Thursday, July 15, 2010

Did City Hall Even Hear Us?

The total number of protest forms submitted to City Clerk Nancy Shollenberger by the end of Tuesday evening's Sierra Madre City Council meeting came to 1,959. Well over the amount needed to stop the unconscionable 40% rate hike, and certainly more than the margin required to overcome any sheets that might have to be discarded for not being compliant with the rules governing the process.

Tuesday evening also saw a City Council Chamber packed with rate paying Sierra Madre residents, 90% of whom were there to help contest the outsized rate increase demand that had caused so many to send in their forms per the requirements of Proposition 218. Some of them spoke out and carefully detailed why they were opposed to the hike, and in particular how the City did not fulfill its part of the deal by working with the people whose money they wanted.

Which seems odd if you think about it. Even the guy standing on a street corner with a squeegee and a bucket of water asking for spare change will at least offer to clean your car windshield.

I am writing this at around 9:30 Wednesday night, and so far this evening I have received several phone calls from concerned friends who have heard the same story. That being City Hall, while conceding that the protest process had carried the day and the water hike as it now stands is dead, would soon be coming back with another proposal. One strikingly similar to the one that we just ran out of town.

So, if this is true, it would appear that we would be forced to go and get 1,848 signatures on protest forms to stop it. At which time they could very well tweak the 40% rate hike once again, and we would have to collect signatures, once again. And on and on it would go. They tweak, we walk. The assumption being that eventually we would grow tired and fall asleep on the couch.

Perhaps this might be some form of City of Sierra Madre physical fitness regimen for its community activists? Thoughtful indeed that they should care so much for the state of our health.

Thankfully, there is a better way to prevent any Lazarus style re-emergence into the community of this atrocious water rate increase. And that would be to forgo the protest procedure altogether and take this matter to the ballot box. Should we need to do this it would be a much more lasting and effective solution.

Here is some of the actual language from Prop 218:

SEC. 3. Initiative Power for Local Taxes, Assessments, Fees and Charges. Notwithstanding any other provision of this Constitution, including, but not limited to, Sections 8 and 9 of Article II, the initiative power shall not be prohibited or otherwise limited in matters of reducing or repealing any local tax, assessment, fee or charge. The power of initiative to affect local taxes, assessments, fees and charges shall be applicable to all local governments and neither the Legislature nor any local government charter shall impose a signature requirement higher than that applicable to statewide statuatory initiatives.

Now I am not a lawyer, but I have recently had conversations with some very good people who are. And since this would appear to be an initiative procedure, we would be required to get the signatures of 15% of the voters in our fair city to put our grievance on the ballot. Something that would be far easier than what we just did since now we would be able to ask for signatures from all registered voters and not just those whose names show up on water bills.

Also note that 15% of the voters would be a far lower number than 1,959. And we do have a very nice list of names and addresses now.

So there you go. A line in the sand. Let's hope for the sake of all that the folks down on Sierra Madre Boulevard will come back with something that won't cross it.


  1. Informed CitizenJuly 15, 2010 at 7:37 AM

    Proposition 218 was never meant to give power to the people. Our City attorney and City Council banked on the fact that fifty percent plus one is nearly impossible to attain especially when the voters were notified in the shameful but legal manner that we were. They never counted on people fighting back and saying NO. Colantuono & Levin, PC. are the experts on Prop 218 and they know about the initiative process which can take place to nullify any fee/rate increase. What they did not count on, is that the people of Sierra Madre also know the law and they CAN and WILL use the initiative process to overturn any rate hike that is unjust. So even though Prop 218 really is not suppose to work, in a small town that is being run by a bunch of thugs it did work and thanks to many hard working people it will continue to work.

  2. Great comment Informed Citizen!

    More citizens are getting informed thanks to the Tattler and people like you!

