Friday, June 26, 2009

Rob Stockly Fights To Save Something That Isn't Exactly Under Attack

I have often pondered some of the seemingly delusional aspects inherent in the appeals of the political opposition. But seeing how they really can't discuss the true motives driving their agendas, what choice do they have than to engage in fantasy? So for them enabling the construction of high density building developments is called "a green strategy" or "fighting global warming." Spending what is really a lot of money is praised as "a good use of our valuable financial resources." And "Preserving Sierra Madre" ends up becoming something that looks like One Carter, a jagged muddy scar up the side of a mountain that used to be home to some of the most pristine wilderness found anywhere in the San Gabriel Valley. There really is very little connection between their words and actions, with the purpose being more to deceive than inform.

But then there are times when what we see from these folks even loses that tenuous grasp on the more popular versions of reality, and soars off into deep space on wings that only they can see.

And recently something appeared in my e-mail box that I think is truly a fine example of the latter phenomenon.

"Dear Friends - We all are painfully aware of the widespread effect of the current recession. This is particularly true of the impact on highly prized community values such as education and basic municipal services. It is a time for heightened vigilance and involvement to solve the challenges that face us, so I am encouraging you to make a very affirmative statement that the Sierra Madre Library epitomizes the sense of place that defines our town. On Independence Day, I believe we should honor the ideal of democracy and memory of the Founding Fathers by making signs to hold up during Sierra Madre's annual parade that convey our determination that the Library must be a priority for the City Council and that libraries be supported by our federal and state officials as well. I suggest something simple like 'We Support Our Library' or more imaginative like 'I cannot live without books - T. Jefferson.' Make it fun, but the message must be positive. Wouldn't it be amazing if such signs and show of support randomly but pervasively appeared up and down the parade route? What if people held up their library cards as the City Council members drove by? My call to action is simple, but only the first step to developing community advocates for the Library and expressing this sentiment to our elected officials and other residents. We are citizens first, not merely taxpayers, and we must therefore get busy advocating for what makes Sierra Madre a special place or we will fade into the suburban landscape and be left to wonder what happened. Your fellow library-loving patriot, Rob Stockly .. P.S. While the element of surprise appeals to my baser instincts, and appearances of serendipity will disappear if this notion actually takes flight and more than 10 folks have signs. Besides, the goal is too (sic) show overwhelming support for our library. So feel free to judiciously (i.e. try to avoid the nattering nabobs of negativism* that dwell among us) share this idea with others."

Have I missed something? Has there been an outbreak of book burning here in Sierra Madre? Demonstrations against the debilitating effects of reading? Boycott Dr. Seuss petitioners in Kersting Court? Threats to take a bulldozer to the nice little brick building that houses our City Library? I'm really at a bit of a loss here. Is there somebody in town that doesn't profess to love our Library? To the point where they want to do it harm? And if so, who is this malcontent? Because I got to tell you, anybody who doesn't like libraries or books is walking on the fighting side of me! And I have a house (and garage) full of the things to prove it.

But you know, I suspect there is an agenda at work here. Isn't there always? Because there is no movement in this City to do away with our Library. And the hundreds of thousands of dollars in tax dollars we spend every year to sustain it is proof of our devotion. Besides, what politician representing the interests of the Downtown Investors Club would get all that worked up about a library? This just doesn't strike me as being authentic outrage here. The enthusiasm for money being far more their style.

No, the poorly kept secret is Rob Stockly, along with John Buchanan, is not really interested in preserving our present library. What they're actually getting at here is knocking down our existing library and building a very large new one. (See link here.) Buchanan has been talking endlessly about a new library for quite some time, and sees this as the opportunity to leave behind something resembling a legacy. A fitting monument to his years of service and sacrifice. And I'm sure that if somebody wanted to call it the John Buchanan Memorial Library, well, he wouldn't mind one little bit.

And while it might be nice to have a new library, there is this one little problem. It would cost an awful lot of money. And Rob and John would have to build up a tidal wave of popular support to make an expense like that appealing to the tax payers. Which I guess in their minds makes even politicizing something as beloved as our heretofore non-partisan 4th of July Parade justifiable.

