Thursday, March 13, 2014

Bart Doyle and Nancy Walsh Want to Scare You

Pro-UUT solicitors out campaigning
One of the really big differences between our side of the UUT question and the other is the quality and amount of information being given out. While we have come at you with a fairly large amount of key data explaining why Measure UUT isn't really the best thing for you or Sierra Madre, those trying to defend the taking of utility taxes here at the highest rates in California don't use much time.

Nor do they seem to care whether what they're saying is all that true or not. Which does not speak well of their opinion of those they consider to be political allies in town. Seems disrespectful. It also reminds me of the line about mushrooms being kept in the dark and what those things are actually fed.

Another point is that you can pretty much tell who is winning a campaign by whether or not their secrets are being kept. The following e-mail is now being forwarded all over town, and to people who were most definitely not the original target audience. And it comes from none other than a father of the debt-ridden interest payment only 2003 Water Bonds, the Downtown Specific Plan, and the least likely man to win a popularity contest in El Monte, Bart Doyle.

From: Bart Doyle
Sent: Tuesday, March 11, 2014 3:02 PM
To: Bart Doyle
Subject: Sierra Madre UUT Campaign

If the measure on the April 8 ballot fails, the utility tax rate will drop from the current 10% to 6%, and annual City revenues will drop a little over $1 million, triggering immediate massive cuts to ALL public services.  If you are willing to place a sign in your yard, please contact Nancy Walsh and provide her with your street address at XXXXX@aol.com.

Please contact me if you have any questions are (sic) concerns.  ---- BART DOYLE

A couple of issues here that need airing out. First, the UUT has already been cut, and that was done with over 60% of your votes in April of 2012. What Doyle is actually trying to do here is raise your utility taxes back up to 10% with a do-over vote. Which, in 2015 when the UUT is supposed to drop to 8% per the stated wishes of an overwhelming majority of Sierra Madreans, would represent a 25% increase in your utility taxes. It gets even worse in 2016.

And will this trigger "immediate massive cuts" to the services provided by City Hall? Of course not. The UUT rate was at 6% in 2008, and somehow the City managed to survive.

What is really at stake here are the runaway entitlements and benefit plans that are being offered to city employees. $30,000 plus dollar health care packages being a good example of what happens when a city government has way too much money on its hands. If anything voting down Measure UUT will force the budgetary reforms in this town that are both needed and obviously way overdue.

There is also this from current Councilman John Capoccia, writing in 2012 for his Patch blog about the effects of a return of UUT rates back to their 2008 level of 6%.

For the upcoming April 10 election, Sierra Madre voters will weigh in on two Ballot Measures.  Measure 12-1 will authorize an increase to the Utility Users Tax (UUT) from the current ten percent to twelve percent on July 1, 2013 and delay the sunset dates by four years.  Measure 12-2 is a companion “advisory” measure, which is intended to allow voters to advise the council to spend the increase in the UUT on public safety.

As a candidate for Sierra Madre City Council, I want voters to know where I stand - I recommend a NO vote on both measures. Now is NOT the time for voters to authorize the increase and extend the sunset.  Let me make one thing perfectly clear – Voting NO on Measure 12-1 WILL NOT reduce the current UUT revenue stream, and it WILL NOT jeopardize Public Safety in any way!

A return to fiscal sanity in Sierra Madre will not jeopardize public safety services in Sierra Madre. We're not going to see the Police Department disappear, nor will we lose the Fire Department. We had public safety services before we went to double digit utility taxes in 2008, and we will have them after that supposedly temporary increase does what it was designed to do and disappears. We were told by City Hall in 2008 that this was to be a short term increase designed to deal with certain specific problems. We need to hold them to their word.

These kinds of scare tactics are the actions of supposed community leaders who just don't believe they need to tell you the truth in order to get more money out of you. It is disrespectful, uncivil and abusive.

Though I have to admit I am a little tickled that the pro-UUT campaign is now being led by Bart Doyle. Albeit it in a quiet behind-the-secenes sort of way. Or at least it was supposed to be.

It certainly does look like his cover has now been blown.

A great letter in the Pasadena Star News

(Mod: Somebody is grumbling about this letter over on Bill Coburn's blog, so I figured I should post it here in order to keep the record straight. It is a great opinion piece, eloquently written, and hits on some very good points.)

