Yes, it is always about the money. Please keep your eye on that.
In a troubling article published in this weekend's edition of The Mountain Views News ("Proposed Library Changes Awaken Community") the reaction many have had to the unhappy news is described in this way:
Many issues have been raised by the proposed sale of the property the current version of the Library stands on, but none is potentially more troubling than the growing realization that one of the main justifications pushed by the well-financed campaign in 2016 to raise utility taxes in Sierra Madre, rescuing the Library, has now been exposed as being largely false.
Of course, this disconnect will come as no surprise to the readers of this blog. As we stated often during the run up to the April 2016 election, the real reason driving this city's burning need to pass Measure UUT was not the Library, the Sierra Madre Police Department, or any of the other justifications pushed by the disingenuous "Yes on Measure UUT" campaign. It was 10's of millions of dollars in unnecessary and financially perilous CalPERS and Water Bond debt.
Current Sierra Madre Mayor Rachelle Arizmendi, in a postcard issued during her 2014 run for City Council, admitted just that. Here she states one of her main reasons for running for City Council that year.
Sadly, and even though she obviously knew better, by 2016 Rachelle Arizmendi was lending her credibility to the Yes on Measure UUT campaign, and endorsed just the kind of tax increase she opposed when she originally ran for office. Here is how that one looked.
The individual who ran the "Yes on Measure UUT" campaign through a series of sock puppet organizations and individuals, Pasadena political campaign consultant Martin Truitt, also knew this purported campaign to save the Sierra Madre Library and Police Department through utility tax hikes was not on the level. Back when Martin was still quietly supplying this blog with background information he sent me the following email.
Truitt also managed Rachelle's campaign for City Council in 2014. The rumor is he will not only manage her reelection campaign in 2018, but also the City Council candidacy of Edward Garcia. Garcia is the individual who fronted for Truitt in 2016's Measure UUT campaign. In my opinion Mr. Garcia has a lot to answer for, and hopefully will be forced to do just that when he runs for office here next year.
On March 19 of 2016 many Sierra Madre residents received this postcard:
As we have stated, a large portion of the funds raised by Measure UUT would go on to pay for things like Sierra Madre's many millions of dollars in CalPERS debt. CalPERS is located in Sacramento, not Sierra Madre. The money does not all stay in town as claimed on this less than honest postcard.
This was the elephant in the room that the City Council refused to acknowledge in 2016. Probably because it might cause you to vote "NO" on their tax hike.
The Sierra Madre Library faces the wrecking ball because of funding problems. Despite the passage of Measure UUT. More on this tomorrow.