Archive | July, 2016

You have to read the agendas

30 Jul

I haven’t been hitting the public meetings lately folks – when I realized this the other day, it was like waking up at the wheel of a moving car.

You know, Butte County public works manager is threatening to close the poo ponds at the dump, he says this will double the cost of having your septic tank pumped (!), and our local government officials are sitting around with their thumbs up their asses cause most of them are on sewer.

I just realized, my supervisor is on sewer. She represents two of the hill-billiest communities around here, Forest Ranch and Cohasset, and a district full  of septic tanks in Chico, and she doesn’t have a clue about septic tanks. Does she think the residents of Cohasset will pay twice as much to pump their tanks? No, when their tanks fail, they will call “Midnight Septic Service” and neither the county nor the city will be the wiser.

I told Maureen about the new soda machine at the Cohasset Store. Within a week somebody had shot it full of holes, leaving a note: “What? No Budweiser?!”  

Maureen is over her head, I don’t think she knew what she was getting into with that district. When the county made their trash franchise deal, County Administrative Officer Paul Hahn said his office’s phones “rang off the hook for two weeks with complaints.” I’d say, he was lucky people used their phones.

Maureen’s constituents had been blind-sided. She’d offered up a little public meeting at the Forest Ranch store, but didn’t notice it properly, and nobody came. When the deal rolled out and rates were increased while service was cut,  they were really pissed. I made a point to make sure they all knew who was responsible – most of my neighbors in Forest Ranch did not even know what district they were in, much less who was their Supe. Now they sure as hell know. 

Did Maureen learn anything? I don’t think so, this poo ponds thing has been kicking around in meetings for the better part of a year, and she has not notified her constituents. She has an office, and a staff, paid for by us, and she could get a list of her district addresses from Candy Grubbs, send regular notices as to what’s happening – especially stuff like, “the cost of pumping your septic tank is about to double…” – but she chooses not to.  She could have a website, but does not. 

So, I will have to attend the “Local Goverments” committee meeting next week, how exciting. I’ll try to keep you awake.

Click to access LGC-8-3-16-AgendawithAttachments.pdf

Actually those meetings are full of interesting topics. At the same time they are discussing screwing septic tank owners all over Chico, they will give us an update about how they are trying to force more people onto city sewer. They will also discuss an accusation made by the Grandiose Jury that Chico does not spend enough “local taxpayer dollars” on the homeless. I’m sure some of you might have something to say about that. 

Of course there’s nothing on this agenda or any other I’ve received about pending rate increases from PG&E and Cal Water.  Nor is there an update on the trash franchise deal.

Does anybody pay attention to this stuff? No, at least half the residents of Chico are butt in air, head in gopher hole. That is a position that leaves a person is prime position for a good screwing.

Stop the presses! CARD employees to begin paying toward their own benefits! (having paid NOTHING up to now…)

26 Jul

Ooooooo! Chico Area Rec District director Ann Willmann will pay 5 PERCENT out of her $100,000-plus salary toward 70 percent of her highest year’s salary, available at age 55!  

Let me be the first to say, “Big Fucking Deal Mrs. Potato”.  She’s been stealing from us all these years, and she thinks she can just wash her hands and give us that “Who? Me?” look.

According to this morning’s Enterprise Record:

CHICO >> A balanced 2016-17 budget for the Chico Area Recreation and Park District was passed last week, but the financial document for the special district is a little different from the preliminary one.

Guided by a board and staff that wanted to see savings because of long- suspended maintenance costs and other expenses, the budget process has resulted in cutbacks and in changes, that include employees for the first time paying for a portion of their retirement.

While that w ill save CARD revenue, there are other matters that mean more expense, like aging facilities that need work or repairs, and personnel costs from the rising minimum wage. There are also new allocations for long- discussed priorities, according to Chair Bob Malowney during a phone interview. Paying a portion toward their Public Employees Retirement System costs, employees will be looking to contribute from 1 to 4 percent of their pay, depending on the positions, according to CARD business manager Olivia Wilson. The amount of savings was not immediately available.

General Manager Ann Willmann will start to pay a portion as well. The board also approved a 5 percent raise for her that will start in December that was previously discussed by the board. She’ll be making $105,000 a year, according to Wilson.