No to extending Sierra Madre utility tax (link)

Here we go again. In next month’s Sierra Madre municipal election, we voters will be filling three empty council seats. Hardly earthshaking. But wait, there’s more! We again will be asked to increase our already high utility user tax. It was only two years ago that we said no to a similar request. The City Council and city staff just don’t seem to get it.

In the two years since we voters told the city that it has to live within its means, the only major change has been to reduce the hours that City Hall is open for business. That is what they point to as cost-cutting. And still, they tell us that the taxes they collect are not enough.

It is time for the city of Sierra Madre, and all its residents, to come to grips with the fact that this is no longer the 1930s (or even the 1960s). Back then, the costs and effort necessary to provide municipal services were far less than today. Back then, a town this size could afford to maintain 100 percent of the overhead for all those services. Times have changed, but the city’s mindset hasn’t. You couldn’t point to another city in this (or any adjoining) county with the same size and tax base that pulls the entire train on its own.

The biggest favor the people of Sierra Madre can do for themselves is to again vote no on Measure UUT. This will finally force the council, all of whose members campaign as the one ready to “make those tough decisions,” to actually start making those tough decisions. Other than parks and recreation, and planning and building, the city’s services should be contracted out to those whose only business is providing those services — and whose overhead is spread among the many others they serve. The City Council is in fact the board of directors for a municipal corporation, and like the board of any such entity — public or private — they have a fiduciary duty to safeguard the fiscal interests of its constituent shareholders. Sierra Madre will never make prudent decisions as long as the tax spigot flows freely.

— Don Handley, Sierra Madre

http://sierramadretattler.blogspot.com

83 comments:

  1. cut the services. i didn't notice i was receiving any in the first place.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Good point 6:22!!!
      Me neither!!!!

      Delete
    2. Good point 6:22
      Me neither

      Delete
    3. as usual, it's a bunch of lies and misinformation - fear tactics and total nonsense

      for me, how about reducing the debt of the SMPD - it's oversized and bloated

      Delete
    4. so, the very same guy who screwed us over and is or was a building lobbyist when he was on the Council is still trying to screw us over

      jeez, this guy is a real piece of work

      Delete
  2. Looks like Bart and the Nancinator saw all of the NO signs and decided they'd better get some YES ones up pronto.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Snooze you lose.

      Delete
    2. you notice how Mr. Doyle forgets to include that he was the cause of the original problem to begin with?

      Delete
    3. Public Nuisance #1

      Delete
  3. I wonder if Bart will have some help paying for those signs.

    Building Industry Assn. Must Tell Legal Costs Orange County Digest

    The Building Industry Assn. will soon disclose how much it spent last spring in an ill-fated court bid to keep the countywide slow-growth initiative off the June 7 ballot, a BIA attorney said Friday.

    Attorney Bart Doyle said he received a letter this week from the state Fair Political Practices Commission indicating that the BIA should report the legal costs as a campaign expenditure independent of those made by Citizens for Traffic Solutions, the main group that opposed the Measure A. The initiative was defeated 56% to 44%.

    BIA officials had contended that reporting of legal expenses is not required.

    Doyle said the BIA Legal Defense Fund will file campaign finance reports, probably next week, showing that it paid about $148,000 in legal fees in its attempt to remove Measure A.

    Tom Rogers, the San Juan Capistrano rancher who co-founded the group that sponsored Measure A, on Friday said he is pleased with the commission ruling but that he is still concerned that Doyle's estimate of $148,000 in legal fees is too low.

    Measure A opponents outspent supporters by more than 20 to 1.

    http://articles.latimes.com/1988-09-03/local/me-3068_1_building-industry-assn

    ReplyDelete
  4. The city needs to do what any sensible business would do. Downsize. Let go off some employees, then some more. If anyone complains about having too much work to do, let go of them immediately. Any of us who are hard working know what a job requires.
    It's still an employer's market out there.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. your point is valid until you used the word "sensible" cause that doesn't apply with government agencies

      the primary drain on the city is the SMPD, pensions and the highest employee health care costs for any city

      Delete
  5. The Candidates Debate has finally been arranged - City Hall on Tuesday, I believe at 6 pm. I'm trying to get a definitive answer as to the time, but, of course, cannot reach anyone at City Hall as yet, as noted above. I don't know if it will be televised, so please spread the word. If more people paid attention to who is running, and what the issues are, maybe we wouldn't continuously be in such a pickle!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I'd like to know why Noah Green found so much wrong with our city that he HAD to run for Council after living here only 18 months?

