Mountain Views News, Sierra Madre Edition [Pasadena] Saturday, April 8, 2017

MVNews this week:  Page A:3


Mountain View News Saturday, April 8, 2017 




Relax, this is not about 
Washington, Sacramento 
or even LA County. This 
is about change right here 
in Sierra Madre. Change 
at home.

 No one who has a clue 
would say that things are 
perfect in our pristine 
Village, but it is far 
removed from some of the major problems that 
plague other cities. As of this writing, we don’t 
have a ‘gang’ problem, we don’t have a ‘homeless’ 
population to help, we don’t have issues of political 
corruption that we know of. For the most part, 
Sierra Madre is the poster child of what small 
town, idyllic America is all about. The issues that 
we find most disturbing are mostly inflicted upon 
us by outside forces, for instance, the increase in 
burglaries. But even with that we have our own 
very competent Police Department to deal with 

 No, those aren’t the things we need to change. 
We have the whole ‘small town ambiance’ thing 
down pat. At least for now.

 What needs to change is our lack of attention 
to preserving Sierra Madre as it is. For as long as 
I can remember, we have been reactive rather than 
proactive as far as maintaining our small town.

We don’t think about anything until there is a 
problem. For instance, the Henry A. Darling 
House situation. A few years ago the property 
was purchased and the new owners attempted to 
remodel as they felt was their right to do. Bam! 
They ran into a brick wall when they found out 
that the property really had historical value to the 
city and the general population had no desire to 
see the property altered. So, they sold the property 
and moved their family far away. The next buyer, 
who we presume was aware of the previous 
owner’s dilemma, attempted to work with the city 
to correct the structural flaws and yet retain the 
property’s historical value. Bam! Another brick 
wall. Loose ends that had never been tied up have 
created, in this author’s opinion, a situation that 
upon resolution will probably satisfy the city and 
the owners, but will not address the larger, more 
permanent problem.

 And that Is what needs to change.

The preservation of Sierra Madre as a safe, family 
friendly, environmentally friendly, wildlife 
friendly, community that values its history, has 
got to become top priority to every resident, every 
employee, every elected official in this town.

 It’s not enough to move to town and embrace 
all the good Sierra Madre has to offer without 
becoming involved in the activities and things 
that make it that way.

 It’s not enough to sit back and complain about 
what is going wrong without doing something to 
make it right. 

 And, most importantly, it is not enough to 
keep putting band aids on problems every time a 
hemorrhage starts to emerge.

 In order to preserve Sierra Madre, we have to be 
PROACTIVE! And that starts with our leadership.

Don’t get me wrong, our current Mayor and 
Council have been the most productive and civil 
groups in the last 15 years. The fires that have 
been before them, like the Utility Users Tax, were 
handled professionally and kept the town from 
coming apart at the seams. But…..We have to do 

 For example, earlier in this article, I mentioned 
the dilemma of the Darling house as a historical 
property in Sierra Madre. I believe that whatever 
can be done to appease both parties will be done, 
but we must put into place the necessary codes 
and ordinances to prevent a recurrence. Why 
not commission a professional survey of all the 
historical and potentially historic homes in Sierra 
Madre so that as the ownership changes, the new 
buyers are aware of what they have purchased? In 
addition, why not include in the city’s Municipal 
Code a requirement that realtors disclose to 
buyers that the home is on the City’s Historical (or 
potentially historical*) Homes list? By so doing, 
Sierra Madre would save thousands in staff time 
and legal fees. Both the SM Historical Preservation 
Society ( and Preserve Sierra 
Madre ( would 
no doubt embrace those efforts as they continue 
their activities.

 And wait, there is more. This one has been 
a pet peeve of mine since I attended the city 
council reorganization in 2004. WHY DON’T 

 Our city leaders take an oath to uphold the 
U.S. Constitution and the State of California 
Constitution but there is nothing in the oath that 
binds them to upholding the Charter of the City 
of Sierra Madre or its Municipal Code and related 
laws. Can we add such language to the Oath so 
that our leaders are reminded of their public 
pledge that in their every action, Sierra Madre and 
its preservation is their No. 1 priority? Perhaps 
that would inspire current and future leaders to 
remember what their real job is….to Protect and 
Preserve the City and Residents of Sierra Madre. 

That may appear to be a seemingly small gesture, 
but it is the kind of lasting change that we need!

*potentially historic: This phrase is used to include 
those homes that were previously designated as 
Historical landmarks and could in fact become 
landmarks again, and those homes that were never 
on any registry but are identified as historical 


During this time period, the Sierra Madre Police 
Department responded to approximately 2 94 day 
and night time calls for service. 

Tuesday, March 28 

A residential burglary occurred between March 
15, 2017, 1900 hours and March 28, 2017, 1200 
hours. The unknown suspect(s) forcefully entered 
the residence by shattering a glass window 
located in the southeast corner of the residence 
that leads into the kitchen. The home in the 600 
block of Camillo St., was ransacked and a number 
of personal items, and an unknown amount of 
loose change were confirmed to have been taken. 
Unknown at this time what additional property 
was taken. Case referred to Detectives 

Thursday, March 30 

An auto burglary occurred in the 400 block of 
Santa Anita Court. The suspect(s) smashed the 
left rear window of the vehicle camper shell to 
gain entry. The total loss value was $4150.00. This 
case referred to Detectives. 

 NOTE: Several citations were issued within this 
time period for unlicensed drivers and/or driving 
without a license, a few resulting in impounding 
of the driver’s vehicle. A reminder to be aware 
of the expiration date of your California driver’s 
license and vehicle registration tags. 


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