Letter to editor – staff can’t fix streets but they offer up a skating rink? If it sounds like a lie, it probably is

13 Oct

I couldn’t believe staffer Brendan Ottoboni had the nerve to propose a discussion about an ice skating rink on the city’s new comments mechanism “Chico Engaged!” He and other staffers told the assembled contractors, landlords and other concerned citizens that the city has no money to fix existing streets, or even maintain them properly. “Chico Engaged” is inappropriate – it’s a way for staffers and others with gain to be made to sprinkle little ideas in the public head – like rainbows and lollipops, and skating rinks. It also gives the public the idea that council is listening – oh yeah, they’re listening, they’re listening to the public being duped. 

I had to write a letter about the crazy contradiction between a city that has no money to fix streets or maintain the park but seems to have plenty of money to throw at gimmicks like “Chico Engaged” and ice skating rinks. 

At a morning meeting Downtown, Public Works staffer Brendan Ottoboni stated there is no more money to maintain or fix city streets. He said streets that had been on the repairs list for years were being taken off due to lack of funds. 

So why would Ottoboni propose an ice skating rink on “Chico Engaged!”?  

Look at the agenda for council’s 10/15 meeting – Council will discuss giving management employees a raise while  putting a one cent sales tax measure on the 11/2020 ballot. When  a city  doesn’t even have the money to perform the most basic of services, why even consider giving raises to people already making four times the median income? 

Chico has over $138 million in pension liability. Staff recently established the completely restricted “Pension Stabilization Trust”, and this year have transferred over $1.2 million from other funds into the PST. Employees pay 15% or less of “their share,” paying nothing toward the PST. The sales tax increase, a simple majority measure requiring only 51% voter approval, will go into the general fund, available for salaries, benefits, and the PST. 

Tax measures are being proposed all over California to fund pension packages that were never approved by voters, made by elected officials who receive donations and other political support from employee unions.  The taxpayers even pay for the consultants who guarantee to get the measure passed.

Coincidentally, a tax measure consultant told City of Chico Finance Committee, “We offered them (Heavenly Valley) a skating rink…” and the measure passed.




3 Responses to “Letter to editor – staff can’t fix streets but they offer up a skating rink? If it sounds like a lie, it probably is”

  1. Rose Kelley October 13, 2019 at 7:08 pm #

    I really don’t know how any of Chico’s managers can even allow a pay raise discussion be put on the agenda.

    When is enough, ENOUGH?? How can they drive their expensive cars and pass by the residents of Chico and not feel a twinge of guilt?

    It is enough to make one leave Chico for a City with sensibility. Speaking as one who did just that, it is refreshing to be governed by folks that see the forest and the trees.

  2. bob October 14, 2019 at 7:17 pm #

    … that the city has no money to fix existing streets, or even maintain them properly. “Chico Engaged” is inappropriate…

    It should be called Chico Enraged! And people ought to give corrupt City Hall Hell! And that includes all these white shoe bureaucrats and the corrupt and incompetent City Council!

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