Monday, January 31, 2011

Kurt Zimmerman's Notes From Saturday's Water Rate Protest Fundraiser

(Editor: Former Mayor Kurt Zimmerman spoke about all that was wrong with the City of Sierra Madre's Prop 218 procedures, and all that is right in challenging their lack of good faith in a Court of Law. After all, and despite City Hall's fevered efforts to remove them, we do have rights, and this is still America. For those of you who were unable to attend this very successful fund raiser, here is the outline of Kurt's speech.)

I would like to begin by thanking blogger extraordinaire John Crawford for organizing this fundraiser; the gracious Melissa Thew for hosting this event; John Herrmann and Anita Delmer for having the good sense and fortitude to sign the letter challenging the water rate hike; and all of you here today, who have contributed your time or money in support of our cause.

But first a little background, because to paraphrase Mark Twain, the City has shed much darkness on the subject of the water rate hike.

Historically, the City has been the purveyor of its own water. However, it has also entered into water contracts with other municipal suppliers.

To fund infrastructure improvements, make repairs and subsidize operating costs, the City floated two bonds: one in 1998 for $6,475,000; and another in 2003, for an additional $6,750,000. More recently the City borrowed $1,500,000 from the San Gabriel Water District for water-related purposes.

According to the City, our total current debt is $18,757,563, which includes bond interest. Unfortunately, I cannot vouch for these numbers as the City has a history of providing inaccurate or incomplete information regarding Sierra Madre's water system and water debt.

I will focus on the inaccurate or incomplete information that the City provided to the residents in connection with the water rate hike in a moment. If you'll indulge me for a few minutes, however, I wanted to share with you the first time I was misled on the subject of Sierra Madre's water.

At my first City Council meeting as your Council member in 2006, I was asked to cast a vote approving a proposed contract with the Metropolitan Water District. The contract memorialized the parties' agreement to connect the MWD's water line running down Grandview to our municipal water supply. The City and newly elected Council Member Mosca claimed that we lacked an adequate supply of water to extinguish a wildfire. According to Council Member Mosca, waiting to approve the contract put the City at risk. Because I had just been installed in office, I asked to continue the hearing so that I might study the proposed contract. The Council rejected my request to continue the hearing and approved the contract over my objections.

Well, in 2008 a wildfire swept through our hillsides. It was extinguished without any of the MWD's water because Sierra Madre had an adequate supply and the connection to MWD's water line had never been made. Last time I checked there still was no connection to the MWD water line!

Disinformation has also been the City's rule as far as the water rate hike is concerned.

On May 13, 2010, the City Council began the process which culminated in the water rate hike. Towards that end, the City staff sent ratepayers a written notice regarding the proposed rate increase. That notice was intended to comply -- but did not -- with California's Proposition 218. For those of you unfamiliar with Proposition 218, it was a Proposition approved through the initiative process. It was intended to enhance voter participation in the efforts of municipalities to increase their revenues.

At this point I want to note that Proposition 218 is not merely a regulation or statute, but is part of the Constitution of the State of California.

Among other things, Proposition 218 requires that at least 45 days before a hearing on a water rate increase that Sierra Madre provide the ratepayers with a notice that contains the amount of the proposed fee and the reasons for that fee. That notice contained no such information.

First, the notice did not provide each Owner with the amount of the proposed rate increase as required by Proposition 218. Instead, the Notice required each Owner to estimate his or her increase based on such factors as the meter size and the possible applicability of a discount for "low income." Because the Notice lacked definitions or explanations for such factors, however, it was impossible for each Owner to make any estimation of meter size or determine whether he or she qualified as "low income."

How many of you, when you received this notice, knew your meter size?

How many of you, when you received this notice, knew what the City meant by low income and more importantly whether you qualified for a low income exemption?

As if these violations of Prop 218 were not bad enough already, the City continued to consider the proposed rate hike at subsequent City Council meetings without sending the residents additional written notices. Even worse, the City in October 2010, determined that the original, proposed rate increase from May 2010 should be changed. That's right, the rate hike that the City proposed to implement in October 2010 and which it finally approved in January 2011 was not the rate increase it proposed back in May of 2010.

How many of you knew that the City approved a different rate increase? How many of you received a notice, as required by Proposition 218, informing you of the revised rate increase? The answer is none, because the City never sent one!

