Wednesday, October 6, 2010

So NOW The City Wants To Talk About Water Bond Debt?

Five months after they should have done it, the Sierra Madre City Council has called a "special meeting" for the evening of October 19th to discuss the topic of Sierra Madre's considerable water bond debt. They've tried everything else, so now, with all other possible options exhausted, they're going to try and give the full disclosure thing a whirl. Or at least what they hope will appear to be just like full disclosure.

You know how they work.

It is, of course, being done in hopes of alleviating some of the tension here in town over the realization that $23 million in debt contained in the 1998 and 2003 water bonds (including interest) was completely left off the Proposition 218 mandated water rate increase notification letter that was sent out on May 17th. The City instead choosing to blame rusty pipes for a nearly 40% rate hike that could have raised a hefty $18 million dollars had it happened. $10 million in Federal grant money included.

The problem the City faces is that by air brushing the real reasons for asking the people of Sierra Madre to fund a water rate hike from that May 17th notification letter they committed a fairly egregious legal error. So egregious in fact that whatever gets decided by the City Council in the way of a water rate increase could easily be invalidated in a Court of Law should anyone care to contest it. No matter what Sandy Levin says.

In other words, the victory they claimed after City Staff beat down the water rate protest last Spring is now slipping from their hands. And it could very well be that this City Council has finally come to the realization that they will need to come clean about all that bond debt if they'll ever stand a chance of raising our water rates. That they're doing this 5 months after they should have done it lending a certain wry irony to the proceedings.

Look at it this way. The City Council just turned a "special" water bond meeting around on a dime. It took 8 months to get the "blight ordinance" agendized. Do you get the feeling that maybe this is important to them?

You do remember where this whole thing started, right? Last April with the water rate protest over that nearly 40% increase that the City Council tried to sneak through. A water rate hike that over 2,200 Sierra Madre residents signed petitions to stop. Seems like such a long time ago.

Of course, by 10/19 all the 2003 water bond debt related documents requested from the City via our California Public Records Act request will have been made available. Perhaps the City Council felt they might need a televised public venue where they can do some damage control on this issue if need be? If so I can't wait to see that material.

It should be quite a fun meeting. October 19th. Way down City Hall way. Mark it on your calendar.

Strange juxtaposition of Pasadena Star News headlines:

PUSD moves closer to school closure - Parents of Pasadena public school students sounded off against the district's plans to close three of its elementary schools ...

PUSD awarded $2.4 million to increase graduation rates - The Pasadena Unified School District announced Tuesday night that it will receive a three-year $2.4 million federal grant to increase graduation rates by 15 percent ...

I keep thinking of that poor teacher forced to deal with 60 kids in her Sierra Madre Elementary kindergarten class. If that is the kind of classroom sizes PUSD is planning for in the future, then it is going to take a lot more than $2.4 million to keep kids going there all the way through graduation.

Here's another thought. If PUSD closes 3 elementary schools, where will all those students be sent? What are they going to do to that poor kindergarten teacher at SME? Increase her class size to 140?

From our friends in Altadena, "Rim of the Valley Corridor" meeting with the National Forest Service tonight:

Dear Friends, Neighbors & Trail Users - This evening is an opportunity to support local trail systems and parkland by providing input to the Rim of the Valley Corridor Special Resources Study. The National Park Service, in partnership with the U.S. Forest Service, want to know your opinion. Good attendance from local communities will influence where trails and parkland will be established and where funds may be allocated to implement the Rim of the Valley trail corridor ... We need to assure that this region and local trail systems (including the trail hub in Hahamonga Watershed Park where 4 local trail systems connect) are included and given high priority in this study.

The meeting takes place in Altadena tonight at 7pm.

Charles S. Farnsworth Park-Davis Building
568 East Mount Curve Avenue, Altadena 91001

And then there is this from the Wall Street Journal:

Democrats Look to Cultivate Pot Vote in 2012 - Democratic strategists are studying a California marijuana-legalization initiative to see if similar ballot measures could energize young, liberal voters in swing states for the 2012 presidential election ... Some pollsters and party officials say Democratic candidates in California are benefiting from a surge in enthusiasm among young voters eager to back Proposition 19 ... Party strategists and marijuana-legalization advocates are discussing whether to push for similar ballot questions in 2012 in Colorado and Nevada - both expected to be crucial to President Obama's re-election ...

