Business as Usual at the City of Chico: Pass a new tax without voter approval, spike your pay like the retiring city clerk, hand the bag to the taxpayers! And only then do they “open” the meetings…

4 May

A couple of members of Chico Republican Women Federated recently told me that Mayor Andrew Coolidge, speaking to an unmasked assemblage of the club, called me a liar, in exactly those words. He says the Pension Obligation Bonds are “not new debt.”

Hey Jackass, trying to “cancel” me? Well here’s the video of the September 23, 2020 Finance Committee meeting at which the city’s consultant said exactly the opposite.

I’ll tell you something else – ever since Dave Howell posted that video at Gofile, it’s been repeatedly removed. I don’t know by whom, but the “remove” button is right there at the bottom of the screen. Obviously, somebody doesn’t want the citizens of Chico to see this meeting. In fact, I think it was a total mistake that I got a recording of it – I asked a lower level staffer and she gave it to me. But now the clerk – who will be getting a salary spike of roughly $10,000 at tonight’s meeting, in anticipation of her pending retirement – says they don’t record the meetings because they aren’t required by law. That’s not true, they record the meeting so they can produce the minutes – how do you think I got the recording? Then they show the minutes to full council, who are allowed to redact comments and who knows what, and when she’s done “amending” the minutes, she tosses that recording so nobody will be the wiser.

Tonight she’ll spike her salary up to $144,000+ a year, like they all do. She’ll receive 70% of that figure in retirement. I’ll admit, she’s pretty good at her job, but she’s better at looking out for her own interests than those of the public.

So, there it is. They got their Pension Obligation Bond and now the spiking begins. They will make no real attempt to control employee costs – why bother? They’re on The Gravy Train now!

But, what they won’t admit, is that there’s trouble on the horizon if they can’t get the sales tax increase that Andrew Coolidge is pushing. He wants a separate road bond too, because, as he already acknowledged, the sales tax revenue will be used to secure the POB. The consultant made it pretty clear – watch that video – they will need a revenue stream to secure the bonds, because the market is tricky, and they may not be able to earn enough in investments to cover either the POB. OR! the pension deficit. See, their investments have to pay off well enough to pay both the bond service AND the pension deficit, or this whole plan is BUST.

Dave Howell watched the meeting and then wrote a good analysis of what’s happening:

That finance meeting WAS PACKED with crazy and outrageous information. And the local media DIDN’T MENTION ANY OF IT!

Here are some key takeaways the local media should have covered:

Last year at this time we thought the unfunded pension liability we were on the hook for was $128 million. Well, this year the bureaucrats and consultants say $146 million. AND NOW THEY TELL US WE OWE ANOTHER $140 MILLION IN INTEREST! But these numbers are low because they don’t include the 4.7% under performance from last year and also the prior year’s under performance. IT IS OBSCENE! WHERE THE HELL IS THE LOCAL MEDIA ON THIS?

UAL for CalPERs is 146.3 million which is a 43% increase over the last 5 years. UAL payments are now 9.9 million in 2021 and will grow to 13.2 in 2026. And remember this is assuming an unrealistic 7% CalPERs return. In all likelihood this number will be even worse as over the last 20 years CalPERs hasn’t come close to 7%. CalPERs return has only been 5.5%.

The City’s pensions are only 67% funded.

In addition to leasing the streets Morgan talked about the possibility of leasing the airport! WHAT A SCAMMER!

What was just as revealing was after the snake oil consultants left the meeting. Dowell went into the June and August financial statements. (What happened to July?) The city’s cash flow is up OVER $30 MILLION from last year resulting in an $8.8 million surplus! (You would think with a 30 million increase in cash flow the surplus would be even more.) And it sounds like these numbers will probably increase over the next few months. It turns out that despite the doom we were told the COVID crisis would have on the City’s finance, the crisis has generated a huge windfall for the City, similar to the Camp Fire situation.

