Tuesday, February 6, 2018

Arcadia City Council Candidate Bulldozer Bob Harbicht Wants You To Stay Off His Lawn

BobBulldozerHarbicht mailed out his first piece of campaign literature last week. It was full of nonsense and strange whinging. He does not play the victim well. Throw in a little paranoia and a few random delusional inferences, and you have a very strange brew. One that is hardly palatable. Trust me, you are going to want to stay off his lawn.

Bob seems all too quick to forget what really happened in the last election, and exactly why he lost. He claims “a group of people – most of whom do not even live in District 2” have a moral compass that is broken. “These people put out mailers, hand-outs and phone calls about me based on innuendo, half-truths and outright lies.” Yes, he did say that.

No one is exactly sure what “lies” the Bobster is referring to here. What most remember here is the proven fact that certain interested developers contributed tens of thousands of dollars to his disastrous 2016 campaign. Those developers certainly didn’t live in District 2.

In fact, most didn’t even live in Arcadia. Jeff Lee, a developer that personally shelled out $26,000, had a project pending in the Highlands for a new hillside development that would have required 350 truck loads of dirt to be excavated and removed.

To paraphrase a more famous politician, it takes a Bulldozer.

Perhaps what Bulldozer Bob is referring to here are certain embarrassing facts. Such as news about his past voting record against any curbs on predatory development. Bob campaigned against any kind of limit to the size of McMansions, claiming it would destroy property values in Arcadia. Yet certain sensible guidelines were put into place, and property values did not crash.


If he is so worried about “outsiders” influencing the election of District 2, why then does he have his yard signs posted at the corner of Oakwood and Sycamore, which is in District 1? Could it be because that’s the home of Real Estate Agent to the Developers, Ash Rizk? Which, by the way, is being demolished to make room for a sweet new McMansion.

Note on the Harbicht sign the legend, “Experience and Know How.” I guess that’s the kind of experience Bob is fine and dandy with.

Bob claims in his mailing that he wants to run a “clean campaign” based on “the issues” and “qualifications,” So let’s look at the issues Bulldozer Bob wants to limit the conversation to:

1) Crime in Arcadia – This is a problem throughout California. It’s not something unique to Arcadia. It’s not something City Hall can control other than to give direction to the police department to do something. Unless Bob can put on a red cape with a big "S" on it and fly through the air, all he will do is pay us the usual lip service.

2) Property Rights – “The so-called ‘Historic Preservation Ordinance.' If your home is over 50 years old it would allow government or your neighbors to declare your home a ‘historic resource’ without your permission, thus severely limiting your ability to remodel, add onto, or modify it.”

Unfortunately for Bob, this is an entirely inaccurate statement. Some might even go so far as to call it a fib. Identifying a home as a historic resource does nothing. Bob apparently didn’t pay much attention at the Historic Preservation outreach meetings. Maybe he took a nap. Or went out into the lobby to try on some funny and interesting hats.

A Historic Resource Survey has already been done identifying potential resources. This list is used if a Historic Preservation Ordinance is adopted in order to assist homeowners is determining whether or not they have a chance to be designated as historic should they apply. It is not based solely on the age of the home.

Only 124 individual historic residential resources were identified in the city of Arcadia. This in a city of over 16,000 residences. Do the math. That means there are about 15,876 residences that will never qualify for designation, even if a neighbor tries. And no ordinance has been proposed that will limit anyone’s ability to remodel, add onto, or modify their home.

As usual, Bob’s campaign rhetoric is complete political bull-pucky. Designed to bamboozle the naive, the gullible, easily agitated, or kinda cracked.

3)  Calm, knowledgeable, long-term decision making – You mean the kind of long-term decision making that saddled the city with $130 million of debt, with unfunded pension liabilities that were voted into existence by Bob way back in the 1990’s? If that is The Bulldozer's idea of long-term thinking, then maybe it's time to put term limits on it.

The City of Arcadia is about to go into financial cardiac arrest due to Bob’s long-term thinking.  Pension costs are running the city of Arcadia $7.5 million big ones per year, and are projected to increase to $14 million a year by 2023. Is Bob going to pay for any of that? Or get his McMansion developer pals to dig deep into their pockets and take care of it? Just like they do for his near-limitless campaign expenditures?

Where is the City of Arcadia going to come up with an extra $7 million each year on top of the on-going annual salary increases demanded by the public employee unions, ie the Arcadia Police Officer’s Association. Does Bulldozer Bob Harbicht have Golden Pension Fairies flying around in his belfry? Or are they just bats?