Excuse me, but that’s crap. Why are we paying benefits and retirement for people who make more than twice the median income?

Just a show for the public because  they are still kicking around the idea of a swimming pool tax. They know it looks bad that they don’t pay anything, so they are making a very petty show. They’ve budgeted $80,000 for a consultant, just to get that on the ballot.  They want us to pay down the rest of their nearly $2 million pension deficit. That’s two million dollars for less than 30 employees who get pensions.   

In the story, they admit they’ve “suspended maintenance costs” to pay down their salaries, benefits and FULL PAID pensions all these years. 

Chico a homeless Mecca? Butte County funds the programs that bring them flocking

25 Jul
See the little orange tent pitched there behind the hotel? I see people camped out here almost every time I go to Walmart.

Look hard, just a little to the right of the dark SUV – see the little orange tent pitched there behind the hotel?

Again, I’m noticing an uptick in the number of “street people” around Chico – including these pictured, camped illegally there behind the Oxford Suites. I often see signs of illegal camping on that lot – an old mattress sat against the back of a dumpster for a couple of weeks,  the usual trash accumulating on the ground nearby.  

As my husband and I drove out to do errands the other morning, we came across Chico PD rousting a camp at the Intersection of Pine and Mulberry, at the tiny green triangle bounded by Little Chico Creek.  There always seem to be camps there, the trash piles grow, until some local feel-good group goes in to clean it out. Then the bums just move back in.

Hey, Brad Montgomery – look at the agenda for the June 28, 2016, Board of Supervisors meeting:

3.03 * Agreement with Chico Community Shelter Partnership – The Chico Community Shelter Partnership is a non-profit organization dedicated to assisting individuals in their efforts to achieve self-sufficiency and a more stable lifestyle. The Chico Community Shelter Partnership has operated the Torres Community Shelter, providing shelter and related social services to those experiencing homelessness in the community for over 13 years.  Approval is requested for an agreement with Chico Community Shelter Partnership to provide peer-based services to homeless individuals through client support and mental health outreach services, and to shelter guests experiencing mental illness. The term of this agreement will be July 1, 2016 through June 30, 2017. The maximum financial obligation under this agreement shall not exceed $108,000 – action requested – APPROVE AGREEMENT AND AUTHORIZE THE CHAIR TO SIGN.

 Care to comment on that Brad? Where’d that money come from? 

Read the rest of the consent agenda here:

One handout for the indigent, mentally ill, badly parented, and filthy after another. Maybe that’s what this lady was talking about in this letter to the Enterprise Record:

POSTED: 07/17/16 Chico Enterprise Record

 It seems city managers, planners, stakeholders and social, nonprofit agencies have found the world of zero redevelopment dollars is like navigating a three-mast schooner without sails.

HUD’s 20 percent of redevelopment’s entitlements for low-income housing and services has introduced a criminal and dysfunctional population that is overtaxing police resources and skewing crime statistics for Chico. The city, having used redevelopment funds for acquiring “blighted” properties for years, is now in the process of using Community Development Block Grants for distributing their debt-imbued booty, including that low-income gift card to the nearest hedge fund.

And this brings us to the greenfield developments in southeast Chico. HUD, preferring to partner with intact redevelopment agencies and planners, is the wild card in this cold deck, with the added risk factor of direct foreign investment as a possible player in this backroom game.

The future of Chico is bleak and dangerous, because the mordant legacy of redevelopment and its partnerships has been a secreted and cynical, as well as delusional, belief in economic devices to promote land use policies for a “clean and safe” Chico that have failed spectacularly.

A trip downtown to coffee shops or walking city streets exposes one to a gauntlet of miscreants and mentally ill individuals, with no apparent boundaries, dumped daily into public domain by their agencies’ betters. Why would anyone believe the City Council, planners, or economic partners of finance schemes care about anything but their spreadsheets and pocket books? I don’t.

— Carolyn Hana, Chico

Supervisor Kirk responds to my concerns about Chico Unified bond

25 Jul

I wrote a note to my third district supervisor, Maureen Kirk, about the Chico Unified School District bond that is before the Butte Supes tomorrow, and this is all she had to say:

“I understand your concern. The Board is not recommending the bond. We are putting it on the ballot.”

