Staff pushing for a “revenue measure” with “no validation process” (election!) – Wake up Chico, you are being had

2 Oct

I like to quote long time Chico Enterprise letter write Doug Hammett, above is the line he used to end his frequent letters to the editor. He wrote extensively about the Redevelopment Agency – a scam by which the city of Chico and other agencies borrowed money based on the annual 1% tax increment that is added to our property taxes – at an interest rate of $3 for every $1 spent. Hammett was right, we were taking on way too much debt, and that agency finally tanked. The city still gets some funding from the property tax scam, but is not allowed to go as into debt as they were in past.

So, as bad as things can get, if the voters and taxpayers would only stand up and push back, we can change things. That’s why I keep doing this – it’s better than laying there for a total screwing. You have to watch these people, or they will take the first opportunity to lie, cheat and steal. (Eddie Guerrero)

On September 23 I tried to “participate” in a City of Chico Finance Committee meeting. It was being held “remotely”, with members of the committee ZOOMing in. The public was supposed to be able to participate via “Webex.”

This isn’t the first meeting I’ve tried to “attend” using Webex. When I tried to get into a Finance Committee meeting earlier this year, I was unable to log in. So, on Sept 23, I started trying to log in a full half hour before the meeting, and ended up working with Staff for about 45 minutes before the IT guy tells me my internet service is not adequate to carry the meeting.

So, the meeting was held anyway, and I’ll tell you what – that’s ILLEGAL.

Years ago, when Ruben Martinez was our Public Works director, I attended a morning committee meeting in one of those same little rooms. After the meeting had started, a woman came to the door and tried to get in. The door was locked. She started banging on the door, yelling loudly that it is illegal to lock the public out of a public meeting.

Well, yes, it is. The clerk got very flustered, the meeting came to a halt. The door knob was actually broken. Luckily Martinez was there with his trusty Leatherman tool. He took the doorknob apart and let the woman in. I seriously doubt our current PW director Eric Gustafson could have done same, I very sincerely doubt he carries a Leatherman. His hands are too soft and his fingernails are almost effeminate.

But I don’t have a lawyer, so I won’t sue the city. Instead I got back to the clerk’s office and asked if the meeting was recorded. Yes, they said, and I could get that on a DVD for an overnight use, or I could lay down $15 and buy myself a copy. I opted for the loan. I got on my 60 year old bike Tuesday morning and I pedaled down to the city building, Standing in the parking lot I masked up and pulled out my cell phone to call the clerk’s office. The building is closed, you have to make an appointment, and then you have to call up to have somebody come down.

I was really excited, I have a DVD player, I had chores to do in the house – I visualized my productive day of cooking and watching the meeting. No such luck – it wasn’t a DVD, it was a CD, and I don’t have a desk top size computer to play it on.

I won’t blame Staff here, I know they do what they’re told. But I got a comment from a friend of mine – Webex includes a feature by which these meetings can be recorded and loaded onto the city website for everybody to watch. I asked about that, but instead Staff came back to me offering a flash drive that I could play in my laptop.

So I saddled up Old Myrt and I pedaled back down to the city building the next morning. I don’t mind saying, the streets are a mess, and Bidwell Park looks like shit. No, I don’t feel particularly safe. As I approached City Hall a old man with a shopping cart loaded to the sky mosied across the street, right in front of me – luckily my husband just installed new brake cables.

The clerk was really nice, those gals are just doing their jobs. She handed me the flash drive and I got back on my bike to beat it home. I used to enjoy riding my bike around town, now I find it onerous due to horrible streets, speeding cars, and garbage, bums and illegal tents all over the park.

I work for a living, and my days are busy. I had already spent at least 5 hours trying to view this meeting. Why? Because, having failed to get council to come together to put a tax measure on the ballot, Staff is now talking about an option that will exclude the voters, a bond that does not require the “validation process.” AKA, “an election”.

The consultant who announced “the upside”. We’ll get back to the “downside” later.

Hey, did you know the Cozy is open for DINE IN? I had coffee with some friends of mine there recently, NO MASK!

So, I have to ask – why are we still putting up with these closed meetings? It’s as obvious as that wart on the end of your nose that they are using this bullshit COVID “mandate” to keep us out of the meetings, for the very obvious reason that they are trying to pull some shit. Duh! DOUBLE DUH!

Wake up ‘Merica, I think we are about to be had.

2 Responses to “Staff pushing for a “revenue measure” with “no validation process” (election!) – Wake up Chico, you are being had”

  1. bob October 3, 2020 at 4:06 pm #

    They are desperate to save the pensions but that’s not going to be possible because the pensions are unsustainable, not to mention the OPEB. If we aren’t already, we will be paying more for cops, fire persons and bureaucrats who are no longer employed than for those who are.

    • Juanita Sumner October 4, 2020 at 6:12 am #

      That’s exactly what the consultant said, in fact, it’s really the public safety pensions that are dragging us down.

      I get a kick out of the “defund the police” movement – that’s essentially what I’ve been talking about for years, either require more employee contribution or get out of CalPERS. But all the cop haters hear is the sound of their own voice.

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