Wednesday, November 11, 2015

Last Night's City Council Meeting: Reality Has Now Begun To Sink In

Even Gene Goss gets it
It all depends on how you care to look at it. If you like end times gallows style humor, then your favorite part of last night's City Council meeting would have been the moment when reality hit and Sierra Madre's elected officials realized that the money really is gone. That and they have no alternative but to prepare even more cuts and get ready for the end of that unsustainable fantasy once known as a "full service city." You know, the cistern where all the money flowed until there wasn't any left.

Because that is now officially over, even if a 10% UUT passes. Which, after two ignominious defeats in a row, is no sure thing. It is no longer a matter of if the Sheriffs are going to ride into town and rescue this city from itself, but when.

There really is no other solution. A small town of 11,000 people with a broken water company, bloated boutique government and CalPERS expenses that would choke a horse cannot sustain such a level of financial agony any longer. No matter what Glen Lambdin, the endlessly whiny Sierra Madre Police Association, or all of their profoundly clueless Facebook friends might say.

That said, if you enjoy the kinds of absurd humor that come with watching fairly self-absorbed people present their view of what is right for Sierra Madre, and in the face of financial realties so daunting that they will inevitably lead to such drastic actions as the firing of the Police Department, then the last item of the evening would be much more to your liking.

This is what the "Art In Public Places" people want to bless Sierra Madre with:


Do the taxpayers here actually pay the person who wrote that? Here is the kind of money that would be spent on these vibrant community-scapes:


In fairness it must be pointed out that this cash did not all come from the public purse. Some of it was actually conned out of local businesses like the Kensington in exchange for city building permits. But I have to tell you, if the city wanted to give me a utility box to paint I would happily do it for free. And I swear to you it would be better than the octopus and pirate's booty motif pictured above.

But I digress. The key moment at last night's meeting was when the City Council decided not to go with an advisory ballot measure on the question of whether or not to hire the Los Angeles County Sheriff's Department. Instead they realized that after years of misrule the City of Sierra Madre has hit financial rock bottom, and it is all on them to fix things.

There will be no more passing the buck. No "let's find out of what the people want" ballot initiative weaseling on what is really the responsibility of Sierra Madre's elected officials. Those days are now gone. Instead these five folks are going to do what they think is right for this city. They'll make the decision.

Not because they like having to do such things, or even want to. Rather because they now know that there is no other choice. Things really are that bad. It has to be done.

The City Council is now fully prepared to hire the Sheriffs. Again not because they want to, and it won't be a unanimous vote by any means. And this isn't going to happen right away. But they will have to do it because there really is no other option open to them. The SMPD has priced itself out of its small town market, and time and again has shown itself to be completely unwilling to compromise. On anything.

And as such it is getting closer to being pushed out the door. They have left the City Council no other choice.

Last night five elected showed they know that.

sierramadretattler.blogspot.com

46 comments:

  1. Did smpd offer to match the sheriff's proposal?

    What's up with that stupid looking box?

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  2. That box is brought to you courtesy of Nancy Walsh. She pushed through the public Arts thing when she was on the Council.

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    1. The Public Arts thing is just a resurrection and extension of the Roosevelt's New Deal Socialists program created in the late 30's and early 40's. T'was called the Federal Art Project.

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    2. Maybe they should paint a mural at the post office. Maybe something about Sierra Madre's World War 1 hero?

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    3. NO! Leave the post office just the way it is. It's fine. I do not like public art. It sticks out like a sore thumb.

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    4. So 8:30, by referring to the New Deal as a "Socialists" (sic) programs, did you do so with disdain, perhaps suggesting it as antithetical to the capitalist system we have or maybe even our American way of life?

      If so, may we assume that you have not, do not, and will not partake in the fruits of that socialist program or other similar programs, including social security, medicare, US infrastructure (national and other parks, roads, interstate and other highways, bridges, dams and reservoirs, electrical grid, airports, rail), and etc?

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    5. 5:14 If you happen to notice any Banksy public art interfering with your view, just let me know. I'll be happy to take care of that problem for you!