I had asked her to pull the item from the consent agenda for discussion, but she didn’t get back to me.

Frankly, I’ve been frustrated with Kirk lately. I asked her to protest the Cal Water and PG&E rate increases, and she filed for “party” status. That’s not a protest, that is just a notification list. To the CPUC, it fulfills the legal requirement to notice these rate increases. But neither Kirk nor Butte County, nor the city of Chico, filed formal protests, they all filed as a “party” to the rate increase.

The definition of the term “be a party to something” is “a participant in something; someone who is involved in something.”

In other words, our supervisors and city council and county and city staff just helped these utility companies raise their rates. It’s a boon for the city – as our bills go up, our utility tax payments will go up.

Thanks Maureen and company – with friends like you, who needs enemas?

Chico Unified, Butte College throw down their bond measures at Tuesday’s (7/26) county supes meeting – supes poised to approve both measures for ballot without any discussion

23 Jul

I found the following on the county clerk’s website:

From the Written Ballot Arguments Guide Book – Filing Deadline Based on the time reasonably necessary to prepare and print the arguments, analysis, and sample ballots and to permit the 10-calendar-day public examination, the county elections official shall fix and determine a reasonable date prior to the election after which no arguments for or against any county measure may be submitted. (Elections Code section 9162) Refer to the “Calendar of Events” (separate document) for filing deadline.

There was no “Calendar of Events” posted, so I had to write a note to the clerk.  She sent me the link to which I’d referred, and responded to my other question in blue.  She resent me the link I’d already told her I’d looked at, but no “Schedule of Events.” She simply gave me the information. I am afraid to criticize Grubbs, she’s very vindictive, but she should have that schedule of events posted already.   There should also be something about it in the agenda item on the supervisor’s agenda, but oh well.  It’s our job to stay on top of these people. Grubbs is, of course, supposed to work for the voters – yeah, ha ha ha.

Sent: Friday, July 22, 2016 6:02 AM
To: Elections <>
Subject: schedule of events for Nov 2016 election


 I have been searching your website for the “Schedule of Events” for the November election, mentioned in the County Ballot Measure Written Argument Guide, but can’t find it. Please direct me. 

I am also interested in being notified when Chico Unified School District brings in their bond measure – is there any such notification list? I know your office will post an ad for arguments, but am afraid I’d miss it – having absolutely no clue as to where or when to look for it –  and I want to be notified so as to be able to write an argument if I choose to do so.  

The district has filed their resolution and request for consolidation with our office.  The request for consolidation will be considered by the Butte County Board of Supervisors at their July 26th Board meeting.  Arguments in favor of and Arguments against must be filed in the Butte County Clerk-Recorder Elections Division Office located at 155 Nelson Avenue no later than 5pm August 19th.  A legal notice will appear in the Chico Enterprise Record with this information as well.

 Thank you for your anticipated cooperation, Juanita Sumner

Anyhoo, I see, the board of supervisors is hearing this item in three days, on the consent agenda! So, the board of supervisors seems to be pushing this thing up our ass?

So I sent the following note to Maureen Kirk, Third District Supervisor:

Hi Maureen,

I see the board will be considering the CUSD bond on the consent agenda Tuesday. 

Here are some things the board should know.

1) the school district has already issued $78 million in bonds – at one time promising a third high school. This bond includes language protecting them if they should fall short – “passage of measure does not guarantee that all financed facilities listed in the measure will be completed….”  They are already wiggling out. 

2) we have teachers making twice the median income and administrators making 4 –  5 times the median income

3) only 15 – 18 percent of CUSD students participate in ACT Testing, and less than 40 percent participate in SAT – these are the standards  by which they measure the district’s collective achievement. There have been charges made that  schools skew their test scores artificially by keeping “dumb” kids from taking the tests – how would we know? 

Please ask them what is their pension deficit, and how much of this money will go toward paying that off?  If they deny that, ask them where this bond will free up other money to pay their pension deficit.

I don’t know if I can attend – we have a fixed schedule, we have to work outside no matter how many digits the thermometer is holding up, we can’t afford to lose tenants right now. So I’m depending on you to push back on this grab. This bond measure shouldn’t even be on the ballot Maureen. Between the utility companies and the school district, Chico is becoming unaffordable.

