Saturday, June 30, 2018

The "50% Water Rate Increase" Canard Doesn't Go Over Well On A Sierra Madre Facebook Site

Mod: Those demanding that you send in a Prop 218 water rate increase protest have harmed their own cause by pushing the untrue claim that water costs in Sierra Madre are going up a gargantuan 50%. It is actually a lot less. You would think that they would have learned their lesson after similar absurdly bogus claims about UUT matters sent Measure D down to an overwhelming defeat. That said, after reading all of the following, including the observations of the City Manager, do you know what your new water rates are going to be? Or the actual costs? Must it really be this complex?


sierramadretattler.blogspot.com

110 comments:

  1. By falsely claiming the rate hike is 50%, the Tea party makes the actual rate hike seem acceptable.

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  2. Not sure where the 50% claim is mentioned, i believe that everyone can read and ask questions for themselves.

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  3. It must be that Presere Sierra Madre group pushing false information on the Prop 218 vote, that group hasn't been right on anything so far in Sierra Madre.

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    1. Why does the Tea Party lie so much?

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    2. Sad to say, the Tea Party is far more closely aligned with City Hall on the mansionization issue than Preserve Sierra Madre.

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    3. I am not sure who this person is who is so critical of Preserve Sierra Madre but post at 7:04 a.m is false.

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    4. Why do you keep harping on Preserve 7:04A. Someone posted on this site that there would be a 50 % increase. Was that you? It was wrong then and it’s wrong now. You seem to be one of those “let’s build till there’s no more land” types.

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  4. The same law firm represents both Sierra Madre and South Pasadena, what is the connection between the recent rate increases?

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  5. Was there a uninformed trump political speech writer posting today? Other than that, any tax hike or fee hike will be painful to some but not all. Tax free Muni-bonds are looking better all the time to float Sierra Madre through these dry times of little or no increased revenue's.

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    1. Bonds? Really? Do you know how much the water enterprise owes in bond debt now?

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  6. Sierra Madre Council should revisit the fines for those residents that are the wasters.
    Has the city ever collected the fines from those that were identified?
    Is the money from the fine put into the Water Department or General Fund?

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  7. If you are admitting that Tea Party individual's understand Sierra Madre codes and zoning regulations then you would be correct 8:06am, the Preserve group has annoyed the Planning Commissioner's by spreading falsehoods.

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    1. Judging by how badly they mangled Measure D, I'd say the Tea Party can barely keep itself washed.

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    2. What falsehoods has Preserve spread? Beach can’t give one that isn’t made up.

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    3. Tea Nuts don't understand the concept of truth. That's why they're Tea Nuts.

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  8. Tax free mini bonds, ha ha ha ha.
    The constant cry of we need more money to repair all the damage over the last
    20 years continues.
    Why this scratch and bandaid approach on amounts billed to Sierra Madre residents with the water, or lack thereof?
    Transparency from the last 10-20 years and projected amount of revenue into the future on water repairs necessary would be a good place to start.

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  9. Tier 3 and 4 are eliminated and fines and penalties are eliminated. Conservation targets are eliminated. The increase is the new Infrastructure fee. Before, infrastructure was paid for out of the meter "rental" costs. Now it is being lined up as: charge for local water used Tier 1, charge for imported water used Tier 2. Meter fee continues and the new charge to pay for infrastructure repairs and maintenance. If you don't like this and want to continue with 4 tiers and fines and penalties, then send in your ballot and vote to keep the current system.

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    1. Is it too much to ask the city for a chart that shows you how much money you will pay for what water usage? Before and after? Is that a whole lot to ask? Gabe is a master of obscure language and carefully nuanced evasion.

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    2. Conservation targets should not be elimated.

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    3. Conservation targets were never fair. If you were using little water because you self-conserved a lot then your allotment was way lower than some water hogs at the time the target put in place. Then the split of the town for billing, east and west, even though the weather pattern was the same on both sides, would land you penalties if you went over your target. Then the drought worsened and people with larger targets were using water that their neighbors would have been penalized for using.
      Eliminating the targets and upping the water charged for Tier 2 imported water is fair for all.

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    4. Conservation targets were never fair. If you were using little water because you self-conserved a lot then your allotment was way lower than some water hogs at the time the target put in place. Then the split of the town for billing, east and west, even though the weather pattern was the same on both sides, would land you penalties if you went over your target. Then the drought worsened and people with larger targets were using water that their neighbors would have been penalized for using.
      Eliminating the targets and upping the water charged for Tier 2 imported water is fair for all.

