Sewer fund in trouble because of developer fee deferrals, transfers to salaries/benefits/pensions – Constantin says we have to raise fees now to avoid big fee increase in future?

3 Dec

Chico Assistant City Manager Chris Constantin assured a group of $taff, council members, and a few members of the public that our sewer treatment plant is in great shape – in the same breath he mentioned a sewage spill at Chico airport. What?  

Constantin was walking a fine line at yesterday’s Finance Committee meeting, trying to assure us that there was no imminent danger, but we better make a plan anyway, so we don’t have any more situations like the above (very quickly mentioned) spill. Not only do we need to maintain our sewer plant, but we need to plan for future hook-ups. He says 20 percent of incorporated Chico is not on sewer, and we need to plan to accommodate those households. I don’t know whether he expects people to hook up voluntarily, or if he is urging some sort of mandate, but he does not seem to think our gazillion dollar poopy ponds will be able to handle it.

He says we need some sort of regular fee increase schedule to avoid big increases in future. 

Yeah, I know – he says this was a concern before we even discussed hooking Paradise to our system. But the council went ahead and told Paradise to “look into it.”  “Look into it” meaning tens of thousands in consulting fees, but whatever, it’s not their money.

Constantin mentioned “nitrates”, as if that is the main concern in getting people to hook up to Chico sewer.

My mom gave me these. She used to go to a lot of these meeting too.

My mom gave me these. She used to go to a lot of these meetings too.

Constantin’s daddy must have been a glass maker, cause I can see right through that guy. It is NOT about the nitrates. That’s the excuse they used to get that grant to run all those lines into certain neighborhoods in town, higher density neighborhoods where they SPECULATE nitrates would be high. They have no proof, no report, nothing that says nitrates are polluting our drinking water. They do have plenty of paperwork involving the old dry cleaning establishments and gas stations around town, but those lawsuits ended up in the turnip patch.

Again people, it’s the Pension Deficit.

I have a stack of financial reports next to me – I’m not an accountant, these spread sheets look like something you’d find in the bathroom after a KISS! concert. I’ll tell you one thing I know – parentheses around numbers mean “shortfall”, “deficit”, – FUND EMPTY and still being used. There are parentheses all over our budget reports, enclosing figures in the hundred thousands and even millions. Millions of dollar of deficit in these funds, and where did it go?

You got to follow those walnut shells People, you’re getting kinda slack. $taff has learned to spin the wheel on us, move money from one pile to another so fast we can’t keep track. In fact, I think council can barely hold on themselves.

Yes, we’re in trouble. Chico is going to become a very expensive town to live in – I know, that’s already happened with the price of homes, which carries up the price of everything else with it. We need to start thinking, not only about all the tax campaigns that are rolling at us, but who we will support for council in 2016. We’ve got a mess on that dais. We have four spend-thrift “fiscal conservatives“, and then we have three liberals who don’t seem to have a clue either. They all spend other people’s money like it grows on trees.

Sheesh! 

The other thing we need to think about is, do we want to go all the way and make Chico Taxpayers a PAC? Right now it’s a registered  website, a discussion  site, but we can go all the way and  register it a PAC – that is what we need to get any respect out of the county recorder so she’ll give us the registered  voters’ list. She says only PAC’s can have the list, that’s her rule. This whole thing is pretty stacked against “grass roots” involvement. If we want to make an impact in 2016, we might want to think about it.

 

 

 

 

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2 Responses to “Sewer fund in trouble because of developer fee deferrals, transfers to salaries/benefits/pensions – Constantin says we have to raise fees now to avoid big fee increase in future?”

  1. bob December 3, 2015 at 7:29 pm #

    What an incentive to vote! Get your name, address and phone number handed over to a PAC. But apparently that’s just the way politics works. Explains all the calls from the slimey politicians and their minions.

    With all the outrageous things our local rulers do to us plus all they want to do (tax increases, insane compensation packages, ruinous unfunded liabilities such as pensions, spending millions on an aquatic center when the city can even afford to maintain the pools it has now, etc.) we need a good campaign slogan like GET MAD AS HELL AND DON’T TAKE IT ANY MORE!

    • Juanita Sumner December 4, 2015 at 5:53 am #

      That’s very weird Bob. I was just thinking about that scene from Network last night. I often watch it when I’m feeling, hmmm, sick and tired of the bullshit. Another good slogan.

      “I’m mad as hell, and I’m not going to take it anymore!” That would look good on lawn signs.

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