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Music News
Volunteer Opportunities

Around The San Gabriel Valley:

Pasadena & Altadena:
Pet of the Week

Public Safety:
Looking Up
Police Blotter

Education & Youth:

Good Food & Drink:
Chef Peter Dills
Table for Two
On Line
Ask jai …
Rich Johnson

Hail Hamilton
Stuart Tolchin On …
As I See It
Gregory J. Wellborn

Legal Notices:

The Good Life:
Senior Happenings

Home & Property:
One of a Kind

F. Y. I. :

Sue Behrens
Chris Bertrand
P. J. Carpenter
Peter Dills
Bob Eklund
Hail Hamilton
Howard W. Hays
Jai Johnson
Rich Johnson
Stuart Tolchin
Gregory J. Wellborn

Recent Issues:
Issue 28
Issue 27
Issue 26
Issue 25
Issue 24
Issue 23
Issue 22
Issue 21
Issue 20
Issue 19
Issue 18

MVNews Archive:  Page 1



Water Rate Controversy Continues

“The Mayor of LA 
County” Comes To Town

Council Likely To Reconsider Fee Hike 
Structure, Implement Public Education 
Process Before Proceeding

 Most members of the Sierra Madre City Council 
appear to be certain of one thing, the public education 
process for the proposed water rate fee increase was not 

 As citizens await the final numbers, it appears that the 
council, regardless of the outcome, will reevaluate the 
process and perhaps start all over again. 

 When the final tally is certified, if the numbers fall 
below the 1,848 requirement, the council could vote to 
proceed with the increase, however, it seems unlikely 
that they would do so given the number of residents 
both for the increase and opposed to the increase that 
want more information.

 According to City Manager Elaine Aguilar, city staff 
did in fact follow the procedures as defined in Prop 218 
by mailing notice of the proposed increase to every 
household. Nevertheless, many did not read and or 
understand the information that was provided.

 In addition, many residents have asked that the city 
conduct more “Walk and Talk” water tours. The tour 
that was held a few weeks ago has been praised by all 
who attended, regardless of their position on the rate 
increase. “It really opened my eyes as to what it takes 
to get our water from the mountain to my tap.”

Time Is Of The Essence

 As indicated by Councilman John Buchanan at the 
last meeting, the situation “isn’t going to get better with 
age.” More than 30% of the city’s water mains need 
replacing and, especially during the next few months 
with hot weather and greater demand, the strain on the 
system will put further stress on the system. “We just 
can’t take another two or three 
years to resolve this problem”, 
said one resident who supports 
the increase.

 The last water rate increase 
was implemented in July, 2006 
and the council was well aware 
that the increase would not be 
sufficient to support the water 
system for very long. In addition, 
at the time of the last increase, 
there was, and still is, no way to 
determine the amount and rate 
of electrical power increases.

 The actual process to revise the 
city’s water rates did not begin 
under this administration. 
In fact, it was Former Mayor 
Kurt Zimmerman who 
commissioned the $33,500 
consultant that provided the 
recommendations that lead to 
the current proposed fee hike. 
The contract had the unanimous 
approval Zimmerman, Mary 
Ann MacGillivray, Don Watts, 
Joe Mosca and John Buchanan 
were also on the council.

Final Numbers For Protest 
Letters Questioned.

Sierra Madre City Clerk, Nancy Shollenberger made 
a commitment at the last council meeting to have 
the final tally available within five days of the public 
hearing. The hearing was held on July 13, 2010. On July 
18th, as promised, Shollenberger released a statement 
with a new set of figures that have confounded many. 
When Sierra Madre News Net Publisher Bill Coburn 
questioned the numbers, Shollenberger said the 
following, :

“I will check with the volunteers that did the vetting 
of signatures. I trusted their final report. I have 1959 
protest letters.” 

As Coburn pointed out in his communication to her, 
the public has been given three different totals for the 
protest letters. The first statement made during council 
meeting indicated that there were 1,941 protest letters 
submitted prior to the end of the public hearing. By 
law, no other letters can be accepted after that time. 
In the press release issued on the 18th, Shollenberger 
indicates that she had 2,049 protest letters. An increase 
of 68 protests that appear to have been received after 
the cut-off. However, in the same e-mail issued after 
the press release, Shollenberger states that she actually 
has 1,959 protest letters. 

 At the council meeting, Mayor Mosca directed staff 
to work with Shollenberger and verify the documents 
to further check against duplicates and unqualified 
letters. She was instructed to maintain the original 
documents at City Hall. 

 To further exacerbate the growing concern for the 
integrity of the final count, upon review of the letters 
by city staff, more than 250 signatures could not be 
confirmed. In each instance either the person signing 
the protest was not on the city’s list 
of rate payers or not on the county’s 
list of parcel owners.

