Friday, March 27, 2009

Put The Utility User Tax Hike Back On The Ballot

The Pasadena Star News, in their March 24th editorial entitled "Our View: No Treasure in Sierra Madre," made a great point:

"Take a look at what's going on in the small city of Sierra Madre, for example. Last year, with dire notice of a police department woefully underpaid and a city budget hemorrhaging red ink, voters in the Foothill Village were convinced that the city needed more money. So they raised their utility users tax by doubling it - from 6 percent to 12 percent ... Guess what? Now city auditors say there is an extra million dollars in the coffers. A budget year predicted to end on June 30 with a $315,000 deficit will now have a $46,000 surplus. For a small city such as this one, a million dollars is a lot of cash."

And then the Star News went on to ask the one million dollar question: "Was the tax plea done under false pretenses?"

Now there's a debate we could all enjoy taking part in.

How can it be that the City of Sierra Madre asked the people here to vote for a tax hike when proper audits hadn't been done in 4 years? Meaning that we didn't have ironclad information on what exactly our financial condition was? Here's how we put it earlier this month:

"At the time the Ad Hoc Finance Committee was deliberating about city finances, this town was in serious default on a very important Sacramento obligation. In the years 2002-03, 2003-04, 2004-05, and 2006-07, the City of Sierra Madre, despite very clearly worded State of California laws, had not supplied the financial audits of its budgets to the State Comptroller's Office. For each of the first three years Sierra Madre was fined $5,000 a pop for this lapse, with $10,000 being the damage for the year 2006-07. In other words, and I think this safe to assume, Sierra Madre did not have its books in order, and anything that the trusting souls on the Ad Hoc Finance Committee was being fed by City Hall was based on guess work, or worse. From the administration of Mayor Enid Joffe back to whatever was running the place in 2002, Sierra Madre's finances were being handled at a hillbilly level of competence."

(Note: The entire article can be found in this week's Sierra Madre Weekly. Newspaper and on-line.)

So if we accept what the Pasadena Star News is saying here, and I see no reason why we shouldn't, what exactly do we do about it? Do we, as Mayor Zimmerman has suggested, scrap the UUT hike because the numbers supplied to the voters were woefully inaccurate?

I called the Mayor to inquire about this, and the answer he gave me was rather surprising. He said that while he would like nothing better than to get rid of what is an embarrassing relic of the incompetent Old Regime, it's not all up to him. And while the City Council has the ability to repeal or rescind the taxes according to the wording of the UUT, it cannot completely undo the tax hike either. Why? Because only the voters could have approved this tax hike. And because of that the only way it can be completely and safely gotten rid of is to put it back on the ballot and have the voters erase it completely. After all, who knows what will happen in the next two or so years?

So that is where we're at. No matter how bad the information given to us when this matter was up for a vote the first time, the unhappy baby is still ours. But that also means that we can correct the problem the same way, by voting this tax hike out of existence.

Now some have argued that even with the surprise million factored in, our finances are still strained. And that if we gut the UUT hike, we'll be putting the city into possible financial peril. And I have seen numbers that give at least some credence to the claim.

Here's The Tattler Proviso on the UUT hike. The first election on this matter was fraudulent. The numbers supplied were bogus, with the small matter of finding an extra million dollars later on being proof of just how bad the lapses were. So let's put the tax increase on the ballot one more time, but this time back it up with honest and reliable figures. And then ask the voters whether we should keep the tax hike, or scrap it.

It's our money, and our City. This the only truly fair way of dealing with what has become a very embarrassing chapter in Sierra Madre's history.

86 comments:

  1. Thanks for posting this, Sir Eric, this is a very serious subject, and we all need to give it our best thinking.
    I was part of the minority who voted NO on the UUT tax.
    It was too reminiscent of the old Measure F. While the city can always use some leverage in the form of excess money in the treasury.....we have to bear in mind that excess taxes are not exactly what people want in these tough times.
    People have lost a lot of their retirement, their savings for their kid's education.
    If we have some serious inflation ahead....it's going to really be a strain on most people.
    I've already resigned myself to the fact, my current standard of living is probably going to go down a bit. I'm one of the lucky ones, who don't have debt, and still I'll get hit.
    It very well may be a good idea to put this back to the people in the '010 election here in town. Both sides can make their case and the folks can decide.