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  10. Mangled Measure D? How so? If Sierra Madreans wish to spend more of their money for the continually repairs of past inefficient City Hall decisions, well hey, voters made that choice.

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    1. Let me lay it out for you, fool. Three times the residents of Sierra Madre defeated a UUT tax increase. Three times. Then the Tea Party morons came along and not only did the city win that 4th UUT vote, but the TP's Measure D two years later got only 400 votes. You're talking Bill Tice numbers, clown. You are a cancer on this town. A complete disaster, not only for the fight against over taxation, but also on the question of community planning.

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  11. and your solution is to let our water system fail because someone somewhere at sometime made a decision you don't agree with. Are you familiar with the phrase "cutting your nose off to spite your face"?

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    1. If you are talking about the Bart Doyle water bonds, that decision has cost the rate payers of Sierra Madre millions over the last decade and a half, and continues to drive rate increases today. Can you imagine just how stupid it would be to borrow $6 million dollars, and then make interest only payments for nearly 20 years? Yes, that s a decision I disagree with. As would any sane human being.

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    2. So what? It's done. Do we sabotage city government and ourselves now over it? That is childish and stupid.

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    3. It's actually smart. Because of inflation that real value of the principal has fallen over the last 20 years.

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  12. Anyone think 1 Carter would be happy that the conservation targets are being eliminated along with penalties for excess water use?

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  13. Ah hem, pister(!) 8:39am the "Tea Party" was behind all 4 times with the UUT vote.
    As you have read on an earlier post, "Tax free Muni-bonds" are the answer.
    When is enough, enough?

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    1. The people behind Measure D were also behind the three ballot measures that stopped the city from raising utility rates? Obviously a lie. The Measure D people have never won a thing in their lives.

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  14. We need to be spending $1.5 million a year just to replace (not maintain) underground pipes. Water revenue is $4.5 million a year. We need $1.5 million more. $1.5 million divided by $4.5 million is 33%, so rates need to rise 33%. That is what needs to happen to preserve Sierra Madre. So let's just be serious about it and accept the fact that for decades rates were too low (because of stupid kook council members and poor city manager leadership) and it is time to fix the problem to protect our home values.

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    1. Water rates need to increase $136 per person per year to replace our underground pipes. Thrash and scream all you want. Turning on a faucet and having safe clean water come out doesn't happen by magic and it isn't free. If you don't want to pay for replacing our underground pipes then leave and go somewhere where the underground pipes are newer and won't need replacing for 30 years. This is an old community with old infrastructure full of million dollar homes and anyone who doesn't want to pay their share to keep our system running should be dealt with as a freeloader and saboteur.

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    2. Every water rate hike was supposed to go for water infrastructure. But much of it went to pay for bond debt instead. I don't necessarily disagree with you, but if I am going to be asked for more money I'd prefer to be told the truth.

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    3. The city spends $900,000 a year on water system capital improvements but a lot of that is for improvements other than underground water pipes. the city spends it because it has to in order to participate in larger system improvements. So rate hikes pay for that. But replacing our own pipes is our own responsibility and it costs serious amounts of money. your emotions over claims you werent told the truth are irrelevant and childish and don't replace an 80- year old water main. Only money does.

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    4. The bond debt proceeds were used for water infrastructure and water rates pay bond debt so water rates are indirectly paying for infrastructure when they are used to pay bond debt. This isn't complicated. We need $35 million in new underground water pipes over the next 25 years. Saying nonsense phrases like "government lied to me" and "bond debt is interest only" and other irrelevant crap does not replace water mains. Money does. Pay your fair share or get out.

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    5. Nearly 20 years of interest only payments on your buddy Bart's water tank fantasy does add up to a little bit of dough there, angry man. Can you imagine what could be done with this money if it hadn't been sent off to the Bank of New York? Talk about not paying your way. Why is this a taboo topic for you? Got a man crush on the Bartster?

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    6. Why is paying interest on debt so horrible in your mind. Most people pay interest on debt their entire life including 30 years of interest on a home mortgage. Are they stupid? And how does talking about interest on bonds from 20 years ago replace a water main today? What's the point? You don't like how a bond 20 years ago was structured so we shouldn't repair our water pipes? Because reasons?

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    7. Have you ever borrowed money, and then only made interest payments for almost two decades?

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    8. People do it every day. So what?

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    9. So what? Our 80 year old pipes shouldnt be fixed because you think paying interest only on a debt is wrong. Inflation over the last 20 years accumulates to 50%. So the principal on the debt in real dollar terms has declined by a third. Why do you think its dumb to pay old debts with cheaper inflated future dollars? In fact, its the smart thing to do.

