Wednesday, April 25, 2018

Sierra Madre and Arcadia: A Tale of Two Cities

For 50 minutes of peace, love and understanding click here.
A fairly short tale actually because it is late and I am a little exhausted from all of this stuff right now. More on that in a minute. But here is the first half of the story.

It used to be that Sierra Madre was the lawless lands when it came to politics. There were more wild and crazy controversies, fights, feuds, and general mayhem found in The Foothill Village than just about anywhere else on the planet. It was from those days that The Tattler first found its place in our little world, and all of that controversy had sustained this blog for nearly a decade. Trust me, I was always very grateful. There was a lot to write about.

But obviously those days are now in the past. Last night Denise Delmar was made the Mayor of Sierra Madre in about as peaceful and untroubled a manner as you would ever hope to see. The only thing that was even close to a controversy was who would become the next Mayor Pro Tem, with John Harabedian and John Capoccia struggling over who could hand the honor to the other guy the most. Eventually Capoccia won and Harabedian was convinced to accept the honor.

After which everyone went out into the City Hall foyer to enjoy some cake and soda.

Things were the very opposite last night in Arcadia where no Mayor was chosen at all, and won't be until after a 45 day "cooling off period" has taken place. The problem being that the current Mayor Pro Tem, the eminently unqualified though next in line Sho Tay, is now faced with both the potential consequences of a rather unfortunate Brown Act situation, plus an ongoing two count FPPC investigation into his having possibly run a crooked political campaign.

This in front of a seething packed house as 35 residents angrily spoke to both sides of the issues during public comment, and mostly in no uncertain terms. According to the majority of these speakers you apparently are either a racist who has serious problems with Asian folks, or someone who countenances unchecked corruption in a city government lacking for all ethical values. There appeared to be little middle ground between the two sides as each persuasion seemed quite convinced that they alone were occupying the moral apex.

The current Mayor of Arcadia, Peter Amundson, will now remain in that office for an additional month and a half, which hopefully will be enough time for Sho Tay's guilt or innocence to be clearly established by these ongoing investigations. If it turns out that he actually is a crook, then the gig will fall to councilmember April Verlato, who would then become Arcadia's first woman mayor in quite some time.

There is also the matter of what could have been wide ranging voter fraud in District 5, something calling into question the legitimacy of Roger Chandler's election to yet another term. Something that will also be closely looked into during that now momentous 45 day cooling off period.

Oh, and there was no cake afterwards. Anywhere. Like I said, a tale of two cities.

sierramadretattler.blogspot.com

112 comments:

  1. Sierra Madre highest tax city in Southern California, lack of rain keeps the Developer's away.
    Arcadia, enormous business district keeps the Developer's happy with growth in the Community, now the resident's need to learn how to get along.

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    Replies
    1. Let bygones be bygones, put the past behind us, don't sweat the small stuff?
      And let a dishonest man become mayor in the process.

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    2. Are you promoting another Kumbaya event?

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    3. Predictably, dirty politicians always call for civility.

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    4. Yes, they can't stand to face the consequences of their corrupt practices.

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    5. Sierra Madre had cake afterwards? Question mark is because I was not there. Before the meeting Arcadia served delicious pulled pork sandwiches with BBQ sauce and all the fixings along with pot stickers and sweet and sour sauce. Good fruit too. Despite all the bad vibes nobody got in a food fight. Nothing like food to bring a community together. Just serve food and nobody fights until the food is gone and the meeting begins.

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  2. What a treat it was last night at SM CC meeting. Things are getting done at administration level like many of us have never seen. We still have a council that works well together and is making positive changes at an unpresidented rate. Many of us feel so good about our Preserve Sierra Madre work and how the City Manager is right there with sleeves rolled up ready to work out what is best for the community, what a different feeling that is. Good luck to all our City Employes.

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  3. Last night's Sierra Madre City Council meeting was a joyous occasion for sure! I love our town and our voters!

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    1. Okay, but remember, we are one election away from turning back into Arcadia.

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  4. You know things are bad when the losers pull out the race card, how un American to say the least.

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  5. The best decision coming out from the Sierra Madre Council was the hiring of the new, and qualified for the position, City Manager.

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  6. 6:38am. Which Americans?

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    Replies
    1. All of them. That is the point.

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  7. I haven't seen last night's CC meeting coverage in the Arcadia Weekly this morning.

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    Replies
    1. They are taking a 45 day chill out.

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    2. The paper hits the streets tomorrow. It is a weekly.

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    3. In that case, we're waiting to see if they have real balls.

