Tuesday, May 10, 2016

City Council Meeting: Wasn't Measure UUT Supposed To Make These Kinds Of Sacrifices Unnecessary?

Maybe not.
Wasn't it your impression that with the passage of Measure UUT all money problems such as those being described below would simply disappear? Apparently the 70% or so of Sierra Madre's keenly aware voters believed that would be the case. After all, who in their right mind would willingly choose for themselves a 66% utility tax increase, only to have City Hall call for even more sacrifices after the fact? Despite the promises you might have read on all of those many postcards that showed up in your mailbox prior to the April election, things might still be a little financially at risk downtown. Or at least that is what appears to be the case.

Here is the staff report language we're calling out today (link).


All of this actually sounds kind of good, despite what I might have said above. Don't get me wrong. City Hall is even thinking about hiring $11 dollar an hour part-time help to run community events. Cheap labor without benefits, just like in the fast food industry.

Certainly there are some savings in that. Hopefully this will also decrease some of City Hall's colossal event chargebacks that have been so controversial in some quarters.

But my point here is that these are not the sorts of moves the people who voted "Yes" on Measure UUT were promised prior to April 12. Things were supposed to stay pretty much as they were, and certainly nobody running the big utility tax campaign mentioned combining the Library Services Department with Community Services.

Think how completely aghast some folks would have been had they been told Measure UUT would not be enough to keep things like that from happening.

The War Against the City Clerk
The City Clerk gets surprisingly little money. When you factor in the long hours put in on items like transcribing the golden words of the City Council so that there will be minutes nobody bothers to read, it really is quite a bargain.

Here is how this unhappy item reads (link):


That is not a lot of money, especially when you consider the long hours put in by the person holding this job. You certainly have to wonder if there might be another agenda at work here. Perhaps City Staff envisions taking over these responsibilities themselves, and then parlaying it into a new round of impressive pay raises?

So you know, here is what the person who wrote the above City Clerk compensation agenda report is making (link):


At least we now know where some of that new Measure UUT money is going.

sierramadretattler.blogspot.com

55 comments:

  1. Hey look, if you don't ask for mo' money, you don't get mo' money. Step one; ask. Oh, and it helps if you keep saying things like "at 10% below market" although nowhere is it mentioned a reason for using that statement, other than to imply it is a good deal, not that Sierra Madre has fewer people, less commercial tax base, etc.

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    1. Even if you raised the UUT by 500% it still wouldn't be enough. Everyone knows that from your personal life that if you don't live within your means, you will always be in the red. Its not a revenue problem, its an expense problem. You can bet that one or two years down the road on the next City Council's watch, we will be in an "emergency" situation that required another tax increase. Meanwhile, our public employees are getting raise after raise and retiring at 50 with lifetime pensions. We are the idiots that allow this to happen so we deserve what we get. We also continue to elect people who keeping selling us out once in office.

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    2. Agreed but a slight correction .We (Tattlers) do not elect them. In fact we try hard to prevent the bad people getting elected and support the good(Barry Gold).
      It is the uninformed voters who do the damage. And therein lies our fundmental challenge. How do we educate the uninformed?

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    3. Not many people have the time, energy or ability to try and decipher city government. Something that was cynically exploited by the Yes On UUT campaign.

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    4. my grand kids will be paying for Elaine's pension

      grossly overpaid and under performi

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  2. Interesting that city staff is attempting to get rid of an elected official. I can't imagine they're all that happy about the Treasurer position, either.

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  3. So how was your dose of reality this morning folks? Politician's do this well, figures lie and liars figure!

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  4. The 10% UUT isn't about capital improvements, either!

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  5. When you're making $230,000 a year, you don't care so much about the little people.

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  6. Goss said that as mayor he will start fixing the infrastructure.

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    1. Goss can't even read a financial statement, he admitted that himself.

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    2. He does love Little League and the Library.

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    3. nebulous forces are everywhere

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    4. Nefarious ones, too.

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  7. The lady who just was elected for city clerk - did she know about this? Because if not, it's called a "Bait & Switch."

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    1. They'll have to let her quit if she wants to if they make that change. Then what? Hire a temp and pay a lot more.

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  8. 70% of the cities in California do not have elected city clerks. Why do so few elect them?

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    Replies
    1. Because elections are hard for people to think about. And show up for.

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  9. There were some informative comments last night about this:

    AnonymousMay 9, 2016 at 7:26 PM
    Different subject altogether, but there is another power play going on at City Hall as Elaine tries to take charge of the City Clerk's office. At the council meeting tomorrow night, there is a proposal to cut the salary of our newly elected city clerk, and you better believe that she will be reduced to a "ceremonial" clerk and the bulk of the business will happen in Elaine's office. Elaine has tried this before. Read the staff report carefully and you will see that she is comparing neighboring cities who have a full time "Deputy City Clerk" who does most of the work that Nancy currently did. No mention how much the salary is for a Deputy City Clerk in Elaine's comparisons.
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    AnonymousMay 9, 2016 at 7:52 PM
    So the real comparison would involve adding the deputy city clerk's and the city clerk's salaries?

