The budget will be appreciated and processed, despite the fact that it is so much more expensive than what was called for the last time around. That employee health benefits fiasco will be quickly swept under the carpet. No one should ever want to embarrass the City Manager, despite the six figure cost of her misstep. And the "Parks Parcel Tax" will be criticized for not bringing enough money back to Sierra Madre, but once that's said it will then be feted for its great significance.
This despite the fact that it is a draconian tax increase on the people of Los Angeles County, with no convincing assurances that the revenues created will be used for the purposes claimed in the vaguely worded accompanying paperwork.
And yes, John Capoccia will proclaim it "necessary." Just like he did with Measure R2 last meeting. You know, such as when he claimed that none of the resulting revenue would ever go to the 710 Tunnel. All apparently based on the say-so of his pals at The COG, Metro and SCAG. Organization men do love the establishment.
As far as that 2016 - 2017 budget goes, have you ever wondered why the numbers are so different from year to year? Shouldn't there be at least some small semblance of logical continuity?
Here's last year's figures:
Here is this year's version:
You'd think that they came from two different cities.
The predictable explanation for this accountancy mash-up is Measure UUT passed, things changed, and now City Staff and the City Council can express their true caring natures by lavishing generous amounts of newly won tax money on staff salary bumps, benefits increases, kids just out of a second tier Police Academy, and CalPERS.
Not necessarily in that order, and certainly having nothing whatsoever to do with repairing water infrastructure.
So rather than dwell any further on things that are as drearily predictable as those involved in the so-called City Council "decision making process," let's check out some other stuff.
Former Undersheriff Paul Tanaka Sentenced To Five Years In Prison (LAist link): Former Los Angeles County Undersheriff Paul Tanaka has been sentenced to five years in prison for his role in the jail abuse scandal.
Tanaka was found guilty in April of conspiracy and obstruction of justice for attempting to block a federal probe into the county's jail system. "Not only did he fail to identify and address problems in the jails, he exacerbated them," said U.S. District Judge Percy Anderson, who sentenced Tanaka on Monday morning.
"One of the most troubling things is... your efforts to shield dirty deputies have been largely successful," Anderson said to Tanaka before delivering the sentence, reports City News Service. Anderson added that several corrupt deputies remain in "positions of authority" within the Sheriff's Department despite over a dozen convictions of sheriff's officials in similar cases of abuse and corruption.
It wasn't too long ago that Paul Tanaka was running for the Los Angeles County Sheriff's job and had the support of two Sierra Madre's finest elected officials. Here is how their endorsements of this convict read.
Shrewd judges of character, and yet another indication of why things have gone so well here.
The odd thing is that the information about Tanaka's brutal crimes had already been made available by the time these clueless endorsements were made. Yet somehow it made no difference.
You'd think that a former "Homeland Security" policy analyst such as John Harabedian would have known better.
Here is a big surprise
California may have a huge groundwater reserve that nobody knew about (Washington Post link): In a surprising new study, Stanford researchers have found that drought-ravaged California is sitting on top of a vast and previously unrecognized water resource, in the form of deep groundwater, residing at depths between 1,000 and nearly 10,000 feet below the surface of the state’s always thirsty Central Valley.
The resource amounts to 2,700 billion tons of freshwater, mostly less than about 3,250 feet deep, according to the paper published Monday in the influential Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences. And there is even more fresh or moderately salty water at more extreme depths than this that could potentially be retrieved and desalinized someday for drinking water, or for use in agriculture.
“There’s a lot more fresh groundwater in California than people know,” said Stanford’s Rob Jackson, who conducted the research with the university’s Mary Kang, the study’s lead author. “It’s like a savings account. We can spend it today, or save it for when we really need it….There’s definitely enough extra groundwater to make a difference for the drought and farmers.”
How about that, eh?