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    4. Last week's issue was the target of a lot of vitriol last night. Of course, most of those attacking the paper last night probably couldn't quite understand it.

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    5. Who says the press has to be neutral?

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    6. A neutral press would be useless. Any idiot in the world can say nothing.

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    7. Much better for the press to be truthful. Oops, I guess Sho does not know that.

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  8. When Verlato was one vote short of the mayoral position, the Tay supporters yelled in glee and applauded. Sexists.

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    1. That really was awful, shows lack of respect from Tay supporters. Tay supporters also hissed after each speaker that they didn’t agree with, and would shout out. Police Chief had to calm them down. But they continued to be distracting.

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    2. Arcadia is toxic right now. A lot of that blame has to fall on Sho Tay. He is tearing the town apart, and it has gotten him nothing.

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    3. Well, it did get you glued to the TV.

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    4. Yes, it was very dramatic.

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    5. The remarks made by Tommy Beck and Brett Matulski that April should be elected because "We haven't had a female mayor in years" was shockingly sexist. Is April's gender her only qualification? April's puppet Matulski and the long winded Tommy boy seem to think so. What a sad state of affairs we are in with another four years of Tommy on council.

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    6. I think Arcadians should have a 45 day of trying not to say "sexist" or "racist" and see if they can come up with more cogent observations.

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    7. I agree. It is an extremely shallow way dealing with real issues.

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    8. Aren't racism and sexism real issues in society?

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    9. Not when they're used like schoolyard taunts.

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    10. The situation in Arcadia is not the Chinese vs everyone else, but rather, those who are making money off foreign investment versus those who aren't. Certain Realtors and developers, many of whom don't even reside in Arcadia are making a fortune. Their only concern is maximizing profits by having a council who approves their projects quickly and without scrutiny. They don't care about the long term sustainability of Arcadia. They certainly don't care about the residents either. California's political correctness and social engineering allowed the greedy lawyer to threaten Arcadia and force us into districts that nobody wanted, all based on race. Now Sho Tay and his hired audience use race to shut down anyone that disagrees. Alleged campaign violations aside, there are many valid ethical concerns with Sho, from secret meetings to negative propaganda against members of the community. There are many valid reason for Peter Amundson to pick April Verlato instead, but the threat of being labeled a racist puts him in a bind. As for April Verlato, she has proven to be strong and independent. Gender is irrelevant in qualification for mayor, as is race. However, when you have one side that cites race to undermine the entire election process, what is so wrong with bringing up the fact that we haven't had a female mayor in 15 years? April is more than well qualified for mayor and unlike Tay and Chandler, she actually listens to the people she represents.

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    11. 2:47,
      Eloquent comment. Are you absolutely sure that are no racists against the Chinese living in Arcadia?

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    12. There are racists on both sides. And no, I am not responsible for the misbehavior of idiots.

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    13. 2:47 - nice work.

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    14. Can you imagine one of Tays puppets reading 2:47 comments? Their heads would explode trying to understand the facts.
      Those Tay puppets are classic uniformed fools, being used by Tay. Pretty sad to see how gullible humans can be.

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    15. 2:47,
      Where did you get the facts that they were hired audience? I arrived late to the CC meeting and stood at the back wall of the Council chamber. From my observation the audience didn't look or sound like hired hands to me.

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    16. If you've watched the last few months of meetings, a large group of people reading scripts from their phones have gotten up to speak, clapped every time Sho is mentioned, and booed anyone who speaks with an opposing view. The biggest clue that they were an organized group was that multiple speakers called Tom Beck, "Tom Becker" while reading the scripts. Sho is very big on social media, and bilingual individuals have noted references to secret meetings where he rallies people for causes he supports. Meetings pandering only to one demographic instead of the entire city make many question reasons behind his lack of transparency. During the consideration of districts, many speakers were falsely convinced that at large elections and certain district maps would damage the school district and or take voting rights away from them. They all spoke in support the district map that would lump all HOA's into one district, leaving 4 pro mansion districts. E-mails sent by individuals profiting from foreign investment also cited that map. One can imagine it's confusing for newcomers who don't understand our political procedures to be fed propaganda that their rights are under attack. There will always be the few that are xenophobic on both sides, but most debate outside of meetings has been respectful. Again, race is the smokescreen for the bigger picture. Those that are profiting from Arcadia's lack of building standards will do whatever it takes to keep it that way, including slander and divisive rhetoric. The fact remains that Sho was elected to a second, extended term without the vote of the people. District 3 was given no choice as there was no option for a write in ballot. Arcadia already was forced to deviate from the terms of our charter. At least we should have a mayor that was elected to their current term by the vote of the people.

