Randall Stone invited to June 2 CTA meeting to discuss city’s fiscal issues

19 May

Chico Taxpayers Association is planning our next meeting for June 2, and we have asked city councilor Randall Stone to come on down and try to answer some of our questions regarding the city’s current financial fiasco. 

No, Mr. Stone and I are not exactly chum buddies, this is strictly business. I know, we’ve gone pretty WWE in past, but we both promise to stick to the issues for this little Q&A. 

I hope people will have some good questions ready, I don’t want to waste this man’s time. If he enjoys himself, maybe we can get him to come back again, and maybe we can get others to come in to speak on these issues. We need to get a conversation going, we need some give and take between the elected and the electorate. City council meetings are a joke. We get three minutes, if the mayor’s of a mind to give it to us, and then councilors get to babble on forever, making personal attacks on speakers and spreading their bullshit unfettered. This meeting is going to be a conversation.   I’m hoping that Mr. Stone will take away at least as much as he brings to the table. 

This Tuesday night, council will be approving the management contracts. Management will be getting an extension of the same sweet deal that’s brought the city to bankruptcy. No, they haven’t used the “b” word yet, because three of them are up for re-election in less than two years. But, it’s hovering, like food poisoning at a potluck party.

No matter how bad they say it is Downtown, management won’t pay their own share. They will continue to pay less than half their “employee share,” 4 of their 9 percent. While we continue to pay the other 5 percent, in addition to our 15  percent. Next year our share goes up to about 22 percent – CalPERS is screaming like a junkie – we tried to make them go into rehab, but they said no-no-no!

Why should they? Their daddies on council think they’re just fine! 

Don’t worry if that doesn’t make sense to you – it probably wouldn’t make sense to you to go out into your yard and eat a pile of dog crap either.  

One question I’d like to ask Councilor Stone is why council goes on paying the “EPMC” – employer paid member contribution – the “employee’s share.” I have not been able to get a straight answer on that one from anybody. At the first CARD meeting I attended, I asked CARD board president Ed Seagle why CARD employees pay NOTHING toward their pensions – CARD (we) PAYS ALL OF IT! I asked Seagle WHY, and he gave me that line about “attracting quality employees.”  That’s it, that’s all they’ve got.

Of course, Seagle, like so many of our local elected officials, is a trough dweller himself, having held positions in the state trough, all the way to Fresno, for his entire career. Right now he’s holding down a spot at Chico State – aren’t you glad your kids are being educated by these people? What Seagle could best teach our kids, is how to get their hooks into that trough and surf it for life. Of course a guy like him is not going to shake the boat by demanding that his $112,000 a year manager pay his own pension share, that would be mutiny!

Same for our beloved council. Most of them are in the trough, including Mark Sorensen, the boy who’d like to be perceived as holding his finger in the dike.  I never saw anything like Sorensen’s sudden transformation from a private sector business owner to a public employee. He took the city manager position in Biggs, in addition not only to his duties on council but in addition to running his business where he earns “somewhere between $10,000 and $100,000 a year,” according to his Form 700. Wow, talk about a full plate, excuse me Mr. Piggie! Both those public positions come along with health care packages, and the Biggs position comes with a pension, paid mostly, I’m guessing, by the fine orchard dwellers in Biggs.

Sorensen has got some explaining to do after Tuesday night, as far as I’m concerned. I’ve invited him over to join our meeting, but you know, some people are thin-skinned to criticism. If you want anything out of Sorensen, you have to coddle him, and I don’t do coddling, or windows. 

If we don’t want our town to go on the trash heap with Stockton and Vallejo, we need to do a little finger pointing. We NEED to assign blame, I’m sick of letting people off to do it again. There’s an election in 2014, and we have a chance to change the course our city has been on for too long. Sorensen would like everybody to believe he’s on board, in fact, I believe he expects to be appointed Captain of the USS Shipwreck in a couple of years. But I’ll tell you what Mark – you’ve been signing the contracts all along. How do you explain that? 