Now here is something else that we need to consider. How many high ticket items have our friends been pushing in the last month or so? Here is my list. Feel free to add your own!

1) The $300,000 General Plan Consultant. This is justified by the Sultans of Spend as being necessary because City staff is too busy to do that sort of thing themselves. And to not do it would be mean. Besides, if you're going to sneak a new DSP in there somewhere, wouldn't you need the services of highly paid professionals that can keep the secret? We wouldn't want Joe getting distraught again.

2) $2.5 Million (est.) so we can lend residents money to buy Solar Energy Systems. What good is municipal solvency when you can save the world the Edison way? And who knows? At $20 to $5oK a pop, we could be talking about a whole lot more!

3) New Fire and Paramedic Trucks. Let's see ... $400K for a new E1 Engine, $210K for a Water Tender, $30K for a new vehicle for our Fire Chief, $16K for something called a Pool Car, and $133K for new Paramedic ambulances. Cha-ching! $789,000! And heaven forfend should anyone dare suggest we buy used!

4) Finally, and still in the early stages of message development mind you, $5,000,000 for our new John Buchanan Memorial Library. Because after all, wouldn't "T. Jefferson" want it that way?

Can it be after years of spending us into near fiscal insolvency, the habit is so deeply ingrained in that element of our political community they've been driven to madness by our current budgetary surplus? And they can't help but want to spend like there is no tomorrow? Which is where we will be if they get their way here.

But there is something else. You do know that there is a sunset clause to that darned old Utility User Tax, right? And that if you don't get your dibs in now the opportunity to build your special dream on the taxpayers' backs might never come this way again? Another contributing factor, I'm sure.

One more thing. Since Sierra Madre is a General Law City we are governed by our ordinances. We could no more get rid of the library than we could legally run a City without public schools. By ordinance we have to have a free Library. This from City code:

2.16.010 Established: Pursuant to the provisions of an Act of the State of California, entitled "An Act to provide for the Establishment and Maintenance of Public Libraries within Municipalities," approved March 23, 1901, and of all acts supplementary thereto or amendatory thereof, there shall be, and there is established in and for the city, a free public library for the use and benefit of the city.

There is no way this town could legally do away with our Library even if it wanted to. Stockly's claims are absurd.
-------------------------- --------- -------- ------ - -

(*Actually the correct version of the term Rob Stockly slaughters above is "nattering nabobs of negativity." It was originally spoken by an elected government official later forced from office for taking kickbacks named Spiro Agnew. So while most politicians cite the likes of Teddy Roosevelt or Abe Lincoln, Rob has chosen a different kind of visionary to quote. But did you know that if you rearrange the letters of this phrase you'll come up with the anagram "fat annoying bitter voting base?" Maybe that is what Rob is getting at here. Because it certainly does describe the D.I.C.)


  1. Spend it or lose it seems to be the motive. Well spelled-out. Thanks as always for your insightful analysis.

  2. Don't they keep all our city records in the Library?
    Does anyone know?
    If they do.....well, there just may be additional reason Rob Stockley is doing this.
    As in "missing city records".
    Just a thought.

  3. Of course Rob would pick a non-issue to get all worked up
    about. What's next? He's going to start a campaign to preserve
    Memorial Park? Oh wait, isn't that where John wants to build
    his pyramid? Never mind.

  4. This is just absurd.
    Our library is not under attack.
    What is this idiot Stockley talking about?
    I heard he was one of the investors in the Montecito LLC. A "developer" in the canyon told me, he is a friend of Stockley, and Mosca.

  5. Remember Rob Stockley along with Buchanan, Joffe and Torres were responsible for Dorn Platz getting approved to destroy that land up there.

    Why did Rob Stockley really leave his bank job?

  6. Every politican be it in DC,NYC or little old SM wants to build a monument to himself,a little something to be remembered by at taxpayers expense.So what else is new!

  7. How about printing out this article, and distributing it here & there? Sort of a test case for the wider circulation of the Tattler.

