What’s the use of sunshine if nobody’s paying attention?

17 Feb

I was glad to see Chris Constantin and his wife Angelique at our CTA meeting Sunday, they came early and helped Maureen Kirk and I set up chairs for Maureen’s presentation. 

I had finally asked Chris, why is there such a need to waive the “sunshine” period for the cop contracts. He put it simply – because as soon as these contracts are  approved the city will start saving money. Chris assured me that this new contract cuts the cops’ pay and benefits by 12 percent. He said, very emphatically, that he doesn’t want to see the old contracts go for even another two weeks. 

And, I have to agree, the public has not exactly broken down the door to City Hall to comment on these contracts. Maybe I’m unaware – there’s been a blizzard of e-mails? At any rate, if you want to bitch about the contracts, you have tomorrow night, knock yourselves out.

What’s the use of sunshine if nobody’s paying attention? I’m willing to go with Constantin at his word, I hate math.

13 Responses to “What’s the use of sunshine if nobody’s paying attention?”

  1. Alan Petersen February 17, 2014 at 6:16 pm #

    I really like your posts. These issues need to be simpler and understandable. How did we end up here? Thank you for taking the time to care.


  2. Michael Jones February 17, 2014 at 8:49 pm #

    Chris Constantin seems to be discussing a different question. I think he may have been saying that we save 12% on pensions for current officers. Because we have been paying their 9%, and now they will pay it. And we have been paying for pension benefits on the money we’ve used to pay the 9%, and pension premiums are about 1/3 as much as wages, so that would be another 3%. Equals 12% reduction in pension costs for existing officers.

    But the question I asked was what was the percent reduction in costs per Police Dept employee for the term of the contract (2014). I come up with a number of 6%. See ChicoPolitics.com.

    Also I notice that the E-R doesn’t seem to be capable of giving the public the useful number of: how much does the average police department employee receive in 2013 in wages and benefits? (about $145,000) And how much will they receive in 2014 in wages in benefits (about $136,000). These numbers seem to be correct plus or minus 5%?

    BTW the Taxpayers meeting on Sunday was excellent. Maureen shocked us with her depth of preparation and mastery of detail. I thought Bob Evans did a fine job a couple weeks ago, and Maureen would be toast. But its going to be a real battle. Fun!

    • Juanita Sumner February 18, 2014 at 6:17 am #

      Thanks for your take on this, I am still confused. I am operating on the skinny notion that this will result in some immediate savings, and the hope that CalPERS will collapse soon.

      Yeah, I thought Maureen did fine, she has this “Mom” confidence, she don’t back down! She reminds me of a woman I encountered in a public restroom with her toddler recently – it was a wrestling match, but she got that kid on that pot. Maureen ain’t afraid to get her hair messed up. And here’s what I like about Maureen the most – she listens, she’s an incredible listener. If she doesn’t understand where you’re coming from, she say so, and stand there while you explain.

      Thanks for all your support for this speaker series, you and Kelly ask good questions. I’m disappointed that more people aren’t taking advantage of this opportunity. I am getting old and bitter, and I’m starting to believe Democracy is a rainbow.

      But, I’ll also say, one day my family went out after a dumper of a storm – we were headed Downtown to see 14 year old Wayne Houchin at the Blue Room. We encountered the bottom of a rainbow in the parking lot next to the News & Review, we touched it, it made colors on our skin. It was there for the better part of a half hour, then we went inside, watched a very talented young performer, and it was gone when we came out. I felt the same way after we defeated Measure J, the power of the people seemed so real for a few weeks after that, it gave me a little boost. Maybe something good will come out of this next election.

      • Michael Jones February 18, 2014 at 6:31 am #

        Yes, democracy can get old and stale, and then the people choose change and all it new for a while. The Cycle of Life. This would get Maureen in trouble if she were still a Councilor: she said some homeless made a choice to be so, and some homeless are bad people. She said some people come to public meetings just to hang out ‘cuase they don’t have a life, and get up before the leaders and don’t have anything to say…for some reason Karen Laslo came to mind when Maureen said that. Last month she got up to talk about trees I think, and when she finished her thought she saw that there was still one minute available so she just babbled without any coherence until Mayor Gruendl told her to sit down since she had managed to use up the maximum 3 minutes. WE of course do know what we are talking about, and OUR input is meaningful. So they better listen!

      • Juanita Sumner February 18, 2014 at 6:41 am #

        Yeah, the Cycle of Life, I have to remember the Dead Head mantra – what goes around, comes around.

