A gimmick to avoid putting the matter before the voters

19 Feb

I been busy lately, but I knocked out this letter to the editor after I read that article from Mary Walsh. I just can’t believe how stupid that plan is – rent city hall back from yourself? What a scam – who would buy that? Your silly council, and your board of stupes, that’s who! 

Something I couldn’t squeeze in here, is the fact that this money will be paid back at the expense of our city infrastructure.  The “pension fund” they are talking about is filled with a percentage of the payroll from each department – meaning, street money, sewer money, park money, etc. 

Oh yeah, did I mention, the county of Butte is pursuing the same bonds, so get ready to pay out of both ends. 

Juanita’s latest spit on the griddle:

Chico and Butte County are considering revenue measures to pay their pension deficits. Two options presented by consultants are Pension Obligation Bonds and Lease Revenue Bonds. Neither requires voter approval.

David Crane, of UC Stanford, says “Economically, a POB is no more than a ‘carry trade’… borrowing at a low rate to bet on hopefully-higher-yielding assets…”  Crane reports, “When the smoke clears, a POB issuer has the same pension obligations it had before, more debt, has paid investment banking fees, and  gambled the proceeds on products that beget even more fees for bankers.”

New York Times public finance reporter Mary Walsh explained Lease Revenue Bonds in a recent article. “The city creates a dummy corporation to hold assets and then rents them…” Meaning, the taxpayers pay to rent these facilities from the “dummy corporation”.   “The corporation then issues bonds and sends the proceeds back to the city, which sends the cash to its pension fund to cover its shortfall. In turn, the pension fund invests the money raised by those bonds in other assets that are expected to generate a higher return over time.”

A dissenting West Covina councilwoman called this plan “a gimmick to avoid putting the matter before voters, who she believed weren’t likely to approve a deal that would increase West Covina’s debt sixfold.” 

West Covina residents now pay rent on their own libraries, fire stations, even city hall. Who are the dummies here? Contact your district representatives, let them know what you think. 

Juanita Sumner, Chico CA

2 Responses to “A gimmick to avoid putting the matter before the voters”

  1. Dave February 19, 2021 at 7:43 pm #

    “What a scam – who would buy that? Your silly council, and your board of stupes, that’s who! ”

    Who would do that? Tools of the special interests. These people represent no one else.

    The city council and county supervisors are no different than any other politicians. They are there to take everything they can from people like you to enrich the special interests. They don’t represent us and never will.

    That is why they will do all they can to raise our taxes, bury us in debt and continue to funnel as much money as possible to the special interests, especially the public employee unions, while letting the streets and everything else fall apart.

    These people are nothing but disgusting. All of them!

    • Juanita Sumner February 20, 2021 at 7:10 am #

      I think they hate seeing criticism of themselves in the paper, or even in social media. I just got a nasty little jab from a local guy who has served on various boards – he didn’t like a comment I made about him over a year ago – all I said was it was hard to listen to him and be polite. That really pissed him off, and I didn’t even say what he was talking about! So, we need to hold the council and board up to the same criticism – maybe they’ll get it.

      I had a teacher who had all those old sayings on his b-board – my favorite was, “Quitters never win…”

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