Thursday, January 16, 2014

Disasterville: The NBC Southern California News Report On Sierra Madre's Many Water Woes

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(Mod: I have for you a fairly substantive - though obviously City Hall influenced - report from the area's local NBC News affiliate about our increasingly famous water debacle today. You can link to their TV news footage on this story by clicking here, scrolling down the page a little and then waiting through an ad. The video features Chris Koerber, John Capoccia, Bruce Inman, various pensive residents both at work and play, plus Earl Richey's celebrated Santa Claus banner. The prognosis is troubling of course, both in its outlook for our waterless water company and the impending rate increases. The Prop 218 water rate protest is a major theme of this report, as are our now failing attempts at conservation. Of course, there is no useful account of the massive water bond debt largely responsible for our water division's looming financial collapse, nor about the individuals who did it. The cover-up continues to hold ... For whatever it is worth, should the City ever tell the true story about our nearly $15 million in 2003 water bond debt, including who is actually responsible, whatever possessed them to do such a thing, and how these financial Solons concluded that manufacturing a remarkable $9 million in additional debt by making interest only payments on these bonds for a decade and a half would be a brilliant thing to do, I would happily drop my opposition to the water rate increases. Until then I strongly encourage you to send in your Prop 218 protest forms without any further delay. No truth, no money. Below is the NBC News article.)

Drought Adds Urgency to Sierra Madre Water Funding ShortfallResidents and businesses in the foothill community of Sierra Madre no longer face penalties for failure to meet water conservation goals, but water conservation gains have slipped since the penalties were rescinded. Drought conditions have increased the urgency for Sierra Madre to resolve water system funding issues, according to officials of the suburban foothill community.

Residents no longer face the risk of financial penalties if they fail to meet conservation goals. But they are being asked to consider a plan for multi-year water rate hikes that in the first year alone would raise rates up to 10 percent for half, and for some more than 30 percent. The result of a vote by mail is expected at the end of the month.

Current water rates do not cover the expenses of operating the system and delivering some two million gallons of water daily to the city's 11,000 residents, according to city officials.

In fact, they say the system has been operating at a loss for several years, drawing down a reserve fund, even when the city was able to rely entirely on its own groundwater reserves. The city needs money to pay the debt service on bonds issued to fund upgrades to the water system, including new reservoir tanks.

"We're in dire straights," councilman John Capoccia said.

Last year, groundwater levels dropped low enough that one of the city's four wells began pumping only air, and the city stopped drawing from the aquifer, according to Public Works Director John Inman.

"For all intents and purposes, we are now relying completely on imported water," Inman said.

Surface water imported through the San Gabriel Valley Water District costs the city two and a half times as much, he said.

"That is a large factor" in the city's need for additional water revenue, Inman said. The importing of surface water also led to a rash of complaints over discolored water coming out of taps.

Water officials traced this to chemical reactions of water pipes with disinfectants present in the imported water, and said it did not pose a health threat. Southern California is now in the midst of the supposed rainy season in a third consecutive year of below average precipitation.

In Fresno on Tuesday, Gov. Jerry Brown indicated he is nearing the point of declaring a drought emergency. Many cities still have in place conservation measures dating back to the last drought of 2007 to 2009.

Last Spring, the Sierra Madre City Council adopted a conservation ordinance that authorized the city to set conservation goals for water customers -- in most cases, usage reductions of 10 to 20 percent. What's more, the ordinance also enabled the city to impose financial penalties on customers who failed to meet their goals.

The penalty could have amounted to doubling the rate charged for all water used over the customer's assigned conservation goal. This aspect of the conservation measure was met with some vehement criticism. As it was, penalties were never actually imposed, and last October, the city council voted to rescind the penalty provision, shortly before moving forward with the rate increase proposal.

Through summer and into November, water customers overall had cut back 20 to 30 percent, Inman said.

But since then the water savings have dissipated and, in fact, the city is now using more water than it did this time last year, Inman said. Some see this as a response to the dropping of penalties.