Worst, the reasons the City provided for the rate increase were misleading at best. The City's party line has been that much of the rate increase was to fund capital improvements. To replace, for example, aging pipes. In a letter to a resident in August 2010, however, the City conceded that the rate increase was 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."

Then, in October 2010, the City conducted a "Water 411" presentation complete with PowerPoint slides.

Not one, but two PowerPoint slides state that the rate increase "did not provide for a pay as you go capital improvement program."

Instead, the PowerPoint slides reveal the driving force behind the rate increase - the water debt. The PowerPoint continues "the proposed rate increase covered only the bond requirements and projected operational expenses."

How many of you here today would have protested the proposed rate increase had you known that none of the money was being used for repairs or improvements?

Despite our repeated demands, the City has refused to comply with the notice requirements of Prop 218, leaving only a legal challenge, which is the filing of a writ of mandate, as the instrument of our redress.

I also note that a trial court in Merced County recently heard a case involving the City of Livingston's alleged violation of Proposition 218 based on, among other things: the City's failure to provide adequate notice of the hearing on the rate increase; failure to provide separate notices for hearings on the rate increase; and failure to provide a separate notice of a revised rate increase. Does any of that sound familiar?

The Court ruled in favor of the ratepayer plaintiff based on all of these failures and against the City.

In closing, I want to thank you all again for contributing to this cause, which is nothing less than a vindication of our rights.

http://sierramadretattler.blogspot.com

71 comments:

  1. led by John Buchanan and Joe Mosca, 4 of our Council members lied to us and distored facts and declared an emergency situation regarding a looming disaster with our water pipes

    meanwhile they were hiding the fact that they were attempting to secure taxpayer funds to build special ego projects like a new 7 million dollar library (thanks Buchanan) or the new 50K counter for city hall

    from what I understand, our City Attorney said the Mayor and Mayor Pro Temp were dabbling in the grey areas of the law but she went right ahead and helped them manipulate public knowledge and information and the City Attorney believed that the citizens couldn't and wouldn't be able to respond and counter the Council's unethical attempts to push a bogus water rate hike

    when a citizen lead protest and petition to halt the obviously disceitful water hike was thwarted by city staff which would not provide public records or release data to the citizens, the city attorney, Mayor and Mayor Pro Temp found self made loopholes to stop the petition without every making public knowledge the results and why exactly the petition failed and most obscene, the city basically made up it's own rules and then change the rules to secure the desired results and dismiss the petition, despite it "supposedly" only failing by a handful of signatures

    I am thoroughly disgusted with the actions of John Buchanan, Joe Mosca and our City Attorney.

    All three are supposed to be lawyers protecting the city and following the will of the people but instead they pander to their own agendas and the agenda of Mosca's and Buchanan's utility employers

    Thank you Mr. Zimmerman.

    I would like to believe that Mr.Zimmerman saw the gutter ethics of Mosca Buchanan and realize that he was just a "vote" on the council and yet as a citizen, he had more clout and cause of action than he would have as a Councilman.

    And best of all, he could defend the city against the spiteful and deceitful actions of the Mayor, Mayor Pro Temp, Councilman Moran and Councilmember Walsh.

    Tear them a new one Mr. Zimmerman

    Tear them a new one.

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  2. is it any surprise that this mess is being spearheaded by Mosca and Buchanan?

    both moved into town and then immediately started positioning themselves for a run for Council

    and both are employees of utility companies who give them both unlimited time off of work to work inside the city and is it any surprise that both Mosca and Buchanan are pushing agendas that will benefit their respectful employers

    I wonder how those employers will react when it becomes a matter of public record that their two employees lied, distorted facts and manipulated public trust by creating a false disaster?

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  3. The Court's verdict in the Livingston case does seem to take some of the starch out of the City Attorney's "gray areas" defense. It is hard to see how there could be such things in an amendment to the California Constitution, but maybe she was merely engaging in pettifoggery and thought no one would take her up on it.

    Not sure we're getting our quarter million dollars a years worth here, though. Shouldn't we expect more than Levin enabling Joe Mosca's aversion to telling the truth?

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  4. Particularly lovely color on the masthead this morning. My favorite.

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  5. I really don't have the time or the inclination and mostly the trust to listen to or remotely believe anything Mosca, Buchanan or Moran says that this city needs or should do.

    All three lied cheerfully to the people of Sierra Madre and when caught in their lies, they just simply shifted tactics and continued to spin misinformation not believing that anybody would expose their actual agendas.

