Sunday, June 11, 2017

Is Sierra Madre City Hall is laying the groundwork for yet another water rate increase?


At Tuesday evening's City Council meeting more groundwork will be laid for yet another water rate increase. As Councilmember Harabedian might put this, it is a process. It could also be called "rolling out the same old baloney." You can link to the presentation by clicking here. It is pretty much the same platitudinous boilerplate as last time, and nothing you haven't seen before. Though the colors used for this year's report have been changed. They're brighter.

Perhaps the largest contribution to the need for yet another water rate increase in Sierra Madre is its water bond debt. There is no mention of that anywhere in the materials prepared for Tuesday evening's City Council meeting, which is not surprising. This is a scandal many years old now, and hardly the kind of thing anybody on the current City Council enjoys dealing with. Reasons would have to be given, and names would need to be named. That would be unpleasant. Especially for those responsible.

There is a river in Sierra Madre?

Again, here is a breakdown of that debt. And yes, you've seen it here before. Note that the city has only been paying the interest on its water bond debt since its inception in 2004. Not the best business practice, as anyone who uses a credit card can tell you. That madness all ends in 2019, after which the principal will need to start being paid. This results in more than a doubling of what Sierra Madre will have to shell out on a yearly basis, and will continue to need to do so until the year 2034.


When this water bond was first created the entire bill was $6,750,000. Sierra Madre's policy of only paying the interest on this debt caused that amount to balloon to $14,925,486. All of which is being paid for by you, the somewhat detached ratepayer. In ever increasing amounts.

Isn't it odd that the only place you are hearing about this is on a blog?

sierramadretattler.blogspot.com

35 comments:

  1. That infographic doesn't show any pipes with rusty off colored water coming out of the pipes. Unless the pipes are the river, but once again looks like the folks the city council hired got the colors wrong there.

    It's ok, they'll get it right the next time in the next tax cycle.

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  2. Thank you for bringing this up on a regular bases. This is a serious problem that needs to be discussed with the community. We need to know the truth so that evaluations of options that are best for the residents who pay bill. Some of us would say that poor decisions made in the past have put us in this spot. WE DO NOT WANT TO REPEAT THOSE SAME MISTAKES. Is there anyone who knows the answer to our problem?

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  3. When we had a chance to make real changes in this cities spending habits then voters choked and let the crooks back in power now we being back stabbed by those very fairy tale singers in City Hall today, reap what you sow.

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  4. It is pretty much the same as what we saw with Measure UUT. Then the utility tax increase was being laid at the feet of the Library, rather than the real source, CalPERS debt. All members of the City Council signed off on that deception. According to the report, the reason for the next water rate increase is the cost of importing water. Pasadena imports its water, as do most cities in Los Angeles County. So I am not sure this argument will work, at least not for those who prefer to deal with reality based explanations. Can't we say just it's because of Baby Rhyme Time? That will work for most Sierra Madreans.

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  5. I blame the parrots. And trees.

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    Replies
    1. They drink too much water.

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  6. The rate we pay for water in not to expensive. The hidden meter charge of $75.00 before we even pay for a drop of water is outrageous,especially if one is conserving water or lower income. It's 90% of my ware bill. And those Parrots are going crazy squawking this morning...

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  7. I think there are a lot of people who would agree to pay a rate increase if they were told the truth. Sierra Madre has a lot of bond debt for water, and it has to be paid. Why the city just doesn't level about this is mysterious. Who are they covering up for? They make their own problems.

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  8. We keep electing the same council members. We have only ourselves to blame

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    1. New in town, 9:09?
      We have not had such a reasonable council in the last thirty years.
      They are not perfect, but at least the majority are no longer developer shills.
      Try a council with Rob Stockly, or Bart Doyle on it. Those were dark days indeed.

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    2. Rob and Bart played a big role in the 2004 bonds. They are also the stunning geniuses that decided making interest only payments on $6.75 million in bond debt was a brilliant move. Probably because that was all they could afford after their DSP boondoggle collapsed in the face of public outrage. So why does the city still cover up for these guys?