 Much of the confusion over the 
Prop 218 process is contained within 
the bill itself. It suggests that either 
the rate payer or the parcel owner 
may protest the fee increase. There 
is no clarification for parcels with 
multiple owners or parcels with 
multiple units. For instance, as one 
person asked, If a group of people 
own the parcel, do they each get a 
vote? Or, another question, if the 
parcel has multiple units, does the 
owner get to cast a vote for each 
water meter on the property? All of 
these scenarios may be the reason 
for the large number of unverifiable 

 Ironically, during the last council 
meeting a statement was made that 
61 protests had been submitted from 
the 1 Carter property and the City 
Attorney challenged it because there 
are only 6 meters on the property 
and no residents at this time.

 At the council meeting on Tuesday, 
it is hoped that these questions have 
been resolved and a final, verified 
total will be released. 

Supervisor Michael 
Antonovich met with City 
Council, Department 
Heads and Residents at a 
Special Breakfast Meeting 
on July 21st.

By Susan Henderson

On Wednesday, The Only Place 
In Town was the place to be. The 
entire Sierra Madre City Council, 
City Department Heads, and a 
few residents had the opportunity 
to dine and chat with Supervisor 
Micahel Antonovich. This was a 
special council meeting and was 
conducted as such, allowing for 
public comment for items on and off the agenda.

 The meeting began with a briefing of all the major Sierra Madre projects 
for the benefit of the Supervisor, as many of the projects are possible 
because of support from the county. Department heads, as well as the 
council members, while giving updates on what is happening in Sierra 
Madre, also took every opportunity to lobby for funds from the county.


 For example, Mayor Mosca, after listening to Public Works Director 
Bruce Inman’s project update, asked the Supervisor if there were 
opportunities to ‘piggy back’ on road construction projects occuring 
nearby such as the ones in Rosemead and Temple City. By so doing, 
Sierra Madre could maximize its use of road funds because of the cost 
reduction which would result from the ‘piggyback’.

 When all the Sierra Madre discussion was over, Antonovich then gave 
everyone a briefing on the ‘state of the county’. Before he began, however, 
he took the time to congratulate Sierra Madre and the city’s Finance 
Director, Karen Schnaider for the outstanding job of managing the city’s 
finances during a time of so many fiscal challenges.

 He expressed his concerns that the State is not talking about the 
consolidation of agencies in order to help balance the budget. He spoke 
of his concern that the state’s budget would probably not be adopted until 
October and of great concern to him, is the current proposal circulating 
in Sacramento for realignment of responsibilities from the state to the 
cities and counties. He was also extremely concerned about proposals to 
implement an early release program in the State Prisons, where he said 
30-40% would be sent to LA county. 


 Antonovich is not happy with the rate in which California is losing large 
corporations. In recent years, he said, more than 100 major corporations 
and businesses have left the state such as Bank of America which moved 
to North Carolina, and others moving to states like Arizona, Florida and 
Nevada. He even noted that California’s high personal income tax is 
driving away too many celebrities.

 The county’s ability to assist its’ cities is tied directly to the State’s 
ability to take their share of the responsibility for the county’s. And, with 
the current state of affairs in Sacramento, that worries Antonovich. [The 
Governor] “Needs to get legislators to pass the damned budget! The Wheel 
is Spinning but the Hamster’s Dead!”.

Aging pipes such as the one above 
are just part of the reason city officials 
are seeking a water rate increase. At 
least 30% of the city’s water pipes 
and supporting structures are in this 
condition or worse.

Local Organizations Continue Concert In The 
Park Sponsorships. This week: 

The Sierra Madre Woman’s Club Presents 
L.A. Lyon (Top 40’s Band)

Sunday, July 25th 6-8 p.m.

Memorial Park - Sierra Madre

Dancing For The Cause

Perfect weather is predicted 
Sunday’s Concert In The 
Park featuring L.A. Lyon, 
“the little band that roars” 
will provide high energy 
dance music for an event to 

 Last week, the country 
western group Grand 
Junction rocked the stage. 
The concert was sponsored 
by the Sierra Madre Kiwanis 
Club and The Friends of the 
Sierra Madre Library.

Above, L.A. Lyon

Below: Friends of the SM Library 

Local teens, William Hurtado and Jennifer Brady (pictured above), helped organize a teen dance held at St. Rita’s 
in Sierra Madre on July 17. Through the efforts of Hurtado, Brady, Stuart Love and Julianne Robi, “Dance for a Cause” 
was a great success. 131 youth, aged 12-15, enjoyed a great evening of music, with some of the refreshments donated by 
Jamba Juice. They raised $707 for the two causes identified this year as beneficiaries of A Taste of Sierra Madre, to be held 
September 11. Half the funds raised will fund cleft palate surgeries performed through the volunteer Rotoplast Foundation. 
With each surgery cost at $500, Hurtado commented in their report to the organizing committee that their fundraising 
funded 70% of a child’s needed surgery. The other half of the funds will benefit the Youth Activity Center in Sierra Madre, 
funding additional arts programs for children in the surrounding area. For more information about A Taste of Sierra 
Madre, please visit the event website, or call event chair, Tom Brady at 626-355-3471.

Kiwanis also celebrated their 
83rd Birthday and shared 
their “Birthday Cake” with the 

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MVNews this week:  Page 1

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