Thursday, October 21, 2010

The Smoking Water Gun

After months of being told that the proposed water rate increase was based on the need for repairing water infrastructure such as deteriorating pipes from as far back as the 1920s, the truth has finally come out for all to see. Even for those who ordinarily don't notice that sort of thing, or would wish to even when it becomes unavoidable.

Reinforced by 5 different City of Sierra Madre sponsored "Walk & Talk" style events, the water infrastructure message was repeatedly cited as the reason why rate payers here would need to reach deeper into their pockets and pay more. Even to the point of making it the major argument for more money taking by the City in the Proposition 218 mandated legal mailing sent out last May. Which under California law was supposed to list all of the major reasons why water rates would have to be increased, but apparently did not. A risky move on City Hall's part that is likely come back to haunt them.

In his speech Tuesday evening before the City Council, former Sierra Madre Mayor Kurt Zimmerman cited in his arguments a passage from a letter sent by the City of Sierra Madre to a resident named Earl Richey. Mr. Richey was troubled by what he saw as obvious inconsistencies in the City's arguments for this nearly 40% water rate increase, and had brought those concerns up at the August 10th City Council meeting. Foremost on his mind were how those increases would be assessed, the "tier system" of billing, and rate hikes that would somehow be based on water meter gauge sizes.

However, there amongst the minutia regarding the convoluted systems the City was proposing for charging rate payers more for their water, was the following question and response between Mr. Richey and City Staff. We are reprinting the last few sections of it here.

Earl Richey: How much more money can the Water Department borrow over the $7,500,000 debt which the City presently has?

City of Sierra Madre: This question cannot be answered. The City does not have an adopted policy on credit limit; and the credit market would also factor into this question.

(Ed: The water department debt load, at $19 million, is far higher than Mr. Richey had feared. Add the CRA debt to that figure and you are talking about debt well into the $20 to $30 million range. And as far as an "adopted policy on credit limit," perhaps this is a matter for a future ballot?)

Earl Richey: I would like to know why Sierra Madre City Council failed to approve these questions to be agendized for the up and coming city council meetings?

City of Sierra Madre: The City Council will be discussing the Water Department and water rates in the fall. Your questions can be addressed at that time. In addition, staff was directed to address these questions as part of the City's public outreach and your questions and answers will be incorporated into future public information.

(Ed: Since the City's arguments in favor of raising water rates essentially stayed on the "at risk infrastructure" message - why else would they have taken 200 people to the pump house? - it doesn't look like the debt question ever quite made it all the way into prime time.)

City of Sierra Madre: Staff noted that in your presentation to the City Council, you began with an inquiry as to whether or not the 37% increase is actually enough. While not specifically asked in this letter, it is a good question that should be addressed.

(Ed: The following is in bold for emphasis.)

The proposed rate increase is enough to meet the requirements of the City's existing debt obligations and to begin rebuilding the water fund reserve. It is not enough to fund a pay-as-you-go capital improvement program. Funding a capital improvement program to begin immediate replacement of deteriorated water mains (for example) would require a rate increase significantly higher than what was proposed earlier this year.

There you have it, the smoking water gun. After telling the citizens of Sierra Madre that they would be required to bear up under a 37% rate increase to keep water infrastructure from collapsing, it turns out the money raised wouldn't be used as advertised. Rather it would have been spent on servicing old debt.

Apparently we had not been told the truth. Instead we were told a bedtime story. And we were told that story because the city wanted our money, but didn't believe that if they told us the truth they would get it. So we got "Water Walks" and "Walk and Talks" instead.

While this letter was signed by Elaine Aguilar and Bruce Inman (and cc'd to the Mayor and City Council, along with Sandi Levin and Karin Schnaider), I am not sure we can hold them completely responsible for the mixing of messages here. City Staff carries out policies set by the City Council. They are not here to act as independent thinkers, rather they are tasked with carrying out decisions made by elected officials. If the rate payers of this City were fed a lot of crap in order to get them to pony up more money for water, the authors would have to have been the Mayor and Mayor Pro Tem. Only they could have made such an ominous decision and made it stick.

Look, here's a point that has to be made. This isn't just about whether or not we will end up paying more money for water. Maybe we will have to do that some day. Certainly the huge levels of debt incurred by select City Councils of the past will eventually exact some kind of damage upon our personal finances. The situation is pretty bleak.