    These three are extremely shameful Councilmen and really don't care about the City or the people.

    Otherwise, they wouldn't have lied and lied to us and try to use murky legal precedents to push their own agenda and create a entirely false panic about impending doom of our water supply.

    Despite not fullfilling his duties as a Councilman, Mosca when the liasion to SCAG, he rarely if ever attended SCAG meetings but he used that relationship to bolster his own political ambitions (however lame they are) to adher to SCAG's mandate (which is just an opinion of Sacremento nobodies) that Sierra Madre could and should reach a population that nearly doubles it's present size.

    Which meant that we needed to upgrade our water infrastructure which benefits the utility companies who Buchanan and Mosca work for.

    Can anybody say conflict of interest?

    Moran is so laden with conflicts of interest it's is appalling.Plus he cheerfully admits that he plans on using the Council position to benefit himself, his buddies and social/business circle.

    Levin is using the city to pad her own pocket overbill the city and continues to give bad legal advice and instead of having a backbone, she is a jellyfish. And a poor attorney at that. She must be glad that Zimmerman isn't on the Council because she is a patsy lightweight compared to Kurt's legal experience. She is one step removed from being a mob lawyer because she suggested and steered the Council into dabbling in questionable legal practices, thinking her "law degree" made her superior and beyond question to those that she works for - YES - Levin works for us - not Joe Mosca and John Buchanan.

    The bottom line is that Buchanan, Mosca and Moran lied to us and now are using their friendly media pawns to spin a different set of lies and circumstances.

    They still believe we are sleeping and it's their city to do with what they please.

    This whole mess began with Bart Doyle and the line is drawn straight to Mosca/Buchanan city regime.

    Just plain nasty dudes.

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  6. Once a court of law decides that these people did not tell us the truth about why they raised our water rates all bets are off. This is not an abstract issue for most people. They know stealing when they see it.

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  7. The dirts smear/spin campaign won't work this timeJanuary 31, 2011 at 8:10 AM

    The courts won't listen to the bold face lies of Mosca and Buchanan and pals (raise your hand Sandi Levin)!
    Just like the Livingston case,where the city violated the people's 218 rights......our lawsuit will win.
    The people of Sierra Madre have been lied to, cheated, robbed in regards to the water rate hike. It is illegal and we will win this case.
    Keep spinning to your naive audience, Mosca and Buchanan. This isn't an election, where you can lie about honest candidates, where you can get the volunteer fire dept.,all the city clubs to spread fallacious lies about candidates who were/are not in the pocket of the Bart Doyle cartel of lying, cheating politicians.

    Go Kurt Zimmerman. I understand you have never lost a case?
    Good luck Sandra Levin. You have......you and your firm lost the case in Livingston and you'll lose in Sierra Madre.

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  8. This is going to be good. The great reckoning has finally come for the Johnny Joes. All the garbage we have endured from these people and what is the upshot? Nothing got built, none of their friends and supporters made any money, nothing much happened at all. Except a terribly botched water rate hike.

    The Gang of 4 is a Gang of Fools.

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  9. great post, 8:16!

    "The Gang of 4 is the Gang of Fools"

    Kurt Zimmerman, thanks. You and Don Watts and SMRRD saved us once from the horrible Downtown Specific Plan these fools tried to shove down our throats. Despite the $170,000+ "donations" by the Building Industries Ass. ( local spoke-hole-Bart Doyle)
    and the California Ass. of Realtors (local spoke-hole-Webb Martin Realtors-Josh Moran), Kurt Zimmerman and SMRRD WON the YES on V. for the people of Sierra Madre! WOW.

    Hey, dirts, he's going to do it again!

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  10. I love your "Johnny Joes" 8:16.

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  11. When the majority was held by Watts, Zimmerman, and McGillvaray, why didn't they sack Sandy Levin? They had the chance they had the votes. Levin charged for all her time to draft the Prop 218 misinformation letters and now we will have to pay her to defend her wrong action. Do the tax payers have a case against her? After all she says she is the expert. Bad Legal Advise.
    Fire she when she looses and sue her firm to damages.

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  12. Johnny Joe
    Johnny Joe
    First you lie
    and then you go

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  13. If you know "Harry Potter" you can see Joey Mosca as Professor Quirrell with Bart Doyle and/or John Buchanon's evil essence wrapped around his skinny head.

