Bits and pieces – readers’ questions lead me to some interesting reading

10 Mar

Recently somebody got so frustrated they typed in the search term “why is pge screwing us!!!!!!!!”

Yes, eight exclamation marks, I counted ’em.

Here’s an answer: it’s the pensions, it’s the pensions, it’s the pensions. I don’t know what PG&E’s pension liability is, but I’m guessing it would be more than the city of Chico.  They don’t pay into their own pensions, but they expect the same 70 percent at age 55, do the math.

Here’s another answer: cause they can.  Something happened at some point, and all the public watchdogs turned on the people, including the California Public Utilities Commission. Here’s an article from the Sac Bee on how that happened (sorry, old column from last October, but full of details):

http://www.sacbee.com/news/politics-government/capitol-alert/article38487060.html

Eight exclamation marks, but I wonder – has this question asker written any letters, attended any hearings? 

I’ve been getting a lot of searches regarding “Chico homeless problem” and “Torres Shelter,” as well as “Brad Montgomery salary.”  I see I’m not the only one who is curious how much it costs to run that place. Montgomery came around to answer some of our questions, including, his own salary and how much that translates into day-to-day costs – see his comments here:

https://chicotaxpayers.com/2016/02/02/its-good-to-see-people-asking-questions-about-funding-torres-shelter/

https://chicotaxpayers.com/2016/01/27/torres-shelter-closing-may-be-reason-to-celebrate/

https://chicotaxpayers.com/2016/01/28/i-think-we-all-agree-we-need-some-level-of-help-for-homeless-people-but-we-need-to-be-asking-questions-about-the-expense-and-lack-of-results/

He says they don’t receive much public money – he seems to forget all the salaries that go into that place that are paid with public money. I’ve given examples in those posts. According to Butte County Administrative Officer Paul Hahn, over half the county budget goes to indigent and mental health services.

Montgomery says it costs roughly $25  a day to house each person at the Torres, asking who can beat that. Well, I can’t – I did the math on our property taxes yesterday, and that adds $26 a day to our expenses, right off the top. We also house people, and yeah, given they have to pay their own utilities (including the salaries and pensions of utility company management), buy groceries and gas in a town swimming with public salaries, and compete for everything from daycare to clothing with people who can afford anything they want, I’m pretty sure it costs them more than $25 a day per person.

And when we go to Enloe Hospital, we are on the hook for our whole bill, or we are dead beats. Not only does Enloe serve the indigents for free, they just handed $20,000 of patient’s money to the shelter, as if it came out of  Mike Wiltermood’s back pocket.

Got any more comments to make Brad? Please, step right up, don’t wait until a post is a couple of weeks old and you don’t think anybody is reading it anymore.  

I also noticed in my stats, somebody had been looking at posts I made about Tea Party presentations. We used to have a very active Tea Party, they met monthly, and had guest speakers, like Brian Nakamura, short term city assassin. They’d filmed these presentations and posted them, sending me links to post. Now those links don’t work anymore, sorry about that. When I checked into the Chico Tea Party, I see it’s pretty dead. I can’t find current information on any local Tea Party groups. Wow, talk about a tempest in a Tea Pot.

As I recall, Tea Party patriots I knew started joining the “State of Jefferson” movement. They were having regular Sunday meetings at the library, but I don’t see those scheduled anymore. State of Jefferson, or the Pacific State, as some call it now, is still active elsewhere. 

https://www.facebook.com/StateofJeffersonParty/

At last, the unfunded pension liabilities are getting some attention.

http://www.foxandhoundsdaily.com/2016/03/doing-the-gasb-gasp/

John Moorlach actually considered a run for governor a couple of elections ago, but I’m  guessing he stared straight into the machine that is Jerry Brown and his testicles went right into his throat. At least he’s still banging his drum.  

Reading that, we must wonder, what is Butte County’s unfunded liability? City of Chico is carrying over $90 million. 

 

 

 

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12 Responses to “Bits and pieces – readers’ questions lead me to some interesting reading”

  1. bob March 10, 2016 at 1:04 pm #

    PG&E is a criminal enterprise. Check this out.

    America’s Largest Utility Hikes Rates Most In 9 Years Despite NatGas Price Crash
    Happy New Year Californians – behold the power of monopoly and regulatory capture.

    “…the very same PUC that is being probed by a federal grand jury for potential illegal ties between the regulators and the executives of PG&E in this ballooning corruption scandal.”

    http://www.zerohedge.com/news/2016-01-02/monopoly-much-americas-largest-utility-hikes-rates-most-9-years-despite-natgas-price

    Dogtree and Little refuse to cover this. This impacts everyone who lives in Chico. This should be front page news. Dogtree and Little ought to be running investigative pieces and editorials on this but instead they are silent and refuse to cover this.

    • Juanita Sumner March 10, 2016 at 2:30 pm #

      Wow, thanks Bob – it’s always worse than I think.

  2. bob March 10, 2016 at 1:07 pm #

    U.S. Dead Last of 18 Countries on Skills Test

    “The report confirms the US educators get paid the most for delivering the least.”

    http://mishtalk.com/2016/03/10/u-s-dead-last-of-18-countries-on-skills-test-dead-last-the-norm-in-chicago/#more-35914

    That will make you want to run right out and vote for yet another school bond measure.

    • Juanita Sumner March 10, 2016 at 2:30 pm #

      Again, thanks Bob. I haven’t had a lot of time to read lately, thanks for doing this research. We have to beat back these tax grabs.

  3. bob March 12, 2016 at 5:32 pm #

    When is the deadline for filing a tax increase or bond measure for the June election?

    Haven’t heard a peep out of the tax eaters or the local media about this. I know the cops and CARD were pushing for more of our money.

