Ben Tansey

Ben Tansey
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Ben Tansey is a journalist and author. He grew up in the South Bay and is a graduate of Evergreen State College. He worked in Washington State as a reporter in a rural timber community and for many years as an editor for a Western electric energy policy publication based in Seattle.

626 Prospect Ave Sale | Global Settlement Possible Topic in Long Day of Mediation

South Pasadena, Caltrans and other parties of interest are set to convene today for a mediation session over ongoing litigation between the City and Caltrans. While the case at hand is over the legality...

South Pasadena BLM Protests | Judge Restores Complaint Against City

A federal judge this month upped the ante in two BLM protesters’ civil rights claims against the City of South Pasadena, updating an earlier decision that would have spared the City from potential liability...

Caltrans Homes South Pasadena | Tensions Rise as City Holds Special Community Meeting

With debate over the future of the Caltrans-owned homes in South Pasadena heating up, the City on Thursday held a major “community meeting” in an effort to clear the air and clarify the City’s...

City Council | Firing Contractor after State Rejects Third Housing Element Draft

The City of South Pasadena on Tuesday announced it will dump Placeworks, the planning contractor it’s relied on over the past two and a half years to develop its mandatory Housing Element (HE), now...

CITY FINANCE | Latest Finance Director Recruit Declines Offer

South Pasadena’s two-year-old quest to hire a permanent finance director took another blow this month when the latest recruit ditched the City’s offer in favor of a counteroffer from her existing employer. That employer,...

Editorial | City Must Reform Public Comment Practices

Bravo. Recognizing many stakeholders wanted to provide public comment on a closed session agenda item (the Caltrans property litigation), the South Pasadena City Council this week did something different. Instead of holding the public comment...

CalTrans Properties | Pressure Builds to Change Course in Property Acquisition

As the City moves in fits and starts to acquire the 20 unoccupied single family houses Caltrans offered to sell it under 2021’s Senate Bill 381, opponents have put increasing pressure on the city...

Caltrans Homes South Pasadena | Blow Up Over Inspection Contract: City to Seek New...

After an ugly fallout with the company hired to inspect unoccupied houses it wants to buy from Caltrans, South Pasadena in coming weeks is set to seek a new, “direct bid” for the contract,...
Caltrans homes South Pasadena

Caltrans Homes South Pasadena | City Awaits Sales Contracts, Special Closed Session Meeting Sept....

The South Pasadena City Council is still waiting for Caltrans to send purchase and sales agreements (PSAs) for the 20 unoccupied properties the City wants to buy in the former SR-710 extension corridor. Last July,...

City Reduced to One Water Well Over Holiday Weekend

South Pasadena’s Public Works Department acted quickly over the Labor Day weekend to replace a water pump motor that failed, threatening the flow of water to the vast majority of the city’s 6,500 water...

Finance Ad Hoc Committee Report Update | City Council: “We Dropped The Ball”

After a conspicuous false start in June, the South Pasadena City Council at its Aug. 17 meeting took on the volatile recommendations of its Finance Ad Hoc Committee (FAHC), charged two years ago in...

Fired Public Works Director Files Lawsuit | South Pasadena

Former South Pasadena Public Works Director Shahid Abbas has filed a whistleblower claim against the city claiming he was fired late last year after a dispute over a stop sign. Abbas, now Transportation Director...

Finance Update | City Council Dismisses Finance Ad Hoc Recommendations: Calls Report ‘Gratuitous,’ ‘Hearsay’

Ten minutes before 1 am on a weeknight, at the end of its third-longest public meeting in over four years and with barely a handful of citizens watching, the South Pasadena City Council early...
south Pasadena finance report

Finance Ad Hoc Committee Recorded | A Serious Look Behind the Curtain

“Anyone who reads this needs to know how bad it got,” South Pasadena City Council Member Jon Primuth said March 9. Primuth, who is serving his first term on the council and slated to...

