Mountain Views News, Sierra Madre edition

Sierra Madre Edition

View Pasadena Edition

Sierra Madre State of the City:
Sierra Madre State of the City
Video:  Saturday, March 24 at Hart Park House

Download:  Presentation Visual Aids

Inside this Week:

Community Calendar:
SM Calendar of Events

Political Ad:

Sierra Madre:
Walking SM … The Social Side
Sierra Madre Police Blotter

Shop Local:

Pasadena – Altadena:
Pet of the Week

Arcadia · Monrovia · Duarte:
Arcadia Police Blotter
Monrovia Police Blotter

Best Friends and More:
The Missing Page
Happy Tails
The Joy of Yoga
Katnip News!
SGV Humane Society

Food & Drink:
Chef Peter Dills
Table for Two

The Good Life:
Senior Happenings

The World Around Us:
Looking Up
Christopher Nyerges
Out to Pastor

F. Y. I. :

Section B:

Arts and More:
Jeff's Book Pics
All Things
Family Matters
Business Today

Political Ad:

Opinion … Left/Right:
Blair Bess
Dick Polman
Michael Reagan
The Funnies

Legal Notices (1):

Legal Notices (2):

Legal Notices (3):

Legal Notices (4):

Legal Notices (5):

Political Ad:

Legal Notices (6):
The Funnies

Political Ad:

Jeff Brown
Deanne Davis
Peter Dills
Bob Eklund
Marc Garlett
Lori A. Harris
Chris Leclerc
Christopher Nyerges
La Quetta M. Shamblee
Rev. James Snyder
Keely Totten

Recent Issues:
Issue 13
Issue 12
Issue 11
Issue 10
Issue 9
Issue 8
Issue 7
Issue 6
Issue 5
Issue 4
Issue 3

MVNews Archive:  Page 1

MVNews this week:  Page 1




VOLUME 12 NO. 14


APRIL 10, 2018

The Mountain Views News endorses the following 

 For City Council: Rachelle Arizmendi, Gene Goss 
and Denise Delmar. The Mountain Views News also encourages voters to vote NO on 



Sierra Madre is truly an All-American city. Safe 
neighborhoods, good schools, a good police and 
fire department, an independent, very close, tight 
knit community. It is also a community with 
diverse opinions politically united by one mission, 
protecting the sanctity of the city. Differences of 
opinion regarding methodology on exactly how to 
achieve that exist, but the town remains united on 
keeping Sierra Madre as it is.

So, when “The Taxpayer Gazette” appeared on the 
doorsteps of residents earlier in the week with a 
rather provocative headline, “The Empire Strikes 
Back!”, the initial response from some residents 
was shock, disapproval and outrage because no 
Sierra Madre resident’s name was associated 
with it. Several residents wanted to see what the 
‘gazette’ was all about. It became crystal clear after 
reading the first few lines that it was a piece written 
in support of Measure D, a ballot measure calling 
for the repeal of the city’s Utility Users Tax.

When the question was asked who printed the 
Gazette that is supporting the measure, the answer 
is, not one identifiable resident or business owner 
in Sierra Madre. Turns out, Michael T. Alexander, 
is the primary author. Alexander is the President 
of the California Tax Limitation Committee, and 
according to his own statement a few years ago, 
he does not and never has lived in Sierra Madre. 
The only other ‘author’ noted in the ‘gazette’ is 
anonymous, listing themselves as “Little Bird, 

One resident who contacted the Mountain Views 
News said, “Who are these people? Do they live 
here? Why are they using Sierra Madre as Guinea 
Pigs for their ideas? Why are we being attacked?”

Another resident who is actually an anti-tax 
person in general, indicated that the Gazette 
helped change his vote. He was inclined to vote 
yes but after receiving the ‘Gazette’ he said he sent 
in his ballot with a No vote. His reason, “…..these 
people need to MYOB and leave us alone”. (MYOB 
= Mind Your Own Business).

As referenced in John Harabedian’s article, much 
of the information in the ‘Gazette’ is misleading 
and/or outdated. The city has actually performed 
better than expectations since 2016 streamlining 
staff efficiency, fully funding the city’s Police and 
Fire Departments and much more. 

One thing that became very clear, residents of 
Sierra Madre want to make their own decisions, 
fight their own battles among themselves and 
resent being subjected to the influence of outside 
entities for the sake of outside agendas. “Perhaps 
the Empire needs to Go Back”, piped up one upset 
resident. Clearly, the Empire isn’t welcome here.

S. Henderson/MVNews


By City Councilman and Former Mayor, John 

 One of the most fascinating developments in 
politics in recent history was the emergence of 
the Rent Is Too Damn High Party in New York 
city in 2005. The Party’s platform was self-
evident, and it gained attention because it was 
both humorous and undeniably true. Rent in 
New York city was and still is too high. But the 
Rent Is Too Damn High Party did nothing to 
solve the problem it was seeking to address—
in fact, the problem has only become worse—
because it failed to address the complex issues 
underlying the problem it allegedly sought to fix 
or, more importantly, develop any empirically 
tested, fact-based solutions. The Party quickly 
became a punchline, and remains on the fringe 
somewhere between reality and fantasy. 

