Tuesday, April 1, 2014

Bill Coburn Gives Us A Really Wild & Crazy Reason For Voting Yes On Measure UUT

 He's OK, but ...
I have made a considerable effort this election to not give SierraMadreNews.net's very own Bill Coburn a hard time. After all, he didn't endorse Noah Green, the overexposed know nothing newbie who has made an entire campaign out of whining about the horribly embarrassing pictures he himself is solely responsible for unleashing upon the public.

It was a very commendable thing for Bill to do. I suspect that he has been under considerable pressure from the far less worthy people who replaced him at the Chamber of Commerce to endorse Noah, and his refusal to succumb to what must have been a blizzard of phone calls deserves recognition. Listening to that must have taken some real stamina.

And let's face it, under its current so-called volunteer leadership of Susan Henderson, Carol Canterbury and Nancy Walsh, the Chamber of Commerce has not exactly been a blessing for our beleaguered downtown business community. The consequences caused by the absence of capable professional leadership there become more obvious every day.

All of that said, however, I can't let this one go by without comment. It is just that mind-bending. The following is the payoff paragraph from Bill Coburn's News.net entry on why you should vote yes on Measure UUT:

We vote people onto our City Council to represent our best interests.  The current Council, which has far more awareness of City programs, budgets and services than the general populace, has taken the position that the UUT should be extended, 4 members to 1.  One of those four Council members, John Capoccia, who opposed the 2012 UUT extension because it was going to automatically increase the rate to 12%, which he opposed, has written an extremely well researched series of articles, as I mentioned earlier ...  And since we elect the Council members to represent our best interests, maybe we should listen to them when they suggest to us what it is that is in our best interests.

Really? Nancy Walsh knows more about city business than you do? Josh Moran, because he is on this City Council, has a deeper understanding of the city's budgetary complexities than any of this city's many highly informed citizens? John Capoccia, the guy who has never met a side of the UUT debate he wouldn't support, has a better appreciation of the issues? John Harabedian, the county machine pol whose pliable backbone turns to india rubber every time he is presented with a city employee union demand, should be unquestioningly trusted on a utility tax hike?

Good Lord. Can you imagine the low sense of self-esteem you would need to have to accept the notion that these people know more than you do? About anything? And that you should just take their word on a 25% utility tax increase because they hang around City Hall for a few hours every couple of weeks?

Here are 10 proven reasons why Bill Coburn is wrong about this City Council, and that you would have to be remarkably naive to blindly take their word on maxi-taxing ballot initiative Measure UUT.

1) Water rates increased twice. Twice because they couldn't get the math right the first time. $10s of thousands of dollars were needlessly paid to a second consultant to fix the mess caused by the first one.

2) The highest utility tax rates in California were put on the ballot twice, failed once, and could very well fail for a second time. Residents are told various tall tales by the city about their double-digit utility tax rates. Almost none of which are true, and accordingly are disbelieved by thousands.

3) Many downtown stores closed, and those storefronts remain empty today. This despite $30,000 in taxpayer money being spent on something called a "Market Demand Study."

4) Our Moody's water bond ratings dropped three times, despite over 100% in combined water rate increases. A problem the water rate hikes were supposed to correct, or so residents were told by this City Council. Currently our water bonds are rated "junk."

5) Our water ran out. SGVMWD replacement water, which the city is paying near ransom rates for, turns several different rainbow colors and kills pet fish.

6) Health plan costs for select city employees rose to the most expensive levels in the entire state of California. This while residents were being told that costs at City Hall have been cut to the bone.

7) The Tree Commission was killed off for no good purpose. What was left got folded into something called an EENER. The insulting reason given for this being it would save city staff time.

8) The EENER Commission, after months of meaningless politically correct posturing over just how "green" and "sustainable" it is, goes on life support after Chairperson Paul Alva suddenly quits. No move is made to replace him. Somehow the city survives.

9) Out of the three people elected to the City Council in 2010, none remain. Joe Mosca resigns for reasons never fully explained and leaves the country. Nancy Walsh and Josh Moran decide not to run for reelection rather than face questions about all of the above.

10) When the City needed leadership and guidance during the Bob Matheson/Kiddy Porn Affair, this City Council did nothing. Instead they quickly shifted all responsibility over to the SMPD, who then also did nothing. Two Councilmembers denied ever having known Matheson. Photos soon emerged showing that they were not telling the truth.

Given the abysmal performance of this City Council, should you passively accept their opinions about Measure UUT and vote Yes?