  3. I would disagree with Informed Citizen...Prop 218 was intended to give "power" to the people. The intent was always to allow those affected by increased taxes/fees to have a say, unfortunately folks like Colantuono & Levin have made a very good living off finding ways to circumvent both it's intent and actual legal mandate.
    Having had some experience in other cities, I can tell you that it works...have been successful on multiple occasions stopping local governments from imposing unjust & unwanted assessments.
    The initiative process is a last resort tool and may well be needed in Sierra Madre. Unfortunately many local politicians have the mindset that they were elected to "rule" vs "represent" the citizens.
    Good Luck.

  4. Looks like our day of celebration is over. Time to get back to work.

  5. We would need about 1,200 signatures and we would have 180 days to collect them. Piece of cake. That's only 7 signatures a day. Even easier because the people who went door to door know who signed the NO letters.

  6. Costly election for the city you say? It is the council's choice.

  7. I disagree with gilman because if it was meant to work there would have been a very clear protocall established for notification and protest. The wording is vague which allows creeps like Levin to meet the minimum requirements and still be legal. I am glad that there are people like gilman who are helping residents fight these unjsut increases but as gilman knows it is almost impossible to educated and collect enough protest letters 45 days.

  8. If we do this initiative, does that mean the pipes will start breaking again?

  9. It's the city's choice if they want to push the envelope. Might be interesting one initative petition and four recall petition.

  10. The big priority for City Hall is getting money, no matter what the reason. Revenues are down because the economy is not only in terrible shape, but could get even worse. They have a big operation, some big salaries, and expensive benefits. This isn't only about water, it is also about the survival of City Hall as it now exists. Debt is projected to begin building again in the next year or so, and unless they can build some new revenue streams, they'll have to cut back. Avoiding that is their real agenda.

  11. Hey I sent an email to all my neighbors and friends and they signed the protest in the first week..we all need to do that!

    Thank you to everyone who walked the walk and talked the talk ... the future generations thank you for staying so involved!

  12. I'll tell you all one thing....if I have to go door to door with an initative petition, I'll be carrying 4 recall petitions along with it.

    We'll also position ourselves again in Kersting Court and other areas to INFORM the population on what's going on.

    We have no news media that is honest in town.
    Henderson is a paid off/lying crook. Most of us know that, so we counter the lies.

  13. Interesting front page today in the LA Times. The City Mgr. of Bell takes homee over $800,000 in Salary, the Asst. Mgr over $400,000. The Council Members are appointed to the Commissions and Committees and receive over $7,000 monthly for an hour's work. The upshot is that according to the Times these public servants think they are being "fairly compensated".

    It is mind boggeling how far City Administrations have gone to feather their own nests at the taxpayers expense. Arrogance and Cynicism are the tools to a great retirement and benefits. There is morre than one way to skin a taxpayer.

  14. The city needs a water rate hike. If I were king, I would scrap the tiered system based on meter size as they proposed (which doesn't make sense) and charge by how much water you use. The more you use, the more expensive it gets. I do think businesses who must use a large amount of water should get a break, perhaps a special commercial rate.

    My concern is that even though the rules say that the elected City Clerk has the say over what is and isn't a viable protest letter, that Levin will find some way to invalidate enough to get us below the limit. In that case, we need to implore our city council members to listen and still scrap the current proposed ordinance.

    An initiative process is tremendously expensive all around both in energy, money and time. Let's hope it doesn't come to that. I believe the City Council and staff will come to their senses and get a plan we can live with.

  15. 9:11 - - Unfortunately if the protest doesn't have the desired effect and City Hall comes back with an equally outlandish proposal, then an initiative would be the only way to go.

    Whether this happens or not is in the hands of City Hall. We didn't come all this way just to get the same old bottle of bilge with a new label on it.

