The City of South Pasadena Natural Resources and Environmental Commission is scheduled to hold a special meeting at 7 p.m. Tuesday in the City Council Chambers to discuss a letter to the editor of the South Pasadena Review by NREC member John Silverthorn.
The meeting will be held immediately before the commission's regularly scheduled monthly meeting.
Dated Oct. 18, the letter accuses Diana Mahmud, one of four candidates for two seats in the Nov. 5 South Pasadena City Council elections, of “publicly announcing the location for a community garden in a residential neighborhood without the knowledge of the affected residents” and “advocating with no supporting data, no public or private tree trimming in South Pasadena six month out of the year to protect the bird population.”
The letter added: “I have concluded that Ms. Mahmud’s “Ram-it-down-your throat” aggressive foolishness is not needed on the City of South Pasadena City Council. We need common sense people-oriented leadership from the private sector. I am not voting for Diana Mahmud.”
Mahmud, who is also an NREC member, told South Pasadena Patch that the issues Silverthorn refers to in his letter are being discussed at the NREC but that she has not been advocating them.
In a rejoinder to Silverthorn’s letter, Mahmud wrote a letter to the Review. “Neither I nor any member of the Natural Resources and Environmental Commission is advocating that tree trimming be prohibited in South Pasadena for six months of the year,” she wrote, adding: “At the request of the Animal Commission, NREC is currently developing information relating to bird nesting and tree trimming that will eventually be posted on our city’s website.”
A special meeting had to be called to address Silverthorn’s accusations because although the NREC meets monthly on the fourth Tuesday, she did not notice Silverthorn’s letter until this past Friday—and there wasn’t enough time under the Brown Act to include the Silverthorn accusations in the regular meeting’s agenda.
Mahmud also told Patch that she did not call Silverthorn directly to discuss his accusations because she feared such a discussion might trigger a Brown Act violation.
Mahmud said she notified NREC Commissioner Kim Hughes about Silverthorn’s accusations so that they could be discussed in an open session of the commission.