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  9. When will the Sierra Madre Council address the outstanding bonds the city has?

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    Replies
    1. Go to a Council meeting and ask them. This Council actually listens and solves problems.

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    2. They already refinanced the water bonds to save about a million bucks, and reorganized city hall staffing to save hundreds of thousands a year. You can burn down Rome in a day, but it takes a while to rebuild it.

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    3. Once again I have to thank Sierra Madres voters gor reelecting Denise and Rachelle, who spearheaded these savings, and brought in Gabe England. Can you imagine if Arcadia Andy had been elected?

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  10. 7:35am. Arcadia won't have Sierra Madre the town has some major money problems.

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    1. I think you missed 7:35's point. Sierra Madre had a toxic political environment at one point. Developer money and their too slick candidate could bring that all back. Remember, the issue in both towns remains mansionization, the money to be made, and the resulting community destruction. Everything else is just idiot bait.

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  11. One of the Tay supporters' talking points (and they were organized) was that Tay has encouraged more Asians to participate, a valuable and important contribution, which it is. But then they would accuse Tay's opposition of being racists. So they focus on race when it suits them, and attack others for focusing on race when it doesn't suit them.

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    Replies
    1. It is an extraordinarily cynical and divisive tactic. But it also begs this question. What do they gain? If ever there was a community that is begging for better leadership it is the Chinese community in Arcadia. Instead they have this fool.

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    2. Race-baiting is a typical strategy used by these developers to intimidate people into not speaking out about the obvious corruption and public smears taking place. It's been used over and over by the Singpoli developers in public hearing and in public media, with the help of their attorneys. It's all part of their game.

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    3. That barking frog Kin Hui was quite a sight last night.

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    4. He must be a treat to work for.

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    5. That kin hui has the same mental capacity as all of Tays puppets, near that of a roof rat.

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    6. Tay is Kin Hui's puppet. You have it backwards.

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    7. Kin Hui likely has Domonics number stored on his phone contact list, imagine the ‘favors’ Dominic receives for helping out that dolt ?

      San Gabriel Valley has gone to hell.

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    8. 4:28 PM: so i assume you are more successful than Kin Hui?!

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    9. I'd rather be handsome and poor than frog-like and rich.

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  12. 7:56am. Hate to burst your bubble, boy.
    The Strength of a cities ordinances and zoning laws are what protects that town from over development.
    A City Council can and may make changes to these recomendations. It is then that you have a concern if all five Council members are on board.

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    Replies
    1. Sure. And who put all of those fine things in place?

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    2. Only takes three votes to change the direction of the council, and in turn, the whole city. If the two Johns are replaced in the next election with developer stoogies, you think Gene will stand up to them?

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    3. This town rallied to remove a right from a city council, the right to approve a large development in the downtown.
      It cannot happen without a public vote.
      Should any council threaten Sierra Madre again, no doubt the same reaction would occur, and the council would lose another power.

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  13. 8:30am. Great! we are looking forward to see how this council will tackle the problem, without raising more taxes or passing a parcel tax.

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    1. What makes you think we can get out of this mess without raising taxes? Real problems require real solutions and cost real money. No such thing as a free lunch. Money doesn't grow on trees. What's your cliché of choice? Cut the fat? There ain't no fat left.

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    2. Tighten our belts.

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    3. All hands to the middle.

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  14. Sierra Madre had Councilman Bart Doyle, Arcadia has Sho Tay.

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    1. The list of those who harmed Sierra Madre while on the council is a lot longer than that, 10:02.

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    2. Yet another reminder that elections have consequences. Stay vigilant.

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    3. Yup, John Buchanan, who last week had an Andy sign in his yard, the infamous Joe Mosca, Rob Stockley, Josh Moran, and the joke of a Mayor Nancy Walsh. We are still trying to recover from their horrendous leadership. Thank God the voters knew enough to reelect the incumbents. Good luck Arcadia.

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  15. 10:58am. "Show me the Money", what happened, where has all the General Fund money gone?

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    1. A lot of it to overly-generous pensions. The good news is that new hires don't get as much. The bad news is that it will take a long time to payoff the city's existing pension obligations.

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    2. 11:29 - File Chapter 9 bankruptcy

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    3. The California courts have ruled that even if cities file for bankruptcy they still have to pay for ALL of the unfunded liabilities (salaries, pensions, etc).
      Arcadia's is around $130,000,000. Guess who get stuck. Us, all of us!