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  14. Still confused, though. When we win in court and the judge says the Prop. 218 process was a scam, what next? Is the ordinance raising the water rate passed last month wiped out? Does the City have to start Prop 218 again? Do they have to hire that consultant that gave them the figures for the rate raise again? Sure wish they would have listened to MaryAnn instead of Moran who protested her solution as being too costly to renotify the citizens!

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  15. Intent to Defraud, the citizens cried..January 31, 2011 at 9:33 AM

    I believe 45 days, would be correctly and legally 45 "WORKING" days, exclusive of weekend days.
    Please serve them at a council meeting so I can be there.
    The next protest signing will be much bigger.

    Pucker up, city hall.

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  16. Hopefully city hall will learn a new level of respect for the wisdom and resolve of the people of Sierra Madre. No more sneaking around and telling fiary tales about old pipes, please. Do that and you will get caught and you will pay a price.

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  17. Hey, John! Thanks for adding the Tattler Pageviews: Per Month counter on the r/h side. Congratulations on all of your hard work and late nights to bring us the truth!

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  18. Actually, Mayor Mosca is well versed on "problems with pipes". His employer "The Gas Co" is busy spinning its own web on the gas line explosions up north. Both Mosca and the Gas Co exemplify the old addage "what you see and hear is not what you get".

    Grat meeting and fund raiser yesterday!!

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  19. Yes indeed, 10:03!

    A lot of people don't know this man, John Crawford doesn't make a nickel out of the massive hours he puts into this blog.

    This man has a wife and two school age boys and a very high level professional full time job!
    In yet he manages to put out this blog for us on almost a daily basis.
    He contributes his skills and talents to our community and surrounding communities. He is a WARRIOR OF THE TRUTH!!!!!!!

    Thank you Sierra Madre residents for coming through. Just as councilmember and former 3 time Mayor of Sierra Madre, MacGillivray has been saying,
    "the people of Sierra Madre will always step up and help the city out, if they are ASKED, told the truth, and not DICTATED to by the council/city attorney.' Those aren't her exact quotes, but that is what she has been stressing over and over again.
    That is what John Crawford has been stressing over and over again. This is what we posters want. Nothing to me is stronger than the truth, and I'm sure a lot of you agree.

    Thank you posters and our super research teams for helping John be able to do this blog.

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  20. Original Tattler ReaderJanuary 31, 2011 at 10:30 AM

    People come to The Tattler because they know the truth gets spoken on this blog. Why would anyone want to waste their time with Joe Mosca fanclub members like Susan or Terry?

    Funny thing about truth. It always gets an audience.

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  21. How much would it cost the city if you sued them, even if they were to win?

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  22. No idea, 10:47. Certainly wouldn't be as much if they went out and got a reasonably priced attorney. Right now Sierra Madre is paying top dollar for mediocre service at best.

    But ask yourself this: How much will you personally save if we win?

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  23. Like $24 per year, right?

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  24. The suggestion was made that suing the city is like suing your mother-in-law. Well, if that is the case, no cost is too great for the satisfaction of shutting her up.

    Johnny-Joes only power is a timid constituency. As Mr. Zimmermann said, it is not just this issue of the 218 process, it is sending a message that we will not be bullied.

    And can you look at yourself in the mirror and admit that you were bullied by Joe Mosca and John Buchanon, while citizens like John Crawford and Kurt Zimmermann offered to lead the fight against them?

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  25. remind me if I ever need an attorney, not to call Sandra Levin

    unless I was a Mayor or Councilmember attempting to mislead the public and ignore the state constitution and fabricate a story about a impending disaster...then Levin is the ideal lawyer

    there is a reason why Mosca has a law degree and is a PR rep from an energy company and Buchanan has a law degree and he is a Human Resources lawyer for an energy company

    somehow I doubt that either has seen the inside of a court room, yet they are under the delusion that a law degree makes them superior intellect and obviously both failed or didn't learn anything it Ethics 101

    doesn't Susan Henderson claim to have a law degree?

    it's no surprise that the lies spun by Buchanan and Mosca are endorsed verbatim by Henderson's local rag, when Henderson fabricates her own background and degrees

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  26. If you price your consitutional rights at $24 bucks a year, then yeah. You save $24 dollars.

