Sleep with your hand on your wallet/purse strap

25 May

I would certainly like to think we just landed a house on a witch, but I got another think coming.

“Self-imposed Chico tax supporters take a break”

Well, I’ll tell you right away, I got a problem with that headline. Lando and friends were not imposing a tax just on themselves, they were imposing a tax on all the rest of us as well. What’s with the ER, always trying to make this thing look so magnificent – those magnificent tax paying bastards!  They’re so community spirited!  Anybody who doesn’t want to pay this tax is just, well, NOT community spirited! Damn us!

Now, please note, Lando, who sent this article to Urseny as a press release – that’s some news reporting!  – Mr. Lando uses the word “hiatus”. That means, he isn’t quitting, he’s just taking a “break, or a pause, in a sequence, series or process…”

“We think it’s best to wait for another round of elections,” he says. Well, duh!

He can’t float this turd in the same pond in which his colleague Bob Evans must make his swim for re-election. I am afraid Evans might support this tax if he thought he could get away with it. Mr. Evans told me early on that he would not agendize a discussion of this tax because there was, as far as he saw it, nothing to discuss. He said he hadn’t seen any proposal and therefore didn’t want to talk about it. But come to find out, he’s been meeting with Lando over at the Chamber of Commerce, where both are longtime members, and the topic on the agenda has been the sales tax increase. So, Evans has heard something, and I’m afraid he’s not being completely honest about what he knows or what he intends.

I certainly don’t trust Ann Schwab. She’ll play it safe for now, sure. She’s already busted a bottle of bubbly on that leaky phone tax vessel – a sales tax increase would sink her battleship, and she knows it. When I asked her if she’d put this stinker on the ballot, she referred to Lando’s early proposal for a ballpark, and indicated she wouldn’t support a sales tax “for a ballpark,” that’s all she’d say. She wouldn’t say, “I won’t support a sales tax increase,” she qualified herself – she won’t support a ball park.  She just wants to distance herself from this thing until she can get her butt back in that chair, and then you’re going to see the biggest turn-around since George H. W. Bush told you to read his lips.

I fear either of these two would support a special election for November 2013, when they could put this sales tax increase measure on the ballot with a 5-2 majority, without any immediate retribution from the voters. Ah, how the voters forget!

Well, I’m a vindictive bitch, I never forget.  What I’d like to hear from Evans before I can support him in November is that he will not vote to put a sales tax increase on the ballot without the required number of signatures on a legal petition.

I’d want a petition because I want to know that a sufficient number of voters support an election. As we were told when we presented the legally required signatures for Measure A, a special election is expensive, and there’s absolutely no basis at this time on which to justify that kind of expenditure – I remember hearing estimates as high as $120,000.  They made the Measure A proponents spend over $50,000 gathering signatures, I will feel completely had if they do not require signatures of Lando and his friends.
This issue is not going away, in fact, I don’t think they will even slow down. They have a lot of money to raise to run their campaign, and lots of lies to spread to try to get it passed. We have to keep our ear to the ground, and be ready to pick up after the phone tax fight and go at it again.
Here in Chico, you must sleep with your hand on your wallet/purse strap.

16 Responses to “Sleep with your hand on your wallet/purse strap”

  1. Rick Clements May 25, 2012 at 6:18 am #

    It all boils down to this. Take the Progressive Liberal majority away from the Council and there won’t be any special election for Tom. Winning just two seats will do it and that’s what the “common sense” candidates will do! No matter how many students the Progressive Liberals con, especially with Jessica Allen’s bullshit, they will be defeated and we will get our town back from the throws of Bob and Jane and the Chico News & Review’s constant lying to the public and the students.

    • Juanita Sumner May 25, 2012 at 6:43 am #

      I wish I had your confidence that it is so simple. I won’t support any council candidate who won’t say, point blank, they’ll require a petition for this sales tax increase measure. Right now, given the field of candidates, I don’t know who to vote for. Toby Schindelbeck is the only one who has made any such comments in opposition of this sales tax. This may be the first council election in which I only fill in one bubble.

      I don’t think it’s unreasonable to ask for a petition – look how they treated Measure A, as if Democracy is some kind of luxury affordable only to the rich.

      • Toby Schindelbeck May 25, 2012 at 8:25 am #

        Juanita, I oppose every tax increase proposed, whether it is a sales tax increase, utility tax increase, or even the deficit spending that the TRIP program would force us to do, while pledging our gas tax revenue to repay it. As the old truism goes, “If you want less of something, tax it.”

        There is SO much bureaucratic waste that needs to be cut, and there are also very simple ways to increase revenue without increasing taxes. “Supporting small businesses” is a phrase used by our local yokels, but they use it as a platitude to make us think they care about us. The reality is that there are many things the city could be doing (or even better, NOT doing), to help small businesses increase revenue, decrease expenses, and subsequently hire more employees while raising more sales tax revenue for the city.

