The Empire Strikes Back!

By |April 5th, 2018|Categories: Sierra Madre Edition - April 2018|Tags: |

The Empire Strikes Back! City Attorney Provides Memo to Council Detailing Possible Dis-incorporation of Sierra Madre.  A few weeks ago, we reported exclusively on Radio Free Los Angeles that the City of Sierra Madre is threatening to “disincorporate,” i.e., shut down the city if taxpayers repeal the Utility Users Tax. Apparently, the City Council decided that it just could not – or would not – deal with its spending problem or make the changes necessary to operate within a lower budget. The Council asked the City Attorney, Theresa Highsmith, to prepare a legal memorandum about what is involved in closing down a city. Ms. Highsmith, at the request and direction of the council, has prepared an extensive memorandum. Although the memorandum is several pages long, it boils down to these essential points: If taxpayers repeal the current Utility Users Tax, the city will lose $2.6 million dollars in revenue; has no way to replace those revenues; will not be able to pay its bills; and will have no choice other than to shut down. The police department will be shut down along with the fire department and the library. All current municipal functions will cease and will be taken over by LA County. Sierra Madre residents will continue to pay taxes, of course, but will pay them to the county. The pension obligations will continue to grow. The Real Bottom Line: Sooner or Later the City Will Shut Down Let me translate all of this for you. First of all, Ms. Highsmith’s memorandum is actually a first-rate piece of legal work. Her firm, Colantuono, Highsmith & Whatley, is one of the top municipal law firms in the state. She accurately [...]

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