There are times that I regret all of the music I exposed my kids to when they were younger. My 25 or so years in the music business have come back to haunt me. Which is why I found myself sitting in a Starbucks in LA after midnight amongst cell phone addicted people a third of my age.
But I digress. After reading how Tony's own cell phone, which hadn't been working for six weeks, suddenly came back to life as if by magic, and on his birthday no less, I noticed that a campaign advertisement had popped up on the right side of the page.
Much to my surprise it was a Rachelle Arizmendi ad, and it had a puzzling message. It was asking me to help re-elect Rachelle the Mayor of Sierra Madre. I didn't know you could do that. I'm pretty sure the City Council is on a rotation system in Sierra Madre, and after Rachelle's year as Mayor is up in April she'll have to wait until her turn comes around again. Which by my count would be around five years from now.
Rachelle's campaign webpage can be found here. It doesn't say a whole lot, but then what politician shares anything of substance these days? I guess it works. Your average voting fool is far more appreciative of cotton candy than they are anything approaching the red meat issues we lovingly dote upon.
To help belabor my point, here is an example from Rachelle's website. Check this out:
"Important issues remain. We need to maintain fiscal discipline, protect our water system, complete the infrastructure improvement plan, work with the PUSD to maintain the quality of our neighborhood schools, and continue promoting a safe community."
As readers of this blog are aware, the PUSD has been declared in real danger of slipping into insolvency, and being taken over by Los Angeles County. Or even, heavens help us, Sacramento. As a result they're throwing howling educator bodies out onto the streets left and right. Yet this disturbing issue has yet to be agendized by Mayor Arizmendi for discussion by the City Council. Can it be she really doesn't know?
Or perhaps Martin told her none of that will matter to most Sierra Madre voters. Their kids attend private schools.
I keep emailing reader questions to City Manager Gabe Engeland on a regular basis. You should as well. He turns around his answers in mere minutes sometimes. It is quite astonishing. Here are some of the questions he has answered lately.
Sierra Madre Tattler: I posted this on the City of Sierra Madre Facebook page, where it was immediately marked as spam. I tried again, this time using smiley face emojis, but no such luck. Anyway, you might want to get the City Council to address this at their next meeting. It could be important to a few people.
Gabe Engeland: Wow, that letter doesn’t paint a pretty picture. Sorry the story wasn’t posted on the City’s FB. Our social media policy does not allow links to outside sites/sources.
Sierra Madre Tattler: Seems exclusionary. Why is that?
Gabe Engeland: It’s a pretty common practice for social media management. The main reason is cities are not able to verify which sites are safe or appropriate. If a link is on a city page, it is assumed to be a trusted source. I forget which city it was, but they allowed a link to manage credit profiles after the Equifax data breach. The site looked legitimate, but as it turns out, it was actually a phishing scam. Residents used the link because the city posted it and ended up having their private information stolen.
Sierra Madre Tattler: It explains the pretty minimal participation on the city's Facebook page. That's ok. Why would I want competition? Is there a due date for the survey cards. Several have asked.
Gabe Engeland: I agree, the FB page has been more about disseminating information than dialogue exchange. We are able to see how many people view the post(s), so we know it’s effective at getting the message out. Certainly we don’t have the same interaction, comments, etc., as a private page. The due date to mail back should be two weeks after the second mailing. I believe the second mailing goes out next Monday, so people have until the end of February to reply online or by mail.
This next exchange of e-mails took place a few days later.
Sierra Madre Tattler: Couple of questions for you today.
1) Folks are receiving their second Library survey cards today. Do you know how many have been filled out and sent back so far? I have been asked that.
2) The temporary traffic device(s) down by Kersting Court. What exactly do they do? Been asked that as well. If you have something prepared by the device manufacturer that you could forward to me that would be a bonus.
Gabe Engeland: We haven't asked for an update on return numbers yet, but will likely receive one next week. The traffic study device on SM Blvd measures, I believe, total car and pedestrian traffic and is being used to determine if we need to make safety changes to our crosswalks.
Sierra Madre Tattler: Thanks. One more question. Have you been updated in any way about the PUSD and its insolvency issue? Such a huge issue, and outside of my small site (and the slightly larger Pasadena Now), nobody is saying a peep.
Gabe Engeland: No, I have not heard anything additional.
That is all I have for you this morning. Have a wonderful Sunday.