There is also the idea expressed by whomever is responsible for these unpleasant little screeds that unless you are financially productive for the city and its welfare, then somehow you do not deserve to live in this town. The notion that residents should be here at the financial convenience of City Hall, rather than the other way around, being a troublesome one. At least for me. Perhaps it is blowback from the defeat of Measure UUT? Or an attempt at playing different parts of this community off of each other in order to help make development at Mater Dolorosa and One Carter more likely politically? Certainly these are potential motivations.
It wouldn't be the first time divide and conquer politics have been attempted in Sierra Madre, either. Especially by those promoting the agendas of certain developers and their allied Realtors. But that long time residents of this community should be made the target of what is a campaign based on resentment and fueled by blatant greed is discouraging.
Here are the three most notable in this unfortunate series of comments.
Anonymous May 2 at 1:51 AM
"There are SOME beautiful homes built in the early 1900's that are worth preserving, i.e. Pinney house, but a tremendous number that should come down, preferably starting tomorrow. Question for everyone so against any type of development around here, do you or don't you like visitors coming to your home to drive up Baldwin past Anokia, Singing Wood, etc? Or does it make your house appear less desirable by comparison? Be honest about your feelings. Arcadia's revenues and property values have shot out of sight in large part due to those so called McMansions."
Anonymous May 4, 2014 at 12:57 AM
"I'd be REAL curious to know what you and the other protestors (sic) on here are paying in property taxes, because I have a strong feeling it's quite a bit shy of the $6,000 a year I'm paying. The city gets roughly a third of this. Meaning, if you don't have skin in the game, please keep your sarcasm to yourself. In the two block stretch of Montecito from Auburn to Lima, there are less than half a dozen homes paying more than $1,000 a year in property taxes. The best thing that can happen to Sierra Madre is having those homes turn over either as a standard SFR sale or a sale and tear down, so there's finally a mentionable contribution to the city. Period."
Anonymous May 4, 2014 at 9:44 AM
"As much as Sierra Madre has going for it, the inability of a portion of its residents to embrace change is its weakness. Let's face it, the same crowd that protests UUT hikes also finds development of any kind deplorable. Given the lack of commerce in this town, the old adage of "you can't have your cake and eat it too" applies here. My attitude, and the one you should adopt, is let's keep UUT rates low, but allow people with money and high incomes to come in and welcome them with open arms. It will help displace the segment of this town that is milking Prop 13 for all it's worth. No skin in the game and more than half don't even maintain their shanties to boot."
Perhaps I am overreacting here, but to me this appears to be a form of particularly virulent hate politics. A war on our older residents. Obviously the driving force is money, it always is. Property values in Sierra Madre are literally through the roof right now, and given some of this city's chronic problems, perhaps irrationally so. Paying $1.1 million for a 2,100 sq. foot home in a small city that literally ran out of water recently, and then replaced it with an imported and noxious chemical soup, seems a bit detached from common reality.
And what appears to be fueling the burning resentment of this unhappy individual is the potential money that he and those like him could be making should they somehow be able to evict many of our older residents, tear their homes down, and then replace them with McMansions or cookie cutter "infill" condo projects. All at significant profit, and made with no regard whatsoever for the lives destroyed in the process.
That this is somehow deemed justifiable by the commenter because it would increase the property tax revenues taken in by City Hall only serves to make these remarks even more troubling. Nobody should ever be driven from their home so that the folks downtown can finance $36,000 health plans for themselves, or retire at age 50.
A community's government exists for the people who live there, not the other way around. You have a right to live in Sierra Madre no matter what you are worth. There are no statutes I know of that require eviction and permanent exile for those not paying more in taxes than is legally required.
And certainly you are not some sort of product whose worth is to be judged by how much some greedy developer might make by seizing your property.
But this kind of thing is out there right now. Apparently gentrification propaganda targeting retired persons for elimination from our community has now gained acceptance in certain shadier quarters of the development and Realty fields. With much of it coming from out of town operations, I suspect.
This all must be resisted, and in the strongest ways possible.