All because they happen to be warming the seats at the time?

http://sierramadretattler.blogspot.com

65 comments:

  1. You have to understand that Bill Coburn is a puppet. He is a nice guy who wants to fit into the downtown money machine. He was replaced as president of the chamber by bigger money. When I try to read Bills writings I just figure the source and put him into the same category as the other paper in town. These people are following the money and poor Bill is just trying to get his share by not turning away from the hands that feed him, maybe in the future they will throw a few more crumbs his way. When you know the truth it's just hard to believe the sales pitch from the money grabbers. It's hard to respect people you like that know the truth but continue the lie for the money, greed is an ugly thing.

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    1. As Pres of the Chamber, Bill once had the brilliant idea to bring in Food Trucks which competed directly with our own restaurants

      that's a great thing for a business leader to do, bring in outside competition...brilliant

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    2. it might be a big deal if more than 5 people looked at his website, the Tattler gives him recognition but it just shows how goofy his ideas are

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    3. sorry Bill, I'm not inclined to listen to Nancy Walsh, a reverse mortgage saleman and former utility company employee when it comes to the UUT

      nor the other utility company lawyer/former Councilman John Buchanan

      we've been getting screwed over in the past because we trusted those we elected and look where it got us so I'm going choose not to trust those elected cause they haven't shown to be trustworthy

      plus the arguement for yes on the UUT is full of misinformation, scare tactics and outright lies



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  2. I believe everything Nancy Walsh says. Doesn't everybody?

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    1. I have to because if I don't, she'll take me out

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  3. the chamber of commerce should really be renamed the Wiataria Festival committee, because that's about all they really do. Yes, they "plan" the "Grinch stole Christmas" event which happens around Thanksgiving, but if you have ever been to this you know it is a joke. ask any merchant if they have ever benefitted from the Chamber; my guess is you won't find one.

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    1. too many real estate agents and sales reps from outside the city on the Chamber

      podunk

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    2. I had a business owner tell me last year that every time The Chamber shuts down Kersting Court, their business drops off.

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    3. and 10:16, one of Noah Green's ideas is to put the Farmer's Market at Kersting Court

      that and the city should do something during Halloween to bring in out of towners

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  4. Devastating list. Jesus.

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    1. I'm reminded of Jeremiah 5:1
      "Go up and down the streets of Jerusalem, look around and consider, search through her squares. If you can find but one person who deals honestly and seeks the truth, I will forgive this city."

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  5. The chamber of commerce has been a floundering for the forty plus years that I have lived in Sierra Madre. One case in point, that shows they have no business sense: two guys who lived in the canyon opened up a lady's haberdashery at the rear of the Arcade. Their hours: 10 am to 4 pm. I called and asked them how they determined that time frame and they said that was what the other store owners around there had. I asked if they realized they essentially eliminated every working woman from shopping there and they gasped! Oh! You're so right! and changed their hours, were very successful for a few years until they expanded, moving to larger space across the street and next to old city hall and then went out of business. I never asked who suggested they make that move. It was their downfall. Maybe the rents went up where they were, maybe they really needed more room for their retail but it didn't work and then there is the doughnut guy and the produce guy and I will be back with those stories later.

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  6. You forgot that they also reconfirmed C & L as the city attorneys.

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  7. bill Coburn states, twice, that the citizens elect people to represent our best interests and thus we should listen to them. Did Bill forget that the person who received the most votes in the last council election is also the same person to vote NO on the tax increase. Maybe we should listen to him.

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    1. therefore, cause nobody wants Goss or Green on the Council and by default, one of those will be elected, does this mean that they know more than us?

      Bill is off his rocker if he really believes that Nancy Walsh, Josh Moran or John Harabedian is representing our best interests

      we passed Measure V and those "looking out" for our best interests are doing all they can do undermine it and cast it aside, is that what Bill considers our best interest

      when the votes cast their own "best interest" vote with a NO before on the UUT, the Council and city are pushing back with their own agenda

      Bill is a confused dude - I don't get people who want to be a big shot in SM - we get too many of those on the Council and have Goss/Green for this election with the same agenda - their own, not the residents

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    2. "I'd rather entrust the government of the United States to the first 400 people listed in the Boston telephone directory than to the faculty of Harvard University." - William F. Buckley, Jr.

      next time, maybe we should randomly pick 5 people out of the list of Sierra Madre residents?

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  8. I don't mind if someone tries to put forth some logical arguments in favor of the UUT, but to have the main argument from Mr. Coburn be that the City Council has more wisdom on these matters than we do, shows how empty their arguments really are. That Tattler list is devastating. After reading that list, do you really think those people have superior knowledge or wisdom then us townies. I'd rather have a few townies making the decisions for what is best for Sierra Madre, than those folks.

