Maybe this has something to do with the approaching end of the year? I don't know. But this week we really do get some wild and crazy moments. We're just going to have to take these one at a time. First we start with the question all of us need to know the answer to. Is .25 of an inch of rain enough to keep anything alive? And how will you know it is a quarter of an inch when you've seen it? Will there be an email blast letting us know this threshold has been achieved?
Look at the bright side. At least nobody will drown.
I think if this next item is passed, it will allow the City Manager and the Mayor to sign warrants. Their titles are being added to that of the Treasurer and all three will be able to sign checks. I'm wondering why this is being proposed. Why do we need more people to have the authority to sign checks? And (somewhere down the line in time), could the Treasurer be eliminated?
Can anyone think of a check signing situation so dire and immediate that the City Manager has to do it because the City Treasurer can't be located (link)?
This next passage raises a couple of questions. I can't claim to have seen its like anywhere. So if ONE section is found to be unconstitutional, the City still wants the remaining parts to be valid?
Interesting. I wonder what prompted this. Or maybe it's just something the City Attorney puts in every ordinance? Has the Constitutionality of anything passed by the Sierra Madre City Council ever been questioned before? This one takes four votes to pass, by the way.
OK, so is this next one Constitutional?
I read a lot of the fine print of the ordinance itself (link). I think this is what we are facing: if a customer does not pay their bill within 30 days, there will be an additional charge. And after a 24 hour notice, water service may be restricted. Water will not be turned on until the delinquent bill is paid. The water rates, charges, and penalties will be charged against the owner and that property. The customer will be charged a fee for turning the water off and on. The City Council determines the amount of the fee.
1st violation: 2 x Tier 1 rate per unit
2nd violation (and future violations): 3x Tier 1 rate per unit
Citations: 1st violation $125, 2nd = $250, 3rd = $500
Does this mean the City will put a lien on your property if you don't pay your bill?
Next! It would appear that the difficulty of hiring a new officer for the Sierra Madre Police Department has become so acute that they are now taking what appears to be rather desperate measures.
Why is the City offering to pay $37,000 to hire police when we are on the brink of bankruptcy? If we switch to the Sheriffs in the next year or two, are they obligated to hire this person? And if not, won't we "lose" our investment (link)?
And who is going to pick this recruit? And how can you tell this candidate would be a worthy one if they haven't been through an academy yet?
Here is a stunning surprise.
$175,000 Head Librarian and all, this (link) now makes it a clean sweep for those committees who studied the possibility of outsourcing things that have traditionally been under city control. None went for it, including the SMPD one. Of course, should the SMPD's responsibilities be outsourced to the Sheriff's Department, none of these other outsourcing options would need to be considered.
In other words, all of this would be moot should the SMPD's outsourcing happen. There'd be plenty of money for everything else currently on the chopping block. But should that not happen, contracting out the Library would probably be just about the only way to save it (link).
Finally, the big enchilada makes it to an interesting milestone (link).
There will still be public safety agencies in town, of course. They will just be of the outsourced variety. The irony being that by not passing a 10% UUT, the city would end up with a superior level of law enforcement.
My personal take is that even with a 10% UUT the SMPD's responsibilities will need to be outsourced. And I think the City Council recognizes this, which is the real reason why this is going forward. In the end it will all come down to the numbers.
The Mayor's e-mail may be running 20 to 1 in favor of keeping the cops, but that is probably neither here nor there. The SMPD has simply become too expensive for a small town of 11,000. Meaning that bring in the Sheriff's Department is most likely a done deal.
Everything else is just herd management.