The State of California, desirous of making each and every city and water district within its borders cut its use of water, and by significant amounts, has now started wielding its mighty powers and begun to fine those cities that have not cut their usage as much as they have been asked to do. It's not like they weren't warned, either. After all, official letters have been written.
Sierra Madre, which could have numbered among those being fined but was not, at least not yet, is most definitely on the list of cities that are being closely scrutinized. And City Hall, extremely nervous about having to shell out large sums of money to the state for its water wasting ways, would like to avoid having to pay anything out its precious tax takings. Money here being about as hard to come by as potable water.
So what is happening? Here is how the Pasadena Star News describes the latest efforts to bring water use under control and within the mandates of Governor Jerry Brown.
Sierra Madre to call in top 30 water users; other cities concerned about meeting targets - While the cities from the San Gabriel Valley and Whittier area avoided being hit with penalties on Friday, many are struggling to meet water conservation mandates sent down from Sacramento.
Sierra Madre, Arcadia, Pasadena, Monterey Park and Covina are falling short of state-issued water conservation targets, according to data released Friday by the State Water Resources Control Board.
Because these cities are very close to their targets, the state board’s Office of Enforcement has held back writing them fines. But many have received letters asking them to introduce further restrictions on water customers.
“We are watching them closely,” said Cris Carrigan, the board’s chief of enforcement. “We are not contemplating issuing fines to those close to conservation goals.”
In order to avoid the fate of Beverly Hills, Indio, Redlands and the Coachella Valley Water District, each of which received $61,000 fines, these cities may have to find new ways to conserve water. Some cities say they’ve avoided fines for now, but Gov. Jerry Brown’s emergency ordinance requires them to reach a cumulative savings between 8 percent and 36 percent by the end of February.
The city of Sierra Madre has struggled mightily. At only 19 percent savings in September, and a cumulative savings of 23 percent since June 1, it is still far from its 32 percent target.
“We were expecting to do better,” said Mayor John Capoccia on Friday, a hint of disappointment in his voice. “We are very concerned.”
Sierra Madre will soon call its top 30 water users in for a sit-down with the city’s water department, he said. “We have a problem with some people not meeting the targets.”
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So there you have it. So far none of The Dirty Thirty have been identified. At least not in public. And we are not completely certain whether these are just individuals who have been keeping their lawns inappropriately lush. It could also be businesses that do things like launder large amounts of linen.
The Kensington comes to mind, though as a significant taxpayer they might have been given a pass. Their cases usually being special.
But whatever the deal may be, as of now these identities are a big secret. I am not sure how City Hall is planning to keep it that way, however. Maybe they'll be meeting at a secret location on an undisclosed date. Carrow's in Pasadena perhaps, or Baker's Square. Places like that.
Equally important, will Water Wise Owl be present for this meeting? We understand that he is extremely upset. Th Owl is also a bit of a blabbermouth, so we might find out something from him.
What we're looking for here is a copy of any of the letters sent out to The Dirty Thirty. If you are the recipient of such a thing, and are not particularly happy about it, we'd love to post it here. As always, we'll happily leave your name out of it.
Of course, the letter we want the most is the one the city must have sent to itself. All of those many leaking pipes have likely made it the biggest water waster of all.
Perhaps Director Inman has written it already. We can only hope he wasn't too hard on himself.
Have you turned in your pod yet?
Halloween is over, and we are glad to report that everything went smoothly down on East Alegria last night. We here at The Tattler remain grateful to those who informed us about the potential security issues this year, something we were more than glad to share with everyone. People needed to know.
However, there is one more important piece of business left.
As is customary here a lot of people did pick up their pods, and the streets were filled with happy pod people last night. After all, Sierra Madre is famous for that.
However, Halloween is over. There is nothing left but the sugar hangover. And the time has now come to return your pods to the city so that they can be put back into storage at the Hart Park House until next year.
The City will be collecting pods today at Kersting Court from 10AM until noon. Please, let's not have any of the kinds of unfortunate incidents we had last year.