I’ll have to tell my tenants to look for a rent increase, and I’ll have to tell them why, and who is responsible. 

I just turned over one of my rentals. I noticed, before they even moved in, we got their voter registration/ change of address in the mail box. All my tenants vote.

Thanks, Juanita

The measure is included in this week’s board agenda, item 3.07 ($taff of course recommends approving the measure without any discussion or public notice):

The previous item is a  bond for Butte College.

 First you watch the skies, and then you squeal like a pig. 

Get ready to stand up to the tax grabs

16 Jul

Something Bob has reminded me time and time again – nobody is stepping forward to oppose these tax measures that are tossed at the ballot. For example, a general sales tax increase was approved by a squeaking 51.55 percent of the voters (51 percent required!) of Paradise, with absolutely no opposition? Nobody came forward, no local group, no public-minded individual, came forward to oppose that increase. 

Click to access results-1.pdf

That’s on page 8. 

Unbelievable. 192 people force a town of over 26,000 people, not to mention the surrounding residents who bring their business to town, to pay an additional half cent sales tax? 

As is usually the case, the city of Paradise made vague threats to cut services from cops to clerical if they didn’t get the money. But nobody came forward to tell the voters about this?

First you see 11 management salaries over $100,000, police making $80 – 90,000/year, then you see median residential income at about $39,000.   I hate to be melodramatic, but come on – these public pigs are living on the backs of some of the poorest people in California. 

How did this measure pass? 

First you see – abysmal turnout. Only about 300 people even voted on the measure. 

Second, like Bob said – no opposition. Not even one person willing to provide their name and phone number or a simple argument as to why this measure should not pass.

In November we have at lease one tax measure coming at us – Chico Unified Schools.  The last news I had was in June – the board voted to go to the ballot. I would like to write an opposing argument to this measure, and any others that come up, so will be watching the clerk’s website for the information.

Look at these salaries and benefits – these people are lining their nests with our children’s futures.

If you are as sick as I am of this dog-in-manger behavior, join me in opposing these tax grabs. 



I have a few comments I’d like to make to the CPUC, but I don’t think they want to hear them

14 Jul

No,  I am not going to attend the PG&E rate increase hearing scheduled for 6:00 this evening. Here’s the notice I just got from the little CPUC shill who attached himself to my leg when I asked Butte Supervisors and City of Chico to protest these rate increases.

Subject: RE: REMINDER: 7/14 CPUC Public Hearing on PG&E Rates

 Good afternoon!

 I hope you’re well!  I’m just writing to ask if you’ll be able to join us at our hearing in Chico (at the Chico Elks Lodge) tomorrow Thursday 7/14 @ 6 PM on PG&E’s rate increase requests.  Will you be able to make it?  We hope to see you there!


 Cody Naylor

News & Outreach Office

California Public Utilities Commission

415 703 4372

He tries to get me to post these notices on the blog – we’re grateful for any assistance you can provide to help publicize this event and spread the word to your contacts  – but I’m not going to shill for a shill, end of story.  I told him same.

No, I will not attend. I know this meeting is just a legal requirement for PG&E to increase rates, my comments don’t matter. I have other important matters to which I need attend. 
I have not shared your invitation with my readers, friends, or tenants. We’ve been discussing the scandal-plagued relationship between the CPUC and PG&E, among other things.

In future please feel free  to contact me at

Thank you for your due diligence, Juanita Sumner 

Get a load of the CPUC payroll – about 1150 employees take over $100 million in compensation. But, according to the first state audit of the CPUC conducted in 20 years, money can’t buy ethics or decency.  No matter how much you pay these motherfuckers, they still steal, and cheat to line their friends’ pockets as well. 

Here’s a good article from last year describing what they are trying to do, this is about the most up-to-date information I could find. I’ll keep working on it.

I think the single thing we can do to turn this situation around is get a better governor. Here’s an interesting article from LA Times

I like John Chiang, although I’m getting pretty sick of Democrat domination of our state.  He’s responsible for extensive websites reporting public salaries, as well as withholding legislators’ paychecks when they didn’t come through with a budget on time. I want to hear where he stands on “pension reform” – we know we have a huuuge pension liability, and it’s ruining our credit rating as a state, but who should be responsible for paying it down? 

