Archive | February, 2016

It’s good to see people asking questions about funding Torres Shelter

2 Feb

People have been searching for information about the Torres Shelter, especially “Brad Montgomery salary,” so I’ve been doing a little searching of my own. People keep asking me questions about the shelter – I became curious about who is actually responsible for running the shelter.

Torres Shelter is run by the Chico Community Shelter Partnership, a board of local folks who profess a desire to help the needy and get them off the streets and out of public parks. They are a “non-profit” and file a form called a 990 – here’s the latest filing I found, for 2013:

 I was floored to see, right there on page one, a total salaries and benefits figure of over $400,000. Wow. I heard there are 16 employees, I’m wondering how that pans out. I have no information about shelter staff duties. I do know, some of the people – mainly counselors – who work for clients of  the Torres are paid by different agencies, like Butte County Behavioral Health, and Northern California Catholic Services. Those salaries are not included in that $400,000 figure. 


I don’t know what the director position duties are, but with a lot of agencies I’ve learned, the director’s main job is fundraising. The biggest salary is usually the director. At other agencies I’ve looked into, like the Chico Creek Nature Center and the Blue Room, for example, the director’s salary was about $50-55,000/year.  

I did find out something about the board and staffers in their Summer 2015 newletter.

Board Chair Joseph Hallett is a local  mental healthcare provider. Vice Chair Karen Betenbaugh, a resident of Capay, is married to Orland Edward Jones advisor Paul Betenbaugh. Treasurer Holly Pladson is a local CPA and teaches accounting at Chico State. Secretary Billie Kanter-Monfort is a retired Chico State employee, married to former Chico planning commissioner and CSUC retiree Kirk Monfort. 

Non officers include Jim and Kris Fortado, a retired couple, Lawrence Sullivan, a human resources professional, Pat Macias, a retired art teacher, former park commissioner Rich Ober, a software professional, and Tim Vander Heiden, who sells products that help businesses become compliant with the American Disabilities Act. 

I just thought we should  know who is running this place that is largely tax-funded. How they run it is another question. Here’s how they list “Staff”

“Brad Montgomery, Executive Director; Bill Slack, Shelter Supervisor; Dawn, Development Coordinator; Liz, Service Coordinator; Louise, Service Coordinator; Melanie, Service Coordinator; Krista, Shelter Coordinator; James, Friends House Manager.”

I only see eight names listed there, when there is supposed to be a staff of 16.  I don’t understand the reluctance of these people to use their last names – this shelter is funded with public money – look at that Form 990 again – and this is public information. Why so shy? 

What a snoop, huh? Well, you should be so snoopy. Tonight Brad Montgomery is going to do what non-profit directors do – he’s going to try to hustle a paycheck out of city council. Your money, you should be interested in how it is being squandered. Or not. 






Election 2016 will be The Battle For Chico

2 Feb

I like to look at the blog stats, see what people are thinking about, what searches bring them here. I have to wonder if somebody’s just having fun with me when they type in “reanette fillmer stupid bitch.”

What in the world did Ms. Fillmer do this time?

A month or so ago, the lines were bouncing with curiosity and outrage over the Feaster shooting – now it’s the Torres Shelter. Tonight shelter director Brad Montgomery will make some kind of plea before City Council, we’ll see what happens.

A friend of mine asked me what I thought of Chico Chamber chair Mark Francis’ suggestion that Chico is ready for a quarter cent sales tax increase. That reminded me – I need to make another order from Lucky Vitamin. I found Lucky Vitamin a few years ago when former city manager Tom Lando started talking about raising sales tax. I didn’t like online shopping at first, but wow, it’s gotten so much better.  Since Lando first broached the subject of a sales tax increase, I’ve found my way onto various shopping sites that offer good prices and free shipping. I find shipping to be getting a lot better, and when there’s a mistake, you don’t have to drive to the store and wait in an onerous line to make your return.

It’s up to the seller to collect sales taxes, and they are not required to do so unless they have a “physical presence” in California. I know has made a deal with the Franchise Tax Board but only for items shipped from a California location. The customer is on the hook to report and pay uncollected sales tax, or  “use tax,” but there is no mechanism to sort this out by city, the state just keeps it.

Whether or not the city gets the sale tax, local businesses will suffer. They need to know that before they decide whether or not to support a sales tax increase. For a while I got over Lando’s little threat, but I shop online more now than I did, and Francis has pissed me off again.

Sheesh, Nevada is a day trip, do they realize that?

It’s funny-weird, not funny-ha-ha,  that Francis’ wife Jolene has brought a proposal to rename City Hall after former City Mangler Fred Davis.  Davis, until his recent death, was one of the biggest pigs in our pension trough.

How did that old guy worm his way up to over $149,000, in pension? He helped Tom Lando pull off that MOU that “attached salaries to revenue increases, but not decreases…”  That’s how!  Old bastard had a bag of tricks, and long after he’s rotted to dirt, Chico taxpayers will be paying for his hijinx.

Time to mount up, get ready for battle – they are coming after the roof over your head, the food on your table, your kids’ education.

It’s the Battle for Chico.