Annexation of South San Gabriel?

NOTE - there is no meeting this Thursday. There IS, however, a county run meeting for other local issues at Evergreen Baptist Church on Wed. 18th.

The South San Gabriel group that meets at Estelle's (we don't have a name, but we formed part of SOC, and also came up with the name SOC) is xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx to discuss the proposed annexation of the southeastern part of SSG into Rosemead, for purposes of erecting some kind of arena or entertainment center.

I don't know the details of it, but have heard thru the grapevine that the plan is to annex it, then use emininent domain to take parts of the properties under the annexed area, to build this project.

The area in question is here: map.

Information about annexation law is at: Search for sections 56375-56388.

Annexation of South San

     I hate talking about rumors because it may have the unintended effect of giving them credence rather than stomping them out.  But I guess I'll have to take that chance.

     It was my understanding that a former city manager had a plan to annex part of the Whittier Narrows Golf Course, and that was where the hotel/recreation center was supposed to go.  The other SSG annexation plan was rumored to be for low-income housing.  And that's why I thought the rumors didn't make any sense.  Why would a city go through all that effort of annexing land and then commit it to a use (low income housing) that did nothing for the city's tax base but did increase demands for city services?  And who would want to spend millions of dollars to build a hotel on a flood plain?

     Most of the folks at the previous meeting at Estelle's house heard enough to conclude that the plan didn't make any sense and that there was definitely no city council majority in Rosemead to support any sort of South San Gabriel annexation.

     Keep in mind that, to me, annexation makes political sense to South San Gabriel.  You guys keep getting impacted by decisions made in Rosemead, but you don't have a voice in Rosemead's government.  Some city council members have practically thumbed their noses at you the past four years because of that.

     To me, I'd rather be one of about 17,000 voters in Rosemead than one of about two million people County Supervisor Molina is supposed to represent.  You can more easily affect decisions in a smaller city than in a large superivisorial district.  And, when it comes to demanding services, Rosemead, as a city of 58,000, has more leverage in dealing with the county for contract services than does a few thousand residents in a county of nearly eleven million.

     Nonetheless, it seems clear that the opinion leaders in South San Gabriel are categorically opposed to any annexation.  Besides which, several Rosemead residents who came to support their South San Gabriel neighbors were completely put off by the condescending air of superiority that a few of the SSG folks felt compelled to display.  Given that reaction, there's no way that Rosemead would pursue annexation.

     I think most of the folks who stayed at that meeting until the end came away thinking that, as far as annexation was concerned, we were all on the same page.

Annexation of South San

    It sounds like the plan was to go after the horse stables. That seemed odd to me, because a much better location is up on the hill next to the mall, which I think is also Rosemead. The hill has much better aesthetics, because the riverside area will be sandy and dusty due to its proximity to the stream. (Also, there's the enviro aspect to consider.)

    When I first heard of the annexation, but before I knew the details, I figured it could be used to leverage changes in Rosemead, as part of a deal to annex. For example, a group could demand that specific "sunshine" or transparency laws be passed, as a condition of securing support. If the plan was to annex the area along Delta and San Gabriel, that kind of deal could be made.

    I'm not sure if its feasible in the above scenario. It's hard to tell if most of SSG would rise up, except for ideological reasons against ED, because this is a pretty remote corner.

    That's not to say it wouldn't happen. There seems to be a longstanding tradition of private streets and rejection of even County services like, um, pavement. The sidewalks on Delta appeared in the 1980s, around thirty years after concrete became a common feature of suburban life. I could see support developing for preserving dusty stables and piles of horse dung.

    I don't really see them offering a dust-and-dung-for-government-transparency trade, though.

Annexation of South San

I just got some more info. I guess there was a letter sent to people about this. The affected streets were High Pine, Darlington, and Cometa, and it was for some complex, but a performance complex of sorts. That's just weird to me. If folks want to be annexed, that's fine - let them vote. If there's talk about ED, though, it's hard enough to do it, but when they start taking small houses, they're looking at a lot of controversy and opposition. That just gets people in the gut.

Annexation of South San

     Eminent domain has become such a buzzword that, in today's political climate, even in conditions where it might be appropriate, it just can't be used.  And it would absolutely NOT be appropriate to take people's single-family homes to replace them with a performance complex.  This would never happen.  And when I say never, I mean that I can't imagine a majority of Rosemead's city council supporting this.  And if they did, I can't imagine a majority of the city council surviving the recall election that would surely follow.  After all, that's exactly the horse (pardon the pun) that Gary Taylor and Jay Imperial first rode to power on, all those years ago.

     So, the thing is, this rumor is talking about two seperate, and politically difficult things to do:  1)  Annex land from unwilling land owners in an unwilling jurisdiction (unincorporated Los Angeles County) into the city of Rosemead, and 2)  Exercise eminent domain to take that private property for a public use that absolutely no one is clamoring for.  A performance complex?  There may be weaker lobbies than the performance art community, but none immediately come to mind.

     And this is why I keep saying that these rumors make no sense.