I really do need to remember to change my voter registration to "decline to state" one of these days. The whole "herbal lobotomy" thing always did escape me.


  1. Usually a class of 60 is called a lecture class. However, with kindergartners, I would call it a circus audience. No teacher can teach an elementary class of 60. Let's hope PUSD comes to its senses and does what it needs to do to hire more teachers.

    As for the water bond issue, lets hope the water bond debt material gets to you before the meeting so those knowledgable can make a good apprasial of what is going on. Hope to see many more people at the special meeting than have been turning out so far for these issues. Don't be like a Bell, be like a active Sierra Madrian.

  2. pay no attention to the man behind the curtainOctober 6, 2010 at 6:32 AM

    Well, if nothing else the special water bond meeting at City Hall seems to have killed the "we made all relevant disclosures" defense.

  3. Look, if the people of Sierra Madre don't care about this anymore than they cared to find out just who they were voting for when they marked their ballots for Mosca, Moran and Walsh, then I do not have much confidence in any bond issue outcome being in the favor of the residents of Sierra Madre. It will be in favor of the regime, the BIA, the CAR and the corrupt politicians in Sacramento.

    The naive residents sold Sierra Madre down the river when they fell for the lies of the SMVFD and the well organized campaign of lies spread by the current regime.

    You can do something about it, Sierra Madre, if you care enough to take some action. Will you?
    Show up on the 19th. Express your outrage. Support MacGillivray, she is fighting for you, as is Crawford, Kurt Zimmerman, Don Watts, Pat Alcorn and many other patriots in this town.
    We need your help.

  4. mr. president, make pot legalOctober 6, 2010 at 7:03 AM

    Dude, the Wall Street Journal also ran an op-ed noting that even if the state legalizes pot, it will be illegal under federal law. And the Feds will arrest anyone dumb enough to collect, report and pay sales tax on pot sales. This means we won't be able to smoke ourselves out of debt. No wonder the young people have lost faith in our ability to deliver "hope and change."

  5. I should think that both political parties would support legalizing pot. After all, people would have to be completely stoned to believe that either one of them know what they're doing. Maybe the City Council will hand some out at that October 19 meeting?

  6. Maybe it's in the water already?

  7. Some smart people are going to be asking the hard questions. The right answers better be given. We know the answers to our questions so they better tell the truth or they will end up looking like the fools they are.

  8. When you get all the bond documents Sir Eric, you need to organize
    a study group.

  9. 6:32, nuh-uh.
    It will go like this:
    We your city council have done everything perfectly.
    Our lawyer says so.
    You our subjects are slow on the uptake and have nasty dispositions.
    We the civil rulers of our little village, this little gem that we all want to preserve,
    Will graciously allow you, the little people in this little village,
    to come and be properly educated.
    Thanks for your vote.

  10. it ain't broke?October 6, 2010 at 9:07 AM

    It makes wonderful sense to continue our drug policies just the way they are - any kind of drug anyone wants is available for a price and organized and disorganized crime thrive on the trade.

  11. Tracked down the reports to the state (the source of the latimes article):
    It states total CRA debt in 2008 was: $4,807,583
    Total CRA debt in 2007 was 4.95 million

    I think perhaps the latimes is just combining this information in a confusing manner. Because I checked the lancaster total budget, and it's nowhere near what is reported in the latimes article, and then looking at the source information, it isn't what is reported there either. It looks like the latimes looked at the bond debt of each year and then added it altogether for all 7 years. Which is wrong.

  12. One question to ask: Could the money collected by the 40% water rate increase over the 5 year period be used to pay off the Water Bond Debt or NOT?

  13. 9:41 - thanks for playing, but the LA Times CRA deal was yesterday's topic. We're back on the water bonds today.

