Chico Sales Tax Measure, Step 1: private meetings with “stakeholders” – and that’s not YOU

25 Feb

Wednesday (2/23/22) I attended a presentation from Clifford Moss, the city’s tax increase measure consultants. They laid out their strategy for getting us to raise our own taxes.

Rollout” will begin in March with “a series of stakeholder meetings…” Google offers two simple definitions for “stakeholder” – are you a “stakeholder“?

  1. (in gambling) an independent party with whom each of those who make a wager deposits the money or counters wagered.
  2. a person with an interest or concern in something, especially a business.

But Project Management, a software/consulting firm, defines four types of stakeholders – “Users, Governance, Influencers, and Providers”. They are defining these terms in the setting of sales and business management, but they fit here – the “project” here is selling the public a tax measure.

Generally speaking, “Stakeholders are individuals or organizations who are invested in a particular project and who are affected by this project in some way, and also their input has a direct impact on the project’s upshot.”

Are you a “stakeholder”? Let’s see – are you a “user”?

“Users are the stakeholder-type of people who will use the products of your project or program. They are the beneficiaries of the outputs.

Will you, the taxpayer, benefit from this project? Proponents of this tax measure have insinuated that proceeds will go toward infrastructure and services, meanwhile they are allocating funds out of every department budget to pay Staff’s pension deficit. Do you believe words or actions? Given past actions of council, “users“, or benefactors of this measure, are going to be Staff.

Are you “governance”? “These are people or groups of people who have an interest in how things are managed on the project or program. For example, management boards or steering groups would fall into this category, as they usually have the job to monitor the quality of the project as it develops and to provide advice and guidance throughout its course.”

There has been no mention of any kind of “steering” or “oversight” committee for this tax measure. We’re supposed to count on our council and Staff to make sure we’re not getting screwed. Stop laughing, dammit!

Do you feel particularly influential in this town? “Influencers are the people who have the power to influence decisions and the ability to change the direction of a certain project or program.” I wish I could believe that the taxpayers/voters have any “influence” beyond selecting council members that later turn on them. These folks instead “belong to trade unions and lobby groups as they are known for having the capability to impact a project’s track and protect and improve the outcome.” That would be the employee unions, who are known to bring a lot of money to the table, and money = influence around here.

Finally, “Providers” – As you would expect, suppliers and vendors fall into this category. More specifically, a supplier’s job is to supply a company. In addition, the group of providers can cover a larger number of profiles also including business partners, temporary contractors, catering staff, and anyone else who provides resources to the project or program.”

A person might think that the taxpayers would fall in as “Providers”, because we’re going to “provide” the money. But I believe this would be the local businesses who fall in and collect the tax for the city.

Clifford Moss listed stakeholders in their presentation – the Chico Chamber of Commerce, The Farm Bureau, and Enloe Hospital. The Chamber seems like a no-brainer. If businesses don’t support this measure, it’s dead.

Enloe is also a sales tax collector, a big one. Sales tax proponents will tell you medicines and medical services are exempt from sales tax – that is not completely true, read this:

The Farm Bureau is essentially a marketing agency for farmers/growers/distributors, so they would also be a tax collector.

So, I’m going to guess, we’re not invited to the “stakeholder” meetings. We’re not considered “stakeholders,” we’re just considered “spectators”.

Between now and June, when Staff must submit their sales tax increase measure, the $91,000 consultant will be working with those “stakeholders” to get them on board. Don’t be left out – contact your district representative, Enloe, the Farm Bureau, and the Chamber of Commerce. Let them know what you think about this measure, be a part of this conversation.

Farm Bureau – (530) 533-1473 ; PO Box 360 Durham, CA 95938

Chico Chamber – (530) 891-5556; 180 E 4th St Suite 120, Chico, CA 95927

Mike Wiltermood, Enloe CEO – 1531 Esplanade, Chico, California, 95926

3 Responses to “Chico Sales Tax Measure, Step 1: private meetings with “stakeholders” – and that’s not YOU”

  1. bob February 27, 2022 at 2:38 pm #

    There has been no mention of any kind of “steering” or “oversight” committee for this tax measure. We’re supposed to count on our council and Staff to make sure we’re not getting screwed.

    Getting screwed is a foregone conclusion. After all, anyone can see our roads are in desperate need of repair, but the geniuses on this council decided a better use of our money would be to put up an ice skating rink.

    Anyone who votes to allow them to take even more of our money is brain dead or in on the swindle.

    • Bob February 27, 2022 at 6:00 pm #

      And even if there was an “oversight” or “steering” committee you can bet they would appoint their cronies who would just go along with whatever the council wanted or if not, it would probably only be advisory (no power to prevent the council from doing whatever they want).

      • Juanita Sumner February 28, 2022 at 5:18 am #

        True – for one thing, they get to make a list of qualifications for different positions, including “Bonified Taxpayer Association”. Bonified taxpayers association means “PAC”. Because of these qualifications, the school bond oversight committee has never been filled, they may even have eliminated it by now, I can’t find anything about it. So, you’re right, “oversight committees” mean nothing.

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