      Delete
    2. Especially since he was endorsed by Nancy Walsh, the anti-volunteer, pro consultants for everything Councilperson.

      Delete
  6. The Candidates Debate, moderated by the League of Women Voters has finally been scheduled. It will take place Tuesday evening at City Hall. I think it will be at 6 pm - haven't been able to reach anyone at City Hall as yet. I also don't know if it will be televised. Please spread the word.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. There will be a forum at the Women's Club tonight from 5:00 to 7:00. Hope you will all come out and support your candidates. The League of Women Voters forum will be at 6:00 on Tuesday March 18th at 6:00. The Kiwanis will also have a forum that day at noon. So, 2 forums on the 18th.

      Delete
  7. All UUT monies flow into the General Fund and thus can be used for anything the city wants. They have this lovely ruse they call the UUT Oversight Committee that is supposed to make certain that all monies have gone to "Public Safety". Part of the problem with this is that the city finance director refuses to supply any substantiating documentation to the committee, even though they have asked for it many times. So it is entirely likely that the monies the voters approved to be spent on Paramedic services only is going to fund pensions and health plans. Time for some honesty at City Hall.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I was on the UUT Oversight Committee a few years ago and that is exactly right. It was all about cops, SMFD and Paramedics. That is what they told us. Right to our faces.

      Delete
    2. The ugly truth:
      is that if we dedicated the tax to public safety, it would need to be a parcel tax with 2/3 vote yes.

      City Hall will tell you that's why we need a UUT- only 51% yes vote required.

      Is the real reason that City Hall & City Council can spend UUT $$ anyway they want? I say that's the reality.

      Delete
    3. This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.

      Delete
    4. 9:01, let's not forget that also straight to our faces when the UUT was first launched the John Buchanan and Joe Mosca lied straight to our faces that we needed to give them authority to raise rates because our water infrastructure was on the verge of immediate collapse and then entire time they were playing a shell game cause meanwhile they were banking on raising taxes because Buchanan was trying to use the situation so he could get 7 million dollars to build a new library in his honor

      Delete
    5. Our city government needs a thorough shake out. Years of being allowed to do whatever they want, and millions of dollars to do it with, has given us something that has very little to do with the Sierra Madre we know.

      Delete
    6. I was on the oversight committee also and we received all of the financial material that we needed.

      Delete
    7. How do you explain the conclusion of the most recent UUT Oversight Committee? Their experience seems different than yours. Y'know?

      Delete
    8. Finish the sentence 1:37:
      I was on the oversight committee also and we received all of the financial material that we needed to rubber stamp what the city staff told us, because the city staff told us, what they told us.

      Delete
  8. I think you could call this,"legalized Grand Larceny".

    ReplyDelete
  9. Only someone with a strong self-destructive urge would take financial advice from Bart Doyle.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Nothing Bart touches lives.

      Delete
    2. Anybody want to buy a downtown? You'll make millions!

      Delete
    3. Just ask the people who own the Howie's site. They're opening a Fresh N Easy!

      Delete
    4. Are you that out of the loop, 2:53 pm? Fresh 'n Easy is no longer buying the Howie's site or anything else. They've sold their company (I can't remember to whom) and are totally abandoning the US. Please, get a grip.

      Delete
    5. 5:48, I think 2:53 was teasing.

      Delete
  10. Don't you people understand how expensive it is to maintain a dependent, political class?

    If Bart Doyle's cronies inside City Hall don't get what they believe they are entitled to, they may stop doing his dirty work. Then 20 years of hard work to turn Sierra Madre into a Socialist nightmare would be ruined.

    Besides, what would we serfs do with our own money? Clearly the government knows how to spend our money much better than we do. Freedom and self sufficiency takes too much effort and sacrifice. Just let go and give in.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Sierra Madre voterMarch 13, 2014 at 12:32 PM

      Just got a "No On UUT" mailer today. Nice.

      Delete
    2. Now old Bart'll have to send our a card as well.

      Delete
    3. Resident power!

      Delete
    4. Got another Arizimendi flier. My 5th.

