Tuesday, November 26, 2013

Blogging Tonight's City Council Meeting ... Or Not

It is your choice.
I won't say that going there is the best choice, because it is not. It would be more effective politically than staying home and sharing your opinions here on this blog, but by no means would that be the more pleasant of the two available options.

Plus we are now under the thumb of a Mayor and two bobblehead councilmembers who have already made up their minds about all they want to do. That being tax high (and then higher), charge more (and then even more) for city services like water and sewers, all while spending money like there is never going to be a tomorrow. Which there will not be if they don't somehow learn to stop the madness.

So really, what would be the point in going? You're more likely to get a better outcome at traffic court. Or just about any other place where they could care less about your opinions, and prefer that you simply leave.

Another thing is these folks aren't even all that nice about it. The sense of entitlement and privilege is suffocating. It may be your money, but it is their universe. Enjoy your services, because soon you're going to be paying a whole lot more for them. Or else.

For what it is worth, I will be down there in the slough, along with a few of the other regular attendees. And it should be a pretty interesting meeting. The utility tax (UUT) do-over ballot initiative is on the agenda, as are some of the wackiest and most unnecessary cash spends in recent Sierra Madre history. Which is saying a lot.

Watching the UUT 3 try and justify a colossal $150,000 spend for boutique downtown commercial street signage at one moment, while the next crying poverty and claiming they have to raise every tax and rate available or the world will end, is just great theater. And then there is Nancy Walsh's strange $60,000 Memorial Park uni-sex bathroom obsession. I am not sure I even want to know what is up with that.

If you didn't know any better you'd think you were watching a situation comedy about the most dysfunctional small city government ever imagined. And perhaps you are.

It all kicks off at 6:30. Be there, or be someplace else. Through the magic of the Internet, the choice is yours.

http://sierramadretattler.blogspot.com

187 comments:

  1. Chris Koerber is out sick tonight. Looks like he has the flu. Nothing but bobbleheads tonight I guess. Depending on which Capoccia shows up.

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  2. I would like to hear the service offered by the Whatnots.

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  3. Johnny Bromide is in rare form tonight.

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  4. Harabedian announces that "we have gone live" on the budget online - a project that was years in the making, and it becomes a "we" for the young fellow.

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  5. Nancy doesn't want to call the EENERS by the name EENER.

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    Replies
    1. She is very proud of the title - it was one of her victories.

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  6. I will miss Nancy Walsh's meeting reports:
    I went to a meeting. There was a lot going on.

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  7. Ken Goldstein at the podium - guess we'll be seeing a lot more of him as he revs up for the council election.

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  8. Ken Goldstein just made a campaign appearance.

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    Replies
    1. Yes, he suggested that the Dutyman House could double as a love shack for city employees.

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    2. How about residents? Let residents have a chance at renting it.

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    3. Goldstein is like a firefly. Flitting about on the library board, and then buzzing over to the planning commission. The guy just can't finish anything he starts here in Sierra Madre.

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    4. Goldie's a pol. During the last election he was money bagman for Chris Holden. Helped him raise the cash he needed to buy his leadership post in the State Assembly.

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  9. This resident is right! Volunteers should be used instead of staff, as much as possible.

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    Replies
    1. Nancy couldn't have enjoyed that.

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    2. Volunteers bring out her sneers like nothing else does.

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  10. Hey, has Mary C gone over her three minutes? where is our three minute man?

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  11. A Red Cross Ambassador who has never been to a city council meeting - hope she hooks up with the CERT volunteers.

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    Replies
    1. Sounded like she's another resident, like the "Mayor" who doesn't know that Sierra Madre volunteers actively participate in disaster preparedness.

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  12. I want to be an Ambassador to Sierra Madre!!!! Most folks get to go to foreign places. On second thought, maybe SM qualifies as a foreign place.

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  13. Great a presentation. What would our business meetings be like without the frivolities?

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  14. The Bottle Shop. with its taxpayer financed wine tasting room. Why the CRA had to go away.

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  15. so Nancy Walsh frequently frequents the Bottle Shop. Maybe she stopped in there before the meeting tonight.

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    Replies
    1. Bill lets her have an extra taste.

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  16. Without Koerber there, they will fly through the money spending portion.

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    Replies
    1. Capoccia's got some good questions.

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    2. Johnny Process said "I'm good."

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    3. Harabedian and Moran and no doubt Walsh have no questions at all about the money. What a surprise.

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    4. They're waiting for the credit card bill.

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  17. The financial director has put a big chunk of money in the wrong account? oops.

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    Replies
    1. What is that about?

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    2. Just a bookkeeping error - and the only council member who caught it was Capoccia.

