I got a question from a reader about CARD (Chico Area Recreation District) and their plans to put a revenue measure before property owners, so I gave them the link to the district budget:
I wish more people would pay attention to what CARD is doing. I’ve heard the excuses – sure, we’re all busy. I been busy this week, up to my neck, I’m turning over a rental, so pardon me if I don’t have time for your whining. I get up at 5 am to do this kind of stuff, try that sometime! The stars are bright, the sunrise is brilliant, the morning air is fresh and the quiet will astound you.
At least don’t stand there like a stooge while these bureaucrats pick you clean. Get off your duff, turn off the tv, and stand up for yourself and your family. Write a letter to the CARD board and tell them to save their money – YOUR money! Tell them you won’t support another revenue measure, you want to see management pay their own benefits. Write a letter to one of the papers, but don’t just sit there waiting to be had.
Call the CARD office at 895-4711 and ask them how you can participate in the survey, see what they say, get back to me.
I sent this letter to the Enteprise Record yesterday.
Chico Area Recreation District board approved $28,000 for consultant EMC to conduct a phone survey in late February, to vet the voters regarding a proposed revenue measure.
Complaining they are not able to maintain their facilities with a $5.5 million payroll, CARD wants to put a bond or assessment on property owners and take over the city’s developer impact fees.
The real problem is that non-management staff have been restricted to 27 hours or less per week in response to the Affordable Care Act. This has led to cuts in some programs and deferred maintenance for facilities like Humboldt Skate Park and Shapiro Pool.
Meanwhile, management staffers continue to receive generous benefits, paying only 2 to 6.25 percent of their benefits package, out of salaries exceeding $100,000/year. An auditor reported their $1,758,200 pension deficit will grow by about $55,000 annually. The 2016-17 salary/benefits total of $5.5 million is $287,590 more than 2015-16, even after non-management staffers were restricted to 27 hours per week.
Of a $7.8 million budget, over $4 million comes from property taxes, park impact fees on development, and homeowner assessments. The agency spends less than $2 million on “services and supplies,” including maintenance of facilities. “Capital Funding” is shown as a negative figure.
Management over-compensation and deferred maintenance of facilities have led CARD to their current situation. If you receive a call from EMC, tell them you are not willing to further fund this agency.