      Delete
    5. Seems ok. She'll probably get our votes. Want to follow the candidate forum, hope it's televised. Don't like the fact that her last flier shows her with Antonovich. Don't like him. Too much of a blowhard politician

      Delete
  11. Speaking of liars...our "illustrious" lawyer told City Council on Tuesday night that a two year building moritorium can be declared if there has been an official declaration of draught (a la Jerry Brown, who has), but only once in a lifetime! Huh?

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. She also said that the city had to document that there was a danger to the health and safety of the citizens before a moratorium was put in place. I can understand the 2 year rule, however, it's bunk that two years is forever, since the draught might continue another 2 years or so, and what if there is still a danger to the health and safety to the citizens? Our attorney is making things up now, just like our city manager has done all along.

      Delete
    2. Next time somebody needs to ask her to cite the statutes and verify. Taking her word for it is going to cost us dearly.

      Delete
    3. It sounded totally illogical to me, but I've ceased to expect logic from our city government. Hope the Tattler will lay this one out.

      Delete
    4. One city had a moratorium for 10+ years.

      Delete
  12. City staff is a hoot. Just went on the city site to check if the Wisteria Festival is this Sunday. On the calendar on the home page, it's not there. On the list on events, it's not there. Must be too onerous a task to see that the premiere event in the city's year is highlighted on the city's web page.
    I was reduced to going to the Chamber of Commerce page, and it is this Sunday. 90 degrees predicted.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. At least it's not being rained out....lol

      Delete
    2. Omigod! I just looked. Unbelievable!

      Delete
    3. Dear Omigod!, it's a Chamber of Commerce event. Unless the Chamber requested that the City add it to the calendar the announcement won't be found there...

      Delete
    4. Very funny!
      Any out of towner who has heard about the Sierra Madre festival would think to check the city site! oops.

      Delete
    5. Is not noah greeeeen on the chamber board? This festival should be fun. Just like when bill "I lie about everything" coburn was in charge.

      Delete
    6. The Sierra Madre Chamber of Commerce considers itself above the City of Sierra Madre. Case in point, Susan Henderson advertises the Wistaria "Fete" without notifying the City to add to its on-line calendar. Maybe the City didn't fork over enough money this year...

      Delete
    7. 8:05 pm, can't tell if Buc Naked Noah is on the chamber board. They no longer list their board members on their official site. There is a photo of Noah holding the bride's bouquet while Susan Henderson hovers in the background. Probably the matron of honor.

      Delete
  13. Hey Tattlers, don't forget we have "No on UUT" yard signs ready to place in your yard. Just let the Mod know and we'll get one out to you ASAP.

    ReplyDelete
  14. I have lost hope for Sierra Madre. I think it is on a fast moving train and cannot be saved, for one reason: the older generation is pretty much gone, and the ones who have lived here all their lives and know what is happening, are in the tiny minority now. The influx of people who are moving in from the 'west side' and everywhere else, consist of those who DON'T CARE, and therefore don't vote, or vote without knowing anything. They see absolutely nothing wrong with packed in luxury condos, Subway, Starbucks, Cycle De Bozo...they LOVE it all. Just like everyone else in Southern California. All they want is to consume, consume, consume; once in while venture out on that totally AMAZING hiking trail they read about on Yelp, grab a mocha grande latte, and go back to their air-conditioned boxes.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. There is one way we can at least delay that train. And that is shut down Measure UUT. Without our money city hall and their bosses are just another small group of people with opinions.

      Delete
    2. If they have less money, they have less power and can do less damage. The unions are behind the UUT in Sierra Madre as they are when these things come on the ballot in every city. Its always the same: if you don't pass the tax, the sky is going to come falling down. Its all bogus. I hate to be a consipiracy theorist but its all part of the same plan. The same people in favor of UUT are the same people in favor of development and the same people who want to concentrate power in the hands of the few who know better than the unwashed masses. That's their attitude. If we fall for it, then we deserve what we get.

      Delete
  15. Get a No on UUT INCREASE sign.
    Contact the Tattler!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. They are all over town.

      Delete
    2. I am so happy to see those signs. It is like an answer to a prayer.

      Delete
    3. The signs cost someone a lot of money. Make a small donation to say thatnks.

      Delete
    4. Where can I send my donation?

      Delete
    5. At the candidate forum tonight Rachelle said she is voting NO on the UUT. Ok, she has my vote.

      Delete
  16. Probably difficult to find quickly but who on the City Council year before last appointed Noah Green to the UUT over site committee. Isn't that his big claim to fame for participating in the workings of the city government of Sierra Madre to qualify him as a candidate for City Council.

