No, Debbie Presson is not going to post the 460’s – is she doing it on purpose? or just incompetent?

24 Oct

RE: CPOA 460 late, no reports available online

To: Chris Constantin, Mark Sorensen, Mark Orme,
Cc: juanita sumner
1 attachment (1484.4 KB)
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2014_Political Reform Act.pdf
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I would like to respond to Ms. Sumner’s latest email regarding a process that is regulated by the Fair Political Practices Commission (FPPC).   While I don’t expect Ms. Sumner to print my response nor include the documents that are attached (which have been OCR’d in order for the reader to copy and paste from the documents), I feel it is important to respond so that accurate information (with documentation) can be presented to the public instead of being provided with vitriol that is not meant to inform our citizenry but instead to disparage those individuals Ms. Sumner writes about.   I also recognize by trying to provide this information that I only open myself up to more of Ms. Sumner’s distasteful personal attacks on my character and a barrage of name calling. 


Regardless, I have listed below my responses to Ms. Sumner’s questions or statements.


Debbie Presson

City Clerk and Elections Official


———- Forwarded message ———-
From: juanita sumner
Date: Thu, Oct 23, 2014 at 7:41 AM
Subject: CPOA 460 late, no reports available online
To: “” <>, “” <>, “” <>
Cc: “” <>, “” <>




I’ve had several complaints from friends who’ve tried to view the campaign reports Downtown and say the CPOA is still late. The clerk has the authority to fine them $10 a day that they are late. Is she doing this?


·         This process is in place and is being reviewed with FPPC.  In addition, this office has been working with the CPOA in order to obtain compliance on the required filings.  However, fines have not been levied at this time.


When I tried to look at  the reports last spring, she didn’t have anything after 2012, for anybody. Now all she has are the initial filing papers, no 460’s.  The reports are supposed to be filed a couple of times a year, but she doesn’t post them or make them available.


·         Yes, all open committees are required to file semi-annual reports each year. When an individual is listed on a ballot, and when a committee is raising or spending money in connection with an election, three pre-election statements are also required.  And yes, the required statements are made available the same day to anyone interested in viewing them.


·         The City of Chico is in compliance with all the regulations pertaining to the accessibility of campaign disclosure statements by our citizens.


·         There is no regulation requiring the documents to be uploaded to the City’s website unless an agency has implemented mandatory electronic filings (Gov. Code § 84601(d))


Please note that the Council approved the funding for the NETFile program in the 2014/2015 Budget which will provide for online (electronic) submission of the FPPC filings required by the City of Chico.  Once implemented, this program will allow for the immediate uploading of all campaign disclosure documents when received during the reporting period.  I anticipate this program to be up and running by the first of the year for the Conflict of Interest Filings due in April 2015 and therefore in place for the 2016 election. 


·         Pursuant to the regulations regarding the duties of Filing Officers, it states that “all statements and reports filed (including the campaign log sheet) pursuant to the Political Reform Act are public documents and must be open for public inspection and reproduction during regular business hours.  Statements and reports must be made available as soon as practicable, but not later than the second business day following the day on which they are received.”


·         Please note that the City of Chico has been providing access to all FPPC statements the same day the forms are received.  A copy of each statement is filed in a binder kept at the front reception desk on the 3rd floor of the City Offices.  In the past, Ms. Sumner has availed herself of those copies so she clearly knows that she has access to the files.  In addition, when the City Clerk’s Office was fully staffed, staff resources were available to scan, redact, and upload all the campaign statements on the website within a few days after receiving the documents.  Unfortunately, due to the severe financial setback that this organization has faced, staffing has been reduced throughout the organization which subsequently has had an impact on services once provided as a courtesy. Despite the limited resources, it should be noted that with the help from the Information Systems Department, most of the forms in question were uploaded to the City’s website as of Wednesday.


And she keeps telling us if we want to see them we have to come down there – why aren’t they on the website?  “See the answer up above.” Does she expect all Chico voters to conga line in there to see the reports, or does she expect us to vote blind?


·         Citizens come in all the time to review these reports or to request copies.  As the Elections Official for the City of Chico, I want every citizen to have all the information available to make an informed decision when voting.  


I would ask that if providing the “truth” is the intent behind Ms. Sumner’s requests, emails, etc. in order to not vote blindly, then she should immediately post on her blog the correct information about the City of Chico write in candidates… which there are none!  She wrote that she was voting for Joe Montes, as a “write in” candidate but failed to mention that he wasn’t an “official” candidate, which would have necessitated the filing of all required documents with this office.  To encourage people to participate in the election by including a write-in candidate is actually asking the voters to throw away one of their three votes and is disingenuous at best.