    I am guessing they will not put anything on the ballot for June and will wait as long as possible for the general election.

    I am guessing they will keep a low profile as long as possible and maybe a month before the election launch a fast a furious propaganda blitz for the hears and minds of our wallets.

    • Juanita Sumner March 13, 2016 at 6:00 am #

      Worse – CARD will go for an assessment by mail, and I don’t think they are on the same schedule as the election.

      Would you mind calling CARD tomorrow or some day this week and asking them about it? I’ll call too, let’s see what we find out.

      I think the cops either have to do a petition or convince City Council to put their tax measure on the ballot. The deadlines for June are moving up fast, can’t remember the dates, but very soon.

      • Brad Montgomery March 18, 2016 at 11:47 am #

        Hello Juanita, There’s nothing complicated about the calculation of our $25 per day/per person figure. It’s just our annual expenses divided by the number of nights of shelter we provided. As far as stating that I’m waiting to respond until a post is old? That’s just not accurate. When I see something I respond as soon as I get some time. I didn’t notice us mentioned in “bits and pieces” until you forwarded me the link. The comments you made regarding your $10,000 in property taxes being used to fund us were inaccurate. There’s no property tax money that I’m aware of funding our organization and I thought the Chico Taxpayer’s Association would want to be accurate when making statements for and against what their taxpayer dollars are spent on. The clinician program that you mentioned above again is not part of your property taxes and it’s not a secret, we’re proud to have a clinician here at the Shelter and so is the Jesus Center (who shares that clinician with us). I’m not sure why you oppose having mental health treatment available at homeless shelters? That just seems prudent to me. It seems like you are determined to find some type of scandal or smoking gun regarding how we operate or how we are financed but there’s just nothing there. We are a relatively small nonprofit that is effective in our mission and and we help many people get back on their own feet. Thanks, Brad

      • Juanita Sumner March 18, 2016 at 2:59 pm #

        Brad, it’s preposterous of you to say you don’t get any support from my property taxes. You get the money indirectly, as I’ve said, through agencies that are funded by the county. I’m not going to argue that point with you anymore.

  4. Brad Montgomery March 22, 2016 at 2:23 pm #

    Hello Juanita, Please name a single dollar of your property taxes that has gone to support the Shelter? You can’t because you started with an inaccurate statement and instead of admitting that you were wrong you just kept attacking because accuracy is less important to you then the truth you feel in your heart is honest. Facts don’t matter when you know you are right? Objective truth taking a backseat to perception. What I do for a living helps our community. I can prove that several ways, but you’d never be able to hear that truth. And I do my job well. I was hoping we could have a good discussion eventually about whether or not our collective tax dollars are well spent – when they are and when they aren’t – but it has become clear to me that you are too angry to have an objective conversation regarding anything to do with taxes, utility bills, or any of the services connected to having a community. I don’t blame you for being angry, but as I’ve stated several times in my posts, I think your anger should be rooted to accurate facts and directed in an appropriate direction. But when I encounter someone who just wants to take governmental and utility services like you do for granted and never wants to pay for them – any of them! Someone who wants the world to just get better and everything to just be provided for her without her having to pay a dime towards it in any way, there’s really no way to have an objective conversation with someone who has this point of view. I’m sorry that you feel so victimized by the world around you. The world is nowhere near as dark and ugly as you perceive it and most people in the world are decent if you give them a chance. They aren’t out to take advantage of you. They don’t stay up nights thinking about how to trick you. That’s not being naive or optimistic, that’s a professional opinion from an occupation that deals with a considerable amount of dangerous people on a regular basis and I’m happy to report that most people are far more decent, independent and kind than you give them credit for and if we help them regain their self-sufficiency than you will have even less to be afraid of in the future. Thanks, Brad

    • Juanita Sumner March 22, 2016 at 5:32 pm #

      you’re starting to be abusive Mr. Montgomery. I told you, positions that serve Torres Shelter – like the counselor you get through Catholic Services – is paid with money from the county. The county gets – let’s see, what’s the split – 45 – 55 percent of my property taxes. I don’t need to separate out the dollars.

      You’re trying to shut me up by getting in my face, just flat denying the truth. This is the kind of behavior we get from your clients when we try to patronize businesses around town.

      • brad@chicoshelter.org March 28, 2016 at 5:27 pm #

        Wow – talk about disingenuous 🙂 I’ve already discounted your claims to county and local tax dollars over and over again including the Catholic Services positions you are referring to. It’s not your property taxes. But never let truth get in the way of a good story, right?

        Good luck on your quest Juanita. I do believe you are fundamentally a decent person, I think it’s a shame that you think so few of the rest of us mere mortals are. I am a decent person as well. I believe that helping people is possible and I prove it daily. Your life in Chico is better because of the work we do.

        I have shared the truth in every post, whether it’s your blind hostility, ignorance or concern about losing credibility among your very few acolytes holding you back or something else? I don’t know, I just know that you are not accurate in your posts and you should be on the topic of what our tax dollars are spent on. .

        I still applaud your efforts for raising awareness and civil responsibility. Please attempt to be more accurate in the future and take care of yourself 🙂 Thanks, Brad.

      • Juanita Sumner June 12, 2016 at 5:10 am #

        I found this old comment, made on a weeks old post, in my spam box. Appropriate.

        You pay no rent on a public building supported with taxpayer dollars (my taxes)

        You get about $30,000/ year in “transportation funding” from the city of Chico – where does that come from Brad? Some goose lays golden eggs or what?

        The shelter also competes with other local agencies for grant money from the city – also made up from my taxes.

        Your attempts to undermine my credibility are predictable being as most of the money goes into your salary.

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