In case you were not aware there is a "Special City Council" meeting taking place tomorrow night. The beginning of what I have come to believe will be one of the more momentous years in this city's history. I don't know if newly minted Mayor John Capoccia feels he is a man of destiny for this town yet, but he is quickly going to discover that there is quite a work load to deal with. I'm not sure the city's problems have ever been much worse than they are right now. Almost everything is running out, and there might not be any more.
There are three items on the agenda for tomorrow night. The most time consuming of these is going to be the budget, which is now going into its second Special Meeting. This in preparation for the rather urgent roadshows on the budget the city is now rolling out. Maybe they aren't 100% sure what needs to be said yet.
We'll try and tackle that one tomorrow, but suffice it to say the can has reached the end of the road and there is no place left to kick it. The City of Sierra Madre will either reinvent how it does government, or it will try for the third time in 6 years to raise utility taxes. The first two efforts at doing so having badly failed at the polls.
The other two items up for discussion deal with water. The first of these two items attempts to come to grips with Governor Jerry Brown's rather draconian water reduction demands. The staff report contains a lot of information about this, including all of Sierra Madre's many attempts to deal with the drought previously. Having run out of water earlier than just about any other locality in the state, the Foothill Village has been at it longer than most other municipalities.
No matter, as far as the Governor is concerned it was nowheres near enough. Here is the paragraph from the staff report on Jerry Brown's water conservation mandates that gets it all down to the real nitty gritty.
Considering what it took already to get water use down 12.6%, this will be a pretty difficult goal to hit. It is going to take some real sacrifice and exponentially increased resident awareness to reach these goals. And while that $10 grand a day fine might seem abstract to some, a year of such dunning would come to $3,650,000. That would have the effect of pretty much wiping out much of this city's General Fund.
So how heavy a role in this does City Hall believe it needs to take? I'm not sure I know the answer to that. And while the staff report does offer some suggestions on how to accomplish all this, I'm not certain that they've quite gotten to the "get serious" level yet. Here are two examples.
Renting the picnic areas at Memorial Park perhaps? Or planning pingpong table housing at the Hart Park House?
Fans of irony, please take note. This paragraph directly follows the one I cited above.
So how is it city staff would have the time to design classes for a resident water school, but they can't get out of the office and do some resident water use monitoring instead? Nothing says education quite like the government knocking on your door.
I sense a little confusion over priorities here.
The other water item on tomorrow's Special Meeting agenda deals with the apparently escalating water war with Arcadia. Always a topic that excites us here at The Tattler. This time we're talking about a draft letter to the Raymond Basin Management Board about Arcadia hogging up a lot of the water it is supposed to be sharing with us.
Apparently all of those 5 bathroom modern family houses they been slapping up there are having a seriously large effect on Peacockville's ballooning water needs.
It is good some stuff. You can link to that and more by clicking here.