Thursday, August 22, 2013

Thursday, August 01, 2013

Local politics - Pasadena's authoritarian mayor at it again.

Pretty much at the last minute Mayor Isbell remembered there is an election in November open for Pasadena and the city could use some more money raised via bonds. While he was at it he realized he could correct a few other political problems. He now only has four YES mayor votes on council and a few decisions have come down 5-4 in his favor but a couple of his supporters seats aren't safe.

He rushed and placed a crony stacked commission he thinks will do his bidding and then is about the only person in Pasadena who proposes charter amendments, his proposals to change things to fix his political problems.

His biggest idea is to redistrict again, again placing opponents in the same district but this time the excuse is to create two at-large positions. These at-large positions would be dominated by the well-off and frequent voters from South Pasadena, his power base. He also had ideas on how to make it harder to run by massively increasing filing fees or required signatures, requiring longer residence in district, etc.

Well, surprise, in a show of independence the commission is not going to give the autocratic mayor everything he wants.

From The Pasadena Citizen July 30, 2013:
“Some will be happy. Some won’t be happy. We obviously didn’t do everything the Mayor (Johnny Isbell) wanted,” Mease told The Citizen on Tuesday morning.
There were concerns on the committee that some of the Mayor’s Charter proposals were “too controversial” and that might negatively affect voter’s perception of the bond recommendations.
Mease said it was clear that “bonds are more of a pressing problem than charter revisions.”
The committee first publicly heard City Charter modification recommendations on July 25.
Isbell suggested changes to the map of city council districts (reducing them to six districts from the current eight and adding two at-large seats).
Isbell also suggested reducing the number of monthly council meetings, increasing the pay of mayor and councilmembers, changing the residency qualifications for a councilmember from six months to one year and proposed increasing the filing fee to run for city office.

The City Council is way underpaid, which makes running a city wide campaign a hobby for the rich, much like the part-time mayor's position who at least is well-paid for his time away from his businesses.