That said, there are a couple of revelations in this letter that need to be discussed. Especially an as yet unpublicized future effort to raise $80 million dollars in new property taxes. Which is just about what it will take to fund urgently needed infrastructure repairs here. Something that apparently has very little to do with hiking UUT rates, though many in town seem to believe it would. I'm not sure that the city has been very clear about this.
Apparently a 12% UUT would be for less productive things than - let's say - fixing Sierra Madre's disastrously neglected water pipes. Mostly it would go to pay for things like employee salary adjustments, comparatively generous benefit packages and especially CalPERS. Much of which was already negotiated and promised by past City Councils that had no real idea about how to pay for such generosity. Outside of raising utility taxes, of course.
Cop union members in particular would experience the joy of being compensated for more than they probably deserve. Something they seem to believe they are owed in exchange for their support of Revenue Committee lead John Harabedian's City Council election campaign a few years back. A rather costly (and cozy) Los Angeles way of doing business, especially for a small town of less than 11,000 already overtaxed residents.
Those actually paying for this utility tax increase probably won't get very much in real value back. That would come later with the big property tax increase. Something that nobody at City Hall seems to want to discuss quite yet.
With the exception of Barry, of course. Here is his letter.
One Revenue Committee member probably thinks huge pension packages are fine
Here is a little perspective for you. Pat Holland is a former Los Angeles County Sheriff's Department employee, and as such probably thinks big employee pension costs are the way things should go. No tax is too high. Something that, in my opinion, made his membership on the Revenue Committee a little problematic.
Courtesy of Transparent California (link), here's what Pat is pulling down these days.
Just in case you were wondering why residents of the Foothill Village will soon be asked to vote themselves the highest utility tax rates in California history, this is it.
Sierra Madre's real problems are far more mundane
Nobody does mundane better than the current incarnation of the Sierra Madre Patch (link).
Maybe we should be talking more about this kind of thing rather than funding six figure retirement packages for city employees?