No, Measure K was not “about the kids”

1 Feb

I forwarded the article from the Sacramento Bee that I posted here yesterday

to Chico Unified School District Finance Director Kevin Bultema, asking how the failure of California Teachers Retirement System would affect our school district. He responded,

Good afternoon Ms. Sumner,

This has been one of the key budget issues facing CUSD.  The recent downward adjustments in CalSTRS estimated investment earnings is adding additional pressure to employer contribution rates in future years.  Employees did have a small increase in their contribution rate in 2015-16 from 10% to 10.25%.  The employer contribution rate has increased since 2015-16 and is projected to increase each year through 2020-21.  We discuss the financial impact of the projected PERS and STRS rates at every budget presentation.  Below is a slide we include in all of our budget presentations to keep our board and the community informed of this issue.  I hope this helps answer your question.  Have a great evening. 

Bultema ran the Measure K campaign, but gee Beav, none of this stuff came up in his Argument For, nor in the rebuttal to my argument, where he and Mark Sorensen chastised me for not getting it. 

Maureen Kirk told me she was supporting Measure K because “The more I looked into it, I came to the conclusion that the schools really need our help and support. This does not support retirement and benefits and directly helps the students.”

I wrote to Kirk and Sorensen and chastised them for their support of Measure K, forwarding Bultema’s e-mail with the link to the Sac Bee. I hope you will do same:

The rebuttal to my argument against Measure K claimed I didn’t “get it.” Well, do you get it now Mark?  Here Kevin Bultema admits, CalSTRS has been failing, but nobody mentioned that during the Measure K campaign.  It’s all about the kids, huh Maureen?  Just in case you don’t read The Bee, I included a link to the article I had referenced to Bultema, although I know Mark already knows exactly what’s going on.  Sincerely disgusted, Juanita

Kirk and Sorensen are both up in 2018.  Where can we find suitable replacements? 

Meanwhile, another thing to remember, Chico Area Recreation District has hired the same consultant to run their bond/assessment campaign, so be ready for LIES LIES LIES.

6 Responses to “No, Measure K was not “about the kids””

  1. bob February 1, 2017 at 8:54 am #

    Thanks for keeping attention on this subject. It is a problem that is not going away and I guarantee you we will hear more obfuscation from the politicians and bureaucrats.

    PERS and STRS are still far too optimistic in the assumptions they make about what their returns will be. Plus we are long over due for a bear market in stocks. And what happens if we have a repeat of 2008 in the market?

    You can expect the taxpayers to get stuck with ever higher “contributions.” You can expect more tax increases and bond measures in the future.

    Kirk and Sorensen’s arguments are clueless. But I think they really know what the problem is and just refuse to acknowledge it. I find it hard to believe they are too stupid to understand this.

    They are just captured by special interests so they will not publicly acknowledge the truth.

    It’s the people who vote for them that are clueless.

    I am not sure what we can do when we have an electorate that can’t see past the BS they are fed by politicians and special interests.

  2. Juanita Sumner February 1, 2017 at 1:13 pm #

    Thank you for the article Bob.

  3. leonard costa April 27, 2017 at 6:27 am #

    it upsets me that voters don’t research the purpose of measures and why now at over 150 years is there a need for these measures. mismanagement and poor budgeting is the answer. looking at our property taxes there are several measures from cusd and butte college that passed because of mismanagement. why do we have to pay for something we will never use or benefit from. as a home owner I budget myself for upkeep and repairs for my home. if I need to repaint or put a new roof on my house I don’t expect my neighbors to pay for it. if they want to put measures on the ballet that affects property owners directly then only property owner should vote on the measure. we need to have a measure in our next election to remove all additional measures on our property tax bill and only property owners should be allowed to vote on it. that’s the only way to force many groups in our community to be responsible and work within there budget.

    • Juanita Sumner April 27, 2017 at 11:00 am #

      Thanks for commenting Leonard.

      I have struggled to understand the difference between “mailed assessments” and a regular bond election, ever since CARD started talking, very hush-hush, about assessing property owners to pay for an aquatic center. I found out, with mailed assessments, larger property owners, like retail center and apartment owners, get more votes than homeowners. Many of those people don’t even live in California, they are investment groups. The more valuable your property, the more votes you get. I don’t know if mailed assessments are fair to every property owner.

      Mailed assessments are also done very quietly – not with the hoop-rah of an election. They look like junk mail, so if you throw yours out you lose your vote. Even if only 10 ballots are turned back in, those 10 ballots decide the issue. And you better believe, the big property owners have staff who know about this stuff, they get noticed by these agencies, and they make sure they vote. Big property owners have more to gain from most of these assessments, and they can pass the cost along to their tenants.

      The most recent assessment done by mailed ballot was for the Butte County Mosquito and Vector Control District – when was the last time they sprayed mosquitoes in your neighborhood? They are supposed to notice – I haven’t had a notice since my family bought this property 20 years ago. But look at your property tax bill – my house got a $20 assessment, for nothing. Do you remember voting in that election? I can’t remember the exact number, but a very small number of ballots resulted in that assessment on your property taxes. Meanwhile, rice farmers in the county pay 7 cents an acre – check your bill, it’s way more than that for a home. The director of that agency makes about $105,000/year plus pension and benefits and pays less than 3% of his pension. It’s funny – that assessment coincided with CalPERS announcement that they needed more money from that agency – the director told me his pension share was raised from one to three percent at that time – silly property owners agreed to pick up the rest!

      So, I don’t know what’s the best way to decide assessments. I don’t think they should be allowed either, and would love to see all that stuff taken off our property tax bills – but get ready to man your pitchfork, it would be an ugly fight.

      • leonard costa April 30, 2017 at 6:44 pm #

        yes I remember that ballot for the mosquito and vector control and I have yet to have met anyone that voted yes. very questionable outcome.

      • Juanita Sumner May 1, 2017 at 4:32 am #

        you know, you and another friend of mine are the only other people who I have spoken to who knew anything about that ballot, I often wondered how many of them were roundfiled as junk mail. I can’t remember how many ballots they actually counted. Mailed assessments are pretty sketchy, they don’t advertise in any way. I think my letters to the editor on the subject were the only thing I saw about it in the newspaper.

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