Check out this little slice of the downtown rhythm (link):
A question was asked at a previous Council meeting regarding the reporting of the number of protests submitted. The City Clerk has been maintaining a tally of the number of protest envelopes received, and has been providing the information. It should be noted that the number of protest envelopes will not be equal to the actual number of protests received because envelopes might contain more than one protest ballot, or an envelope could contain a "non-protest."
Pursuant to the City Council's formally approved tabulation process, written protests and the protest ballots are to remain sealed until tabulated. The protests will be tabulated in public view on January 28th, beginning at 9:00 am.
This puts things into quite a different perspective for us here at The Tattler. Until now we had been mistakenly posting our (almost) daily number as protest ballots being received at City Hall, not envelopes. As you likely know, there are quite a few firms and apartment complexes in town that are entitled to more than just one ballot. As these are businesses, and therefore have bottom line profit considerations to deal with, they are among the most likely to send their Prop 218 protest ballots to the city.
As of last Thursday, which was January 9, there have been 773 total Prop 218 water rate protest envelopes received at City Hall. How many actual protest ballots are in each of those envelopes is anybody's guess. The upshot being that we could be much closer to the 1,848 number needed to defeat these onerous water and sewer rate hikes than we previously knew.
The envelopes won't actually be opened until January 28, so this mystery will be with us for a little while longer.
With our new understanding of what is going on, we have corrected our Prop 218 tally to an envelope count. The countdown is located at the upper right hand corner of this page.
If you are a volunteer, it appears that the City really can "take you out."
This from the City of Sierra Madre's current policy guidelines on volunteers:
1.02 Definition of a Volunteer
A ‘volunteer’ is anyone who without expectation of compensation beyond reimbursement, performs a task at the direction of and on behalf of the City. Any and all services provided to the City are donated to the City without contemplation of compensation or future employment, and are given for charitable reasons. A ‘volunteer’ must be officially accepted and enrolled by the City prior to performance of any task. Nothing in this policy shall be deemed to create a contract between the volunteer and the City of Sierra Madre (“City”).
The volunteer shall not be considered an employee at any time. Both the volunteer and the City have the right to terminate the volunteer’s service to the City at any time, for any reason, with or without cause and without right to appeal.
It appears that The Nancinator was not bluffing.