Of course, there are plenty of other things we would need to try first, like meaningful cuts to City budgets. And before I would ever be willing to put up a single additional dime I'd expect to see a lot of that kind of thing first. There is no reason why we should be paying so much for something that serves our interests as poorly as this City's government. At least as it is currently constituted. I for one want a City government that works for the people of Sierra Madre, and not one that willingly serves as a branch planning office for SCAG, SGVEP and CARB.

If we want to save this city from bad government and its effects, there will have to be some changes made. And rescuing our little town will not be easy.

But to my mind there is now another issue as well, a very big one. That being if the people of Sierra Madre were essentially lied to by our elected City Council leadership in order to coerce them into paying more for water, then we all have a responsibility here as well. This is a situation that cries out for a remedy.

And we now need to start considering what that remedy should be.

http://sierramadretattler.blogspot.com

72 comments:

  1. Jeeze! I'm a math wizardOctober 21, 2010 at 6:47 AM

    Do I have this right? Water Rate Increases:

    Year One: Increase to cover bond debt.
    Year Two: Additional increase to cover bond debt and infrastructure.
    Year Three and every year thereafter: Additional additional Increase to cover bond debt, infrastructure, and capital improvements.

    Looks like 37% is only the beginning.

    ReplyDelete
  2. Tattler in the morningOctober 21, 2010 at 6:53 AM

    Ah ha! The reason the water rate increase went from 5% to 37% over five years! You're right, Math Wizard!

    It suddenly makes sense when you've got all the facts. 1-Bond debt + 2-Infrastructure + 3-5 Capital Improvements. I can just hear Buchanan and Mosca chortling when they thought they were going to hornswaggle the locals.

    ReplyDelete
  3. How does this impact the UUT? Will the additional income from the water rate increase fund the raise the POA is positioning itself for?

    ReplyDelete
  4. And the CC-1 has us negotiating over the projected distribution of the rate increase over five years so as to not hit the rate payers' pocketbooks with such impact. Friends, we've bought the bridge. As Mrs. Regan said, "Just say no."

    ReplyDelete
  5. Does this mean that since 2003 the city's been paying the bond debt out of revenue and forsaking infrastructure and capital improvements? What about the reservoirs and wells, and the pricey state of the art distribution system in the city yards? Were those bought with grants and/or matching funds? Seems like repairs were made by contractors on an as needed basis. What about preventative maintenance? Did any of that happen?

    We've not yet gotten answers to all the questions, in fact, we're just learning what questions to ask.

    ReplyDelete
  6. Here, Mr. Fox, let me help you gather up those silly chickens.

    ReplyDelete
  7. Another group must form such as the 2007/2008 Sierra Madre Residents for Responsible Development, SMRRD. They successful stopped the Downtown Specific Plan to build 3 and 4 story buildings, massive underground parking and a host of other disastrous plans.
    Crawford is correct in calling our current city council just another branch of SCAG,SGVEP,CARB.
    Thanks to Crawford for clearing up the fact that the city council, namely MOSCA is dictating this disastrous policy. Elaine is taking the hit, however, she is being well paid in the job of city manager. Levin is highly over paid for following these bad policies. So are the rest of the city staff, so I neither feel lay the blame on them, or feel sorry for them. I do lay the blame on JOE MOSCA and JOHN BUCHANAN and the BOBBLEHEADS. They should not be destroying our town, but they were voted into office by very naive and foolish voters. But even these fools should take the entire blame.
    I blame all the registered voters in this town who didn't bother to get the facts and even vote. It was a disgrace.
    We now all must pay, and pay, and pay for it.
    John Crawford, thanks for this massive effort to bring the people the truth.
    However this turns out, John, Kurt, MaryAnn et all, you people tried your best and then some.
    Hold your heads high. You are the best people in this town

    ReplyDelete
  8. Paying bond debt is of course the priority for the Mosca City Council. Because they're solution to so many other of this City's problems is selling more bonds. They want to run Sierra Madre like Sacramento runs California.

    ReplyDelete
  9. 7:15
    You are sure right about the Mosca regime.
    They want to run Sierra Madre like the Sacramento Legislature runs California. The crooked politicians are their idols, their role models, Mosca and Buchanan would one day like to be one of them, be in Sacramento destroying California, but first they need to destroy Sierra Madre.

    ReplyDelete
  10. They are going to need someone smarter than Sandy Levin to explain this one away.

