Let’s talk about the city’s spending problem – time for an intervention?

4 Mar

Here’s my kitchen table analysis of last night’s decision by council to put only half that “found” $4.8 million toward our deficit.

Let’s say I owe $7.8 million on my credit card. While cleaning my car one day, I find $4.8 million in the seat cushions.

I think that part of the analogy is good – Frank Field’s explanation just sounded like sloppy book keeping.  So, I drop a lot of change out of my pockets – same difference. When you’re dealing with somebody else’s money, it’s easy to get a little too comfortable being a slob, isn’t it?

Given – this found money doesn’t cover my whole bill, and we’ve gotten so used to living on credit these days. What’s a little debt, eh?  So I just keep on spending as I have, racking up the bills, and I think, “maybe I should use the found money for something extra…”

My son’s birthday just passed, and my husband’s birthday is around the corner. I would have liked to buy my son a new computer, they expect the kids to have all the latest technology for school these days. And, my husband likes to watch sports while he’s working around the house, I’d sure like to present him with a new tv for his shop, something big that he can see from the garden. 

And, frankly, like the city of Chico, I’ve continued to spend money.  “Necessity” dictated that I go out and buy that new washing machine. People expect you to be clean these days, just a couple of years ago the library tried to pass an ordinance that you couldn’t come in there with body odor. So, I’d added about $500 to my deficit before I’d even found the money!

At this point, most of my friends would be worried. I would be worried. That sounds, well, irresponsible. 

But the city of Chico has a list of stuff they’d already spent – sounded like Christmas came early down at the cop shop. The city had already been spending on fancy new gadgets for the police, even when they were still digging that 1,000 foot hole that dbski4it (sp?) was talking about in the comments section of the ER.  They hired three new police officers recently, with nothing but best wishes to pay for it.  

Do you think they already knew about this found money when they were on that spending binge?  Do you think the found money was concocted so they could give the cops those raises they’ve been negotiating in closed session?

Like I said,  last night’s meeting raised more questions than it answered.


12 Responses to “Let’s talk about the city’s spending problem – time for an intervention?”

  1. bob March 5, 2015 at 12:50 pm #

    You see this


    He quit before they could fire him, apparently. Went into rehab. Can you imagine if he had another term on the city council? It’s no surprise the city finances are in such sad shape when trainwrecks and rapscallions running this city.

    • Juanita Sumner March 5, 2015 at 4:51 pm #

      I agree, and I wonder how many trainwrecks we still have up there!

      • bob March 5, 2015 at 7:20 pm #

        Grundler reminds me of Mary Gulag. Although I thought towards the end she was an excellent city council member as she never showed up so she didn’t vote for more stupid laws, spending and taxes.

      • Juanita Sumner March 6, 2015 at 6:23 am #

        I’ve complained about irrational behavior on both their parts and weird experiences I’ve had with each of them, but their co-workers just put up with it year after year.

        My son’s friend had Goloff as his math teacher. He thought he was an A-student – flunked out in his first semester at college and now works a dead end job. She’s retired but still making money as a substitute teacher, even after all the stints in rehab – even after driving her car into that bakery. And she’s just the tip of the iceberg – I wonder how many CUSD teachers are high as kites in the classroom.

        Gruendl has been ripping off one of the poorest counties in California, he’s pissed off the people of Glenn County on several occasions, and instead of firing him they retire him. He says he’s worked for Glenn County for 22 years – I’m going to guess he’s been on one “substance” or another the entire time, not to mention every minute he’s been our city councilor. I’d put $50 on it, but there’s no way to prove it.

        There is no accountability in our public institutions.

      • bob March 6, 2015 at 7:24 am #

        And I’m guessing Grundler will be gettng a close to six figure pension. And I bet there are people who owe him favors of one sort or another so there is a cushy job waiting for him if he wants it.

        You know much of politics and government: punish your enemies, rewards your friends. And he’s been in government all his adult life.

      • bob March 7, 2015 at 10:04 am #

        He says he’s worked for Glenn County for 22 years – I’m going to guess he’s been on one “substance” or another the entire time, not to mention every minute he’s been our city councilor.

        I remember when I found out he was 50. I was shocked. I thought he was in his 60s.

        He looks much older than he is and that is probably due to the substance abuse.

        I understand he has AIDs. According to Peter Duesberg AIDs is not cause by HIV but by other things that compromise a person’s immune system like drugs. If Greundl has been abusing drugs for decades that could explain his health issues.


        I remember Greundl getting caught driving in excess of 100 mph on 99 and his explosive behavior towards you and Toby. Again probably the drugs affecting his personality and he probably has the personality that would lead one towards drugs so he is caught in a vicious cycle.

      • Juanita Sumner March 7, 2015 at 7:51 pm #

        I agree, Scott has looked like hell the last couple of years, at least. I wondered if this was due to his HIV-positive condition, or just poor lifestyle choices in general. Years ago I got on him about living in Chico but working in Glenn County, all that driving is bad for you I told him. He also likes rich food and fancy vacations, which I saw on the bills for the credit card he used to get from the city of Chico (they don’t get those anymore). He complained to me about health conditions I would expect in people 20 – 40 years his senior. And we paid for it, $21,000+ a year.

        Mary Goloff blamed her drug dependence on her hip surgery – we paid for that. I wonder if Scott’s substance abuse stems from too much insurance.

        public workers – money for nothing, drugs for free!