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  2. Old Kentucky has it right..Don't forget the bump up from Sacramento as well.That was not anticipated when UUT tax was offered

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  3. No doubt in my mind and I think everyone will agree, had we been voting for this tax, this year.....never would have passed.
    You can't hit people in the pocketbook and have it set well.

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  4. My question is wheres the outrage? We voted ourselves a tax hike because we were told we were going broke. And now a million dollars suddenly shows up? Damn right we need to vote on this again!

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  5. 11,000 divided by 1 million bucks...seems that we should be getting a rebate check

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  6. i voted no because i didn't think our cops had remotely the same risks, responsibilities or stature as police officers in nearby cities - it wouldn't pass today because of the economy - if the cops here (the new ones) don't like the pay - hit the door

    there's a reason why ex-military police or LAPD or Pasadena PD rejects are signing up to work in SM in the last 10 years, nobody else wants them

    basically, we are stuck with the tax scam perpetuated by "hillbilly" accounting and limelight seeking councilmembers who wasted countless hundreds of thousands of dollars on fictional DSP plans, pandering to developers and catering the the rants of a handful of commission only realtors

    the million will be eaten up quickly by Councilman John B Clampett's "green" plans for the city or Joethro Mosca's pet projects

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  7. Hey, 8:29!
    At least we got rid of Enid Pelosi!
    Enid loved taxes, she used to go door to door for the losing Measure F.

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  8. Why the slam on hillbillies? That wasn't very fair.

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  9. We were mislead about the financial condition of the city because of the horrendous state of the financial books. Now is also the time to take a hard look at not just expences but at positions. There are positions which do not need to be full time. Reducing these positions would not only eliminate payroll cost but it would also reduce the benefits and PEERS contributions (which will break the city in the future.) There needs to be an independent review of our books as they exist today. Only then will we know if the money is needed. Even the council members are split on what to do. Some say keep the tax and others want it repealed. We need to know the truth.

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  10. We probably do need the money, sort of.
    As usual, Pasta has a good idea and I hope the council members are reading the board this morning.
    My concern are the taxpayers....there will be a lot of resistence to keeping this tax. It's going to be like the "boy who cried wolf". It's going to be very difficult to raise any taxes in Sierra Madre again for a long,long time.....folks won't believe the city.
    Thanks for your thoughtful post, Pasta!

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  11. I'm with Pasta. There needs to be an independent review of the books. Then we will know where we financially stand.

    I am against the current 6% with NO SUNSET clause as well as the 2% yearly? increase..8-10-12-10-8.

    Read Howard Jarvis and know that Sacramento would love to get rid of Prop 13. Also know that Sacramento would love to keep the new state tax permantly.

    With high inflation coming, we are going to feel the pain of being taxed to death! 2% doesn't sound like a lot of money, but when a loaf of bread costs $10 bucks or more, 2% UUT added to our monthly bills will create a great STING to our wallets. Let's get a handle on the UUT!

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  12. I agree. What a great time to review everything. Having the audits actually
    done really changes the landscape, and
    opens up a lot of possibilities.

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  13. Old Kentucky, You're correct, folks won't trust or believe in the city, but they will believe in Kurt, Mary Ann, and Don. They are honest and will guide us through this financial mess. Where in these times does one ever hear of a mayor spilling the beans about a one million dollar overage? We have a gem in Kurt Zimmerman! I would certainly trust him to do what is best for our beloved city.

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  14. To me this is a big issue. Imagine if we
    could get this to a level of public
    interest that the smoking issue got to?
    After all, we were misled into voting a
    tax increase, whether on purpose or not.
    In most cities this would be political
    dynamite.

