|Perhaps Mayor Walsh never saw this report?|
Which is fine with me. It keeps H. Susan from involving herself in some of the other important issues facing this community, which is a good thing. She doesn't really understand too much about what is going on, and anything H. Susan might print would likely be comically erroneous. Bad information that would only serve to confuse some very nice people.
Just for laughs on what for many of us is a day off from the salt mines, I thought I would run a fact check on what the robocallers have been saying versus the story H. Susan has been laying down in her only lightly published weekly newspaper. Or at least we think it might be hers. The Superior Court of Los Angeles County could have a somewhat different understanding (link).
Here is a portentous portion of the pitter patter of little minds to be found in this weekend's edition of the Mountain Views News.
Earlier the same day, Mayor Walsh, in her State of the City address before the Sierra Madre Kiwanis Club, also encouraged residents to support the increase. "Don't believe some dude on a robo call," said Walsh, referring to the recent rash of automated calls asking Sierra Madreans to reject the increase. To date, no one has been able to identify who is the sponsor of these calls which contain "misleading and inaccurate information" said the city manager Elaine Aguilar in an earlier conversation.
Now I don't know about you, but if I were to see "the city manager Elaine Aguilar" and H. Susan Henderson (link) walking down the street and heading my way, I'd be certain to take my wallet out of my back trousers pocket and move it to a front one. And has Mayor Walsh admitted yet in public that she is not running for re-election in April? Even though the deadline for filing is now way past its freshness dating? A strange thing, that one.
This is what was said in the last robocall left on the answering machine here at the Maundry Compound:
This is a public service message from Water For You. Many in Sierra Madre believe the water rate hike will fix the City's water service. It will not. The truth is most of the money will go to pay down almost $15 million dollars in old water bond debt from 2003. The city has paid interest only on this debt for many years. They are wasting our money by not pursuing other alternatives.
The rate hike will not improve water service. The city needs to go back to the drawing board. Your water rates will increase 61% unless you send City Hall your ballot voting no. If you don't send it in, your vote is yes. If you don't have a ballot call the City at 355-7135. That is 355-7135. The deadline to submit your ballot is January 28.
As a way of judging this informal contest in truth dissemination we have culled from City Hall's website a rather sobering report titled "City of Sierra Madre - Debt Administration FY 2013-2015." You can find it there under that name. All you need to do is figure out how. The City's website can be a bit of a pill at times.
For your reviewing ease, we have pulled out the page that deals with the 2003 water bonds and its many millions in vanity debt and pasted it above. And by looking it over you can see that yes, the City of Sierra Madre's waterless water department has indeed been paying interest only on that particular bond since 2004. In the process accumulating a massive amount of the kinds of unnecessary debt you create by making interest only payments on things. All caused by the dudes (Nancy Walsh terminology) responsible for the City's financial idiocy ten years or so back.
I'm afraid beating H. Susan Henderson in a veracity contest isn't all that much of a feat. Susan's low impact humbugging being something that most anyone should be able to see through, and with only the most minimal amount of effort.
That said, and based on the City's own bond debt data as evidence, the score is now Robocallers 1, Mountain Views News 0.
The robocallers, whoever they may be, should be quite proud of their accomplishment.
Be sure to send in your Prop 218 ballot protesting the water rate increase by January 28. It will annoy all of the right people.