The problem with Bidwell Park: they’ve deferred maintenance but kept on paying their salaries and benefits

11 Jan

I e-mailed park manager Dan Efseaff yesterday regarding the backhoe that sank into the asphalt path in Bidwell Park. This is a heavily used commuter trail.  In good weather you will see people riding Downtown to their jobs.  My husband and I use  it regularly to get out and do various errands around town, most of which involve SPENDING MONEY. So I wanted Efseaff to know, somebody cares. 

I wonder when we can expect repairs to the asphalt path under the freeway. My husband and I encountered a city back hoe sunk into it yesterday. There’s a big sinkhole there.  I got a good picture for my blog if you want to see it –   chicotaxpayers.com

 The asphalt was just laid right over dirt – this path has been undermined by gophers for some time. There should be road base laid under asphalt, with proper preparations. The little sinkholes that have formed over the years are a hazard, especially for pedestrians. This back hoe sinking was bound to happen, but it’s just lucky nobody has been injured. I use the park paths regularly, and there’s hazards out there  that need to be addressed, including these asphalt paths laid improperly over dirt. 

 Thanks, Juanita Sumner

The response I got was nothing short of depressing:

Hello,

 Yes, unfortunately the City skimped on road base years ago when the paths and roads were paved, we sometimes tread on the asphalt as if it is thin ice—the backhoe broke thru as we were clearing a hazard tree across the path.   In addition, the recent weather conditions have accelerated the decline of a number of deferred maintenance issues.

 We will need to wait until the soil is dry enough for us to do a temporary repair (fill and compact properly).  We will then put on some gravel base to provide a temporary surface (and better base for the future), and then later schedule an asphalt repair when Right of Way starts that operation later in the year.  The temporary fix will reconnect the path.

 Long-term, we will seek funding options for more comprehensive repairs and fixes to Lower Park roads and paths.

 We are collecting an inventory of issues, so let us know if you see anything new (530-896-7800), but be careful in the Park the next couple of days as the wind and saturated conditions are of concern to us.

Thanks.

 Sincerely,

 Dan Efseaff |Park and Natural Resource Manager

530.896.7801 | dan.efseaff@Chicoca.gov

Yes Efseaff admits the park has been “skimped on”, while salaries have gone up and benefits have been paid.

According to Public Pay, Efseaff makes $93,000 in salary and gets a $47,000 pension and health package.  He pays 9 percent of his package – what, less than $5,000/year out of a $93,000 salary for 70 percent of that salary into perpetuity. 

Whenever I read this stuff I want to slap their hands – “get the hell out of my purse, Leech! 

Here’s a guy who admits, he just hasn’t been doing his job – he collects the salary and perks, alright, but he “defers” the work. Great! 

A “temporary” repair for a trail that is a major commuter route in dry weather? They will “seek funding options”? 

Here’s the city’s 2016-17 budget:

http://www.chico.ca.us/finance/documents/2015-16CityFinalAnnualBudget.pdf

The park fund has a lot of money in it, but management eats like pigs.  Park salaries outpace the budget by almost $5 million, leaving a deficit in the General/Park fund of $4,266,937.

So I gotta wonder – what does he mean when he says “seek funding options”? 

And, he makes the usual plea for us to help him collect his $93,000 a year salary – “let us know if you see anything new”? 

Don’t get your loafers dirty Dan. 

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4 Responses to “The problem with Bidwell Park: they’ve deferred maintenance but kept on paying their salaries and benefits”

  1. Jim January 11, 2017 at 8:17 am #

    City staff and management always take care of them selves first, every time. I hate the term “public servants” when they are so self serving.

    • Juanita Sumner January 11, 2017 at 8:27 am #

      Jim, I always feel that you speak for many people here in town, and I wish they would find their own voices and stand up on these issues. Thanks Jim, you’re a good citizen and friend.

  2. bob January 11, 2017 at 1:22 pm #

    …we will seek funding options…

    He misspelled tax increase. Prepared to be Efseaff’ed.

    • Juanita Sumner January 12, 2017 at 5:05 am #

      Thanks for saying it Bob – yes, the city is pandering for a tax increase.

      There used to be this bear at the San Diego Zoo. He was so spoiled with treats from the crowd he’d sit in the front of his enclosure with his paw extended like a panhandler. This is the face of entitlement.

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