Chico PD announces quarter cent sales tax increase campaign through “Business Support Team”

29 Sep

I don’t like the Annie B’s Foundation because it’s misleading. This is supposed to be a community fund through which the willing and able can channel their disposable dollars into various “community benefit” organizations. Lately it is more and more misused by public agencies phishing for money to cover their outrageous salaries, benefits and pension packages.

And, here’s something that makes my teeth hurt every time I read it – “In addition to receiving a grant from Annie B’s, The City of Chico will match your donation by 40-60%! If you give $100, this organization can receive an additional $50 or more, based on how much is raised!”

As a city of Chico taxpayer, I am forced to give to these organizations whether or not I believe they provide any kind of “community benefit.” 

Like Chico Police Department. They’ve found a way to use a good-will organization to get more money for themselves, through an outfit called “Chico Police Department Business Support Team.” Mysterious front man Jack Van Rossum was interviewed a couple of months ago on Alan Chamberlain’s podcast variety show “Chico Currents”.  Van Rossum makes it very clear – Chico PD runs this organization, telling Van Rossum and his friends what they want and sending them out to get the money for it, one way or another.

Not only is Van Rossum stumping for money from Annie B’s Foundation, with the 40-60% matching grant from the city of Chico, but he says CPDBST is asking Chico city council to place a quarter cent sales tax measure on the ballot, “specifically used only for the police department…the primary concern is staffing.”

Backing Van Rossum and the  CPDBST are organizations like Chico Chamber/Clean & Safe, Chico Rotary (of which Mayor Mark Sorensen is past president and an active member), Chico Exchange Club, and Neighborhood Church.  Van Rossum says members have been very generous – he mentions the license plate readers purchased in 2013, as though they were completely paid for out of the donation fund. He forgets to mention, “40 – 60%” of that money came out of the tax coffers. 

He mentions the city of Chico is “on the verge of bankruptcy.” But can still make a 40 – 60% match on charity funding? 

Van Rossum begins by describing the “close to a substation” Chico PD is requesting at Enloe Hospital – that’s what they want the Annie B’s/City of Chico charity handout for. Van Rossum claims police officers spend a lot of time at Enloe Emergency Room,  “because of their requirements when they deal with people they meet on the street…”  He says Enloe will give the space, but it needs to be outfitted with special radio equipment because the cops can’t use their cell phones or radios from inside the hospital. He also complains that the emergency room is “always backed up…the hospital does not provide priority to the police department.”    Anybody who’s ever been to Enloe ER, he says, “knows there’s a long tedious wait to get someone to serve you…” So, these officers need their own space to do “other work.” What other work? Their other work is outside the hospital.

Wow, I don’t know where to go with that – I sat at a meeting earlier this year and listened to the head of Butte County Behavioral Health talk about the new building the county just bought over near the old Chico Community Hospital. This building would house the staff who are supposed to meet the Chico PD officers at Enloe Hospital and take these “street people” off their hands, freeing police officers up to, well, get back to their jobs.  Here Van Rossum is telling us it’s their job to sit down at Enloe cooling their heels “in the cue…”  

So, we need to pay for a county building, and we need to provide a substation at Enloe Hospital? 

And then Van Rossum goes off on a bender about how the police department is having trouble filling the positions approved and funded by our “on the verge of bankruptcy” city because the police department is understaffed. Feel dizzy?

Here’s a direct quote: “the police department has a low morality.” Chamberlain didn’t correct Mr. Van Rossum, neither will I.

 Listen to the complete interview for yourself. This is the beginning of Clean and Safe’s campaign to raise our local sales tax. 

13 Responses to “Chico PD announces quarter cent sales tax increase campaign through “Business Support Team””

  1. Rose Kelley September 29, 2015 at 3:02 pm #

    And you thought the Chico police 👮 department raises was too much. Now cpd is fundraising!

    Sent from my Windows Phone ________________________________

    • Juanita Sumner September 29, 2015 at 4:14 pm #

      It’s a pattern with a lot of public agencies – the budget is eaten with excessive compensation packages, there’s no money left for equipment or facilities.

      Last night on Ch 7 they ran a story about Chapman Elementary going to the Discovery Shop charity fund for a new playground. Their playground looks sub-code. With Chico Unified’s budget, their management comp packages, and their bond revenues, I can’t believe a school has to go to a charity to get money for a new playground.