"If there's no incentive, people won't do it," said Diana Bear, who moved to Sierra Madre last year.

However, Inman suspects a significant factor is the unseasonal warm and dry weather that -- more so than last winter -- has continued into the season when rain and cooler temperatures historically lead to less water usage. It's not that consumers are now using more water than in summer, he explained, but rather that their usage has not dropped off as in previous winters.

Across the city, browning grass marks the lawns of homeowners who have made significant cutbacks in landscape watering.

On Manzanita Street, Bear and husband Shawn Patterson say they've cut water usage 50 percent, but still have enough to irrigate their backyard garden. They figure their conservation is more than enough to offset the impact of a rate increase, and they support it.

"You get the water you pay for," Bear said.

The city is putting the issue before water customers under a procedure spelled out by Proposition 218. Customers need not vote to approve the new rate plan.

But it cannot be enacted if more than 50 percent of the city's some 3,700 water customers vote to oppose it. Voting by mail is underway and will end on Jan. 28. The sealed ballots will not be opened until then, and the city is not disclosing how many it has received so far.

A banner opposing any rate hikes has been placed in the front yard of an apartment building not far from City Hall on Sierra Madre Boulevard. Opinions pro and con could be found in the city's central square, known as Kersting Court.

"I would pay a reasonable increase, but not 20 percent," said resident Hakim, who said he has lived in Sierra Madre eight years and intends to vote against the rate increase.

Failure of the measure would leave the city few options, said Councilman Chris Koerber.

Under current projections, the water system's reserve fund would run out in 2016. In that case, the city likely would have to liquidate its water system, and turn over responsibilities to another district or private company.

The city remains hopeful that at some point, with wetter weather, the city's groundwater will recharge enough to resume pumping water to customers. That could push back the depletion of the water reserve fund, Inman and the councilmembers said, but a rate increase would still be required to pull the water budget out of red ink.

http://sierramadretattler.blogspot.com

90 comments:

  1. The city would prefer that you believe it was all an act of God.

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    1. Did God get into the water bond business?

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  2. I believe with even your favorite Koeber saying we need to not send in a protest as they say , You are part of the problem Not the solution

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    1. Yes. Forget the truth. Just dig into your pockets and pay.

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    2. Don't look at the man behind the curtain. It is your fault. Do your rain dance.

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    3. I would pay more for water IF Bruce Inman was replaced. He has been the Public Works Director for 17 years. A large part of this mess rests on his shoulders. The 2003 City Council / Bart Doyle and staff are also responsible for the massive debt that they chose to take on without any thought as to how the debt would be repaid.

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    4. I hadn't thought of that, 9:51, but actually if Inman were fired for being the incompetent and unqualified public works director that he is, I might actually think the city government is making an effort to clean its own house.

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    5. Inman would just be the sacrificial goat. Tossed to the wolves to distract those who are really responsible.

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  3. What do you mean, how could not be an "act of god?"

    It was many of god's little children who did this to Sierra Madre in the first place?

    Oop's it was Satan, my mistake.

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  4. Big fire just above Glendora today. Many houses threatened.

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  5. "No truth,no money". really Mod, And while you're waiting for the truth, the water company is going broke. sometimes you have to fix the problem first, and then cast blame later. Your position is akin to having someone let the cows out of the barn and standing there at the gate demanding to know who left the latch open while the cows are out in the road getting run over. It's time to be prudent, not petulant.

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    1. Yep. I am always amazed at how the truth about things such as our 2003 water bonds and the $9 million dollars in additional debt caused by making interest only payments is so taboo in certain quarters. Maybe you know someone responsible? All the city has to do is talk about who did it and how it happened and I will drop my opposition. You can call me all the names you want. Believe me, there are not very many on the list that haven't been used yet. Go do your rain dance. There are fires on the horizon. God continues to be quite angry with us.

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    2. Yeah Mod, what is wrong with you questioning where the money has gone. Just because we have been misled, or more accurately lied to, that is no reason to question or oppose those running the fiefdom.

