San Gabriel Valley water board accepting applications for Sierra Madre representative (Pasadena Star News link): The San Gabriel Valley Municipal Water District is accepting applications for an appointment to represent Sierra Madre on its board of directors.
Applicants must reside in Division 4, which encompasses Sierra Madre, be a citizen of the United States and not have any felony convictions, according to the board. Mailed and personally delivered applications will be accepted until 10 a.m. Tuesday, March 6. Board members will interview candidates in March.
The successful applicant must commit to attending board meetings at 8 a.m. the second Monday of each month in the district’s board room in Azusa, as well as special meetings as necessary.
Mod: Like anyone ever needs an excuse to go to Azusa, right? You could be the next Tom Love, and wouldn't that be wonderful? Another near volunteer job that has been out there for a bit is the Sierra Madre City Clerk gig. The last one left when the city cut her pay by a few thousand dollars, but don't let that discourage you. If writing down every nugget of wisdom shared at a City Council meeting appeals to you, then go for it!
Today, a city clerk is an elected or appointed senior official who is responsible for many administrative functions that relate to maintaining the public records of a municipality. The Sierra Madre City Council is soliciting applications to fill the vacancy of the elected City Clerk. The successful candidate will be appointed by the City Council to serve as City Clerk until April 2020.
The statutory duties of the City Clerk, as described in Government Code Section 40801 through 40811, are:
· Keep an accurate record of the proceedings of the legislative body
· Keep and record all city ordinances with the clerk’s certificate annexed to each, which record, with the certificate, constitutes prima facie evidence of the contents of each ordinance and of its passage and publication and is admissible as such evidence in any court or proceedings; and
· Act as the custodian of the city seal
The appointed City Clerk will receive a $250 monthly stipend commencing the month they are appointed and concluding the end of April, 2020. If you are interested in applying for the City Clerk position please return a completed application to Sierra Madre City Hall at 232 W. Sierra Madre Blvd.
Mod: Former Sierra Madre Mayor Joe Mosca abruptly left the Foothill Village behind a few years back, and is now Vice Mayor in the City of Encinitas. However, San Diego County has not been as accepting of Joe and his family as they probably hoped.
After all, they said, Garrett is a high-character, straight-A student at Olivenhain Pioneer Elementary School, an altar boy at his Episcopalian Church and plays competitive lacrosse.
So it came as a surprise, Bosse said, when school admissions director Vicki O’Rourke late last year discouraged him from applying because they weren’t the type of family that would be welcome at the school.
The reason, Bosse said? Because Garrett has two fathers. Bosse’s spouse is Encinitas City Councilman Joe Mosca, who became the city’s first openly gay councilman when he was appointed in 2017. Bosse and Mosca said they were “shocked” and “disappointed” by the school’s decision, which they called outdated.
“It was the first time in our experience that we have faced that sort of discrimination,” Bosse said. “We respect SFC and their right to run the school, but in this day in age, it seems antiquated.”
Mosca echoed Bosse’s sentiments. “When they told us that we weren’t invited to apply because we were two dads it was shock to us,” Mosca said. “Hopefully by telling our story it can effect some change.” Santa Fe Christian Middle School Director Todd Deveau said in a statement that the school doesn’t comment on specific admission decisions, but commented on the school’s admissions practices.
“While we do not provide details on matters involving students or prospective students, I can say that our policy is to encourage the family of any student committed to academic excellence and spiritual development to apply,” Deveau wrote. “As a matter of practice, we do not attempt to persuade or dissuade prospective families from applying.
“At the same time, as part of the admissions process, we make clear to prospective applicants that they will be joining a Bible-based community designed to disciple students to embrace biblical truth,” Deveau’s statement continued. “This is our mission and our purpose, and a vital component of the SFCS experience.”
Mod: This next item should be received as good news for anyone hoping to save Sierra Madre's current Library. Apparently the Feds no longer care as much about "ADA requirements" as some still claim.
Businesses will now have an additional 60 days to devise a plan to fix non-ADA compliant issues and another 120 days to implement the changes before being sued. “These ‘drive-by’ lawsuits all too often create a negative impression about the goals of this important law. Suits of this kind saw a 14 percent increase in 2017,” Poe said in a statement on his website. Supporters of the bill claim it will help both small businesses and people with disabilities.
“We’re very excited for H.R. 620, it’s long overdue for the business owners and for the disabled,” said Maryann Marino, the Southern California representative for Citizens Against Lawsuit Abuse (CALA). This nonpartisan group focuses on fighting against lawsuit abuse in California.
“ADA lawsuit abuse has been explosive,” Marion said. “I can line you up with hundred of shakedown lawsuits that have wiped out or nearly wiped out a lot of family-run businesses.”
Opponents of the bill feel it discourages businesses from making their spaces ADA-compliant and could result in long delays.
Mod: Just when you began to fear that the planet might have forgotten, a new article about Sierra Madre's mighty Wistaria Vine has now appeared on the World Wide Web.
This lovely “Lavender Lady,” as some call it, is the largest flowering plant in the world. Every spring, more than a million gorgeous purple blossoms drape from its tangled branches. Its seeds originally came from China, and two homeowners planted it in 1894 to celebrate their new house.
In a sad twist of fate, the wistaria eventually grew so large it destroyed the home it was planted to honor. It now occupies a staggering one-acre stretch of space.
Though the Guinness Book of World Records lists the vine as the world’s largest blossoming plant, the massive specimen is strangely hard to see. As it’s on private property, the public is only able to visit the behemoth beauty once a year during the annual Wistaria Festival. On this day, the whole town (plus plant-loving travelers) gather to celebrate this local celebrity.
It’s worth the wait. Witnessing this rare botanic gem is a true treat. Being able to walk under its sprawling canopy of delicate purple flowers is a magical experience. It’s no wonder it’s considered to be one of the seven horticultural wonders of the world.
Mod: We all know that the Pasadena Unified School District has some serious woes, but that should never prevent the usual suspects over in Pasadena from screwing things up even more. Very few people in Sierra Madre will be aware of this next item.
City Council and Board of Education races over the past several years have been plagued by voter apathy, forcing city officials to comply with the law. Under the California Voters Participation Rights Act, the city will change its election calendar from March primaries and April general elections, which are currently conducted in odd years, to June primaries and November general elections in even years, or when the state holds its elections.
The city’s election calendar is regulated by the charter which can only be changed at the voting booth by Pasadena residents. Because the Pasadena Unified School District includes Altadena and Sierra Madre, those residents will have a chance to vote on the proposed charter change regarding Board of Education elections.
Under the new system, elections will no longer be run by the city, and instead be supervised by county officials. Voters will be asked a simple yes or no question:
“Consistent with state law, shall the Pasadena City Charter be amended to: 1) change the city’s primary and general election dates to coincide with statewide primary and general election dates, beginning with the November 2018 general election; 2) extend the current terms for the mayor and councilmembers by 19 months on a one-time basis in order to transition to the statewide election cycle; and 3) change the timing of the mayor’s thematic budget message?”
The City Council would maintain part of its current system which requires the winner to receive more than 50 percent of the vote. The school district will move to plurality elections. Under that system, the candidate with the most votes wins.
The current system could extend elections by months and make it even more expensive to run for office, thus making it more difficult for newcomers to be elected.
Mod: Hopefully that is enough for now. More Sierra Madre News as it arrives.