Friday, January 29, 2016

Is Sierra Madre News.net's Bill Coburn Math Challenged?

Remedial ciphering required?
There is a Facebook page in town that goes by the name of "Sierra Madre." It is a place where you can often find some of this city's more innocent folks posting their opinions. A few of them appear to be from the old Civility Party crowd, and likely are still mourning events such as the departure of Nancy Walsh from the City Council. Apparently for them things have gone downhill in Sierra Madre since the Queen of Cray hung up her tinfoil crown and stopped treating us to her oftentimes edgy opinions.

If it is any consolation whatsoever to them, I too miss Nancy Walsh. But probably for very different reasons. She used to bless us with great video content. Here is one where the former Mayor compared a report about reducing City Hall hours to the repellent practices of child predators (link).

A word of warning though, some of the language contained in that linked video clip gets a bit blue. Do not share it with your younger kids.

However, I also miss the Sierra Madre Facebook page. I used to post links there to articles posted on this site. Sadly, after I left one about an article that included a leaked internal report detailing a culture of employee institutional violence at Southern California Edison, I suddenly found myself blocked from the Sierra Madre site. I can't even view it any longer. Truly a sad commentary on the inability of certain elements in this town to deal with opinions they might not share.

Here is a snippet from The Tattler post that got me booted from the site (link).


I dunno. Maybe it just wasn't Facebook material.

But I digress. Bill "Rooster" Coburn, who runs an antediluvian on-line news site called SierraMadreNews.net, apparently is not a person who cottons to the challenges of independent thought. He rarely publishes anything more than City Hall press releases there, and never dares to add any commentary of his own. Apparently Bill regards the stuff he is sent from downtown as wisdom received from on high, and it is not his place to second guess such things.

Unfortunately, Bill also has some problems with basic math. Particularly when it comes to Measure UUT, the City Hall proposed April ballot initiative that will raise your utility taxes to some of the highest levels found in the State of California. Here is what he posted on the Sierra Madre Facebook page.


I wasn't aware that the "Algeria on Halloween" event was funded by city money. Probably because it is not. The residents living there foot most of the bills all by themselves. And it would be equally sad to think that the Mount Wilson Trail Race would have to be discontinued without the participation of City Hall. Especially when you consider that nobody employed there ever actually runs in that race.

Also, while the 6% UUT might have had its origins in the distant past, there was quite a long stretch there when it was at 10%. I believe right up until July of 2015. Not certain how Bill could have forgotten that.

However, the worst part of Bill's Facebook post is that it is mathematically illiterate. It took former Sierra Madre City Councilman Chris Koerber to explain why.


This does explains some of Bill Coburn's work on the Public Safety Committee. I'm also not sure what sort of latte' he is talking about.

I hope it isn't the kind you can now legally buy in Colorado. I hear they're highly expensive.

sierramadretattler.blogspot.com

44 comments:

  1. Does Bill Coburn also run the "Sierra Madre" Facebook page? It would be sad to think he would be engaged in censorship as well. In addition to dumb math.

    ReplyDelete
  2. Coburn never met a tax increase he didn't like.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. didn't he have the brilliant idea while on the Chamber is to have Food Truck Festival to compete with the restaurants?

      Delete
  3. The tax is nearly $100 a year for every man, woman and child in the city.

    It will be handed to the police department. As a result it will not improve the park, the library, senior services or anything else that would improve our quality of life.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. At those prices Coburn must be talking about medicinal lattes.

      Delete
  4. We are being run by the arithmetic challenged.

    That is how the uut sponsors can argue that the city has cut $2 million of costs when general fund expenditures - to which every penny of the uut goes - have risen $1.2 million over the last few years.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I believe they think we're idiots.

      Delete
    2. Maybe Bill is using Common Core arithmetic in which case he could be correct.

      Delete
    3. Doesn't matter what method you use to teach math to the likes of Bill Coburn. Much the same in a statistics class: there are lies, damn lies and statistics.

      Delete
    4. As in Cedrick Argueta's march to a perfect score on the AP Calculus exam.

      Delete
    5. 6:46 If "they" are speaking of you and the mouse in your pocket "they" may be correct.

      Delete
  5. A note of caution should be posted before and after a politician speaks; 'Caution when wind machine of a politician is activated it will blow and blow until there is no more hot air (lies) to blow.' In short the impossible become reality and numbers do not ad up anymore just believe in my lies and we will all be happily ever after?

    ReplyDelete
  6. Mr. Coburn and those he supports were once in charge of the council.
    Better days are with us now. Let's make sure they stay that way!

    ReplyDelete
  7. I think you're wrong on this one, Mod. Increasing the tax from 6% to 10% raises the tax by 66%, as Chris wrote, and raises the cost of "your utility costs" around 4%, which is what Bill wrote. The tax is on top of the normal utility bill, right?

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. It is a 66% tax increase no matter what the tap dance. At 10% only one city in California would have higher utility taxes.

      Delete
    2. I don't find fault with Bill's math or with Chris's math, but I do find fault with the basis for your column today (and I suppose that means your reading comprehension as well). Oh well, that's why you have a blog and a following and I don't. Go get 'em tiger ...

      Delete
  8. Started to watch the video of Nasty Nancy and had to turn it off. Her and her group caused so much trouble and problems for this fine community I didn't want to see the memories. As entertaining as it was it brought back too many bad memories of the city going down hill. Good by to that lying dirty community wrecking group.

    ReplyDelete
  9. The development of the unused land at the Monastery is looking better all the time.The answer to all our problems.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Yes. What better way to pay for millions in CalPERS debt than sell off Sierra Madre's most priceless resources.