      I don't know about that whole cows and barn analogy....seems to me that it is more like being asked to throw good money after bad, something a reasonable person might not do.

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    3. 9:37 am

      I am a 37 year resident!

      The city has commingled the water and sewer income for years!

      Jim Mc Craw, our famous city manager got disciplined for this very action!

      The solution remains...

      The city needs to reduce its spending & hire competent management.

      The water & sewer departments need their own checking accounts & checks!

      from a defrauded resident!

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    4. If someone is going to ask you 61% more for something, they should have their facts straight and be willing to share all of them. It is really very simple.

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    5. Here is an explanation of our whole water system, and what the bonds were spent on:
      http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=3xUbYcGhB1A&feature=youtu.be

      The Mira Monte Reservoir was 8 million dollars for example.
      http://www.pasadenastarnews.com/general-news/20090527/reservoir-renovation-project-is-largest-in-sierra-madre-history
      http://sierramadretattler.blogspot.com/2010/03/setting-record-straight-councilmember_8271.html

      If you go to the sierra madre website, here is where you can find the water sewer fund study of August 2013, it goes into detail about costs and where previous bond money was used.
      http://cityofsierramadre.com/water

      I called the head of the public works in Arcadia to ask about the Santa Anita dam and not having water for the spreading ground last year.

      Dams experience sediment build up, even moreso after major fires. The sediment build-up means less room for water, and it also means trouble for the mechanisms to get the water to go from the dam to the spreading grounds. Remember all those trees that were cut down to make room for dirt? It was the dirt from the Santa Anita Dam. Remove the dirt, hold more water, hold more water, put more water in the ground.

      However, because they were digging out dirt, they weren't holding water in the dam, so the aquifer didn't get as much water put into it. Now the dam is ready to hold copious amounts of water, but we are experiencing the worst drought ever recorded (since we started tracking rain in 1887). I imagine we will still put more water in the ground from the Santa Anita because it's actually functioning this year.

      However, it isn't raining, and that rain isn't going into the ground.

      Also, the state is requiring a 20% reduction in water use (partially because the weather people feel we are in for a multi-year drought problem). If the city doesn't reduce water consumption, we'll be fined. But we need to reduce it anyway, because we are absolutely going to be putting less water into the ground for awhile.

      Lastly, according to these rate studies, Sierra Madre doesn't have the ability to have water rates go up each year with the rate of inflation. Which is a problem.

      Also, though everyone here is complaining about how we have been ripped off as ratepayers, in actuality the federal government has subsidized a lot of these improvements, and the city of arcadia pays lots of money to keep things like the Santa Anita dam functioning. It's in their best interests to do so, but it's in ours as well. We don't pay our own way, and if we did, our rates would be going up a lot higher than what's being asked. That's just plain facts.

      Our water is subsidized and reduced by other taxpayers. And if we continue to act in a manner that reduces our creditworthiness, the result is we'll be paying more money for all of our services.

      Honestly, I don't see what the options are if we don't raise rates, besides defaulting on loans or firing people (and I think it's a really bad idea to have our water run on bare bones by people feeling we don't value them. Of all the things I can think to be frugal on, the running and maintenance of a water company is not one of them.)

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    6. I'm with Julia.

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    7. How did a $6 million bond deal become $15 million in debt? Who authorized the interest only payments that caused this mess? And were the infrastructure upgrades the 2003 water bonds enabled really neceessary? Why were they necessary? Were they tied to the DSP? Who were the people who decided these bonds were a good thing to do? Were water company clients ever consulted about this highly risky venture? These are the things that need to be explained.

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    8. Fire people is absolutely the way to go. Cut the staff at city hall, reduce the amount of time and energy any city employee spends in recreational and/or celebratory functions, make it a true business to run the essential services, and there would be plenty left over for the water department. Any parties the city wants t have can be handled by volunteers or not happen.
      That is the kind of action that is needed.

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    9. 10:49 is presenting facts that are meant to show only one side of the issue. The Mod's questions don't exist in that point of view. There's an intensely selective accounting operating - find the accurate information about the department and its needs and problem-solving that work or worked, and pretend that there isn't anything else to consider.

