|You really should be.|
"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." - A commenter yesterday
The person who left that comment yesterday rather obsessively posted variations on his witchy-poo theme over a dozen times. Which raises some questions. Why is this topic that important to him? Why did he feel it was necessary to try and drown out the opinions of everybody else?
Personally I don't think anyone is saying don't fix Sierra Madre's water infrastructure. Or that they are unwilling to kick in some cash to do so. Well, OK, except maybe for the Tea Party guys. Most people recognize the problem and know a bill is on the way.
It is just that for this once maybe the water ratepayers should be told the truth about how things got this bad, and who exactly was responsible for allowing things to get this way.
The city wants the money? Fine. Just tell everyone why things got this crazy first. Fair enough? The truth won't cost them a dime. Some people might be embarrassed, but should they really be allowed to escape all responsibility for their bad faith management and grievous abuse of the community's trust?
In the big boy world people have to take a little responsibility for their stupid mistakes. Especially when those mistakes have cost perfectly innocent people millions.
The obsessed commenter's real concern is probably just that. Stupid mistakes were made by certain City Councilmembers in the past, and have cost the water department millions of dollars in bad debt. But he doesn't think you should know anything about it. Just pay the ever increasing bill and shut up.
Here is an example. Below is a report on debt administration that was run in 2013 regarding the city's bizarre payment schedule for a series of water bonds that had been issued by City Hall a decade earlier. This report was put together by Eliane Aguilar, the previous City Manager. It is a lot more information on the topic than we have received from the current one, despite his reputation for practicing an elevated form of transparency.
Notice the payments from the year 2004 to 2020? Those are interest only payments. That comes to $5,306,979.00 in your money that did not need to be spent, and could have been used for other things. Like pipes. Most of that 5 million was sent to various bond holders and banks back east because a certain City Council in 2003/2004 had obligated itself to water bond debt it could not afford to pay for.
Just in case you are wondering how a $6,750,000 water bond was somehow turned into $14,925,486 dollars in water department debt.
Within the last year or so the current City Manager refinanced this debt and has saved you some money. But that was only after you had paid millions in interest only payments for 15 years on a water bond the city obligated you to, but had no idea how they would pay for it.
In exchange you got a couple of water tanks. Which, in retrospect, should have been made out of platinum.
Our obsessed commenter does have a point. Sierra Madre's badly decayed water infrastructure does need to be fixed, and the bill will have to be paid. And yes, that will come out of your hide. Whether you like it or not.
But don't you think you are owed an explanation first? A real one?