Did that chamber remodel really cost $345,000? Or is the city of Chico secretly siphoning funding to pay down the pension debt?

2 Feb

I asked city clerk Debbie Presson how much the city gets from Comcast customers per year, and she sent me a report.

“I am attaching a staff report from the 11/7/17 that may help to explain how the PEG funds are allocated to the City, which includes the yearly amount passed through to the City. “

You can see the whole report at the city website, under the agenda/minutes filed for the 11/7/17 meeting:

http://chico-ca.granicus.com/ViewPublisher.php?view_id=2

On December 18, 2007, the City Council adopted Ordinance No. 2368 which established, among other things, a
public, educational and governmental (PEG) support fee of one percent (1%) of the gross revenues of state video
franchisees operating within the City of Chico which is codified in Chico Municipal Code Title 5, Chapter 5.13,
Section 5.13.050. California Public Utilities Code Section 5870(n) was enacted as part of the Digital
Infrastructure and Video Competition Act of 2006 (DIVCA) and states that such an ordinance shall expire, and
may be reauthorized, upon the expiration of a state franchise. Comcast is currently the only state video
franchisee operating within the city of Chico and has a state video franchise certificate which will be expiring on
January 2, 2018. To ensure that there is no gap in the payment of PEG support fees, the City Council is being
asked to reauthorize the City’s PEG support fee and amend Title 5, Chapter 5.13 to include automatic
reauthorization of the PEG support fee.

I’m sorry, I don’t have eyes in the back of my head, I missed this one. And now they’ve made it automatic, so they may never have to discuss it in front of the public again. This is one reason people are so ignorant of what the local government is doing – they’re tricky, and they hide stuff, the fucking dirt bags. Did you know, they are allowed to destroy records after a year? That’s another ordinance they swept right under the rug. Ask council member if they know about it, and I’m guessing, they’ll lie through their teeth.

Look how $taff introduced the subject back in November:

Recommendation: The City Manager recommends that the City Council introduce the ordinance below by
reading of its title only.

ORDINANCE OF THE CITY COUNCIL OF THE CITY OF CHICO REAUTHORIZING CHICO MUNICIPAL
CODE CHAPTERS.13, FRANCHISES – DIGITAL INFRASTRUCTURE AND VIDEO COMPETITION ACT
OF 2006, AND ADDING SECTION 5.13.070 ENTITLED REAUTHORIZATION- Introductory reading

Yes, Chico city manager Mark  Orme made this recommendation, and he’s the one who came up with the title – which makes no reference whatsoever to a fee. That guy is the head of the stinking fish that is our local government.

Cause when the fish stinks, it’s the head of the fish that stinks…

Furthermore, ” In fiscal year 2016-17 the fee resulted in revenue in the amount of $183,304.”

Now, any idiot would know, Comcast didn’t pay that $183,304 – they picked up the ratepayers by the ankles, and shook it out of their pockets. Which is just about anybody in Chico who uses cable because “ Comcast is currently the only state video franchisee operating within the city of Chico…”  In fact, I’d guess, they can’t dump the whole charge on their video customers so they also tack it on to their internet billing. Read your bill – do you know what all those charges are for? 

One cable/internet company, just like we only have one garbage company.   

The city is involved in a racket. They set us up with one provider for whatever service and therefore we are forced to use that provider, and that provider can call whatever rates that provider wants, as long as they go along with the city racket. 

Furthermore, “The revenue from the PEG support fee is allocated in the city’s budget to support the operations of BCAC TV
Channel 11, through a Public, Education and Governmental Access Channel Operations agreement with Upstate
Community Enhancement Foundation (UCEF) (Project No. 210-000-8801/50284-210-4800) as well as for the
equipment and capital costs associated with the broadcasting of city governmental programming such as City
Council meetings.”

Did I read that right? Cause I don’t see anything about new seats, carpeting, or fancy wood paneling. Oh, I see – “equipment and capital costs…”  They keep it vague so it can be interpreted…

But apparently various government entities have been playing fast-and-loose with the interpreting:

From the National Review

http://www.nationalreview.com/article/455784/pension-crisis-hitting-home-school-choice-may-be-only-solution

Fearful of voter reaction to the growing pension squeeze on public services, some officials have tried to hide the problem, pretending to raise the money for other purposes. In late 2016, for example, San Francisco’s Bay Area Rapid Transit (BART) subway system sought voter approval to bond $3.5 billion in infrastructure improvements even though, as the East Bay Times later reported, the needed upgrade was already covered by an ongoing capital fund. More recently, departing New Jersey governor Christie Christie (R.) and General Assembly Speaker Vincent Prieto (D.) agreed to address the state’s retirement deficit by making the lottery an asset of the pension fund — while ignoring that the loss of gaming revenue will create an equivalent shortfall in the state’s operating budget.