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    10. Almost all of these answers are in the links I provided above.

      The Arcadia interconnection was $101k (thank god we had it, we'd be in major trouble now without it).

      Alta Vista and Sturtevent Main was $644k (this might have cost more as an emergency repair. I recall talk about how raising our rates for maintenance was a bunch of hooey, the result is a lot of recent emergency repairs, much more costly in the long run).

      Mira Monte Reservoir $10.84 million (partially paid through other people's money)

      Grove Reservoir about 4 mil

      GAC Treatment Facility 3.7 mil

      Well Repairs on 4 wells 2.3 mil

      Feds gave us 7.7 million to do this that we don't have to pay on.

      How did 6 million become 15? We borrowed more than 6. We currently have 10.28 million in borrowed money. We could pay it all off right now and pay only that.

      Who authorized interest only payments? I don't know, but it doesn't look like they had much of an option. Revenue didn't really allow for large payments down on the debt. Also, because currency inflates, because you can get tax write offs for debt payments, and more issues, it is usually preferable to pay things over the long haul.

      Was the infrastructure necesarry? Citizens should have asked this at the time: the big ticket items were MiraMonte, Grove, and the GAC Treatment facility. They were said to be necesarry because an earthquake would have taken the reservoirs out and because our water was unhealthful for us without additional treatment.

      I don't think the reservoirs or a treatment facility really have much to do with expanding downtown sierra madre.

      You have some old articles you wrote about people's thinking when they pursued the upgrading of the reservoir. The treatment facility was an issue of human safety. Actually they really all were issues of human safety. There may have been some legal requirements involved in the reservoirs as well.

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    11. So you're mellow with $9 million dollars in additional debt caused through making interest only payments on the 2003 water bonds? I think if you walked down the hall and asked Elaine she could tell you who made that call.

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    12. The sad thing is had Kurt Zimmerman's forensic audit been allowed to go through we would have had the answers to these kinds of questions years ago.

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    13. There is a 6.75 million bond, and a 2.365 million bond, and a 1.2 million no-interest bond. I'm not mellow on interest only payments, but I don't think that paying interest on debt is a surprising issue, and the amount of interest you pay seems huge, until you correct it for inflation, and take into consideration opportunity costs.

      As for paying the interest only, I keep reading that ratepayers have refused to raise rates since 2001, and when rates were finally raised they were only up to current operating expenses. So it seems to me that I should be more annoyed with the citizenry that makes it near to impossible to pay off the principal on debt.

      If we want to pay off the principal faster, we need to raise the rates further. The water budget is right there, I don't see room to cut costs from other areas.

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    14. Reduce city hall staff.

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    15. Actually, I just looked through my own link. It says the economic recessions sharply reduced revenues, and their projections on revenues were wrong, though their projections on expenses were correct.

      As for making the correct call on what to pay less on, I have no idea. You think it was Elaine, seems like it could be true.

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    16. Who agreed to the terrible terms of this loan?
      I'm not any financial director or anything, but even I know that "interest only" is a con.

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    17. Yes, but Julia you are studiously avoiding the point here. I will gladly stap back from opposing the water rate hike if you all down at City Hall will answer why all of this bond debt happened. Who was responsible for it, why they agreed to pay interest only on the 2003 bonds (which is costing we the rate paying people $9 million in foolishly assumed debt), and what made this infrasturcture so necessary that they put the water company into such terrible financial jeopardy. These are very reasonable questions. If you are going to ask people to pay 61% more for water, you need to answer these kinds of inquiries. Otherwise you are not doing what we pay you to do.

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    18. We are hurting for money. Let go of employees. Sad, but necessary.

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    19. Julia
      You friends and co workers at City Hall are responsible for the interest only payments.
      Doyle who was the Mayor, Stockely, Hayes, Maurer, darling Tonja Torres and your co worker Bruce Inman helped cook up how to spend the money. At any point principle payments could have been made. I am sure you know this because of your "expertise" in the financial goings on in the city.

