It is kind of sad, really. No matter how many times the residents try and make their NO vote on utility tax increases stick, City Hall just ignores these decisions of the people and tries all over again. I'm not sure the city really cares what the taxpayers think, or even attempts to work within the budgets that those who actually pay for everything around here have given them. They just go back to the drawing board and come up with ridiculous new ways to ask for more money. Its become a full-time job.
Of course, it's not like this absurd mess is entirely without some laughs. Here is how one wisecracking Tattler blog commentator described "the process" last Sunday:
And people ask me why I keep doing this blog. How would I ever replace you guys?
Yesterday our friend Earl Richey and two of his tax fighting pals began the process of putting the complete abolition of all Sierra Madre utility taxes on the ballot. Here is how the purpose and intention of this effort is described in a document they presented to City Clerk Nancy Shollenburger.
Here is how I see this playing out. Mayor John Harabedian, along with that lapsed fab foe of high utility taxes, Mayor Pro Tem John Capoccia, will plop their tax increase UUT measure on the ballot at the same time Earl Richey puts his there. The purpose being to play off Earl's efforts for what they are probably correctly assuming will be a political advantage.
Earl's UUT busting measure will give the Two Johns an opportunity to try and proclaim themselves the sweet voices of reason in this matter. That along with all of the other substance-lite nonsense they're always so eager to share.
But do you know what? You don't have to get sucked into any of that. There are actually three options here, not two. No matter what anyone tries to tell or sell you.
Here they are:
1) The Harabedian-Capoccia Option: Vote to increase utility taxes to 8% (or 9%) from the 6% the voters approved in 2012 and 2014.
2) The Earl Richey Option: Vote to get rid of utility taxes altogether and send City Hall packing.
3) The Third Option: Vote NO on both Option 1 and Option 2. That way utility taxes will still return to the 6% you voted for in 2012 and 2014.
After all, you really did mean 6% when you voted NO in the previous two elections, right?
So why would you want to change that now?