    The proposed rate increase is enough to meet the requirements of the City's existing debt obligations and to begin rebuilding the water fund reserve. It is not enough to fund a pay-as-you-go capital improvement program.

    Were you lying then, or are you lying now.

    ReplyDelete
  11. My choice for the guy who came up with the big lie is Mosca. Can't you just hear him telling Buchanan, "Don't worry about it. They'll never figure it out. Didn't I just get reelected?"

    ReplyDelete
  12. Okay, Tattler posters. I would really like to read your ideas for solutions here.
    Please give this your best thinking.
    We have some of the best minds in town and out of town that read this board.
    Let's hear your plan!

    ReplyDelete
  13. Starat a War Chest for fight this!

    ReplyDelete
  14. It seems to me that most of the work is done by Crawford, Zimmerman, and a few select others, who are willing to expose themselves to retaliation.

    ReplyDelete
  15. An organizational/strategy meeting needs to be set up after the first of the year, well advertised in advance. Even if we need to send a mailer out to all those residence that have a stake in cleaning up the mess created by those irresponsible "leaders" that created it.
    I will be glad to donate $100.00 to start a mailer fund. The problem is, we need a Treasurer to start the funding.
    Information is key, if people are informed about this issue, it will get people involved. Perhaps Sir Eric could set this up.

    ReplyDelete
  16. Not to sound flippant, but what could possibly be done to Kurt Zimmerman or John Crawford that hasn't already been done?

    ReplyDelete
  17. 8:36 8:36 Anonymous. I don't know what might be done to them or others, but the Police seem to play a role in our Council meetings. Is it for show or control of the moms,pops and seniors who behave rather well (except for occasional applause)?

    Our Police Chief has been observed slowly "cruising" the streets of Sierra Madre in her unmarked blue sedan. Probably just to learn the vast street system. Who knows? We wondered why a town of a little over 10,000 needs an unmarked Police Car in the first place?

    ReplyDelete
  18. Speaking of smoking guns. The exchnge of looks and whispers between the City Mgr and Bruce Inman when the Items of a Library, 7 million, and a front counter 50 thousand, appeared on the Water List seemed telling. Do we have two lists one for Water (publicisized) and another (unpublicized) riding "piggy back" on the Water List? The comment by the Ciry Manager that "they were only on the draft list and were supposed to be removed" indicates that something was going on.

    ReplyDelete
  19. 8:34
    Good idea, I'm pretty sure there is something being planned. However, it will not be disclosed, and a very select few will be involved in setting this up.
    It's smart to keep it that way, until it gets rolling.
    There are certain people in this town who work both sides of the aisle for their own personal gain.
    We know who they are. We got sabotaged a few times, naiveté, but we know better now.

    ReplyDelete
  20. Every City budget has a CIP List - Capital Improvement Projects - a wish list if you will that accompanies the budget. It appears that the water infrastructure capital projects were on the CIP List. The person/s responsible for preparing the list that was in the City Council "packet" wasn't careful when they selected the items to be included under the water infrastructure capital projects. It was a humiliating error on the part of the Public Works Director.

    But more importantly how many other errors are there in the materials presented to we the people in their efforts to separate us from our money?

    We need a Water Department Oversight Committee immediately! I nominate Earl Richey, Derrick Bush, Ms. McBride, John Crawford, and Kurt Zimmerman. MaryAnn MacGillivray to be Council Liaison.

    ReplyDelete
  21. Still doesn't add up...October 21, 2010 at 10:10 AM

    Toward the end of the meeting, the amount of the bond debt was summarized. We're on the hook for $19.6M. $4.5 was refinancing of prior debt (the can was kicked down the road), $12.6M was the 2003 bond, and $1.5M was the loan. However, looking at the Jul 8 presentation, I see that from FYs 03-04 through 08-08, we only had bond income of $6.4M. What happened to the rest? (12.6 - 6.4 = $6.2M) Another thing that bothers me is that through these same fiscal years, the presentation shows that $17.67M was spent on Capital. However, from the water forum presentation, four significant capital improvements were highlighted, the Grove Reservoir, $4.7M; the Mira Monte Reservoir, $8.3M; the Arcadia interconnection, $0.332M, and the Sturtevant Main, $0.532M. This adds up to $13.86M. Where's the other $4M???

