Letter to the Editor re: UUT Extension

Posted 3/12/14

To the Editor

From: Eric Olson
Dated: March 11, 2014

Re: Sierra Madre Utility Tax Extension

On  April 8, 2014 we vote whether to extend the Utility Tax.

I don’t like paying taxes any more than anyone else, but at the same time I have read both the official argument against the extension and a letter to the editor of the Pasadena Star News and I simply cannot figure out how failing to vote for the extension will leave the City able to fund the present level of modest expenditures. It is a truth we accept when we move here that we do not have the tax bases of other nearby communities and will need to do more for ourselves.

I have lived here since 1989.  I can remember when Sierra Madre was so broke that when the City had to replace a police car we had to buy one used that another city was discarding.  I can remember when the mechanic who serviced our fire trucks went unpaid for months and appeared before the Council begging for his bill to be paid.  Things are no longer as desperate as that, but yet only this past year did we finally get our street resurfaced, which had needed it for years, and I look around and see that there are many other streets that equally need to be resurfaced.

Every house in the City is valued in the hundreds of thousands of dollars.  In my opinion, that is an investment worth protecting.  A modicum of public services, a library that we can be proud of, parks that I am happy to entertain my grandchildren at, streets that look like they are not in a slum, reasonable fire, paramedic and police protection,  pay considerable dividends in the value of our property as part of being in a desirable community. The the loss of these expenditures would promptly cost us dearly far beyond any alleged “savings”.  Think of it as “saving” money by firing your gardener and letting the yard go, and wondering why your property value is down.

Eric Olson
Sierra Madre