Wednesday, September 10, 2008
Trivia -- The Answers
1. About how many people are employed by the City of Pasadena?
Bear in mind that this is a full-service city, which means that police and fire services, water and electricity, street maintenance, trash collection, tree-trimming, recreation, park maintenance and all other services, plus all that day-to-day administrative and clerical work, is provided by employees who work for the city. Our department with the largest number of employees is Pasadena Water and Power (423); the smallest number of employees work in the Mayor and City Council Department (2). Most surrounding communities contract at some level with the County of Los Angeles and other agencies for some of their support services, and most get their water and electricity from investor-owned utilities, most notably Southern California Edison.
2. Which three positions are hired by the City Council?
Answer: a, c, f.
The City Manager, City Clerk and City Attorney report directly to the Mayor and City Council. They sit at the dais with the City Council every Monday night.
3. Which are the three top revenue sources to the city budget?
Answer: a, c, f.
* Property tax: Aside from residential properties and commercial districts, Pasadena has several hotels and is headquarters to many major corporations, all of which have huge assessed values. Property tax revenues for Fiscal Year 2009 (the current fiscal year, ending June 30, 2009) is projected at about $35.5 million.
* Sales tax: This goes directly from retailers to the State Board of Equalization, which returns about 3/4 of 1% to municipalities. For FY 2009, sales tax revenue is projected to be about $35 million.
* Utility Users Tax (UUT): This is included on bills for cable TV, phones, electricity, water and natural gas. For FY 2009, UUT revenue is projected to be about $30 million.
4. What three types of businesses produce the most sales tax in Pasadena?
Answer: a, c, d.
* There's a lot of sales tax associated with auto sales, new and used.
* Department stores range from Macys (two in Pasadena) to Target (also two in Pasadena).
* I don't think I have to tell you why gas is a top sales-tax source right now!
5. Which four properties are owned by the City of Pasadena?
Answer: a, b, c, f.
* The Gamble House is owned by the City of Pasadena and operated by the USC School of Architecture. It was a gift to the city by the Gamble family.
* Armory Center for the Arts is in a former National Guard armory that is now city-owned.
* The Wrigley Mansion was gifted to the city by the Wrigley family under the condition that it be the permanent home of TofR.
* The Pasadena Senior Center is on city park land and is city-owned.
There are others as well. For example, El Centro de Acción Sociál is also on city park land, and the Norton Simon Museum sits partially on city-owned land that was formerly Carmelita Park. In all cases, the operations are run by separate non-profit organizations.
6. Which three are official, chartered business improvement districts in Pasadena approved by the City Council?
Answer: a, b, c.
Old Pasadena Management District, South Lake Business District and Playhouse District Association.
Business license holders in each business improvement district (BID) are charged an annual fee, paid to the City of Pasadena, based on the anticipated benefits received from the BID. Funding is passed on to each of the three BIDs per an annual contract, and the funds are used for marketing and other programs. The board of directors for each BID determines budgets and programs, and presents an annual report to the City Council. Each BID has a full-time executive director.
7. Which three items are not allowed in your blue-lidded recycle container?
Answer: a, f, g.
* Batteries are considered hazardous waste and, like CFLs, must be disposed of in a special pouch. There are battery drop-off locations throughout Pasadena, where the pouches are provided free of charge.
* Used motor oil is also hazardous waste, but the disposal procedure is different than for batteries. You can drop used motor oil and other hazardous waste at a permanent location near Glendale or at any number of upcoming "roundups" throughout L.A. County.
* For computers and other electronic waste, the City of Pasadena conducts an e-waste roundup once or twice a year, usually near the Rose Bowl Stadium. I always send information out in advance about e-waste events.
Petrea, to answer your question, you may recycle styrofoam cups and other such materials if there is a number from 1 to 5 in a triangle on the bottom. If the number is higher, which is often the case, I'm afraid you're out of luck.
We'll do some more trivia someday!