Sunday, February 11, 2018

Help Me Out Here. Can You Really Re-Elect a Mayor in Sierra Madre?

I was perusing Facebook reading Tony Brandenburg posts while sitting in a Starbucks somewhere in LA last night. I was waiting for my younger son and his girlfriend to exit a concert starring a Chinese-American rapper unhappily named Chigga, and it was very late. Long story behind all that.

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.

Slim Shady
OK, I'm pulling your leg. I really do know the answer. Apparently this is just another bone-headed error by her campaign manager, the Pasadena pro-utility tax Republican Martin Truitt. Considering what a bloody mess (literally) his now elected candidates have made of Pasadena, you'd think a little shame might kick in and he'd want to stick to his accounting. Just leave local politics to the more detail oriented amateurs. Right?

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.

Chatting with the City Manager
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 TattlerI 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.
https://sierramadretattler.blogspot.com/2018/02/los-angeles-county-office-of-education.html

Gabe EngelandWow, 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 TattlerSeems exclusionary. Why is that? 

Gabe EngelandIt’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 TattlerIt 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 EngelandI 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 TattlerThanks. 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.

sierramadretattler.blogspot.com

46 comments:

  1. I think Arizmendi's ad was just referring to her present title and didn't mean to vote her in as permanent mayor. From what you've come up with it appears she and her campaign are right on top of the latest in vote for me tactics. She will be reelected but we do need to NOT ELECT THE REALTOR from Arcadia, that would be a disaster.

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    Replies
    1. They do elect Mayors in Monrovia.

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    2. I was looking at the Andy Bencosme 4 City Council website this morning. I wanted to catch up on all of the latest important issues, and it was reassuring to read that he does love Sierra Madre. That is so important to me. But I also noticed he hasn't cleaned up his spelling and grammar errors. I was talking to the ladies at Podley yesterday and they told me it is because he forgot the password for his website. Does anyone here remember what it was?

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    3. "LibraryProperty$5MillOrNothing"

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    4. Great post, Grammar Lady.
      Maybe his password is Arcadia First.

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    5. "I'mSmart+PeopleLikeMe."

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  2. Refreshing to have feedback from our City Manager, thank you Mod.
    How much did the city spend on the traffic study? Just paint reflective new paint andmake sure the lighting is well lit for each area; good now that's done. No lengthy council discussion.
    Is the traffic study the same fifty thousand dollar contract for studing the ADA obstacle's or barriers around town? It would be great to have disabled parking in front of the pharmacy and a ramp near by. That would save us from having to shop out of town.
    With the up coming council election, no one signed up for the task, well one Arcadian; that's just nonsense.
    Sierra Madre been on the quiet side, not much of anything happening.
    This council has only continud damage control from poor management decisions of the past.
    If cotton candy and ice cream will be offered as an incentive to get out and vote, we may make the trip downtown.
    We are only interested in the UUT.

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  3. Maybe we should vote for a Mayor. Is The Eagle available?

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  4. "The artist formerly known as Rich Chigga is kicking off 2018 with a new name and a new banger. The "Dat $tick" rapper will now go by Rich Brian, and he's just announced the name change with the release of his most personal record to date, "See Me." The song has a mix of trap vibes and a mellow feel."

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    Replies
    1. Rich Brian is actually from Indonesia. He learned English listening to American rap tapes.

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    2. Still waiting for rap to go the way of disco, another dull and repetitious form, though not replete with the anger and misogyny of the former.

      What happened to the explosion of talent in the late 60s, 70s, and early 90s?

      I can say more but have to go chase someone off my lawn...

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    3. His "Made In China" video is pretty funny.
      https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=rILKm-DC06A

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  5. Speaking of sharing very little of substance, there is only one discussion item on this week's City Council meeting agenda. It is called, "UPDATE ON “CLEAN POWER ALLIANCE” (FORMERLY LACCE) AND SELECTION OF DEFAULT TIER LEVEL," and it is pretty meh. At the last City Council meeting there were NO discussion items or public hearings. Can it really be the city no longer has any business?

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    Replies
    1. The current Mayor doesn't want to trouble your pretty little head.

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    2. It could be that the council has been taking problems in hand and they don't have to rehearse the same issues each meeting. Efficiency.

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    3. Or airbrushing. Why are they not taking up the PUSD mess? Don't want it to become a campaign issue?

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    4. Because they haven't done it yet, that means they never will?

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    5. That is a good question. But look at it this way. There hasn't been a Public Hearing item in 6 weeks. This week there is a discussion item, but that is the first one in 6 weeks. I'm not sure they're engaging with their responsibilities to the community right now.

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    6. The PUSD is a form of educational apartheid. It is also part and parcel to the institutional racism and classism that infects so much of this part of the San Gabriel Valley. The rich go to private schools, poor and minorities go to Pasadena Unified schools. And when the PUSD gets in trouble nobody cares because the people who go there do not count as far as the elite is concerned.

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  6. That's it, I'm boycottingFebruary 11, 2018 at 9:22 AM

    San Diego Girl Scouts investigate girl who sold cookies outside marijuana dispensary: SAN DIEGO — The San Diego Girl Scout council is looking into whether a scout who was photographed selling cookies outside a marijuana dispensary broke any rules.

