ER editor can endorse whatever he wants, but letters writers tell the real truth

10 Feb

As you may know, the Enterprise Record, under the failing leadership of salesman, not journalist, Mike Wolcott, has endorsed both Measure A – a parcel tax  from the rec district – and Prop 13 – a measure that makes it easier to pass taxes. 

That’s funny, if you remember a time when the ER was the stalwart conservative champion, hated by the liberals all around. How times have changed. Something that has also changed – the ER used to be the biggest paper north of Sacramento, now it has less than 10,000 subscribers. For a paper that used to be read in at least four counties, that’s not good. The population of Chico has more than doubled since I was a kid, but the newspaper circulation has gone down – bad, bad, bad.

In fact, Wolcott told me the paper is in such a hole it would die without their ad-rag, Market Value Place. That’s your charity folks, allowing them to toss that bag of pulp out in front of your house every week – your job is simply to move it from the street to your trash bin without complaining, that’s all Wolcott asks. 

I have to laugh every time he re-writes his “rules for election letters” – what a jerk. For one thing, he called the cut-off  December 22. What? Only one election related letter per person between December 22 and March 3? This is a lazy, lazy man. He could, and should, enlarge the letters section at election time – that’s what the readers want. But here’s the thing – he can’t afford to take any more space away from ads. So he cuts off letter writers. 

I’ll say this for him – at least he prints letters in opposition to his opinions. In fact, I’ve only counted one letter in  favor of Measure A since Wolcott made his endorsement, while I’ve counted at least half a dozen NO on A letters. Not including mine. And today I saw a NO on Prop 13 letter that summed it up pretty good. 

Thanks Kathie Moloney, who also wrote a pretty kick-ass letter last month about Janus vs AFSCME, the court decision that overturned mandatory union dues. And big thanks to regular writers Dave Howell and Steve Wolfe for taking on Measure A. 

I am disappointed in the Editorial Board’s support of the new Prop. 13. The state is constantly looking for more ways to raise your taxes, and burden residents with more debt. This is the second school bond in two years with the state borrowing an additional $15 million but we will pay back $27 million with interest.

In addition, this bond allows school districts to go further into debt and when they do so through bonds your property taxes go up and renters, that raises your rent too!   How much more can we taxpayers take? Wake up and tell cities and especially the state NO to more money! Vote no on Prop 13 and any other bond or tax increase they or their cronies put on the ballot.

— Kathie Moloney, Orland

If Measure A passes, not only do you get a new tax but a tax increase every year as it perpetually increases.  Deceitfully not mentioned in the ballot measure is tens of millions of new debt that will cost $2 million annually to service leaving only $1 million annually for CARD.

The yearly increase is indexed to the CPI.  Even without a return to 1970’s style inflation the compounding effect over time will be significant.  Seniors on fixed incomes and others whose incomes do not keep pace with inflation will be hurt the most.  Also, this is a regressive tax with no sunset.

Money that should have been spent for park maintenance, new facilities and programs has been spent on unrealistic and unsustainable pension and other employee benefits.  These benefits have also resulted in unsustainable unfunded liabilities.  Even with a 43% increase in CARD’s revenue since 2013 there is not enough money to fund these liabilities and the parks hence Measure A and if it passes the resulting massive new debt.

A new tax and more debt only postpones the problem a few election cycles when more taxes and fees will be demanded.  The answer is to reform the unsustainable liabilities, but the special interests will not tolerate this which is why they have raised over $60,000 to pass the tax.

— Dave Howell, Chico

Voting yes on Measure A approves a parcel tax to enrich CARD at the expense of Chico property owners.  Adding insult to injury, it has no “sunset clause.”   In other words, it runs forever.  As I understand it, it is also tied to the Consumer Price Index which means that when that rises, as it frequently does, property owners will pay more the following year.  This is an unfair tax to begin with, as all Chico residents may vote on it though only the property owners must pay it.  Even renters will eventually pay more as apartment owners will certainly pass on the increased bond costs.

Recent letters by various writers have shown that CARD seemingly has little financial acumen in that is has let Shapiro Pool slide into ruin, deferred maintenance in able to transfer hundreds of thousands of dollars to pay pension expenses and increased salaries and benefits while allowing permanent employees to pay minimum percentages to their pension funds.  And now CARD wants more, in fact a never ending stream of “more.”  It is said that CARD’s budget is up 8% over last year, due to property taxes & development fees, with greater increases in line due to new housing development.  CARD promises to provide greater security and maintenance.  This writer expects continued band-aid maintenance, payments to the pension fund and the funding of an aquatic center.  If the desire for an aquatic center is so great, may I suggest a bake sale.

— Steve Wolfe, Chico

 

 

4 Responses to “ER editor can endorse whatever he wants, but letters writers tell the real truth”

  1. bob February 10, 2020 at 8:51 am #

    This is the second school bond in two years with the state borrowing an additional $15 million but we will pay back $27 million with interest.

    In her letter she should have had billions, not millions. But these days government takes such mind boggling amounts of money we lose track of these distinctions.

  2. Scott Rushing February 10, 2020 at 10:40 am #

    👍👍👍👍

    On Mon, Feb 10, 2020 at 6:45 AM Chico Taxpayers Association wrote:

    > Juanita Sumner posted: “As you may know, the Enterprise Record, under the > failing leadership of salesman, not journalist, Mike Wolcott, has endorsed > both Measure A – a parcel tax from the rec district – and Prop 13 – a > measure that makes it easier to pass taxes. That’s funn” >

  3. bob February 13, 2020 at 6:43 am #

    The editors of the Bay Area newspapers who have been lap dogs for the local politicians’ tax increases may have finally come to their senses and had enough. Second Bay Area editorial I’ve seen against further tax increases. Of course the local Bay Area sales and property taxes are already beyond ridiculous and amount to outright theft.

    https://www.eastbaytimes.com/2020/02/12/editorial-curb-oakland-mayor-schaafs-insatiable-property-tax-appetite/

    • bob February 13, 2020 at 6:46 am #

      They call the tax increase a sham and also finally start talking about the pensions and who really runs things. Finally!

      Soaring pension costs

      Measure Q, of course, was never primarily about helping the homeless. And, as we now see, it’s not necessarily about parks, either. It’s about creating funding for still more city jobs — throughout the city.

      That’s what happens when City Council members’ campaigns are funded largely by employee labor unions, who really run the city. They will be the beneficiaries of the new parks jobs if Measure Q passes, just as they have reaped the spoils of special taxes for other city services.

      Rather than pay down debt with the tax revenue from the booming economy, the city has added 516 employees to the city workforce in the past five years, a 13 percent increase.

      Not surprisingly, that means that the city’s salary and pension costs are soaring. While engaging in that hiring binge, city leaders have failed to bring down the city’s whopping $2.8 billion debt for underfunded city retirement benefits.

      Payments on that debt will escalate.

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