Some people seem to believe the taxpayers should foot the bill for these lavish pensions. I don’t. What do you think? 

Are you sick of junk mail? You’re not allowed to wrap your groceries in a plastic bag, but the local newspaper can dump garbage in the street in front of your house?

13 Jul

I usually keep this conversation to my worldofjuanita blog, but here I find, the city is at fault. For one thing, we have a city-wide ban on “single use” plastic shopping bags, but here the Enterprise Record can wrap a pile of ads in a plastic “sleeve” and toss it in the street out front of your house?

Read here:

Market Value Place – ad rag resorts to “bomber” mailings – OPT OUT OPT OUT OPT OUT!

Why pay public salaries for a job done better for yourself?

5 Jul


I’ll get out early for a pancake breakfast, and I’m not alone. I’ve noticed,  the annual 4th of July pancake breakfast is one of the best attended events in Chico.


Held near Sycamore Field at One Mile, this event brings so many people, I would advise you to get yourself down there by the first flip at 7:30. Or take a folding chair and a snack.


At about 8:20, this was the line up for the syrup station. You can see the pancake trailer to the right there, where Bob and his flapjack flipping fanatics were flinging them out furiously.


This is why this event requires a big, open venue. They just kept coming and coming. For every pancake that hit a paper plate, I would estimate, another 5 people got out of their cars and started wandering in.  There’s the line for the pancake wagon snaking out around the baseball field, Bob and the crew are holed up in the trailer. I wonder if any of them are making the “Jaws” joke – “I think we need a bigger griddle…”   My husband took pictures of the line to send around to our procrastinating friends.


My husband kept leading me toward Sycamore Field, showing me how the line went all the way out to the road.


As we came over from the Vallombrosa side, we walked with an enthusiastic crowd. They greeted friends they hadn’t seen since last year, talked about driving in from all parts of Butte County and beyond, for an event they wouldn’t miss “for the world,” according to one woman.

The smell of syrup and sausages was just about maddening.


We saw that all the bike racks were full, there’s our old tandem added to the pile. We could see people walking in from the surrounding neighborhoods, some of them extended groups. As we rode our bike home about 8:45, we saw more people headed up through the park, some of whom asked us if we saved them any pancakes.

It occurred to me, I sure hope Bob had plenty of batter!

My family has always lived within an easy bike ride of Bidwell Park, we’ve used it alot over the years, and whenever there’s an event we try to check it out. This is without doubt one of the top five most attended, if not the most attended event. The only one we could think of that compares is the annual Polar Bear Swim on New Year’s Day. We also remember well-attended Endangered Species Fairs at Cedar Grove, but have not noticed the same size crowds at that event in recent years.

These events beat the Bidwell Park Centennial last year, easily. Neither the city nor CARD were very enthusiastic in their presentation of that event, which could easily have been a week long affair complete with a parade, bike fair, maybe even some mention of the 1939 Robin Hood production, scenes for which were filmed at different sites in the park. I was shocked the park department didn’t put more into the centennial of one of our town’s biggest tourist attractions and public treasures.

Meanwhile CARD budgets for two movie nights a year, showing such masterpieces as “Grease” and “Bees.” They actually showed “Robin Hood” a few years, but for some reason fail to make an annual event of it.  They pay for a film association license to be able to rent and show these movies to the public.  The rental is expensive – more for more popular movies – and the rules for fund raising are very strict. I think the licensee is only allowed to charge an attendance fee that covers the cost of the film, and then have to give the film association a cut of any money made.

I’ve attended a few of these, and while I’ve enjoyed the showing, on a screen set up at Sycamore Field, I’ve counted the crowd – there’s never been even 100 people at the movie showings I’ve attended, including a “Robin Hood” showing. I’d question the expenditure for their license and the rental, I don’t think it pays. It’s just a fad, outdoor movies, but there are too many others who do a better job, and get a lot more attendees.

