Tell them you won’t pay for their greed and incompetence

3 Feb

I’m looking forward to seeing like-minded people at the library this weekend – that’s Sunday Feb. 5th at 11:30 am, Chico public library at the corner of First and Sherman Avenues.   I’ll have a sheet of contact information and hopefully we can come up with some ideas that will wither this tax on the vine.

But don’t wait to make those contacts, write early and write often.

Ex-city manager and tax increase proponent Tom Lando said to me in a recent e-mail, “I believe that the funds could truly help our community.”

According to Enterprise Record reporter Katy Sweeny, “Lando and (Jim) Stevens of Northstar Engineering have met with dozens of people in the community. They have talked about using the money for 15 additional police officers, a police station, a fire station, filling potholes, aiding the Chico library, Bidwell Mansion, the Veterans Hall, high school sports, theater arts and industrial arts, an aquatic center, a baseball  or football stadium with meeting facilities, local non-profits, Bidwell Park maintenance, and maintenance for some of the facilities.”

I’m sorry, but this wish list does not seem to have the slightest foundation in reality. It’s just a bunch of promises to get what they want. Lando has said he hopes this tax increase will raise $12 million a year. The police station alone was projected at about $40 million, but that was 10 years ago. Now they say it will run closer to $65 million, and that figure’s already got dust on it.

“A” fire station? You mean, one? Where? After the building binge this city permitted, you’d think we needed a few new stations, but given the price tag on the new cop shop I’m afraid to ask what a fancy new station house like the spectacle on Manzanita is going to cost. This town can’t build something practical, within it’s means – they have to go Taj Majal on everything.

These are the kind of projects that put us in trouble. When $taff  decided to pay off  the bonds for the old “new” parking lot on Second Street so they could pursue new money for the upcoming remodel, they bottomed out the entire Downtown traffic fund, every last frigging penny. They’re paying for the Downtown remodel with some grants and with RDA money they were able to squeeze out before that little gravy train ran off the tracks. Oh yeah, don’t forget – YOU PAY $3 FOR EVERY $RDA YOU GET.

Did you know, we’re still paying for the “new” city hall? As well as the remodel of the perfectly good “old” building that had been deserted in favor of the “new” building. You will pay for that city hall building for the rest of your natural life. Your grandkids will pay for it. How often do you find yourself in that big fancy building with all the huge  windows and artwork? Everything all swishy and new, the HVAC running 40 hours a week, damn the financial torpedoes!

Well, guess what, there’s 76 less employees in that building lately, and counting down. They’ve just let go or early retired 76 employees, including cop positions they have left empty, and Lando is telling us he will hire 15 new cops and provide them with a spiffy new building. It just doesn’t make sense.

Lando is certainly aware how expensive a cop is – salary starting around $50,000 and ranging up to $120,000, plus benefits and retirement. Overtime is written into the contracts so many cops double their agreed-upon salary and use this overtime to spike their  retirement. See,  cops retire at 90 percent their biggest year of salary they made over the last few years before retirement, so the older ones just start spiking their ass off.

And, Jennifer Hennessey says, the cops collect too much workman’s comp, putting us over budget on that fund year after year after year.

This brings us to the point: why is our city in trouble? Well, I’ll tell you what, it ain’t because you and me are not paying enough taxes.

We’ve got over 100 employees making regular salaries over $100,000 a year. We pay their benefits and their pensions.  Where does this leave us?

I have the worst suspicions, this tax increase money will not go to some Pollyanna scheme to save the library or high school sports.

Please write those e-mails now, let them know, save Lando some time, trouble and money.  We will not be taxed more to save them from their own greed and incompetence.

One Response to “Tell them you won’t pay for their greed and incompetence”

  1. HVAC Repair February 15, 2012 at 1:32 pm #

    This post was so helpful. Thanks!

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.

%d bloggers like this: