Let’s make Scott Gruendl squeal like a pig

1 Dec

I love living in Northern California and these winter storms are part and parcel. I keep my house maintained and I try to watch the storm drains up and down my street because you can’t depend on the city to do anything until there’s a problem. All along the Manzanita corridor intersections have suffered severe flooding because the city isn’t cleaning the storm drains.  They make a lot of noise about leaf pick-up, allowing landscapers to dump tons of leaves in the street every year, but all it takes is a handful of leaves to plug a storm drain, and that’s what I’ve been seeing around town. 

The city has also allowed an enormous amount of development around town, especially along Big and Little Chico Creeks, without providing any kind of flood mitigation. That’s why you’re all getting notices right now. 

Meanwhile, they are blaming the defeat of Measure J for all their problems and getting ready to mount a campaign to raise your sales tax, starring Ann Schwab and  Scott Gruendl, and produced by Tom Lando and his fist-puppet Brian Nakamura.

Schwab and Gruendl are currently undertaking a scare campaign, with the help of the local media, to convince Chico voters that if they don’t pay more taxes, anarchy will reign in the streets of Chico and we’ll all be home-invasioned and carjacked. Ken Campbell says we complain too much. 

They’re also cutting street maintenance, and watch for the park to start looking pretty bad too. Those bread bags hanging out of those dog doo dispensers are looking like weird trash cans. Wait til we see old crappy bread bags laid alongside trails full of poop, that’s going to look good. 

You probably watched Kojak as a child, if you’re reading my blog. You know what a “protection racket” is, don’t you? 

Nakamura, like a broken record, keeps repeating the same words over and over: “To give you some perspective, $900,000 means seven to eight police officers or potentially two-thirds of an
operation of a fire station…”  
That fucker is threatening us. 

Maybe I need to put this in perspective: at the same meeting referenced  below, Jennifer Hennessy told us, we spend over $7 million a year paying  our employee’s pension premiums. She didn’t have the figure on health benefits.  

Yes, that’s just the “share”. The city only contributes 18 percent of the actual costs of these pensions, including the employee and employer shares.  The rest of the cost is what they called, “the unfunded pension obligation.” 

I’ll save you rereading those epic blogs I wrote about the Pension Bomb – the California Public Employees Retirement System – CalPERS – expected to fund 82 percent of these pensions by loading them into a little cart and sending them off to the stock market with Mr. Toad. Mr. Toad fell out before the got the cart off the runway, and every time the cart comes back around it’s full of nothing but I.O.U.’s – or rather – “we owe them’s”. CalPERS has lost 10’s of millions on the stock market, they’ve never made the returns they’ve promised, and now Governor Moonbeam is starting to talk about making the cities and counties pay their own pension obligations. 

Here’s a little slice of what that’s going to look like – these are just the top management pensions, current as of 2010. Yes, all these people are RETIRED. They do NOTHING but still get this money. 70 – 90 percent of their highest years earnings. The “warrant” amount means, their monthly check.  Right now, they are being paid out of RDA funds and off the premiums of lower level workers who pay more, but soon Jerry Brown will turn on us for this money. And guess what – we don’t have it! 

Name Employer Warrant Amount Annual
ALEXANDER, THOMAS E CHICO $8,947.23 $107,366.76
BAPTISTE, ANTOINE G CHICO $10,409.65 $124,915.80
BEARDSLEY, DENNIS D CHICO $8,510.23 $102,122.76
BROWN, JOHN S CHICO $17,210.38 $206,524.56
CARRILLO, JOHN A CHICO $10,398.98 $124,787.76
DAVIS, FRED CHICO $12,467.78 $149,613.36
DUNLAP, PATRICIA CHICO $10,632.10 $127,585.20
FELL, JOHN G CHICO $9,209.35 $110,512.20
FRANK, DAVID R CHICO $14,830.05 $177,960.60
GARRISON, FRANK W CHICO $8,933.56 $107,202.72
JACK, JAMES F CHICO $9,095.09 $109,141.08
KOCH, ROBERT E CHICO $9,983.23 $119,798.76
LANDO, THOMAS J CHICO $11,236.48 $134,837.76
MCENESPY, BARBARA L CHICO $12,573.40 $150,880.80
PIERCE, CYNTHIA CHICO $9,390.30 $112,683.60
ROSS, EARNEST C CHICO $9,496.60 $113,959.20
SCHOLAR, GARY P CHICO $8,755.69 $105,068.28
SELLERS, CLIFFORD R CHICO $9,511.11 $114,133.32
VONDERHAAR, JOHN F CHICO $8,488.07 $101,856.84
VORIS, TIMOTHY M CHICO $8,433.90 $101,206.80
WEBER, MICHAEL C CHICO $11,321.93 $135,863.16

This is what Gruendl doesn’t want to talk about.