        For one, Code Enforcement could stop harrassing us about our signage, and realize that the sales tax we collect pays their salary.
        Also, the ARB could be composed of actual business owners and sign professionals, not interior designers who have time on their hands and useless opinions about how smaller signs downtown would enhance the “asthetic appeal” of Chico.

        I will end my rant there, but rest assured I do not and would not support any type of tax increase.

      • Juanita Sumner May 25, 2012 at 10:22 am #

        Thanks Toby, I think people are glad to hear that. I think you are running a great campaign, I really appreciate the time you are putting into going to meetings and analyzing the issues, and then getting the word out to the public what you have seen and heard.

        And thanks for the loan of a pen at the Finance Committee meeting the other day. I had gone to that meeting without a pen, and I was going to try to make it through without making notes, but when Walker started saying stuff like “well, I guess if people are just busting to get in, you can charge more!” – I had to write that down! I will have to blog that sometime soon.

  2. Joesph May 25, 2012 at 8:33 am #

    Ah, the good old ER. You’re right, Juanita, that was nothing but a press release for Lando or should that be Saint Lando? The ER makes him sound so selfless.

    Of course there’s no mention of how we don’t need a tax increase. If the idiots on the city council and the local bureaucrats hadn’t squandered tens of millions of dollars in lawsuits and the bloated benefits and salaries and got rid of bureaucracies like STF there would be plenty of money.

    And no mention from the ER that Lando receives a six figure pension, full health bennies, has received a 6 figure contract from the city while he retired and is now going to go to work for the city of Biggs while receiving his 6 figure pension.

    NO, the ER doesn’t mention any of that in this fluff piece. The ER is pure garbage. I will never buy their paper. Not even a single copy off the rack.

    I wish Tommy Boy would have gone through with it. And I wish his partners in crime on the city council would have put it on the ballot.

    Phone tax increase, sales tax increase, new tax on alcohol sales, and of course continually raising the sewer tax. Then outlaw grocery bags and maybe the voters will finaly revolt against these bullies and criminals on the city council!

    Tommy Boy knew he’d have no chance of getting a two-thirds majority. He knows he’s got a lot more propaganda to spew and he needds to enlist more crooks and make more shady deals before he can have his way. It ain’t gonna be as easy as Tommy Boy thought. Sometimes you’ve got to work hard when your a government thief.

    Look for him to try to use the local chamber of commerce as a tool for raising taxes.

  3. Joseph May 25, 2012 at 10:03 am #

    Toby:

    What is your stance on the STF?

    If elected to the city council will you make criminals out of retailers who give their customers plastic or paper bags for their purchases?

    Joseph

    • Toby Schindelbeck May 25, 2012 at 11:01 am #

      Joseph,

      I assume the acronym STF is for the Sustainability Task Force. I am opposed to the STF on principle.

      I actually am one of those retailers that currently uses plastic bags for my customers. I pay $50 for 1,000 of them. If I had to use paper, I would have to spend .20-.50 each bag, and there is no way a paper bag could hold a 5lb jug of protein. And re-usable bags are great, but made in China and expensive. I always forget mine when I go to the store.

      So to answer your question, no I would not.

      • Joseph May 25, 2012 at 11:16 am #

        Yes, the “Sustainablility” Task Force. This is a new bureaucracy created by Schwabbie. It is costing the city a small fortune in city staff costs, not to mention the new laws it comes up with.

        My understanding of the way these bag bans work is that plastic grocery bags are outlawed and paper grocery bags are taxed, typically at 10 to 25 cents a bag. If the local overlords think paper bag use is too high after the tax then paper bags are outlawed also. My understanding is that LA is in the process of outlawing plastic bags.

        There are health concerns regarding re-usable grocery bags:

        Here is the conclusion from the Journal of Food Protection’s study “Assessment of the Potential for Cross-contamination of Food Products by Reusable Shopping Bags”:

        “The researchers collected reusable shopping bags from shoppers entering grocery stores in Arizona and California, and they found that A) “reusable bags are seldom if ever washed and often used for multiple purposes” and B) “Large numbers of bacteria were found in almost all bags.”

        http://www.foodprotection.org/publications/food-protection-trends/article-archive/2011-08assessment-of-the-potential-for-cross-contamination-of-food-products-by-reusable-shopping-bag/

      • Joseph May 25, 2012 at 11:19 am #

        Here’s an example of the potential problems with re-usable bags. BTW the Norovirus causes about 21 million illnesses, 70,000 hospitalizations and 800 deaths a year in the United States. And this is just one of many viruses , not to mention bacteria and fungus.

        http://www.foxnews.com/health/2012/05/10/oregon-norovirus-traced-to-reusable-grocery-bag/#ixzz1uXL2HChA

      • Joseph May 25, 2012 at 11:26 am #

        Toby:

        Below is a lawyer who is trying to stop these bag bans. He has successfully sued cities to prevent them from implementing them.

