Adams Calls Appointment a 'Setup'

After pushing for a replacement for Clarence Shaw's council seat to be selected, Councilman Tom Adams was unhappy with the end result.

Councilman Tom Adams got what he wished for, and then he didn't.

Adams had pushed for a caretaker to be appointed to Councilman Clarence Shaw's seat when the council deadlocked on a vote earlier this month, but he firmly opposed the man the council ultimately chose for the job. Larry Spicer, the vice chair of the city's planning commission, .

"Absolutely not," Adams said in announcing his vote. "I think this has been a setup for quite some time and I just think it's wrong."

Mayor Mary Ann Lutz shot back: "I don’t know how it could be a setup, Mr. Adams--you're the one who brought the item before us."

Adams had placed the topic of replacing Shaw on the agenda after the idea had been voted down 3-1 at the last council meeting. At Tuesday's meeting, Adams made a motion to have former Monrovia Mayor Bob Bartlett fill Shaw's seat. The motion was not seconded.

In an interview, Adams said that he had nothing personal against Spicer--he just wanted an "independent voice" to join the body.

"I think I had hoped that we would get someone a little more independent than the candidate who was selected," Adams said. "I think there was a big push for quite some time now to get Mr. Spicer on the council."

Adams said Spicer has too many ties to sitting council members. He questioned whether Spicer would have the same independent streak that he said Shaw has.

"I think you’ll probably see a voting pattern that will be aligned less independently than Mr. Shaw has been in the past," Adams said.

Lutz said in an interview that she was "baffled" by Adams' opposition to Spicer, reiterating that the whole replacement vote was his idea.

"I still don’t understand why he thinks this is a setup," Lutz said. "This whole thing came about by a motion that he made. How could this be a setup by somebody else when he’s the one who brought it up?"

Spicer, a Monrovia Area Partnership graduate and former military colleague of Shaw's in the Army, earlier this week.

Shaw is serving a in Washington. He told City Manager Scott Ochoa that he'd prefer for his seat to remain vacant but named Spicer as his preferred replacement should the council decide to do otherwise.

Spicer addressed the council briefly Tuesday and said he'd be glad to accept the appointment.

"I’ll be more than happy to serve my city," Spicer said.

Lutz said the council chose the best candidate it was presented with and noted that she was partially swayed by Shaw's support of Spicer.

"I think we made the decision based on who would do the best job at the time," she said. "[Shaw's endorsement] does mean something to me."

City Attorney Craig Steele said he will have to do research to find out what happens to Spicer's seat on the planning commission. Spicer will be sworn in to the City Council at its next regular meeting.

Adams was at least pleased that the City Council will have a tie-breaking vote again.

"I think it’s a good day for Monrovia to have a full council again and I look forward to it," he said.

