As we all believed we knew, this Sunday's Wistaria Festival is not only on, but it is also receiving the full favor of every possible media exposure available. That being from newspapers to the many options offered to us by the Internet. Even the World's Largest Flowering Plant has been doing its part by, well, flowering. All 250 tons of that lovable big purple dude. Certainly this multi-media publicity blitz has been capturing the attention of many.
However, according to the City of Sierra Madre website there are no events scheduled for this Sunday. The above screenshot was taken yesterday afternoon, and as you can see it clearly states that there is nothing going on in Sierra Madre that day. Not even a child's birthday party at Memorial Park.
It is easy to realize that people checking the City's website for Wistaria Festival information might come away with the wrong impression. Especially those from out of town.
We folks in the know understand that the Wistaria Festival is still happening, and that what we are seeing on the City of Sierra Madre website must be the product of a lack of concentration, or something. I suspect that they believe Measure UUT is a much bigger event for them, and that the community's evident opposition to it has been more than a little distracting for the inmates of City Hall.
Let's hope the City gets its focus back soon. Though they might believe otherwise, it isn't really all about them.
More UUT Factsheet Fibbing
As we discussed just the other day, half of the town recently received the rather propagandistic and inappropriately titled "UUT Factsheet" in the mail along with their water bill. The distribution of a political point of view held by the City, at resident expense and on a tax question that will be on the ballot in a couple of weeks, is about as bad as it gets. The authorities have been notified and we patiently await their decision on this rather egregious violation of state election law.
That said, I received the following remarks from an especially sharp-eyed reader, and I thought I should share them with you today.
In the badly misnamed "UUT Fact Sheet" on page 5 it states: "In total, since 2008, the City has reduced staffing by almost 10 full-time equivalent employees. (There are currently 63 full-time employees.)"
This isn't true! In the Comprehensive Annual Financial Report (CAFR) for Sierra Madre dated June 30, 2013, on page 167 the table for Full-Time Equivalent (FTE) Employees states:
Employees as of June 30, 2008: 68
Employees as of June 30, 2013: 64
Where I come from, 68-64 = 4, not "almost 10".
As has become very obvious, City Hall will say just about anything to get your dough. So much so that they are starting to look desperate.
Gene Goss and Noah Pants get stupid at the Woman's Club Candidate Forum
I wasn't there because I wasn't even in the same state as you are right now. I was traveling on business and just couldn't make it this year. It is now very late, I'm back home, and working on my blog addiction.
That said, there were two late evening comments here on The Tattler that I thought I should highlight for you, both dealing with the festering dishonesty coming from the pro-UUT side of the debate.
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.
A couple of comments later came this observation:
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!!
If the Sheriffs were brought in their local station would be situated in the exact same place the SMPD is housed right now. And response times would be exactly the same. Gene and Noah are just pandering here, and not in an even remotely believable way. They need to look ashamed.
I personally doubt that the residents will allow the City to bring in the Sheriffs, and the SMPD will still be with us after Measure UUT fails. That said, sunsetting our state leading double-digit UUT next year will put us in a much better bargaining position with the SMPOA, and the benefit package and pension plan grab they're dreaming about will vanish into thin air.
And that is a good thing. Anyone in the PD who doesn't like it is more than free to seek employment elsewhere. It's a free country. Enough with the whining already.
An essential Pasadena Star News article on the Arcadia/Sierra Madre water war
In case you were not aware, we now have a different Star News reporter covering Sierra Madre. Her name is Zen Vuong, and she is doing some very fine work. This from her latest:
Arcadia, Sierra Madre in water fight over Raymond Basin boundaries - Amid worries about rust-infused water and prolonged drought, Sierra Madre on Thursday accused Arcadia of stealing water from a shared East Raymond Basin.
Holly Whatley, Sierra Madre’s assistant city attorney, said the California Supreme Court divided the east and west Raymond Basin in a 1944 judgment, and the Raymond Basin Management Board must abide by the 70-year-old decision.
“The court is the one that sets the boundary,” Whatley said. “Only the court can change it. … If the watermasters could just redraw the boundary, then there would be no point of having boundaries. … It is tantamount to changing a contract after the fact.”