Scott Gruendl is a sneaky little creep. The discussion in the meeting lasted less than five minutes, but after everybody was gone he sidled up to reporter Ashley Gebb and continued his threatening diatribe against the public. “After the meeting, Councilor Scott Gruendl said he was disappointed and a bit confused by the measure’s failure.  ‘The voters have sent a conflicting message,’  he said.  Citizens reportedly say they are concerned about
public safety and want more officers on the streets, yet they knew this revenue was tied to preventing cuts, he said.”

Gruendl has a selective hearing problem –  he is deaf to our concerns about salaries, benefits and pensions. 

When I questioned Jennifer Hennessy about the  shares, she told me what an employee pays toward their perks depends on what “unit” they’re in and what kind of “package” they choose. Most pay less than 5 percent toward their health package and NOTHING toward their pensions.  She also acknowledged that all our city councilors receive benefits packages paid by the taxpayers, for which they pay an amount equal to two percent of their city salaries.  For example, Gruendl receives a $16,935 health benefits package, for which he pays 2 percent of his $7,800 council salary – about $150 a year.  That in addition to his salary and benefits out of Glenn County, two other salaries from Chico State, and his partner’s salary. According to his Form 700, Gruendl takes over $140,000 in public money, not including benefits packages. I’m assuming his partner, who takes “between $10,001 – $100,000” as a supervisor at a local rest home, also gets a benefits package. 

This guy never ceases to amaze me. Ever hear a pig scream when you are late with that bucket? Well, there’s Gruendl for you. 

Here’s the article from the ER below.

More cuts to Chico police on the way?
By ASHLEY GEBB — Staff Writer
Posted: 11/29/2012 01:46:41 PM PST
CHICO — Chico voters’ defeat of a proposed change to the city’s telephone users tax almost inevitably will cause
cuts to public safety, members of the finance committee said this week.
Measure J asked voters whether to amend wording to the city’s phone tax to encompass modern technology such
as cellphones while decreasing the tax rate from 5 percent to 4.5 percent. The measure was voted down Nov. 6,
gaining only 46 percent of the vote.
The telephone users tax, like other utility taxes the city collects, supports the general fund. The city receives about
$1.4 million annually in phone tax revenue, of which $900,000 to $1 million comes from wireless
telecommunications providers and likely now will disappear.
Discussion of the impact was brief at Tuesday’s meeting but City Manager Brian Nakamura said the revenue loss
will be a significant hit to the general fund, which primarily supports public safety.
“To give you some perspective, $900,000 means seven to eight police officers or potentially two-thirds of an
operation of a fire station,” he said.
Cuts to public

safety have a trickle-down effect, he said.
“Public safety, that’s what drives economic development, with businesses wanting to locate here and residents
wanting to locate here,” he said.
Revenue loss is expected to start this year, said City Attorney Lori Barker, who plans to bring the topic to the City
Council in December for discussion.
The issue will be determining the loss’ size and
where to adjust the budget, Barker said. The city will
also need to address how it will deal with any
refund requests and notifying phone providers.
Until specific legalities are ironed out, Finance
Director Jennifer Hennessy said the Finance
Department will hold any revenue from phone
companies in an account.
After the meeting, Councilor Scott Gruendl said he
was disappointed and a bit confused by the
measure’s failure.
“The voters have sent a conflicting message,” he
Citizens reportedly say they are concerned about
public safety and want more officers on the streets,
yet they knew this revenue was tied to preventing
cuts, he said.
“People are going to blame us for taking cops off
the streets,” he said. “I’m OK with being blamed
because I’m an elected official, but I voted yes on Measure J.”
Proponents of Measure J said its passage was critical to protect tax revenue, while opponents argued it was a
regressive tax that unfairly targeted students and economically disadvantaged.
Options to address the revenue loss through negotiations will be limited, Gruendl said.

“Part of where my disappointment is, is the unions who are affected by Measure J did absolutely nothing,” Gruendl
This revenue loss is not the only fiscal challenge the city faces, Nakamura said. Several other issues coming
forward will have to be addressed, and he anticipates a significant budget discussion will take place in January.

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