    I too am disturbed that we're not getting the full picture. It is absolutely obvious from the Jul 8 document (if you believe the projections) that the proposed increase is not going to be enough to fund further upgrades to the infrastructure. For FY's 09-10 through 14-15, the projected surplus if the proposed increase is enacted would give us $759k in reserves. You won't get much infrastructure improvement for that. So what does that mean? MORE BONDS! Don't count on millions of federal dollars becoming available. I think those days are over.

    So yes, the rate increase is primarily about the bond debt, but it also is to build up the reserves so we can take care of emergency situations, and so that we can borrow MORE to fund major projects like well rehabilitation or drilling new wells, or replacing water mains.

    Another problem I see is that the revenue study assumes a 10% drop in consumption. Even Buchanan pointed out that the last time rates were increased, the drop in consumption was short-lived. With the proposed tier system adding only $0.02 penalty for the next highest tier, this in no incentive at all to conserve. So I'm concluding that the revenue projections are actually conservative, if enacted, the proposed increases will pad the reserves more that what is projected.

    I agree that the city must do a better job in controlling expenses and being more forthright in explaining important issues to its citizens.

    We do have significant challenges ahead of us, which will require true leadership, unlike what we're seeing from the Gang O'4. We need to clearly understand the risks associated with the aging infrastructure, figure out how much we are willing to live with, and figure out what can be done to mitigate those risks and the costs of the mitigation options. For example, if overall water consumption does actually decline by 10%, is there still a need for the new pump #7?

    ReplyDelete
  22. So we now know that the $7 million library expansion project is a Capital Improvement Project waiting for just the right time? Like CRA bond issuance? A grant?

    The real reason for the hurry up to use the CRA funds - before Buchanan terms out. Slime ball politics if you ask me.

    ReplyDelete
  23. Metagene rebel said...
    Holy Airbrush!! If airbrushing them out of the picture would work that would be peachy. I am all for jumping on each one of them sitting on their chests and giving them the old nougy knuckle on the breast bone. I want to hear them say "I am sorry" that is the only and simpliest way. But no we have to rip through mazes of goat spider cobwebs and wear boots in order to walk through the bullshite of legal grey vomit produced by Ms Levin. I would like to challenge Buchanan to an orange fight behind orange crates splat got you you, splat got you again. I would like to have a high noon water gun fight with Mosca on Main Street. but no I cannot clap at meetings and must be civil. I have had it with civil, these little political monster beasts aren't civil, they are sidewinders, slittering about. City hall has become a snake den, sssssst, ssst. Moran is hardly evolved from rat stock, you can see him sniff and his nose wrinkle in the air as he smells his dissenters in the audience. Inman could not talk, perhaps he could not participate in what he knows is a water farce and prolly does not appreciate being forced to carry around rusty pipes like an alcoholic cripple asking for a hand out. Errrr, growlllll errrr, growlllou..

    I like Ms Diaz she has an eagle spirit.

    Maybe if enough of those speaker cards were filled out with the words NO Water Hike, those thick skinned poly tick ians, might get the hint. Of course they are all pretending they can't read the Prop 218 specs now.

    Modette's Comment: Metagene Rebel you are positively eloquent but a little too rough on one or two so a little editing had to be done to bring your brilliant post to the masses. Please come back often.

    ReplyDelete
  24. Oh damn it, Modette....you are too politically correct!
    The comments were right on.
    I understand, the Tattler has it's standards, but I loved Metagene Rebel's comment and I second your invitation.......METAGENE, come back often!!!!
    Loved your post!

    ReplyDelete
  25. Ok. How about looking at back budgets and seeing where the water money went to other city expenditures when it was supposed to be going to rebuild water infrastructure. Sounds like Jim MacRae's creative financing--there even once was a line item for bike paths and a grant for same that was never spent properly! Then shift money from those departments NOW to the water department.

    ReplyDelete
  26. Play fair and we will Pay fair!

    ReplyDelete
  27. The library does not fall under the CRA area, so the CRA funds cannot be used for a new library. But there is no rule that says the council can't recommend bonds to pay for a new library.

    ReplyDelete
  28. Speaking of despicable things done to Crawford and Zimmerman, let's not be suggesting illegal substance abuse. No Cumquat type posts, please.

    ReplyDelete
  29. Metagene Woman RebelOctober 21, 2010 at 11:11 AM

    I understand modette, but I am a woman, I love to see strong women in politics. Ms Mary is a treasure.