  2. bob September 29, 2015 at 4:50 pm #

    These trough feeders are declaring all out war on the taxpayers in the next election, mark my word.

    The cops want a tax increase all for themselves. You think fire, parks, etc. are going to take that sitting down? I predict all the trough feeders will get together (including the devious Lando) and demand a three-quarter to 1 cent increase be put on the ballot.

    And they will paint a picture of doom and gloom about what will happen if it doesn’t pass.

    They will never mention that the average trough feeder makes two to three times more than the average Chico household income and the average fire and police make three times more when you factor in their pensions.

    And then you look deeper into the numbers. The info in your last post needs to be screamed from the highest roof tops. Sales taxes are the most regressive taxes and we live in a city where nearly a quarter of the population lives in poverty, not counting the homeless.

    The situation is truly outrageous and unacceptable. If voters are stupid enough to pass this they deserve it. But it wouldn’t surprise me if they did. Just look at the morons and criminals they elect.

    Lando will tell us a sales tax increase of three-quarters or one percent isn’t so bad as he will promise everything: more cops, firemen, more money for parks and free ice cream on Sunday.

    All he has to do is point to Horroville. They want a full cent sales tax increase just for the cops.

    • Juanita Sumner September 30, 2015 at 5:15 am #

      Yes, we need to start writing letters, thanks Bob.

      • bob September 30, 2015 at 7:31 am #

        Yes, especially when you consider that most local sales tax increase measures and bonds pass. Doesn’t CARD want a bond measure?

        I hate to be a gloomy Gus but I think most voters are sheep and will do as they are told and vote to raise their taxes if that’s what the local politicians and special interests tell them to do.

        And so much for going to Oroville to avoid feeding the trough feeders…or more accurately to avoid feeding the trough feeders less.

      • Juanita Sumner September 30, 2015 at 9:16 am #

        Well, I must say, it’s not hard to get gloomy over this. I’m afraid the balance has tipped in favor of public workers – they make up a lot of the voting base – at least, the voting base that actually turns out for elections.

        I’ll tell a funny story here – I have a friend who is very active in the marijuana community – he yaks it up a lot, anyway. He talked and talked about the measures, knew all the details, how they were different, etc. After the last election I asked him about the defeat of Measure B. He had forgotten to vote.

        He didn’t know any of the other issues or candidates, he didn’t even know which county supervisors’ seats were up in that election or how they stood on those measures. He didn’t even know who his supervisor was.

        I would bet my last five dollars he is representative of more than 50 percent of our voter-eligible population, registered or un-registered.

        How to get people to pay attention, that’s the question. I always tell my friends to write letters, but frankly, I’m not sure how far that goes. Whenever I write a letter I get a spike in readership here, but there are never any comments either here or in the Topix section the paper. Nobody is interested in talking about this stuff up front, but they loooooove to complain about their problems.

        Yeah, too bad for Oroville – if they pass this tax increase, it will be like putting a noose around their collective neck. People in Oroville have already got fed up with the cozy relationship their city council has with PG&E. They’ve had one water rate hike after another with no infrastructural upgrades. Their rec district went on a spending binge and now has trouble meeting it’s payroll. When will those hillbillies revolt? We’ll see.

        Goddammit, it’s up to you and me again Bob. I’ll be out in the shop, sharpening my tongue.

  3. bob October 3, 2015 at 9:15 am #

    Here’s a direct quote: “the police department has a low morality.” Chamberlain didn’t correct Mr. Van Rossum, neither will I.

    That Freudian slip was hilarious (and true).

    • Juanita Sumner October 3, 2015 at 9:18 am #

      thanks for saying. The whole interview was kind of humorous, except, the money part.

  4. Jim October 3, 2015 at 10:35 am #

    Chamberlain is a jerk. He is become another cog supporting higher taxes, he is also in favor of the remodeling of Esplanade with traffic circles replacing the intersections.

    • Juanita Sumner October 3, 2015 at 1:22 pm #

      I can only hope people will suffer through the first few minutes of the podcast and listen to the interview with Van Rossum. It’s the only dialog I’ve heard so far regarding the sales tax increase the cops are seeking.

      I know, Chamberlain is obnoxious, but that’s what people say about me too.

  5. Jim October 4, 2015 at 11:20 am #

    “… but that’s what people say about me too.”

    The difference is that you have a track record of being right.

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