Tuesday, September 8, 2015

Tonight's Sierra Madre City Council Meeting: Does the Water Department Really Need To Add A $60,000 A Year Employee?

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Another day another dollar. Tonight the City Council will be asked to deliberate upon some increased spending for its employees. The cost for the Planning and Community Preservation Department is $7,000 in additional funding. The cost over at the Fire Department is a bit more than twice that. These are not big asks and they will likely fly.

The big ticket item, however, would be in the Water Department. Which is not too surprising. That is the one department that always seems to have its hand out for something, no matter what the occasion may be. Here is how that cost is detailed in the staff report (link):


At a time when the City of Sierra Madre is supposed to be contemplating spending less money due to the sunsetting of the UUT, which is something approved by the voters twice, this seems like an excessive request. After all, it was only two meetings ago that our man Bruce Inman was asking for a nice chunk of cash to hire another consultant.

Then, at the recent City Council Special MeetingBruce wanted a similar sum to hire a company to fix a situation that involved some possibly defective work by a water related contractor. Sadly, he wanted to hire the same company that did the original work, and could quite possibly be the responsible party for the problem.

So why does Bruce Inman want to free up some cash and hire someone new in this department? Here is the justification.


You catch that? Bruce goes on to list things like water hydrant flushing, leak repairs, meter reading, plus sampling and repairing as some of the reasons for a new full-time hire. But the big enchilada in his mind is monitoring the importation of water from the SGVMWD. Apparently this is a most weighty matter, one that now takes a full time employee to oversee.

It will be interesting to see if this proposal from Bruce flies. It will also give you some keen insight into the thinking of the City Council in regards to the UUT issue. If this one is approved, it means the City Council is not too worried about money, and willing to spend more than it is actually required to do for Water Department staffing.

Which could very well mean that the City Council believes it can get a UUT increase ballot measure passed and doesn't have to sweat such any additional and costly per employee dollar expenditures.

In other words, business as usual.

sierramadretattler.com

44 comments:

  1. Whatever happened with the company that supposedly did faulty work? Were repairs made?

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  2. It's true. It seems like Bruce is up at the podium almost every meeting asking for something.

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  3. Will this new employee fix my dirty water, if so I'm all for it, if not forget it.

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  4. The question that City Council should ask is this:
    Are you figuring we can spend that money (by unfreezing a position) because of the extra funds generated by the huge water rate increases?

    The purpose of those increases was to fix the water reserve fund, not to increase salary & pension overhead.

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    1. This does help reinforce the widely held notion that it is almost always about employee salaries and pensions, and not things like fixing the Water Department or saving the Library.

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    2. Thanks Captain. Those increases have all landed now, and I can't be the only one who's impressed by how much I have to pay, while I am way below my conservation target.
      Where would that $60,000 be used if the position remains frozen?

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    3. Have we had a recent (last 6 months) Water Dept. financial report? Another rate increase just went through on 7/1/2015. It would be interesting to see if the reserves are building up to an acceptable level.

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    4. Well Captain Obvious, Elaine says the UUT funds can not be designated. They go into the General Fund and we all know that money goes to salaries and perks.

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    5. Also, Elaine has asked for 1 full time and two part time employees. She is being discussed behind closed doors tonight. How much you want to be it takes no more than 10 minutes and she comes out with a raise. Remember, she is in charge of all that Inman does.

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  5. Remember the 3 times failed UUT boondoggle attempt to suck more tax payers money into city hall coffers this far out or outlandish justification for a water department employee is another attempt to pigeon hole $60K then city hall will turn around and use the money else where and not hire that employee. Buyer beware and that goes for anything city hall brings forward out of the shadows to spring on the voting or tax paying public.

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  6. I want to be able to drink my water. This brown crap coming out of my tap looks and smells like crap. How about a little new fashion of researching on the internet to find the solution to our water problem or does that take a higher degree than what city hall has?

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    1. The discolored water was supposed to be fixed a few Water Department consultants ago.

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    2. Nobody should be drinking the tap water, even if it looks and smells okay.