  8. Yesterday someone posted that R.Stockliy lied about the audits to Alma Mays. Can anybody back that up?

  9. Rob Stockley doesn't care about any monument to

    himself and he doesn't give a rat's ass about

    Sierra Madre.

    Rob Stockley wants to get back the money he lost

    as he is obviously a member of the Downtown

    Investor's Club.

    He's a loser who is still chasing his losses.

    I hope people will ignore this unpleasant little


  10. Remember during Measure V one of the rallying cries of the Dirts was "Save Hotel Shirley?" Like anybody wanted to do anything to that building. Now we're supposed to believe the library is under attack? Give me a break!

  11. John B. told me he would like to see THE new library in Memorial Park. That way the city could sell the library. Do I smell the stink condos near Goldberg Park????

  12. The ironies just pile up here. So it looks like the library we have now actually is in danger. From John Buchanan and Rob Stockly. Along with the stability of Sierra Madre's finances.

  13. Mr. Ray, absolutely!
    Hey Tattler, how about that pithy post for the new commentary?

  14. To add to the list of money being wasted:

    $1500 to plant 88 one gallon plants at Goldberg Park. Last time I checked a one gallon plant was about four bucks.

    This money is part of a grant....but it is still
    tax payers money.

    Also from grant funds:

    Soon to be added to the weed patch will be lights for the over grown pathways, a new drinking fountain that no one will drink
    from, and telephone so low lifes can make
    their drug buys.

    Thank you Enid

  15. Why do we even need a Library? there is a fine one close by in east pasadena. I've never noticed the Library crowded, in fact every time I have gone there it is almost deserted.
    The internet, downloading a book to a Kindle, Libraries are not the wave of the future.

  16. Elephant on a rollJune 26, 2009 at 9:31 AM

    It comes to me now... the RBF from the DSP recommended a new library closer to the city center. Undoubtedly with CRA money. Perhaps Stockley et al are thinking of selling Howie's to the CRA to build a library -- or putting the library in Memorial Park and the new Fire/Police Station at the Howie's site so the Congregational Church school and the condo village at the skilled nursing center won't be in danger from the speeding City vehicles. What do you think? And for God's sake, why would they choose such a weasely unpleasant spokesperson as Rob Stockley?

  17. Elephant on a roll.......I sure like the way you think!
    Makes perfect sense to me.
    And you are right about Rob Stockley, he is a very unpleasant person.
    If this weasel thinks he can run for city council again and win the way MacGillivray did, he's crazy. He'll lose in a landslide.
    Hey, Rob Stockley, you ain't no MaryAnn MacGillivray.
    I'm glad you lost all your money in the Montecito LLC (Howies) project.
    You are a greedy little man.

  18. Sir Eric?
    Please have the Tattle photograpers at the 4th parade. If there are any people who show up with Rob's "save the library" signs.....we need to take their photos and id them. We may just find out who all the investors in Howies DSP project (Montecito LLC) are.
    Pretty sure Kathy Childs will show up, you all remember Kathy, she started the "let's demand Joe Mosca be the Mayor" movement last April.
    You remember the secret meeting of THE ORDER OF THE FLY?

  19. Rob Stockley and Lisa Volpe are alumni of the Prison Guard charm school.

  20. This is very very funny. Who would ever have thought we'd ever see a case where the strawman is smarter than the guy that set it up?

  21. OK, the investors in Montecito LLC? Take a look at yesterday's Tattler graphic, the "No on V" roster for a sense of who pony'd up the scratch. Remember the reports of cozy living room coffees and teas? Oh so social. Was it illegal? Absolutely not! Immoral? Depends on whether you can say Real Estate brokers have morals... No one has ever come forward to admit being a member of the Montecito LLC. Only the broker, who admitted to earning millions on the purchase and sale, ever came forward and acknowledged involvement.

  22. Remember the coffees they were having, targeting special groups? Seniors, Gays, Republicans, Democrats and finally, just anyone who would show up?
    They sent out gold plated invitations to selected people. One of my friends who lives near One Carter got one. They were from Margie and Rick Simpson....inviting folks to their home for a "coffee" Bart Doyle was to be the honored guest speaker.
    One person we know attended, there were only 3 THREE other people who showed up. Our friend was there to actually only 3 people were interested, or perhaps they just wanted free refreshments. LOL
    What a joke these people are.