Terrence G. Williams December 21, 2011 at 03:52 PM
Congrats to my friend Larry Spicer! He has been a pillow in the community for a long time in several capacities as a Monrovian with a sincere heart as a a long time Citizen. I pray that he will continue to represent our great City in the same fashion. I truly believe Monrovia will benefit from his representation as a loyal, independent caring citizen who is seasoned and ready to help lead in this transition. Respectfully, Terrence Williams
Heather Shaw December 21, 2011 at 05:09 PM
Thrilled to see the Council will be completed by someone that Clarence Shaw suggested. That means his voice will be fairly represented. Now maybe we can get on to the business of making Monrovia great instead of all this mamby pamby nonsense. Good job to the Mayor and those that voted favorably!
Pam Fitzpatrick December 21, 2011 at 05:34 PM
I'm sorry this had to be done, but going along with Council Member Shaw's wishes is a good thing, and they couldn't have picked a better temporary replacement. Larry Spicer is as honest and indepent as there is, and he is a dedicated volunteer. Now back to business.
Gayle M. Montgomery December 21, 2011 at 05:38 PM
I stand with Tom Adams on this. Frankly, I think it should have called for an interim vote of potential candidates by the citizenry. Tom was right to ask to have a caretaker, but the outcome wreaks of cronyism. Mr. Spicer may be a fine fellow; I don't know him. But the person who sits on City Council in Mr. Shaw's space has the right to vote on matters that affect us all and, as such, we all should have had an opportunity to steer the outcome. Traditional voting methodologies could be expensive, but, given technology, there are ways to circumvent that cost. Even a Survey Monkey vote with options communicated in the Patch would seem more democratic. Monrovia City Government is beginning to feel like a high school vs. clique situation. Disheartening.
sayitisntso December 21, 2011 at 05:46 PM
Councilman Shaw’s first wish was to have his seat left vacant until he returned as has been done in countless other governing bodies around our country out of respect for those who are serving. Councilman Shaw being the selfless volunteer he is for his country and community acquiesced to the pressures placed on him from various entities in his community to bless this temporary appointment of Larry Spicer to the Council. It is my belief that if Larry Spicer was as selfless about his country and community as Councilman Shaw is that he would tell the council that he has had a change of heart about temporally filling Councilman Shaw’s seat for the remaining short span of time that Councilman Shaw will be absent out of respect for all who serve their country. Do I believe that Mr. Spicer will do this? NO! I believe that Mr. Spicer does not care about country or community like Mr. Shaw does. I believe he is only concerned about sitting in a seat that was given to Mr. Shaw by his community so that he may gain the name recognition that an incumbent enjoys when he runs for a council seat in 2013.
Myrtle M December 21, 2011 at 06:45 PM
Thinking back a few years, I can remember the election where Rob Hammond was elected mayor, leaving a seat open on the council. Adams pushed to skip the next highest vote getter from the election and appointed Kirby instead. I can still remember his reasoning that he appointed Kirby because he thought he would work best with the current council, ie he had the same philosophies as Adams and Hammond. It just seems so hypocritical. When it goes Adams way, it's for the good, when it doesn't it's chronyism.
Gayle M. Montgomery December 21, 2011 at 07:13 PM
Ok, we're all adults and all neighbors. We face each other in the supermarkets, at the theatre, in the park. Could we please go with our proper names and cut with the anonymity. Maybe there really is a Myrtle M that is posting, but it just sort of strikes me as Myrtle Monrovia and a ruse. If you have something to say, be forthright, be polite, be firm if you must, but identify yourselves. Hiding behind a nom de plume is for Samuel Clemens, Charles Dodson, and children.
NWT December 21, 2011 at 10:27 PM
Apparently Mr. Tom Adams never learned the lesson; to be careful what you wish for, you just might get it! Hopefully now that this is settled, this political dinner theater of a melodrama will be put aside and council can get back to the issues at hand. Oh, and Ms. Montgomery, insinuating that the validity of another's public statement is some how, diminished by the preference to maintain their anonymity is frankly, absurd. In the end, the power of the vote is the great validator, and you don't see the citizenry being required to print names and addresses on the our ballots now do you? Sincerely, -Registered Voter
Gayle M. Montgomery December 21, 2011 at 11:47 PM
