As I have stated before, the Sierra Madre CA Facebook page is what is known in Internet parlance as a "sheep pen." Only certain kinds of special personages are permitted to post there. Just the politically proper persons need apply. Call 'em Eloi.
If you are not familiar with the H.G. Wells book "The Time Machine," Eloi are creatures from a far off in the future kind of place who lead a carefree life of unworldly and oblivious innocence. In time most are dragged into deep caves, cooked in big metal pots, and eaten by some nasty looking and far more pragmatic creatures known as Morlocks.
The Morlocks do enjoy their feasts, and Eloi are such easy prey.
Here is an example of what I'm talking about. Currently on that very Facebook page is a discussion about permits and fees in Sierra Madre. And even within such a carefully monitored pen there is an uneasy awareness that residents of The Foothill Village are paying out the nose, and for just about everything under the sun.
Here is how that conversation started:
Of course you need a permit for everything in Sierra Madre. The city is tens of millions of dollars in debt due to its foolish 2003 Water Bond and CalPERS commitments, along with some other boneheaded financial moves. And City Hall needs every dime they can get their hands on to keep up with such draconian financial demands. Which, by the way, includes using tax money to fund their own retirements.
With a CalPERS exposure of somewhere between $10 and $40 million dollars depending on who you are talking to at the time (link here for some Gabe Engeland commentary on the topic), plus millions in water bond debt, the need for cash is immense. And as you are aware I'm sure, the cost of all those fees and permits have been steadily going up for years. No matter what reasons are given, once raised they never ever go down.
After the above initial comment was made, 30 some odd additional comments followed. And while many facile reasons for all of those quite expensive permits and fees are given, not a single person there came up with the most obvious answer.
Kind of mind boggling if you think about it. No wonder they voted themselves a big (and quite eternal) utility tax increase. The Eloi have absolutely no idea how their money is actually being spent.