  23. Amazing obfuscation - and while Rob tries to whip the community into a desperate frenzy to "save" the library, he and his pals will sneak on down the road to try to do their dirty business where they think no one is looking any more. Hate to break it to Stockley and Company, but that road was recently equipped with floodlights and dark business such as theirs can no longer be conducted under the blinding brightness. If they ever do manage to find a rock to crawl back under, maybe they'll decide to stay there. This community's had quite enough of their betrayal, dirty tactics, lies, misrepresentation, misspending of City $$'s doubtful that there can be anything at all good to say about the lot of them.

  24. 10:10:

    You forgot to mention the money they used for these "coffees" was from the BIA/CAR war chest to fight the people of Sierra Madre......$170K

  25. 10:13, also, so true!

  26. Its official, you folks are completely paranoid. Why is it that you have to be suspicious of absolutely anything good that one of the dirts tries to accomplish? Long before there was a 2-30-13 or Measure V Rob Stockly has been an active and valuable member of the Friends of The Library. He has contributed to the library's improvements and dare I say survival for many years. If any of you had really been paying attention for more than the last 2-3 years you would know that the library has always been on the fiscal chopping block. When cities have to hone up budgets the frills stuff like recreation programs and libraries are often the first to go. Rob's e-mail call to so many for a show of support for the library at the 4th of July Parade is NOT a call for more money from the city. If your conspiracy driven minds would just take a break for moment, you would realize that Rob's only motive here is to make a public appeal to the city council to leave the already allocated funds for the library in the budget. Now before you start screaming that Rob Stockly was responsible for the recent renovation at the library, I would ask the question What's wrong with that? The library is a valuable resource for this community and the citizens deserve to have it updated periodically. Unless you all are hating on libraries then I don't get why your upset about his e-mail. And for the record, even though I disagreed with Rob regarding Measure V, on this point I do agree with him. You see folks, that's the difference between you and me. I have the ability to look past what I percieve as a mistake that someone has made, and not throw out everything else that is good about them. You should all be ashamed of yourselves for behaving like paranoid adolescents. You will find me on the parade route with my sign!

  27. 10:32

    How about your name? Why use anon?

  28. The problem is nobody is saying that the library is going to be allow to die because of a lack of funding. Nobody. Everyone in the community - everyone - supports the library and wants to keep it the vital part of the community it is. To send out a mass e-mail insinuating the Library is somehow under attack and that people need to demonstrate at a parade that honors our country in order to get the attention of the City Council in order to save it is absurd. Damn. And you call other people paranoid?

  29. This isn't about "saving" the library. It's about building a new one. Skip the subterfuge 10:32. Level with people for a change.

  30. 10:32

    You forget history repeats itself and a snake is always a snake.

  31. When was the library ever on the fiscal chopping block? They haven't lost a dime of funding.

  32. 10:32:
    Our photographers will be looking for you. Be sure and smile!
    Identify yourself and maybe Neuroblast will put you on YouTube.

  33. Paranoia is not always unwarrantedJune 26, 2009 at 11:15 AM

    Ducks! Remember if it looks like a duck, walks like a duck, and quacks like a duck, it's a duck. If Rob Stockley could so easily be taken in by the likes of Bart Doyle, Glen Lambdin, Beth Buck, Kathy Childs, and Greg Galletly, and there's no library on the chopping block caterwalling from the City Council, how could you not think he's once again being duck like?

  34. The Library is falling!!

    The library is falling!!

  35. You got that right 11:15

    The dirts have been known to bomb our mailboxes, steal our political signs, smash car windows, leave dead animals on people's driveways, threaten business owners who put ads in Katina Dunn's old paper the Mount Wilson Observer, you remember the one your own Harriet Susan Henderson stole. See court records.
    And don't forget Glenn Lambdin's bogus lawsuit (which he lost) against Kurt Zimmerman, Don Watts, Kevin Dunn et all. Don't forget Beth Buck's bogus harassment law suit against Councilman Watts.
    We have a right to be paranoid! CAUTION ain't the word.

