Barry Gold at his home in Sierra Madre 2015. Photo by Terry Miller/ Beacon Media News
By Terry Miller
Former write-in candidate for Sierra Madre council election a few tears ago was fatally struck by a van, November 4. He was taken to USC Keck Medical Center, where he was later pronounced dead, just a few days shy of his 75th birthday.
During the campaign four years ago, Gold said that he had been thinking about the possibility of running for some time but at recent council meetings he was taken aback by Mayor Cappocia, who publicly chastised those who want to eliminate the UUT (User Utility Tax). Paraphrasing, Gold said that Cappocia admonished the likes of Earl Richy who attempted to get the “abolish UUT” on this year’s ballot, by calling them “foolish … they don’t know what they are doing ….”
Frustrated by the lack of civility on the dais, it was at that very moment, Barry Gold said, “I decided I HAVE to run; to win!”
After qualifying with 30 signatures (although he only needed 20), Gold became a write-in candidate.
Gold and his wife of 18 years moved to Sierra Madre from Arcadia as they were appalled by the seemingly never-ending mansionization of that city. Sierra Madre is small and very much a preservationist town, which is exactly where the Golds’ philosophy takes the next logical step.
Gold got involved with the Preserve Sierra Madre group, which has had a significant impact on council.
Gold said he simply couldn’t let Sierra Madre follow the same path Arcadia has taken so he got involved with the group to make the council and planners aware of the dangers of overdevelopment and to help the Sierra Madre down the roads less traveled.
With the General Plan recently approved – after six years – Gold gives immense credit to the current council for implementing the plan and holding onto the belief that size does in fact matter – a lot. New building restrictions are in place but more needs to be done, Gold asserts.
Gold said that the number one issue in Sierra Madre is, of course, finance. Gold is totally in favor of Los Angeles County Sheriff’s deputies patrolling the streets and says outsourcing to LASD will save the city well over $400,000 a year.
The real issue, though, is always financing. Gold’s take on the city of Sierra Madre’s upper management is quite simple and eloquent. “They’re bureaucrats, much different than in the private sector. In government, local or otherwise, it is an art form to protect your job. Every four years, essentially, you’ll have a new boss.”
Services were held Friday Nov 8 at Mount Sinai Hollywood Hills.