Go back to my first post about this – the news story on Ch 7 said the remodel would cost between $175,000 and $225,000, but the grant is for almost $350,000.

Do you think Chico voters are as smart as Sonoma County voters?

Such shell games are unlikely to succeed much longer. Voters in California’s Sonoma County defeated a recently proposed quarter-cent sales-tax increase for road repair because of widespread suspicions that the measure was really a bait-and-switch tactic to fund pensions.

If you’re sick of this stuff, e-mail the council through debbie.presson@chicoca.gov and tell them you are tired of paying for this kind of crap while the street in front of your house looks like a section of Downtown Tijuana.

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5 Responses to “Did that chamber remodel really cost $345,000? Or is the city of Chico secretly siphoning funding to pay down the pension debt?”

  1. bob February 3, 2018 at 10:15 pm #

    Well, Taxing Tommy Lando is up to his old tricks…I smelled a rat behind that Chamber of Cronyism crock…and sure enough….

    https://www.newsreview.com/chico/time-to-tax/content?oid=25773405

    Why can’t that parasite just ride off into the sunset with his six figure pension and just leave us alone?

    And the Snooze came up with this. They make several good points about the absurdity of the situation, but amazingly at the very end of the editorial don’t rule out letting these criminals steal even more of our money. Yeah, let’s make people who will never be able to afford to retire pay more in taxes so Lando can keep his six figure pension which increases every year with cost of living adjustments. When was the last time you got a cost of living adjustment? How’s your six figure pension? Oops, none for you but you will pay more for Lando and the rest of these criminals who have robbed you blind for decades.

    https://www.newsreview.com/chico/bailout-plan/content?oid=25773390

    • Juanita Sumner February 4, 2018 at 6:32 am #

      Well, here’s my plan – I see Lando frequently, at places like Mangrove Safeway. He’s even tried to smile and say Hi to my husband and I. We give him the concrete face, but now, I’m going to give him a two middle finger salute. Same with Simmons – I’ve caught her at the library with her small children, and I”ve been nice – not anymore.

      I’ll never forget the night council members Kirk, Gruendl and Nguyen-tan had colluded illegally to get the late Colleen Jarvis’ husband into her seat. I outed the memo they’d shared, a Brown Act violation, so Gruendl’s supporters, including Karen Laslo, Tod Hall and Laurel Blankenship, physically assaulted my family, including my two young children, on the steps of City Hall. I was spit on, smacked in the nose, and Blankenship actually got into a tussle with my husband over possession of our video camera.

      We don’t have to be nice either. I’m not advocating violence, but a middle finger will tell them everything you want to say.

      • bob February 4, 2018 at 8:27 am #

        I bet in 2020 there will be a tax increase on the ballot (or maybe a special election in 2019 for this), and I bet the Snooze and Review will endorse it. There has never been a tax increase or bond measure that they haven’t endorsed that I can recall. If there was one they didn’t endorse, I’d like someone to tell me what it was.

        I bet that Lando and his posse at the Chamber also don’t make any concessions on the pensions and I bet the Snooze will be ok with that. And it’s not just cutting or at least slowing the rate of growth of Lando’s pension. Every year more bureaucrats, cops and fire fighters retire with 6 figure pensions (and every year the existing pensioners get cost of living increases). It’s a constant stream and it will bankrupt the city and a .75 cent tax increase won’t change that. It might hold it off for a few years, though.

        The people riding the gravy train and those trying to hop on board will do everything they can to keep the train going. We’ve had two tax increases on our homes last election, a trash tax increase and now we find out we are paying a hidden Comcast tax. And lets not forget the state tax increases on gas, diesel and the car registration tax. The only thing for sure is those gravy train riders will be relentless in their attempts to take all they can from us.

      • bob February 4, 2018 at 10:27 am #

        Didn’t the City pay for Lando’s MBA degree? Amazing.

        Then after he “retires” he takes his 6 figure pension, opens a “consulting firm” and gets city contracts.

        Then didn’t he get some government job with Oroville?

        He’s getting tax money from so many different sources I can’t keep it all straight.

        I will be working to pay for Lando for the rest of my days.

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