One clue is the title of this stealthy little number has absolutely nothing to do with the actual topic. I mean, would you have ever guessed that an agenda item poetically titled "Authorization of payments on behalf of Public Financing Authority and Successor Agency" (link) has anything to do with Sierra Madre's interest only payments on $6.75 million dollars in 2003 Water Bond debt? Just a little opaque?
The answer is probably not. This is a uniquely bad arrangement that is costing the residents of Sierra Madre millions in needlessly squandered revenue. But there is no need to alarm anyone during so celebratory an evening.
I doubt that anyone who is up on this stuff won't understand why Mayor Capoccia is trying to divert resident attention away from this mess. It is one of perhaps two of the greatest financial blunders in recent Sierra Madre's history. Committed by individuals who are still quite politically active in the community today, and would prefer that you just butt out and mind your own business.
However, and like many things that require a little extra mental exertion, most people in town won't get any of this anyway. Which is fine. Anyone who thinks that they can somehow cause the average Sierra Madrean to understand the vastly dysfunctional finances of their own city is delusional.
Better to just tell them that this was all done to save the Library. Or something. The best anyone can really hope for here is to make fun of the situation, mostly because it is already pretty laughable. In a rueful sort of way.
The following 2003 water bond debt numbers were actually put together by City Staff. This was back when MaryAnn MacGillivray was the Mayor, and she asked them do it. In stark contrast, the current Mayor isn't sharing any of this sort of information right now. Even though the matter is on tomorrow night's City Council meeting agenda.
Which is fine because I will.
There you go. Sierra Madre's 2003 water bonds were originally $6,750,000. For some reason the city decided to make interest only payments on those bonds through the year 2019, while extending all payments all the way out through the year 2034. Much of it at the cost of wasted millions in the form of interest only payments. The entire cost once all is said and done being $14,925,486, or substantially more than double the principal.
Making this just as bad as the City of Sierra Madre's financially debilitating commitment to CalPERS. Another blunder costing the city many millions of dollars it doesn't have.
Neither of these problems have yet to be discussed by the current City Council in any meaningful way. Even when they were working to raise utility taxes. And certainly neither of these towering acts of financial genius will be discussed too much tomorrow night when the above item does come up. Not when there is a party where cake and soda will be served.
Given that, why would you want to trouble your pretty little head over any of this?