Saturday, April 2, 2016

Sierra Madre Sheriff Contract Proposal Committee Member Don Handley Comes Out Against Measure UUT - Accuses City Hall Of "Radically Distorted" Sheriff's #s

Mod: An important letter appeared on the Pasadena Star News website yesterday (link). You recall Don Handley, right? He served on the Sheriff Contracting Proposal Committee along with Glenn Lambdin, Bill Coburn, Councilmember Gene Goss, Chief Marilyn Diaz and Rosemary Burnett. According to Don the city has "radically distorted" the numbers provided by the L.A. Sheriffs and reviewed by his committee, done in order to make Measure UUT seem palatable to the voters. Since these allegedly finagled figures have also been sent out by City Hall to the voters in the form of taxpayer funded so-called "non-partisan" election material, this now becomes a pretty serious accusation. Doctoring information in this manner is no small thing. It will need to be looked into very carefully, and soon. 

Trying to understand Sierra Madre’s UUT - The City of Sierra Madre, through its taxpayer-funded literature, has created near hysteria regarding the fate of city services if a 67 percent increase in the Utility User Tax (UUT) does not get voter approval.

There are several things that residents don’t understand. One is that even with the UUT increase, the city’s projected budget deficit will only be covered for one year. During the second and subsequent years, the city budget will once again have deficits if nothing changes in the way the city provides services. In other words, a permanent tax increase for a temporary solution. Another thing residents don’t realize is that the information about contracting police services, appearing on the front page of the city’s informational brochure, has been radically distorted.

The numbers reflected on the brochure in no way resemble the figures presented last fall to the committee I served on that reviewed contract proposals from the Sheriff’s Department. Residents don’t realize these things because none of them attended the review committee meetings when the hard numbers were examined.

All three contract proposals would save the city money. It is only after first-year considerations, unnecessary position retentions and a lot of creative math that the city shows contracting to be more expensive. The only way the page-one brochure numbers could be accurate is if they include the considerations, the unnecessary city staff position, the 5 percent hypothetical county rate increase plus the actual 4 percent increase for the Sheriff’s Department in the next fiscal year.

The fine print on the brochure says none of these are part of the calculation. That’s impossible. And the higher UUT will not provide the money that would be needed to increase salaries above the current levels which is said to be the primary cause of the recruiting and retention problems in the police department.

The UUT measure is deflecting attention from what is truly a more worrisome problem; that being the pension debt the city has accumulated. As of July 2014, that debt was $9 million. Today, two years later, it is higher. And that number will keep growing as long as the city continues to provide all of its own services, with its own employees on its own payroll. At some point, that debt will reach a point where the city might have to declare bankruptcy, or worse, be forced to liquidate its assets to pay off that debt and then disincorporate. No one would want to see that happen.

Sierra Madre residents need to think about the long-term consequences when they vote on Measure UUT. Do they want a permanent 67 percent tax increase that won’t solve the problems, or let the tax sunset to 6 percent as scheduled and force the solutions to begin now.

—  Don Handley, Sierra Madre

Another $2,000 from the Sierra Madre Police Association
As far as I can tell they're up to $4,000 now. A relatively small amount when you figure in the many millions of dollars in unfunded pension debt you are going to be expected to pay them over the next few years. Get ready to dig deep.


sierramadretattler.blogspot.com

60 comments:

  1. It sure costs us a lot of money to pay for others holding on so tightly to nostalgia.

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    Replies
    1. it's irksome that sitting Councilmembers contribute to the UUT marketing campagin

      makes me trust them even less

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    2. On the 'Yes On Measure UUT' Facebook page it says the extra money will pay for weed abatement and the teen reading program. But it says nothing about CalPERS debt. Isn't that lying by omission?

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    3. John Haribedian does not work for the attorney firm anymore. Why does the form state that he does? I think this is illegal.

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  2. I see Mr Handley. The city, which is the 4th most dependent in the state on UUT revenue, should have its UUT revenue cut by 40 percent to save itself from itself.

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    1. Wow! A slogan from the Yes On UUT campaign! A place where they're really into lying.

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    2. Apparently Mr. Truitt is up early this morning.

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    3. Paying the highest utility taxes in the state so that we can continue to make foolish spending decisions is not a good trade off, Martin.

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    4. sure, let's tax ourselves so we can pay for city employees to retire at an early age at full salary

      sure, I want to pay for that

      sign me up but I'll vote NO

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    5. The city ran 100 years without the uut increase. We simply need to control spending responsibly as was done in the past.

      If you want to make a personal donation to the city coffers to offset your fear, go for it.

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    6. That 4th-most-dependent thing is sooooo tired. Not to mention, so what? Is 4th place something new? Because Measure UUT sure is.

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  3. Also you fail to mention that Don Handley is a retired deputy sheriff.

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    Replies
    1. Did Handley ever desert his department for money?