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    10. 10:38 is correct. The dollar you use today to pay back $1 borrowed in 1999 is worth only $0.66 compared to 1999 dollars.

      Try it yourself https://data.bls.gov/cgi-bin/cpicalc.pl

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    11. Umm, that bond debt is being paid for now, in 2018 dollars.

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  15. 8:29am you do a disservice using the name Preserve Sierra Madre.
    If the group studied and understood ordinances, zones, and what is in the books, then problem solved.

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    1. Sure. Whatever you say. Is it free whiskey night on Green Street tonight?

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    2. Of course ordinances, zones, "the books" have been studied, and sound arguments formed based upon them. Just because you want a different outcome does not mean that thoughtful and careful work hasn't gone into the positions your opposition takes. You'd rather attack personally than address the actual language of the sources.

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    3. Judging by their drinking habits "Tea Party" is a misnomer.

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  16. So it appears Sierra Madre has a case of too much BOND debt so they are in bondage to the leander's? Time to think outside the box and look at the city of Baldwin Park and their surplus this year and a surplus of $4.0 million per year afterwards revenue expected to be flowing into their cities coffers?

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    1. There is no ongoing surplus druggie. Baldwin Park expects to get $4 million from taxes on cannabis which will never materialize and will fall as competition causes prices to drop.

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    2. And Baldwin Park is 7 times the size of Sierra Madre and a great deal more scummy. Why would we allow an illegal drug trade to exist in town in return for a hundred grand?

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    3. Pot is no longer illegal man. And the stores are not based on trades or barters.

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    4. Selling commercial amounts of cannabis is illegal under federal law and selling it can land you in federal prison.

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  17. The angst from the water debacle in town is due to the facts that it never should have happened in the first place.
    Continuing to throw money at the created problems is not a great solution.
    Bring transparency into play.
    How much damage has been done to the water pipes from the chemical dumps and what amount of responsibility does the City of Arcadia have in lowering the water tables?
    Lists of questions may be diminish
    as the muddy water settles.

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    1. That is idiotic. Fixing 80 year old water mains in not "throwing money at the created problem". It's reality. They have to be replaced and we have to pay for it.

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    2. The Arcadian McMansions have been draining the well!

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  19. What the hell happened to all the money?
    For generations the Water Department had more cash than the City General Funds.

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    1. that is false and any money they had they spent on providing water. What's the point. If they stole $20 million in water money and took it to Vegas would that mean we somehow don't need to replace our underground pipes? If I ate the last piece of bread in the house would you starve yourself to "show me"? Show me what? That you are an emotional child? You had a city government that should have been charging much more for water over the last 30 years and using the money to replace pipes. Instead, we had idiots who refused to raise rates and deferred the necessary maintenance. Now the pipes are failing. They have to be repaired. Your opinions about how we got here are irrelevant. The explanation is that self-government here failed to fix the problem for 30 years. Analyzing how we got here doesn't fix a water main. And the idea that the water operation should "get consequences for their past failures" is so dumb I can't really believe you keep saying it. It's OUR WATER. We have to pay for it. There is no other choice. Anyone who won't pay gets their water turned off and they can feel all righteous muttering about interest only bonds and other nonsense.

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    2. I don't think anyone is saying don't fix the pipes. Or they are unwilling to kick in. It just for this once maybe we should be told the truth about how things got to this point, and which lying old fart is responsible. The city wants the money? Fine. All you have to do is tell everyone exactly how things got so bad? Fair? The truth won't cost them a dime.

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    3. This is a Democracy. You are the reason we are here. You elected cowards and people with poor judgement to make decisions and they hired cowardly city managers with poor judgement. You chose poor representatives who made poor decisions. That's life. Saying we need a Salem Witch Trial to decided who made the crops fail and the cows give sour milk accomplishes nothing because everyone will say they did the right thing based on what they knew at the time. This isn't 1660. These pipes are going to get fixed now or later. The only question is are we going to do it in an orderly and responsible way or after a catastrophic failure.

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    4. There is no "truth". This town elected people for 30 years that didn't make responsible decisions. Because of that, we all have to pay more now. Should we ritually burn someone at the stake like it is 1660 and we need a sacrifice for a crop failure? Start with yourself.

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    5. You seem to feel very strongly about this topic. Are you Bart, Doug or Pete?

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    6. I just wish the city would put as much effort into telling the truth as they have covering up the water department's dirty past.

