Well, OK, there are a couple of things of importance, but don't bet your barn on the outcome. The water rate hike will be discussed again tomorrow. It was coerced from the residents through Prop 218, though apparently half of the community was completely disengaged from that so-called process. And think about it, what could possibly be more Sierra Madre City Hall than declaring a victory because a majority of the citizenry did nothing? At that rate this City Council should have all the victories they could ever want. And still find the time to cry for even more money.
Of course, nobody wants homeless housing downtown either, so this City's august leadership will celebrate their victory again on Tuesday by doing nothing about it. Doing nothing being how things get done here. We have no water, no pipes, no ability to stop drug addicts from moving in downtown and mingling with the neighborhood kids, and no money. Or at least money that hasn't already been spent on lawyers, leisure activities, bennies and pensions. It takes a lot of doing nothing to reach this level of futility.
They'll still spend a lot of money, of course. But will it help improve anything? Tomorrow evening's "approving certain demands" ceremony is supposed to be about recording spends that have already taken place. Some of them have been in place for years, and they just keep regenerating all by themselves. So technically the City Council still isn't doing anything. Hopefully they'll take a victory lap around the room, or give away some plaques and take some pictures.
a) ADOPTION OF RESOLUTION No. 14- 14 OF THE CITY COUNCIL OF THE CITY OF SIERRA MADRE APPROVING CERTAIN DEMANDS - $439,083.47 has gone out in the mail to this city's many vendors, and for what you ask? Good question. The Mountain Views News gets $1,024.43. Technically this is for city meeting notices and the such, but we all know it is to buy print media support for those candidates supporting Measure UUT. $2,520.08 goes for bathroom supplies. FedEx gets $143.35 for overnighting some things. Where I work capricious overnighting gets people into a lot of trouble, just so you know. Harlan Ulysses Hanson appears to be a private eye, and got $2,064.35 for doing background checks. Hopefully he found some really good stuff on people who already work downtown. SCAG gets $1,198 dollars in dues. We need to have a seat at that table so they can slap us down when we request lower RHNA numbers. Or tell us we have to accommodate large amounts of high density development in the middle of the worst drought in centuries (link). The list goes on and on.
b) INCORPORATED RESOLUTION AUTHORIZING APPLICATION OF FEDERAL EXCESS PERSONAL PROPERTY - In 1982 the SMFD borrowed an old International fire truck from the state. They used it until 2004, then they parked it in the Public Works Maintenance Yard. Now the state wants it back. Hopefully the chickens living in the cab will have moved out by the time it is to be given back.
c) CANCELLATION OF FIRST REGULAR CITY COUNCIL MEETING FOR THE MONTH OF APRIL - This meeting and the City Council election both fall on April 8. Holding both at the same time would involve a level of multi-tasking beyond the abilities of many city employees. It would be a lame duck council meeting, anyway. Maybe they should just cancel all of the remaining meetings. They could easily start with tomorrow's confab.
d) SECOND READING AND ADOPTION OF ORDINANCE No. 1351 SETTING WATER AND SEWER RATES FOR FISCAL YEARS ENDING 2014 THROUGH 2018 - Let them gloat. It isn't everyday that the City Council gets to raise rates. Then again, maybe it is. Can you think of anything they haven't raised over the last couple of years? Outside of their collective IQ, of course. We still don't have any water. Sounds like just the time for this City Council to go and propose building some new developments. Are there any untouched wooded areas around yet?
e) SECOND READING AND ADOPTION OF ORDINANCE No. 1352: MUNICIPAL CODE TEXT AMENDMENT TO ALLOW TRANSITIONAL AND SUPPORTIVE HOUSING AND EMERGENCY SHELTERS - Crazy people, psychopaths, alcoholics, guys who sell loose cigarettes for a dollar to children and drug addicts will now be able to get some free happy housing adjacent to downtown Sierra Madre. All the City Council had to do was nothing. They will do nothing about this on Tuesday night as well. It is an integral part of their skill set.
f) DISBANDING BROWN ACT COMMITTEES - If you volunteer for a committee or commission, and you are dealing with sensitive issues, you may find yourself being kept under Brown Act restrictions for years. Especially if it deals with topics that the City Manager would prefer you not talk about during an election year. Chris Koerber proposed this in hopes that his fellow 4 Councilmembers will do the right thing and set the captives free. They won't. They don't do anything except raise taxes and make themselves pretty for Elaine.
2. PUBLIC HEARING – PUBLIC HEARING AND FIRST READING OF ORDINANCE No. 1303, AN ORDINANCE OF THE CITY COUNCIL AMENDING CHAPTER 12.20 OF THE SIERRA MADRE MUNICIPAL CODE REGARDING PROTECTED TREES - Trees are protected in Sierra Madre. Hopefully that won't change. I said earlier that nothing important was on the agenda for this meeting. Maybe I should have said except for this one item. Hopefully there isn't a catch, though there almost always is. And no, cutting down trees for the convenience of a developer and replacing them with saplings is not preserving our "urban forest."
3. PUBLIC HEARING – CONSIDERATION OF ORDINANCE No. 1353, AN ORDINANCE OF THE CITY COUNCIL AMENDING TITLE 8.24 OF THE SIERRA MADRE MUNICIPAL CODE RELATING TO FIREWORKS - The City wants to raise the fines for being caught using fireworks. I didn't think there was anything left to raise. I guess I was wrong.
￼￼￼￼￼￼￼￼￼￼￼￼￼￼￼￼￼￼￼￼￼￼￼￼￼￼￼￼￼￼￼￼￼￼￼￼￼￼￼￼￼￼￼￼￼￼￼￼￼￼￼￼￼￼￼￼￼￼￼￼￼4. DISCUSSION – MEMORIAL PARK RESTROOM/STORAGE PROJECT - The only issue that Nancy Walsh is capable of truly appreciating is back. I suspect the City Manager will milk this one right up until Nancy finally leaves office. Just to be kind to the old girl. The big question here being where do we store pingpong tables. That one makes $20 million dollars in old water bond debt look like Yahtzee.
5. DISCUSSION – ACCEPTANCE OF COMPREHENSIVE ANNUAL FINANCIAL REPORT (CAFR) FOR FISCAL YEAR ENDING JUNE 2013 - Staff will go on for nearly an hour about how horrible it will be if Measure UUT fails and they are forced to live on a budget. Hopefully this do-over UUT measure will meet the same fate as the previous one, and then we can hire people who know how to make finite financial resources work without asking for more money every few weeks.
6. DISCUSSION – RESOLUTION No. 14-12: APPROVING SIERRA MADRE PUBLIC LIBRARY STRATEGIC PLAN 2014-2017 - The world is going digital. I would hope this strategic plan will take that into account. Digital library lending is the way to go. I hope we keep up. Beyond that I suspect this will end up being more bellyaching about Measure UUT. They want to scare people into approving another 8 years of paying the highest utility taxes in California. The library being one of the damsels the Goosey Green Gang is tying to the railroad tracks.
Oh, and one other thing. Will we be hearing all about the secret trip to Washington DC?