  16. The current city council makeup will control the city's agenda for four years, and they know it.
    They also know the election was manipulated, and only have that time to advance "the agenda". The ONLY threat is the voter's ire.
    The only threat to them is a recall. After what happened, they will spend the next few months spinning the voters to make it look like the voters were deceived.
    Remember, they have all three newspapers under control, and will use them effectively.
    It will be a game of tiring us out, until they win.
    Fighting 218 style fights is an odds game.They will eventually win.
    At the first sign they try this again, is the time to start organizing a recall effort.
    Otherwise, they win.
    A hostel City Attorney is a problem, and C&L should be forced to resign. The only way to do this is a recall of the 4 persons on the council.
    The reason the recall effort with Mosca was stopped, was many of us felt the town would suffer too much, and it would be detrimental. As long as we held a majority on the council, Mosca was not a major threat.
    Times have changed, it is time for a serious discussion of a recall.

  17. Interesting discussion today.

    We need to keep MacGillivray, she's a leader and will lead us where we need to go.

    If we have to recall the crooks and their two stooges, we have to do it, no matter what.

  18. Go slow for the sake of slow growthJuly 15, 2010 at 10:20 AM

    Ducky, it's quite a waddle from overturning the water rate increase to recalling the City Council and firing the City Attorney. And, it seems to me, a recall would be on shakey footing only a few months after an overwhelming number of voters elected the current Council. We are making headway with the citizenry, exposing the lies and misconceptions that won the election for the Moscateers. We have watchers watching the shenanigans that they are attempting to put in place. A failed recall attempt - and a four person Council recall would fail - would throw the town into chaos. If what you are advocating is total anarchy, think again. A disagreement between at least three factions in City government is certainly a popcorn moment, but not cause for spending tens of thousands of dollars on efforts for which the time may not be right.

    To all of you out there, or at least the six or eight who march to that particular drummer, your attempt to slide your agenda to replace the City Manager, the Public Works Director, the Police Chief, and the City Attorney, into the water rate increase issue - don't diminish the momentum and truthfulness of truly honest and committed residents fighting inequity.

    Think long and hard about what would fill the void if the entire City government were to be replaced in a single movment.

  19. Sierra Madre seems to teeter on the totter never venturing too far from the 50% on either side of an issue.

  20. Joe Moscas area a dime a dozen in Sacramento. It's like they have an assembly line.

  21. The very fact that Joe hasn't cut anyone off after three minutes in a while suggests that he can be re-educated to a certain degree. After all he can't get to Sacramento if the residents bring the same signature power aimed at Joe as they did to the water protest.

  22. I totally agree with 10:20. Let's take first things first. I know we are all itching to get rid of the original trouble maker, who whines whenever he doesn't get his way, but the time is not right. When the citizens see that head nodding on every single issue is the council course of action, they will start paying more attention and start participating. You need to educate your neighbors. The water protest campaign was a good start.

    Issues to watch: General Plan Committee takeover, street assessment district formation (more taxes), devious ways for excessive development, and an attempt to overturn all the hard work that the Canyon Committee has done.

    Put your energy into those issues, and we'll be all right

  23. 31 cops. Why do we need 31 cops?

  24. The egregious act of being warned at 15 seconds and cut off at three minutes was outrageous. On the positive side, it has made the speakers collect their thoughts before hand and has kept them from rambling on and on like two of our council members have modeled.

  25. 10:44
    We need 31 Policemen & Women to drive the dozen or so Police: cars, pickup, SUV, & motorcycle. It is a big town you know.

  26. Mr. Fiscal ResponsibilityJuly 15, 2010 at 11:07 AM

    Our 31 police officers represent 53% of the general fund budget. We save $1.5 million if we get the same deal from the LACSD as La Canada gets - with twice the population, freeway access and a bigger business base.

    There is plenty of money for the basics once you eliminate the police luxery item from the budget. In fact, there is enough money to take out a mortgage on the Stone House property and designate it the Joe Mosca Open Space Park. So, spare me the Chicken Little routine about the pipes breaking, cats and dogs sleeping together, and other signs that the end times are near.

    So I conclude: No new taxes, no new fees, no new nuthin' until we act like adults in the middle of a recession and stop wasting money on the police department.

    1900 housholds signed the water rate sheets. Some - like mine - have more than one voter in them. 1700 people voted for Joe Mosca. It's worth it to hold out the recall threat just to keep our leaders honest. If they proceed with the water rate hike, please tell me where to sign.

