CARD to put their parcel tax plans on the table at February 18 board meeting

24 Jan

I miss all the good stuff – I was out of town for CARD’s board meeting last week, and they FINALLY fessed up and announced they are after a parcel tax.

Remember, almost exactly a year ago, I had called then-director Jerry Haynes, just to ask, how would they go about seeking a tax?  I didn’t know what the procedure is, and I couldn’t find much information online, so I just decided to ask. Ask a simple question!

Haynes resigned about a month later, citing “differences with the board“?  I have to wonder, did Haynes try to tell them they couldn’t afford a new aquatic center? Did he drag his feet in facilitating the studies and public meetings? He sure as hell didn’t want to talk about any aquatic center to me, denying even that there were any plans to build an aquatic center. He was really pissed off too. If I’d been standing in the same room with him I would have been afraid for my personal safety, like I was when Jan Sneed went off on me after a board meeting a couple of years ago.

When people act  that crazy, you can bet there’s a pot of money on the table. Or a pot of debt? 

CARD spends a lot of money for a district that does not offer much in recreational opportunities. If you look at their budget you see payroll eats all their money, with 33 employees sitting on top of a few million dollars.  Despite budget problems over the past few years, current CARD director Ann Willman makes about $12,000/year more than her predecessor Steve Visconti, the controller’s office reporting her salary at $124,000/year. She pays nothing toward her benefits/pension package. That’s right – CARD management pay nothing toward their packages. Same  deal as city of Chico and other entities – only new hires, who have never been “in the system.” Willman has been around the block a few times, working for CARD, then switching over to director of Feather River Rec in Oroville, spiking her way back to Chico in less than two years. She left FRRD after a scandal involving a camera planted in the girl’s toilet at one of their facilities, landing safely in the Chico director’s chair. 

At one meeting, they planned to cut all part time staffers to 28 hours or less so they would not have to pay Obamacare for those employees, despite reports from their own staff that programs were being cut and children turned away due to lack of staff. But their management employees’ salaries just go up, up, up. And they pay nothing toward their benefits. They are sitting on more than $2 million in pension liability, for 33 employees. 

And they’re trying to tell us, they need this parcel tax for an aquatic center? It doesn’t add up. 

The board will discuss placing a parcel tax measure on the November ballot at their February 18 board meeting. Here’s the board page from their website:

Note the e-mail addresses of board members, if you’d like to contact them to voice your opposition to this grab. Tell them their employees need to stop being dead beats and pay their own pensions. I don’t mind chipping in, but this is ridiculous.

You’ll also notice, their minutes are six month behind, ask them what’s up with that too.




3 Responses to “CARD to put their parcel tax plans on the table at February 18 board meeting”

  1. bob January 24, 2016 at 10:52 am #

    It was in the Wretched today

    CARD musing parcel tax discussion

    However, time is pressuring the board’s decision. Back in 2013, SCI suggested that the 2016 presidential might be the times to put the question on the local ballot, suggesting those who vote during a presidential election might be more inclined to accept a tax or assessment.

    Willmann said to get it on the November ballot, CARD would have to submit it to the county by June 16.

    Should it go to the voters, it will also be competing with a $152 million bond proposal that the Chico Unified School District board approved to put on the November ballot.

    Don’t ya just love how they call it a tax discussion, not a tax increase?

    Anyway, it looks like there could be at least 3 tax increases next election when Lando get his sales tax increase on the ballot.

    Let the pillaging begin!

    • Juanita Sumner January 25, 2016 at 6:09 am #

      Thanks Bob, I hope the public goes right up CARD’s collective ass.

      You might want to write them a letter, send it to the board. I know you will make a compelling argument why they should fold up and go home. For one thing, the school district, who owns the pools that have been allowed to fall into disgrace, is also seeking millions on a bond. Somebody has to remind people – these agencies let two swimming pools go unmaintained for over 10 years until they were in dire need of repair.

      Then there’s the issue of agency finances – both these agencies have a pension deficit. With only 33 regular employees, CARD has racked up almost $2 million in deficit, and Goddess only knows what the school district is sitting on. Like Dan Walters was saying here:

      many government agencies are practicing “hide the pea accounting.” Meaning, they’re not disclosing their pension deficit with their budget. City of Chico actually reported the other night, they are out of deficit! Oh yeah – except for those 10’s of millions they owe on pensions…CARD has been using the same shells and peas game to hide their pension deficit, same with Chico Unified. We have to tell the public.

      I got that CARD figure from their finance director, I wonder if it will be as simple getting it out of the school district.

      It will be interesting to hear what Lando the CARD board member has to say about this parcel tax. In past he has said the survey he ran a few years ago (his own survey, separate from CARD’s aquatic center survey) indicated the public would pass a sales tax increase, but I don’t know if he was talking about a general fund increase or a specific tax, like “swimming pool tax,” or “public safety tax.” Maybe he has given up on that, and will support the parcel tax for CARD.

      I hope you will come to the meeting Feb 18, I hope more people will show up.


  1. 2015 TAX TABLE TEXAS – 2015 « TAXES - January 28, 2016

    […] CARD to position their parcel tax plans on the table at February 18 board … […]

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