there are any other newsers around anymore that see the need to get such information to the likes of you.

That all said, Melinda's sudden resignation has proven troubling for some, including myself. After all, she was an elected official, and by right deserved far better than the kind of treatment she was accorded. Here is her letter.


Note that the official resignation date is today. The City of Sierra Madre no longer has an elected City Clerk.

Three things that I think need to be aired out. The last one is in several parts.

1) Melinda makes this important point in her letter. I have watched video footage of the episode in question several times now, and it is an awful look. The angry conversation that took place between the City Council and the City Clerk is uncomfortable and embarrassing. This City Council's reputation for high-handedness was on full display. It's one thing not to talk to residents except through postcards, quite another to ignore an actual elected official, and then attack that person over her resulting frustration. And even if Melinda was at fault for some of the things she's been accused of, this could have been handled in a far more civil and professional manner. Squabbling over money in public is never becoming behavior.

2) Taking Melinda Carillo out of it for a moment, the City Clerk position in Sierra Madre is an elective office. It comes with all of the privileges and rights any elected official in this city would expect to receive. We have now witnessed an elected official, someone voted into office by the people, hounded from office, and with no official explanation of why that happened. This sets a strange and dangerous precedent.

3) There was an article published in The Mountain Views News on the matter, and predictably the now former City Clerk is gratuitously slaughtered. Here is an example:


That is, of course, made up nonsense. A meeting could have taken place with staff and the Mayor alone, and therefore the Brown Act would not have been triggered. To say that a more civil and dignified conversation couldn't have taken place because of the Brown Act is absurd. That didn't happen because nobody there cared enough to bother.

Here is another:


As an elected official, a City Clerk has the right to expect assistance from City Staff to get something done. It is what they are paid to do. Why that was considered so dire a problem in this instance is not explained. Also note the phrase, "According to sources." What sources? Nobody at City Hall wanted to put their name to the sorts of dodgy accusations being leveled in this MVN article? And therefore would only dare to speak anonymously? It is not hard to see why.

Also, where are these emails from the "Elections Coordination Division" stating that Carillo did not respond? Do they really point fingers, as MVN publisher Treasure Henderson claims they do, thereby giving her license to do the same in her article? That would be odd behavior for County of Los Angeles clerical staff.

I would certainly like to see those emails. I would also like to hear Melinda's side of the story. And as an aside, Treasure Henderson herself exists in a glass house where stone throwing isn't always a recommended activity (link).

Obviously Sierra Madre deserves a far better accounting of what actually happened, but it is taking time for me to tease that out. There must be some verifiable behind the scenes events that led to this unfortunate November 28 confrontation. My guess is much of this has its roots in an absence of communication and cooperation between the City Clerk, the City Council, and staff. And when things predictably went south, it became one person against everyone else.

Here is the video of that City Council meeting. The portion we are talking about begins at around 2 hours, 20 minutes in. The link is below the screenshot.

Link

sierramadretattler.blogspot.com

52 comments:

  1. The clerk demanded a cash payment of $7,500 to perform her elected duties and when the council refused to pay the clerk the money the clerk demanded the clerk quit. Good riddance. The council will appoint a much better clerk.

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    1. The previous City Clerk, Nancy Shollenberger, had been paid that amount to do election work for years. It was understood that the new City Clerk would receive the same. It was a bait and switch.

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    2. Understood by who. Shollenbsrger shouldn’t have been paid either. If the new clerk misunderstood then she was free to quit which she did. She wanted money for performing the duties she was elected without opposition to perform. She even issued political threats if she wasn’t paid. Good riddance.

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    3. Being paid for work performed is pretty standard in non-slave states. Does being a City Clerk mean you cannot take on other city work? And while we're on the topic of spending, what about the $18,000 being spent on the Library survey postcard? Should we deputize the Colorado company conducting that one as City Clerk so we don't have to pay them?

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    4. 6:47, the City Clerk should never be APPOINTED! When it comes to counting votes, one should not have to worry about ones job because one owes an allegiance to those who appointed one. It stinks. Melinda was maneuvered into resigning. That was the City's end game!

