Tuesday, October 24, 2017

The City of Sierra Madre Turns a Profit on its New City Manager

The last item on tonight's City Council meeting agenda has to do with refinancing all of that water bond debt we've been harping about here on The Tattler for the last few years. While the news isn't the best of all possible worlds, it is as good as could be hoped for at this point. None of the options were ideal, so you take what you can get and dream of better days.

You could look at this in a strictly business investment kind of way if you like. The City of Sierra Madre hired its new City Manager, Gabriel Engeland, at approximately $150,000 per year. His contract is for five years, which makes the cost of his employment around $750,000.00.

Now look at what he has saved the residents of the Foothill Village on all of that sadly misconceived water bond debt. The following comes from an Agenda Report succinctly titled "Consideration Of Resolution No. 17-55 Authorizing The Execution And Delivery Of An Installment Purchase Agreement, Escrow Agreement And Other Documents Related Thereto With Respect To The Refinancing Of The Water Revenue Refunding Bonds Series 1998A And Water Revenue Parity Bonds, Series 2003," which you can hopefully link to here if you so wish.


If you figure that the taxpayers of Sierra Madre invested $750,000 in a new City Manager, and in this one instances alone he has saved them $1,267,899.56, that comes to a total profit of over half a million dollars! Meaning he has more than paid his way, and in less than a year.

Not a bad rate of return so far.

Tonight's big deal City Council meeting topic is the Library

I posted about this one three times. I have run out of things to say. But The Tattler got quite a few comments on the topic from our readers. Here are some examples:

"If the library property is sold, the library shouldn't have dibs on the money. We have all sorts of things in town that need to be repaired (water pipes, for example) that should be dealt with before the library is expanded."

"The ballot question is very misleading. Moving the library to the YAC won't be funded by selling the current library property. It will be only partially funded. There still will need to be a tax increase -- probably more than if they just fix the current library. What's being sold as a free lunch is really a classic bait-and-switch con."

"A community input postcard is the safest way possible to create the illusion of consensus on a controversial issue like this one. The opportunities to express your opinion are strictly limited to a series of yes and no answers, and only City Hall gets to interpret what the results are."

"As we all know, you can frame the question in such a way as to get the desired answer. I don't trust the survey at all because of who may be creating the questions. Tattler is absolutely right here. A vote is better. You can include a statement from those in favor of moving the library and from those opposed to moving the library. That's the only way to understand how people truly feel about this issue."

"For those of you who posit that the YAC is just as walkable as the current library location, I wonder if you have ever walked there. The library is about half a mile from the center of town and the walk is mostly flat. The walk to the YAC is close to a mile and downhill -- which means the walk back is uphill. A one mile roundtrip on mostly flat ground is a very different walk than a two mile trip with elevation changes."

"Why not do the survey after the vote?"

Hopefully we'll see some similar insights from the commenting public this evening.

sierramadretattler.blogspot.com

42 comments:

  1. and what our City Manager did to move this water bond thing along and save some $$... was it painful, difficult, hard?? Or was he just paying attention and cared enough to invest some brain power and picked some low-hanging fruit to help things? I just don't understand why it took HIM vs every predecessor to do it?? Hello? and if he's special that's fine too, but I have no idea.

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    Replies
    1. It was a two step operation. First Sierra Madre's credit rating needed to be repaired, which it was. It now stands at around 'A'. Once that was done lower interest rates became available, meaning the water bonds could be refinanced at a lower rate than would have been available had they still been rated junk.

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    2. I have been involved with bands for many years. These bonds should have and could have been refunded many years ago before the rating tanked. Also, the correct term technically is refunded not refinanced, but most people understand the term refinanced.

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    3. Gabe was hired by some of our smartest council members, to come in and do exactly what he is doing - straighten out problems that his predecessors made worse.

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    4. If Hinton had been in charge, we would not have had suffer through the bad decisions prior councils made.

      Which bands? :)

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    5. Oops....bonds not bands. Years ago I asked Elaine's if I could read the bond documents for the city especially the Indenture and the Odffering Statements. She didn't even know what I was talking about .

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    6. She was just there to do what the old boys told her to do. Priority #1 was to keep the lid on all of their screw ups. The water bond fiasco being at the top of the list.