      Delete
    2. We're mortgaging our children's future.

      Delete
  10. City hall wants all taxpayers open check books monues to continue to spend as they choose. If city hall can spend all its miney this year we can tax the taxpayer more so we will have more to spend next year! That's the mind set

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Platinum Pensions Forever!!

      Delete
  11. We really need to reach out to our neighbors - especially the Mayor and Gene - and come to a reasonable city wide accord on taxes and expenses.

    for example, if the council would act on the sheriff's proposal now it would immediately reduce city costs by $800k a year and increase actual patrol hours by 20%. it would also resolve permanently the police staffing issues facing the city and relieve it of future pension funding obligations. more importantly, it would stop police spending from crowding out spending on civic improvements to our embarrassing little league fields, the library, and seniors.

    once our excessive police spend is dealt with i suspect many, myself included, would support raising the uut to 8% because at that point we would no longer have to worry about police services continuing to consume a massive 47% of our general fund. in other words, once the police service spend is dealt with any uut increase would be available to fund the pubic improvements identified above. i suspect the whole city could get behind that.

    unfortunately, to this point the council has refused to act on the police services portion of the budget, and is telegraphing that the 66% tax increase - all $1 million of it - will be handed to the police union leaving us with nothing to fund our public improvements. under these circumstances i cannot see how a responsible person can support any tax increase.

    gene, if you would like to speak have your son text my daughter.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. What a concept, Mr. Rick. Have an actual discussion where it might be considered to prudently improve police services AND save money? Then use an 8% UUT to fund something besides the SMPD and CalPERS cost overruns?

      When's the meeting scheduled?

      Delete
    2. I think those running the city would rather people think that Halloween is going away than anything to do with sound fiscal policy.

      Delete
    3. additionally it might be prudent to outsource the librar

      Delete
  12. I was not aware the Halloween celebration on Allegria was paid for with utility taxes. When did that come about?

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. It's not. The city decided to stick their nose into it but the cost of decorations and candy are all paid for by the residents.

      Delete
    2. Oh. Then why did he say it was?

      Delete
    3. Lighting,porta potties,traffic control etc. is paid with tax dollars.

      Delete
    4. the city promotes Allegria

      I wish it'd go back or shut down for a year or go small

      it used to be sort of cool, now it's more crass and over the top

      Delete
  13. Is Bill riding on a Canterberry Cart, or is that a DIRT mobile?

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. He's one wheel short of a go cart.

      Delete
  14. Lucky Baldwin never stop trying to acquire Sierra Madre. However the City's fathers were smart enough to keep Lucky Baldwin away and at bay. Now because of mismanagement by our City Manager, Police Chief, and City Council, we are talking of using the Arcadia Police Department. Mr. Baldwin is finally going to get his wish. When he was alive and as the City of Arcadia continues today, to steel our water, now paying Arcadia to police our town. Lucky is laughing now...

    ReplyDelete
  15. CITY HALL & BILL COLBURN HAVE MATH PROBLEMS....

    The facts are the facts, read city hall posted, website " BUDGET "

    1) General Fund $8,932,754 million dollars
    2) Special Revenue Fund $2,160,946
    3) Business Fund $ 273,720
    4) Water & Sewer Fund $5,743,250
    5) Successor Agency $ 504,770
    a.k.a Re Development Agency
    6) Internal Service Fund $4,462,734
    __________________

    Folks - that totals city
    hall annual EXPENSES of $22,070,244
    .... not $ 9,500,000 cant pay $22 Million in expenses
    therefor the annual revenues are not $9.5 million as the mayor & city hall state
    ___________________

    $12,570,244 CITY HALL FORGOT TO TELL THE TAXPAYERS
    THAT THEY HAVE $12 MILLION DOLLARS MORE WHICH THEY ARE SPENDING EACH YEAR

    add up the yearly city warrants / the cities expenses,
    those yearly expenses total some $24 million dollars
    each year, all city hall revenues are cominguled,
    that's illegal money TRANSFER(S) / from one ACCOUNT to the other
    - city hall fails to pay the transfer of monies back to the account...
    so you got to add up the "TOTAL ANNUAL CITY REVENUE AS $24+ Million Dollars"
    not $9.5 million that the mayor & the city manager state.

    ReplyDelete
  16. Aside from the bad math, what bothers me is "I'll gladly pay that to make sure we have enough..." It's not the first time I've seen that sentiment on the Facebook page. Anyone who thinks this is about sacrificing 3 or 4 lattes a month to save the city is not listening to the city council they seem to support. There is no "enough" plan on the table here. The City Council says this. The plan - according to the mayor - is to raise the UUT to 10% as a stop-gap measure, and then seek more tax revenue. The mayor also said, on record during a council meeting, that they only came up with 10% based on what they thought would pass, not what they think is needed. Bill's sentiments don't reflect either side in this debate. They are based on fantasy.

    ReplyDelete
  17. You're making things up again! 12:18 Baldwin did own the land Sierra Madre is now on.

    ReplyDelete
  18. UUT no. Tell your neighbors. No on UUT. This is serious stuff.

    ReplyDelete
  19. Who pays for helicopters to be flying around here at night?

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. It is 8:30 pm and they are still flying around North Lima and Bailey Canyon. Any one know what is happening?

      Delete
    2. It's after 1:00 and the damn thing has been circling the hillsides for half an hour.

      Delete
    3. It's a rescue for an injured hiker. I don't understand why a helicopter has to circle around and around for hours as part of the rescue, but somebody is getting saved.

      Delete
  20. Many police vehicles and emergency vehicles heading up Baldwin to One Carter.

    ReplyDelete