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  2. Looks like the hatred for City Clerk started with the last city clerk when the Dirty play people tried to run their person. There person lost and that group has tried to undermine that position ever since. One name that sticks out and I'm not sure of the spelling is Rob'em Stockley. Having been on the council in the past he carries some clout with them. He I believe, is the one who fired at her from the podium last year or two. I know why they call that group the DIRT'S and he is the dirtiest of them all I would guess. They had a blog that talked about a respected writer in town who smelled,,,, something like that, it was disgusting to say the least. Preserving Sierra Madre has always been something the DIRT'S have always fought. Curious what they are doing with the Library, I would guess for more condos.

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    1. Stockley is everywhere these days. Given the disasters he committed in the past (DSP, One Carter, Water Bond Debt) you'd think they'd permanently lock him out of City Hall. Apparently not.

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  3. What’s wrong with surveying the public. Listening to the public is a core mission of government. That’s why we have open meetings.

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    1. It is too bad nobody shows up to those meetings. The public has figured out talking to the City Council is a about as productive as chatting with the turtle in Turtle Park.

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    2. It is sad that the City Council has to spend $18,000 to find out what the people in this town think.

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    3. Nothing is wrong with surveying the public, but the survey is slanted. It is also being composed by those who have an agenda, that is to move the library to the YAC.

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    4. The people behind the library property sale are the same folks who pushed for the Downtown Specific Plan, development at One Carter and the millions in water bond debt the city is now struggling with. They have been a disaster for this town.

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    5. The City Council knows what people are thinking. That is why the Library question won't be on the ballot.

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  4. 6:45 and 7:10 must be one and the same person. Guess we never know both sides of the story but the dirt side is the Dirtiest for sure. They have $$$ to gain on their side, look who owns property in town and the facts will be obvious. I heard Mr. RS is no longer working at the bank, curious.

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    1. Rob its much too busy for bank work. He has library property to sell.

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    2. Stockly has had a second career for a long time. He left banking not too long after the Carter disaster, and was (is?) an English teacher.

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  5. Michael Wolff is a great man ! Thank you Sir for your courage to expose the Dump fraud. Thanks to you we are one step closer to REMOVAL of this phony from office and will then start the country on a path of recovery to make America great again.

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  6. The problem about the dirt's is that they belong to clubs in town and hobnob with the city management. Being all smiles and nice e nice e to get their way. When your not in the business of profiting from the town your too busy working 6am to 6pm to get involved. Fortunately we do have home owners that do get involved preserving our water starved town. No more density or we will be paying a lot more for water.

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  7. Once again the truth comes out concerning what type of local government is running 'Sierra Madre, Ca.' it should be called chaos. Another set of lies to cover up the first one so son and so on, it just never stops. 2018 should be more like the wild west dramas.

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  8. I'm ignorant about the city clerk controversy, so does it boil down to the money? The city clerk was expecting a paycheck that the city council decided not to give?

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    1. The city council cut off Carillo's money in hopes it would force her to resign. They were successful.

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    2. Was the council unhappy with the quality of work being done?

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    3. Doesn't matter. Carrillo was elected by the voters, not hired by them.

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  9. The City has been trying to control the City Clerk position for many years. Does anyone remember the problems that Nancy Shollenberger had? Good luck when it comes to counting 218 votes. The City will win every time. Ever heard of Michael Colantuono? Connect the dots.

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    1. So the council got rid of the clerk in order to be able to falsify election results?

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    2. If I was behind the UUT repeal measure I'd be calling my lawyer.

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  10. Off topic, but its the Tattler - the new edition of the city newsletter doesn't have the link to the updated planning department projects list. Kind of an important thing to leave off.

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  11. 6:47am. I would gather from your response that you are Rob Stockly or closely connected.
    This incident has turned my stomach.
    I cannot support any move the Library will request.
    The deceitful actions from City Hall must stop.
    Nefarious deals are what come to mind when attempting to make any common sense from any of what has conspired from these shameful reactions.
    Something is greatly wrong with this city.

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    Replies
    1. Trump must be involved...

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    2. That explains the yellow water.

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  12. It has the appearance of covering up transparency and what decisions are made reguarding city business.
    Would this City Clerk have been in charge of the Library ballots being counted or has this Council set up a one sided response?

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  13. What is really behind this City Councils agenda in ousting the City Clerk?

