|You want a school? Sure, I'll ask Pop|
Finally the issue that Josh Moran never once deigned to speak about before has now been brought out into the open. And when that issue did come to the full attention of the City Council last night, The Mayor couldn't throw his friend Bart Doyle under the bus fast enough. It was Josh's infamous Bob Matheson panic moment all over again. "I never met him. He was only a face in the crowd." Except this time Josh wanted you to somehow believe he bears no responsibility for one of the biggest PUSD fiascos this town has seen in years. When, as many of us already believe, he most certainly does.
What is that issue? The theft of Sierra Madre's Board of Education vote. When Mayor John Buchanan and Mayor Pro Tem Josh Moran sent Bart Doyle to the so-called "PUSD Task Force on Geographic Subdistricting" to represent our City, it was clearly understood that he represented the City Council. That is who chose him, and that is the authority that gave Bart the right to speak in our name. And yet, according to eyewitnesses who attended those Sub-Districting Task Force meetings, when Bart Doyle did actually make an appearance, he did very little. For the most part he sat quietly by while the decisions were being made.
The biggest decision, of course, was to allow a majority of the new PUSD "Geographic Subdistricts" the right to elect their own exclusive Board of Education representatives this year, in 2013. And when will we be allowed to elect ours? Not until two years later, in 2015. That is two full years when the lion's share of the $350,000,000 in Measure TT bond money is going to get cut up and delivered to those sub-districts with clout enough to get their hands on some. Those sub-districts with representatives who will speak for them.
How is Sierra Madre Middle School going to get funded and built when there is nobody there to represent us? I'm sorry, but Renetta Cooper can make all the promises she wants about building the Middle School, but she will not be in charge when the 2013 rubber hits the road. Those decisions will be in the hands of other people, a very different Board of Education, and we were somehow prevented from being amongst them.
Tony Brandenburg came up to the podium to speak and challenged the City Council on just this issue. He raised it by accusing the City Council of not only allowing this to happen, but of taking no action whatsoever after it did. He also said this:
"The failure to have a voice on the Board Of Education falls squarely on this Council to resolve. We will have no one there until 2015 and that does affect my kids. Without a Board voice there is no one looking out for my kids, or yours."
Josh Moran couldn't restrain himself. "It wasn't the City Council's fault. It was those guys!" he actually said, looking in the direction of Pasadena. Unfortunately for him "those guys" included the one he helped to send there, Bart Doyle. And by inference Josh couldn't seem to throw Bart under the bus fast enough. Even though everything Bart did was done with the full knowledge and approval of Josh Moran, John Buchanan and (perhaps) Nancy Walsh.
But Josh didn't stop there. Even after Tony Brandenburg had left the podium and was heading for his seat Josh kept debating him on whose fault it was, and how he had nothing to do with it. Tony, assuming that Josh wanted to continue the conversation, began to answer some of Josh's claims. At which point Josh tried to cut him off, proclaiming that this wasn't a debate, and only he could speak. Apparently Tony was supposed to just stand there and allow Josh to berate him over what he felt the correct thinking might be.
One commenter last night put it this way: "Mayor Moran made a big mistake by responding to your public comment Tony, and initiating a discussion that he then tried to shut down. Wonder if it taught him anything."
This is what I learned. Josh Moran is scared to death of this issue. And last night he went from not even mentioning our stolen Board of Education seat for almost a year, to loudly berating someone at public comment for daring to bring it up in his presence. While Josh does understand what this means to our community, his real concern here apparently being how it could play out in next year's election.
The good news is John Capoccia (who, along with Chris Koerber, most definitely was not on the City Council when Bart Doyle was anointed to do nothing for us), will now be directly overseeing the City Council's efforts to make our voices heard at the Pasadena Unified School District. Particularly on the issues of the Middle School debacle and our stolen BOE vote. It will be interesting to hear John's reports of his experiences there.
The PUSD sends Fredo
The last time the PUSD came around was May 17, 2011. On that special evening an entire entourage of esteemed and glittering educators came to grace our humble City Hall. They included Ed Honowitz, Kim Kenne, Tom Selinske, David Azcarraga and Dr. John Pappalardo. Who is not to be in any way confused with Dr. John the Nightripper.
Last night the PUSD was back, though in far reduced numbers. This time to discuss the sad case of the Sierra Madre Middle School, and the absence of any progress there whatsoever. As a matter of fact, only one of their number actually showed up. It was supposed to be the PUSD's money guru, Dr. John Pappalardo, but it wasn't. Instead they sent Fredo.
Fredo, whose real name is Frazier Thompson, isn't one of their top guys. He seems to have some professional credentials, but certainly is not among the key decision makers. Which was a bit insulting if you think about it. Here Sierra Madre has been on the receiving end of all sorts of atrocious treatment from the PUSD, yet when the time came to explain themselves they sent a junior figure. Apparently Dr. John was otherwise engaged.
So what did Fredo have to say? Nothing much. He did let everyone know that he personally really does want to build the Middle School, and if they ever get the construction bids finished it very well could happen. He also informed us that Renetta Cooper says rebuilding the Middle School is "the Number 1 priority." Which, when you look at the sorry results, it obviously has not been their number one priority before.
Hopefully when the PUSD rat pack comes to visit in February they will send more influential figures and something of actual value will get said. They should leave Fredo home to watch the dogs.
The Water Rate Hike
The usual suspects started to roll out their new marketing product for yet another water rate hike, but they ran out of time and had to put off the hard sell until another time. One question, though. If the Water Department is going broke, why do they want to buy all of those water meters?