Mountain Views News, Combined edition

Combined Edition

Inside this Week:

SM Community Calendar:
SM Calendar of Events

Sierra Madre:
Walking SM … The Social Side
… This and That

Around The San Gabriel Valley:
Chef Peter Dills
Table for Two

Things to Do & More:

Pasadena – Altadena:
Local City Meetings

Arcadia · Monrovia · Duarte:
Arcadia Police Blotter

Altadena · So. Pasadena · San Marino:

Education & Youth:

Best Friends:
Pet of the Week
Katnip News!
SGV Humane Society

The Good Life:
Senior Happenings

The World Around Us:
Jeff's Book Pics
All Things
Family Matters
Christopher Nyerges
Out to Pastor

Opinion … Left/Right:
Peter Funt
Carl Golden
Tom Purcell
The Funnies

Legal Notices (1):

Legal Notices (2):

Legal Notices (3):

Legal Notices (4):

Legal Notices (5):

Legal Notices (6):

F. Y. I. :

Jeff Brown
Deanne Davis
Peter Dills
Marc Garlett
Katie Hopkins
Christopher Nyerges
Rev. James Snyder

Recent Issues:
Issue 24
Issue 23
Issue 22
Issue 21
Issue 20
Issue 19
Issue 18
Issue 17
Issue 16
Issue 15
Issue 14

MVNews Archive:  Page 1

MVNews this week:  Page 1

SATURDAY, JUNE 22, 2019 

VOLUME 13 NO. 25

$1.84 Million Dollar General Fund Surplus

City Manager Gabe Engeland Delivers on Promise To 

The question many are asking is, “How did he do that”, 
referring to Sierra Madre’s relatively new City Manager, Gabe 
Engeland. referring to the significant improvement in the city’s 
financial position while streamlining expenses and providing 
more services. At the last council meeting, where the FY Year 
2019/2020 budget was presented by city staff, the presentation 
revealed that the new budget reduced General Fund expenditures 
slightly over a million dollars from the previous fiscal year 
yielding a surplus of $2.73M overall and a General Fund surplus 
of $1.84M. 

What he has done is actually turn a less than desirable financial 
picture into a great one in just 3 budget cycles. He promised the council when he was hired in 2017 that 
he would bring the city’s finances to a comfortable level of sustainability and he appears to have done 
just that. In his first year (2017/18) he set Transitional Budget Goals. The second year (2018/2019) 
he established the Foundational Budget and the new 2019/2020 budget reaches a level of sustainability 
which strengthens the town’s ability to maintain all its current services including Police and a Full 
Staffed, fully paid Fire Department.

For two consecutive years, Sierra Madre has been operating with a substantial surplus compared to the 
previous years. (See chart below).

How Did He Do it?

First of all, to be fair, it wasn’t just Engeland. Certainly his leadership gets a great deal of credit, however 
the method that he chose to manage the city’s finances, ‘Zero Based Budgeting’ requires the input from 
all department heads. Simply put, Zero-based budgeting requires all expenses be justified for each 
new period rather than the previous method where only variances from the previous year’s budget are 
used. Those figures are derived with the input of each department head and staff. Engeland lead a true 
team effort to set and subsequently reach the desired goals, prioritizing the 3Ps – Public Safety, Public 
Works, Parks & Rec (and the Library)

Bottom Line: Sierra Madre has not only improved its financial position and credit rating (from an 
all time low of Ba1 ( by Moody’s in 2013 ( to 
a comfortable A by Standard and Poor’s Index according to Engeland. That is bringing the city’s 
creditworthiness from “Non-Investment grade/speculative to Upper Medium Grade. As in all credit 
ratings, the better the rating the lower interest rates and availability become.

FY19/20 General Fund Variances from FY18/19 Budget Summary of Fund Changes


.Budget decrease due to reduction in CalPERS obligations ($254,000)
.Added 1.5 positions to budget
.Further in year changes likely as Chief Hunt completes organizational review


.Total budget increase of $362,000, comprised of 3 new positions and safety equipment

Public Works

.Reduced overall expenditures due to Measure W (Storm Water Funding $42,000)
.Established Tree Trimming/Replacement Program
.2019-2020 Street Slurry Seal Program

Parks and Recreation & Library 

.Library budget increase of $96,000 primarily due to the addition of 1.27 FTEs
.Budgeted $40,000 for expenditures on community pool
.Budgeted $25,000 for Council investment in Non-Profit or Arts Funding
.Budgeted $10,000 for Lizzie’s Trail House Inn

FY 19/20 Water Fund

Summary of Fund Changes:

.Total infrastructure spending of $2.3M
.Increase in depreciation of $230,000
.Change in net position (due to infrastructure) is reduced by $656,000
.Planned completions of AMI “Smart Meter” conversion

.Personnel expense increased by 5% to bring salaries closer to market rate
.0.5 FTE added in administrative support


Summary of Fund Change

.Personnel expense increased by 12% to bring salaries closer to market rate
.Maintenance & Operations reduced 41%
.Capital outlay (Depreciation Expense) increased 10%
.Budgeted surplus in sewer of $136,000, second consecutive year of balanced Fund

S. Henderson/MVNews



By Rebecca Wright

This past Saturday, June 15, 2019 saw 
a party like no other. Sierra Madre 
resident Sophie Hughes was turning 
110 and her friends and family had 
come to town to celebrate. This 
tradition started ten years ago, when 
Hughes turned 100. Every year since, 
there has been a party at the British 
Home, and this year the theme this 
year was “You are my sunshine”. 
According to her daughter, Susan, 
Hughes loves the sunshine and spends 
every moment that she can in it. “You 
are my sunshine” was the perfect 
theme for Hughes’ party because, she 
is a ray of sunshine to those around 
her, making them happy by offering a 
kind word or a funny response to the 
conversation at hand. 

Sophie Hughes has a large family, 
spanning several generations. The 
youngest member to date is her great-
great-great-nephew, Rhett, who is 
just three months old. He was present 
at Hughes’ birthday, as were many 
other family members. Her daughters 
Carol and Susan were both there to 
celebrate, as were Carol’s husband 
Don, their children Maggie, Kat, and 
DJ, and Maggie’s children Seth and 
Colin. While Hughes’ son Jim was 
not able to make the trip this year, his 
children Bill and Tracy were there to celebrate. Wilbur, Hughes’ nephew, also came along with his 
son Stephen, Stephen’s wife Jane, their daughter Juliana, and her kids Gwendolyn and Rhett. Many 
of Hughes’ friends were in attendance, including one of her favorite four-legged friends: Stella the 
dog. Stella and Hughes are best friends, and Stella spent a good deal of the party sitting by Hughes, 
waiting for attention and food. 

Everyone wanted a picture with Hughes; she made the rounds at the beginning of the party, saying 
hello to her guests and taking photos with them. Once the meal began, she was still quite the social 
butterfly; most of her friends and family members took turns sitting at her table so that they could 
wish her a happy birthday and spend time with her. It was easy to see just how loved she is. Hughes 
spent the whole party with a smile on her face, always excited to see the next family member or 
friend. One thing everyone mentioned about Hughes was how funny she still is. She always has an 
appropriately humorous quip to add to the conversation. 

Sophie with family and friends at the British Home 
celebrating No. 110!

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

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