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  4. The city needs money badly. If we don't approve the UUT 2% increase the city will be forced to allow development of the Monastery. Do we really want that or for the price of a few sticks of gum we can have all our monetary problems solved.

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    1. Great. Let's pay some of the highest utility taxes in the state and trade off our city's natural treasures all so we can keep an extremely expensive vanity police department most of whom have already deserted the city.

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    2. Capoccia and Harabedian are going to flip on the monastery question whether Measure UUT passes or not.

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    3. no, the city needs to deal with it's biggest debt the pension debt

      don't tell me we are "stuck" with it and there's nothing we can do about it

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  5. 6:30 am. Wrong on both counts. It is not a 2% increase. It is a 66% increase. And the fees collected from a monastery development are just another short term answer to the permanent problem of unsustainable pension payments. By going with the Sheriff Dept., the city will save on CalPers payments.

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  6. I am not generally the ALL CAPS GUY, but this must be said: ALL OF THE UUT INCREASE WILL GO TO PAY THE PENSIONS FOR THE POLICE AND OTHER CITY EMPLOYEES. The city is currently practicing fiscal mismanagement by not reducing expenses and thinking they can solve problems by taking more and more of our hard earned money in taxes.

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  7. Preserve will have its job cut out for them whether the UUT passes or not. The ongoing mess at 1 Carter will continue and the Monestary will be a free-for-all. Mr. Harabedian shoved through a change in the code for his buddy Felikian, what will stop him now? Capoccia has no spine and Goss believes you should build any old house you want. The 2 women, who knows? It seems Arizmendi has political ambitions and Denise is burned out. Thanks to people like the Alcorn's who help spread the cities message. You lie down with dogs, ya get fleas. When I think about that, it isn't fair to the dogs!

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    1. Harabedian is one slippery dude. I wonder if he was involved with this lying about Sheriff's cost savings Handley describes. Seems like the kind of thing Johnny would do.

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    2. Handley is accusing the city of lying. Anyone from the city like to answer that charge?

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    3. (Crickets continue chirping)

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    4. It's Saturday and they're off. Weekend work is only for the private sector.

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  8. Do you see how the CC, even the 2 running for election, have been quiet about preservation?

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    Replies
    1. The only person running that you can trust is Barry Gold.

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    2. When and if Mr. Gold wins he will be crucified here along with the rest........

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    3. He'll be fine. Barry will keep his word.

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    4. Yes he will keep his word and push for a 8% UUT. after we cut some fat.

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  9. You can only blame our city council , city attorney and the city mansger for the mess they got us in. They have all shown that they are not comment to run this city. Cheers

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  10. Over on the "Yes On Measure UUT" Facebook page, here are the things they say a 66% utility tax increase will pay for --- Borrow books and DVDS | Access to current and historical information | Titles to Go | Third Thursday Book Club | Summer Reading Programs | Barks & Books | Preschool Storytime | Baby Rhyme Time | Parent Child Workshops | Reference & Research | Teen Docents | Teen Summer Reading Volunteers | Teen Book Club | Local History | One Book One City | Paramedic Subscription Program | Weed Abatement | Public Education | Inspection Services | Reviews Building Plans

    Weed abatement and Teen Docent programs are fine, don't get me wrong. But why is there no mention of that $9 million in unfunded CalPERS debt? Seems like a very large oversight on their part.

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    Replies
    1. Without Barks & Books life would lose its meaning for me.

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    2. Weed abatement. That's a bummer.

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  11. I think someone made an error on that Form 460. The cop union is listed as "Sierra Madre Police Officers Association." That is the old name. The correct listing would have been "Sierra Madre Police Association."

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  12. 8:30AM-So in other words we are just paying salaries! Aren't all those library items done by the staff? They aren't over and above what they're supposed to do. It is their job to do these programs. The same with all the other things mentioned. So we will be paying more CalPERS. The volunteer program has to be paid for? None of that makes sense. No on UUT. Never thought a Yes vote would go to pay people to do their jobs! What's wrong with the Library Board? They must be idiots like the rest of city management!

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    1. How do utility taxes pay for the "Paramedic Subscription Program?" Does that mean I can subscribe using the city's tax haul?

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    2. Many of the sacred library activities are funded by the Friends of the Library and grants. NOT BY THE CITY.

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    3. So why are the Yes UUT people taking credit? Honesty issues?

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  13. If the city needs money, why aren't they ticketing those Parkersburg who have no permit? Check out the city parking lot at night. Many of those cars parked there are from the apartments, etc. across the street. There are many parked on the city streets without stickers. The PD feels that's beneath them, I guess. Oh wait, they don't have enough staff, right? So what was their excuse when they did have the staff?

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  14. Thank you Mr. Handley. It is heartening to know that there are still those who risk ridicule for telling the truth.