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  27. 10:57. Under the current rate increase, every ratepayer will pay considerably more than $24 per year. Many ratepayers -- especially those who own apartment complexes -- will see their rates going up several hundred dollars. Worse, these rates will increase each year. Even worse, Mayor Pro Tem John Buchanan has said that the Council will be returning for another rate increase.

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  28. 10:57. I just looked at the rate tiers and except for low income families, it's pretty obvious that everybody will paying more than $24 per year. And the water rates go up each year thereafter, So, I'm not sure where the $24 figure comes from.

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  29. Businesses that rely on water will be the big losers. Add that to the new fees rip offs and we'll be lucky if we have any businesses left!

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  30. I think the poster had to stand up to retrieve it, 11:29.

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  31. 10:57. Do you live under a bridge and ask travelers riddles?

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  32. Pay no attention to the egregious violation of Prop. 218's notice requirements behind the curtain

    Pay no attention to the actual amount ratepayers are going to pay for water under the rate increase now and over the next four years behind the curtain.

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  33. I know! Let's form a committee!

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  34. 11:40. And what would this committee do? Remeber, the Council already passed the rate increase. So, the committee serves no purpose except to divert the residnets attention from the rate protest.

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  35. this issue is not just the rate increase, it is the glaring fact that our Mayor and 3 Councilmembers, our City Attorney and a handful of city staff fabricated a false emergency state and purposely ignored the state constitution and flat out lied about the rate hike

    if a majority of our neighbors are okay with our elected officials lying to us and lying repeatedly...well then I guess lying is okay and that should be the norm and we shouldn't teach our children basic ethics

    remember, the first version had Buchanan and Mosca attempting to get matching funds so they could build pet pork boondoggle projects and unless we watch them, they will spearhead a rebuilding of our water infrastructure to withstand a doubling of our population as Mosca, Buchanan and Moran support with their endorsement of the SCAG numbers

    I don't trust them to do what is right for Sierra Madre and I would rather wait, since the original doomsday scenerio was total Buchanan BS, I'd rather wait until we get a new Council and new eyes on the situation instead of Buchanan and Mosca railroading the city

    this all started with lies from Mosca and Buchanan and endorsed by Walsh and Moran

    Buchanan was covering up massive mistakes and breaches of ethics by his political supporters ---- who just happened to be on the Council when the mess orginated back in 03 and 98

    I guess we shouldn't be shocked that Bart Doyle, the lobbyist for the building industry was part of the original screw up and his serpent screw over the people mentality is embraced by Buchanan, Mosca and Moran

    If you child LIED to you and stole your money, would you just shrug your shoulders and say that's okay?

    We've got children on the Council - not business people.

    We've got unethical Councilmembers. All they did was lie and lie until they got caught and now they are saying they are going to keep passing water rate hikes until they get what they want - which is to meet SCAG goals.

    Do you want these Councilmembers building an infrastructure that will allow the city to accomodate 20,000 residents?

    That was their plan and still is.

    It has never been about failing pipes, despite the deceptive spin put forth by Public Works under the guidance of Mosca and Buchanan.

    It started with a lie.

    It ends up in court and how do you defend lies?

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  36. Resident who has been thereJanuary 31, 2011 at 12:25 PM

    Look, the ONLY way to deal with this current regime here in Sierra Madre and their developer, realtor and political connections is:

    LITIGATION. THEY DO NOT UNDERSTAND ANYTHING ELSE. L I T I G A T I O N

    If we do not stop them NOW, through LITIGATION, they will continue to abuse their power, abuse our naiveté and we may never get our rights back.

    IT HAS TO BE DONE. Thank you Kurt, John C, Anita, and John H. for taking ACTION.
    Thank you residents who care enough to support these neighbors with your valuable time, your valuable money. God Bless all of you.

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  37. given the typical response and end result of "settling" lawsuits against the city, can we make part of the settlement that Mosca, Buchanan and Moran all resign from the Council?

    all three, including Walsh, who is just a bobblehead for whatever she is told to say and think by Buchanan, all three lied to us and violated the public trust

    I assume that all will lie about whatever is before them and cannot trust them anymore.

    face it, they lied until they were caught

    they aren't sorry about the lies, they are sorry they got caught but don't care because they have said they are going to continue until they are stopped

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  38. can the city itemize what the 18 million dollars was spent on?

    did we get receipts?

    lies, lies, lies and more lies

    jeez, how can Buchanan and Mosca and Moran keep up with the lies

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  39. Reminds me of the early days of the water rate increase last spring. Everyone was asking for a list of the repairs for pipes and infrastructure, all the stuff that was going to be fixed. And of course city hall wouldn't give it to us because it didn't exist. The money really was for old bands.

