I can understand why taxpayers might want to dig a little deeper to save their city from financial ruin, and I'll admit that this is not necessarily a bad thing. But what does bother me are politicians who play upon the good will of residents, people who believe and trust in them, yet for whatever the reason refuse to tell them the actual truth for raising their taxes.
We saw that dishonesty in spades during the run up to last year's Measure UUT. Rather than confess to Sierra Madre's extraordinary debt problems, and how that drives the need for more taxation, voters received countless postcards telling them that the money was actually required to save things like the Library, the Huck Finn Fishing Derby, or even Baby Rhyme Time. Whatever that is.
Very cynical, and very much untrue. Below is the real reason why City Hall put Measure UUT on the ballot in 2016, and why they will be asking for even more taxes in 2018. This information comes from a website run out of Stanford University (link).
$40 million dollars in CalPERS debt is an enormous amount of money for a city of around 11,000. Throw in another $15 million or so in water bond debt and you're talking some serious money. And let's face it, unless City Hall finds more money somewhere there will be serious consequences. Bankruptcy being the very least of them.
Sierra Madre's new mayor will have to lead on the next round of tax increases. Hopefully this time around we will see leadership that will have the courage and integrity to tell the truth about why the City Council is going to ask for a second big tax increase in two years.