  27. Haven't You Heard?July 15, 2010 at 11:13 AM

    According to the latest edition of the Mountain Views News, anyone who doesn't immediately agree to paying any new fees, taxes or rates that City Hall comes up with is a freeloader and an unworthy ingrate. Since this paper is funded by City Hall, I'm going to assume that is their attitude as well.

  28. I would point out that the Publisher of the Mountain Views News is a renter, of both her home and her place of business, and as such does not pay property taxes directly (although the landlord most certainly does). Most of her employees are unpaid, very little in the way of payroll taxes there, and we have no Victoria Secrets in the City of Sierra Madre so it's unlikely she contributes much in the way of taxable expenditures to the City.

    What does she contribute other than free bird cage liners?

  29. Go Slow, It's not anarchy, it's the right of the people to redress grievences. We have handed the keys of the city to this group which was hand picked by Buchanan to march to his beat.
    I don't want to see a bunch of puppets dancing to his tune. What do you think we have now?
    Democracy is not where we all join hands and agree.
    It's a process of five people with divergent opinions discussing options in a public forum. It's not meant to be pretty, otherwise, we should find ourselves a benevolent dictator, or anoint a king.
    I agree with you only in that we need to see if they are willing to listen to the people, and they should not believe because they won an election they have carte blanche.

  30. We have to move forward on the possitive results of the protest letters recieived by the city over the water rate hike! Why would we want this new momentum of citizen action blown away by clamoring for removal of elected City Council members (recall) or removal of City Manager/City Attorneys (firing)? Why? To settle some long-held grievance?

    I am pretty sure this is coming from individuals who like to sit back and watch others do all the work and then say 'but you should have done thus and so or you should do this or that. If you don't do it my way I won't help. Oh, wait a minute, I'm not going to help anyway!'

  31. if the election was held today we'd be without Mosca, Moron and Walsh, given they just proved that they really don't care what the people want, they only care what a handful fo developers and real estate firms desire

  32. It would be interesting to know if Ms. Henderson's home was purchased pre-1978 and thus falls within the much lower property tax threshold. Has anyone ever checked to make sure she has a business license? Most likely since she's a high mucky muck in the Chamber of Commerce (which may have put her in direct conflict with the Executive Director, Big Bill Coburn).

  33. The water rate hike protest letters were signed by only one individual who was either responsible for the water service payment or an owner of the parcel where the water service was delivered (one signature for each water bill at that address).

    There are many folks registered to vote here that did not sign a protest letter as they did not fit that requirement: renters and all the other family members registered to vote at an address.

    My protest letter represents three voters.

    So, there are a lot more votes at each water rate paying address (excepting those of property owners who rent out their Sierra Madre property while they live elsewhere and vote elsewhere).

    There is great potential here to change the course of this city council and city government--but the focus has to be smart and productive.

  34. What an eye opener this protest movement must have been for some! They've just elected their dream slate when Wham! Bam!, they are hit with the news that the GPSC is being hijacked, the Police Department is being enlarged, two long time Council Members have avoided raising the water rate and now we are faced with a huge shortfall about to become a bond default, the water rate increase is protested by more than 51%, and murmurs of recall are growing to whispers.

    And don't forget the blatant disloyalty of the SMVFD who used their new tanker to spray water at the 5th of July Parade! Bill Coburn falls into line behind the Tattler and that skank Terry Miller tries to make nice to Sir Eric.

    Certainly the times are achangin'...

  35. The original intent of Prop 218 was to require an actual vote of the affected property owners who would be facing the increased water fee, however the Courts have ruled that a notice along with the majority protest procedure is all that is required?..thanks in part to folks like Levin's firm which was instrumental in pushing for such a court mandate.

    What about an initiative requiring that the City Attorney be elected by the citizens?

  36. I want to know more about the lack of response equalling a no vote. Sierra Madre is not the only community using that tactic. Can we have an initiative that only a yes vote or a no vote can be counted, and that a lack of response is no more than a lack of response?