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    7. This is like the village idiot in England who when the Nazi's started WW2 and were preparing to invade England the village idiot wants to talk about how we shouldn't fight because Neville Chamberlain made bad decisions. Dude...its irrelevant right now. We need to replace $35 million in pipes.

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    8. There is no "city". There are the residents with their elected representatives. There is no "dirty past" and even if there were it is completely irrelevant.

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    9. Sure. The people we elect or pay to administer the city should never be forced to take responsibility for their mistakes. The fault lies with the victims.

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    10. I see. Our water system should be allowed to fail to punish dead people and people who don’t live or work here anymore. This is a democracy. You’re responsible today to replace these pipes. Claiming dead people and people who don’t live here or work here anymore should be punished instead of taking care of business makes you much smarter than the people you want burned at the stake right ? You burn first.

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    11. Responsibility is given out at these things we call elections. Having a tradition of only 8 years on the council allows them to escape reaponsibility.

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    12. You're way nutty, dude. People have the right in a democracy to know the workings, and failures, of their government. Again, the point is not whether the pipes need to be fixed or not. They obviously do. But people deserve to know the truth. It is their right. Especially when it is their money that is being spent.

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    13. the truth is elected representatives didn't raise water rates high enough in the past 30 years to responsibly replace underground pipes at the rate they should have been replaced. Now what.

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    14. The truth is certain elected officials in the past obligated us to millions of dollars in bad bond debt. Pay up, sucker.

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  20. Boy oh boy, the Dirts are out today! They protest too loudly!

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    1. They get nervous around water rate hike time. They know what they did.

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    2. Why would they get nervous? Because somehow you're going to block our water system from having the revenue to replace our pipes and that will "show them"? Show them what? That people agree with you that they are bad people? Ok. Now our water system doesnt work...now what.

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    3. I think it had more to do with people laughing at them for being stupid.

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  21. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=PDBiLT3LASk

    look to yourself for your own failure to act. When you insist on burning the Devil's helpers for having bad judgement and the Devil turns round on you for your own failures where will you hide? The electorate was weak and failed to do the hard thing. Time to do the hard thing.

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    1. A failure to act means no Oscar consideration.

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  22. By the way, if the city doesn't allow housing at the Monastery then its going to get an institutional use (which it is zoned for) like foster homes and retirement homes.

    People who think it is zoned for open space are of course wrong. It's zoned for institutional use.

    Housing increases neighborhood home values. Foster homes lower home values. So Preserve Sierra Madre is about 3 months away from imploding as soon as the monestary gets a developer who will propose a choice between drug treatment centers and foster homes or upscale housing.

    Housing is going in because the alternative is far worse.

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    1. Actually it is preservation that boosts home values. Why do people want to live in Sierra Madre so badly? Because it doesn't look like the crap the greed heads want to put in One Carter and the monastery.

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    2. Demand boosts property values. Some are attracted to preservation. Other don’t care at all

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    3. No actually, it’s supply and demand. Correlation is not causation.
      I hate to burst your bubble but Dancing Doesn’t bring the rain either.

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    4. You do not have the legal right to "preserve" someone else's property that is vacant but zoned for institutional use. It's not zoned as a park. I'd buy the property and propose a giant drug treatment facility and there would be nothing the city could do to stop me.

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    5. I'm afraid 12:01 is right.
      There is only lip service to protection for the wildlife and the natural environment.
      If there's a buck at the end of the deal, and not the four limbed kind, the city will eventually sell. Anything.
      The term "open space" is often used to mean undeveloped land, and legally defined open space is something else entirely. There is very little of it and most people don't care.

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  23. New commentator. I think both points are legitimate. There needs to be a serious water rate hike so the deferred maintenance is deferred no longer, and so the problem doesn't get worse in the next few years (months?) as the ticking time/pipe bombs inevitably fail. However, this city is long overdue on transparency. There should be a city council meeting only on water issues, with time at the beginning, middle, and end for public comment. Let's get this all out there, talk about it, fix it, and move on.

    We need to get work done, but we need closure as well.

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  24. I'm surprise the words "forensic audit" haven't popped up yet.

    Where is Forensic Audit Guy?

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    1. The water tank project that has led this town's water enterprise into a dark financial hole was set up to help serve the never to be built DSP. A lame brained boondoggle that some on that city council had personally invested in. A forensic audit wouldn't be adequate tho. An FBI investigation would be much more appropriate.

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    2. I thought it was CalPERS that caused SM's financial hole. So confusing... ;)

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    3. CalPERS and water bond debt. Can you handle two thoughts at once?

