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I am beginning to think that the mark of a true scoundrel these days is the claim that they are here to "protect your home values." The "Yes On Measure UUT" folks in Sierra Madre have said that ad nauseam these last couple of months, though I cannot see how paying some of the highest utility taxes in California is going to improve the equity in anyone's house. That is, unless prospective home buyers here are that eager to prop up an extremely expensive boutique police department, one that recently saw almost half of its members desert to other cities. I don't see it, but who knows?
The hit piece pictured here, which is an entirely dishonest and unaccredited postcard lobbed against the candidacy of preservationist candidate April Verlato, makes just that claim. Which might appeal to those building these monuments to atrocious taste in Arcadia, but has little basis in fact. Here are some of the recent figures from Zillow.com (link). Bob would rather you not know this.
I am not sure how an 8.1% combined decline in Arcadia property values can be anyone's idea of "protecting home values," but consider that the source here is Mr. Sensitivity. The recipe for continued property value disaster in Arcadia is to keep building largely unsalable McMansions there, done because Bob Harbicht's generous and often secretive campaign donors think it is a good idea. Of course, if you live in Arcadia and your home is your biggest investment, you might disagree.
Is Sue LeVoe the Donald Trump of Sierra Madre?
If you live in Sierra Madre and don't agree with the largely dishonest agenda of the SMPOA/SMPA funded "Yes On Measure UUT" claque, you apparently need to be run out of town by torch wielding and angry tax loving barbarians. Kind of the way Donald Trump wants to run 11 million Hispanics out of the United States.
Here is what one commenter on a Facebook page presumptuously titled "Sierra Madre" said about some of the tax hysteria the YES On MUUT people are pushing.
Did you know that according to californiacityfinance.com Sierra Madre is 1 of only 12 other cities in CA that add on trash collection as a utility to the UUT tax and 1 of 14 cities that add the sewer system to the UUT tax. Also, according to the LA Times SM has the 25th highest city property tax. Pasadena is 29th, San Marino is 52nd, and Bell, who we all have heard about the scandal there, was 2nd. One more pertinent piece of information, those of you wondering if there were some bad decisions being made regarding finances. In 2014 the City Manager and the Chief of Police each got approximately 9-12% pay raise. Who get’s that kind of pay raise when the city is going under? If you don’t believe me look it up in Transparent CA. You can do the calculations from 2013-2014. They do a little shuffle with the benefits and base pay, but it still comes out to about a 9-12% pay increase.
As well-written and factual as all of that might be, it didn't sit well with perennial tax fanster and Sierra Madre bon vivant Sue LeVoe. Here is how she responded.
So what do you think, Sue? A little trip to Guantanamo? Some water-boarding? No punishment can be too harsh for those opposed to a 67% utility tax increase to pay for that $9 million dollar SMPA CalPERS hit, right?
But all of that is just fine if you "love love love" Sierra Madre.