  37. Best news I've had since the abysmal election results:
    fewer signatures required for an Initiative.

  38. Good question 12:41

    Voters out there, you need to go vote.
    Regardless of what or who you're going to vote for, you need to vote.

    Sierra Madre is in trouble due to the three unqualified people they just elected to the council. We'll eventually get out of trouble, but for God's sake people, take some time to understand the issues....don't believe what you read in the evil Henderson paper, or the Coburn paper or even this blog, The Tattler....check the facts for yourself.
    (of course you'll find the Tattler has a far, far higher rating of TRUTH).
    Know what's going on and let your voice be heard. Otherwise bad people will make bad decisions for you.

  39. Curious as to the processJuly 15, 2010 at 1:00 PM

    So, Gilman, if we were to elect the City Attorney how would that work? Would some sort of RFP go out to the legal community and responses would be vetted for inclusion on a ballot? Winner take all? For how long a term? Recall the only recourse to unseat an unsatisfactory incumbent?

  40. The city council are not the only one's to blame,, what about the years of using money from the water income to pay other city expenses instead of maintaining the water system.

  41. 1:00 - Maybe it could be like a bidding process. With cost of services being factored in there right along with a resume'...

  42. I agree 1:22, and one of the speakers at the last council meeting clearly presented that fact - contested by no-nothing joe who said that misuse of funds was not going on that he knew about. Well duh, take a history lesson from the speaker!

    Our screwed up city hall is a management problem. Our screwed up finances are a management problem. The city had and has a management problem.

  43. Honor for our TraditionsJuly 15, 2010 at 1:46 PM

    what? did the SMFD tanker spray water on the parade route? Please confirm.

  44. Yes, 1:46. And now it is being exiled to a small town somewhere out there beyond Big Bear. We're tough on disobedient equipment.

  45. I can't get over Ms. Walsh's non response after hearing the speakers. There was no awareness of what had taken place, at all - she read from the same script she had memorized for the meeting two weeks ago.

  46. She did come up with the now famous "Lunch and Learn." Which has since been modified to "Chew while we Spew."

  47. Ms Walsh not only didn't listen to the public, she must have been sitting there thinking how she could relate the hearing to her own personal experiences and the only other civic experience she knows -- the Senior Commission. Had she been in attendance to any of the other commissions, city council meetings, committees or civic events prior to her running for election, she would be better informed and not need to always talk about herself.

  48. I didn't catch where Councilman Moran was.
    There was mention of a business meeting?
    That was probably one of the most controversial nights we'll have for a while, and he missed it.

  49. 1:22, the problem is that those now in charge of paying City expenses are not the ones who grievously misued the City Funds. You have to go back to the glory days of Margy Tucker, Tammy Gates, John Gillison, right back to the Shenanigan years, and into those prehistoric days of Jim McRea who was actually given immunity from prosecution in return for resigning before his misdeeds could be made public.

    So, while the speakers were correct in an historical sense, it is unfair to burden the current City Manager, the Director of Finance, and the City Treasurer with those same accusations. Do they bear watching? It is the civic duty of the residents to demand that the warrants be made public including the amounts and to whom they are payable. Don't take a Rob Stockly's words that "the audits are complete".

    It is also the perogative of the citizenry to get up close and personal with the bid process and any contracts that are let without bid -- know your City Hall and let them know you are intent on making sure your $$$ are well spent.

    The pricey new computer software will now allow those who want to watch such transactions do so with a transparency never before possible. Fill out the Public Records Request (form on the City website) quarterly! No more disappearing records and hard drive erasures.

    The City Council authorizes all transactions greater than $25K, as well as the City's budgets. Demand accountability!

  50. I wasn't aware that Josh wasn't at the meeting. I thought maybe he had come dressed as a chair.

  51. Sounds like a plan, 2:35.
    Finally administrative costs will be clear to anyone who wants to look. And it only costs half a million dollars for that new software.
    I guess we'll have to let all the dishonesty and shell game financing that went on before stay murky, but it rankles.

