Letter to the Editor: What is UUT & Why It’s so Important to Vote Correctly

PHOTO: Bill Glazier | SouthPasadenan.com | Co-chairs of the South Pasadena Public Services Committee are Ed Donnelly and Yuki Cutcheon.

Dear Friends and neighbors:

This November, the residents of South Pasadena face a serious threat to their community services and quality of life.  The November 6 General Election ballot contains a measure, funded by outside interests, asking voters to repeal our local, South Pasadena Utility Users’ Tax (“UUT”). The UUT has been funding basic services in the City since 1983.

UUT is a 7.5% charge on utilities, including gas, electric, cable, water, and phone. All revenues from the UUT go directly to the City budget. UUT is the second highest source of revenue after property taxes.

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UUT accounts for 12% of the South Pasadena General Fund budget. That’s $3.4 million this year!

UUT funds:
• Pay for such essentials as fire, police, and paramedic services through the City’s own public safety personnel, who respond to emergency calls within 3 ½ to 4 ½ minutes. Police have responded to 34,345 calls this past year in 3 ½ minutes.

• Make possible the ambitious street, sidewalk, sewer and storm-drain repair program; a multitude of senior services, including serving 15,000 low-cost senior meals every year; and unique programs like summer camp and after-school care, concerts in the park, and family holiday events.

• Keep South Pasadena’s much-loved library open seven days a week. This summer, more than 2,000 youth will participate in the UUT-supported summer reading program. UUT funds also make possible dozens of evening author and film nights.

Without UUT funds, the City must cut positions and services. Unless you vote NO the following cuts will go into effect immediately after the election. Per the City Manager’s Report:

• Three full time Firefighter/ Paramedics to be laid off This will reduce the number of firefighters assigned per truck from 4 to only 3.

• School Resource Officer position to be eliminated.

• Street and sidewalk repair budget to be reduced by $1,260,000.

• School Crossing Guards to be eliminated.

• Elimination of an SPPD Captain Position and regional Air Support Contract cancelled.

• Crime prevention programs and women’s self-defense course eliminated.

• Three full time SPPD (POLICE) employees and six cadets to be laid off.

• Tree planting eliminated and trimming reduced to every 6-7 years.

• Park maintenance including mowing and trash removal cut to only every two weeks.

• Landscape and Lighting Maintenance District work no longer supplemented by City funds.

• Community Services Department to be dissolved except for Dial-a-Ride and Senior lunches.

• Summer Camp and Teen Center programs to be eliminated.

• Concerts in the Park and Movie nights to be discontinued.

• Five full time and thirty seven part time City employees to be laid off.

• Public Library reduced from open 57 hours to 37 hours per week including being closed Sunday and Monday.

• Children’s Reading Programs, Author nights and movie screenings at Library to be eliminated.

• Library Capital improvements and technology programs to be unfunded.

• Community Emergency Response Team (CERT) training to be dramatically reduced or eliminated.

• Three full time Library employees to be laid off and part time staff drastically reduced.

• Public Art budget to be eliminated.

These cuts will radically alter the lifestyle that residents of South Pasadena cherish.

A majority of you must vote “NO” for the repeal or the cuts will take place immediately.

Watch for updates from us as the City determines exactly what cuts will occur.

The South Pasadena Public Services Committee 2018 has formed to fight the repeal of this critical tax. We are raising funds in order to communicate to voters exactly what the loss of the UUT will mean. Will you help us in our fight with a donation toward the “NO” on repeal of our public services and quality-of-life campaign?

We want to save our community’s safe neighborhoods, top-notch public safety, street and infrastructure repair program, high-quality City services, and such community traditions as the 4th of July Parade, music and art festivals.

Ed Donnelly Co-Chair and Yuki Cutcheon Co-Chair


􀀀 Enclosed is my pledge/donation of ____ $2,500 ____$1,000 ____$500 ____$100 ____Other
to develop an effective campaign to inform voters of what the loss of the UUT will mean to South Pasadena.

Make checks out to The South Pasadena Public Services Committee 2018.
Federal ID No. 83-0673744. Fair Political Practices Commission #1406796
To donate using a credit card, please go to http://SouthPasVoteNO.com/donate

Mail to:
The South Pasadena Public Services Committee 2018
P.O. Box 3023
South Pasadena, CA 91031

May we use your name as an endorser in campaign materials? Yes ___ No ____

For legal reporting purposes, please provide the following information:
Name _________________________________________________________
Address: _______________________________________________________
Phone: ___________________ Email: ________________________________
Occupation: _________________________________ Employer:________________________
(required for donations totaling more than $100 over the course of the campaign)