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    1. You'd get a better city council if they were picked by a number draw lottery. No wonder the so-called civility party ran away.

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    2. There is another guy in town that says the council makes the best decisions for the city and we should abide with their decisions. Perhaps the dope he smoked in his younger years destroyed his brain cells.

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  9. I need to go to City Hall and complain about something. Are they open today?

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  10. The best thing to do is vote the opposite of what Nancy and Josh want. Since they're never right, you'll never be wrong.

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    1. and never vote for anybody endorsed by them or John Buchanan or Bart Doyle

      or Glenn Lambin or Rob Stockley or Tonja Torres

      or...or...or....

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    2. Maybe we should vote for someone who is endorsed by all of those people, plus most of the most loyal Tattler fans, MacGillivray fans and Koerber fans. Isn't it about time we get someone who is smart, has integrity, and can make up her own mind about the state of the City without being influenced by outside interests? Isn't it time to vote for someone who has looked at the budget and says, we can do it without raising the UUT? Isn't it time to vote for someone who knows how to work with City Hall? Isn't it time to vote for someone who Nancy Walsh wanted to "Take Out" Instead, let's put her in.

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    3. At least Lambdin is a "No On UUT" supporter. Got the sign in his yard.

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    5. Happy people don't say things like that.

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    6. I don't think 11:43 is a happy person. Just saying.

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    7. That is such a shame. maybe somebody should buy him a smoothie.

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    8. Denise Delmar is the only candidate who has read the budget. The other three admitted that they hadn't. Quite frankly, I don't understand why two of the candidates are running. Doesn't pass the smell test.

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  11. If the city of Sierra Madre is truly out of money....


    "MAYBE WASHINGTON DC CAN SEND US THEIR PRINTING PRESS" so we can print money also,

    or maybe we need to hire competent people

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  12. Picture is of Bill Coburn riding Carol Canterbury's unicorncycle.

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    1. I didn't see any sparkles coming out the back. Must be a fake.

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  13. Glenn's mom had a Denise sign out and he just had a Goss sign, plus the NO on the UUT. Then he spent some intelligent time on the phone with Denise and her sign went up. As you look around town you will see that this election is all over the place. Best thing you can do is remember to vote, and text, e-mail and phone (those without the newfangled stuff) and remind them to be sure to vote. My dear departed friend Lee Cline didn't think he needed to work a vigorous re-election campaign and he lost to Bart Doyle by a mere 10-12/13 votes. The people who supported Doyle were turned on by that creep and we have been suffering every since. Two of his major supporters back then have moved. Too bad, they were great friends and we miss them.

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    1. Denise will reunite the city.

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    2. What this city wants now more than anything else is competence. That is what you get with Denise and Rachelle.

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    3. I'm voting for Denise, Rachelle and NO. That should do it.

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    4. Don't know if Denise will reunite the city, but she'll kick Capoccia's bottom.

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    5. Go out and talk with your neighbors and friends. Tell them to vote for the Rachelle and Denise and NO on the UUT. It the UUT passes, the city will receive a 25% raise. Did you receive a 25% raise last year?

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    6. I voted NO already. No raise, No increase, No mas.

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    7. What's a raise, 3:04? Haven't seen one of those in many years. Such is life in the private sector.

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    8. You mean you're not going to tell your boss that if he doesn't give you a raise you'll go get a job someplace else?

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    9. Nope, 6:09. In the real world, being underpaid during a horrendous recession beats being unemployed.

      Unlike the city, I only spend what I can afford. Wish I could get an interest only car loan?

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  14. Ok. Now the story on the Dough Nut guy and how the Chamber didn't help (could they actually? who knows?). So this man always wanted to run a Dough Nut shop and opened up something in the area of the arcade. Had capital for one month's rent (at least he could have consulted SBA for some sort of advice if our Chamber was not forthcoming), then he brought in product from somewhere else as he didn't have the means/permits/knowledge to cook his own. Next month's rent was paid for by the sale of his pick-up truck. Next month...gone from town. More later on failed produce guy.

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  15. I miss Paulie Hovsepian.

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    1. Where did he go?

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    2. He didn't say. He can be mysterious that way.

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  16. Capoccia's argument was that if the UUT is lowered we'll need to excise 1 million dollars, and regardless of our health care reimbursement rate, the only way to take out a million dollars is to outsource the police, period. So the UUT is essentially about outsourcing the police, and the debate should be about whether or not people want to pay 10% UUT or outsource the police and save some money.