  14. I inhaled Bill ClintonOctober 6, 2010 at 10:06 AM

    I would rather have a herbal lobotamy than a bottle in front of me. Alcohol and Tobacco far more deadly. With Obamacare and the new less lifesaving treatment for folks over 50, "you are getting old get used to it" view by politicans and physicians that are dealing with the aged baby boomers. I would say (puff- puff) free pot to anyone over 50. It is truly good medicine and a wonderful plant. (puff-puff) But as 9:07 said organized and disorganized crime thrive on the capitalistic trade and the Feds would lose half their war and black ops budget. So in all truthfulness, I had stopped and then picked it up again after 9-11, now I am thinking of stopping simply because
    I do not want to support the war effort. "get sober and stop the war".

    This Sierra Madre Tattler is far more addicting than any drug. So write me another one, just like the other one please.

  15. A representative of the Sierra Madre Mountain Conservancy will be attending the Rim of the Valley Corridor meeting tonight in Altadena. This is for additional protection in the Angeles National Forest as a National Recreation Area. Sierra Madre is already in the Rim of the Valley Corridor which was the means by which we participated in Proposition A for the $3.1 million for Open Space acquisition to protect the Mt Wilson and Bailey Canyon trail heads.

  16. 9:55, while in Oklahoma I saw a sign that they were fighting a forty percent increase too. Your money will most likely go to the requested increasing profit boasted by the men on Wall Street. That is why seeing how and where the previous money was spent. Have to wait for the documents and the angle at the Oct 19 meeting will say a lot.

  17. Legalizing marijuana--wouldn't that do a lot to keep the bootlegging out of our National Forests and Parks, protect rangers who have been killed when out on patrol which brought them accidentally near a pot farm, protect our watersheds from the sluge of the pot farming, free up some of the best real estate on the northern California coast from this polution, etc.? Grow it legally in hydroponic enclosures and recycle the agricultural waste and raise some revenue for the state!

  18. Can hardly wait to hear the creative spin to be offered on the 19th.They cheated us on the water issue and they will continue to so on the Bond Issue.Make no mistake,their agenda for the future of Sierra Madre is radically at odds with the majority of property owners.For the current City Establishment,"I's Not Personal...IT'S Business".The one thing concerned residents can do is to remove them,(Root and Branch)from public office!

  19. Spot on 10:14. The water rate hike could have a whole lot to do with getting Sierra Madre's Shenanigan era ravaged bond rating back up. With all that water walk and rusty pipe stuff just a story they told to the residents of Sierra Madre because they think we're all gullible idiots.

  20. And what proof does the CC-1 have that Sierra Madre residents are gullible idiots?
    Maybe the results of the last election.

  21. My question is:
    Are the majority of Sierra Madre voters "gullible idiots" as 10:20 am quotes the regime? They did vote in Mosca, Moron and Walsh to be bobbleheads for Buchanan and Doyle and company. Voted in these incompetent fools that promptly handed you a 40% water rate hike!
    I'm not hopeful, at all. Prove me wrong, Sierra Madre.

  22. 10:37
    That's it! There's the stone cold proof.

  23. Don't want to be too uncool, but do you really want major corporations selling marijuana to school kids like they sell them cigarettes and alcohol?

    Just a question.

  24. why doesn't the Council invite those ex-Council members who were serving at the time these bonds were put in place to speak in front of the Council?

    it'd be kinda interesting to hear their take on the screw over they put on Sierra Madre.

    still, the bottom line is the Council gurus, Mosca and Buchanan lied to us and so did our City Attorney and City Manager, they got caught and now are spinning a different web

    I'd like to hear why they thought it was important to lie to us

    I understand Mosca and Buchanan lying, they've done it since day one but the City Attorney should be forthright or like usual, she's just doing whatever she has to do to continue milking the city with exhorbiant legal fees

    what a group of shysters!

  25. Ned, you must live in a different area than I do.
    I was offered every drug imaginable by the time I was 12.
    My kids knew about marijuana before they were 10, and not from me.
    The point is, it's already happening.
    We lost the war on drugs.
    Time to pick a different strategy.

