Wednesday, March 1, 2017

Last Night's Debt Free Sierra Madre City Council Meeting

To view last night's rather lengthy City Council meeting click here

Not a whole lot goes on at these functions these days. A sense of preternatural calm seems to reign, and I am not certain if it is because nothing much is actually happening, or the more controversial stuff just doesn't get brought up. Except, of course, the need for more taxes. Maybe it's a Mayor Goss thing. He does not want to risk getting an irritable stomach.

Here is an example of what I mean.


Should you care to read the staff report for this item, feel free to click here. What you might like to ask while there is how can a City Council discuss its finances without once mentioning the $30 million dollars or so in debt the city is carrying in water bond and CalPERS debt?

How can something so large get airbrushed from a discussion of the city's budget?

As a reminder, here is a City Hall accounting from a few years back detailing the 2003 water bond disaster. This only came to light because MaryAnn MacGillivray forced the City Manager to make it public. As I know you remember, $6,750,000 in bond debt was assumed in order to build some of the water infrastructure required for a certain controversial downtown development scheme.

However, that scheme never came to be, and since much of the anticipated tax revenue from this defunct development didn't happen either, the city was financially forced to make interest only payments on this debt up until the year 2020. Which, 17 years later, is when the first actual payments on the principal will begin.

While that date must have seemed like forever and ever when this ridiculously bad deal was first concocted, it isn't all that far away now.


Pretty amazing if you bother to think about it. By making interest only payments up until the end of this decade, the City of Sierra Madre somehow managed to turn a $6,750,000 water bond into nearly $15,000,000 in debt. $8,175,486 of that in interest alone, or more than half.

This is something that will then hit every city budget from 2020 to 2034 at around $640,000 per year.

It might have deserved at least a mention last night. If only as a courtesy.

Ever wonder about Sierra Madre's ballooning pension debt? That did not come up as part of last night's budget discussion, either. According to Pension Tracker, which comes to us via the Stanford Institute for Economic Policy Research, as of 2015 each and every household in Sierra Madre owes $8,472.00 big ones in pension debt. Be they large households or small.

I'm sure it is much more now. Here is the graphic (link).


As I mentioned above, that didn't come up last night, either. Which seems odd for a budget discussion.

You do realize that these are the things that caused City Hall to push so hard for Measure UUT, right? Despite all of the deceptive nonsense put out by Edward T. Garcia, the Sierra Madre City Council and all of those fine Yes on UUT people, it really wasn't about Baby Rhyme Time.

You were fibbed to for your money. Judging by last night, apparently the city still isn't all that much into leveling with you. And yes, they do want more.

Do you really enjoy being treated like a fool?

sierramadretattler.blogspot.com

33 comments:

  1. We are all fools. Watching the rest of the meeting, the city can NO LONGER AFFORD THE FIRE DEPARTMENT. More taxes or assessments are needed.
    If the city contracts out the Fire and Paramedic 's the expense goes up.
    Maybe voting down the UUT in 2018, and reapplying percentages for public safety only was mentioned. Maybe applying an assesment on the Library was another mention. Either way, the city will keep e asking the voters for more money, if they want to keep their Fire Department and Paramedics.
    What about only having EMT'S? The discussion was quickly brushed aside.
    Well here we go, MORE MONEY if you like the town you live in now.
    Oh, a side bar that was mentioned by two or three Councilt members, the 10%UUT is still not enough to run the city.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. And don't forget the city's BS UUT brochure that mapped out a 2.3% annual increase for the PD to make it look like a bargain against the 4% Sheriff annual bump. As soon as you OKd the 10% UUT, they immediately gave the PD back-to-back 6% pay raises. That's about 5 years of increase in TWO years.

      Just keep that in mind when they spend more of YOUR money on a brochure with imaginary numbers to coax you into giving yourself a nice big parcel tax to keep the good ship Lollipop afloat.

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  2. Parcel tax increase on the way.

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  3. I thought we had a volunteer fire department. That shouldn't cost too much money.

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    Replies
    1. Not no more. Mary are full time CalPers folks now. It has happened a few at a time.

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    2. So in 2016 it was a UUT incease. 2018 parcel taxes. 2020 a property tax increase? The mind boggles.

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  4. I have seen yard signs saying "Support Arcadia Schools", could it be that these families already know something, the rest of us don't?

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Maybe they have figured out a way to send their kids to Arcadia.

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    2. The signs refer to the 2/3 vote needed to keep the parcel tax that will be expiring. They also have a big school bond debt.

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    3. Where were the signs? East of Santa Anita, they have the option of sending their kids to Arcadia schools, south of Sierra Madre Blvd, across from Sierra Vista Park is Arcadia.

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  5. The Sierra Madre tax hike treadmill runs on a two year cycle. We are now getting into that second year. Looks like we're right on schedule.

    ReplyDelete
  6. I see medical marijuana shops in the future. It is how our next City Manager saved his previous cash strapped city.