    As for the previous water issues, Moody was very clear that they weren't going to upgrade. They would maintain the current rating or downgrade if the additional revenue didn't pass. With increased savings, they will consider upgrading upon their next revue, however, their primary reason for recommending investors to not loan money to Sierra Madre is the voting population engages in very loud, very aggressive campaigns to not pay their debts, and so it doesn't seem like a good idea to loan the city money. Which is pretty obvious. If you can't be certain that the voters will pay their debts, then don't loan the city money.

    The individuals who have stated that their goal is to make a lot of noise to prevent the city from being able to get money at low rates have won the day. Hopefully we won't need access to loans in order to pay for infrastructure anytime soon. If we do, we'll pay through the nose for it.

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    1. I knew it! Sierra madre's junk bond ratings are all the townie's fault!

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    2. Yes indeed. It was the townies that floated a $6 million dollar water bond in 2003. Then the townies decided to pay interest only on that bond, ballooning the total debt to almost $15 million. City Hall begged and pleaded with the townies about this, but they wouldn't listen. Now look at the mess we're in.

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    3. 1:15 makes a specious (look it up) assumption - that revenues are going to be flat.

      Raising the water 60% and even at a 6% UUT rate it will be more money. Cable and SCE continue to increase so the city will be making big $$$ on the UUT. Property tax money will be big, too. There's more, but I can only take so much stupid (yeah, 1:15, that's you) in one day.

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    4. 1:15 is trying to redirect blame from the actual guilty parties. And makes himself look dumb in the process.

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    5. Ok 1:15. Kensington has already paid over 800,000.00 to the city in building fees. Is that close enough to that 1 million gap for you? The new homes on Sierra Place and the Blvd are valued at over 4 million dollars and are built on what was once a vacant lot. How much in tax revenue do these new buildings represent to the city? There is plenty of money for the police, etc. The sky is not falling.

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    6. I'm relaying precisely what Capoccia said, if that's inaccurate, then great. He seems to be under the impression that a 6% rate means 1 million less in revenue. If it does mean 1 million less in revenue then that means outsourcing police. If it doesn't then it doesn't mean that. Given how the tattlers do math, I'm currently inclined to believe Capoccia, but if someone shows me how other revenue streams will increase every year to guarantee annual revenue of an additional 1 million dollars then I'll believe them instead. Or show how reducing the rate by 4% won't actually take out 1 million dollars.

      I personally don't have a problem with outsourcing the police. Capoccia said that La Canada police are much worse in comparison, and they have higher crime (in exchange for spending less money), but I think Sierra Madre will always have less crime because it has very little in the way of storefronts, which is really what generates the crime in La Canada.

      As for the water balloon payments, when someone falsely claims that the upfront interest only payments added 15 million in expenses, when it factually did not do anything close to that, I also stop listening. People who base their arguments on absolute falsehoods shouldn't be listened to. If anyone wants to argue on the facts, then great.

      The junk bond rating is because the city borrowed money, the economy tanked, revenues went down, aging infrastructure began to fail which cost a lot of money, and then the voters refused to meet the agreements of the bond money after being informed of the facts. Lots of blame to go around. The end result is the city will pay through the nose if we need to borrow to pay for something. If people didn't want that result, then they should understand how loaning money and paying debts work.

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    7. 7:11 is a fan of the "If you tell a lie often enough it becomes true" school.

      Here's how borrowing money works: if you can't pay it back, don't borrow it. Bart Doyle and company borrowed a boat load of interest only debt nd weren't honest enough to raise water rates to pay it back.

      You, sir, are a dumb *ss.

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    8. hey Mr. Troll, you obviously prefer to write screeds a la Capoccia rather than read the facts that have been presented here time and time again.

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    9. The dirts know they're losing. They are freaking out.

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  17. I recall hearing the same Chicken Little, "the sky is falling" justification for Measure F, which required a 2/3 popular vote. After the Measure failed, the City "found" over one million dollars. According to the City, this was due to "an accounting error." The City then went on a spending spree and purchased over two million dollars worth of fire trucks and equipment.

    They clearly had the money for the Fire Department's wish list, but used the lie as an excuse to squeeze more money out of residents and property owners to help subsidize their redevelopment projects.

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  18. Measure UUT is about pensions, benefits and health plans. People have got to stop being so damn naive.

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    1. You just keep telling yourself that.

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    2. It helps drown out those who claim we're going to outsource a volunteer fire department.

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  19. ...and then there was this other guy that the Chamber didn't have the heart (or the insight) to tell not to open a vegetable stand (it was in the building where Bean Town is now the combination of that store front and the adjacent one. Not exactly sure what scuttled his business dream, but he bailed on the effort, left the building with cold cases full of vegetables and fruit, didn't pay the electric bill and by about now you are remembering the smell and the sight of fruit flys!!!!

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