        Karen Laslo and her friends are fascists. If they don’t agree with you, you have to shut up. Laslo was one of the stars of the Gang Jump Juanita and Family at the city chambers years ago, when Gruendl and friends tried to install Michael Stauffer in Jarvis’ seat. Another case where I might have filed charges, but who wants to sit in court over that nut job?

        That was an instance where Maureen and I did not agree, but she wasn’t part of the mob out front. Gruendl was there, tried to pretend he didn’t see any of it.

        They don’t mess with me anymore, cause they’re afraid I might go off the deep end too!

        Melissa Daughterty waxes on about missing Dan Nguyen-Tan – he, along with Gruendl, ran Laslo’s little mob of true believers, and was personally responsible for a lot of our current problems, a sneaky, behind closed doors dealing little creep was what he was. Daughterty is an idiot – and there’s something about the editorship of that rag of hers that casts an unbelievable power trip over a person.

        Well, I just had a glass of piss and vinegar – you better have a glass of sunshine and dewdrops before you go to work Michael! We used to see Michele Borg, before she got so expensive, and she used to say, “I can’t afford to be crabby when I work with children all morning!”

      • Michael Jones February 18, 2014 at 8:23 am #

        I think I was Dan’s biggest campaign contributor, I was thinking like Melissa “he’s young, he’s new, he’s nice” but I don’t think he did all that well for a graduate of the Kennedy School of Gov’t at Harvard. Something about taunting Fogerty and losing a lawsuit. Laslo was the enforcer, she threatened us and I thought she was joking. But the Councilmembers acuatlly did what she had threatened. So she had real power. Kelly said “her?” I said yes, you wouldn’t think so. Laslo is a nasty piece of work

      • Juanita Sumner February 18, 2014 at 10:13 am #

        I hear you, Oh Brother! Me too. That’s what we get for leaving our minds open – flies get in!

        But I will not shut the door completely, maybe just get a better screen door…

      • Bob February 19, 2014 at 12:14 pm #

        “Yeah, I thought Maureen did fine, she has this “Mom” confidence, she don’t back down! She reminds me of a woman I encountered in a public restroom with her toddler recently – it was a wrestling match, but she got that kid on that pot. Maureen ain’t afraid to get her hair messed up. ”

        Hah, I guess Maureen will get us all on the pot. I saw her once in Winco and it suprised me that she would shop there with us little people. But I only saw here there once so maybe it was a one off thing.

  3. Bob February 19, 2014 at 12:15 pm #

    I gotta admit I have gained some respect for Randal Stone. He said no to the firefighters and he was the only one. I think most members of the council understand the city is not going to be able to afford what they passed last night but they don’t have the guts to say no like Stone.

    • Juanita Sumner February 20, 2014 at 7:01 am #

      Actually, in my experience with Maureen, that’s what I get – she does her own dishes. Maybe I’m wrong, but you can appeal to her as a regular person, she’s actually changed her mind in front of me when confronted with a good argument.

      “I want to shit my pants!” is not a good argument.

      Yes, I’ve gained some sort of respect for Stone, although I don’t always agree with him. I’m with him on this grant – in past, I’ve heard the same ones who approved it the other night say that grants run out, then what? How will they tell these 15 new firefighters, “oops, grant ran out, you are now unemployed, and that $650,000 house you just bought is going to have to go to short sale...”

      • bob February 20, 2014 at 10:40 pm #

        “…say that grants run out, then what? ”

        By then Lando will have fanagled another tax increase. I can just see his campaign slogn, “Vote for the tax increase or I’ll burn your house down and there will be no fire fighters to put out the smoldering ruins.”

        As time goes on that Sorensen does more and more to make me sore at him. Hey, that kinda rhymes….maybe a new campaign slogan is brewing…

        Anyhoo, I was disappointed with his vote on this. Ever since he got that gummit job at Biggs he’s turning into a spendaholic tax eater.

      • Juanita Sumner February 21, 2014 at 6:08 am #

        That’s funny you should mention Lando – I was just talking about him with a city worker the other day. The city guy said Lando is responsible for most if not all of our problems. Greg Jones’ name came up too – how soon we forget!

        God Bob, you got such a way with words – “spendaholic tax eater” – that is beautiful! Other friends of mine have said they never saw anybody go from private citizen to public trough dweller so fast as Sorensen. Fiscal conservative? Hah!

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