    ReplyDelete
  7. Trump Just Used The Death Of The SEAL He Got Killed As An Applause Line
    http://occupydemocrats.com/2017/03/01/trump-just-used-death-seal-got-killed-applause-line/

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Were the other three Navy Seals on the mission injured? What were the nature of their injuries? How grave? And no intelligence of critical importance. #45 cannot blame this on Obama. Or the generals.

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    2. Obama discussed this mission when he was still in office and turned it down. Thought it was too risky and with a minimal payoff. He was right.

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    3. Even Bill Handel on KFI was disgusted by this

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    4. Patriotic conservatives are disgusted with Trump.

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  8. No more Volunteer Fire Fighters, well maybe just one or two.
    The Paramedic's program has put a strain on keeping the department cost effective.
    This will be a large tax, inorder to keep Sierra Madre the way the residents expect.
    The Library will be a big concern, along with the Fire Department.

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  9. So this time we're saving the Fire Department? Because M-UUT already saved the Library? Just want to make sure I have the BS straight.

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  10. The Tattler posting meeting videos has had an effect. The city website has last night's video up as well. Didn't take them 6 weeks this time.

    ReplyDelete
  11. Oh yeah, 9:03. Like we will "trust" your intelligence on "your"own take of the mission!
    Your still wearing that tin foil hat, right?

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Who is "we?" You and your dog?

      Delete
    2. It's never Donnie's faultMarch 1, 2017 at 9:54 AM

      Military Times: Trump blames generals for Navy SEAL's death in Yemen raid
      http://www.militarytimes.com/articles/trump-blames-generals-seal-death

      Delete
    3. Trump troll has two personalities

      Delete
    4. Neither of them pleasant.

      Delete
  12. OMG! Just listened to Trump talking about "the vast majority of terrorism comes from outside the US." Gag! How can he lie, lie, lie, and have people still support him? Just now listening to NPR, not one terrorist in the US has come from outside. The Pakistani woman in San Bernadino was married to a native born terrorist.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. It is race baiting. Pure and simple. Bannon is a fascist and Trump his messenger boy.

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    2. The Westboro baptist church terrorist was a white trash redneck

      Delete
  13. 10:11am. Google the San Bernandino killers again and read their backgrounds.
    Next you'll be saying the Easter Bunny will be delivering bombs disguised as eggs.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Timothy McVeigh sends you his greetings from hell. He is saving you a warm spot.

      Delete
    2. I am Dylan Roof and I approve this message.

      Delete
  14. Putin save good people. No tax. Send bureaucrats to work mines in desert. Dah.

    ReplyDelete
  15. Anyway you could post this about Arcadia Measue A?

    Vote no on Measure A.
    Five years ago the AUSD’s first measure A was sold as an emergency and temporary measure to make up for a funding shortfall resulting from the recession. With the first measure expiring, and the recession over, they now claim that they need even greater injections of money, and for at least 18 more years.
    A responsible district could make a case for more money by fully disclosing all of its
    finances, explaining clearly how the extra funds would actually benefit the students, and perhaps presenting information from
    other school districts for comparison. That isn’t how the AUSD operates. Instead they offer emotionally charged claims, provided by their paid political consultants, that the funds are needed to “protect” the schools. That without them a baby born today might suffer from educational cuts in some hypothetical future economic downturn. (Because – what
    heartless tyrant could vote against a baby!) They threaten staffing cuts, filthy schools, and
    the loss of advanced placement tests. Scare tactics all. The AUSD refers as often as possible to their “highly qualified teachers”, implying that the AUSD’s teachers are somehow more qualified than those in other districts. They have never presented evidence to support the claim.
    The specific terminology actually refers to a set
    of teaching qualifications required for all public
    school districts in the “No Child
    Left Behind” act.
    The residents of Arcadia deserve better than this. We have provided the AUSD with many outstanding students and with parents who encourage their studies. These students in
    turn, and as expected, have high academic performance and gain entry to top notch colleges. The AUSD implies at every opportunity that somehow they are responsible
    for these good outcomes, but the truth of the matter is that these students would excel at any school. Indeed, there does not even exist a widely accepted metric to assess specifically any teacher or school’s effect on student outcome, much to the chagrin of those who advocate tying teacher pay to student outcome.
    Voters should consider the unintentional experiment the AUSD performed relating funding to academic outcomes. During the recent recession the AUSD made “deep
    cuts”, yet not a single academic measure like SAT scores or the college acceptance rate moved down a measurable amount.
    After the first Measure A passed and funding increased these values did not suddenly rise, nor did they rise as the economy improved
    and state funding was restored. In short, there is not a shred of evidence that the money the AUSD now requests is going to make a bit of difference to the students.
    Another AUSD straw man, the loss of Advanced Placement classes, deserves
    particular disdain. The fact is that any student who will score well on such a test after taking an AUSD AP class can do just as well, if they
    study for that test on their own or with friends, often with many fewer hours of study. The AUSD, apparently to increase demand for teachers, or perhaps to avoid revealing that they possess no special AP mojo, will not
    let such a student take the test with the AUSD taught students.
    Thankfully the AUSD possesses no monopoly so self taught students may arrange to take AP tests at other local schools.

    ReplyDelete