2015 will be the year of living dangerously, 2016 will be the year of the tax

1 Jan

You know what they say – No Rest for the Wicked! Bright and early this morning I received the agenda for the next Chico City Council meeting, available here:

http://chico-ca.granicus.com/GeneratedAgendaViewer.php?view_id=2&event_id=95

Here we have the first session of our new “fiscally responsible” council, interesting. The feature that caught my interest is at the bottom – they’re “sunshining” the proposal for the Management Employees Group. From what I can tell, this group includes “mid-level management”. This agreement does not cover the City Manager or any of the department heads, who make over $180,000 in salary and still only pay 9 percent toward their benefits.

Mid-level management employees enjoy salaries running from about $80,000 to $100,000 a year. Why they need this extra layer of fat, is beyond me. The actual “workers” get paid anywhere from $35,000 – $70,000. Why two layers of management that get paid so excessively?

And I’ll tell you what I really don’t like about these contracts – instead of reining in the salaries, they guarantee the salaries through “steps.” Just stay in that chair, don’t steal from your boss or screw  his or her spouse, and you will get a raise upon raise upon raise, within 5 years you will be making at least $100,000/year. And all your problems, healthcare and old age planning, will be taken care of by the taxpayers, who will fit you with 70 percent of that salary into perpetuity. 

If  Mark Sorensen and his fist puppets sign this contract, they’re selling us into bankruptcy. 

If you don’t believe me, read the financial reports in Item 4.1. Read it! Written so flat and boring – pay attention – this is the story of our bankruptcy – the emergency fund is empty, and there’s no money in the General Fund to pump it back up. The General Fund has been put on life support, having bottomed out the Development Fund. They’re hooking people up to an inadequate sewer system so they can steal more money from the Sewer Fund – before he was Mayor, Mark Sorensen used to complain that Ann Schwab was stealing from the Sewer Fund, but we don’t hear anything about that from him anymore.  We’re broke, but we’re still raising salaries, and hiring more people to “manage” stuff. It doesn’t seem to me that anybody is managing anything but their own bank accounts.

Happy New Year folks – hang on tight! 

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13 Responses to “2015 will be the year of living dangerously, 2016 will be the year of the tax”

  1. bob January 1, 2015 at 12:21 pm #

    It sounds like the “conservatives” are going to play the same budget games as the “progressives” did.

    Much of the nonsense the “progressives” brought us it seems these “conservatives” are not interested in getting rid of.

    For instance the bag ban. It looks like the initiative to ban the ban has enough signatures so the state ban will not go into effect in June but be posponed until after the 2016 election assuming the measure loses. (If it loses the earliest the state ban would start would be after the 2016 election.)

    If plastic is so bad why are they forcing retailers to charge us 10 cents plus tax for each paper bag? Is it because paper bags are bad? (I don’t think they are. These bags are biodegradable, recyclable and re-usable.) If so why don’t they outlaw them, too? Also, if paper bag use is being discouraged because it is bad why are paper bags free for those on welfare? Why is the city encouraging bad behavior of poor people?

    The conservatives on the city council could put an end to this nonsense now but they aren’t. Why? As far as I am concerned this is their law now. If people don’t like it don’t blame the “progressives” at this point.

    It’s like I said during the election, we will continue to get bad decisions from the city council no matter who won the election. As I said during the election there was no one worth voting for.

    None of these people give a rat’s @ss about people like you and me. It’s the special interests they represent. We are never going to get people on the city council to represent our interests and needs because the system is not designed for that.

    • Juanita Sumner January 1, 2015 at 5:11 pm #

      They’re all trough dwellers – Sorensen and Morgan get public pensions, Coolidge’s wife gets a pension, and although Reanette Fillmer wouldn’t tell us if she gets a pension, as an employee of Public Law Group she works for various public entities on their pension plans and most assuredly will profit personally from perpetuation of the pension system. We’re in a bad sitch here – if this were an episode of Star Trek I think we’d need superhuman intervention.

      Debbie Cobb just said they’re doing a story on the bag ban at 5:30 – she called it “contentious”. When I went to Raley’s yesterday, my checker was in a bitchy funk, and was rude to the woman ahead of us who was complaining about the ban. This prompted the woman at the check stand behind us to complain about the ban. I’m guessing it’s not fun to be a grocery checker right now.

      Debbie also says we’ll be seeing a “significant increase” in our PG&E rates – the biggest since 2006 – 6 percent. This is the one for infrastructure, I can’t remember when that went through, but it was in response to the San Bruno disaster. I don’t know when they will implement the one they had the hearing for earlier this year, which raises rates on lower users and lowers rates on higher users.

      Later a representative from PG&E will stuff a ratepayer into a teapot – tune in at 5:30!

      • bob January 1, 2015 at 6:17 pm #

        Dang, I missed it. I have the news on now but they are not talking about the bag ban.

        I was in Raley’s today and didn’t here anyone complaining. When I got rung up the checker asked if I wanted a bag. I asked how much? And she said ten cents. I just shook my head and said, “What a stupid law. Anything to screw the little guy.” I asked the checker if people were angry and she said yes. I said, “Good!”