  52. All joking aside, does anyone know why a councilmember missed this very important hearing?

  53. My guess, 3:09 pm, is that Mosca and Buchanan didn't think the residents would actually meet the threshold. Remember the final protests were received at the Council Meeting - the 100+ that actually swung it in favor of the rate payers who rejected the increase. Therefore young Josh was excused to go to the bathroom or some such excuse.

  54. Ah the Buchanan over-confidence factor.
    Like the night he was photographed doing fist pumps to celebrate what he mistakenly thought was the defeat of Measure V.

  55. Mr. Moran, reporting for duty "do I have to be there?"
    Mr. Buchanan "nah, we got this one in the bag"

  56. Bet there's a story hereJuly 15, 2010 at 3:35 PM

    MONTEBELLO - Interim City Administrator Randy Narramore and new Police Chief Ken Rulon left their posts with the city Wednesday night.
    Narramore was appointed in December to run the city after former Administrator Richard Torres retired. He also served as interim police chief after former Chief Dan Weast left in January under pressure from the City Council.

    Rulon was hired this week to replace Narramore as police chief and began his duties on Tuesday.

    Narramore declined to comment Thursday, deferring to City Attorney Arnold Alvarez-Glasman, and Rulon didn't return phone calls seeking comment.

  57. I heard the missing Councilmember was checking out some pipes.

  58. Maybe they just didn't want the Moron to say something stupid. It'll be Dancin' Nancy's turn to go missing next meeting.

  59. From the City July 15th at 5:04 pmJuly 15, 2010 at 5:13 PM

    E. Sierra Madre Boulevard will be reopened tomorrow morning Friday, July 16, 2010. Thank you for your patience as the water main was replaced and the roadway resurfaced.

  60. Seriously, the mayor said Moran was excused because he was out of town on business. What business was not disclosed. Probably monkey business.

  61. First of all, City Hall did not hear you, they weren't listening.

    Second of all, let's save ourselves a little effort. Next time we are forced to go door-to-door for signatures, why not make it count and circulate a recall petition for several of our elected officials. Things change and people could get very sick of fighting an outrageous proposal again and again. Let's make our efforts have a little bite to them.

    Also, this is the second time when little unsophisticated Sierra Madre has fought back and done something pretty effective against the development agenda. Bart Doyle seems to keep wanting to use Sierra Madre as a template for smooth development. He "master-minded" the ballot initiative that was to take so many homes off the historic preservation list, another aid to development. This action drew a lawsuit which ultimately prevailed and cost the City about $500,000 in legal fees. All to create a precedent for others.

    Now we're being shafted with a 40% increase? Again and again? Get real. Don't get mad, get even.

  62. Susan Henderson RANTSJuly 15, 2010 at 6:40 PM

    I can't believe that we have 1,959 FREELOADERS in this city!!!!!!!!!!!

  63. Vicky's secretJuly 15, 2010 at 7:04 PM

    Susan is the only freeloader in town.

  64. The unauthorized mooching off the Dems didn't work out for her back in '95.

  65. You bet its a "management problem". No one seems to know, "where did it come from, what did we do with it, and lets sweep it under the rug" and hope no one notices? And finally "lets get more from the well". We have had a sucession of inept and incompetent City Managers who focus on: Salaries, Benefits, Retirement, and
    God only knows what else. (perhaps Police, Fire, and themselves). And a Council that defers to the perpetuation of blackmail from the entitlements. This is a mess! Get rid of them all and start from scratch.

  66. Really, really depressed todayJuly 15, 2010 at 8:19 PM

    It's a systemic, structural problem emanating from Sacramento and going on down through both party patronage systems, into LA Co and SCAG regional networks. The flunkies on the SMCC (except MaryAnn) are a bunch of weepy plants.

    It's really, really hard for individuals to go up against this system (Watts, Alcorn, Crawford). I don't know how you get systemic reform in a system controlled from Sacramento and special interest lobbyists. LAT article on this was excellent.