    The first UTT committee was convened in the City Council chambers and given instructions on what they were to do to put together the UUT for the voters. Instructions were given on ways to find money to support programs and they were NOT to look at ways to cut spending.

    Boondoggle from the beginning!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. and Noah's other big claims to being a Councilmember is that he's a "lawyer" and accomplished great things while on the Chamber of Commerce

      he's accomplished alot in his 2 years of living here

      Delete
    2. So Mr. Greens' fine handiwork is seen in the city website having nothing about the Wisteria Festival?
      No date, time, directions?

      Delete
    3. What a missed opportunity.

      Delete
    4. Capoccia appointed Green.

      Delete
  17. We received a supersized Gene Goss campaign postcard in the mail. I was severly upset. His list of supporters was every known DIRT in Sierra Madre - not a single unknown name (at least to me) appeared, although missing was Bart Doyle's hated unname. I'm taking some consolation is knowing that Bart is aware that his name associated with a candidate is anathema to residents so he must forever lurk in the shadows.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. He has Noah's sign in his yard.

      Delete
    2. Goss Supporters.

      •Nancy Walsh, Mayor
      •John Harabedian, Mayor Pro Tem
      •Josh Moran, Council Member, Former Mayor
      •John Buchanan, Former Mayor
      •Joe and Jacquie Pergola, 2014 Citizens of the Year
      •Rob Stockly, Chair, Library Board of Trustees,
      Former Mayor, Former Citizen of the Year
      •Pete Siberell, Chair, Mount Wilson Train Race, Library Trustee,
      Former Citizen of the Year
      •Tom Love, Board Chairman and Sierra Madre
      Representative, San Gabriel Valley Municipal Water District
      •Doug Hayes, Former Mayor, Former Citizen of the Year
      •George Maurer, Former Mayor, Former Citizen of the Year
      •Glenn Lambdin, Former Mayor
      •Joan Crow, Sierra Madre Older American of the Year
      •Marlene Enmark, Former Citizen of the Year
      •Amy Putnam, President, Sierra Madre Historical
      Preservation Society, Former Citizen of the Year
      •Glenn Putnam, Library Trustee, Former Citizen of the Year
      •Tom Brady, Former President, Sierra Madre Rotary,
      Sierra Madre Business Owner
      •Catherine Adde, Former Chair, Library Board of Trustees,
      Vice Chair, Village Vine Online Board of Directors
      •Ken Goldstein, Planning Commissioner
      •Ron Brandley, Board Member, Sierra Madre Community
      Foundation, Sierra Madre Business Owner
      •Carol Canterbury, Former Citizen of the Year
      •Barry Ziff, Library Trustee
      •Sierra Madre News.Net
      •United Teachers of Pasadena

      Delete
    3. Where's Neil the Pig?

      Delete
    4. I think it was jealousy that kept Neil off of Goss's postcard. The others felt overshadowed by the snoutly charmer.

      Delete
    5. That's a lists of liars

      Delete
  18. All small town or big town politician's are life time member's of
    "Management by Chaos."

    Fear is their greatest management tool and reelection tool also, it's like yelling fire in a movie theater.

    Look out for those little people behind the large curtain.

    ReplyDelete
  19. Is it legal for the Mayor to be handing out political signs?

    ReplyDelete
  20. Ok, I like having our own police dept., but if because of the budget we need the sheriff, I am ok with that too. I was at the Woman's Club Candidate night tonight and Goss and Green kept saying that if we had the Sheriff our response time would be more than 3 minutes, and may never be answered at all. They also said they would come from Temple City. Really? If we had the Sheriff here, wouldn't they use the current police station as their base of operation and then they, too, would be able to respond in 3 minutes or less. Just more fearmongering from the "G' boys.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. So what if they get there in three minutes? They never catch anyone or find your goods after a burglary... Take five minutes and act like real professionals I say!

      Delete
    2. Don't ya think if we were contracting with a Sheriff's department it'd be in the contract where the officers would be based? Apparently not if Goss or Green were elected! Jeeze, what numbskulls!!

      Delete
    3. How did the other two candidates answer?

      Delete
  21. Meanwhile, we are fighting for our water rights:
    http://www.pasadenastarnews.com/general-news/20140313/arcadia-sierra-madre-in-water-fight-over-raymond-basin-boundaries

    ReplyDelete