  36. 11:31,
    you forgot the vile websites, Downtowndirt (where you dirts selected your own name.....the DIRTS....LOL) The Cumquat, Qunt.
    These websites defamed and slandered decent citizens, including senior citizens and Councilmembers Zimmerman and Watts, our churches, our boy scouts.
    They were profane and pornographic in content.
    They were suggested reading for the citizens of Sierra Madre by then Mayor Smut (John Buchanan).
    Yes, we do have some reason to be a bit cautious of dirts.

  37. Someone Who Knows MoreJune 26, 2009 at 11:51 AM

    It is about a new library. Follow this link. The shenanigan administration even bought property for it in 2003. It is sitting empty in back of the library even now. Our tax money flushed down the toilet.

  38. Sierra Madre business ownerJune 26, 2009 at 11:55 AM

    SWKM great info. I've wondered about that lot.
    Copying & pasting the link didn't work for me. I'll try typing it in.

  39. The proposed library would be 22,392 sq feet. If nothing was in it, the entire population could fit inside if we were standing. It would be tight but we are all friends.

    Good find 11:51

  40. Sierra Madre business ownerJune 26, 2009 at 12:00 PM

    This is the link that worked for me:

  41. I just linked it into the article. Anybody know what we paid for that? And did the City actually buy it in hopes the State'd be convinced to cough up bond money? Because if they did they were seriously dissed.

    Great find!!

  42. On the link posted at noon, there are drawings of the proposed library by the firm PBWS Architects. They must have made a pretty penny.

  43. We're on the PBWS web site, under institutional projects. Note expected completion date:

  44. Looks like the City would have to have bought $1.8 million worth of fixtures, furniture, and everything else you put into 22,392 sq feet.

  45. Okay! A closer reading brings up the name Fred Wesley -- the architect of the proposed skilled nursing conversion, who appeared at the recent PUSD meeting and brought drawings of his idea of how the proposed Sierra Vista school should look in it's new incarnation, and of course local Sierra Madre architect. So Fred Wesley is PBWS Architects. Fred Wesley's name also appeared as a supporter of Beth Buck's Downtown Dirt website, and if you peruse yesterday's Measure V graphic on this site, you'll find Fred Wesley squeezed in under Judy Web-Martin... You draw your own conclusions on why there is a great hue and cry over a new library. Dirty money. That's my guess. I'd say Dirty Robbie is taking over from PR maven Beth Buck. Anonymous at 10:32, ask your good friend Mr. Stockly what his cut is if the project gets approved.

  46. After reading that status report on the library, I am very thankful that Council Member Zimmerman is so skeptical/critical of Council Member Buchanan's call for a new library.
    Keep it up Kurt!

  47. The report refers to a survey where most of those polled in town stated that they were satisfied with the level of service currently provided by the library. I think that's just another way of saying that most of our residents did not see the need for a new library.

    Funny how Councilman Buchanan never mentions those survey results.

  48. I think most residences would be appalled if they knew the dollar figures being thrown around here. Buchanan ran this city like it was his own personal used car lot.

  49. Just because we're paranoid doesn't mean they aren't out to get us!!

    It's not hard to see the extension Sir Eric has laid out. You support the library. So you must support a bigger better library. You must therefore support a bigger better library that must be on a different plot of land. This will entail buying and building (anybody recognize this theme?) and selling the City's land and Voila!! Development. The current library location goes for high density something-or-others, and a out of scale building gets built elsewhere downtown.

    Besides, Rob needs to get his name back in the public eye if he's going to resurrect his public persona and run for office again.

    And lastly, anonymous at 8:17, I suggest that a quick review of some of the city council meetings when Alma Mays commented and Stockly and others replied would produce some pretty horrifying commentary. It was unbelievable what was said in those days about finances.

  50. Poster 10:32, you state that, "Rob's only motive here is to make a public appeal to the city council to leave the already allocated funds for the library in the budget." You are obviously misinformed. The Council approved the budget, which provides for continued funding for the library, last week. Even Council Member Zimmerman, who thinks that spending millions on a new library doesn't make any sense, voted to approve the requested funding for the library.