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  14. Will the Law Firm of Colantuono now be responsible for legally filing City business? How much more will they charge for that?
    Someone who is independent of the City will now be responsible for publishing and posting along with record keeping of ordinances?
    Wasn't that what the public voted for when the City Clerk was elected?

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  15. 8:34am Rob Stockly's contacts at the bank where he was employed along with Bart Doyle and his Development buddies, are what destroyed this town.
    How many in the LLC investors club were behind all of this, and what are they doing now behind City Hall doors?

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  16. 8:29am I dont think you will find any write ups on an elected official, any dissatisfaction would have been discussed behind closed doors, and thus be in violation of the Brown Act!
    The Council did reduce the way that the Minutes were taken, only brief summaries are introduced into file.
    No longer is Public Input admitted into context.
    If the Live Stream is not working, then no official record keeping is recorded.
    Now the City is left wide open for law suits and no legal verification of counter suit.

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    1. Video recordings are not allowed to be submitted in court. That is why the minutes must be honest and accurate. A staff person should never be allowed to take the minutes because he or she will feel pressured to write them in a biased way...in order to protect the city legally.

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  17. She is one smart woman. She caught on very quickly how the game is run ... but she ran them. You go girl ... they will get another sucker in soon enough that will do things their way ... Welcome to Sierra Madre....

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  18. good lordy peoples! Let's MSMGA!

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  19. 8:31am. Good call.
    We are led to believe that the city is being effective in keeping communications and information open.
    Does anyone in City Hall check on who is NOT doing their job?
    Why are the taxpayers always left to clean up the mess? and only after it is too late to correct.
    What are Council Members responsibilities when it comes to staff evulations?

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  20. When was the last joint Council and Planning Commission meeting held?
    If the Newsletter out of City Hall can't connect with project lists,dates and time; how can we know if the Council and Commision are on the same page!

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    1. They are not on the same page. Need I remind you of the Kafalas "Darling' house mess. We lost a very informed Planning Commission Member because the Council and Commission were miles apart on that decision. I'm shocked that you could think that they are On the same page!

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  21. I recently looked up the City Clerk duties of the State of California as an elected official. It is robust and purposeful roll to be carried out by a duly elected individual. This city has never understood that and in the process treated Nancy Scholenberger badly more times than not and then to our newly elected City Clerk, the same horrid treatment. Shame on all of the City Council. And inspite of our hopes for Gabe Englander, the City Manager, he has not led them to a clear understanding of the role of this important elected official. Why Rob Stockley, a failed banker and a failed classroom teacher, still holds some clout in this city continues to baffle me.

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  22. Anyone know if any of the three incumbent City Councilmembers have filed to run for reelection in April? Anyone file to challenge them?

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    1. All three is what I have heard. Martin Truitt will probably be running a sock puppet. I'm sure he feels he deserves his pound of flesh for delivering on Measure UUT.

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  23. Trolls get trumped again!

    Despite the fact President Donald Trump bragged about his first year in office being an unqualified economic success, it turns out that average monthly job growth in 2017 was 171,000 jobs per month — which was down significantly from the 187,000 jobs per month that were added in 2016 under Obama.

    What’s more, the monthly average of 171,000 jobs created in 2017 was actually the lowest average monthly job growth since 2010, when just 88,000 jobs were added per month.

    Alt-tard fail.

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  24. 5:09 am. His current sock puppet is the Mayor.

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    1. Arizmendi is an incredible disappointment.

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  25. 6:15 pm. Just as the "experts" have been called out on the monthly average job growth, so has the just released Wolff book!
    Cry Wolff, for spending money on the Obama White House staffers and their opinions on the President!
    More Liberal crap!

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    1. Aww, how sweet. An alt-snowflake.

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  26. She ran, was elected, and the CC responded by slashing her mediocre 'salary'. Disgraceful.
    To spend $18k on a postcard survey for the library is utter nonsense. It shows how devoid of reason and fiscal responsibility our small city is.

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  27. The city clerk was incompetent, missing deadlines and not returning emails.
    For once, sloppy work at city hall was treated the way it would be in the private sector.

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    1. Yes. But she was not a city employee. She was an elected official. Let me know if you need me to explain that to you

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