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  15. Go Sierra Madre, This needs to be a BIG issue and may well be one in the near future. SSsssss....I hear the fuse. It has been lit and perhaps a ground swell will blow the lid off the UUT. KA---BOOM!

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  16. Absolutely, SM. As much as we are involved in fighting to preserve the town, most people are not. How many people live here, and how many are politically informed? Small numbers. The smoking restriction certainly got more people into the mix, but how many will stay? Don't get your hopes up.

    I remember vividly the dire warnings put forth by the previous councils. At the SM school meeting, there were tears and threats, checkbooks being waved - the Buchanan/Joffe led councils overshot their mark. I'm with Old K that the public trust was been violated.

    Maybe with this issue, more of the community will be heard. It would be great if we could have an 80% voter turnout - heck, how about a 90% one?!

    The new slogan could be Eat! Play! Shop! VOTE! Sierra Madre.

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  17. Annon. 8:29 this town needs some "green" investment. The City recently bemoaned their $35,000 Edison bill and rates just went up (see March 12, 2009 Pasadena Star News article re Edison rates.
    Investment in some solar on top of City buildings, some compact flourescent lighting, motion sensitive on/off lighting in our buildings as well as additional energy saving measures is not only the smart move, but it will also be manadatory before long because of new state mandates on cities reducing their carbon footprints by at least 20%.
    Plus we might just make money on going green (see the front page of today's PSN about Obama admin making money for energy efficiency available to cities). San Gabriel was awarded a $50,000 grant after taking the steps I described above.
    Let's not be penny wise and pound foolish!

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  18. I think what makes a lot of people angry is that so much of our money has been wasted on development issues that would have absolutely destroyed Sierra Madre had that damn DSP gone through.
    Think of all the waste!
    We need to really pay attention people to who we vote for. Make sure they have your interests in mind, and not out of town development money.
    We need to get out of that damn SCAG......it's about as ugly as it's name!
    I do trust Kurt, MaryAnn and Don. I know they will do what is best for us all.
    Again, voters.....keep this council intact for the folks! Don't let these developer puppets get in office again!

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  19. The green thing might have merit, but the bigger issue here is trust. A city that wanted a tax hike and based its appeal to the voters on data that has now been shown to be useless does not have a lot of credibility. And while things are a bit better now in that regard, I can't see quite the level of acceptance now. A trust has been betrayed here, and thay can't be just swept away.

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  20. I think the "good government" option would be to revoke the tax by election--the City Council could opt to put it on the ballot--if not, then circulate a petition. Then, start over. For crying out loud, there's a million bucks in the kitty. Operate in a thrifty way and you may just never need another tax. If you do need an increase, at least proceed under clear, open justification, not a bunch of unfounded scare-mongering. If I were on the City Council, I would want to distance myself from that previous conduct as much as possible.

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  21. My understanding is that our UUT increases do have a Sunset clause. From the city's website on Measure U:
    What is a "sunset clause" and how does it affect Measure U?
    A "sunset clause" is essentially an expiration date for a City Ordinance. In the event Measure U, is approved by the voters, the increase in the UUT, will "sunset," or come to an end, unless the tax is extended by the voters again in the future. The "sunset clause" in Measure U calls for the UUT to diminish by 2% on June 30, 2014, and 2% each year until the rate returns to the original rate of 6% as of June 30, 2016.

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  22. Annon. 2:26 Good idea to reread the city info on measure U.

    Here's another bit of it, Measure U (the UUT) WAS THE TRIGGER FOR THE RAISE TO OUR UNGRATEFUL POLICE FORCE (CURRENTLY SUING THE POLICE CHIEF FOR TRYING TO DEEP 6 THEIR OVERTIME SCAM -- Call in sick on Tues, then work Sat and count Tues as a work day thus charging the city time and a half for Sat hours).

    I think the voters in this City should look into nullifying or repealing Measure U based on the fraud perpetrated on the citizens of this town i.e. being told we were in dire financial straits. That way we can roll back police salaries because the "trigger" for the salaries (Measure U) would be gone.