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  18. Sorry, I've had it with these clowns. Can't stand watching this crap anymore !

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    Replies
    1. I know that feeling oh so well. Maybe take a break - get some fresh air, and then try again in a while.

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    2. Alcohol helps.

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  19. Johnny says even though the penalties for water use are gone, you all better behave yourselves. Otherwise they'll fine you for water we buy elsewhere.

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  20. So after the Sullivan's left, how many folks are left in the audience?

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    Replies
    1. The room is about a quarter filled. A couple of faces we don't ordinarily see here.

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    2. They may get up for public comment on the storage/bathroom issue.

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  21. Harabedian just gave the citizens a pep talk about water conservation.
    Because we've been so very good, the council will not fine us.
    However, and here's the real lie, "we want to go back on our wells."
    Not gonna be possible with the development boom.

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    Replies
    1. Johnny has no problem with keeping an inside joke rolling.

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  22. Danny's second unit deal is just a way of back-dooring high density. Delayed infill development.

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    Replies
    1. It's a way of placating the state and it's hand maiden, SCAG.

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  23. Has anyone seen or heard of Zardoz, the same thing happened there too!

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    1. A resident of 23rd-century Earth becomes involved in a revolution after discovering the hidden truth about society's rulers in director John Boorman's sci-fi drama. Sean Connery plays Zed, the central rebel, who begins the film as a member of the Exterminators, a band of skilled assassins who exact a reign of terror over the lesser Brutals. The Exterminators answer only to their god, a gigantic stone image known as Zardoz. Haunted by doubt about Zardoz's true divinity, Zed chooses to investigate. His disbelief is confirmed when the god proves to be a fraudulent tool of the Eternals, a secret society of brilliant immortals who pretend to divinity in order to exploit the masses. Knowing the truth, Zed sets out to reveal the hoax and destroy the Eternals' unjust rule.~ Judd Blaise, All Movie Guide

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  24. Funny to watch them have a giggle about "affordability"

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  25. Good for you Barbara Lee ....caching the flaws in this second unit ordinance. we need to get the general plan approved ASAP.

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  26. Josh believes everyone who moves to Sierra Madre wants to have a home. I guess that is true. Otherwise you would have to sleep outside.

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  27. Johnny's tie looks like a tropical fish.

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    Replies
    1. I think Johnny is enjoying a new expanded sense of himself up there, without Koerber. Kind of off the leash.

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  28. Thanks Capoccia for actually answering Barbara Leigh's remarks. She can be hard to follow, but it doesn't pay to dismiss her comments as nonsensical, as Moran did, with his laughter and condescending reply.

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    Replies
    1. Barbara speaks at a higher level than Josh.

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  29. Walsh and Harabedian both concluded their discussion with "I like it."

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    Replies
    1. Maybe they were talking about cookies.

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  30. Oh boy! time for our taxes to be increased!

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    Replies
    1. All four council members look very comfortable.

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  31. Johnny's dumb question. Can a future City Council raise the water UUT to 10%. No Johnny. You can't raise taxes without the consent of the citizens through the vote.

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    Replies
    1. Mimicked exactly by Walsh.

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    2. He is afraid that if the water rate increase fails then the UUT water tax cut wouldn't be proper. Gosh, we wouldn't want to give the residents a break now, would we.

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  32. wow so the council must have received a lot of negative feedback on this tax increase, they are busy looking foe ways to justify their decision.

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  33. Hey, I missed what our very expensive legal counsel had to say. Did it matter?

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  34. Barbara Lee is on a roll tonight! I like putting the UUT taxes toward the bond payments.

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  35. "There doesn't seem to be a solution."
    Harabedian - a leader of the future

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    Replies
    1. Q) Are we not men?
      A) We are DEVO

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  36. No Josh, we do not pay down our bond debt every month. what about the 2003 bond debt? Josh is in to his best fear mongering mode.

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    1. Ya know a good word to describe Moran's attitude when he gets into those pronouncements? Supercilious.

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    2. He has a lot of anger.

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  37. Josh says we pay down our bonds every month. What about the interest only payments on the 2003 water bonds? We are paying interest only on those bonds. Is that paying down a bond? Interest only payments?

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    1. Thank you 7:36. I knew something slippery was going on when he uttered that with such certainty, but didn't catch it.

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    2. Josh:
      A) Doesn't know what he's talking about
      B) Lied

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  38. It's potty mouth time!

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  39. Moran is assuring us that a lowering of the rate is possible. A born reverse mortgage salesman, yeah?

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  40. MPT* asks why can't we all just get along?