The other question I’d like to ask Randall Stone is, will he support the sales tax increase measure being planned right now by Sorensen’s mentor, Tom Lando?  I’m afraid to ask Sorensen.

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4 Responses to “Randall Stone invited to June 2 CTA meeting to discuss city’s fiscal issues”

  1. Toby Schindelbeck May 19, 2013 at 5:49 pm #

    Remember to ask Stone why happened to his “hard line pension reform” stance that he campaigned on. In his effort to make the Sheeple see him as a “conservative”, he pounded pension reform hard at every debate and forum we had. He even went so far as to criticize Morgan for having “back yard bbqs” with the fire dept at the Chamber forum while he was on his pension reform rant. The guy is as slimy as they come. Id recommend digging up his answers to the Chamber forum questions. They should be on the Chamber site.

    -Toby Schindelbeck, Owner NUTRISHOP Coeur d’Alene http://www.NUTRISHOPcda.com *Sent from my iPhone

    • Tax Target May 20, 2013 at 9:40 am #

      Hey Toby, any chance you might move back to Chico or Paradise some day?

  2. Rick Clements May 19, 2013 at 6:00 pm #

    Count me out. I wouldn’t believe anything Randall Stone said…ever! All he’s good for and all he has done is voting lock step with the Liberals who spent away the taxpayer’s monies and then lied to the public while the town was going Bankrupt because of their stupid “We know what’s Best for You” projects, including he and his brother’s project which was built to do nothing more than create more Democratic household votes. Besides, Randall can’t answer the most all important question the public is entitled to which is “Who ordered Jennifer Hennessy to move monies from fund to fund to cover up the General Fund shortages for all those years?” That’s why her “no comment” was issued to the E/R by her when they finally asked her. She knows… and whoever wrote and signed her Letter of Recommendation” to the City of Temecula, they know too; and they were responsible for getting Jennifer out of here quickly so they won’t be identified.

  3. Juanita Sumner May 20, 2013 at 8:27 am #

    I don’t want to attack Stone, I want a comfortable, back and forth discussion with the public. I’d like to have more of these type of meetings, get some city officials, maybe members of the CARD board, to come in and have real conversations with the public.

    Lots of people are to blame here, including conservatives. The real problem, way back somewhere between 2003 and 2006, was the MOU that attached salaries to revenue increases “but not decreases“. I saw that MOU once, and it was about three sentences of plain language, anybody could see Trouble Ahead. But council signed that, approved it UNANIMOUSLY. And, don’t look in your rear view – there may have been a conservative majority on council when that was signed, I can’t say for sure. After I saw that MOU once online, it disappeared – they destroy documents after a year now. But Scott Gruendl should remember it, and maybe Ann Schwab. And of course, Tom Lando was city manager at that time – his salary went up over $100,000 in a few years under that revenue-triggered salary increase mechanism. They had 14, 19, 22 percent raises, during the construction boom. That ought to be criminal, and Tom Lando should be the one to answer for it, but nobody’s talking about that now.

    Once the public found out about that MOU, they got rid of it, but never asked staff to consent to salary decreases, that was never even mentioned. And again, behind closed doors, they substituted the “EPMC” for the salary increases – somewhere between 2006 and 2010, year by year, they raised the EPMC until we were paying almost the entire premium share for management, and the whole thing for “public safety workers.”

    Now Scott Gruendl says, since we’ve instituted this limp-dick provision that “new hires”, people not already in CalPERS, will pay 50 percent of their pension premium, we will have to pay them higher salaries. The bullshit is getting so deep around here, I can’t see!

    You guys have good questions – I would also like to hear Mark Sorensen’s and Scott Gruendl’s answers to same. But, we’re not going to attack Stone – we’re going to keep it really polite, ask nice, and listen to his answers, try to get yak going.

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