|City Whizzle Pockets|
So if Sierra Madre is no longer a full service city, what is it we are in the process of becoming you might ask? It could be that City Hall is about to embrace the idea of outsourcing services as a way of dealing with its now curtailed cash haul, brought about because the voters just rejected the City's attempt to raise utility taxes here for the second time in two years. Something that the City has no other choice now but to deal with. As much as they'd hoped to have had different options at this point.
As you know, City Hall is big on its memes. Bold "new think" examples of linguistic pithiness used to define their current opinions on the issues without in any way actually acknowledging the real reasons for them. Done in the hope of making it seem that whatever is going down was all their idea all along. Which for them is far preferable to having to admit that the taxpayers just yanked the financial rug out from under their feet, and with no regard to how this might play upon their feelings. Which, I assume, are hurt.
So the new message, as first revealed yesterday at this instance of our twice yearly Strategic Planning Retreat, is that "Sierra Madre will supply city services in the most cost effective ways." Which, while being pretty much what many residents have been calling for the last six years, is to now be taken as the City's idea.
What this might mean to We The Townies is anybody's guess. Should we now believe that City Hall will begin to abandon some of its most expensive practices? Is the era of the $36,000 employee health care plan really over? Or, and possibly more likely, will they now be seeking to outsource certain former "full service city" functions in order to sustain the kinds of financial excesses that benefit them personally?
And, just as important, does this actually mean that the Utility Tax Three (UTT4UUT) faction of the City Council will now be abandoning their rumored attempt to put a return to double digit utility taxes on the ballot for an unprecedented third time?
I myself rather doubt it. Just because they're becoming so-called "cost effective city service providers" does not necessarily mean they're getting out of the tax raising business. It could very well be that they are hoping to change voter perceptions of City Hall and its big spending ways in order to maintain as much of the old regime as possible. All done with the idea of making a later tax increase proposal more palatable to the residents.
But I guess we shall see. One thing is for certain, the fight is not over.
Another thing. There was a brief discussion regarding why the voters have twice rejected the City Council's expressed desire to raise utility taxes. Is it because residents here have an "aversion to taxes," or an "aversion to tax increases?"
The Utility Tax Three, which is made up of John Harabedian, John Capoccia and Gene Goss, adamantly insisted that it be declared that the former is true. To do otherwise could have been seen as an admission that they really had been trying to raise our utility taxes all along.
Funny how they just can't seem to let that one go.
Ageism Is Hate Speech
There have been a series of attempted comments (attempted because I've deleted almost all of them) made here by certain individuals demeaning seniors. I have no idea who is attempting to post these kinds of sentiments in The Tattler's comments section, but it does seem to indicate that there is some resentment of Sierra Madre's older "tax averse" citizens among the supporters of the so-called "Civility Party."
Here is an example of what I mean:
Only an elitist uses the word "classes" I assume you are an old white man … Poor old white God fearing folk. So oppressed such a hard fight against the sexist racist minorities WAH WAH! Go back to England if you don't like it.
Sierra Madre, which has a large population of older residents, would seem to be an odd place to launch such written attacks on seniors. And, being a gracefully aging older dude myself, I can hardly be expected to tolerate this sort of garbage here on my blog.
The Pasadena Weekly this week has a series of articles about the problems older people are facing these days. And one of them is ageism. An article written by Ellen Snortland, called The Stupidest 'Ism', pretty much lays this ugly phenomenon bare.
You can check it out by clicking here.