And what about his qualifications? Bob has a long list of charities that he volunteered for. While honorable, it’s not government. But he does have over 20 long years on the City Council. Two entire decades. Not just in Arcadia, but over in Duarte, as well. Talk about your outsider.

Take a look around, Arcadia. Look at what a couple of decades of Bulldozer Bob has gotten you. An underdeveloped commercial district, and an overdeveloped residential zone. And debt as far as the human eye can see.

You almost have to feel sorry for old Bulldozer. He’s obviously lost touch with reality.

sierramadretattler.blogspot.com

82 comments:

  1. If I was on the City Council the first thing I would do is change the word "peacock" to "disco turkey." Then I would name it Bob.

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    1. You should name it "Tom Beck". Use Arcadia's budget to help Pasadena's homeless people instead of taking care of our own city residents, just because your law firm is located there?! A at your own expense nasty guy!!

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    2. Why do you hate the homeless?

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    3. You talk like a homeless.

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    4. Here are some basic facts:

      Tom's home Square Footage:7,639 built in 1989.

      vs Bob's home size: 4,046 built in 1952.

      It looks to me, Tom has been supporting McMansions at least during last 29 years. I don't see anything wrong with that as long as it is within the city code.

      Has Bob supported any constructions outside city code? The answer is no.

      So I don't understand your arguing points here.

      We, as adults, would be better to talk in the matured professional ways, instead of talking emotionally. I hope all discussions here will stay in a clean and clear mind format. Thanks to everyone's effort towards it.

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  2. Guys like Bob are very proud of themselves every day. They think they are a gift to the community and we just don't know how much of a gift. Guys like Bob can't stop looking in the mirror and smiling at themselves, while most of the rest of us are throwing clothes on to scramble to work and do real jobs...

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    1. Bob is an old man with old ideas.

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    2. These words exactly reflect Tom Beck. A big liar with shameless of himself!

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    3. It doesn't matter. I'm paying higher FICA than you do! You're the only dog that barks here!!Woof woof.....

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    4. 6:37 Obviously, you did a great job that you had noticed Bob and Bob had been being noticed.

      Here is some words from Harvard Principal's Speech, 2017 Baccalaureate Service: “The Art of Noticing”

      ”The value of being noticed, especially on social media, has been a powerful force in your lives. At the same time, many of you have told me how the constant expectation of doing something notable makes you question the meaning of success. ”

      ”Noticing — not just passively seeing, but actively looking — is connecting your mind and awareness to something beyond yourself and often beyond your existing knowledge and assumptions. Noticing is the pathway out of the echo chamber of your own mind.”

      "And it turns out that looking can be liberating, and humbling. It gives us permission not to be seen but to see, not to be heard but to listen. It calls our attention to things we take for granted, things that lead us to ask, “how [things] got to be the way they are.”

      "to “notice ... failing to notice” will enable you to be genuine seekers of truth no matter what direction your lives may take you."

      The above material is from the source,
      https://www.harvard.edu/president/speech/2017/2017-baccalaureate-service-art-noticing

      I hope you continue seeking the truth and pondering in your heart, how all of us could keep smiling like Bob does every day in the near future?

      Keep up with the wonderful job.

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    5. Finally, I am seeing nice words here. It's not important who supports who and who will get the position of Council. The important thing is that our voices can be heard, our efforts can be seen, and we are strong enough to be noticed in this community. Unfortunately, Tom Beck was sitting in front of one hundred people and said that you're unqualified four times in two minutes, which is not acceptable manner as a Council member. Thank you for your reply.

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  3. Once a crook always a 'crook' they do not change their habits but find slicker ways to accept questionable money and it's sources, maybe drugs or gangs maybe even prostitution who knows what strange thoughts run lose in a politicians heads.

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    1. Tom Back is one of my most revered council members. Since 1996-1999 he has been the chairman of the Santa Anita Homeowners Associantion Architecture Review Board and 1991-2012 as Architecture Review Board member working with big developer Dexter Development and Arcadia McMansion architect / developer Robert Tong to approve numerous big houses.

      They are unbelievably hard working for Arcadia. The big house is a symbol of Arcadia’s luxury Lifestyle whereas Robert and Tom’s style is my favorite!I hope Tom can continue to serve on the council and approve more and more big houses. Maybe eventually Arcadia will turn into a real Beverly Hills. Thank you Mr. Tom Beck for being the Godfather of McMansion!