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    3. Good old Bart. One Carter, the DSP, and interest only payments on millions of dollars in water bond debts. We are still paying out the nose for his screwups more than a decade later.

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    4. That was part of their big expansion plans; fill the hillsides with mansions, beef up downtown, remake Sierra Madre into a cash cow for them and their friends.

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    5. When it all blew up in their faces they couldn't pay for the water bonds they took out. It is the reason why Sierra Madre's water users have had to pay millions of dollars in additional interest payments. The cover-up is still in place.

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  9. Hoping the "cover-up" for incompetence out of city hall has ended; good people but dinosaurs with their explanations and actions.
    The no so smart meters are very costly, the timing is off vs. Paying down on that water bond.
    The imported water has been costly for Sierra Madre, but necessary. I continue to have The color of light tea, from various facets. I purchase outside drinking water now.
    I have heard that this new City Manager is having all departments further reduce their requested budgets, going into the new year. This is very promising.
    The parrots have just flown into our large tree out front, time for that second cup of coffee.

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  10. Same old same old in Sierra Madre. If anyone new tries to run for CC, they never make it because only the elitists vote. Half the city does not.

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    Replies
    1. Half the city couldn't find city hall. Even if they used their smart phones.

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    2. More like three-fourths. Maybe even seven-eights.

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    3. The old regime is dependent on the continuing moo cow mentality of most residents.

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  11. I dislike the entire so called water rate process. #1 yes God provides the water #2 yes city hall charges for the water #3 yes their use of the words (water department - water Enterprise) are only words #4 yes the water dept monies are placed in the general fund and are used to buy anything the city wants - there is no accountable for the true use of words water Dept money #5 yes there is no such Enterprise operating as an city of Sierra Madre water department #6 city hall continues to lie and misapproperate the so called water departments monies, the money stream for other uses #7 the city hall must retire all city pensions and city caddalic health insurance plans, let the city employees buy Obamacare insurance just like the rest of us. These city employees are not brain surgeon seeand have always been overpaid with month checks and money purks

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  12. Check the facts - the latest 2014 cenus bureau states that 108 million people are on some type of welfare program in the united States and only 103 million people have full time jobs. There for they must be many qualitified people seeking city hall jobs with out pensions and cadallic health insurance plans. Each and every year we have millions of college graduates seeking work, let's hire them and reduce city hall spending

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    Replies
    1. Sorry but the millennial college graduate today and their sick sense of entitlement means they'd never stoop to such a low class job in city government.

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    2. Bro, u really gotta learn your automobile marquees...

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  13. Sierra Madre's water bond debt is suppressed news.

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  14. This current council has had very few "real" concerns facing them, the exception being the drought.
    Money has been spent at a higher rate by this current council then ever before, most frivolous spending no discussion on how the reserves were being neglected, or addressing the very high bond rates,these are glaring omissions of "reasonable council" in my opinion.

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    Replies
    1. Somehow they have managed to take the people out of the debate. They speak an incoherent style of bureaucratize, smile a lot, and tell each other what fine jobs they're doing. The real issues never even get mentioned.

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    2. I hate to say it, but city hall was more transparent under Elaine. Weird, right?

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  15. Standing at the city hall cash register, I remember Elaine telling a resident paying a water bill to _uck off 3 times,

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    Replies
    1. Now THAT's transparency.

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    2. Why would she tell someone to luck off thrice? Odd tstl.........

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  16. That aquifer illustration is cut and paste and had nothing to do with Sierra Madre.

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  17. Nah, it's the same illustration that Bruce used a couple of years ago. I think it was taken from a high school geology lecture.

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    Replies
    1. Is it Creationist or Darwinian geography. I don't see any pictures of Adam riding a dinosaur.

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  18. This water bond doubles after the expiration of the other bond, resulting in a decrease of total
    Debt payments for the water company. They publish all their figures. Imported water is more expensive. The other root cause of increases is new pollution which required more expensive treatment.

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    Replies
    1. Where do they publish their figures, pray tell?

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