Thursday, February 12, 2015

Bruce Inman's Not Quite Letter of Apology

As the Kersting Turns.
We referred to this letter in yesterday's post, and someone was kind enough to forward it to The Tattler. It had been sent to the 71 families in Sierra Madre who filed a "Water Conservation Allocation Appeal," only to find their request being quite thoughtlessly ignored. This was the situation referred to by Councilmember Goss in his notable public rebuke of the City Manager.

Though referred to as an "apology letter" at Tuesday evening's confab, it doesn't really fit that definition in my opinion. Rather it appears to be an attempt to assign at least some of the responsibility for those unfortunate and largely unexplained response delays on the City Council itself. You know, for perhaps not quite having their act together yet? Not the smoothest move a city employee can make.

This note had been sent out by the Public Works Department previous to Tuesday night's City Council meeting, and apparently laid out the direction city staff was hoping the conversation would take. As we saw, things didn't quite work out as they'd hoped. Instead this unhappy strategy crashed and burned rather nicely as the Council's deliberations turned more on actual service complaints than dunning nearly all city residents for perceived water misuse. With the whole invasive and obviously revenue driven "EENER Strategy" being almost completely ignored.

If you weren't there, you missed some grand entertainment.


sierramadretattler.blogspot.com

36 comments:

  1. I got that letter a while back and I thought it was okay and did not bother me

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    1. So what do you think is going to happen?

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    2. Then get ready to be surprised.

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  2. We need to look at the big picture and see where all the allocated water is going. Who is using what % of the water and what for. If John Q Public is only using 18% of available water and having big fines for not reducing 30% what % are big commercial users reducing by and what is their fine for over use. A lot of questions here and quite frankly I feel like the city is just looking at ways to raise more money, not work on the real problems here.

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  3. There were regulations in place when those appeals were failed. Right? Then all of those appeals should have been evaluated according to those regulations - not put on hold until other regulations replaced them.
    Residents should have the same righs that any developer would have.

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    1. Filed, not failed.
      It's that hook-up between application dates and rules in place that so many developers take advantage of.

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  4. I wonder how many were reassured to read that staff had been working with the EENER Commission to straighten this all out?

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    1. Everyday I ask myself this question. What would Kim Clymer Kelly do?

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    2. EENER NEENER NEENER

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  5. They need to bring back the tree commission and get rid of the EENER Commission. No reassurance for me 7:45. It's downright scary!

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    1. It's the council who put that job on the commission and staff. The council is the source.

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    2. Isn't that what the EENER Commission was created to do? Create the illussion of a community consensus for unpopular initiatives?

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    3. If Elaine and Bruce put the EENER name to things that they themselves put into Tuesday's agenda report, and those conclusions were different from what the EENERs themsleves actually said, then we have a major scandal on our hands. Anybody got the minutes?

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    4. I just don't get why people are blaming Aguilar and Inman for doing what a council asks them to do. Greater accuracy is ascribing responsibility will help solve the problem.

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    5. I think it is extremely naive to believe that Elaine and Bruce didn't have a dog in that fight.

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  6. The CC inacted a 30% water conservation target for a period of up to 2 years when they initiated a moratorium on water meter permits. (end date?)

    State-wide California was already at a 20% water conservation target which has been poorly implimented by many cities (witness the waste of water run off as you drive through Arcadia.)

    Many in Sierra Madre were already conserving water to the point where the city should have records that show a whole population of people should be asked to do no more.

    Then target the big users/abusers and educate, educate, educate.

    There are state-wide penalities water providers are able to levee that are steep enough without asking a group of volunteers (EENR Commission) to be involved in this process.

    Over-use charges in Tier 2 and 3 can catch the occassion lapse and pin point the big users/abusers.

    The CC and staff (not the Energy, Environment and Natural Resources Commission) can initiate what they think they need to do to help these big users/abusers change their water usage habits.






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  7. Please do not think for a moment this letter from Bruce Inman is a polite, reasonable act of contrition. It was a result of insulting enough citizens by failing to give ANY response to the efforts they mad LAST SUMMER to fill in lengthy paperwork to appeal stupid water limits. It took him over 6 months to even say "uh ,well ,later I guess?"
    He doesn't care - he gets paid whatever he does or does not do - and that sets the tone for his entire Dept.

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    1. Bruce also didn't take any of the blame. Instead pointed fingers in a lot of different directions.

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    2. I'm thinking the stack of appeals got misplaced on someone's desk.

      A screw up? Sure.

      A massive conspiracy the likes of which we've never seen before? Nah.

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    3. Yeah! That's it! They got misplaced!

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    4. 9:26 --- did you read Bruce's letter? Or did you just hurry to the comments to leave an uninformed opinion?