  51. Anonymous at 8:17, City Mouse in the Sierra Madre News wrote on the Rob Stockly beligerence to Alma Mays and his insistence that the audits were done. I just can't remember which issues -- can someone look into the SMN and find it? Then you'll have a pretty close date for looking into the SMCouncil tapes. It could have been at public comment.

  52. Thanks Ananamouse. I'll look.

  53. Sorry 2:02, City Mouse never discussed that subject. Mr. Tesoro's Editorial discussed that issue. Amazing how everyone wants to whitewash Mr. Tesoro and take credit for his work.

    There would be NO:

    Kurt Zimmerman & Don Watts,
    Kevin & Katina Dunn
    SMRRD & Measure V...

    if it were not for Salvatore Tesoro publishing the Sierra Madre News.
    He was the first to inform people about all the issues that are being discussed today, including City finances and the DSP.

  54. 2:48, City Mouse discussed it in the March 2006 issue.

  55. A Small Voice is Heard from Time to Time
    Occasionally a white haired villager appears at Council meetings asking, "Where's the audit?" Answering from an exalted position on high comes the amplified voice of the Financial wizard, "It's been done you silly old bat. Don't question our methods or ethics."
    Downtown Lowdown by City Mouse
    Sierra Madre News March 2006

  56. And just for laughs, consider this: How much support for a library do we need? The library was in town before Sierra Madre became a city.

  57. Thank you Anonymous 3:12 and Anonymous 3:35. I was sure I remembered a reference. You're my new bff.

  58. This sounds like a lame photo/article op. Some photographer will photograph somebody holding a "support the library sign" at the Fourth of July Parade. Then a reporter will conveniently write an article entitled something like "Sierra Madre Fears for Its Library." The article will include a lame quote from you-know-who about how the library is on the chopping block and it's all MaryAnn and Kurt's fault.

    I hope Alfred Lee, whose coverage of SM in the Star News is surprisngly fair, doesn't fall for this one.

  59. All you dirts who are reading this, hopefully you 'll wake up.
    These people like Stockley, Doyle, Lambdin, et all have been like a virus attacking the heart and soul of Sierra Madre and what our community has been. This is what we are responding to!
    It's not personal for me, I really don't know any of these culprits. I just know they are trying to turn my town into another Pasadena, Arcada, Glendale. This is why I take the stand I take.
    Read the facts, decide for yourselves, and if you agree with me, come join the good fight, which will continue to be the winning one.
    Abandon these investors, regardless if they are ex-mayors, etc, they are only wanting to make some big bucks at the expense of all the rest of us who love this little town.

  60. Council meetings are online again. The station is KGEM, out of Monrovia.
    From the home page, click on program archives, and you will see Sierra Madre on the list that appears on the left.

  61. Great post 4:24..It certainly speaks for me.As the saying goes,"Follow the Money"!

  62. thanks for the tip, 4:39.
    council meeting was good stuff.joe and john imploding, bumberger making a fool of himself.
    great fun.

  63. I am a dirt, I fly amongst you and soon I will post everyones dirty little backstabbin' secrets! You know who you are.
    SE be on yon toes!

  64. the arguement or hokey dream that Sierra Madre is a "small town" is laughable - it's freakin surrounded by 15 million people -

    sure it's nice to have a library but it'd be more feasible to have Pasadena run the library as a branch

  65. Yep, I bet you would think that was nice 9:16.
    Bet you would like us to be a big over built suberb of Pasadena....Sierra Madre Blvd. looking like Walnut Ave.
    I lived in Arcadia for years. Moved up here because it IS a small town. We are not like our surrounding neighbors, and that is the way most people like it, 9:16, unless you are one of the Downtown Investor's Club, better known here as the DICS? Or you live in Pasadena
    in one of the "ant colony" type 5 story future ghettos?

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

  67. Shur thang Mis maners!

  68. I'm shocked by the behavior of Miss Manners. Just shocked.


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