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    4. If I can't, how would I know I can't?

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    5. An FBI investigation will not repair $35 million in underground pipes. The people who advocate for "transparency" just use it as an excuse to do nothing. These people are more culpable for our failing water system because the council members who stupidly ignored the issue in the past were hoping someone else in the future would have the courage to fix it. The people who oppose it today are just saboteurs who want to hurt people.

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    6. I got news for you. Most of the town has the majority of its net worth invested in this town. Should we all be investigated by the FBI for voting to protect our financial position? Or maybe you should be investigated for trying to harm the finances of thousands of people by trying to sabotage the renovation of our water system.

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    7. "Most of the town has the majority of its net worth invested in this town."

      Doesn't that describe 99.9% of towns?

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    8. I think 2:59's restaurant needs to be investigated. The kitchen help is suspected of spitting in the salads.

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  25. Just checked out todays post.
    Shame on blogger 10:03am, i assume you are new to Sierra Madre. YOU MOVE.

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    2. 2:17 whether you are new to the town or claim to have emerged from the loins of Henry Darling, is completely irrelevant to wether or not someone belongs here. Further it neither gives nor takes away the power to dictate wether or not someone should stay in or leave this town. Your attitude is why people have such a low opinion of you self appointed gate keepers. Try being neighborly and open to the fact that others do in fact have a different opinion than your own.

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  26. In this Sierra Madre Democracy 10:29 i vote for waiting on catastrophe failure, the California earthquake is fifty years overdue! Don't waste our money fixing pipes into the future, that would be just like reinstalling pipes after new asphalt is poured, we know that doesn't happen much!

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  27. police and fire CALPERS has nothing to do with the water utility. all water rate fees support the water system and nothing else by law. We are going to have a 30% water rate hike phased in over three years because it is the right thing to do and we have a council that will do the right thing. And we are going to to build housing at the Monastery or you can prepare for a huge institutional use which they do not need anyone's permission to build as soon as the building/water moratorium expires. An institutional use will harm that neighborhood. You can hire Forensic Audit/Interest only Bonds/Burn the Witches guy to explain to neighbors why they need to harm their own home values to "show the dirts" they are laughable and bad people. Either that or after public comment you get tarred and feathered for insisting we all destroy ourselves because you're mad at something some dead guy or guy who no longer works or lives her did 20 years ago. You're like the repeal the UUT guy living in his $2 million house with a guest house and heated pool but complaining the tax on his utility bills for all the grotesque amounts of water and power he uses should be zero.

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  28. 1:35pm it is both, Sierra Madre has skeletons up the ying yang.

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  29. 12:01pm we feel that a private school would benefit the Monastery.
    A retirement home like the Keninston would also work, the priests should be offered suites/rooms at no charge.

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    1. Nope. Dog track, card room & grow facility.

      The taxes will pay for all municipal services.

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  30. It's the same short-term cheapskate thinking that ruins many human endeavors including businesses. For instance, Pasadena thought ahead and was a founding member of MWD and has a legal right to MWD water. Stupid Sierra Madre refused to join MWD and could literally have its outside water shut off at any time and the city turned into a ghost town. This is the mentality of these kook water rate/UUT opposing retards screaming about crazy crap they claim happened 20 years ago which actually never even happened. Still thrashing and whining about a downtown development ballot measure that happened 11 years ago. I think I will call the project the Sierra Madre Drug Treatment Center so everyone associates Sierra Madre with drug treatement. Because that is what they will build if you do not get it through your thick skulls that housing is the best alternative.

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    1. This is now the umpteenth time you posted this nonsense. Do you think repeating it over and over again makes it any more true?

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    2. Maybe 3:11 has dementia and can't remember he already said it.

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    3. It could just be native stupidity.

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  31. good. you want catastrophic failure. Let's put it to a vote. And when you lose you get your water turned off and allocated to a new construction project because someone that refuses to contribute to a common good doesnt deserve to share in that common good.

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  32. The direction this town works is backwards.
    If a water pipe us broken, fix it, if it is not broken, leave it alone until the repair is necessary.
    Kinda like 100 year old housing.
    If the house is in poor shape, demolish and replace.
    The smart meters, enough for 10 houses, cost 1 million dollars. Not so smart right now, i thought the water pipes were number one on the council list.
    Seems like city planning is all over the place.

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  33. Bad Kush 11:44am?

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  34. Congratulations Debbie, Glad you’ll be getting a refund. You’re the first one. Remember all those residents who over paid the City a few years ago...like Vern Hensel. As far as I know he didn’t get a dime.

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