Sierra Madre Edition - April 2018

Measure D: Important Election Facts

Sierra Madre officials claim that if passed, Measure D would force the City to cut critical municipal services, going so far as to consider shutting the city down if  the $2.6 million tax is repealed. It is our opinion that the City requires this tax to keep up with out of control spending.

  • According to the City’s audited financial statements, since 2006 General Fund revenues have risen 82% while expenditures swelled a whopping 89%. Even with massive revenue gains, spending continues to outpace income.
  • In the Mountain Views News (3/17/18), Mayor Rachelle Arizmendi is quoted as stating that “This City Council has worked hard to keep our police and fire services here in Sierra Madre while still maintaining a balanced budget.” Balanced budget? The City’s silence on the $10 to $40 million pension debt and where it came from is deafening.
  • Retired city employees can earn up to 90% of their salaries for the rest of their lives, plus uncapped lifetime medical benefits for themselves and their spouse.1
  • CalPERS grossly over-estimates the investment returns to generate enough funds to cover lifetime retirement payments.
  • CalPERS bases their calculations on a 7% rate of return, but the ten-year average is closer to 3.5%.

Sierra Madre’s Pension Debt

  • CalPERS 2015 estimate: $10.7 million
  • Stanford Inst. 2015 estimate: $40.4 million
  • For example, Sierra Madre’s former Library Services Director retired in 2011 and as of 2017 was being paid an annual pension of $100,639. A retirement lasting 20 years would add up to a grand total of over $2 million.

1Stanford Institute for Economic Policy Research at

Sierra Madre Revenues & Expenditures

Expenditures 2006 2017 % Increase
General Fund $5.5 million $10.4 million 89%
Total $15.6 million $21 million 35%
Public Safety $3 million $5.4 million 80%
Net Pension Liability $9.0 million $12.3 million 37%
Revenues 2006 2017 % Increase
General Fund $6.1 million $11.1 million 82%
Total $17.5 million $24 million 37%
Total Taxes $5.7 million $9.4 million 65%
Property Taxes $3.2 million (2007) $6.1 million 91%
Licenses & Permits $422,661 $1.2 million 184%
By | 2018-05-02T22:24:40+00:00 April 5th, 2018|Uncategorized|0 Comments

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