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    20. I'm by no means an expert. I'm just reading the material that the city provided, including in the ballots we were sent. There's a table in there that says what the money was spent on. They explain their reasoning for using bonds to pay for those items (they use a "house mortgage" example.)

      I've also been looking up publicly available material on the internet to see what's going on, because it's important and I want to be informed.

      Previous city agendas state that the 2003 bond terms were interest only payments until 2019 and then principal and interest 2020-2034. That's the terms of the loan, if it seems like we can't afford those terms, then ok, but that's the information.

      As far as how much we've lost by making interest only payments, we would have been paying an additional 100k a year on the note which would have reduced overall interest payments by... 5k the first year, then around 10k the next year and so on and so farth.. Math is too complicated to do in my head, but we would have paid 1 million down by now on the principal, and saved something under the figure of 200k in interest (it's the compounding interest that always confuses me). Then again, we would have been paying more for the water in the meantime.

      Here's the 2003 bond rate sheet with payout structure:
      http://emma.msrb.org/MS211899-MS187207-MD363311.pdf

      Looking at the last page it shows that principal and interest payments were being paid on old bonds, and those payments go away in 2019 which is when the principal payments start on the 2003 bonds. It looks like this set-up was to keep costs lower up front. Assuming no new loans on the books, our rates will reduce in the future. But this is me saying this from looking at the bond information on this document.

      Previous water budget plans are on the internet. The earlier documents are the same story the city has been telling: they knew what the debt payments were. They knew what the revenues were. They projected increasing revenues, but the revenues didn't increase. The documents that they sent us said that these revenues didn't increase because of the recession. (Up to you guys if you think that's a valid reason). They projected a certain amount of maintenance and repair, it was much more. (Up to you guys if you think they should have known it would be more).

      So when they say the money is for "fixing leaky pipes" it's because that's been costing more than previous projections. But you could say it's for debt payments, all depends on how you view things.

      The current projections on the ballot sheet that came in are attempting a new worst case scenario on revenues, and also on a timeline of when the raymond basin will come up to previous levels.

      Personally, I am concerned about the aquifer and rainfall. I think it's going to be worse than their worst projections. The water researchers in this area have been saying that we may be coming out of an unusually wet period, and that the water projections we have been operating off as normal are actually too high because they are based on the wet years that have existed since the settlements out here started.

      I probably won't be checking back in again, but hope this was helpful. This was my community service for the week.

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    21. There was nothing in the 2003 water bonds deal that said the City of Sierra Madre had to make interest only payments, Julia. That is just really dumb. Next time you decide to do community service make sure it has something to do with a broom.

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  6. The city is very concerned that a lot of people will be sending in their ballots at the last minute.

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  7. My yard is now dead - I didn't change back to landscape watering after the penalties were removed.

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    1. Lost $1000s in plants due to cutting back.

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  8. John Inman? Bruce's kin? Story probably bored the reporter so much, he didn't bother to check names.

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  9. A little off-topic, but so what... Did anyone hear Mayor Red Queen's hit piece on the state of the city Tuesday? Did she proclaim herself Mayor for life? Is she declining to run for a second term due to the meanness and incivility of the Tattlers?

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    1. I'd ike to know too, and who is running, for sure. I only know of 4 candidates: Delmar, Arizmendi, Green and Goos. Any others?

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    2. Just those for. Only Denise is qualified to be on the Council.

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    3. Today 1/16 close of business is the deadline. One more good candidate would keep tax lover Goss off Council. Just sayin'.

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    4. Yesterday was the deadline, and nobody pulled papers. Nancy Walsh is hosting a party fpor Noah Green. John Buchanan is having a bromance with Gene Goss. We need a write-in candidate if only to make certain people don't vote for either one of those two.

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    5. Poor Noah Green; equally poor Gene Goss. Tricked into running for City Council and propped up by the very worst examples of Sierra Madre's citizenry, both of whom owe allegiance to his evil eminence and the sisters of fat and lean.