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  16. Next tackle the Library. Can anyone explain why it takes well over $800,000 to run the place any so many employees?

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  17. 10:07am. Would you have knowledge on the dollar amount of UUT monies being paid out from this council inorder to bring down the enormous amount owed on the Water Bond? How many other bonds are outstanding in the city? When will the residents be given a transparent view of where this town financially sits?

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    Replies
    1. Dig in: http://cityofsierramadre.com/cityhall/finances

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    2. This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.

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  18. Crawford, brilliantly written, and applicable to the country as a whole:
    "There appeared to be little middle ground between the two sides as each persuasion seemed quite convinced that they alone were occupying the moral apex.

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    Replies
    1. It's very sad that this quote does apply to the nation as a whole. But Sierra Madre used to be there and managed to find a way out. Hopefully the nation can also heal post-Trump.

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  19. 12:40 pm. Moral Apex my @$$, "show me the money".
    Not my job to dig, that is what the City election was for.
    Over generous payouts have not caused the problems, if thats so, then change the payouts, not just "new hires get less".
    Why is management continuing to hire?
    How many employees does this city have ?
    Tell us 11:47pm. How many generations of Sierra Madreans is your idea of a "long time to pay off"?

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    Replies
    1. What you do with your moral apex is no concern of mine.

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    2. It's not your job to dig, but it's our job to serve you answers on a platter? Seems fair.

      If you want to change things, you'll need to get off your backside and do something about it. If you want to just complain, then carry on as you were.

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    3. I love to see so many people on The Tattler offer their opinions on how to solve complex fiscal and economical issues for our government.

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    4. I don't see how they could do any worse than the people who get paid to do it.

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    5. Go to the City Council meetings and ask!

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    6. "Moral apex" sounds like something unsuitable for children

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  20. I serious doubt that these investigations could be solved in 45 days. We are talking about government bureaucracy here.

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    1. In only 45 days we will be back to where we left off. Another than another than another 45 day cooling off and investigating. Let's just keep Peter and be done with it. Or else Peter needs to get his courage up. Or wait and vote in Tay. He will have only a few weeks that way. Less is more.

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  21. Arcadia is divided beyond self-healing. It needs spiritual healing to bring them back in harmony. Has the City thought about commissioning a professional spiritual healer like Dr. Phil?

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    1. I think a voodoo practitioner would be more effective.

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    2. Does that mean we get to lounge on a couch and blame our parents?

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  22. 1:25pm. You are of the mind set that the City of Sierra Madre should be gifted all homes, that will satisfy the money pit.
    Plenty of solutions out there, you can stick a fork in your approach and serve your head on "that" platter.

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    Replies
    1. Friendly much? Also glad to see you think you can read minds, but no, that is not my "mind set".

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  23. This Nation is pulling out of a recession and high unemployment stats, thanks to President Trump.

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    1. So are 2:42 and 2:46 the same poster? You both seem to be pretty divorced from reality.

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  24. President Trump has "Dragon Energy".

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    Replies
    1. It's all those McDonald's cheeseburgers he eats. Don't get on an elevator with him.

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  25. 1:25pm. Joe Mosca is that you?

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    1. Doesn't sound like Joe to me.

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  26. 'The mob can't make me not love him'

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  27. And who’s the bozo that keeps asking Amundson questions while childishly holding up some printout from Facebook as he babbles some incomprehensible blabbage ? Does that specimen really think Amundsen is going to have dialogue ?
    Tay: can’t you find some puppets that have more class? People would be more inclined to listen if they spoke calmly and displayed even a morsel of intelligence.

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    Replies
    1. I don't want to call him a bozo, but I really didn't understand that speaker.

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    2. You slipped momentarily into that childish side of you.

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  28. Arcadia City Hall cannot communicate with its majority population.

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  29. 6:46pm Advanced language immersion, if it is good for the school systems it should be good for the council; Mandarin everyone?

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  30. When soon-to-be-mayor Sho Tay becomes mayor, hopefully he (as a reserve officer) gives the cops more pay raises since he might be sympathetic to their cause.

    Cops need more money so they can buy a second or third boat. Also, all cops need 18 to 21 year old mistresses... since there seem to be a lack of financially established young men these days that are able to provide for that age group of women.

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    Replies
    1. Overpaid cops need even more money. Makes sense.

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  31. Is Kin Hui related to Baby Huey??

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  32. Is kin Hui related to Angela? The one harassed one of District 5 candidate on the phone before she arrived city hall to turn her application form in?

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