It would appear that former Sierra Madre Mayor Bart Doyle has shown something of a memory lapse in the latest edition of the occasionally true Mountain Views News. The following comes to us from a front page article published just this past weekend called "Council Improves Refinancing Of City's Water Bonds."
The bone of contention here is the claim that Sierra Madre's "2003 Water Revenue Parity Bonds" had something to do with refinancing preexisting debt. Which, as anyone ought to know by now, just isn't true.
On August 9th City Hall held what they called a "Water Forum." At that jam-packed meeting many pressing water issues were discussed. The new City Manager Gabriel Engeland later encapsulated all of that in an interesting document called "Water Forum Questions & Answers." Link here.
This is how the question of the origin of those 2003 Water Bonds is explained.
So apparently the 2003 Water Bonds had little to do with refinancing anything. They were issued to raise cash to build some nice water tanks.
My guess is the problem former Mayor Bart Doyle is having with the 2003 Water Bonds controversy is that it was he, more than anyone else in Sierra Madre, who was responsible for making a call that went on to cost this town millions of dollars in unnecessary interest payment costs. Which is why those bonds needed to be refinanced now, a decade and a half later.
Or, as the City Manager dryly phrases it, "... the debt sold by the City to match the Federal funds was not structured effectively. This bond series is 30 years with 5% interest, and the first 15 years of payments are interest only."
It was Bart Doyle who made that financially bizarre "interest only" call. And now he suddenly can't remember why that was done?
In a recent article in the Pasadena Star News called "Sierra Madre just figured out how to save $1 million" (link), the consequences of not refinancing Bart's disastrous 2003 Water Bonds are explained by City Manager Engeland.
Sierra Madre just found $1 million-plus in savings and plans to use it to upgrade its water system, something city officials say is desperately needed.
The City Council approved Tuesday the refinancing of two water revenue bonds with a loan that can save the city approximately $68,600 annually. The bonds currently represent about $7.2 million of debt for the city, according to a staff report.
The 30-year bonds had the city paying interest only for the first 15 years and one had a large balloon payment due at the end of its term.
“Not only we were about to see our payments double, but we would have had inescapable payments we likely wouldn’t be able to make,” City Manager Gabe Engeland said.
Funny old dude, that Bart.