The city budget is just a suggestion! See how they appropriate our money into their own pockets

13 Aug

The city of Chico posts the budget online:

But the budget isn’t set in stone, rather merely a suggestion.  Every month you will find appropriations – departments go over budget, and council just routinely approves mo’ money, mo’ money, mo’ money.  The memo below is on this coming week’s council agenda, available here,

Here we have an appropriation for the fire department – oftentimes it’s either cops or fire. The chief has given us a “partial” list of “unanticipated” costs, without any explanation. What, for example, did Chico Fire have to do with the “Oroville Spillway Incident”? What were they doing at the Santos Fire?

And how could we miss – $73,000 for “Unanticipated Retirements and Lay-offs”?

This is how they fritter our money, right under our noses.  This is why the state has their nose up our ass for fraud.

Meeting Date: 8/15/17
TO: City Council
FROM: Bill Hack, Fire Chief
RE:  FY2016-17 Supplemental Appropriation/Budget Modification No. 2017-FD-004


Throughout a fiscal year there are unanticipated costs incurred by the Fire Department. These costs are generally
associated with emergency response to large incidents or multiple medium sized incidents within the City of Chico,
unanticipated retirements or long-term absences, and other anomalies. The Department attempts to absorb all
unanticipated costs in the current adopted budget. However, depending upon the timing and/or amount of the
unanticipated costs it is often impossible to do so.

For Fiscal Year 2016-17, the Fire Department incurred at least $192,000 in unplanned expenses. The Department
was able to absorb approximately half of the unanticipated costs, but due to the magnitude and timing of the events
the department was unable to absorb $101,602 in expenses

A partial list of the unanticipated Fire Department costs for Fiscal Year 2016-17 is included below:

Oroville Spillway Incident (Partial Reimbursement Pending) – $25,000
Santos Fire – $20,000
Pay-outs for Unanticipated Retirements and Lay-offs – $73,000
Fire Investigations (Complex) – $10,000
Retroactive Salary Payments due to a processing error (2015-Present) – $27,000
Emergency Call-Back Coverage – $12,000
Other (Long-term Leave) – $25,000



6 Responses to “The city budget is just a suggestion! See how they appropriate our money into their own pockets”

  1. Jim August 13, 2017 at 6:28 am #

    Fixing the fire department cost is way over due. If the City would contract out fire department services with CalFire we could save about 30%. Paradise did this back in 2012. It would also solve the problem and costs of replacing the fire chief every year or so, this probably accounts for the $73,000 expense.

    • Juanita Sumner August 13, 2017 at 6:52 am #

      Thanks Jim, l will look at the record in paradise and see how that’s working for them I think we need to have a real conversation about that in Chico but council and staff keep stalling

      • Fred August 16, 2017 at 4:53 pm #

        I doubt Cal Fire has any interest in Chico Fire Department. What interest does Cal Fire have in taking on the Chico firefighters? The city has annexed the north Chico community, which moved the county to reduce their services in the community. The city fire consultant told the city they’ve needed a fire station in the north side of the city, but they’ve failed to make that happen.

        We need to ask why there are five staffed fire stations south of Lindo Ave, and only one north of the Lindo Ave (actually north of Garner)? The city needs to reallocate their resources to protect the communities they’ve annexed.

      • Juanita Sumner August 16, 2017 at 6:55 pm #

        I agree the city has poorly manage the fire department. The annexation was just for sales and property taxes I don’t know if they ever really intended to provide services. When I say I want to look into Cal Fire that’s all I mean. My family had better service with Butte Co Fire Dept

  2. Jim August 14, 2017 at 5:49 am #

    Most of the City Council members rely on the financial support from the police and fire unions. We are literally being held hostage by them. Their goal is for the taxpayers to continue to supporting their lavish and unsustainable pensions. They will bankrupt Chico and we will all loose out.

    • Juanita Sumner August 14, 2017 at 5:54 am #

      You’re right we need an ordinance limiting pac contributions

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