    Which reminds me. What ever happened to that mysterious $10 million in matching money we were going to get for raising water rates? Was that a lie, too?

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  40. 12:47
    If the gang of 4 fools said it, it's a LIE.

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  41. If you listened carefully to what they said, they said that we would not be qualified to get federal monies if we didn't raise more money, they didn't say we would actually get federal funds. Grants have to be written and plans have to be made, etc. for us to even be considered. Even then, the Feds are being stingy with their money these days except for a few favored few states. CA is not one of them.

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  42. Huh. I distinctly remember hearing that if we raised the water fees we would become eligible for fed money that would help us fix our pipes. Of course, we now hear nothing about money from Washington to fix our bonds, do we...

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  43. I hope we get an HONEST judge. It seems as everything is so corrupt these days!

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  44. Buchanan knows the more he speaks lawyerly the less people pay attention to his hidden decoded messages.

    All I know is the dude lied.

    I tune him out and assume he is lying.

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  45. In a previous life Buchanan sold magic elixirs at county fairs.

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  46. Comment police? If you say soJanuary 31, 2011 at 3:16 PM

    The commitment to honesty and integrity shown by the posters on this blog is awesome.
    Some of the violent language, not so much.
    We all know how dirty the pro-development side plays it.
    Comments will be taken out of context and used as examples for all comments.
    So spitting and tearing and all that might end up working against us.

    Or might be posted by people who are intending precisely that.

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  47. Not that I am disagreeing Comment Police, but why should anyone here be expected to act any differently than the writers for the Mountain View News or the Sierra Madre Weekly? If people don't like the comments, then don't read them. Just read the articles. Which are always decorous. People who expect behavioral perfection on a blog leave me scratching my head in wonder.

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  48. I agree 3:45. The articles are the reason I read the Tattler.
    I don't really give a hoot what people say, but there is the point that we were defeated so badly in the last election. Mostly because of the successful propaganda and lies that we were mean, nasty people, and focus put on comments. But to change comments because they'd be used against us doesn't sound like good policy.

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  49. This is a court case. I doubt snarly blog comments will be entered into testimony.

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  50. Anybody know if it's possible to reverse that baaaaaad agreement to connect to the MWD water line?

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  51. Snarly blog comments make great printouts for certain sincere glad handers to pass out to unsuspecting residents.

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  52. Regarding the difference between the rate hike that the City proposed at first and the one it finally went with, I thought Attorney Lebin explained that the council could go anywhere up, but not over, the hike as originally sent out. Maybe if it had been clear what everyone owed, then it would have been ok to go up to, but not over, that amount.

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  53. Many thanks to Mr. Zimmerman for his continued efforts for the good of Sierra Madre.

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  54. What is crystal clear is that the city council had the city staff send out notices that intentionally obscured the real reason for the water rate increase.
    I remember getting mine and thinking no way could the infrastructure replacement cost this much.
    Unless the pipes were gonna be gold.

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  55. Mayor Mosca has been exposed as a liar.
    He's the leader.

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  56. The part of the whole mess that really stands out to me is something I read on the Tattler in that original letter that our real civic leaders Delmer, Crawford, Zimmerman and Herrman, sent to the council.

    "The provisions of Proposition 218 ... "shall be liberally construed to effectuate its purposes of limiting local government revenue and enhancing taxpayer consent."

    The prop was supposed to help us get more information, not less, and 'liberally' too!!!! And help us keep our financial house in order!

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  57. Mr. Finewine, in his cupsJanuary 31, 2011 at 4:36 PM

    I have a theory about blogs and the things you've find said on them.

    Bill Coburn's "News.net" site is about as positive and boosterish as any you can find anywhere. It is a virtual ghostown. Then Patch, which twitters and tweets and faces and does all that other boring corporate stuff, gets a few comments a day. Most days, anyway. Then there is the big bad Tattler. Here the opinions are staight forward, hard edged, and the comments get a little rough on an occasion. The place is inundated with traffic, comments, and is widely talked about around the town.

    So go ahead. Be nice and decorous. Only say polite things, and do not ever utter or even think things that are not entirely positive. And watch as people avoid you like the plague.

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  58. Provocative argument Mr. Finewine. I'll have to sober up before I know what to think of it.