        Drugs other than those prescribed by his doctors, as well as alcohol, could certainly exacerbate his condition, as well as affect his behavior and judgement. I don’t know what kind of substances he was treated for, but I’m really pissed that we not only have to pay for his constant care due to the HIV condition but also for his irresponsible behavior in using the substances.

        Yeah, I just knew he was doing something when he went after Toby. Toby sent me an e-mail he received from Gruendl directly after that incident, and it was very weird. It read like a phone message from a pissed-off drunk. Toby asked me not to share that, but I still have it.

  2. bob March 7, 2015 at 6:08 pm #

    Also, before people accuse me of being anti-gay it is no secrect Greundl is gay with AIDs. Here is an article about .


    “I lost to Larry Wahl by 73 votes,” said Gruendl, obviously still feeling the sting of the narrow loss. He considered a recount but stopped it as he became very sick from cryptococchal meningitis, a rare brain infection attributed to the diminished immunity caused by HIV. The infection can be deadly, and in Gruendl’s case it blinded him for a time.

    I couldn’t care less if Greundl lives with a tree. But his bad policies have cost the people of Chico plenty and the people of Glenn County, too.

    And he is obviously an egomaniac as this quote indicates:

    “It’s so fun,” he said. “Everyone wants you to do something. It’s like all of a sudden you’re important.”

    • bob March 7, 2015 at 6:13 pm #

      And that quote shows just how out of line politicians are today. Their job is NOT “…to do something” for people or to have fun or to be important. Their job, and only job, is to protect, defend and follow the U.S. Constitution.

    • Juanita Sumner March 8, 2015 at 7:15 am #

      Okay, let me tell you something really funny, something I find personally embarrassing.

      I voted for Scott because he was gay. I thought he would be more of what I consider a “true liberal” – watch out for poor people, the working people, etc. Give me a break, I was young. I voted for Mary Flynn because she was a school teacher and I voted for Tom Nickel because he was CHP. I knew nothing about the pensions then, I thought public workers qualified as “working class.”

      At that time the conservatives – Keene, Herbert. Wahl and Bertagna – were running a regular racket, giving developers whatever they wanted. My husband drives me around town, every now and then we find ourselves in some planning mess, and he laughs and says, “This is all your friend Larry’s work!” Larry Wahl was on the Planning Commission quite a number of years before council, he even got fined for doing the bidding of one of his campaign donors, but the votes he made illegally remained and the projects went full steam ahead.

      Wait until you really have a chance to experience life under Sorensen and his fist puppets. You’re going to hate them as much as Gruendl, Goloff and the rest of the liberals.

      • bob March 8, 2015 at 3:29 pm #

        Yes. I’m glad that Gruendl is out but to think Renault or the others will be better is fantasy. It’s just like at the state and national level, the choice between Republicans and Democrats is really no choice at all. They are all awful.

        And this is because they represent the special interests, not us. The only difference is which interests and to what extent but in any case they don’t represent us, the average working stif taxpayer.

        And this gets down to the problem with democracy and government. In the end government becomes a food fight among special interests that manipulate the voting public.

        And just think that government has absolute power. You MUST obey every law, edict, ordinance, regulation or any other order from a politician or bureaucrat. If you don’t you will be fined and/or thrown in a cage with violent inmates. If you resist you will be killed.

        How can anyone but the most egomaniacal be drawn to that kind of power? Government is brute force, there is nothing voluntary about it which is why the idea of a peaceful progressive/liberal (or conservative for that matter) is fantasy but they sure don’t see it that way.

      • Juanita Sumner March 9, 2015 at 5:13 am #

        I agree. I don’t know where we will find a “normal” person who will play these games.

        I used to consider cyclist Ed McLaughlin a friend of mine, we liked to chat now and then. He wanted to run for City Council years ago, Sal Corona gave him a fundraiser dinner at Malivinas, and people were excited. Ed came off to me as a liberal with a conservative streak – a rational person. But, when I saw him Downtown one night and began to tell him how excited I was about him running, he said he’d just dropped out of the race. I was shocked, I asked why. He said, “I don’t have the stomach for it.”

        I think he found out what a nasty bunch of assholes the liberals are. They want to be able to boss you around, and they get personally nasty – like Karen Laslo – when you don’t toe the line.

        I don’t know if you remember the time I got a memo from the Esplanade League – I had signed up for their mailing list – telling everybody they had the “guaranteed” votes to put Michael Stauffer in the late Colleen Jarvis’ seat. I knew that constituted a Brown Act violation so I sent it to the newspapers and the council. Boy, did they get pissed – at the council meeting, my family was surrounded by Scott Gruendl’s supporters, who tried to knock the video camera out of my husband’s hands, at one point hitting me in the face. Karen Laslo surrounded me with her creepy girlfriends and put her face within a couple of inches of mine chanting, “Buddha, Buddha, Buddha…” like some kind of zombie. Then Laurel Blankenship’s adult daughter, who used to live about two doors from me, shrieked “shut-up!” at me and spit in my face.

        This happened in front of my 6 and 10 year old kids, on the steps of city hall during recess in a council meeting. Now, when I attend meetings, I always stay inside during recess.

        And you might have read how Gruendl accosted Schindelbeck out back of the council, in a dark parking lot, telling him he better “watch out.” Then the e-mail he sent – he rambled like a drunk. And nobody did anything. Schindelbeck cracked under the pressure and made some regrettable remarks, and the voters threw him out with the bathwater.

        You’re right, in this atmosphere, it takes a real nut-job to run for office. I find Morgan, Fillmer and Coolidge to fit that description perfectly. I hope they stuff Sorensen in the teapot.

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