      Also no wonder while all other architects and builders had hard time to get new design plan passed, Robert’s clients always had an easier way to get new things built especially those big mansions. He charges a much higher rate for a good reason because time is money. Way to go Tom, Robert and Charles, great team work!

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    2. @6:48, I couldn't figure out why you called Tom a crook, your statement was very confusing.

      You implied Tom might have accepted "questionable money and it's sources, maybe drugs or gangs maybe even prostitution who knows what strange thoughts run lose in a politicians heads."

      This is a really mean statement, really mean. Do you have any proof that Tom had done any of that? If not, please don't speak like that.

      We only talk about facts politely, please. Thank you.

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  4. It appears that Harbicht has adopted the Donald Trump "fake news" approach to dealing with news of his many malfeasances. I'm not sure the people of Arcadia are going to go along with his demand that they only talk about what he wants them to talk about. Bob has a very (very) long and checkered record. Examining it is fair play.

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  5. Is Bulldozer Bob and Andy Bencosme the Realtor friends? Are they using the same campaign people? Guess we'll see when Bencosme hangs out his signs in Sierra Madre. Do these guys ever play with the truth?

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    1. They are both a part of the same realtor/developer political push. They want to shut down slow growth and open both towns up to unlimited huge development. It is about the money, plain and simple. Most of which would go into the pockets of people who don't even live here. Your rights be damned.

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    2. They live in an alternative truth world, where all that matters is how much money they can steal...uh, make. Could care less about the neighborhood or its history. BTW, was there a burglary on Rancho Rd. in Sierra Madre last night, at that ugly new house that's been sitting empty for over a year? Police helicopter was flying over it for quite a while last night.

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  6. Mod. Why are you writing about Arcadia? and why the interests in their policies?
    Must be a really slow news day in Sierra Madre.

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    1. The same people who are pushing Harbicht are also pushing Benscosme. The same players who want massive development in Arcadia want the same for Sierra Madre. The politics of the two cities are strongly linked over the development issue. Also, if you look at the masthead of this blog you will notice that Arcadia and Pasadena are also covered here. It hasn't been just Sierra Madre for quite some time. If you don't like those articles, please, don't read them.

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    2. Mod, well said. Strongly agree.

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  7. I recall that some of the Sierra Madre Councilpeople had contributions from outside sources.
    I recall that Sierra Madre had an antiquated Historical Preservation Ordinance that illegally added homeowners without their permission, very expensive for the residents to remove their names through the courts at their own expense.
    CalPERS was voted on by all city council across California and a financial buren was added without a vote by the residents. Many CalPERS contain that extra double down, where an employee is able to collect retirement twice.
    Just not clear why this Councilmen is being singled out? Is there a payout for pushing a different agenda by the Tattler?

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    1. Harbicht is actually a former councilman. Try and keep up.

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    2. There is no ordinance under consideration in Arcadia that proposes to add residences to a “list” without residents’ knowledge. Over 15,000 homes would go along as usual without any changes as to how they would demolish, re-build, add-on or remodel their homes if a historic preservation ordinance is adopted. What has been drafted and is available in the city of Arcadia’s website is an ordinance that would require those homes identified as a potential historic resource (124 out of 16,000) to file a report from an architectural historian that the proposed add-on would not diminish the architectural significance of the home. It has nothing to do with the inside of the home. As drafted, anyone identified on the list can still add-on as long as the design is consistent with the original architecture. Demolition may be restricted, but even then, it’s not outright prohibited. For those few homes that are architecturally significant, this is not a bad thing. The draft ordinance in Arcadia is very modest.

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    3. Harbicht is asking that he be judged on his long term decision making, therefore, one must look at the decisions he made while on council and see how it turned out. All those buildings and structures he lists to his credentials were payed through voter approved bonds. The taxpayers paid extra because Harbicht wanted shiny new things. He didn’t sprinkle any magic fairy dust and figure out a way to pay for these buildings from the tax money already being collected. He’s no budgeting guru.

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    4. 8:16am, you are right Bob Harbicht was not the only bad former councilman in Arcadia. For example Rodger Chandler was another one.

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    5. I think their combined years on the city council is near 50. Way past their freshness dating.

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  8. 8:23am. Did not say I disliked the article; just did not realize that like the Mt. View News, the Tattler has expanded it's viewership.
    8:23am you may want to address your control issues with a professional, you feel free to express with others what they may or may not do if they do not share your point of view. Not cool.

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  9. Where is 8:23 ? My silly PC must have dropped 8:23!

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    1. I think 8:23 was Lucky Baldwin's ghost.

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    2. You might be right. It certainly scared the crap out of 8:32.

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  10. In 2000, Harbicht voted to tear down Anoakia, the home of Anita Baldwin, Lucky Baldwin’s daughter. It was part of the history of Arcadia. Harbicht didn’t care about the history of Arcadia then, and he doesn’t care about it now.

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    1. Yes it is a great loss to Arcadia and the San Gabriel area in general. Anoakia would have been visited and treasured by millions for years to come, just like the Greystone Mansion in Beverly Hills.

      Shame on you Harbicht!

      "The "Anoakia" mansion, all other significant estate structures and outbuildings, garden features, and numerous California sycamore and Coast live oak trees were demolished for 31 luxury home sites in 2000." https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Arcadia,_California#Anoakia

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    2. You talk like an old dog about to die.

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    3. Dogs don't talk. If you hear your dog talking, it is a hallucination. Seek the assistance of professionals.

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  11. 8:58am. So then, 124 home owners would have to pay an extra expense out of pocket to do the same as the 16,000 other homeowners? What if they choose to put up a plaque that designated their home? Would this circumvent their extra layer of protection if they wish to continue changes to their home?

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    1. Huh? What does a plaque have anything to do with architecture? But, those 124 homes would be eligible for a property tax abatement through the Mills Act. The savings would far exceed any additional cost of an Architectural historian’s report. I guess you don’t like the fact that those 124 homes would pay less in property taxes than you. Plus, studies have shown that homes designated as historic have sold for 10-15% more than homes of the same age, architecture, size and location that are not designated.

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    2. Sure. Wait right here.

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  12. Has anyone else noticed that all of Harbicht signs are in front of McMansions in the process of being built?

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    1. Yes. Also McMansions with no residents.

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  13. In 2006, Harbicht voted for “Longevity Pay” which paid the health insurance premiums of retired city employees and their spouses for life. This cost the city an extra $500,000 a year. Chandler was Mayor and voted for it, too. The only councilmember to vote against it was Peter Amundson. It was repealed several years later because the City couldn’t afford it, and the General Fund was running in the red. The only long-term thinker was Amundson.

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    1. Harbicht and Chandler, they are so similar in so many ways... Time to vote them down for good.

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  14. Are there any McMansions on the historic list?

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  15. Bulldozer has little chance against Tom Beck. One is respectful, intelligent and open minded. The other has no life and being on CC is only thing going when not taking money from Ashboy.

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    1. Arcadia has moved on. Hopefully Bob gets the message this time. I hear there is a hot bridge game in Omaha waiting for him.

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    2. Tom Beck is the one who really wants to and has been doing the right things for Arcadia and its people.

      Go Beck!

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    3. Tom Beck is respectful? Intellegent? Open minded? Maybe there is another Tom Beck on the Arcadia City Council but the one I know is none of those things. Tom Beck is an elitist snob who can't wait to tell everyone he has contact with that he was a "trial attorney." I watched him persecute a resident who lived near him for wanting a circular driveway on his own property. All because Beck doesn't like the way it would look - "open mi nded." At another meeting he grilled the head of the library for wanting to pay a part time employee a few more cents an hour. He treated this woman as though she was on trial for a crime, and spoke so condiseningly to her that it was hard to watch - "Respectful?" He voted with the rest of the council to trap and kill coyotes - "intellegent." When he started getting push back from the community, he folded and turned on the rest of the council. The city is currently being sued for this. Tom Beck and the council are also being sued over a cellphone tower they denied out of pure petulance. He and two other council members wanted to fight district based voting. All three knew it would cost the city millions of dollars to fight it and that they would not win. They were finally convinced to go along. Tom Beck is not looking out for Arcadia, Tom Beck is not good for Arcadia, Tom Beck is an embarrassment to the council and the city.

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    4. Intelligent people know the word is not spelled "intellegent."

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    5. Intelligent people listen to what others have to say, not what their spell checkers miss. 8:17 made a good argument, based on past experience, that Tom Beck is arrogant, ignorant, and unfit for the city council. I regret voting for Beck in 2014. The same mistake will not be repeated in 2018.

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    6. Everybody has their viewpoint. To me it sounded like some old codger engaging in some HOA kvetching.

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  16. 9:16am. Not many cared to preserve Anoakia back then.
    Sierra Madre has Alverno, Arcadia lost a treasure. Anoakia was ahead of its time, the inside of the home was stunning. I know that the inside of a home does not fit into preservation; but if allowed, this would have been the jewel worth saving.

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    1. How sad. Wish I could have had a chance to visit it. Every time I drive past that place, I feel sad.

      Greedy developers love Harbicht and Chandler and Sho Tay.

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    2. Anoakia was the site of a school, which provided income to keep it standing. Whittier earthquake in 1987 made it unsafe and the school moved out. It was too expensive to fix it up, and too dangerous to let people in without fixing it up. The mansion turned into a haunted house for the next 10 years. In fact it was used as site for horror movies. Doppelganger 1993. Without income to sustain and upkeep the place for 10 years after the school moved out, the only rational choice was to tear it down and replace it with something the bring some economic benefits to Baldwin estate. Basically, in 2000, neither Arcadia nor the Baldwin Estate had other viable options to keep Anoakia. There is an end to everything, to good things as well. The demise of Anoakia was followed by, or caused by, the Anoakia Estate.

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    3. Well, there you go. A bulldozer is always the best solution.

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    4. @8:10 There were many proposals to keep Anoakia standing in the 10 years leading upto 2000, but none of them were economically viable. In the end, it was the decision of the Baldwin Estate to let it go to developers. Gary Kovacic was pushing the Historic Preservation at the time, which was the main reason why the Baldwin Estate decided to get rid of the hot potato before it was too late. If the Historic Preservation Ordinance had passed, Baldwin Estates would be stuck with an expensive piece of history that they could not afford to maintain and no developer wanted to touched. Everyone wants to preserve the white elephant yet no one is willing to cough up the cash to do it. That's why it stood there empty for 10 years. The ill conceived drive to force Anoakia preservation was the final nail in the coffin that sped up its quick demise.

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    5. The demise of Anoakia was followed by, NOT caused by, the Anoakia Estate.

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    6. @10:46 Who are you? A follower of a pack of liars?!

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  17. The many chandeliers and the Italian Glass flooring that allowed light to the small bowling alley located on the bottom floor, Anoakia was ahead of its time.

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    1. There was a weak too little, too late effort to point out the treasure they were losing when Anokia faced the bulldozer.

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    2. Never too late to remember what was done wrong in order to prevent the same mistake from happening again.

      That's why Harbicht has to be voted out of the city council. Again in 2018.

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  18. Acting AG spoke on threat of MS-13 this afternoon. There is estimated to be over 30,000 members in this country.
    AG Sessions and the President have designated MS-13 a priority.
    All lawful means will be pursued in cracking down on crime.

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    1. "All lawful means will be pursued in cracking down on crime."

      So they'll be arresting Trump?

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    2. Whatever is needed to distract from largest stock market dip in history.

      Troll reporting for duty

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  19. Gas prices going up.
    LA Times is being sold to businessman.

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  20. 4:34pm. Buy low - sell high.
    The Market needed to correct itself, invest in long term.

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    1. Sure. Like you or anyone else has a clue about what us going on.

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  21. Does anyone know if Bulldozer has any planned “meet the candidate’ type meetings? I’d like to attend and ask the old coot a few questions. He don’t like people that think diff than him.
    Do you all remember when recently he was speaking at an Arcadia CC meeting and referred to some disabled athletes as ‘retarded’? The dude is old and clueless that using that term is bad.
    VOTE YES FOR TOM BECK !!!

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  22. https://www.arcadiaca.gov/government/city-departments/development-services/historic-preservation
    this will correct the data error in this article. "Based on the evaluation, a total of 188 potential historic resources, including 165 potential individual buildings, 11 potential historic districts, and 12 potential non-building resources (structures, objects and sites) were documented through the survey."

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    1. Of the 188 potential historic resources, only 124 were single-family residences. There were a few commercial buildings identified, such as the Santa Anita Race Track, and then 12 non-building Resources. Harbicht refers to homes in his mailer. What were the data errors in the post?

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  23. Full of lies! Nasty!

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    1. Do you have anything you would like to share with us?

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    2. The truth is always nasty to liars.

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  24. Robert Tong is listed on Tom Beck's nomination name list. That's ridiculous!Slap your own face, hardly!!

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    1. From 2012 - 2014, evil McMansion designer Robert Tong and greedy developer Mul Sol torn down 10 beautiful ranch homes in Oaks, and replacement them with ugly McMansions. What atrocity!

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  25. Bob and Roger both are buddies with John Wuo. They traveled to China together. Roger walked to John Wuo's house prior to city council meeting to discuss about how they would vote for it. They both on the city council for almost 30 years. I don't see the crime rate decrease at all. Can you imagine what that will do to Arcadia city another 4 years by Bob and Roger?

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    ReplyDelete

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