      • Juanita Sumner January 2, 2015 at 6:19 am #

        Bob, I was shocked – both Ch 12 and Ch 7 mentioned the current petition to ban the bag ban. But they didn’t give any status report, they just said, it’s trying to qualify.

        I’m sorry, checkers are going to be getting the backlash on this. Let me tell you this – 15, 20 years ago, when I first started carrying re-usable bags (my first reusable bag was a gift from Joyce Rogers at S&S market), the big stores like Raley’s and Safeway acted weird about it, but remember – if you reminded them, they had to credit you 5 cents for every bag you brought in! Whatever happened to the “carrot approach”? In those days, they complained to me my bags were hard to fill, sometimes they’d point out that they didn’t look freshly washed! At Raleys, a bagger once refused to use my S&S bag, stuffed it into one of their plastic Raley’s bags. Raley’s used to be the worst about double-bagging your purchases when you didn’t ask – you’d have to ask them not to double bag. This is all very weird to me, a person who has tried to be responsible all these years, to have these idiots go up my ass because I ask for a plastic bag to keep my raw chicken from leaking all over my lettuce.

        Well, I guess I’ll have to go online and look see where I can sign that petition! Thanks Bob!

  2. bob January 1, 2015 at 6:23 pm #

    And gas is going up as AB 32 kicks in. I heard ten cents a gallon this year and more next.

    And then there’s this


    Steinberg proposed that the state increase the price at the pump by 15 cents a gallon starting in 2015. That number would increase to 43 cents a gallon in 2030.

    “Higher prices discourage demand. if carbon pricing doesn’t sting, at least a little bit, we won’t change our habits,” Steinberg said.

    Old Stiney wants to sting ya!

    If that doesn’t prove Stinkbug and the DemoNcrats are the enemy of every working person I don’t know what does

    http://www.nbclosangeles.com/news/local/Gas-Prices-Carbox-Tax-California-Darrell-Steinberg-Proposal-246669491.html

    • Juanita Sumner January 2, 2015 at 6:25 am #

      This is behavioral modification.

      How can we modify Steinberg’s behavior?

  3. Ruby renolds January 1, 2015 at 8:33 pm #

    The citizens of chico will see no benefit of mid level management automatic progression. It will just force bad managers to stay put with mediocre performance reviews because they will have a step increase for mediocre performance. Management will always protect management it’s the city culture.

    • Juanita Sumner January 2, 2015 at 6:46 am #

      Thanks for coming over Ruby, you put it in such professional language. I get so mad, I can’t talk nice like you, but this is what I was getting at.

      Larry Wahl tried to tell me step progression was a good thing – I see it as guaranteed salary increases despite lackluster performance – what do they have to do to NOT get raises? It’s just too robotic to be sensible. This is the kind of “Asleep at the Wheel” government we DON’T need.

      Oh yeah, that reminds me…

  4. Jim January 2, 2015 at 9:54 am #

    The Chico Bag Ban has shown folks why they need to pay attention to local politics. We’ve know about this ban for sometime, how it can be a surprise to anyone is ridiculous. But it is. It’s especially hard for low income people who walk or ride a bike. It’s much easier to carry the plastic bags, and to some people buying bags might be too expensive.

    Driving Chico into bankruptcy might not be a bad idea. As we’ve seen in Stockton, the court can take control and modify these contracts. It might be our only way out.

    • Juanita Sumner January 2, 2015 at 1:18 pm #

      Great point Jim, I hope more people start paying attention to what’s going on Downtown once they are confronted in the grocery line.

      I think you’re right about bankruptcy – it almost needs to happen. Like I said, if this were an episode of Star Trek, we’d need superhuman intervention. And that would be the courts.

      • Publius January 2, 2015 at 7:49 pm #

        I vote for bankruptcy.

        I think it is extremely interesting that the vast majority of the comments during the last election spun around how the democrats got the city into the tough financial times; too bad the republicans seem to be continuing the problem instead of solving it.

        It will be very telling to see the contract that the cops get.

      • Juanita Sumner January 3, 2015 at 8:01 am #

        I’ve been reading the Vallejo paper – bankruptcy isn’t a “solution,” it’s where you end up if you don’t come up with a solution. For some reason, the city of Vallejo had to go into bankruptcy before they got the balls to stand up to their police department and stop raising salaries automatically. But, their cops still get 90 percent of their pension PAID by the taxpayers, they get 100 percent of their workman’s comp, long term insurance and life insurance PAID by the taxpayers, and their salaries are still onerous. The city isn’t recovering financially and their crime rate is one of the worst in the nation, about twice the California average.

        http://www.neighborhoodscout.com/ca/vallejo/crime/

        I looked at Chico on that chart – we have less than half as much crime but our cops are paid on par with cities like Vallejo, Daly City, and Richmond, where crime has always been a lot higher than Chico.

        I notice, when I started paying attention to this stuff, salaries in Redding were a lot lower – they’ve apparently used us to drive up their salaries. I don’t know what their financial situation is, but I certainly haven’t heard stories of out-of-control crime or bankruptcy coming out of Redding. We’ll see. All over the country, public workers seem to be rising up to devour the hand that feeds them.

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