Mountain Views News     Logo: MVNews     Saturday, March 29, 2014

MVNews this week:  Page 18

Mountain Views-News Saturday, March 29, 2014 
Mountain Views-News Saturday, March 29, 2014 
rate increase has no impact on our General 


Fund. And let us not forget that because of the 

REGARDING drought our wells are dry and we are purchasing 
water from an expensive source. We need every MEASURE UUT:penny of the water rate increase to sustain the 

water company. 
The Mountain Views News strongly endorses 

a YES VOTE ON MEASURE UUT. The Utility It has been stated over and over again: no 
User Tax is NOT AN INCREASE. It sustains the one likes paying taxes. But, if we don’t want 
development that could generate sales and/or 

current level of 10% until 2022.

property tax income, then we must maintain our 
Our city is currently financially sound. Utility User’s Tax at a reasonable level. 
We have annual audits by a Certified Public 

Accounting firm that guarantees that the It is irresponsible to suggest that we can 
information given to the public concerning our outsource our town away. Priorities of other 

agencies are not the same as the priorities that 

finances is accurate. We have approximately 4 
million dollars in reserves and approximately each and every person residing in this town 

$400,000 remaining in one-time unanticipated 
wants. Otherwise, what would be the point of 
living here?

revenue (refunds from the dismantled CRA, 
etc,) that we can add to the general fund, if 

necessary. HOWEVER, that does not mean we Sierra Madre does have has the highest UUT 
rate around. Sierra Madre has limited revenue 

can be irresponsible and not recognize that we 
must in-crease our revenues. Our reserves are from property taxes. Look around in other 
not a lot in today’s money terms. They will not cities and watch the construction. WE DON”T 


sustain us, and it is not a wise financial decision 
to base our operations on our reserves. What 

happens when they are all used up?We have almost no revenue from sales tax, no 
auto dealers, malls or big box stores to generate 
If we depend on our reserves to help us, what sales tax. WE DON’T WANT THAT! 
happens during a real emergency? Remember 

Sierra Madre, like many of our neighbors, has no 

-during the devastating windstorm a few years 
ago, Federal funds were not available to us Parcel Tax or Assessment. WE DON”T WANT 
because of our city’s size; we were completely THAT! 
ig-nored. We had to pull from our reserves 
then to get things back to normal. If we use our WHAT WE DO WANT IS WHAT WE HAVE 
reserves for general operations, what happens NOW. Our own police, fire, paramedics, public 
works, library, community services. We want a 

when the next natural disaster rolls around? 
(As this is being written, we are experiencing an full-service city. WE DO WANT THAT! 

It’s costing on average $18 per month. Isn’t it 
Don’t be deceived into thinking that our recent worth it? VOTE YES ON MEASURE UUT. 
water rate increase will resolve that problem. All 

Susan Henderson, Publisher/Editor

revenue from water bills legally must go directly 
to the water company to sustain it. So the water Mountain Views News 



Dear Editor: 

I am asking the citizens of Sierra Madre to Vote NO on the current UUT measure on the Ballot. 

I have spoken out at City Council Meetings expressing my opinion to extend the 10% Utility Tax as 
the way to go to help maintain the budget of Sierra Madre services. 

I have since changed my mind after reviewing facts, figures, and the Sierra Madre budget. I believe 
that the City of Sierra Madre can sustain all of the current services and activities without the extension 
(which is essentially a tax raise) and still operate at its current level. Here is why: 

The sunset clause will not occur until July 1, 2015. That means on July 1st 2015, the rate willgo down to 8% -- more than a year from now.
In the meantime, Edison, The Gas Co. and the Sierra Madre Water Department have raisedtheir rates (water rates will raise 61% over the next five years) which will bring in additional revenuefrom UUT taxes. 
Sierra Madre property taxes raise from one year to the next, and nothing in the horizon tellsus that the City will not gain additional property tax revenue.
There are new businesses coming to town which will help increase our sales tax base. 
On July 1, 2016 the UUT rate is scheduled to be reduced to 6%. This is what the administration 
calculated to be the figure in 2008, and was confirmed by the Citizens by a vote in 2012. 
I am Chairman of the Community Services Commission and am President of the Friends of the 
Library. I’m not speaking for either organization but as a concerned citizen. Would I like to see 
services of either the Library or Community Services suffer because of a lack of funds? Of course 
not. My heart and volunteer efforts have always gone to enhance the quality of life of Sierra Madre 
Citizens. I have seen nothing in the figures that will compromise the police, paramedics, fire, library, 
public works or community services. And, in the worst case scenario, another vote can always come 
up in 2016 to either hold the line at 8% or some other figure.
I urge the citizens of Sierra Madre to vote NO on the tax increase of the UUT. 

Sincerely, Pat Alcorn 


Dear Editor: 

In addition to what John Capoccia wrote about the consequences of either rejection or passage ofthe UUT, the City's credit rating has suffered because we have been irresponsible in repaying ourbond debt. If we have another catastrophe (like the 2011 windstorm), it would be very expensive anddifficult to borrow money. Passage of the UUT will start to repair Sierra Madre's credit. 

Renee Cossutta, Sierra Madre