Thursday, August 9, 2018

Sierra Madre's City Govt. Still Has Not Disclosed The Actual Reasons For Its Water Rate Increases

"Sure Bart, I'll tell them it's my fault."
As the following unfortunate article in the Mountain Views News clearly demonstrates, Sierra Madre's government agency has yet to disclose to the public exactly how the city's water department financially, and virtually, fell apart. Both in its money management procedures and in regards to its bizarrely neglected water infrastructure. Which, for the fourth water rate increase in a row, is about to be "tackled." It is always about to be tackled, and has been for years.

The most bizarre part of this story is John Capoccia's claim that he is somehow responsible for much of this by not raising water rates enough the last time. Or maybe it was the time before, or the one previous to that. It's hard to keep track.

I suppose in a kind of goofy way this could be seen as taking some responsibility for things, but why would John want to throw himself under the bus for something that happened way before his time on the City Council?

Perhaps an adequate rate hike in the past would have been politically feasible had Capoccia given the ratepayers the entire story? Rather than providing cover to those actually responsible for the dire financial and physical condition of the water enterprise?

Sure the pipes are bad. Quite obviously so. But don't you think that those who are now being forced to pay more for water to fix them should also be told why that is, and who was actually responsible?

Once again the opportunity to clear the air on the responsibility question, and why exactly they did it, has been suppressed. Instead the following convoluted and ultimately uninformative story, which is now being peddled in the city's taxpayer funded weekly adjudicated newspaper as well, was given to those who will now have to cough up the cash.


Should anyone on the City Council ever care to inform the residents of Sierra Madre about why they have once again been manipulated into paying more for water without being given the actual reasons, here is a good place to start.


On its 2003 series water bonds, from the years the 2004 up to this moment in time, the City of Sierra Madre paid only the interest on the principle amount of $6,750,000. The total amount paid in these interest only payments comes to $5,306,979. Money that could have gone to perform necessary maintenance on the city's water system, but was instead sent to banks in New York for no apparent reason outside of the inability of those who took out this bond to make adequate payments.

Basically that $5 million was flushed down Sierra Madre's at-risk sewers.

So why was this done, and who was responsible? Don't you think you have a right to know? Don't you also have a right to know why you haven't been told by those whose responsibility it is to do so?

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25 comments:

  1. They will never tell us. And if they do, it will be a white washed version.

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  2. "Deep City" protects its own.

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  3. The main guys behind the library move also did the 2003 water bonds. Why do they continue to have so much influence here?

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  4. We (city hall) don't need No Stinking Badges! Go suck on a rock to get your water questions answered!

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  5. Besides 'We will tell you what the Truth is' as per guide lines for training residents of 'Any' city in California who ask to many questions.

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  6. Capoccia and his pal's Buchanan and Doyle are taking responcibily?

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  7. No body found it odd that Sierra Madre's management decided to exit the building and seek emloyment elsewhere when more than the interest only payments were due?

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  8. Absurd. Interest is a cost of borrowing. It’s nit waste

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    Replies
    1. Interest only payments is the highest cost of borrowing.

      Delete
  9. New pipes? How many times has the connector at Baldwin and Carter been replaced? At what cost? and why more than once?
    Wasn't the connection suppose to save the town from running out of water?
    What was the big debate about that connection in the first place?
    Wasn't it around the same time that the water tanks were rebuilt?
    Clearly, more questions than answers.

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  10. Trump just imposed more sanctions on Russia. As usual you look foolish.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Lightweight “sanctions” pre-approved by Moscow after giving Russians plenty of time to move assets so no pain will be felt.

      Of course, Moscow mock squeals. It’s all part of the “tough in Russia” ruse that Russian Assets like Trump and 9:01 promote against the interests of the US.

      Delete
  11. Why were interest only payments acceptable? Someone must have said over these many years; how old fashioned.
    Don't councilmembers study anything that is city related and connected to maintaining the town, or do they just rubber stamp?

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  12. C'mon now y'all are acting like it's a conspiracy or something, which its not. These people, whoever was responsible for the decline, didn't do it maliciously. I really believe it was done out of incompetence. These people just didn't know, and since they felt like their heart was in the right place for our quaint little town, they figured if they showed up, and discussed and voted on stuff, that they were doing the right thing. Our water system was like an old car. You either pay a significant amount each year (even in the beginning) to maintain it's upkeep, or you drive it and only fix stuff when it breaks. Now, the older the car gets, the more often stuff breaks. At some point, you get it hauled off and buy a new car. Problem is we can't do that with our water system. So, regardless of who was at fault, more importantly at this time is for a proper evaluation of the situation and a solid plan forward. Blaming people about the past may be fun but doesn't solve the problem. And I'm not sure who at the CIty is capable of devising or owning a solid plan forward, but until that happens, the problems will continue. Rusty pipes don't fix themselves.

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    Replies
    1. So in your mind the truth doesn't matter? Just pay up and forget about it?

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  13. How about the fiscal year end studies on the Library, Fire and Police Departments?

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  14. Yeah, true, but rusty pipes didn't just happen over night. Where was the money spent that was applied to water problems? Not just a drop in the bucket amounts of cash, more like covering a flood.
    Even with a used car, you can see that dents have been repaired and a new water hose will keep the car from over heating.

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  15. End all controversy and conspiracies, demand a FISCAL AUDIT.
    Money is being spent on everything else, now is the time to spend money on coming clean about all Sierra Madreans tax dollars spent over these many years.
    Clean the slate, start fresh, the money drain is not only from CalPERS.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. It's been asked for many times.
      The councils, yes, more than one, have said NO audit.

      Delete
  16. Conspiracy? Or Not? Was any city money "invested" into the Downtown Specific Plan?

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    Replies
    1. Did any city council members at that time personally invest in the DSP?

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    2. The Sierra Madre Hospital had LLC Investors, any insights as to which resident's had their money into the controversial land sale?

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  17. The city is audited every single year. The audited financials are on the city website. You’re like a flat earther who can’t be bothered by the facts.

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  18. And the facts were very scary when the audited financials were of mixed results in the past.
    What price did city pay with the settlement between the city and manager John Gilson.

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  19. There were a number of years that the city was late in submitting the necessary report for the audit. A group of three residents met with the auditor and outlined their concerns and the city administrator (title later changed to Manager) was finally fired by the CC. It was a mess. For those readers who don't think it is necessary to go back to the origin of these problems for the city I woud say you have to as the problems keep compounding moving forward. Witness the ongoing water pipe replacement wastefulness.

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