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  59. fair memory skillsJanuary 31, 2011 at 4:41 PM

    The night that the newly seated Sierra Madre City Council approved the MWD hook up, with Bart Doyle cheering them on , was the night that the people realized Mosca had fooled them. Bitter, hard night. And the first of many Moscillian excuses for reversals of promises.
    Anybody got a tape of that?

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  60. The dirt lies are so ugly, so vicious, so slanderous, it is difficult to describe them without using certain wording.

    That said, the Tattler has never been as vicious or slanderous or ugly and mean spirited as the old DowntownDirt websites, Cumquat and Qunt, you remember them, Buchanan's favorites.

    Those websites are widely rumored to have been written by some very well known dirt names, some former mayors or current councilmen.
    Poor old Jim Snider was just used by these monsters.

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  61. The Tattler is a neighborhood. Some folks mostly listen and think, but contribute little. Others respond to every comment with lively banter. There are those that think they can sway opinion but I've noticed some of the most thoughtful opinions don't elicit much in the way of comments. Then there are the ones that everyone immediately jump on and declare out of line. I love the conversations. I love the monologues. And I love it when old friends whom I've never met show up for morning coffee.

    Keep on keeping on, Tattler.

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  62. What makes me crazy is how damn tricky the Downtown Investment Club Members are. They sling that mud at 100 miles an hour, yelling that their targets are the ones slinging mud.
    Somebody once said, it's like a devious kid in school who would shoot the spit balls when they teacher wasn't looking, and then blame an innocent kid.
    Sierra Madre deserves better leadership than the gang of three and a half and their spit ball throwing managers.

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  63. 9:06. You're assuming that Sandi's argument has merit. If you read Kurt's letter to Elaine, you'll see that he doesn't make that assumption.

    My money is on Kurt.

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  64. 4:36 what planet are you from? Have you read the articles Bill wrote about Nancy S. when she was running for re-election or about John C. when he was running election?

    Coburn can sling mud with the best (worst) of them.

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  65. What are We Waiting For!!!January 31, 2011 at 6:43 PM

    I want to copy Kurt's speech and put 100's of them out next to Susan's paper. We need to do this en masse. What do you all say Tats. It is time! Beantime drinkers can sit and watch that everyone who picks up the fishwraps will also get the truth! for the next few months Kurt's speech is spread to everyone.

    I work hard and have not got a cent to spare, but this is my town and I am not going to take this any more!!

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  66. certainly comments can be taken out of context and manipulated to serve the agenda of those okay with the shenangians of the Gang of 4, however hopefully people will pause and do a little research on their own

    and after the research if those voters are okay with the Council and leaders lying and distorting facts, then Sierra Madre is headed toward an implosion and within 15 years our kids will be dealing with overbuilt condos, extreme congestion and a shell of the Sierra Madre we grew up with.

    it's a darn shame that a few outsiders move in and decide that Sierra Madre needs to be to their liking and their vision regardless of the history of the city and what we moved here for in the first place

    it boggles my mind that Mosca and Buchanan are on board with SCAG and it's population goals for Sierra Madre

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  67. If you guys want to help Kurt and John, donate to the cause.


    Don't offer unsolicited advice about how they or their supporters should behave.

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  68. I hope the Downtown Investors Club realizes that rerunning their tactics from the last election isn't going to help them avoid a defeat in Court.

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  69. 3:16 you are right, I am a very bad camel..

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  70. I remember, fair memory skillsFebruary 1, 2011 at 7:28 AM

    "fair memory skills said...
    The night that the newly seated Sierra Madre City Council approved the MWD hook up, with Bart Doyle cheering them on , was the night that the people realized Mosca had fooled them. Bitter, hard night. And the first of many Moscillian excuses for reversals of promises.
    Anybody got a tape of that? "

    It was a very painful night for a lot of us.
    I also remember ONLY TWO residents got it.
    They understood what was about to happen.
    The got up and spoke with their usual great logic as to why this should not be done!
    Who were these two patriots?

    Former Mayor MaryAnn MacGillivray and Attorney Linda Thornton.

    Someone put up a tape of it, if possible.
    Then the people will know exactly what we are responding to!

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  71. 7:28, also Salvatore Tessoro ran an article in his paper about 70 years of water independence ending.
    I know a member of the Residents' Research Team was trying to find that tape and couldn't.

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