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    6. Noah Green and his supporters think that Nancy Walsh will be a good political connection?
      Good God.

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    7. Do not discount either goss or gree.
      What color sign will green have????

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    8. Tax me Goo-Gree!

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    9. The Green Goose.

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  10. A "drought emergency"? Hey, let's build some more!

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  11. Lets put it in a different prospective!

    YOUR DAUGHTER HAS A BIRTHDAY!

    YOU... THE WATER PAYING CUSTOMER JUST PAID AN ADDITIONAL $400.00 FOR each (60 day) WATER & SEWER RATE INCREASE...

    NOW YOU LOOK YOUR DAUGHTER IN HER DARK BLUE EYES AND TELL HER YOUR $400 WENT TO PAYING FOR "HER SEWER EXPENSE"

    GIVE ME A BREAK!

    WAKE UP & SEND IN YOUR WATER RATE PROTESS BALLOTS!

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    1. What ajoke of a premise.

      If $400 is the cost of my 5% sewer rate increase, I must have one hell of a sewer bill. Like $8,000.

      Wake up and smell the freaking coffee.

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    2. Give us a break with your typing , No caps ,No double space it does not help your point

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    3. You must have the biggest water bill in the city , mine will only go up by $40 dollers at the end of the increase

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    4. If I looked my daughter in her dark blue eyes I whould realize she is not my daughter

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  12. This protest will not fix the problem. It will only come to no good. All the information re: bonds is on the city website. Nothing can be changed today so we all have to suck it up now, and then try and solve the problem. Being hard-headed about it won't solve the problem it will only lead to more caps guy posting.

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  13. 10:29 perfectly encapsulated the City Manager's challenge here. How do you get the ratepayers to agree to a huge water rate increase while at the same time shielding the people whose mismanagement made it necessary? Not an easy job.

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  14. 1o:41

    Dear Madame...

    Please take a look at your last water & sewer Bill...

    1) How much money did you pay the city / Not the Water & Sewer Enterprise ? $_______

    2) How much more did you pay for Utility User Taxes ? $________

    Please help with the math...

    3) now please multiply the water paid by 160%.... $______
    now please multiply the sewer paid by the gross rate increase ____%.... $_____
    now (add the new water & sewer monies due) and multiply by 110% (UUT)... ___ how much more are you spending?

    I can guarantee you its more than $40.00
    >>> your (60) day water meter charge + the sewer charge + the UUT exceeds $40.00 and you failed to use any water....

    please think of me next time you pay your water and sewer bill?

    SEND YOUR PROTEST BALLOT IN

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    Replies
    1. its CAPS guy again. omg.

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  15. Why won't city hall and its supporters just answer the questions about the financial disaster that we've been put in?
    I just don't get why.

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    Replies
    1. They can't. They answer to the responsible parties.

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  16. Just Think!

    1) The city of Arcadia offered to sell the City of Sierra Madre water for $95.00 per acre foot
    read the letter from arcadia's city manager

    2) but city hall decided to purchase "yellow water" from MWD for $260 per acre foot

    3) lets do the math... $260 MWD yellow water
    - 95 Arcadia water
    _____________

    $165 (WHY ARE WE PAYING $165 PER ACRE FOOT MORE - FOR YELLOW WATER?)

    4) By the city purchasing outside "yellow water" from MWD,

    CITY HALL is NOT PAYING EDISION $45,000 a month to pump the water from those Sierra Madre Wells....

    5) Question remains un answered....

    Is the city of Sierra Madre saving money each month while it purchases "YELLOW WATER" from MWD ?

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  17. I don't care who did or started what it sounds like kids blaming each other , the rate increase is the only way to try and fix it.

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    1. You sound like a very discerning and aware individual. Would you be interested in a deal on a nice bridge?

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    2. If I was a crook I'd love to have 11:31 on my jury!