    Officials were trying to identify the girl and talk to her family because she was in a commercial area, which is not allowed, council spokeswoman Mary Doyle said in an email Monday.

    Urbn Leaf posted a photograph of the girl on Friday outside the shop that sells medical and recreational marijuana and invited customers on its Instagram account to come get some Girl Scout cookies.

    The girl — wearing her green vest of badges — is clutching boxes of cookies outside the front doors of Urban Leaf in the photo, which was widely shared on the internet.

    https://www.thecannabist.co/2018/02/06/girl-scout-cookies-marijuana-dispensary-san-diego/98328/

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Aren't super markets,coffee shops,banks also in commercial areas?

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    2. I think the complaint is the Girl Scout was taking advantage of Marijuana consumers' weakness for sweets.

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    3. I thought we celebrate imaginative entrepreneurs?

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    4. I wish we had cannabis retailers in Sierra Madre. It would give people a reason to come here. Can you imagine how many people would get win those buses if they were being taken to the world's largest flowering pot plant? I think the Treasures of Sierra Madre would like it, too.

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  7. John Harabedian, 36, of Sierra Madre, has been appointed to the California Acupuncture Board. Harabedian has been a member of the Sierra Madre City Council since 2012, serving as mayor of Sierra Madre from 2014 to 2015. He has been legal counsel at Bentham IMF since 2016. Harabedian served as a deputy district attorney at the Los Angeles County District Attorney's Office from 2015 to 2016. He was an associate at Latham and Watkins LLP from 2011 to 2015 and a law clerk for the Honorable Josephine Staton at the U.S. District Court, Central District of California from 2010 to 2011. Harabedian was a policy analyst in the Los Angeles Mayor’s Office in 2007, a Coro Foundation fellow from 2006 to 2007 and an analyst at Barrington Associates from 2004 to 2005. He earned a Juris Doctor degree from Stanford Law School and a Master of Science degree in comparative social policy from the University of Oxford. This position requires Senate confirmation and the compensation is $100 per diem. (Term 12/22/2017 through 12/22/2021)
    http://www.acupuncture.ca.gov/about_us/member_profiles.shtml

    Does anyone know if the State Senate approved John's nomination?

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    Replies
    1. I certainly hope so. I can't imagine the State Senate missed the point.

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    2. Harabedian is a sharp guy. He'll be able to insert a lot of insight there.

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    3. I think you're poking fun at him.

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  8. California school science project that connected race and IQ is pulled after complaints
    http://www.foxnews.com/us/2018/02/10/california-school-science-project-that-connected-race-and-iq-is-pulled-after-complaints.html

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  9. 10:36am. This project was initiated from the PUSD, why are there any complaints?

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Please read the article before commenting about it.

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  10. 9:00am. That's the point.
    Dats no touch! He is now a mellow feel rap'sta, cha ching.

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  11. "Re-elect SM Mayor" is nothing compare to the idiocy on display by Nunes saying:

    “There was no involvement in drafting the memo with the White House.”

    This might be excusable if an extemporaneous spoken statement, but he reportedly was reading from a written statement.

    He either cannot think and therefore cannot write clearly, or he thinks he's being clever by leaving himself some wiggle room to later say he never said the "White House was not involved" in the drafting of the memo.

    If the latter, he's a walking, talking example of the Dunning-Kruger effect, and just doesn't realize how dumb he is.

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  12. Sierra Madre has a school board member (Larry Torres) who didn't even show up to the meeting held last week to make emergency cuts to the PUSD budget.

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    Replies
    1. That's why they call him Low Energy Larry.

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    2. Who picked this guy to run? Was it Doyle and that crowd?

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  13. 11:44am. Dont need to read any article, where you been?
    The PUSD has always pused race as their trump ( pun intended) card.
    Always pushed the BS that the poor kids in Nortwest Pasadena were shortchanged from education mearly their neighborhoods and tax status.
    If you could afford private school you were saved from a poor school system.
    Now tell us inquiring minds, what is your stance on school vouchers? Or the parents right to choose?

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    Replies
    1. That's cool. I don't need to answer your tired and old questions.

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    2. 1:05 wants a government handout to send his kids to private school.

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    3. If that's how private school grads write, no thanks.

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  14. Ah, you were one of those fortunate families on the right side of the tracks, you only enjoy the "Whataboutism's" of arguments

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  15. 2:02pm wants Social Security! !!

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  16. “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.“. So, who commissioned the traffic study? I like our new CM, but a little surprised that he wouldn’t know more about this...he “believes”. MOD: may need to dig around this study. Maybe someone is curious about how this traffic would be impacted by developing Taylor’s market corner. Perhaps traffic lights will be suggested to handle the extra traffic created by new condos....Just saying.

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    Replies
    1. Gabe emailed Chris Cimino and asked him to send me additional information. I should have that this week.

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    2. The traffic study device will help determine where best to store seed pods, some of which may or may not be near Kersting Court and under your house.

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