Dear Registered Voter-- If that is your name, you come from a large family though not as large as it should be in our democratic society. No one was suggesting an opinion was invalid because it was rendered anonymously. What I am saying is that, in civil dialogue, we address one another by name and work to resolve our differences. Experience has shown that, in this forum, some rather public figures and their followers have opted to lob some rather snarky remarks under cover of anonymity. There is a divisiveness on this Council that is disheartening. I campaigned for Mayors Bob and Laura over brief periods of time. I have met with Mayor Hammond and Councilman Adams. In some instances, we have agreed to disagree, but never did we agree to be disagreeable, and that is the shield that anonymity buys. Strong opinions should be owned by their expressors. There has been an air of cattiness expressed in anonymous postings that is unbecoming, as though someone is given a shield to forget one's manners. What I am hoping we can have in this community is civil dialogue that starts with, Hi, my name is....Why would someone in Monrovia have to hide their identity to speak their truth unless they know that truth to be inflammatory and unbecoming? hi, my name is Gayle, and I would like to know.
Jill Ramirez December 21, 2011 at 11:58 PM
Gayle, I agree with you regarding the use of anonymous names on these boards. I find it most interesting that we do not see these folks on "Personal" stories but they seem to flood stories where the schools or the city are in question.
Ellen Zunino December 22, 2011 at 12:45 AM
Yes, a lot of us remember what a slap to voters' faces that decision was. Our council (and, to be fair, other city councils are not immune) seems to sometimes prefer to act as a board of directors instead of as a representative legislative body.
Gem City Dude Man December 22, 2011 at 03:30 AM
This is all about balance which happens to be the key to life and beyond. Larry represents a part of the community that some would like to forget and thus ignore. Monrovia voices should include all of our citizens and those with money and influence have been more of the problem than the solution. The fact Tom Adams wants the the old "Status Quo" to step in speaks volumes about old town politics. Lets move on. We need to get away from "Special Interest" politics.
sayitisntso December 22, 2011 at 06:42 AM
Dear Gayle M. Montgomery-- If that is your name and you are not someone else. Maybe you are impersonating Gayle M. Montgomery, we don't know nor do we care and it doesn't get much more catty then you. Maybe their name is Bob Bartlett or Rob Hammond or Bob Smith. No way for you to verify that because if you asked those people they could lie and say it wasn't them. Quit trying to be the name police and moderator. You speak the way you do and others have that same right.
NWT December 22, 2011 at 07:39 AM
Dear Gayle, First and foremost, I agree that not nearly enough people take the time to become informed on the issues at hand and vote. I also agree there is a demoralizing amount of divisiveness that plagues City Council at times. At the risk of being labeled "Snarky" I only point out the obvious that Mr. Adams has dispensed with more than his fair share of divisiveness during his 17+ year tenure on Council. Truth to be told, and I say this more as a statement of opinion than an intended jab, your reminisce of the days of yore in Monrovia politics and assertion that anonymity is a shield only wielded by catty snark hurlers, is frankly, no concern to me. Ditto in regards to your personal definition of civility as being the end all code of conduct in Patch dialogue. Thankfully, the Patch T.O.S & 1st Amendment serve that purpose quite well. Ironically, the very same anonymity that you disdain probably keeps things civil and neighborly when you unknowingly cross paths with those you disagree with at the Market or Coffee shop. Lastly, for all you know I'm a Monrovia resident & taxpayer that could also be an employee of Adams & Co., The City, MUSD, or part of the Management of any other entity that transacts business with the public here in Monrovia. For many, valid public comments as constituents can lead to issues at work. Hi my name is #####, and you knowing my name is of drastically less importance than the fact that as a constituent, I'm not pleased with Mr.Adams performance.
Gayle M. Montgomery December 22, 2011 at 07:41 AM
Dear Sayit: Thank you for so aptly proving my point. Under cover of anonymity, rocks are flung. Couple of points. It is Ms. Montgomery, not Mr. I would be honored to be either former mayor, but I do not believe I know Mr. Smith. Transparency in leadership, transparency in dialogue, those were the points I was making. Word police? Hmm, where do you get such a job? I wish you good tidings of great cheer, neighbor! Otherwise, Bah Humbug to you, too! imagine the tomfoolery of believing we could have a city of civility when it comes to discussing city governance. Imagine we could believe in our city enough to discuss its matters without rancor. How falalala foolish!
Gayle M. Montgomery December 22, 2011 at 08:06 AM
NWT, I appreciate the civility of your response. I understand your position, though I do not necessarily agree with it. My only question for you to consider, since this issue was raised in a prior matter, do you really think your anonymity is kept in a forum like this? You have a certain writing style, a flair for communicating, and bread crumbs left in your posting that might well identify you. I do not say that to be disrespectful. Other anonymous souls were outted by their writing style and manner of speech. Our Ciry Councilpersons are public figures and up for discussion within some wiggle room. It just seems odd to me that one would want/need to shield such remarks. Again, thank you for your civility.
Robert Parry December 22, 2011 at 03:33 PM
Readers of the old Foothill Cities blog know that certain "esteemed individuals" in this town are well-versed in the use of anonymous attacks, smears and shockingly inflamatory statements. Or maybe it was the folks who used accessed the wifi of a certain business while sitting unnoticed in the parking lot for many hours over many days.
Tom Adams December 22, 2011 at 05:24 PM
For those who missed both meetings where this was discussed I do like the 1st amendment and the ability to explain a few things. First, I do agree that all parts of Monrovia need representation, that is why I made a motion to have Bob Bartlett step in as a temporary replacement for Mr. Shaw. I think we can all agree that Bartlett owes his vote to no one. He also brings a wealth of experience to the table and can be up to speed on the issues quickly. The independant voice of Bob Bartlett would, I believe, be very beneficial right now. I also believe that anyone who sits on the council should have at least had their name on a ballot. The last three appointees to the council, Shevlin, Kirby and Blakely all ran for office, where not elected and then were appointed. All three took the time to get signatures, run a campaign, stump for office and one could see the level of community support they had by the number of votes they received. This may very well be the first time that we will have someone on the council that never took the time to campaign for the seat, at least not with the voters. This candidate owes their seat to three people so they owe their vote to three people and that is sad.
NWT December 22, 2011 at 08:21 PM
That's a very interesting perspective Mr. Adams, I'm especially interested in how you employ your belief that "Anyone who sits on the council should have at least had their name on the ballot" to support your desire to seat your preferred candidate, Mr. Bartlett, on council. The fact is sir, while Mr. Bartlett served this community honorably in years past, he hasn't had his name on the Monrovia ballot for over a decade. Perhaps you could indulge some of the voters here as to why then, given your stated belief, you are not asserting that one of the most recent Council candidates, such as candidates Cosylion, Espinosa or Ziegler should fill the interim void? No one could be faulted for surmising that, given this disparity, there is not some kind of political posturing on your part at play here. Barring a perceived opponent from building a record of service could serve you well in your next re-election attempt. Then again, you could just be trying to help an old friend back into the local political fray?
Tom Adams December 22, 2011 at 11:46 PM
NWT, actually I did make a motion to ask Ziegler to serve, given that he came in third in the last election, that motion did not get a second. I am sorry you missed that in the meeting 2 weeks ago. Interesting, neither of these would be my personal choice. I did bring Bartletts name forward in hopes of a compromise, not because he was my first choice but because Lutz brought his name forward two weeks ago. I was hopeful that by offering a compromise we may get past this division. I did find it interesting that although Lutz brought Bartletts name forward two weeks ago she would not second the motion to have him serve. NWT, you must be new in town, to say that Bartlett and I are old friends in the political world leads me to believe you don't have much knowledge on the past. By the way, don't be so shy, it is so much nicer to talk to neighbors when we know who each other are.
Bill Beebe December 25, 2011 at 07:51 PM
Clarence Shaw's seat did need to be filled temporarily while he is on duty serving his country. The Council has been made up of 5 members even when the population was half as much as it is now. How could it possibly do its work with four members. But, I will miss serving with Larry on Planning Commission. I was just getting to know him and he had grown so much during the short time he was on the Commission. But then he does not seem to be a novice either - so let's give him the chance to show his potential. So I wish Larry well on the City Council and know he will be welcomed as a public servant. It is a very big step and a huge responsibility. I admire all the council members for the time they give for this service. It does sadden me once again to see division continuing about the City Council. However, different opinions, even those expressed very strongly, is the stuff of democracy. Let us remain civil and professional though in our differences. Attack the ideas if we must, only do not attack the person stating those ideas. The whole argument and hopefully a solution gets lost when we make it personal. Happy Holidays (Merry Christmas and Happy New Year) everyone!


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