    I personally had to return and deflect evil looks from that Ms Walsh at the meeting. I am a deeply spiritual person, and even Jesus Christ was known to have righteous indignation, so I used my hoo doo against her ju ju. It was all I could do to not use the sign of the cross
    against in her in that meeting.

    I have absolutly no respect for Ms Aguilar. I never will. I apologize for calling her a food item.

    ReplyDelete
  30. I was a food item once. But then I became a drink.

    ReplyDelete
  31. Love libraries that are sized to meet that of the city they serve. What has been proposed for Sierra Madre in the past has been turned down when the grants applied for all over-stated for the need for the size of our citizenry. Witness the mega libraries built in cities that were on a roll for all the tax income from auto-row sales that went bust. Now those cities are holding the bag for overdevelopment and no income from the big sales tax producers but library projects (among others) that need to be paid off.

    ReplyDelete
  32. Modetter is right! Keep your eye on the donut not on the hole Metagene and say more with less. Let the clever and intelligence come through and you will not be discounted for bottom-feeder commentary as Kurt, Don and MaryAnn and others have had to endure from the low-lifes "a la the CumQuat" in the past.

    ReplyDelete
  33. Double Whammy, said...

    Ironicaly, water conservation poses a different and significant problem for the City's finances. The recent water study reports that the reason the City defaulted on its bond obligations in 2002 was because the water reserve fund dipped below the 120% amount. According to the report, the dip was caused by two factors: an unusually rainy year causing water consumption to decline; and successful implementation of a water conservation program. To put it simply: lower consumption of water = less revenue for the water fund.

    That's right, by conserving, we risk defaulting on our bond obligations and being subjected to another water rate increase.

    ReplyDelete
  34. What happened to the reserve account that was set up with bond money? Over $600,000. Where is that money?

    ReplyDelete
  35. Are there really Sierra Madre taxpayers who think the present library is inadequate?

    ReplyDelete
  36. It seems quite adequate for the amount of people who use it. As a matter of fact, given that criteria it is probably way more than what is actually needed.

    ReplyDelete
  37. Irresponsible young moneyOctober 21, 2010 at 12:37 PM

    11:52 That money was introduced to the missing El Monte Money, the relationship was formed after a not so by chance meeting at Titan headquarters. They got married and are living it up at a private resort with the Old El Monte Transit, missing funds. I understand missing audits in both towns were witnesses. Leung and Doyle should be so proud. Their joint issue are currently languishing in the over speculated not collateralized mortgage derivatives bonds vouched for by the city fathers at the time, assured over dazzling untrue studies and pie charts provided by Titan. The chambers of commerces and SGVEP members escorted them out of the country safely.

    I understand Mr. Leung will be on the receiving touching 17 million dollar end of this water rate hike. It is another money marriage, made in heaven where bonds are eventually repaid and everybody but the ratepayers get to live happilly ever after.

    ReplyDelete
  38. Please realize that if tiers are taken out of the water rate increase, it will automoatically go back to being a Prop 218 rate payer review situation. Something to watch for Tuesday night.

    ReplyDelete
  39. Can you elaborate 1:44 pm? How does that happen?

    ReplyDelete
  40. good memory skillsOctober 21, 2010 at 2:24 PM

    I am not 1:44, but I can elaborate. The city attorney announced at the meeting where our protest numbers failed that the council could increase the rates up to the highest limit of the notice any time they wanted to.
    Done, over, generously endowed lady sang.
    However, she went on to say, should they change anything - an amount, a tier, anything, they would have to initiate the Prop 218 process again.
    Check it out on the disc. Prolly on KGEM.

    ReplyDelete
  41. Sorry to be out of the loop, but what was the city reply to John Crawford when he asked Tuesday night about WHY the library and the city hall counters were on the water improvements list?
    Who did Mosca assign that question to, and what was the actual response? Anybody know?

    ReplyDelete
  42. 10:00 a.m., what a great list of nominations for a citizen's oversight comm.! Let's add Jim Engle to it. He is a valuable resource for this community.

    ReplyDelete
  43. Another person who needs to be on the oversight committee is whoever anonymous @10:10 is.

    ReplyDelete
  44. Maybe we should start our own oversight committee. We can just write freedom of information requests for all our information, and publish the results on The Tattler.

    ReplyDelete
  45. I thought Jim Engle kicked butt the other night. Joe was squirming like he was sitting on a hot plate.

