Good question Bob: Why do we need to replace Constantin with anyone?

14 Nov

One last word on the departure of Chris Constantin – from a comment Bob left the other day:

Why do we need to replace Constantin with anyone? The truth is the City is over its head in debt and we can’t afford a replacement.

Besides, why should we continue to pay hundreds of thousands of dollars every year for a bureaucrat who does nothing but scheme how to raise our taxes and get us deeper in debt with things like POBs while letting our streets and everything else fall apart.

Wow, good question Bob! So I wrote a letter to the ER about it.

When departing Chico administrator Chris Constantin was hired in 2013, he spoke to the Tea Party. He said our previous finance director was “Loosey Goosey”, bragging about his qualifications to “straighten out the mess” she’d left. He told us, once he fixed things, “you can hire someone cheaper, with less initials behind their name.”

Seven years later, I see a bigger mess. Constantin himself has told us, staff deferred maintenance on streets and other infrastructure while they continued to make bigger payments toward their pension liability (UAL) – this year $11,000,000. But the UAL continues to increase –  this year, the city manager created three new management positions with $100,000+ salaries.

When Brian Nakamura was hired, he went on a firing spree, gutting lower level staffers and bringing his own friends in for management positions – Mark Orme and then Constantin. Since then the assistant manager’s salary has gone from $142,652 to over $189,000/year. Orme and Constantin have also garnered themselves 457 Plans worth an additional $20,000/year each.

From a 2018 report to the California League of Cities: “City pension costs will dramatically increase to unsustainable levels.” Their first suggestion – make more aggressive payments to CalPERS. Meanwhile, “Change service delivery methods and levels of certain public services.” Meaning, squeeze the taxpayers for more money.

Top heavy management and perpetual demands for higher salaries and more benefits has our city upside-down. Constantin’s position should be eliminated, along with other unnecessary management positions, so we can hire the lower-paid workers we need to get this town “straightened out.” 

Juanita Sumner, Chico CA

2 Responses to “Good question Bob: Why do we need to replace Constantin with anyone?”

  1. s.k. rushing November 15, 2020 at 10:57 pm #

    Now that you have a law and order council hold onto your wallet taxpayers. You might also wonder how much money taxpayers pay for officer-involved killings. Such as: settlement costs, legal fees, staff time, police overtime to cover officer time in court and for depositions, policy upgrades, training changes, and increased insurance premiums due to the claim history. Has the city staff revealed these costs to your group?  

    • Juanita Sumner November 16, 2020 at 5:52 am #

      Thanks Scott, good point. No, staff has not revealed the amount they have spent on any of the officer-involved killings. Furthermore, they don’t reveal the contracts until they are already approved. Another MOU up for approval for CPOA and no contract in the agenda. A look at the city’s HR page shows only the MOU that is set to expire next month. I sent note to the clerks office asking where I could see the MOU up for approval and I get an automatic response saying she is out of the office at noon on Friday – “flex time”.

      But don’t just hold onto your wallets, start saying something to your council. The police department is not doing the job we hired them for, and they have a real problem with anger management. That all costs us in ways most people can’t begin to understand, because the contracts are written in obscure legal language and the contract negotiations are closed to the public.

      When I asked my district representative, Kasey Reynolds, about stuff like “compensated time off” she was just flip with me. Fuck you Kasey, do the job or go back to selling diabetes at your candy store.

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