Friday, October 23, 2015

Why Would You Even Want To Go To This Meeting?

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"Here is what you need to know about the Sheriff's proposal. And what this committee will not tell you. First, it will save the city $800k a year. That is 10% of our general fund. That money can be used to improve the library, improve the little league field, purchase open space, or apply to infrastructure. Second, it will get the city off the hook for future pension obligations. Third, it will increase actual patrol hours by 22%. You read that right. We will get more patrol services for less money. These facts are all plainly stated in the actual proposal. They will not be discussed by this stacked committee. Nor by our City Council, which apparently believes it is wise to spend 47% of the city's discretionary fund on police services, to the exclusion of investments in our civic life." - Reader comment

I am sure there are some well-meaning people who will go to this event. And a few of them probably believe that there actually is a possibility that the vastly overhyped Sierra Madre Police Department might go away, and that the Sheriffs will then take their place. Something that could make sense from both a financial and quality of service perspective. Though such rationality can get lost when you're discussing the emotional attachment some have with the boys in blue.

Obviously there isn't a chance in heck of that happening, though. The deck has been stacked and quite honestly the Los Angeles Sheriff's Department are just wasting their time by coming here. They'd be better off staying in their offices and catching up on some paperwork. Because there is absolutely no way in that the so-called "Sheriff's Contract Review Committee" is going to recommend that the city dump the Sierra Madre's Police Department in favor of the Sheriffs. It is not going to happen. And they were all chosen to make certain it does not.

And why is that? Because this is a prime example of a bad faith negotiation. The actual purpose of this meeting has precious little to do with making any changes in law enforcement agencies. That decision has already been made. Rather it is to make the more gullible residents of this town believe that if they don't vote to raise their utility taxes to 10%, the City of Sierra Madre will have no choice but to get rid of the Police Department.

And how awful would that be? Well, not awful at all. But you know how that goes.

I mean, who wouldn't want more effective and higher caliber officers on the streets of Burglary Burgh, and at a better price? But unfortunately many here can't quite get their head around what would be the more logical and cost effective hire, and instead will vote themselves one of the highest utility tax rates in the state for inferior service.

You know, so the Sheriffs don't come here. Proving that there really is one born every minute, and some of them have chosen to live in Sierra Madre.

This from the Pasadena Star News (link):


But that is hardly all of it. Here is a comment posted on The Tattler a couple of weeks back:


Throw in the offbeat Glenn Lamdin and it is obvious that each of the members of this committee is a specially selected status quo choice. Some coming with a deep personal stake in CalPERS as well. And all of them deep in the pockets of the Sierra Madre PD cop union and the politicians who take their political campaign money.

You can only wonder who picked them. Well, maybe not.

Here is how Marilyn Diaz is compensated these days:


And that doesn't include the money Marilyn is getting from Sierra Madre.

Trust me, the fix is in. Just like the fix was always in on putting a utility tax measure on the ballot in April of 2016. And for the third time since 2012.

From the perspective of the so-called Sheriff's Contract Review Committee this is all about business as usual. The City of Sierra Madre and its hand-picked cop committee is about as committed to financial reform as foxes are to giving up chicken.

The only way things will change is to deny City Hall its utility tax increase. Only by taking your tax money from them will they even start to make more financially responsible decisions.

And that is what this is really all about.

sierramadretattler.blogspot.com

34 comments:

  1. Here is what you need to know about the Sheriff's proposal. And what this committee will not tell you.

    First, it will save the city $800k a year. That is 10% of our general fund. That money can be used to improve the library, improve the littl league field, purchase open space, or apply to infra structure.

    Second, it will get the city off the hook for future pension obligations.

    Third, it will increase actual patrol hours by 22%. You read that right. We will get more patrol services for less money.

    These facts are all plainly stated in the actual proposal. They will not be discussed by this stacked committee. Nor by our council, which apparently believes it is wise to spend 47% of the city's discretionary fund on police services, to the exclusion of investments in our civic life.

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  2. I am so tired of all the garbage coming out of city hall. If it isn't them it's some of the people who live here. These people don't really get involved. The CC and city manager allow things to go their way and there is no one to stop them. Years down the road, these people appear to say we're losing our small town feel? Wow! I think ya lost it a long time ago. While you were sleeping, I guess. You let it happen when the city was allowed to unionize without asking questions of how that would affect our future. This committe was stacked. If committee's aren't stacked they are never empowered to make any decision that the city manager doesn't want. We cannot afford a library. We cannot afford the PD. We cannot afford their salaries. I can hardly wait for the next earthquake. God willing we will survive it, but there is a good chance the water infrastructure won't. Water or library? Water or police? Hmmm. The city manager tells us it will take weeks if not months to start working on what theCC said could be done on the infrastructure. You mean to tell me, that with the loss of water happening here, that a call to the state couldn't be made to allow the city to bypass all the 30 day bids, etc.? There are no words left to describe how disheartened I am by the apathy I see around me.

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  3. Who picked the people for this committee? Did each city councilmember choose one? Or were they chosen by someone else?

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    1. Sure looks that the selection was made by the SMPD Police Association (Union). It's certainly heavily tilted towards keeping SMPD. Damn the costs! Make the taxpayers pay for those Platinum Pensions and less patrols!

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    2. Who could ever make this stuff up?

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  4. The fix was in from the beginning. The Sheriff's Dept. proposal never got a fair hearing. All those people who cry about the UUT and how all these services will be cut if we don't raise it up to 10% are no where to be found when it comes to saving the city almost 1 million per year with the Sheriff's proposal......and get better service to boot. Go figure.