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  2. The postcard to come will be like the recent Pasadena postcard. Vague ways to answer questions and no input asked. Another waste of money. I like the nostalgia of having a library as I have many things that have been done away with. My opinion didn’t really count then and it won’t now. Nostalgia isn’t enough to keep a dinosaur like the library intact. It needs to go.

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    1. I agree with you, 5:50, but when you point out to people that the library is now obsolete and and indefensible use of tax dollars, the response will be, "But the little children need a place for story time!" Good luck with that one.

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    2. It is nostalgia for a better time. One that never really existed. That is how white elephants are made.

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  3. Sierra Madre has a Manager. It is worth repeating, Sierra Madre has a Manager.
    This is what has been missing for all these years, an individual with common sense and a great educational background. Throw in a sense of humor that he is bound to have developed by now, having realized the hornets nests he has had to tackle since accepting this position, again; we finally have a City Manager.

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    Replies
    1. Yes - he is well suited for the job and is doing a good job...

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    2. This Library situation will be a good test. Judging by this staff report it looks like the City Mngr has fallen for the same old centers of influence. Of course, maybe nobody cares that much. Always a possibility.

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    3. It could be the city council is using the library commissioners to hide behind. They must know how unpopular this is.

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    4. It is very similar to how the Pasadena City Council behaves. They must be getting coached by Martin Truitt.

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  4. The Library "Community room" should be explored further, this appears to have added on a considerable amount of financial burden as to whether the Library remains or moves.

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  5. Is this design of the YAC as a Library/Community room, the shoving down our throats of more Bart Doyle's Potter Field development for Sierra Madre?

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    1. Bart is a symbol for the Sierra Madre Needs a Face Lift crowd - they've never gone away. They would remake the town into what they think is acceptable if they could.
      So far, the majority has stopped them from doing too much damage.

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    2. If it wasn't for Noah Green's Facebook pictures Elaine Aguilar would still be in City Hall. As would 5% interest rates on interest payments only water bonds. Amazing what needs to happen to drag this city to sanity.

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  6. House Judicary Investigation and Oversite Committee's target Russian Nuclear deal and FBI handling of Clinton Email while Hillary was Secretary of State.

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    1. No link. Must be a troll.

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    2. Let me guess. The informant wears special mouse ears and is known for being excessively cheerful.

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    3. Keep that focus on the Clintons....

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    4. How does any of that excuse the actions of the crazy old man in the White House?

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  7. Two additional Committees announce Investigation into Obama-Era Uranium deal/an informant has come forward.

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    Replies
    1. Sure. Have another belt of Four Roses.

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  8. I hope I'm not being too cynical about this, but it seems that the decision has already been made at the city hall level.
    Now they are just running the PR campaign.
    Further, the only way the library move will not take place is if enough Sierra Madreans care to fight it.

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    Replies
    1. It's not cynical, 12:00, it's realistic. If residents want to change it, they'll have to organize, and how likely is that?

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    2. What is the reason for the power of the Library Commissioners on this question? They seem to be making all the big decisions. Are they really in charge, or is the City Council using them to hide behind?

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  9. I am starting to suspect that there is a very long-range plan afoot. Recognizing that public libraries are heading for extinction, the development community has identified the properties they like, and started making their moves.
    Developers have the goods to play chess.

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  10. The Flake from Arizona is out!!!
    Cleaning out the swamp

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    1. Any Republican who not totally in line with Der Trumpenfuhrer is the enemy of the Tea Nut Brigade. If you are a Reoublican you really do need to question what is taking over your party.

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  11. 12:40pm. Don't YOU mean, YOU have to question what is taking over the party; your the "nut" and YOU lead the "nut brigade".
    Don't think . The Dems aren't split; look what happened to Bernie.

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  12. 106 in Monrovia. Impressive for late October. Leave the dog home.

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  13. 601 in Sierra Madre. When the cats away, the mice will play; Harvest Moon.

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    1. Dodgers 1 Astros 1 bottom of the 4th.

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    2. 220/221, whatever it takes

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  14. Just got home from a very long work day - hope somebody will report what happened at the meeting.

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    Replies
    1. Here you go.
      https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=zCONrIGCu0Y&feature=em-lss

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