Chico is in trouble – and here’s why

21 May

Bob sent a link to an article from Forbes – Why California is in Trouble”  It’s a good read. If you can’t make the link below work, just google the author, Adam Andrzejewski, or “Forbes, Why California is in Trouble” (Thanks Donna!)

https://www.forbes.com/sites/adamandrzejewski/2020/05/19/why-california-is-in-trouble–340000-public-employees-with-100000-paychecks-cost-taxpayers-45-billion/#12f7e2955fb8

The author, Adam Andrzejewski (Angie-eff-ski) is the CEO & Founder of OpenTheBooks.com – one of the largest private databases of government spending in the world. Andrzejewski documents salaries all over the US, and tells us, there are 340,000 public employees in California making over $100,000. 

“Our auditors at OpentheBooks.com found truck drivers in San Francisco making $159,000 per year; lifeguards in LA County costing taxpayers $365,000; nurses at UCSF making up to $501,000; the UCLA athletic director earning $1.8 million; and 1,420 city employees out-earning all 50 state governors ($202,000).”

Lifeguards costing $365,000/year? You say, that’s nuts?  No, it’s not. LA has miles of public beaches. Just think what would happen if CARD ran LA beaches – yeah, lifeguards would make $365,000/year. That’s what happens when nobody is watching the purse strings, except the thieves.

Right now this man, beaming like a ghoul, is running our town. Did you vote for him? 

Chico City Manager (High Dollar Whore) Mark Orme at the CARD Center following the State of the City forum in January. Photo by Ashiah Scharaga

No, he was hired by the pack of ninnies we know as “Chico City Council.”  We had nothing to say about his hire, and we have nothing to say about his salary – now $207,000, plus a $56,000 benefits package. We pay that, he pays another $24,000/year, and gets 70% of his highest year’s salary for the rest of his life. 

While Orme boasts that he has not had a raise for several years now, he certainly managed to negotiate himself a second pension – a 457 plan, which is a special kind of 401K for public workers. Orme wormed the city into paying $10,000 a year into that fund, PLUS 4.5% of his salary. In addition to the money paid toward his CalPERS pension and health benefits. 

That is why not only Chico is in trouble, but our entire state is in horrible financial straits – over generous salaries, and a crazy retirement scheme.  CalPERS clients are paying less than half the cost of these pensions, with employees contributing little or nothing, but expecting to get 70% of their ridiculous salaries, with COLA, for the rest of their lives. 

Ex Chico City Manager Tom Lando, for example, retired at about $134,000/year, but now makes about $155,000 – IN RETIREMENT. That’s the “cost of living adjustment” .  He also gets himself hired for various interim positions – like city manager of Oroville – and those salaries add to his pension. That’s why Lando was the first one to raise the notion of a sales tax increase for Chico, and used his own money to pay for a survey to push it. He also donated $6,000 to the Yes on Measure A campaign for CARD’s parcel tax. Lando knows better than anybody that CalPERS must be funded, or he’s out $155,000/year and counting. 

Essentially, CalPERS has led the taxpayers to a room full of straw and is demanding we make enough gold to keep our public workers like a pack of high-dollar whores for the rest of their lives. 

Right now, the city of Chico is working behind closed doors, using ConVID to keep us out of the tax measure conversation. They’re spending taxpayer money on consultants to write the measure and strategize the campaign, just like CARD. 

Don’t be discouraged by the remote meetings. I won’t recommend Chico Engaged, I’ll say, write to council members directly, and tell them we resent them spending taxpayer money on a sales tax increase when they’ve done nothing to reform the pensions and contracts. 

ann.schwab@chicoca.gov

alex.brown@chicoca.gov

sean.morgan@chicoca.gov

kasey.reynolds@chicoca.gov

scott.huber@chicoca.gov

karl.ory@chicoca.gov

randall.stone@chicoca.gov

 

14 Responses to “Chico is in trouble – and here’s why”

  1. Scott Rushing May 21, 2020 at 2:39 pm #

    Watch O’Brien’s retirement package. I bet this “public servant” will SPIKE his pension benefits.

    On Thu, May 21, 2020 at 5:55 AM Chico Taxpayers Association wrote:

    > Juanita Sumner posted: “Bob sent a link to an article from Forbes – Why > California is in Trouble” It’s a good read. > https://www.forbes.com/sites/adamandrzejewski/2020/05/19/why-california-is-in-trouble–340000-public-employees-with-100000-paychecks-cost-taxpayers-45-billion/” > >

    • Juanita Sumner May 21, 2020 at 4:16 pm #

      I believe you are correct Scott – the next question is HOW. Every time we figure out how they do something they change it;)

  2. bob May 22, 2020 at 7:20 am #

    Whenever bureaucrats grin like that it makes me nervous. I have a feeling that is going to be a very expensive grin…for us.