CARD used to sponsor the 4th of July pancake breakfast, putting up the money to pay Bob and provide the services of Work Training Center employees for clean-up – about $3,000. This year they cited a tight budget and announced they did not have the money to sponsor the event, that it would be cancelled. Chico Running Club quickly rushed in to host the event.

I wrote a letter to the Enterprise Record when I heard about it.

Chico Area Recreation District will no longer host the city Fourth of July celebration because they don’t have $3,000?


This on the heels of news they will close iconic Shapiro Pool, having neglected maintenance for years. 

According to budgets available on their website, CARD will receive about $6.9 million in revenue this year, almost $4 million of that from property taxes and assessments.  Salaries and benefits eat over $5 million.  Of over 300 employees, about 33 management take just over half the salaries, another $700,000-plus going toward their pensions and health insurance.  They pay more toward their pensions every year as they continue to cut programs, even the popular “Junior Giants” baseball, turning children away because they say they can’t afford staff adequate to supervise them.

CARD has over $1.7 million in pension liability while management pay nothing toward their pensions. The current director makes  over $100,000 a year and gets a $28,000 benefits package.  The households in the district have median income of about $42,000.

CARD management complain they need more money to fulfill their mission.  Meanwhile, non-profit, mostly volunteer-run agencies, like Westside Little League, Chico Running Club,  North Valley Hockey, and several soccer leagues continue to pick up the slack. 


Has CARD failed in it’s mission to provide affordable recreation for Chico? Do we really need CARD anymore?

Yes,  CARD has failed in it’s mission. No we don’t need CARD anymore.

As we rode our bikes off into the park that is paid for with taxpayer dollars, my husband and I listened to the band warming up, strains of “Oh say can you see…”



How will you celebrate “The Fourth”? Try acting like an American

4 Jul

I always wonder, how many Americans have even read the US constitution? How many of you have read the California constitution? The city charter?

Good homework for “The Fourth.”  

I’ve been reading up on the laws regarding tax measures, how they are enacted, and how the public citizen can resist an avaricious government.

First, we must “Watch the skies!”   Actually, we have to watch the agendas. That is where the initial discussion of putting a tax measure on the ballot is supposed to happen.  We all know it actually happens in private meetings, but, legally, it has to pass through a public discussion before it can be handed to the county clerk, so there’s a place for the observer to begin. I’ve been watching agendas not only for council meetings and county supervisor meetings but the smaller committee meetings in between.

I have to admit, I’ve been distracted with Chico Area Recreation District, trying to figure out whether their tax grab will appear on the November ballot or whether they will go the slimy way and deliver assessment ballots by mail.  Assessment elections aren’t the same as regular elections – they are rigged with bigger property owners getting more votes, the “weight” of each property owner’s vote being determined by the very board that is asking for the tax. These shouldn’t be legal – that’s our fault. We need to try to get rid of the entities that can attach us this way, starting with CARD, and including the Butte County Mosquito and Vector District.

I haven’t heard an elected official at either the city of Chico or Butte County mention a sales tax increase, but with municipalities all around us seeking, and in some cases, getting a sales tax increase out of the voters, I’m worried. Ex-city mangler Tom Lando, the guy who came up with the MOU that attached city salaries “to revenue increases but not decreases,” has been stumping for a sales tax increase for a few years now, saying he wants this and that amenity for the public, as well as better paid cops and fire fighters. 

Wow, what’s better than a base pay of $62,000/year with automatic step increases and mandated overtime that can as much as double that base salary? Not to mention paying only 12 percent toward a retirement of 90 percent of your highest year’s pay at age 50? What the helllllll could be better than that? 

Ask Lando, a guy who is in the regular habit of dropping a C-note for lunch.

I don’t believe Lando is worried about the public, I think he is worried about his $12,000/month pension payments.  Can you imagine living on $134,000/year, without having to work? Just getting a check for the rest of your life.  Ask Barbara McEnepsy – how’s life out on Keefer Road Hon? I don’t even know what Barbara McEnepsy did for the city, but she receives an even higher pension than Lando. 

Here’s the real stinker – these two individuals retired before the rules were changed to make employees “pay their own share” – neither Lando nor McEnepsy paid a dime toward their pensions.

If you are not outraged about paying these pensions, I’ll say – you’re not an American.