Posted 5/1/12 – I was asked to post this letter “word for word.” I have left the letter as it was received, with the exception of some formatting of the addressees, and removing the contact information of the recipients and the sender, and removal of the non-City (media) recipients.
April 25th, 2012
Honorable City Council Members
John P. Capoccia, John Harabedian, Chris Koerber, Josh Moran, Nancy Walsh
City Manager Elaine Aguilar
City Attorney Teresa Highsmith
City Clerk Nancy Shollenberger
1. That the City Council Repeal the adopting of all (2011) water rate increases,
2. That the City Council allow all registered voters the Right to Vote – Yes or No,
> on the November 2012 ballot,
>> regarding the (2011) City Council Passage ofthe Water Rate Increase(S)
3. I further request that this letter be agenized, up for discussion, with the City of Sierra Madre Residents, at the next City Council Meeting
There is an old expression that even the dumbest dog knows the difference between being tripped over and being kicked… many of us, raising the second or third generation of Sierra Madreians, feel that our City Council believe that we are dumber than that proverbial dumbest dog.
The tranquility and serenity of Sierra Madre has been disrupted by the appearance of the (2011) City Council and City Manager using a change in the water rate structure to apparently fund other expenses, which lead to the disclosure that City Council has repeatedly used our water reserves as a slush fund to fund other expenses. This disruption clearly influenced the (April 2012) election, it lead to ballot do-overs, lawsuits and strife between neighbors and perhaps even strife within families.
The perception that the City Council had been less than transparent or at least openly honesty and candid coupled with the city council’s “Jerry Rigging” the “No Petition(S)” via eligible rules, only inflamed those of us who felt they were being kicked. These perceptions can only be addressed by allowing the citizens of Sierra Madre to exert their influence and control via the “No petition(s)” over this city that we love and call home.
In addition to the
a. $1.97 per water charge,
b. the city council imposed a 9% Utility Tax;
c. a 37% Water Increase Fee;
d. and additional Tiered Fee pricing.
The Supreme Court may say we can live with or without “ObamaCare” but we all know we cannot live long without water. That does not mean that the City Council can tax our ability to live with impunity. Water fees, charges and reserves should be used for water related expenditures only.
Let us use this as an opportunity to resolve the discord, restore trust in out elected officials and allow the voters to vote “Yes ” or “No” on each of those proposed charges, in November 2012.