  26. Herbal Lobotomy MonotonyOctober 6, 2010 at 12:35 PM

    The only relevance I can see to the Tattler audience is the concern that an already dumbed-down population could be made dumber and more apathetic by the legalization of marijuana. As long as you have no belief in the power of democracy, an apathetic, inarticulate populous is no problem. If you like the result of the last election, just project a bit into the "Idiocrasy" future, Sierra Madre will make Bell look like a paradise. Hey, if it feels good do it.

  27. I guess we've lost the war on just about everything. Time to give up. If 30,000 Americans died on the highways in 2009, we might as well disband the Highway Patrol, and use the money for the unused libraries. Plus, if you're stoned when you crash, you won't know what hit you. Peace.

  28. We've obviously lost the war on corrupt city councils. The moderator is a dreamer--why doesn't he just give up, so I can get back to my god-given right to tv and drugs?

  29. There is no doubt that during the '60s and '70s drugs were given a huge push. Mostly by an entertainment industry that has long cashed in on selling bad advice to children. But giving the tobacco and liquor an industry a crack at this is an interesting idea. They have a very different perspective on marketing. I wonder, could Joe Camel make a comeback?

  30. Everyone I know who is a heavy pot smoker always has a horrible cough like they have the consumption.
    I agree with Crawford, herbal lobotomy is an accurate description of pot heads.
    Another sign of the decline of our society. Democracy always fails after 200 or 300 years, because the population gets dumbed down. Let's just hope we get a good new paradigm and not the Maoist society we are racing towards. Remember Chairman Mao killed 100 million of his own people. Starved them to death.
    Drug use will continue to escalate until many of our young people,discouraged because they can't find jobs, will be walking zombies. Oh wait.....that's already happened.

  31. I know pot smokers; some of my best friends and closest relatives smoke pot. However, I know many more prescription drug takers who drive when they shouldn't, alchohol drinkers who maintain they are sober after a half dozen glasses of wine. The difference of course is legality. It's legal to be impaired if your doctor has prescribed your drug of choice; or if you're having a couple of pricey bottles of Sonoma's finest with your surf and turf.

    I personally don't care who takes, tokes, drinks or shoots up what. That being said I am very much against my hard earned dollars going to their rehabilitation. So let them smoke pot. Regulate it. Tax it. Sell it at the grocery store like Budweiser. Prosecute those under 18 and those who sell or provide to those who are under 18. Let them overdose if that's their intention.

    Don't care.

  32. I'm forced to agree with 1:19, though I wish people could be healthier and happier than that.
    Addicts will follow their addictions.
    Casual users will find better things to do.

  33. I'll take a zapped out pot head over a raging drunk any day.

  34. Speaking of Large ClassesOctober 6, 2010 at 1:38 PM

    My classes first through eighth grade had an average of 54 students each year. 54 students, 54 intact families, 108 parents, modest income, one dedicated nun with no assistants. God, don't you just hate the stability that suggests. But you've got PUSD. Progress is a beautiful thing.

  35. 1:30 False Dilemma.

  36. Look, we all know/know of intensely creative individuals who are at their most gifted under the influence of substances (and in quantities) which most of us eschew. Artists, musicians, writers, architects, athletes, every field, in the unleasing of their souls comes truly wondrous achievements. Tragically their creative process is also their downfall. But society can never hope to rise above the mundane if it seeks to limit the explorations of its adventurors. Personally I find living among Mormons, as an example, of a people who avoid stimulatns in any form dull. I don't wish them ill, I just find them boring.

  37. False Moderator at 1:39 pm. Dare you to take that identity?

  38. If Nancy Walsh is Council Liaison to PUSD, why isn't she giving us commentary on negotiations to cut schools? Is this going to cost Sierra Madreans out of pocket? Are we reay to join Altadena and secede from PUSD? We need to find out why this Council can't attend the meetings to which they are assigned and have agreed to attend, and bring back reports.