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  5. A lot of this has to do with the political debt Harabedian and Goss owe the police union. The fix is in because the residents don't control events in Sierra Madre. City employees do. And their only agenda is getting as much money out of this city as possible.

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  6. More reasons to vote no on the UUT increases.

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  7. Color us the fool...husband and wife retired teachers don't pull in quite 1/2 what Ms Diaz gets from just one of those pensons. What did we do wrong? On, bother, don't answer that

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  8. A small town of 11,000 is being asked to support a big city pension scheme by paying some of the highest utility taxes in the state. People are buying into this how?

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  9. Many of us know the truth about our so called police department and we want the Sheriffs.

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  10. If offered jobs by the Sheriff Dept how many SMPD officers woukd make the cut?

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    Replies
    1. Our job isn't to offer lifetime employment.

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    2. I already have children.

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    3. I already give a lot to charity.

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  11. I don't get the point here. The statement: Rather it is to make the more gullible residents of this town believe that if they don't vote to raise their utility taxes to 10%, the City of Sierra Madre will have no choice but to get rid of the Police Department.

    If the UUT isn't at 10% something has to go. On the one hand, you seem to be implying that if we resolved pension obligations, we could keep the police, library, and paramedics. On the other hand you seem to acknowledge we can keep paramedics and library plus have extra money if we farm out the police. Another time you ranted that the citizens were being suckered into thinking they had to get rid of the library. The truth is, they have to get rid of something or pay money to keep it all. You've never pointed out how they get to keep all of it because you've located the people who will do the job for less money, or the place where money is being overspent.

    As far as I can see, the best options are either to keep the UUT and keep our local police, or not pay the taxes and farm out the police. The decision to pay the UUT should have always been tied to the obvious reason it's needed: the ballooning cost of the police. If the police can figure out how to make their department work on less money, they are also welcome to do that, but when they submitted their bare bones proposal, they cut out less than the library. They appear to think they can't do it for less. So that's that.

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  12. We have no choice but to vote the UUT tax and the SMPD out. 2) our next goal must be to clean house, replace city staff, starting with the city manager and public works director. Our city can not continue to proceed down a path of no return. It we can not receive a value for the residence buck, then we do not those city employees!

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  13. It would seem that our choices are (i) go with the sheriff, keep taxes where they are, keep all services, and have extra money to spend on the library, little league, and other good stuff, or (ii) keep our police department, ask for a tax increase, continue to live check to check, and have nothing left over to spend on the library, little league, and other good stuff.

    oh, and if you go with option (ii), hope that people don't get so mad they vote to kill the UUT. If you don't think that will happen, recall that no one thought Measure V would pass. It did, however, because people like me voted for it to kill the asinine DSP.

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    1. CalPERS pension costs are what are killing our Library.

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  14. 9:14A-It's always been the threat of getting rid of the PD or the library or both. The private concern that bid to take over the library offers more hours, same services and we save $100,000.00. Farm out the PD and we save much more. The increase in the UUT only gets us through 2016. Then it will have to go up again. It's a no win situation for the citizens.

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  15. It is obvious that those who live in town and vote to keep the local COP's "civilian officer of peace" have not ventured out of town an met the world around us, they must stay in town and drink the Kool Aid. We have not one police officer living in town, not one, so when a big earth quack hits who will really show up or be able to make it back into town. Yes, we do have an X chief living here, that's the chief that the police department filed a law suit against because they didn't like how the chief was running the department. You have the same group of people who hob nob with all the social groups who here the same thing preached all the time how bad it is to have the sheriff in town, and that is totally not true. First, has the SD ever filed a law suit against any city, NO, just that fact alone will get my vote. There will be no difference when officers come to work in AM except when someone calls in sick there are more Sheriffs to fill in with out creating an unsafe situation. If the city turns away the SD I will work full time as a vote against the UUT. Why would I vote for more of the same lies?


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  16. fACT. All city employees health benefits should be reduced to $400, per employee a month. This could save city hall $2 Million Dollars a year! We could use that money to start paying for replacement of water pipes and refurbishing of city horizontal wells!

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    1. Your calculator needs another battery.

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  17. Quick, check that battery, those are some interesting #'s.

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    1. Explain why we need to pay for the little league field ?
      When I go to pay for my daughters club soccer fees a large part of those fees go to field up keep,repair,and general maintenance don't little league teams have the same kind of set up ?

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  18. yeah but don't we all feel safer knowing that Officer Dead Eye Amos is on patrol?

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    1. Dead Eye is now a Detective. Whatever that means in this town.

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    2. The position of detective in Sierra Madre means issuing statements about not being able to comment on a case because an investigation is in process. Of course, these investigations never come to any kind of conclusion, so no comments are ever made. The Matheson case would be a good example of this.

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    3. This whole thread should be turned over to the detective bureau

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    4. only in SM could a incompetent trigger happy freaked out officer get promoted

      of course there is "sooooooo" much to detect in SM

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  19. Sierra Madre, California 2015-2016 budget is a bottle neck in deciding to keep a historical institution such as SMPD times have changed since their inception, sink or swim might be a better mantra. There are hidden costs to keeping the SMPD alive many are hidden from public's view so the real costs will never see daylight on the other hand a contract with the L.A.C.. Sheriff's Department is above board and you see what you get along with the true costs. You have all ready seen how Sierra Madre city hall handles financial issues in the past so what makes you think they are anymore honest in the present and future?

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    1. we all know the city manager isn't honest because she charges the Mt Wilson Trail Race almost $ 16 grand for pre event planning staff hours - says it takes 700 staff hours to plan the event

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