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  3. God can not save the Queen.

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  4. It might be time to start passing around 'tin cups' to beg for more donations to keep a failing form of government alive just a little bit longer while those in power 'Nero's' play as Sierra Madre literally burns it's self down from within.

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  5. I thought I heard Mayoe Capoccia say last night that from his e-mails, phone calls and meeting people around town that it was 20-1 in favor of keeping the PD. He also said that people say that and then vote know on the UUT. He was a bit angry sounding. Does he really think the UUT will save the PD or the city?

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    1. Capoccia's personal poll seems totally at odds with what I hear. And obviously he is discounting most of the Tattler comments. Seems he is just spending way too much time with Elaine - again.
      Wake up Capoccia - you are out of touch on this issue. Listening to uninformed people will never give you valid opinions .But you know that .So why say something as silly as 20-1 in favor of retaining SMPD.
      Speaking of 20 - how about 20% savings for 20% more coverage with the Sheriff ? You missed that ? That is a real number not a lop sided poll of uninformed people.

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    2. So is Capoccia's email the replacement for the advisory ballot measure?

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    3. I am going to give Mayor Capoccia the benefit of the doubt here. This looks more like herd management to me. There is a certain segment in town that is going to find the Sheriffs a hard sell. Things like the huge financial savings and quality of service issues don't mean much to them. They are driven strictly by emotion. But the wheels are turning, and if I was a member of the SMPD I would not be comfortable with how things are going right now.

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  6. It would have been more appropriate if the City Council had led the discussion and progress in this debate.Instead, Tattler has to do it for them. Wake up CC !

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    1. Agree with you 7:53. Thank you Mod.

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  7. Let the city manager and her city council stafff and the group of dancing monkeys with the music boxes, begg tfor money to be used to continue to staff this madness. The residents have woken up and reialized that we no longr have any money or water any longer. Change must be right around the corner. Bk

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  8. and on the cup it should say, " FOR BETTER MANAGEMENT ". years of poor decisions have put us in this position, how about we see better management of ALL $$$ from here on out, tin cup or no tin cup.

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  9. Tattler, is this a wishful thinking report, or did the council actually say they were going to go with the sheriff?

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    1. They dumped the advisory measure. What does that tell you?

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    2. They are not going through the added expense and confusion of a campaign - but does it mean they'll choose the sheriff.

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    3. They don't have a choice.

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    4. I wanted the advisory measure to keep SMPD to pass and the UUT be repealed. That would've been entertaining.

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    5. There is still the SMPA ballot initiative. Don't give up yet! The dumb bunny crowd will be hopping that petition around town real soon.

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    6. Sierra Madre Profiles in Courage!November 11, 2015 at 10:11 AM

      I fear the council is going to attempt to kick the can down the road rather than leading and educating the public on the choices imposed on us by SMPD's excessive police service cost.

      Aside from taking e-mail polls, the council may well attempt to cook the books. In particular, it will attempt to reduce the dollars difference between the SMPD and Sheriff's cost. Since they do not control the Sheriff's proposal, they will have to create internal city costs associated with the retention the Sheriff. For example, the need to retain the chief at $250k plus a year to do, I'm not sure what. Please note, however, that to this point the $800 k sheriff's savings figure discussed is conservative. I am confident that there are further costs associated with SMPD hidden elsewhere in the City budget. These costs would include the cost of dealing with lawsuits and out year pension obligations based on further annual benefit accruals. We will have to fully dig into the budget to find these costs, but I am confident they are there.

      It is unfortunate that the Mayor does not relish this opportunity to lead, as it is public service at its finest. However, I am confident he and the two women who were not endorsed by SMPD to protect its interests against the interests of the City will step to the plate.

      In other words, the council will not get away with this if the town remains vigilant.

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  10. Unfortunately the in crowed witch is made up most of the community service organizations is responding to feed back of the inner workings of city hall. Keep in mind that these misinformed organizations usually meet during normal business hours when the vast majority of the residents are at work. Come time to vote the nonparticipating residents vote with the facts but the city council mostly hears from the misinformed emotional organizations in town. This problem has been plaguing the right decisions for years but can no longer be sustained now because of the lack of our hard earned tax dollars. I hope we have reached the limit of funding bad decisions.