    AnonymousMay 9, 2016 at 9:26 PM
    You got it.

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  10. If true, this is shameful. Aguilar must have waited until Nancy retired to make this move.

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    1. Aguilar is following the "Never let a crisis go to waste" philosophy of Rahm Emanuel.

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    2. what? you're surprised that Elaine does something shameful?

      she purposely sent out misinformation on the UUT

      we gotta stop electing patsy's and union supporters to the Council

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    3. Anybody know how much money was spent on the 'Yes On Measure UUT' campaign?

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  11. Maybe it's time for a new City Manager

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    Replies
    1. The idea is to weaken the position of City Clerk. Puts more control into the hands of the City Mngr.

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    2. Not gonna happen, 9:36. We've got Aguilar until she takes her money and runs.

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  12. The council will be making a decision based on incorrect information. oops.

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    Replies
    1. That's what happens when you let someone do your thinking for you.

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  13. how can anybody trust Elaine?

    She is the same City Manager who billed the Mt Wilson Trail for 700 staff hours for pre event planning. So either she is completely incompetent, delusional or arrogant beyond comprehension.

    I assume she's lying whenever she speaks

    also, what is up with government writing? they will use 900 words when 7 can explain

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    1. If the event planning staff is part-time, would that cut the Mt Wilson Trail race staff hours clawback from 700 to 350?

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    2. Probably not. They'll just pay less and charge the same amount of money. Creative bookkeeping.

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  14. The excuse for high billing is that there have been new people on staff who don't know what they are doing, so it takes more time to coordinate. Never mind the committee members have been working the events for years. Now, we could have a new library director, and a new community service supervisor plus fairly new part time event staff who don't know what they are doing. How much do you think that will cost?

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  15. This is riveting television.

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  16. They're making SMPOA union boss Ed Delcoure a Sergeant. How many times has his union sued this city?

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    Replies
    1. Nice guy but not Sgt material. Good at writing tickets for not cocking wheels when parked on the hill.

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  17. Ah, Rob Stockly is the one who went after the city clerk's compensation. He wants it to be public service given out of moral choice.

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    1. If only he would try retire from city business.

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    2. The bad old boys want to out as much control into the hands of the City Manager as possible. Apparently democracy is a threat to them.

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  18. Excellent letter from Shollenberger read by Deb Sheridan.

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  19. Elaine was very quick to correct the record, that she has never gotten a 10% raise....

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  20. Great point about the incomplete comparisons. Other cities have deputy city clerks who do the work that our city clerk does, and they get paid for it, but they don't show up on Elaine's charts. Fancy that.

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  21. Barry!
    Elected city clerk = independent city clerk
    Exactly

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  22. Terrific - he knows that there isn't enough information for the council to decide. And that it will cost a whole lot more to have staff take this over.

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  23. Nice points made by a number of residents for keeping the city clerk job as is, at least for the newly elected clerk's term.

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  24. Harabedian is actually talking about how everyone is "dancing around the fairness issue" when people were completely forthright and clear about the "fairness issue."
    He and Capoccia are trying to claw back some money.

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    Replies
    1. Phooey. The only one dancing around anything was Harabedian.

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    2. I figure Harabedian had preparation time where he chose to be the bold one who brought fairness out in the open. Might have worked if no one had said what they had said before he spoke. As it was. it made him look oblivious.

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  25. The residents who took the trouble to get there tonight could have just stayed home. Robbie might be better on the phone or over coffee than he is at the podium. Ya know, more persuasive.

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  26. Why is Harabedian calling for changing in two years, and claiming it's fair, when the elected position is for four years?

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  27. Stockly's revenge. Petty little man.

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  28. There is so much wrong with this CC meeting! First: One person can get something on an agenda? Rob Stockley? Really? Second: They quibble about a City Clerk who makes a salary but doesn't demand Calpers? Third: No transparancy from our esteemed City Manager? She wants to take over the whole deal, with not enough help and poor salaries? Why? Lastly: The whole CC, especially Capoccia and Harabedian stink! Ya got what you deserved SM. Hope ya like it!

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    1. Good point 9:48. Looks like residents can control the agendas, so I want to agendize decreasing all the staff salaries.

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  29. WOW, my comment just disappeared when I tried to publish it.

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  30. Did you try and repost it?

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  31. It was too long to rewrite it, it was late and I hadn't saved it, poof, gone.

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