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  15. After reading the above article I find myself humming "For What It's Worth ."
    Why is that ?

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    Replies
    1. Because it is time for a good old fashioned Sierra Madre voter uprising.

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  16. Thank you Mr. Hendley!

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    Replies
    1. Just be aware. They're knitting voodoo dolls at Podley this morning.

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  17. Sierra Madre Police, with their stranglehold on the residents, the Kensington, a get rich service for owner Billy, not of real benefit to the town, a lawyer, and 2 realtor concerns. Tsinoglou is a local realtor and Petraud LLC is connected to him.
    Swell group.

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  18. There is an issue that may be reducing the number of Posts on Tatler the last few days and into next week. Frontier Communications took over the Verizon landline business as of April 1. Many ,many connection and speed problems resulted throughout California -& Texas & Florida also.
    Frontier has given no firm date for resumption of normal service. So this may affect the number of Posts on Tattler.

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    1. So you won't be posting 10 times a day? hahahaha

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    2. I've had connection problems for past two days. I can pull up facebook and messenger but few few Internet sites.
      I thought it was my modem..I'm posting this on someone else's wifi.
      Should we switch to ATT?

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    3. Slow connection and no connection - Frontier has been a total bust. And this follows a scramble to get emails from that ridiculous AOL that Verizon bought.
      Argh.

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    4. The problem is Frontier, not your equipment.The DSL has been throttled back to less than dial up speed.Customer Service is in India ..........
      Frontier is officially denying there is a "migration problem" but the Internet is full of stories confirming widespread issues and useless "Customer Service" .
      If you call them ,they will have you reconfigure your modem. Based on our experience ,I suggest you do not. It made no difference and took many hours . Total shambles.
      Hope this helps fellow Tattlers.

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    5. Thanks for this information. ..I'm dumping Frontier.

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    6. I'm no big Time Warner cable fan but they offer a true 3.5mbs? service for 19.95 plus lots of fees and UUT

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    7. I have them they are satisfactory: home phone,unlimited calling, and wireless internet and modem for 42$ a month total all inclusive...........

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    8. Frontier has always been a rural internet supplier. Been around for many years. Pretty decent reputation, and very service oriented. You are going to have to give them more than one day to show what they can do.

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  19. Yawn ... The City lied,cheated and deceived. Situation normal. Aguilar got a 9% raise and a red Mercedes for her dark skill set.
    Eventually something will be done id the Electorate wakes up. Only question is if that will be before or after bankruptcy.
    You've got the Government you deserve Sierra Madre. If you disagree - boot them out.

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  20. Yes, it's true. The city has deliberately attempted to hide the savings that will result from the Sheriff's proposal. This could be related to the fact that the chief beneficiaries of the UUT increase will be the same employees who prepared the bogus analysis - but maybe that's just a coincidence.

    Here are the facts:

    Fact: The sheriff will deliver 20% more actual patrol hours for 20% less money. The baseline annual savings is $750k per year.

    Fact: The city artificially inflates the sheriff's cost in many ways, including (i) the creation of a make work "public safety director" job for the Chief at a cost of $150k annually, (ii) the improper addition of $400k of vacation payments owed to SMPD officers - not to sheriff's officers - that should have been accrued and recognized in prior years, (iii) a pure slush fund contingency amount of $100k, and (iv) the baseless application of made up growth rate to the sheriff's cost of 3% - 5%. In contrast, the city applied an equally made up growth rate of only 2% to the SPMD costs.

    Fact: For good measure, the city completely ignores the $100k a month we are paying the sheriff to do the night time patrol job that SPMD is incapable of doing.

    Fact: Despite this manipulation the city still concedes that the savings from the sheriff is $3.6 million over the next 8 years.

    Fact: If you eliminate the Chief's make work "public safety director" position the savings increase to $4.8 million over the next 8 years.

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    1. Your figures are quite inflated but basically true. I wish everyone (both pro and con UUT) would just speak truthfully. Nobody likes to be bul'ited ........

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  21. Just as Nero let Rome burn to make sure he got his way so will certain city hall employees and SMPD officials both will spend all the reserves to try and prove they are right? Once again it just goes to show you and others these people who are defending 'YES UUT' increase are very unstable and should be removed from office and or positions at once.

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    1. Sierra Madre City Council knew after the 2012 and 2014 UUT proposed tax hikes were defeated that the city couldn't afford SMPD vacuuming up 50%+ of the budget. They didn't do anything. Guess it's easier to just raise the taxes again.

      This UUT is all about our part-time PD which we can no longer afford. We're not San Marino. Bring in LASD and stop the bleeding.

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  22. Bulldozer Bob's minions have sent a slick mailing I received today filled with lies. If the "Arcadiaian's Rights Protection Association" is for Arcadia, why are they in Alhambra? Bob is as sleazy as the developers. Bob, why don't you denounce the patent lies being spread by them?

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