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    3. My water is still golden yellow brown. Although the color has lightened from its original brown, I now have the newly added problem of a horrible stench when first turning on the water. It smells like sewer water or stagnant pond water. I learned yesterday that my neighbors are experiencing the same situation. All of this is an insult when paying such high costs for water.

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  7. Come to the City Council meeting tonight - bring pictures of your "brown crap." I am. What I'd like to know is how Bruce can say over and over that this is safe to drink.

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    Replies
    1. May we ask Dr. Hélène Baribeau for our money back?

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    2. Or a free contract extension. Sheesh.

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  8. City hall has clearly shown that they do not have the ability to run this town! Then you gotta ask yourself, why do we keep paying them for services which we do not receive? The yellow water has been eating holes in my pipes, making me replacd 9 month old hot water heatrs and eating rubber water components. You gotta ask yourself, whats it doing to the 11,000 humans which live in this town?

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    1. Well stated! Amen!

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    2. Water discoration increases with the heat. The city always knew this, though they chose not to mention it.

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  9. This is what happens when the City Council fails to act promptly to fire incompetent Managers/Directors.
    Elaine Aguilar and Bruce Inman need to be fired for cause.Tattler has provided more than enough "cause" evidence. But the City Council still fails to act. Ultimately the problem is the City Council not just the two incompetents named above.
    If the Council refuses to act, despite all the evidence ,then we the citizens need to persuade them.
    First up we need 1 brave CC member to propose a review of senior Management at City Hall. Then recall those who oppose.

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  10. Why don't the other cities who use SGVMWD water have brown water ?

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  11. Tonight, in closed session, is Elaine's annual performance review. I would love to be a fly on the wall in that back room.

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  12. What's the $50,000 French Canadian consultant doing these days? So now Dr Leaky wants to hire a new pump operator...sorry, but nothing is going to fix your pipes Mr Flim Flam Man. The best solution if we need to hire another real worker, is to fire Bruce and Elaine...we can probably make money on the deal.

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    Replies
    1. The French Connection and Water World. Lol

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  13. Running crystal clear here!

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    1. So how are things in Monrovia?

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    2. Yeah, but don't drink it. Or cook with eat. Or give it to your pets.

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    3. 9:48, so it doesn't matter that some of your fellow residents have orange water?

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    4. Don't drink it, don't wash with it, just use it to water your lawn.

      Oh, wait...

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    5. Maybe that's why the lawns are dead. Not from lack of water, but because of yellow water.

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    6. Goody goodie for you 9:48. Ours has been nasty for almost two years.

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    7. Our lawn is dead because we have not watered it for a year. More than a year? We have not watered it since we were told that landscpaing was sucking up 80% of water use. It was hard to let it go, but I get it that we are in a drought and a semi desert, or whatever the climate here is. Feels like desert to me.

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  14. 9:48 - he got his!

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  15. That's $15.00 a water customer. It should come out od Inmans pay. So should all of the consultant's fees. But what the heck, it's other people's money. Hire away.

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    1. The city fines if you go over your limit, water on the wrong day, excessive watering, watering without the proper adaptor on the hose, broken sprinklers. The first time ya get a warning, the second time ya get a bill. You'd be amazed to find that there are people who water in the middle of the day. Not everyone complies with the rules.

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  16. The way the summer/winter rates work. I get twice as much water in Nov Dec as I do in May June. We have a very large hillside property and have done extensive drought tolerant landscaping. There is NO way we can hit the May June numbers. Guess we will be paying fines.

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    1. Sierra Madre has hit its state mandated water conservation numbers the last two months in a row. Why is the city fining people?

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    2. We have done better than the city asked us to in conserving, but even so, a few units came from the more expensive tier 2. Huh.

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    3. So you're kidding right 1:38? Because my neighbor conserves I can waste is that your assertion?

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  17. Watching the CC meeting is putting me to sleep! I try and try to like Mr. Goss, but I really think he talks to hear his teeth rattle.

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    1. Gene gets more animated when he's talking about raising taxes.

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    2. He's done some very good things.
      I think he's just not comfortable up there, so he says things he doesn't really mean.

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  18. I had to work late.
    Hope the Tattler will fill us in tomorrow.

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