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.