Number 1: The Library Survey Postcard.
The card as written now leaves the dubious impression that if the Library remains where it is, and the necessary repairs are made to bring it up to standards acceptable to various governmental agencies big and small, there is the distinct possibility increased property taxes will need to be instituted. On the other hand, should the Library property be sold and all of the Library's stuff be moved across town into a reconfigured and enlarged facility over by the community pool, no new taxes will ever be needed.
The answer is no, we don't. No studies have been completed yet. As it stands now the wording of this card is at best an assumption, and at worst an attempt to convince people to do something that might not be in their best interests. It needs to be rewritten.
Number 2: City Hall just spent $16,000 on a postcard. So why are they trying to beat the City Clerk out of a measly few hundred dollars a month?
This mutt has been wandering around town for a couple of years. The City Clerk position is a difficult job that involves hours of mind numbing work doing things like transcribing the frothy bromides of the City Council into meeting minutes so that their words can be treasured for all times. So why are they contemplating the following?
This is rather insulting if you think about it. Is someone actually trying to make it difficult to find people who are willing to do this thankless job? Make this work a more expensive City Staff function? Remember, the City Clerk is an elective position. As such those who hold that job are beholden to the people, and not just whoever happens to be pulling the strings at City Hall at the time.
I'm sorry, but this smells awfully bad. The people behind it need to look ashamed.
Number 3: The ballot initiative to do away with Utility Taxes altogether.
link), and posted it here last Friday. So I don't see the point in rewriting all of that again. But here is my favorite part of it:
The problem as I see it is taking away Sierra Madre's UUT in its entirety probably would put the Foothill Village into receivership. So heavy is Sierra Madre's debt load due to its tragically conceived CalPERS and water bond debacles (even with refinancing), the place would likely go belly up should all utility taxes be taken away.
The town could even end up in the hands of vampiric Los Angeles County, and good luck preserving anything then. To use John Capoccia's argument. Proving once again that even a broken clock is right a couple of times a day.
High utility taxes in Sierra Madre are a consequence of past bad financial management, and you the taxpayer are now being forced to clean up the city's mess. Unfortunately, the consequences of not doing so would likely be worse. Not a very pretty situation by anybody's accounting.
As it stands right now I couldn't get behind TeaPAC's "No UUT" ballot measure. It is disruptive and destructive, and obviously we are seeing enough of that sort of thing in our country lately. This is Trumpism, and it must be stopped wherever possible.
This ballot measure was originally supposed to run in April of 2016, but was pushed back two years by the City Council. I am sure they would have bumped it even farther into the future if the law allowed for it. As such it is something of an artifact from another time.
Several of these attempts to do away with utility taxes ran in other cities, and all were shellacked at the polls. It doesn't stand a chance here, either.