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  11. I agree with 10:53. I think it is time that decisions be made for the towns survival and not salaries or items of emotion that do not involve our sustainability.

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  12. The City Council is in a tough spot between their perceived commitments and doing what is right for the town.

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  13. I can see that a huge amount of money will be saved by going with the Sheriff's Department but don't forget that won't end the pension burden already accumulated! The actual cost will be the price of the Sheriffs' PLUS the ongoing obligation of SMPD pensions right up until the day they no longer work for us. It'll still be a huge cost savings but don't underestimate the legacy of the 5 Mayors and their sycophants.

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    1. Ah, the old question of Cost versus Price. A concept not fully understood by masses.

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    2. the cost of the pre-existing smpd obligations remains the same under both the smpd and sheriff's proposal. It has zero impact on the comparative analysis.

      the only pension impact is on future accruals. under the smpd proposal the city retains it. under the sheriff's proposal it is a liability of the county.

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    3. Great. Better stop that now. If the city doesn't act things will only get worse. And aren't we paying taxes to the County already? We pay for the Sheriffs whether we use them or not.

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  14. Goss said nothing will happen with the sheriff for over a year!

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    1. Goss won't vote for the Sheriffs. He is an ideologue.

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    2. Goss is an ideologue? Wow. Now I am confused.

      Ideologue is what Goss calls everyone he doesn't agree with.

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  15. I have been saying this for years. The income monies paid to those city employees only benifits those city employees families! Since there is no additional monies to go around, there will never be any large infrastructure repairs or replacements. The residents taxes pay for the ciy employees and there living expenses. There is not enough monies to go around. Our city needs to file bk and reduce spending, or the entire city will be absorbed into the county! Cheers

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    1. Sadly, I can find no factual or logical way to refute your BK conclusion. Yes, there are lots of nefarious reasons -fat benefits,SMPD,misappropriation or worse.
      Ultimately this CC and previous ones are to blame.The majority in each CC condoned this. No heads rolled. The voting citizens were ineffective at protesting.
      Eventually outside forces will control this issue because we have been to weak-willed to do so. That penalty will be very harsh. The parasites that caused this will wither with their host..

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  16. I'm not sure any of you have been listening to Capoccia. Shortly after the last UUT defeat he said we have to start looking at the alternatives and mentioned the SMPD and the Library as two departments that they would have to focus on. He along with Rachelle are working on a budget that would be at 6% UUT just in case the measure doesn't pass. Denise has said multiple times, that even if the 10% UUT goes through, that will still not be enough to carry the PD and the council will have to look for alternative funding and/or sheriff. Because you all are so focused on the no on the UUT you aren't listening. Remember, he is the mayor and has to be nice and listen to all points of view and each council member. I think he looked peeved last night because some people keep bringing up the same old thing even after the council has discussed it to death. If you really listen to him, you'll see that he saw the light a couple of years ago.

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    1. Thank you for bringing the elephant out into the open.

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    2. I don't think many people understand just how bad things are. There really isn't much of a choice here.

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    3. 1:53: can we put the elephant in the 4th of July parade now that it is out In the open?

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    4. Only if Joe and Matt come back.

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    5. 1:45-The time is over for Mr. Nice Guy. If Capoccia feels as you say, then he is giving mixed messages. He is supposed to lead, not let others do it for him. If he saw the light two years ago, then why did it take him so long to address it? I have listened to the Mayor. I hear all the back and forth he says. I heard him say it's running 20-1 to keep the PD. We need straight talk not just a man who pleases everybody.

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    6. Capoccia figured it out years ago? Remember he was against the UUT before he was for it. Or was it the other way around?

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  17. We will eventually outsource the police and library. It will happen. We need to convince the city council that doing this sooner rather then later will save more money. Each month that goes by we spend more on police and the library then is needed.

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