• How much money does the City receive from the Police citations of over 3,000 issued last year? Is this money added to the UUT income to offset the Police Department expense?
• When did the City start charging the Franchise fees to the utility bills? Why was this charge started when the City used to receive payments without transferring that cost to the customers? How much income does it give the City?
• Where does the income come from to pay the 1998 water bond payments? Is the payment made through the CRA Successor Agency?
• How many dollars has the City paid for the water received from the MWD pipeline? Are we using credits that have accumulated over the years?
• What is the true cost of the water from the MWD pipeline and which of the four tiered rates is the true cost?
• How much is the contract amount of the City Attorney? How much has she been paid so far this year?
• How much has been paid out in legal expenses for cases that never get settled? How many more years will it take?
• Does the City Council have the authority to contract out any department such as the Police, Fire or the Library? Should this be settled by a vote of the property owners?
• Where does the money come from to pay for all the service contracts and what is the money spent on? Please list individual amounts.
• How many new employees has the City hired since the last defeat of the UUT increase that was on the ballot?
• Does all of the income of the City get deposited into the Bank of America account which is known as the General Fund?
• How much cash is in the restricted fund known as the Redevelopment Fund? What is that money supposed to be used on?
• What is the project known as Scarecrow and how much was paid to the Creative Arts Group?
• How much money has been paid out to the more than one plan checker company and why does it take six to ten months to clear a plan through checking?
• How many acre feet of water, per year, is used by the flushing of the water hydrants?
• When will the water system be repaired and in working order? This includes the tunnels, pumps and water main pipes?
• What other departments, other than Police and Fire, is the UUT income spent on?
• How much money does the Whitman Company receive for handing the billing of insurance companies? Do they also do the billing of the non-insured?
• What is the value of the purchase of a Paramedic Subscription? Is it a flat donation or does it have some meaningful value? If it is a donation, is it tax deductible?
• Why are we spending money on a lobbyist? Most people say City government should not be involved in this practice.
• Is there any form of checks and balances on the spending side? Who is the responsible person that is responsible for controls on spending?
• When will the electrical switch panel be repaired that was burned out many years ago? This is located in the building in the City yards.
• Has the litigation over former Police Chief Diaz been settled? If not, then when will it be done? How much has this cost the taxpayers?
• When is the City going to end the fight against the property owners of 1 Carter so that the threat of the $30M lawsuit/claim can come to an end? When will the first building permit be issued? The Council and Administration know that the City settlement required that homes must be built for this subdivision that has been approved all along?
• Why doesn’t the Police Department purchase one or more paper shredders and do their own shredding instead of contracting it out?
• How much money has the City spent on outside consultants, for the General Plan and when will it get approved and finished? Isn’t the over five years of time and money enough spent on this project?
• Why did the City spend $50,000 on an EIR report against the 710 Freeway extension? Why did we hire a new employee that was in favor of the 710 Freeway extension while he was working for Pasadena?
• Is this meeting really for the purpose of laying the background for the introduction of another UUT tax increase? Remember, this has been defeated twice already? If we are looking for reductions in spending then let’s not spend money foolishly.
• The allocated amount of electrical usage on the water department was $500,000 per year. Since the pumps have been shut down the Edison bill varies from $12,000 to $22,000 per month. How much is the dollar saving on electricity? Why hasn't the city invested in Solar Power to save money?
• Does the Police Department really respond to over 300 calls for Police service per week? Are many of these calls simply transferred to other departments?
• How many volunteer firemen live in Sierra Madre?
• How many City employees have City credit cards?
• Does the City Council understand that the people are looking for a smaller government that spends less instead of always focusing on tax increases?
• How much does the City Administration pay out for computer and computer related services in a year’s time?
• Why does the City pay out over $2,000 per month to the Pasadena S.P.C.A. when they receive all of the license income from the City?
• When will the storage room at the Hart House get built?
• What is the total cost per year of all the City employees, including all fringe benefits such as retirement payments, medical coverage and all other benefits including auto expense? In other words, what is the big round number per year?
Why do we continue to give money to SCAG and the SGVCOG?
These two entirely antiquated and useless organizations continue to get money from us yearly, yet we receive very little of value in return. Rather they serve mostly as soapboxes for some of the biggest fools in the region. Why should we want to help financially enable their ridiculous behavior?
Here is an example from the Pasadena Star News (link):
San Gabriel Valley COG recommends tunnel option for 710 - After nearly three hours of debate, the San Gabriel Valley Council of Governments voted to support the 710 Freeway tunnel Thursday night,
The 31-member group’s governing board voted 16-7 to endorse building a tunnel to connect the gap in the freeway, running under Alhambra, South Pasadena and Pasadena and connecting to the 210/134 freeway interchange.
A recommendation will be sent to Caltrans and the Los Angeles County Metropolitan Transportation Agency for inclusion in their joint environmental impact report, ahead of the July 6 cutoff date for comments.
The SGVCOG’s governing board rejected suggestions by delegates from Pasadena, South Pasadena, Sierra Madre and La Canada Flintridge to take no position on this controversial project.
In one of his first appearances since leaving the position of mayor, Bill Bogaard of Pasadena suggested SGVCOG would be taking a premature action and urged the agency to wait until the final EIR is completed.
“This has been going on for decades. It blows my mind for you to say it is premature,” retorted Alhambra City Councilwoman Barbara Messina, who introduced the successful motion.
Messina said the support for a tolled tunnel is in line with the Southern California Association of Governments, which put the tunnel option into its Regional Transportation Plan in 2012.
“SCAG has the (710) tunnel in their RTP. It meets requirements of the federal government on air quality, mobility and congestion,” Messina told the board. Dissenters said the vote in support of a freeway tunnel would break the SGVCOG in half. Some urged a no position to preserve a unified voice in the region on transportation matters.
“I feel this is like the Middle East. Either we are damned if we do or do not. We are just splitting the cities,” said Sam Pedroza, Claremont City Councilman and SGVCOG member who did not attend Thursday’s meeting.
Here is the real absurdity in this. On the one hand we spent $50,000 in taxpayer dough to fight the 710 Tunnel. I am OK with that. If this tunnel ever gets built it will not only severely degrade the environment around here, the 210 Freeway would be turned into a 24/7 parking lot as well.
On the other hand we are also sending money to SCAG, an organization that is lobbying for the 710 Tunnel nonstop.
Seems kind of schizophrenic, right?