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    Replies
    1. Feeling nothing strongly himself, he cannot understand those that do.

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  41. why will storage space for the seniors help the entire community?

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  42. I agree it would benefit the seniors, and the Hart Park house - but the Community as a whole? No. It will hurt the community as a whole because it will decrease the amount of toilets for the public. Bad idea.

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    Replies
    1. It is a kiddy park, for God's sake.

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    2. Go Pat Go! They are public restrooms. There are tons of kids playing there. What is best for the community. That is the question.

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  43. very few seniors even go to the center.

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  44. so, we open up space in the Hart Park house and then fill it back up with couches etc. What sense does this make? BTW, the Seniors do not own the Hart Park House, the Hart Ark House belongs to everyone. just like the tax monies they plan to use to pa for it.

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  45. If other groups meeting there and storing stuff, that's an easy problem to solve. Tell the groups they can't leave their junk there. Bring it in, take it out.

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  46. There's a pretty shocking lack of imagination in finding storage.

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  47. Alcorn is making a great deal of sense, and is relying on historical accuracy.
    That means she won't be heard by 3 of the 4 people sitting on the dais.

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  48. "Ill- conceived" is the best description I've heard about this.

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  49. Excelllent letter!

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  50. Great letter from David C.

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  51. Great suggestions - shelves, or a storage shed.

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  52. Oh, Johnny wants to do a big old restoration of everything. Sure, why not spend, spend, spend.

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  53. Why are Walsh and "her seniors" perpetrating the fantasy that mothers of young children were interviewed by the Community Services Commission?

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    Replies
    1. Because they are selfish and only care about what they want.

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  54. Anybody catch the faces Nancy made at Pat Alcorn?

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  55. Go to the senior center on a regular day - there might be 15, 20 people there.

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  56. Moran is ambling towards approval.

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    Replies
    1. He just threw in his kid. He wants the new bathroom, and to give the seniors their storage.

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  57. So these bathrooms are nasty and gross. Who cleans them? A city employee?

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    Replies
    1. Nobody. They'd rather pay a few hundred grand to renovate them than get out a bucket and some soap.

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  58. Josh is in favor of unisex bathrooms. That will play well in the upcoming election.

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  59. Here's the moment - Johnny speaks. He's for it.
    Goodnight.

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  60. Ok, now I've hit my limit.

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  61. They're tone deaf. Don't they know how the term "unisex bathroom" is going to play out there in the community?

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  62. Nancy says 70% of the people living in this town are seniors. It is not the truth.
    http://sierramadre.areaconnect.com/statistics.htm

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  63. it's not the council's job to find storage space... Send it back to staff. there were no alternatives given in the staff What the He double toothpicks.!!! Nancy thinks the brand new Hart Park house is a shabby solution for the cities seniors. really??? It's not the Senior's center, the whole thing belongs to the community, Nancy, not just the seniors. Maybe the seniors can use the new Kensington facilities.

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    Replies
    1. Why not have the seniors use the underutilized community center by the pool?

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  64. nancy, please shut up!!!!!! I am beating my head against the wall!!! I hope Neuroblast is saving this Nancy tirade.

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    1. I am not watching anymore - a person can take only just so much. Who is she after? Which innocent bystander is being excoriated for displeasing the mayor?

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  65. Mayor's head explodes. Film at 11.

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    Replies
    1. That would make the Memorial Park restrooms smell like roses in comparison.

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  66. Why is Elaine speaking? No on ea sked her a question.

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    Replies
    1. She is trying to rescue Nancy's unisex bathroom dreams.

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  67. So I hope the council members aren't going to use the pottys in the park during the break. and, I wonder whose armis being twisted right now?

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  68. Josh waffled. He is not going to vote with Johnny and Mayor Cray Cray.

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    1. Josh knows how this could play with the residents. He bailed.

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    2. I'm amazed! He had good sense?

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    3. He chickened out. He knows what parents in the community would say about a single unisex bathroom in a kid's park.

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  69. Oh No. Nancy lost! don't worry, she'll get revenge

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    Replies
    1. Ooooooh, people better step carefully around her.....

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  70. Hey, where's exmayor Doyle? Too busy to drop in and sell his SGVEP to us?

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  71. Shades of Mr. Mosca - We represent 31 cities.
    Ah Gosh. Not anymore of this garbage, please.

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  72. This is nothing but SCAG in a different dress. Or pair of pants.

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    Replies
    1. Actually it's Buxton redux.

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    2. It's run by Realtors and developers. And it's leader is Bart Doyle. It's crony business politics at its worst..

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  73. They go up to Sacramento and talk about our needs. We definitely need more talk.