        Maybe loal retailers might want to get in touch with him.

        Anyway, thanks for answering my questions.

        http://savetheplasticbag.com/
        Stephen L. Joseph, Counsel
        SAVE THE PLASTIC BAG COALITION
        Phone: (415) 577-6660

  4. Joseph May 25, 2012 at 11:38 am #

    Speaking of bag bans here’s a great letter. This letter cuts to the heart of what STF is all about.

    Click to access Ukiah%20letter.pdf

    Juanita, do you have a sister named Nelly?

    • Juanita Sumner May 26, 2012 at 6:18 am #

      Thanks for reminding us about the bag ban Joseph – I lost track of it, but I think it will be squirming it’s way forward soon. The whole issue is so annoying – it’s just not worthy of the $150,000 a year we pay to keep the $taffer who facilitates these discussions.

      When I complained about this last meeting being cancelled due to lack of quorum an hour and 15 minutes before the start of the meeting, another STF watcher told me the $taffer did not even notify anybody that the last meeting was cancelled – several folks showed up and were left sitting in the room, waiting.

      So, I think we need to make a point of this in the upcoming election – Ann Schwab expects us to vote an increased tax on our phones to pay for these useless committee meetings. People have got to wake up.

      • Joseph May 27, 2012 at 11:12 am #

        With the ER publising stuff like this I guess we are getting pretty close to the council outlawing plastic bags

        http://www.chicoer.com/fromthenewspaper/ci_20722302/biblio-file-solution-garbage-problem-is-bag

      • Juanita Sumner May 29, 2012 at 5:37 am #

        Wow, I didn’t know Dan Barnett was still alive.

        I can talk here. I don’t know about Dan Barnett, but I’ve been using re-usable cloth shopping sacks for over 20 years. It’s not always “the solution” – I don’t like putting raw meat in them, that’s for sure.

        And storage – they take up an entire drawer in my kitchen, and I still don’t have enough to bag all my stuff when I go on one of those weekly benders. And, no, I don’t store them in my car, where I transport my dogs and my kid’s hockey gear – eeeeeuuuuuu! So, I have to remember to get them when I go out, and then I have to remember to take them from the car to the store, and if there’s a bagger, I have to remember to hand them to him. I know, that sounds silly, but it’s the real world Baby.

        I can say it here – the Chico Bag is a piece of shit. Try filling one, fast. They’re “static-y”, they stick to themselves. I get my rings caught on them, they stick to my dish pan hands. I tossed mine, it sucked. They’re so flimsy, they look crappy very quickly. When the grocery bagger looks at my bags with a look of disgust, they go in the trash. My Chico Bag looked crappy within a couple of months, compared to cloth sacks I’ve used for, wow, 15, 20 years. Some of my cloth sacks will actually stand up.

        but no, cloth sacks are not “the” solution. At a local discount store, they have bag racks for the checker, so he/she can fill the sacks more conveniently while checking. This saves the expense of a separate worker just to bag your groceries. This is one of the things that saves the customer money. But these racks are not made for cloth sacks, and it’s always a big hassle for everybody. So, I quit taking my cloth sacks to that store. Besides, their “single use” plastic bags are real handy to have – I’m picking cherries right now, they’re a must-have. And we got a dead gopher in our garden the other day – instant plastic shroud!

        No, I don’t like seeing plastic bags festooning trees along the freeway, but I get out there, and it’s not that big a problem, except for right around the dump. The Neal Road dump is behind this effort. They are under the gun to reduce the flying trash directly around the dump, so they come out with this trendy bag ban. Words mean more than deeds in our society today, proclamations are more important than actions. Instead of doing something about securing the piles of SHIT out at the dump, the folks at Neal Road dump, regular members of the Sustainability Task Force, want this bag ban. It makes it look like they’re doing something about their mess, when they’re not.

        By the way, the bag ban was kicked over to the Internal Affairs committee. This displeased Ann – she wanted it to be kicked back to the Sustainability Task Force, you know, keep old $85,000 a year Linda Herman busy! But the council gave to the IA, which has yet to agendize the matter. Hmmmm. Next regular meeting is scheduled for June 12 at 8am. The coffee’s not bad, maybe you will pop in? I’ll keep you posted.

  5. Sue Hubbard May 25, 2012 at 1:00 pm #

    Juanita,
    Sean has actually signed a pledge that says he will not support any tax increase. Also, the reason he has not been to many City Councio meetings is that he taught classes on Tuesday evenings. He was at the last City Council meeting and will be able to attend more this summer.

    • Juanita Sumner May 29, 2012 at 5:42 am #

      Please tell him to keep an eye on the IA agendas, the next meeting is June 12, and they are supposed to be taking up the bag ban.

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