City Council | Budget, Union Contracts, FAHC Report, Housing Element Items on Agenda Tonight

The South Pasadena City Council tonight will consider final adoption of the 2022-23 general fund budget which totals $42.2 million--an increase of $7.4 million, or 24 percent, over the estimated 2021-22 budget, which itself...
Attorney Andrew Jared representing the contracted law firm Colantuono, Highsmith & Whatley for the City of South Pasadena. South Pasadena FInance Report

Finance Ad Hoc Committee Report Filed | Forensic Audit Looming

Sufficient red flags exist to justify a forensic audit of South Pasadena’s finances, but it “may not be practical” to commence one at this time, according to a long overdue report from the City...

Case Settled | City Settles Another Lawsuit: Hanscom Drive

The city of South Pasadena Thursday announced it will make a $200,000 payment to city resident Alison Smith to settle her four-year-old case against the city over responsibility for a January 11-12, 2018 sewage...

City Council | Delays, Costs and Discrepancies Affecting General Plan

South Pasadena’s long and expensive struggle to produce a general plan and related housing element is creating regulatory and legal troubles for the city, and drawing critical scrutiny of the performance of its staff...

Caltrans Homes South Pasadena | Tenants Push City Not To Dismiss

Supporters of a group of South Pasadena Caltrans tenants implored city council members last week not to abandon a faltering lawsuit the City undertook in support of the tenants’ long-frustrated dreams of purchasing their...
Caltrans homes South Pasadena

CalTrans Homes South Pasadena | City & Caltrans to Plunge into Action

The South Pasadena City Council is set to take big steps tonight in its quest for a satisfactory final disposition for the remaining 68 properties in town that Caltrans acquired for its ill-fated 710...

Elections 2022 | Mahmud Will Not Seek 3rd Term

Diana Mahmud, the second most senior member of the South Pasadena City Council who has twice served as Mayor, announced this week she will not seek a third term this November. The announcement came three...

Caltrans Properties | LA City Council Consider Plan to Buy 77 El Sereno Properties

The Los Angeles City Council’s Homelessness and Poverty Committee on Thursday, March 10 will consider a proposal from its chief legislative analyst (CLA) to spend at least $2.5 million to purchase 77 Caltrans properties...

South Pasadena Seeks Dismissal of BLM Protesters’ Civil Rights Complaints

The City of South Pasadena has asked federal Judge Dale S. Fischer to dismiss all seven claims filed last October by BLM protesters Fahren James and Victorian Patterson against the city and five SPPD...

City Council | BLM Mural Must Await Public Art Policy

South Pasadena City Council members said they won’t consider approving the South Pasadena High School Anti-Bias Club’s (ABC) proposal for a Black Lives Matter mural at Orange Grove Park until the city has a...

History of City Treasurer Struggles in South Pasadena

As the City Council prepares to consider asking voters whether to change the City Treasurer’s position to an appointive instead of elective office, a check on the history of the South Pasadena Treasurer’s status...

City Treasurer | City Considers Elimination of Elected Treasurer

During a City Council session Feb. 16, the question whether the city should ask voters to approve changing from an elected to an appointed City Treasurer was discussed and deferred pending more research by...

Consolidation of Commissions | City Council to Consider Changes

Recommendations for a wholesale consolidation of South Pasadena’s famously unwieldy system of two dozen citizen boards and commissions will be the topic of a special meeting https://www.southpasadenaca.gov/home/showpublisheddocument/28342/637807178858000000 of the City Council Wednesday, Feb. 23...

Vote on Power | City Council is Moving to 100% CPA Supply for Businesses

Citing the “profound environmental impact” it will have, the South Pasadena City Council on Wednesday February 16, 2022 will act to increase to 100 percent the “default” amount of power commercial electric consumers in...

Supreme Court Nominee Short List | South Pasadenan Leondra Reid Kruger

Leondra Reid Kruger, a California Supreme Court Justice who is from Glendale but grew up in part in South Pasadena, is once again among a short list of prospective names being circulated as a...

Possible Settlement | South Pasadena Resident May Get Some Justice

The City of South Pasadena and resident Alison Smith last week reported “significant progress” in efforts to settle a bitter dispute in which both sides have accused each other of retaliation. It concerns which...
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