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    3. Yesterday my water finally ran clear (no more pee color). Just now it is running orange. What to think?
      Regardless, to get water at all we need to pay for it. I've done the calculations. My bill will not run $400 a month and not even half of that. I've lived in areas where the water is turned off 3 days a week, so I am grateful I have all the water I need every day. Bridges cross river of which we have none, so no thanks no deal.

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    4. 11:31

      Lets hire her and 8 others...

      we can obtain a new - not guilty verdict - for her friend "Bernie Madoff "

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    5. Actually there are a lot of ways to fix it, the city powers answer is a rate increase.

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    6. The city acts like the taxpayers are their personal ATM.

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  18. re: 11:31 post

    Her husband must be paying her "water & sewer bills"

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  19. post 11:31

    Just think...

    If Prop 218 fails to pass...

    Elaine and Bruce can pay the make believe "Water & Sewer Enterprises" expenses with "City Hall General Fund Monies"

    What a switch!!!

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  20. I think we need to make it a policy that no one in the realty/building industry can run for city council, because of the blatant conflict of interest issues, and also, no more lawyers. The few good ones are far outnumbered by the destructive ones.

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    1. That would unconstitutional to nth degree.

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  21. Can anyone tell me how the proposed water rates stack up against water rates in neighboring areas?

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    1. I sure can

      the city of
      Monrovia $1.25 per unit
      Arcadia $1.10 per unit

      The city of Sierra Madre is wanting to sell yellow water at $3.58 per unit plus an additional UUT of 110%

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    2. Moody's certainly does want their pound of flesh.

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    3. Yes, move out of town and you, too, can have these rates.

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    4. The easy part is borrowing money. The hard part is paying it back.

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    5. Fortunately there is another option, 2:41. You can fill out a Prop 218 form and stay right here!

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    6. It's a frigging miscalculation that we are an affluent community, and it reads that way because of the influx of people who have some money and skewer the average. One of the best things about this town is that way people from all different levels of society can live together with mutual respect. But now this affluence label and greedy wannabes plus a city staff that are demanding to be our life long dependents - it's not looking good for working people. Too bad too because this is a town that was made by the working class.

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    7. This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.

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    8. This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.

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    9. People accusing each other of doing drugs is just dumb.

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    10. They must be doing drugs.

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  22. So here is what I think is an obvious question. So I am sure it won't get answered. Why did the city council in 2003 commit Sierra Madre to a water bond deal it could not afford to pay back?

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    1. That is it, 6:56. And it won't be answered.

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    2. It makes no difference we just have to fix it

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    3. This isn't North Korea or Nazi Germany, 8:17. We have the right to expect an answer from our elected officials before we agree to pay for their policies.

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  23. Attn: 7:13 PM

    Dear Julia M.

    Nice typing.

    Would you be able to research the timing and the amounts of retirement funds being paid out to city employees?

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  24. Many of the Sierra Madre City Council members have taken the approach of (poster 7:16) Letting the animals out of the barn. The pause for thought to admire a problem, the approach of I don't have a solution but I will continue to ask for more monies to repair the barn doors; or not.

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  25. San Marino $2.75 per unit Cal Am Water

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  26. From the La Canada Irrigation District
    http://lacanadairrigation.org/about_us.html

    Originally, the District’s customers survived on ground water from the District’s wells (located in the Monk Hill subarea of the Raymond Basin) and tunnel water piped in from Pickens Canyon. Early residents understood the need for water conservation, as they were only allowed to fill their household storage on specified days at specific times.

    Since 1955, the District has augmented its ground water supply with water purchased from the Metropolitan Water District of Southern California. Over the past 50 years, growth within the District has created a greater demand for water. So much that, imported water from MWD now accounts for over 90% of the water consumed within the District. MWD water is a blend of Colorado River and the State Water Project (Northern California) waters.

    Q: How much does my water cost?
    A: Your water is measured in units of 100 cubic feet and calculated as follows:

    First 60 Units @ $3.30 per unit
    61-100 Units @ $3.68 per unit
    101-176 Units @ $4.22 per unit
    177-250 Units @ $4.80 per unit
    over 250 Units @ $5.28 per unit

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