    ReplyDelete
  46. And there is the reason for the reluctance to remove the tiers even though it's only one cent between Tier 1 and Tier 2, right?

    ReplyDelete
  47. Engle has been trying to volunteer for various city commissions and or committees, and so far his obvious talents and expertise have been ignored. Perhaps such clear thinking and direct speaking doesn't interest the CC-1.

    ReplyDelete
  48. Doesn't interest? Think terrifies the CC-1!

    ReplyDelete
  49. too much to hope for?October 21, 2010 at 2:40 PM

    2:37, you have seen the light.
    I'm hoping that the council will work out a more reasonable increase, contact Ms. MacBride for further ideas about other ways to fix this mess, and have the courage of character to start the process again.
    Dreamin'?

    ReplyDelete
  50. Don't y'all forget about the meter charges.
    The fact that an LA water person got up and said that it was a plumbing regulation did NOTHING to explain why people are charged more for the 1" meter pipe or connection or whatever they hell it is.
    Did anybody ever get a logical explanation for that meter charge difference? And I do mean logical - not convenient or babbling or evasive, or it is because it is. What's the logic?

    ReplyDelete
  51. Maybe we've got an omission/commission kinda thing here.
    The city omitted to tell us about the accumulated financial sins that previous councils had committed. Shenanigans live on.

    ReplyDelete
  52. So about this passage,
    "The proposed rate increase is enough to meet the requirements of the City's existing debt obligations and to begin rebuilding the water fund reserve. It is not enough to fund a pay-as-you-go capital improvement program."
    Is the reserve for emergencies?
    Like a broken pipe?

    ReplyDelete
  53. "The recent water study reports that the reason the City defaulted on its bond obligations in 2002 was because the water reserve fund dipped below the 120% amount."

    From earlier in the day. Sometimes the answers are already posted.

    ReplyDelete
  54. About the handling of the City's finances...How long has this scary nonsense been going on?It reminds me of the days when then Councilman Zimmerman mentioned the need for a Forensic Audit.As I recall,he was met with SILENCE!DEAFENING SILENCE!!!.No wonder..He was obviously out of the loop.The question remains,how many people have knowledge of this and for how long.Is this fraud so deeply embedded within the fabric of the Local Establishment that any solution to this swindle will be met with frustration and eventual failure.

    ReplyDelete
  55. 2:44 I wondered about that too. so often a challenge or inquiry is passed off as "our plumber" sets the standard for a (very complicated formula for complience on a meter, water line size, # of fawcets, toilets, sprinklers etc.), and we are supposed to accept it as OK. Good for you I doubt that such a measure is in play. I bet they just "adopted" it from somewhere else. In fact I bet there is no such legal requirement.

    ReplyDelete
  56. Sorry for the sloppy reading on my part. Sometimes the posts get hard to follow. So the reserve is just for credit purposes, not to use.
    Well that doesn't sound good. Really bad decisions got us here.

    ReplyDelete
  57. Is this the correct understanding:
    If a person has a 1" meter, for whatever reason, they will pay a greater charge for it every month, INDEPENDENT OF HOW MUCH WATER THEY USE.
    Is that it?

    ReplyDelete
  58. Bruce Inman said in a council meeting that the tiered rate for the meter size is because with a larger pipe, you use more water. HUH? Never could get a different or better explination out of him. The reason (logic) is, my guess, is that they get more money plain and simple.

    ReplyDelete
  59. I believe that the larger the meter size the greater the water pressure. It would then follow that more water is flowing through the pipe.

    ReplyDelete
  60. Isn't the bond reserve to guarantee payment? In 2002 when the water revenue was insufficient to make the bond payment there was also insufficient money in the reserve to guarantee payment. That's when the bond went into default and caused the interest rate in 2003 to be higher. Doesn't seem like the decision is the city's but rather the bond issuer's.

    ReplyDelete
  61. I still don't get itOctober 21, 2010 at 4:26 PM

    But 4:21, that water is accounted for in the quantity consumed.
    No?

    ReplyDelete
  62. 4:25, it was the city that agreed to have the bond issuers call the shots through the damn decades.

    ReplyDelete
  63. So a little city that couldn't meeting its bond obligation hence a bad debt rating can call the shots with the bond issuers? Is that what you're saying 4:31?