    From City website:
    How does the current negotiated agreement with the Police Officers differ from what the Police Officers were originally requesting in January 2007?
    In December 2007, the City Council approved an agreement with the Police Officers' Association that provides a salary increase. This agreement is very different from prior proposals in a number of respects.

    First, the salary increase will occur only if the funding source - Measure U - is approved by the voters. The agreed-upon salary increase, if Measure U passes is 24% spread over three fiscal years (FY 2008/2009, FY 2009/2010 and FY 2010/1011). If Measure U is not approved by the voters, there is no agreed upon increase. The prior proposals did not identify a funding source and proposed an increase regardless of whether the funding existed to pay for it. Implementation of those proposals would have resulted in the reduction of other city services.

    Second, the total cost of this agreement is estimated at $537,000 over a three year period. This is compared to the Police Officer's Association request in January 2007 that was estimated to cost the City $1,247,000 over a three year period.

    Third, it is not retroactive. The Police Officers' Association had originally requested a retroactive increase for Fiscal Year 2003/2004, Fiscal Year 2004/2005, and Fiscal Year 2005/2006, in addition to an increase in Fiscal Year 2006/2007 and Fiscal Year 2007/2008. The request also included increases in medical, overtime, and other benefits.

    Finally, the agreement will reduce legal costs. As part of the December 2007 agreement, the Police Officers' Association has agreed to drop their Binding Arbitration lawsuit, contingent on the passage of Measure U. The discontinuation of this lawsuit will save the City money in defense costs and legal fees.

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  23. I seem to recall reading something about the City Council unanimously supporting the police salary increase and paying for it through measure U -- that would have been Joffe, Mosca, Zimmerman, Buchanon and Watts right? Why does Zimmerman get a free pass on this stuff from all you commenters? Isn't he as much to blame as everyone else?

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  24. Zimmerman was fed the same garbage numbers as the rest of us. During the UUT ads hoc fan dance the City govt was under the control of the Joffe/Buchanan administrations, and only numbers they saw fit to distribute made it through to the rest of us. And those numbers turned out to be as genuine as a Joe Mosca campaign promise. Please remember that it was under Mayor Zimmerman that the audits were completed and the unvarnished news revealed. We're coming off of 8 years of terrible government in this town.

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  25. Annon. 3:01 here's a link to the Ad Hoc committee report. Zimmerman was on that committee along with our former and current city treasurer. Why is it we haven't heard one peep from the city treasurer by the way?

    http://www.sierramadrenews.net/city/2k8election/ad-hoc_finance_final.pdf

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  26. I'm not for or against anybody here, but Annon. 3:01 why would Zimmerman have less access to City information than any other member of the Council?

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  27. You've totally missed the point here. The audits weren't done. Nobody did them. The numbers were guesswork. All those years from 2001 on City Hall didn't do the work they were supposed to do. And the numbers supplied to the Ad Hoc Committee and the City Council for UUT consderation were garbage. 1 million dollars short. Buchanan didn't get them done when he ran the City, Joffe didn't get them done when she ran the City. it is only now that these things are happening.

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  28. Anonymous @ 2:26pm, I beleive that your statements about the sunset clause for the increase/decrease UUT 2% are correct, but who wants to shell out 12% when there is an extra million in the city coffers? AND while we are at it, why can't the original 6% have a sunset clause? The law should be written so that we can revisit it and not have to pay the UUT FOREVER!

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  29. Who exactly at the City gave them those figures and why did they accept them?
    Zimmerman and Buchanon were on an Ad Hoc Committee along with the past and future treasurers of our city who ALL I think recommended going forwared with this tax wihtout the audits in place - don't you think that's irresponsible when they could have told the POA to wait?

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  30. You're almost there, 3:23. Now ask yourself this: who was running the city during all the years when audits weren't done. Here's a hint: it wasn't Kurt Zimmerman.