  39. Speaking of bobbleheads from this morning, the CC just appointed 4 to the General Plan Committee. One was surprised when she was told SHE was expected to ROLL HER SLEVES and DO THE WORK....not sit there and make policy.

  40. "swing your partner round and round"October 6, 2010 at 2:22 PM

    Can't make meetings when you are a dancin'

  41. You mean she wouldn't get to sit there and issue work orders like she does at Edison? How degrading. How come John didn't cover that with her?

  42. Relax have a brownie, the aliens will be here on October 13October 6, 2010 at 2:27 PM

    This is on the ballot, it is interesting that the SEIU is backing it. No mater what judgement calls are being made here, the unions which are very influential lately are backing this. It is a pain to have to register one way or another to be able to vote. When the two parties set in opposition are handled by the same monied group who owns both sides, it is diversionary by design. If any of you read the book "Underground Empire" you would know that the greatest drug task force in the world was set up in Washington and could have easily quashed the drug trade in Mexico years ago. The agency was told to stand down, then disbanded because there is so much money and profit in it. I think we should stick to the politics and avoid personal attacks.

  43. What all the members of the General Plan Steering Committee probably don't realize is that they are all going to be prevented from doing anything until they buckle under and spend, spend, spend on consultants, consultants, consultants.

  44. I can think of at least one member on GPSC that realizes this all too well.
    She hangs in there anyway, just like MacGillivray.
    It would be chicken-s**t to cut and run.
    Wish these people luck, better yet, go and support the good ones...they would be the original members.

  45. "You cannot help the poor
    by destroying the rich.
    You cannot strengthen the weak
    by weakening the strong.
    You cannot bring about prosperity
    by discouraging thrift.
    You cannot lift the wage earner up
    by pulling the wage payer down.
    You cannot further the brotherhood of man
    by inciting class hatred.
    You cannot build character and courage
    by taking away people's initiative and independence.
    You cannot help people permanently
    by doing for them,
    what they could and
    should do for themselves."
    Abraham Lincoln

  46. A Rose by any Other NameOctober 6, 2010 at 3:44 PM says it's not Lincoln, but it's true, insightful, and weirdly prophetic.

  47. Snopes got busted a few weeks ago, for being a husband and wife team who, while most of their stuff is okay, they have made some huge errors.
    So, who knows, it might be. Let's put it this way, it's not something certain political groups want going around the internet right about now, for obvious reasons. Like you said, weirdly prophetic.

  48. There is a legit letter from President Lincoln to a no-good relative who asks him for money one too many times, and in that letter the President sounds very like those words.

  49. Any relative who asks for money is no good.

  50. Some are most decidedly more no gooder than others.

  51. 1:38 A nun in a classroom means there is usually a supportive parent behind the child and the teacher.

    PUSD is a pathetic example of american public schools poorly managed. There is no money and blaming the teachers and the unions has all created the perfect storm. Unfortunately, few people really get involved in the guts of the daily life of living in a classroom, cafateria, gym, and counseling office of a group of youth/teens.

    There is a lack of understanding of public schools and all the people who work there. Yes, there are huge possibilities that schools will close and class size will double and triple and few politicians really care. It has gotten worse and worse and everyone stood by and watched it happen. We are the 47th lowest in the WORLD.

    Check out how many people are running for office and want to eliminate the Dept of Education. It all trickles down. We still do not care, and by the way: have you ever heard a politician PRAISE TEACHERS??????

    Children have never been important, and now being an intellectual is being laughed at. propaganda against students and higher education and student loans has all become part of the rhetoric against teachers and education.

    Why is America So out of touch...

  52. American has generally not supported education--early households felt it was enough to be able to read the Bible, but not necessary for girls. Blacks getting a fair shake at equal educational opportunities, forget about it, children of migrant farmworkers, the same, out the back in the portables. Cowpolks on the move--I don't need no book learnin' nohow. Salaries for teachers--low, low, low--women's work, second incomes. The American taxpayer is going to pay the tax dollar one way or the other--you can pay it for schools or you can pay it for prison space. Compare the amount spent to education a public school child vs what it costs to incarcerate a prisoner in California. Something is way out of wack.