    ReplyDelete
  64. This is a fine howdy do. We're not even a AAA bond rated community, and Mayor Joe Borrow wants to sell some more bonds? And we're having a leetle difficulty with the old ones as well. Let me guess, we now think we're Washington DC.

    ReplyDelete
  65. Makes that $40K infrastructure fee for a brand spanking new home seem pretty reasonable now doesn't it?

    ReplyDelete
  66. 4:07 The whole water thing: meters, tiers, reseviors, pipes, rates, fixed and prorated costs, pressure # of fawcets, toilets, showers, tubs, sprinklers, etc.. is a scam. Were dependent on Bruce Inman to be honest (which I think he is) but the system he manages "sucks". Two different people making computations will get two different outcomes. Let the "plumber decide"! Give me a break.

    1 standard meter for every user; units flowing through the standard meter at the same $ rate for everybody. Let the quantity used be the variable and determine the size of our water bill.

    Its not the # of fawcets or toilets, its the number of times they are turned on or flushed. Let the user determine the water bill not the plumber. I bet a fifth grade math studend could come up with a more equitable system than we use.

    ReplyDelete
  67. you are exactly right 4:26, you would be paying more on the water rate tier. There is no reason to have a meter tier, unless you just want to raise more money. Some residents don't have enough water pressure to have the smaller meter. So, you charge them twice. At least that's what it seems they are doing.

    ReplyDelete
  68. No 4:36, not what I meant.
    Let me try again.
    The city decided to go with a bond, giving away our solvency.

    ReplyDelete
  69. Looky Looky another gift from George BushieOctober 21, 2010 at 8:02 PM

    Hey Tatts, I found two sites which are interesting, WaterWebster, which will give you a gist of the tiered rate system and news by states, of course they are backed by interested member water associations, so read carefully with discernment, like in 2007 there was a 27 percent increase in water across the board in the United States. I noticed a bit of doublespeak that reminded me of the trinkle down redevelopment stuff so I went to the Enviornmental Protection Agency.. clicked the water portion and found amoung other recent laws
    the one I copied and pasted below. I suggest you peruse the site yourself. As always our department of transportation seems to get it little tentacles into all aspects of our now uncomfortable lives. This is under law and executive orders, click and there you go:

    Executive Order 13423, Strengthening Federal Environmental, Energy, and Transportation Management , January 24, 2007 – On January 24, 2007, President George W. Bush signed an executive order requiring federal agencies to implement water-efficiency measures, including the purchase, installation, and implementation of water-efficient products and practices. Beginning in fiscal year 2008, agencies were required to reduce water consumption intensity, relative to their fiscal year 2007 baseline, through cost-effective life-cycle measures by 2 percent annually (or 16 percent total) by the end of fiscal year 2015.

    So 27 percent in 2007, another 37.5 percent 2010 that is 64.5 percent, increase in just three years. Just for fun lets add that other pesky 33% for the next three years to 2013.

    Methinks this stinks. You know Bush bought those 6000 acres in Paraquay with a huge natural aquifer.

    ReplyDelete
  70. Buy Bush Bottled Water,October 21, 2010 at 8:40 PM

    PS, you can search waterinfrastructure grants too, there is a big one dated March 2010, tells about matching funds and waivers for matching funds. Bam Bam signed an executive order in 2009, but his does not have the words dept of transportation. But it looks like the bushie one. I can see the increase, though not so large but why 17 mill to SGVMWD. Why more bonds? Water Cap and Trade?

    ReplyDelete
  71. So many posts, so little time.
    The Library is not a proper project for the Community Redevelopment Agency. Neither were City Hall or the Fire/Police Department buildings. Been going on for a long time now.

    How do we fix this, Old Kentucky? All this money is swirling around and we haven't a clue about how it's being spent. I'm watching Bell officials getting indicted because money for low income housing was misused. Hello!! I'd like to be the first in line to support a forensic audit (because I do not trust an ordinary audit, I'm pretty sure the books are cooked) because the biggest government whiz in the whole world can't tell you how to fix something until they know what exactly is broken.

    Disgusting and that simpering Mosca should be the first one shown to the door, followed by his acolytes. Aguilar is carrying the black satchel full of money as fixer for these creeps and Levin comes along behind mouthing her squinty legalisms that are meant to somehow make all this unaccounted for money just seem okay. Give me a break.

    Sierra Madre, how do I hate you? Let me count the ways . . .

    ReplyDelete