    Also ask yourself this: who was running the City when we were all told those numbers were good when they really weren't? Here's a hint: it wasn't Kurt Zimmerman.

    If you can figure those out, you get to graduate.

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  31. But Ad Hoc, Zimmerman was on council. He had some power and a bully pulpit didn't he?

    Are you referencing that Dick Cheney look a like Mr. Bart Doyle?

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  32. Here's something I'd like to know in reference to Pasat's earlier comment?

    Why does a city of less than 11,000 people with less than 5000 houses need a city staff of approximately 75? That's an educated guess, based on the City Data report of 2002 levels at 62 employees. I think we have something like 25 police staff now, etc. That seems like every good ol' boy and his brother is sucking off the SM mother milk spout to me. Why so many people?

    http://www.city-data.com/city/Sierra-Madre-California.html

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  33. Sure. And given the information supplied he did what he thought what was right. Anybody would have. But 8 years of lousy govt had left us with a City Hall that couldn't even keep track of our money. And we didn't know that until the audits were finished just recently.

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  34. Sierra Madre business ownerMarch 27, 2009 at 3:58 PM

    Ad Hoc, good for you. Accurate historical memories are badly needed in our town, that half the time prefers the illusory Sierra Madre to the actual Sierra Madre!
    The only reason the audits were finished and this information was revealed was because of Mayor Zimmerman, Mayor Pro Tem MacGillivray (thank goodness she's in line for the mayorship!), and councilmember Watts.

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  35. Ad Hoc, the audits aren't finished. They still have 07-08

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  36. Not to mention 08-09, which ends June 09 I think.

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  37. Hey it is hard to be historically accurate in a town where all the newspapers get the facts wrong.

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  38. Yeah, 07/08 was due in January. But look at all the other ones they've cleaned up! Pretty amazing feat. Not easy cleaning up after all those years of hillbilly rule, as they say.

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  39. I followed all the discussions about the UTT, and because of Mr. Zimmerman's repeated emphasis on the fact THAT THERE IS A SUNSET CLAUSE, I felt we owed it to him to vote "yes". After all, he led the Measure V Take Back Sierra Madre campaign, and made the BIA and CAR rethink their full assault on the hillsides and the downtown. He won it, too, against the odds.
    As far as I can tell, Mr. Zimmerman is the best of Sierra Madre, smart AND honest. I believe that he is completely angry about being lied to himself. So when he calls for a "forensic audit" by an outside attorney (accountant with attorney?) let's support that call.

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  40. Maybe that's why the biggest hillilly of them all, former Mayor Lambdin, is so absolutely freaked out about MaryAnn becoming Mayor. After all, she and Kurt forced the audits that dug out the missing million. Who knows what else they'll find?

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  41. 4:15 what do you mean "forced"? Was their opposition to the audits? The City was fined by the State for not filing them. Didn't the whole council support getting the audits and out financial house in order?

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  42. 3:51 One new job the city seems to believe is very valuable is the person who plans the senior trips. There are less than 40 seniors who are involved in her activities. She makes over $65K plus benefits.

    Here are some of the befefits police get
    Up to $675 per month for health, dental and vision insurance coverage for employee and family; plus 25% of the cost in excess of $675/mo. 88 vacation hours (increasing after 5 years of service);
    11 designated holidays;
    Annual sick leave accrual of 96 hours with a wellness bonus program; $5,000 Signing Bonus, $2,500 payable upon appointment and $2,500 after passing the 18 mo. Probationary period.

    The other city employees benefits are similar. Probably do not get a signing bonus. And don't forget how Michelle Keith and Matt Marquez ditched the city after their tuition was paid. I hope the city has closed that loophole in the money pit..

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  43. Oh, Anon 4:15, that's a good point.
    Why does the hillyilly have such a crusade against Zimmerman?
    Anybody figure out a motivation for that, other than the whacked out doses of testosterone said hillyilly seems to indulge in?
    And Anon at 8:14 AM, you're quite right that we are not being very respectful to the hillbillies- most of whom are probably far more deserving of our respect than our past (and 2 present) council members are.