Naturally, they didn’t even think of giving any of the surplus back to the taxpayers or using it to fix the streets. They are pigs at the trough and will take everything they can get, so even with millions in surplus you can bet they will be talking tax and fee increases next year! It just shows that no matter how much money they take, all of it and more will be devoured by pensions, other post employment benefits and raises. These people are parasites and they will bleed the people of this community dry! DON’T LET THEM DO THIS TO YOU!

And thanks Dave, for bringing up that $30 million “surplus”. What happened to that? Slight of hand? Peas and walnut shells? That’s Business As Usual at the City of Chico!

7 Responses to “Business as Usual at the City of Chico: Pass a new tax without voter approval, spike your pay like the retiring city clerk, hand the bag to the taxpayers! And only then do they “open” the meetings…”

  1. Lori Harris May 4, 2021 at 12:00 pm #

    UNREAL! How do we go after this corruption?

    • Juanita Sumner May 4, 2021 at 12:11 pm #

      Hi Lori,

      Did you have a chance to watch the video? Pull out some of the comments from the consultant, and pass them along to your council via email before tonight’s meeting. Tell them you are wise to the scam, and that you will join us in opposing the proposed sales tax increase and road bond Coolidge and Staff are proposing. Tell Morgan it’s a new tax, he’s not fooling anybody. Quote the consultant whenever possible so they know you watched the video.

      • Lori Harris May 4, 2021 at 12:13 pm #

        Thanks Juanita. I think that is brilliant.

      • Juanita Sumner May 4, 2021 at 12:14 pm #

        God, I’m just glad to have you and other people catching on to this bullshit – go get ’em Lori!

  2. Dave May 4, 2021 at 7:55 pm #

    …so even with millions in surplus you can bet they will be talking tax and fee increases next year!

    Well, my prediction was right. Of course, I didn’t need to be an expert in finance or political science to make that prediction. With pigs at the trough, it’s easy!

  3. Diana May 8, 2021 at 8:35 am #


    So happy I found the Chico Taxpayer Association. What a great service you are providing our community. People are waking up to this nonsense and interested in turning this ship around. How would someone contact you in person? I should warn you I’m a dangerous 67 year old according to America’s Most Wanted. I had the audacity to want to speak at a Chico City Council meeting.

    Be careful, Mayor Coolidge is good at threatening people. If Mr. Coolidge has nothing to hide he should hide nothing.

    • Juanita Sumner May 9, 2021 at 6:27 am #

      Thanks Diana,

      Yeah, Coolidge has threatened me before. In 2014 he came to speak at an “meet the candidate ” event I arranged at the library. He told a small group of us that he was super frustrated when he lost by only a few votes in 2012. So he admitted that he had tried to talk Dave Donnan and Joe Montes out of running for Council. He told them they were just stealing votes from him. When I repeated that story on my blog, he threatened to sue me. Later Montes came to my blog and said it was true.

      Coolidge lies and threatens to get what he wants. He got so angry telling that story, it was disturbing. And then he threatened to sue me if I shared the story, that should tell you everything you need to know about that dirtbag. I tried to tell people about that, but when he ran a new campaign in 2020, all of the conservative groups endorsed him anyway. They endorsed him even though he’d gone with the Liberals and signed the shelter crisis designation. People were so pissed off at him when he signed the SCD, but just two years later morons like Rob Berry just turned around and endorsed him in 2020 anyway.

      I had only recently joined the Chico Republican Women Federated in 2020, but I quit when they insisted on endorsing Coolidge. They told me, they worked so hard to get the conservatives elected, they had to support them. That was a real letdown so I quit the group. I still believe Stone would have been the better choice.

      City council is supposed to be non-partisan anyway, but nobody ever gets that.

      I hope you will speak out publicly to what Coolidge and Morgan did to criminalize coming to meetings. They are only now partially opening the meetings, if we don’t push back harder now, this covid bulshit is just going to become a way of life.

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