NO on A: these letter writers made my day

18 Feb

The other day I noticed THREE YES on A letters in the Enterprise Record. You know what – I didn’t even bother to read them, the titles said it all. One person cited the $85/year base as “tiny”. When the YES people rebutted my Arguments Against in the ballot guide, they said MY arguments were misleading. Hah!

I find the letters written by the NO crowd to be a lot more interesting. Here’s one I like – short, sweet, and to the point.

Back in 1998 the voters of Chico approved Measure A, which at that time was to build a new high school. Well 22 years later we are still paying for that and the new high school was never built.

That is the problem with these things, once we give them the money they don’t have to fulfill the promises they made. CARD has a history of irresponsibility spending our money. Why trust them with more money?  No on Measure A.

— Jim Matthews, Chico

Yeah, thanks for bringing up School Bond Measure A Jim, people should still be pissed about that. That was a classic bait-and-switch.  I hope the voters remember that when the district brings their next bond around – I’m predicting they will put a measure on the 2022 ballot, we’ll see.

Now here’s another short one, but not so sweet – this guy thinks we should all have to pay for his pickle ball courts.

We need more recreational facilities and more pickleball courts.

— Ted Bryson, Chico

Pay for your own pickle ball courts Ted! The following letter-writer brings up a point I have not had time to address – CARD is subsidized by the taxpayers to keep their fees down. I think it’s way past time they update their user fees to be more in line with local businesses who don’t get bailed out by the taxpayers for making poor business decisions. Read what this next writer has to say.

There’s a lot of talk about Measure A.  I have heard statements such as “this is a unique opportunity,” “we need to pay it forward for future generations,” “it costs less than $10 a month.”  I challenge every voter, parent and grandparent to think about these statements.

Measure A is a continuous parcel tax on your property that has no end date. It continuously increases every year, billed on your property tax bill, tied to the Consumer Price Index. This is a tax, folks, that has no oversight or auditing mechanism. There is no budgeting for a tax increase that you have no control over, but are required to pay.

This tax will leave a huge debt and burden to our children and grandchildren.  If they are lucky enough to buy a piece of property, how much do you think your $85 tax will be for them?   Do you think they will thank you for leaving them a huge tax liability?

If CARD needs more money, let people that use the facilities pay for it. Isn’t that reasonable. Pay for what you use.

Please join me in voting no on measure A, so our future generations will not be burdened.

— Lorna Andreatta, Chico

Lastly, here’s a kick-ass letter from Ray Schimmel. I’ll never forget Ray Schimmel, because he spoke at a CPUC water rate increase hearing back in 2013, and told us all about “defined benefits”, which are the basis of our problem. He also grew up in Chico, raised his kids in Chico and Durham, and supported our kids’ rec teams when CARD would not include our league in plans for DeGarmo Park. We had to rent an old warehouse and build our own facility with our own money. It was a great experience, but I have never forgot how CARD turned us away, while giving special favors to their friends who wanted pickle ball and  bocce courts.  

Here Ray takes them on for closing Shapiro Pool – I know he speaks for a lot of people.

I was 11 years old in 1956 when, a hundred yards from my home, the new neighborhood Shapiro Pool opened its doors to me and a huge crowed of ecstatic kids. It was a wonderful facility with changing rooms, showers, two diving boards and organized programs. It’s where I learned that water polo was the name of an activity which allowed your opponents to drown you.

My home was in our family for 60 years and is still in great condition because it was always well maintained but Shapiro pool was closed in 2016. Why? CARD’s consultant,  in 2015, said it had been long neglected.  What?

From a young age I had reasons to appreciate our parks and places like Shapiro Pool, but I am dead set against Measure A, the parcel tax CARD is trying to cram down our throats. Why? In part because it has no sunset provision (never ends) and it is tied to the CPI (probable yearly cost increases).  In addition CARD has not been honest with us about why they really want this measure to pass. That beautiful mailer they recently sent out promoting the parcel tax said nothing about existing unfunded and unsustainable  pension obligations. And yet they continue to promote a grandiose “aquatics center” while history shows they stood by and allowed Shapiro Pool to die.

Simply put CARD does not to deserve to see this parcel tax approved.  Please vote no on Measure A, it stinks,stinks, stinks!

Raymond Lee Schimmel, Chico

6 Responses to “NO on A: these letter writers made my day”

  1. Jim February 18, 2020 at 6:58 am #

    Thank you Juanita for inspiring us to write. We couldn’t do it without you.

  2. Suzanne Wong February 18, 2020 at 9:01 am #

    I agree with the idea that facility users should be who pays for the facilities they use….I want to drive, therefore I pay for the car, the, fuel and maintenance as well as fees and insurance. I don’t play pickle ball and would not use a public pool, don’t have kids who would either. A certain amount of property tax should go to upkeep of public spaces but if you want bells and whistles, pay for them with your own dime.

    • Juanita Sumner February 18, 2020 at 10:55 am #

      I agree – Suzanne, you paid the fees that built these facilities when you bought your home, that should be the end of it if you don’t have any use for them.

      I don’t think CARD should manage the programs, they should just provide the facilities that the community proves useful. The most basic facilities should be small neighborhood pools and playgrounds, with larger play fields for league sports. We have these facilities, and they have always been heavily used. They are PAID FOR. CARD receives developer and assessment money to pay for new facilities with every new home or subdivision, as well as millions in property taxes for maintenance and wages. Since CARDS’s labor costs (for example, high school and college kids as lifeguards, one manager who manages all the pools) are low, these facilities were paying for themselves for years.

      The school district actually built and owns the pools. The city built and owns the play fields. Historically they had an agreement with CARD to maintain these facilities, but that fell apart with the pension deficit. For years those pools were heavily used, for school, rec swimming and leagues. PV pool hosted inter-city tournaments. The play fields are used for many programs, for children and adults. But suddenly the agreements between CARD, the school district, and the city started to fall apart, and nobody was maintaining anything. Meanwhile, looking back at their budgets, they all started making “aggressive payments” toward their pension liabilities.

      I have the report from a local pool builder, saying that Shapiro Pool could have been brought up to code in 2015, for about $550,000. But CARD has said it will take millions? That’s a LIE. The real story is in the budgets available on their website – eversince 2015, they’ve been routing money toward their pension liability. $400,000 in 2015, then $500,000 – this year they paid over $750,000 toward the deficit, all the while telling us they don’t have money to maintain facilities.

      Thanks for coming over to chat – the Yes on A people are spreading a lot of misinformation and outright BS, it’s good to hear from somebody who is not buying it.

  3. Donna Chang February 19, 2020 at 5:54 pm #

    Gaah, I just now registered to vote and need to get up to speed. I will vote no on measure A , any other pension funding schemes I need to be aware of?

    • Juanita Sumner February 20, 2020 at 6:08 am #

      Well, I would also suggest voting NO on 13 – a measure that makes it easier to pass taxes with a lower voter threshold. If you live in the Yuba College district I’d vote no on their bond too.

      Have you ever been to ballotpedia? It’s a great site that gives you lots of impartial information on elections. You’ll see here,

      CARD wrote their measure to be misleading, saying this parcel tax will generate $3 million a year. At her informational meetings, GM Ann Willmann said the parcel tax would never generate enough money to do the suggested projects, that they would be using it to secure a $36 million bond. The debt service on the bond would be $2 million/year, with only $1 million for projects.

    • bob February 20, 2020 at 7:59 am #


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