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  44. Anon @4:39, I think that being many years late and financially misinformed, and bamboozling the public for all of that time could be seen as opposition to audits, yes indeed.

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  45. Sam who cares what motivates the so called hillbilly -- focus on the bacon not the sizzle.

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  46. 4:39 I'm outraged at the fat considering how the police staff have scammed the taxpayers of this city with sick days and overtime. Check out that city data site, they report 4 rapes in Sierra Madre in 2007!

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  47. Red in the Face said:

    That's not the only fat, heard about the SM employee on PAID administrative leave?

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  48. Annon III 4:49, no I want specifics. Who opposed the audits?

    Here's what another blogger said about the audits -- who is he talking about?

    "Now to address the audits, or lack of. First of all when the discrepancy first occurred we had a new City Manager. They were hired and trusted that their Finance Director knew what they were doing and was following the legal requirements for audits. However, the Finance Director apparently did not file any audits for 3 years. It was really a matter of incompetence. Unfortunately because The City Manager was under the impression that the Finance Director was doing there job, the whole filing issue did not surface for 3 years. You can point fingers to whomever you want. I personally think the then City Manger should be liable. The Finance Director is a direct report to the City Manager, and the City Manager should also have been aware of the legal requirement to file audits. He should have followed up with the Finance Director after the first audit was not filed. It is not the City Councils job to micro manage employees. Fortunately neither of these employees work for the City any longer. Plain and simple, the then Finance Director screwed up. The Staff and City Council are now rectifying the situation."

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  49. Isn't really the Elected City Treasurer's responsibilty to file the State audits?

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  50. I think 4:56 is right.
    Only correction, I think the Staff and Zimmerman, Watts and MacGillivray are trying to rectify the situation.
    Don't exactly trust Buchanan and Mosca to do the right thing....they rarely do.

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  51. 5:03 I hear that slam against Mosca and Buch a lot. I didn't like their stance of Measure V -- Mosca won as an anti-development guy and then sort of switched sides. Other than Measure V, what have those two done that you don't like?

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  52. Doesn't anyone know what the City Treasurer's roll in all this is supposed to be?

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  53. Signs the checks, that's it.

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  54. Fed up @4:39 -- Does the person arranging Sr. trips do anything else?
    If not, why can't the seniors on the Senior Commission volunteer to arrange their own trips. That's ridiculous!
    Let's teach those seniors how to use Travelocity and save $65 grand plus benefits!

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  55. 5:11 Come on, there has to be more to the City Treasurer's job!

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  56. The City Treasurer is elected to a four-year term. Among the City Treasurer responsibilities are developing an investment policy for adoption by the City Council, ensuring compliance with the investment policy as adopted, and reporting quarterly cash and investment activity to the City Council.

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  57. Isn't part of managing the City's money making sure the audits are done?

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  58. When did Tammy Gates leave?

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  59. Yep I'd say that's worth $65,000

    Senior city residents can receive fellowship, services, and activities which enhance their involvement in and with the community. Daily lunches are served at the center. Recreational opportunities include arts, computer education, gardening, physical fitness activities, health screenings, and educational opportunities. Special luncheons, and entertainment are part of the program, and day trips, tours, are also coordinated for senior citizen participation.

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  60. That is not worth $65K a year!

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  61. 5:35 I totally agree. You just can't hear scarcasm on blogs.

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  62. So who decided to create that position?

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  63. She worked for Bamberger, as a secretary.
    Former senior Commissioner Pat Birdsall, now dupe for Susan Henderson's "paper", had a lot to do with pushing for Clifton to get the job.
    Why do so many negative incidents seem to trace back to Harriet Susan Henderson?

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  64. I'd say it is time for an investigation into each and every city position for which we the taxpayers foot the bill. Who is in it? How did they get the job? Do we need the position? Can we combine the function with another position?

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  65. I don't think the City Staff or whoever it is creating these frivolous positions is being responsible to the taxpayers. Why hasn't Kurt Zimmerman etc investigated that abuse?