·         In closing, the campaign information that Ms. Sumner refers to was always available to the public in compliance with the law.  Would it have been easier to have been able to review the information online versus coming into the office to review the documents?  Absolutely. However, to imply or state that the City of Chico’s reporting obligation has not been met, is simply not true. I hope that as the City recovers from the financial situation that it finds itself in… and that many of the services that were once provided as a convenience will be fully restored.    


Thanks for your response to my concerns, Juanita Sumner

11 Responses to “No, Debbie Presson is not going to post the 460’s – is she doing it on purpose? or just incompetent?”

  1. Juanita Sumner October 24, 2014 at 5:25 am #

    This is what I get when I ask questions of Debbie Presson. You’ll note, I asked if she had fined the CPOA – “this office is working with the CPOA…” Why does the CPOA get special treatment Debbie girl?

    Also note, at the end, she admits it would be easier for people to get the info online, but she can’t provide it? Oh my, the computers down there are soooo ooooold and inadequate… and she only gets paid $132,000 a year, so she just can’t muster up the energy to do her job…poor little thing.

    I think she doth protest too much – I totally smell a rat hiding in that hair of hers.

    Here’s what she does with her time – is she sitting on Pinterest in her office?

    • skeltonkellyKelly Skelton October 24, 2014 at 5:53 am #

      I think that all of the current 460’s and other PAC information that Debbie has in hand has been posted. Looks like the only thing missing are the CPOA reports that are long overdue.

    • bob October 24, 2014 at 6:38 pm #

      …and she only gets paid $132,000 a year

      Mammas don’t let yer babies grow up to be anything but gummit workers!

  2. Juanita Sumner August 4, 2015 at 10:01 am #

    Reblogged this on Chico Taxpayers Association and commented:

    From October of 2014 –

  3. Juanita Sumner October 24, 2014 at 7:11 am #

    wow, you’re right, she posted them!

    all I can say is, they weren’t there when I wrote that e-mail. Very weird.

  4. Mary October 24, 2014 at 10:50 am #

    Well, you really got under her skin!

    So, here’s the thing about Debbie’s staffing. Her office has been a revolving door for admins for as long as I can remember (that would be a decade). She has had some of the finest administrative personnel in the city organization working for her, but she can’t keep them. Women who successfully worked for Tom Lando could not stand to work for Debbie!

    While Dave Burkland was CM, Debbie wanted to fire one of the two admin staff she had at the time. Dave told her that if she did it, she wouldn’t be permitted to fill the position. And that is how she initially lost one position, because she just had to have her way. THEN… When staff was working on streamlining the organization, before Nakamura came through with his scythe, Debbie got another opportunity for help. She was sharing a very competent admin with Planning (50/50). When Nakamura’s “rightsizing” began, Debbie opted to eliminate the 1/2 time position in favor of giving Dani Brinkley a big fat raise and a new title. Debbie will rear up and argue that the Council told her to hire a deputy clerk and that the position went through a recruitment process…blah, blah, blah. But the truth is, it was a move to protect Dani from being bumped out the door during the layoffs, due to her lack of seniority in the organization. There were several of those clever moves to protect favored admin staff, but this one had to be the worst of the bunch.

    Anyway, Debbie’s constant whining about being overworked and understaffed is just too much for me any more. I am so done with her excuses for not extending citizens the courtesies to which they are entitled. (Were her replies really in RED, or did you do that to make her seem madder?) She certainly wasn’t polite or helpful, or even professionally courteous. Maybe she needs to have her meds adjusted. Just a thought…

  5. Juanita Sumner October 25, 2014 at 10:16 am #

    Thanks so much Mary – that explains a lot to me, things I thought I saw, but you know, I’m never really sure what I’m seeing. I’m afraid to ask too many questions, cause you can see how I get treated for asking too many questions.

    I know I saw at least one very competent “administrative analyst” disappear. When I asked about that woman, Chris Constantin badmouthed her and said she’d been demoted. It sounded like they were running a regular old-style Roman purge.

    Several people remind me, if they fired Debbie they could hire two or three competent staffers. Throw Dani into the bargain and get one and a half, maybe two more.

    and yeah, Debbie answered me in red, I thought it was weird and unprofessional. The whole e-mail was unprofessional. Thanks Mary.

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