The TeaPac – which is essentially the “Pensions 
Are Too Damn High Party” – and its latest 
attempt through Measure D is shockingly 
similar, and should be similarly discarded. 

No one can deny that we would all love to be 
taxed less. And no one knowledgeable about 
state and local government in California can 
deny that pension liabilities will continue to 
be a serious ongoing problem that will require 
innovative solutions. Sierra Madre is not 
immune to this – although our pension liability 
is largely funded (75%) and relatively small 
compared to other cities ($10.7 million), we 
will continue to devote a material amount of 
our general fund to paying it and other post-
employment benefits for our retired employees. 
This is not news: pensions are deferred 
compensation that employees are rightfully and 
contractually owed, and we as a City have and 
will continue to honor our obligations. 

But the proponents of Measure D would have 
you think that Sierra Madre’s pension liability is 
a run-away train, that the City is ill-equipped to 
deal with it (which is evident by the exorbitant 
salaries it pays its current employees), and that 
the only way to solve the problem is to repeal 
the Utility User’s Tax, stripping $2.6 million 
from our General Fund. This is the synopsis 
of their “Taxpayer Gazette” that was strewn 
across our sidewalks and doorsteps and their 
arguments in the ballot statements. Of course, 
the first two assertions are patently untrue. 

First, as stated above, our pension liability is 
managed properly and aggressively. Second, 
our employees are paid less than any of our 
peer cities and continue to receive below-
market salaries. Just compare the salaries of 
our top managers with those in a city like La 
Canada Flintridge, which does not even operate 
its own Police and Fire Departments. What’s 
more, nearly a third of the positions the TeaPac 
lists in its ballot statements and website have 
been eliminated or remain unfilled. In other 
words, the City is spending $0 on them. Thus, 
the TeaPac’s assertions are baseless, just like 
their assertion that Sierra Madre’s expenditures 
grew by 46% from 2006 to 2016. In reality, on 
an absolute basis, total expenditures increased 
by less than 1%. When adjusted for inflation, 
expenditures actually decreased by more than 
$2.6 million, or approximately 10%. 

Putting all of that aside, if there were such a 
problem to fix, Measure D would not be the 
solution. Indeed, it would only exacerbate the 
supposed problem that the TeaPac is trying 
to cure. It is illogical to think that slashing 
Sierra Madre’s general fund to the point where 
disincorporation or bankruptcy would occur 
would somehow resolve our supposed budget 
issues, including our pension liability. 

 At a time when Sierra Madre continues to 
operate fiscally responsibly, we should be 
endeavoring to find elegant solutions to real 
problems, not wasting our time debating 
chaotic and half-baked proposals like Measure 
D. If the proposition is that the pensions 
are too damn high, then you have a receptive 
audience, including me. 

 Let’s continue crafting real solutions to that 
problem after Measure D comes and goes like 
its failed predecessors before it, both near and 


By Dean Lee

Residents of Pasadena, Alatdena and Sierra Madre 
got together Wednesday night for the second of a 
series of neighborhood summits discussing topics 
that ranged from public safety to sustainability to 

Collaborate PASadena event organizer, Brian 
Biery, said the goal, “To inspire people to action, 
its also to increase their knowledge of what 
activities are going on around them, and its also 
to give them ideas of how they can take action in 
their neighborhoods and bridge relationships...”

He said the meetings 
were also focused on 
people ingenuity and 
hard work. 

“I was surprised 
at the turnout,” 
Biery said. “We 
had over 90 people 
here, everyone 
was engaged and 
everyone had a 
priority there were 
working on.”

Sierra Madre Energy, 
Environment. & 
Natural Resources 
Carolyn Dasher said 
she wanted to bring 
the repair café idea to Sierra Madre. 

“What a wonderful way to help your community, 
and to do zero waste and sustainability she said. 
“We are such a throw-away society and it shouldn’t 

The idea is simple, someone in a community has 
something broken, like a lamp, and someone else 
knows how to fix it. A day and place is set aside for 
the repair café. 

“If your thinking about how to change our 
economy, how we pay for things, earn money, 
what our priories economially, then you want 
somebody who has been doing it.” Biery said. 

One of the moderators had done over 40 repair 
cafés “so it’s a tested model” he said.

(Continued on page 10)

Mountain Views News 80 W Sierra Madre Blvd. No. 327 Sierra Madre, Ca. 91024 Office: 626.355.2737 Fax: 626.609.3285 Email: Website:

Useful Reference Links

Mountain Views News 80 W. Sierra Madre Blvd. #327 Sierra Madre, Ca. 91024 Office: 626.355.2737 Fax: 626.604.4548