  3. Donna Chang May 23, 2020 at 9:17 am #

    Unbelievable. I never thought I’d say this but I hope the Feds don’t bail California out and these government employees have to take their measly salary cut, although I don’t like the 10% reduction across the board. It should be a higher percentage the higher the theft/salary.

    CARD wants to close Shapiro Pool, no money. The flags are up though–doesn’t defacing the Esplanade cost a lot of dough?

    Btw, the link doesn’t work for some reason. Google the name of the article and double check the author–there are several articles on the same theme lol.

    • Juanita Sumner May 23, 2020 at 10:54 am #

      I agree, I’m tired of the bail outs. I’ve seen it with people – giving people who can never seem to handle their money more money is just insanity.

      I also agree, I think management should take a big cut, maybe get rid of management employees who won’t agree to take a cut, not just NOT TAKE A RAISE, but take a cut. Orme’s salary should never have made it over $200,000/year.

      Like CARD management – I’ll blog that article later – Willmann needs to just go. And they need to retire Laura Urseny, she’s too embedded. There is misinformation in that article, a lie that Willmann persists in telling – that the agency is losing property tax revenue. In the article, Willmann says program fees are their biggest revenue – that is not true. Willmann keeps trying to tell us that RDA passthrough money is not tax money, but it is. RDA passthrough are loans based on increases in property taxes – actually, this is worse than a tax, because it comes with $2 interest for every $1 spent. And the taxpayers are on the hook for it.

      Sorry about the link, thanks for letting me know. I can’t fix it, so you’re right, if anybody wants to read it they will have to google it. It’s worth a read, but I think we get the main points.

    • bob May 23, 2020 at 12:18 pm #

      Try this link…

      https://www.forbes.com/sites/adamandrzejewski/2020/05/19/why-california-is-in-trouble–340000-public-employees-with-100000-paychecks-cost-taxpayers-45-billion/#12f7e2955fb8

      And remember the old Willie Nelson song…Mamas Don’t Let Your Babies Grow Up To Be Anything But Government Employees

  4. Jon Scott May 23, 2020 at 2:53 pm #

    Absolutely on target. ALL taxes are for pensions and nothing more. How do they sell those taxes? Call them “public safety” or “parks” or “schools”. The truth is that they stole all the money we ALREADY PAY for those items. Now they want to steal some more. I apologize for the harsh language but it is very fitting;

    More taxes?

    “FUCK ‘EM”

    • Juanita Sumner May 23, 2020 at 5:01 pm #

      Thanks Mr. Scott – hey – think you might make another run for council?

      • Jon Scott May 23, 2020 at 7:58 pm #

        I am in Canyon Oaks which is not an open district this cycle. I will absolutely run when my district is open. This year I will aggressively support those with like opinions.

      • Juanita Sumner May 24, 2020 at 5:54 am #

        Thanks Mr. Scott, please come again!

    • Dave May 23, 2020 at 6:39 pm #

      Mr. Jon Scott,

      You are correct. How will they sell the public the sales tax increase? They will LIE. I wrote a letter about it to the ER last year. Back then the poverty rate in this country was 21%. You can bet it’s much higher now. Yet the hypocrite liberals on the city council who claim to care so much for poor and working people will ram through their sales tax increase which back then was going to be a 1.5% raising the sales tax to 8.75%. Last I heard they were still going to go through with it but at 1% to 8.25%. Disgusting.


      Don’t Fall for the City Council’s Tax Increase Lie

      In FY 2017-18 city revenues grew at 7.4%. Director Dowell told the City Council revenue growth is expected to continue. Yet Director Orme said the city has a revenue problem that requires tax increases. Despite increased revenue the City continues to let our infrastructure crumble.

      Mayor Stone tells us city employee compensation costs will double in less than ten years and CalPERs will devour 25% of the City’s budget by 2023. (And that assumes an unrealistically high CalPERS 7% return rate.) Stone admits this is unsustainable.

      The obvious answer: pension reform.

      Instead the City Council is giving tens of thousands of your tax dollars to a PR firm to sell you a tax increase. Their pitch will be that the money is necessary to fund infrastructure and public safety. That’s a lie. It’s necessary because for years the City has put unrealistic pension promises ahead of everything else and the City Council has no intention of changing that.

      Other cities in California have taken the same approach. Instead of fixing the problem the result has been demands for even higher taxes.
      Initial estimates indicate the City Council’s tax increase would cost a family of four an extra $1200 a year. This in a county with a 21% poverty rate where city bureaucrats have pensions worth millions. It’s unconscionable.

      This is how democracy fails. The people need to let the city’s politicians know loudly and clearly this will not be tolerated. Email debbie.presson@chicoca.gov to voice your disapproval to the entire Council.

      You can read more at http://chicotaxes.home.blog

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