  67. Well if we are talking about city salaries and expenses....
    i. Biggest expense is probably our city attorney Sandra Levin (of Coluntuano & Levin). Colantuano racked up over $250,000 in 2006 (the DSP years) and in one month charged $70,000.When Charlie Martin was our attorney he made barely a third of that (but oh course he wasn't a pal of the Building Industry Association and an avid partipant in the League of Cities)
    2. City manager was $140,000 a yr. don't know what is is now.
    3. Fire Chief (Steve Heydorff) well his starting salary was $94,000 can only figure what it is now.
    4. Director of Public Works Bruce Inman well he has to be close or over a $100,000. Pretty good salary for a Public Works Director without an engineering degree.

    Oh and the employess just got a 4 % percent raise and when the employees get one so does management and the at will employees (who have unbelievable benefits and perks)

    So this doesn't even cover Community Services director (when Michelle Keith was here she was making $90,000) or Castro our Community development director or the finance director.

    Last but not least our Police Chief Diaz who under her reign has racked up more lawsuits with her personnel than any other chief or in the history of Sierra Madre. Why would a 3 square mile city with 10,000 people with an extremely low crime rate need 31 police officers. What kind of an army is that? So if you think the city staff is working for the citizens (well many a few good hearts left) or pushing pro-development to make sure those raises and salaries keep coming.

    Remember the term "Public Servant"????

    (The city warrants will reveal what we are paying our attorney, consultants etc they are public record).

  68. They don't call City Hall "The Palace" for nothing.

  69. But you know who has been here for almost 15 years and has been collecting and foraging for monies for water and infrastructure...why Bruce Inman our Public Works director. He is responsible for getting the water bonds so he would know how they need to be paid back or why they are due and not paid. Doesn't the buck start adn end with him????

  70. Adds to the argument that the original reason for the water rate hike was not the need to rebuild Sierra Madre's infrastructure, but to win that $10 million EPA grant. Think of it, this whole thing could have started when Elaine and Bruce sat down and tried to figure out how to get the matching funds to win that grant. Of course, they would never tell us that.

  71. What abut an audit to check where the water revenue went for and why it did not go towards paying that 2003 bond .

  72. FYI, most Public Works Directors don't have an engineering degree; City Engineers have an engineering degree. As an example, the City of Bothell, Washington is looking for a Public Works Director ($106,752 - $135,732 + excellent benefits), Council/Manager form of government. They are looking for a bachelor's degree in public administration, civil engineering or a related field is required; extensive experience as a Public Works Director, City Engineer, or Assistant Public Works Director. The City of Pasadena's Public Works Director has a Masters Degree in Public Administration (no engineering degree); the City Engineer is his direct report.

    And on it goes. Some cities do have a Public Works Director with an engineering degree, most cities don't.

  73. An audit for the 1998-2003 revenue and what it went for? What part of missing records (as in non-existent) and wiped clean computer hard drives do you not understand? There are no records of revenue and expenditures to reconstruct. Shenanigan years. Zip. Nada.

  74. Now, now, now, let's be civil. You know what happened the last time. The Mountain Veiw News accused citizens of mean spiritedness and look what happened! Three new councilmembers who are fighting hard for the rights of City Government to grow even bigger than it is, even if it is on the backs of struggling tax-paying citizens. I perfer a "livley" debate, I think it was Socrates who said," The unexamined life is not worth living" Question authority! especially if they use rhetoric claiming only to be representing the people. I lived here all my life and see those city workers leave early and not stay late.And trust me they get a good middle-class wage. Why does the council spend money they don't have, for things they don't need, to impress people they don't like, (we the citizens are under represented) ?

  75. "Civility" is just dirt talk for "shut up or we'll smear you."

  76. Well wouldn't the city say more money having a Public Works Director that had an engineering degree versus not so they don't have to paid a separate fee to an out of town engineer. I'm sure there are plenty of talented engineers out there now with background in adminsitration with the economy as it is.