City manager Mark Orme, Assistant City Manager Chris Constantin behind the chatter for a sales tax increase

23 Jun

I’ve been trying to engage our city “leaders” regarding the trash tax –  according to City Manager Mark Orme, “the Muni Code Ordinance (which is on Tuesday’s [June 20] Council meeting) is going forward for final reading.  This allows for the City to entertain the Franchise Agreements (Ordinances) which will come back on August 1st – originally they were anticipated to return in July, but due to the Council’s, yours, and other members of the public’s feedback/input we are negotiating further to ensure clarity and that the best deal is had, under the circumstances.  Therefore, the action for Tuesday will lead to further discussion and approval or disapproval of the new franchises in August.”

I have a lot of problems with this “franchise agreement”, the main problem being that it is a tax in disguise. We all know the city is standing in front of a pension shitstorm with a tennis racket – their tennis racket appears to be a quarter cent sales tax increase.  At the May 16 city council meeting – at about 1:14:44 – local government shill Stephanie Taber got up to the podium and told council we need to raise taxes. Here’s the link – 

http://chico-ca.granicus.com/MediaPlayer.php?view_id=2&clip_id=673

I was not surprised,  but since Taber used to be a regular attendee of the old Chico Taxpayers Association meetings, I had to ask her what the hell she was thinking.

“Wow, what a tiger you are! Raise Taxes! 

I got a better idea Steph – why don’t you just get out YOUR own checkbook, donate all the money you want to the salaries and benefits, and leave the rest of us out of it.

Thank you! Juanita”

She replied, 

“First off, let me say that I would, along with other Chico residence have to “open my checkbook” and pay whether the city did this as a sales tax or GO bonds that would affect property taxes..either way I’d have to pay too.

The city would only raise 4 to 4.5 million per year if they increased the sales tax by a quarter cent.  Many of the city streets now utterly failing (there is a list in the 17/18 budget and discussed at Finance) would cost at least that much to now totally dig up and replace because of lack of maintenance during the Schwab years.  That is when millions of gas tax money was diverted to maintain S&B for city employees and to keep her in office along with Holcomb, Gruendl, Walker, Nickel, Flynn and that whole regressive crew.

The sales and/or GO Bonds that I think we must look at would be only used for infrastructure.  The funds coming in would be ear marked and put into a separate account that could be verified and restricted.  We’ve seen this new administration’s (Chris Constantin in particular) ability and willingness to do that and as long as we have fellow concerned citizens willing to spend a bit of time following the income and expenditures in a particular account I don’t see a problem.  Problems arise when administrations lie and hide as our state government is doing with the gas tax increase that the voters had no opportunity to weigh in on.

I’m a bit surprised that this is seen as a “Republican” /”Democrat” issue … there is no ideology involved in this.. it is simply a recommendation that we raise revenue (tax or GO Bonds) for a specific problem, infrastructure, that would benefit the entire city.   Today we are currently short 14 to 16 million and that figure will only go up if we sit and do nothing..to me that is not an option.”

Signed, “st

She always blames everything on the liberals, even now that the conservatives have been in power for almost two years. She also seems to forget all those meetings we sat at over the years, watching money transferred out of whatever restricted fund and into the General Fund. She even mentions the gas tax, which went entirely to salaries and benefits through “allocation” – a process Chris Constantin formalized as the rule of law almost as soon as he got hired here.  It’s now policy to keep funds balanced through transfers, any time a fund is low it’s city policy to take money from other funds to balance it, restrictions my ass.   At least before we saw when funds went into the red, now they just cover up with “allocations”. There’s a budget “appropriation” – that means “taking” – in almost every fucking agenda.

“Today we are currently short 14 to 16 million and that figure will only go up if we sit and do nothing…”

Who the Hell is “we”? I think the word we’re looking for here is “them,” or how about, “embezzlers…

I will say, she’s got a point – “Problems arise when administrations lie and hide as our state government is doing with the gas tax increase that the voters had no opportunity to weigh in on…” you mean, like the garbage tax Steph?

But there you see the puppet master – “The funds coming in would be ear marked and put into a separate account that could be verified and restricted.  We’ve seen this new administration’s (Chris Constantin in particular) ability and willingness to do that…”

I’ve known this woman for some years now, I’ve watched  her face light up every time Chris Constantin or Mark Orme paid her special attention. One day Mark Orme just put his arms around here after a meeting and gave her a big squeeze. These guys have her in their back pocket. It’s their work she’s at now. 

I heard it from a little shill…

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6 Responses to “City manager Mark Orme, Assistant City Manager Chris Constantin behind the chatter for a sales tax increase”

  1. bob June 24, 2017 at 11:36 am #

    The sales and/or GO Bonds that I think we must look at would be only used for infrastructure.

    And if you believe that, I have a bridge I’d like to sell you. But even if it is true, or partially true, that leaves more money that is now supposed to be going to roads to be siphoned off for pensions and other employee benefits. WHY NOT PUT ALL THE MONEY THAT SHOULD NOW BE GOING FOR ROADS INTO A FUND THAT CAN’T BE SIPHONED OFF???!!!

    This woman admits our tax dollars have been woefully mismanaged and I’d argue to the point of corruption. We have cops, fire and bureaucrats getting 6 figure pensions and for that matter most city employees have pensions while most in the private sector have none. The city’s unfunded liability problem is not going away with the tax increases she is proposing. She must acknowledge that until we have honest, accountable local government that is not beholden to special interests and until the city employee compensation issues, particularly the pension situation, are resolved the city will always have funding problems.

    Instead of fixing any of this her solution is to take it out on the hapless taxpayers and make them pay even more. And of course this will not fix the underlying funding problems. We all should know the employee compensation problems are only getting worse. She is clueless and is part of the problem.

    • bob June 24, 2017 at 11:46 am #

      Instead of fixing any of this her solution is to take it out on the hapless taxpayers and make them pay even more.

      This is the essence of government. The worse it does, the more it screws up, the more corrupt it becomes, well it all means no one is held accountable and the taxpayers are forced to pay even more through higher taxes and “fees” (really taxes).

      And this is why every person should be outraged with this situation and with Taber and her idiotic demands for tax increases.

  2. bob June 24, 2017 at 11:54 am #

    She even mentions the gas tax, which went entirely to salaries and benefits through “allocation” – a process Chris Constantin formalized as the rule of law almost as soon as he got hired here. It’s now policy to keep funds balanced through transfers, any time a fund is low it’s city policy to take money from other funds to balance it, restrictions my ass. At least before we saw when funds went into the red, now they just cover up with “allocations”. There’s a budget “appropriation” – that means “taking” – in almost every fucking agenda.

    This is institutionalized corruption.

    • Juanita Sumner June 24, 2017 at 1:34 pm #

      Thanks – institutionalized corruption is exactly what it is. I was at a loss for words when I watched them do it. They make everything so complicated nobody is able to keep up. I’m a college graduate and I really strained to understand what they were doing, it went by so fast, just like this new garbage deal.

      I knew somebody would be the goat, and it’s Stephanie.

  3. bob June 28, 2017 at 5:22 am #

    The county employee compensation, especially the pensions, are eating the county, too.


    Butte supervisors cut 79 jobs, Boys and Girls Club funding

    http://www.chicoer.com/government-and-politics/20170627/butte-supervisors-cut-79-jobs-boys-and-girls-club-funding

    • Juanita Sumner June 28, 2017 at 1:18 pm #

      People just don’t care anymore. They want to feel good and ignore problems. Our schools are telling kids to follow their dreams – meaning, go away and leave us to pillage at will!

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