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    5. I'm thinking that they were purposefully held back so as to get those applicants to fall under the new criteria. The end game is for every resident to fit into the new criteria base. If you have high numbers that don't fit into the new base, you will eventually lose them. If you have high numbers now that you don't use, Elaine said they have to go. So if you like your numbers, down the road, you may lose them. If your number lessens because someone moved out of the house, time to recalculate! Did someone move back home and you want more units? Time for an inspection! If the drought worsens, cut back another 10%. Are you feeling the noose yet? The END GAME is every piece of property in Sierra Madre MUST fit into the new criteria base.

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    6. From the City of Sierra Madre Facebook page today:
      Penalties begin for May and June - check it out.
      Score for this round:
      Inman 1, Tattler 0

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    7. Interesting. What I took away from the meeting is this was to be brought back for discussion in July. But only after all of the screw ups were fixed would any fines be put in place. I'll look into it. Glad I got a screen shot!

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    8. 10:23, perhaps you should switch to decaf.

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    9. Decaf? Wouldn't that be like kissing your mother?

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    10. The city council still needs to vote on the final staff paperwork at the next city council meeting. Somebody jumped the gun a little.

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  8. 9:18, Inman has never, ever taken the blame for anything.
    Pretty good trick when you think about his responsibilities.

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  9. Developers are legally protected from lengthy or delayed municipal responses - residents are not?

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  10. Just one quick internet search. This is as good as any but there is way more detailed available elsewhere. Regarding agriculture, most goes to export, especially such areas as cotton:

    "California is the largest producer of Pima cotton in the United States. The California cotton industry provides more than 20,000 jobs in the state and generates revenues in excess of $3.5 billion annually."

    This is not to mention Almonds, where we grow 80% of the worlds supply or rice. Very high water usage, some crops of which would not grow here given rainfall levels. We are flooding the desert to grow rice due to water rights contracts dating back decades. http://www.latimes.com/business/la-fi-california-almonds-20140112-story.html

    Rice we are 2nd largest state in the country. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Rice_production_in_the_United_States

    The question is why residential, which makes up far less than 20% of water usage needs to bear so much of the burden. Residents are being made to make SUDDEN drops in usage without time to make the adjustments needed to make it not a burden. Cutting back is a great goal especially getting rid of waste, but the truth of the matter is that other water use areas (specifically AG) are far more wasteful and are really making the difference. Why should residents of California have such high water rates and ration to the point of killing their own fruit and vegetable backyard gardens so that the Ag industry can have water a very low rates to produce crops that are shipped off to other countries. Only a few big farm companies benefit but we are paying their expenses in a sense due to subsidizing their water costs. Doesnt make much sense and I think that local government needs to acknowledge and answer how our community fits into this fact.

    Another example. Sierra Madre resident grows oranges, paying multiples higher in water costs. If they are forced to cut usage, the trees will die. Residents will then have to buy oranges at a store that by the time it gets to the persons house, the orange has gone taken nearly the same amount of water, gone through picking and processing, been transported through oil burning machines and trucks, etc etc resulting in a larger pollution footprint versus the backyard gardens we are now killing off. It seems this way but I would like to get local govt feedback on this.

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  11. What did you really expect Inman (Elaine) to say. That they didn't send out a letter a couple of months ago is shameful, however, now that they got around to it, this letter seems to adequately explain the situation. You all cried for a meter moratorium. (We all know it was to stop development until we can get the GP approved.) The Council did it but had to go to 30% to justify it. Also, the City cannot put a penalty on just a couple of people, they have to come up with some criteria that would cover all. If you can come up with something other than what has been discussed, I'm sure the Council Members would love to hear it.

    This cut-back has not been sudden. We all have had months to plan our cut-backs. Since '13 I have been cutting back gradually so now I am within the first tier every billing cycle. Sure, 2 trees have died and so have some shrubs. I took out our two lawns in '03 so don't have to worry about that. I use my shower warm-up water for the lemon tree and had a bumper crop this year. You can do it. Let's stop whining and face it. We are in a drought and will be for years to come.

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    1. I don't think anyone is saying the big water wasters shouldn't pay fines. The point has always been how the city is going after those who do not use a lot of water, have cut back their usage under the two previous plans, yet the city still wants to fine them. Why do you think Goss chewed out the city manager?

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    2. Personally, I don't think this Council has the collective balls to fine anyone.

      Their water conservation plan apparently consists of talking all of us to death, wasters and people conserving alike. Blah, blah, blah.

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  12. 2.96 MILLION hits!

    Don't tell Josh Moran but lots of people must be reading The Tattler.

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  13. I agree -of course ,of course but...
    Please step back a bit.
    Our City government is inept, incompetent, unqualified, agenda driven, corrupt and hostile to all we hold dear about Sierra Madre. They will exhaust us on these endless trivial matters if we don't deal with the root cause. Cut off the head of the snake(figuratively) and we may create lasting benefit for all out fellow Sierra Madrans. Otherwise this is mere chatter.

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