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  66. Is there an ACTUAL one million dollar surplus (minus the 200k) so I guess 800k on the proverbial accounting two line bottom line, or are they funds being transferred from one accounting column to another. We need to see the ACTUAL audit with the ACTUAL results before we go repealing taxes that we may ACTUALLY need.

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  67. Nose @ 6:09 perhaps a good point. But if repealing could get us out of the POA deal, perhaps it would be worth it.

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  68. See, this is what I mean about the people being angry about the tax.
    April 15th is "National Tea Party" day, gangs of angry taxpayers, probably carrying pitchforks will be gathering to protest bail outs, taxes, etc. All over the country.
    This is not a good environment right now for hitting the folks with taxes.
    While the Stroller Moms were very impressive with their fight for clean dining air.....they were very respectful and non-violent.
    Don't know if angry tax payers will be so civil????

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  69. Hey, where is joe scalzo?
    Hope you're not sharpening the pitch fork, Joe?

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  70. Look we can't expect to have our government run for no money. We need paramedics, etc. What I get angry about is budget abuses - nepotism, useless waste, cheats like the police overtime scam, positions that are stupid.
    We are a town of 11,000 people why do we need all this staff - IT IS STUPID!!

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  71. Yeah, and why can't we get City Council meetings on the website - the staff we are overpaying isn't even doing the little bit of work we are overpaying them to do.

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  72. If repealing the tax negates the POA what kind of liability does that open the City up to, more lawsuits, more attorney fees? Homework must be done, these are serious issues not to be taken lightly, not driven by emotion.

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  73. NSF is right, let's all let Kurt, Don and MaryAnn take care of this.
    We can trust them, they'll do what's best.

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  74. Sorry Old Kentucky that's too trusting for me.

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  75. Can we get some up-lighting on the faces of the people when they are standing at the podium during public comment, they all look like Darth Vader when you watch on TV.

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  76. Yeah, Don Watts isn't even running again is he?

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  77. Zimmerman Sr. to Zimmerman Jr. (in Darth Vader voice):
    "Kurt I am your father."

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  78. Anon at 5:08, you need to bring Buchanan's involvement in approving One Carter and paving the way for Stonehouse to your memory - that from the supposedly "green" advocate. Handy that he's green now that those hillsides have been destroyed. Plus, he is insufferably long winded, and like Joe Mosca, does not seem to be able to control himself from talking twice as long to say half as much. There is also the campaign technique he employed of aligning himself with MacGillivray lawn signs - but others have more details about that than I do.

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  79. I'm thinking he is, 6:37.
    Don has a lot of support with people.
    He's a bit of a maverick, but we need him on the council. He is an expert on architecture and building issues....he ran so he could save the city from the DSP the dirts planned for us.
    I will sure campaign for Don and Kurt. We need them both. How often do you find honest honest politicians?
    RUN DON RUN.

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  80. Hear, hear! Please, Don. You've been such a help - and you're used to the most unpleasant aspects now.
    The city needs you.

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  81. Nose Spiting FaceMarch 27, 2009 at 6:47 PM

    I agree 6:36, I'm willing to part with a little of that surplus to call for an independent audit to find out exactly where the city stands. We need to get to -root level one- so we know where we stand, then we'll know where we need to go.

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  82. 6:47: Isn't that what the audit does?

    We need a good investigative journalist to publish how many people work here; what they do; how we can save money and where the missing money, if any, went.

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  83. Audits only tell where the money was spent and where it came from after the fact. They do not say if it was used wisely.

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  84. "5:03 I hear that slam against Mosca and Buch a lot. I didn't like their stance of Measure V -- Mosca won as an anti-development guy and then sort of switched sides."
    SORT OF SWITCHED SIDES?
    You're kidding, right?

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  85. Mosca never switched sides. He just lied to us about his intentions when he ran for office.

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  86. 10:42, I hope that can be proven - and people need to learn about it before the next election.

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