|Solid Gold Cyndi: Your tax dollars at work (link).|
Here is an interesting financial conflict of sorts. The City of Sierra Madre sends some of your tax dough in the form of dues to the San Gabriel Valley Economic Partnership, an organization whose president, the above pictured Cynthia Kurtz, is a leading spokesperson for the potentially lethal 710 Tunnel. A $20 billion dollar Caltrans/Metro boondoggle that, once it gets built, will turn the San Gabriel Valley into a near 24/7 traffic gridlock nightmare and a heavily polluted environmental red zone as well.
Yet, and at the very same time mind you, our City Council has sent $50,000 in hard earned tax dollars to a consortium of cities fighting the 710 Tunnel. Done in full recognition that this tunnel would be a multiple threat disaster for the area we live in.
Quite a bug tussle in competing tax moneys. On the one hand Sierra Madre sends money to an organization whose leader is helping to lead the charge to build the tunnel, while on the other hand it sends money to the combine of cities fighting it.
An interesting form of financial schizophrenia, don't you think?
While we are at it, sales tax money generated by 2008 ballot initiative Measure R, which you thought was supposed to be used to pay for things like Metro buses and Gold Line cars (AKA "210 Trolly"), also provides "$750 million for the 710 North traffic congestion relief efforts." Which is the politically correct way of discussing the 710 Tunnel. This revelation comes to us from Metro itself, and can be easily confirmed here.
Which just goes to show, you should never ever vote for a tax increase. Chances are very good the additional money raised will be used for things you were not told about, and likely don't want.
On Friday we posted an article called "The Usual Bureaucrats: Pushing Hard For The 710 Tunnel" (link), which in part discussed the tunnel boondoggle advocacy of San Gabriel Valley Economic Partnership boss Cynthia Kurtz.
This attracted the attention of a particularly attentive Tattler reader, who came up with some rather interesting information for us. We are going to let him take over from this point on.
Cynthia Kurtz is getting a pension of CalPERS pension of approx. $135,938.52. I believe she was Pasadena City Manager. I have also heard credible reports that she got herself a really big raise right before she retired so it spiked her pension up.
So if you add that to her sweet CalPERS haul it means that she is taking in a total of over $306,967.00 a year from the taxpayers! All while working to cram the 710 Tunnel down our throats, whether we want it built or not.
Talk about paying for the rope they'll hang us with.
Here are a couple of things that are odd. Sierra Madre's very own master of disaster, Bart Doyle, is retained by the SGVEP as its legal solon. Yet he receives no salary for these efforts. So what's the Bartster's angle here?
It also appears Pasadena City Manager Michael Beck is in the social swirl there as well. Maybe he tutors them on how not to do financial oversight. He's good at that.
So why does Sierra Madre send the SGVEP money again?