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  74. if this SGV Eco Partnership is so great, why didn't Sierra Madre join before?

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  75. "Only" $2500 - and certainly big cities who pay a lot more won't get any preferential treatment.

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    Replies
    1. Taxes are going up. That should cover it.

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  76. Oh for goodness sake, if Doyle is involved, figure it out - it's a hustle.

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  77. There goes Capoccia, talking sense again.

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  78. I don't recall Mr. Shay guaranteeing that he would bring any new businesses into town. this is all pie in the sky and the only group that benefits is the SGV Economic Partnership.

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    Replies
    1. It is something Harabedian made up. It has no basis in reality.

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  79. Thank you council member Capoccia - a $2,500 fee to this vanity organization requires a $250,000 in goods sold to make that up.

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  80. Johnny Process can't wait to spend the taxpayer's $$$.

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  81. Didn't we pay Buxton $30,000 to bring in new businesses? This will work any better?

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  82. Harabedian, Walsh and Moran don't live in the same town I do. They see empty store fronts and a dead downtown.

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    Replies
    1. Johnny wants a business that excites him.

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    2. How about a balloon store?

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  83. hey Johnny, here's how to help businesses in Sierra Madre....spend more of your own personal money downtown. BTW, our chamber of commerce is all volunteer, and they don't do much.

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  84. So the Buxton boondoggle, the chamber, the business owners in town - all of these are ineffectual and in need of this consultant in "partnership" form. It's bs, plain and simple.

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    Replies
    1. Nancy and Johnny don't have a clue. About anything.

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  85. John Cappocia is returning to his former self. Maybe there is some hope.

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    Replies
    1. sorry, he voted for a one year membership. so predicable..

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  86. "Tangible return" - shocking idea.

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  87. Ok, so Sierra Madre will be the low payer of membership, how much attention will this group pay to our fair town? they're going to work harder for those who pay greater membership fees. this is such a waste of money.

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  88. hahahahah - really? Nancy, Josh Moran tried to boycott our business district.

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  89. Is it just me, or is Walsh making less and less sense?

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    Replies
    1. She is edging into dementia.

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    2. She doesn't seem to be following the comments that are made before she speaks.

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  90. Great, this guy is offering to have someone talk to Elaine as soon as the holidays are over. Wildly productive conversation, no doubt.

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  91. Now we get to discuss Nancy's $150,000 sign boondoggle

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    1. The two faces of our councils - we are so broke we can't make it without more and more taxes, but hey, let's pretty the place up with new signs!

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    2. Staff has ability, but the timing would be prohibitive? Huh?

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    3. It could cut into lunch.

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  92. We are Sierra Madre, not Pasadena. If you can't find your way around here in this small city, go back to wherever you came from.

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  93. We're taxing the residents to death, but we need signs? Seriously????

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  94. They are going to go for it. Never thinking it could be a project that would be all volunteer. Want to get rid of $25,000.

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  95. "Working with outside firms." Huh?

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  96. why are we spending all this money? we already have a map of downtown in Kersting Ct. What a waste of over. One hundred thousand of your dollars.

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  97. Our community is broke. Don't vote for the signs.

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  98. WHAT if we have the SGV Eco. Partnership group handle this sign thi g for us. After all. We just ave them 2500.00 dollars.

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  99. If they vote for the signs, we need to vote them out. Our city is just too small and over taxed to even entertain this.

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  100. So what are they planning to spend?

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  101. people with money use Yelp.

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  102. sign of the times. and it will only cost you one hundred twenty five thousand dollars.

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  103. John Capoccia points out that the money isn't in the budget, and we should talk about it when next year's budget is discussed. How logical.

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  104. Johnny says the money is fungible. Spend the reserves. Oh, why not?

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  105. MPT* is always up for spending more money.

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  106. 2, 3 and 5. How much does that come to?

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    Replies
    1. $42,500.
      http://66.92.220.85:8090/tylercm/eagleweb/downloads/6___City_Signage_Plan.pdf?id=DOC104S25.A0&parent=DOC104S25

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  107. Johnny just doesn't understand what it is like for us grownups. The silver spoon is still hanging from his lips.

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  108. I have a great idea - let's let some of our well to do community members sponsor the signs. What a win-win!

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  109. So they are having a discussion without knowing the impact on the reserves....

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    Replies
    1. Yes but Aquilar is 75% sure it won't fall below the 50%, and Harabedian thinks he might remember that too. Inspire any confidence?

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    2. Why doesn't the city manager know?

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    3. She didn't want to embarrass Johnny.

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  110. Like writing a check without knowing what your balance is. Who cares. It's the city's money.

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