Right now we have an opportunity to eliminate two management positions – tell your district rep we need to cut our “top heavy” management instead of raise taxes and rates on the working class

17 May

Inflation – it’s the ‘I’ word. You’ve seen it – the price of almost everything my husband and I buy at the grocery store has increased sharply lately, having been steadily increasing over the course of the COVID shut-down. Here’s an example – I eat a lot of bananas – bananas have gone up about 20 cents a pound over the last two or three months.

The drivers – gas and utilities. It’s not hard to see how those commodities affect the price of everything else.

You can scream at Joe Biden all you want – he can’t hear you. Better to scream at your local politicians, your county and city representatives. They have done nothing to help, in fact, they’ve gone about raising the cost of living with just about every action they take. Tonight the city of Chico is talking terms of sale with Cal Water, offering them the city sewer system. YOUR sewer system folks. You’ve watched Cal Water hike your water rates, wait until they’re in charge of the sewer!

The city of Chico has already allowed Waste Management to jack up your garbage fees and impose new fees, they’ve stuck Comcast with fees that are passed along in your cable bill, and they’ve allowed PG&E to raise rates at will without any protest to the Cal Public Utilities Commission. Now they want to sell the sewer to Cal Water, just for money to pay down their pensions.

Don’t wait until Cal Water tells you they are jacking your water AND sewer rates to pay for those pipelines running up the Skyway, carrying sewage and water from Paradise ($$$$$$$). Say something NOW. Tell your district rep you know this has to go before the voters, and you’re going to join Chico Taxpayers Association in opposing it.

And tell them you are going to work hard to beat their sales tax measure. It’s a SHAKE DOWN Folks. The city’s biggest debt right now is the pensions, don’t let them fill your pants with lies.

I’ve had a little gadfly city employee coming around telling me to put a sock in it – I’ll say, join me Jeremy. You’re a worker, we need more guys like you, but we need them to be affordable. Your wages raise the price of everything, Mr. Lazarus, your pension deficit is KILLING OUR TOWN. You need to get that through your head, and then tell your co-workers to step up and pay more of their own benefits.

And we need to join together to demand cuts to management. Why do we need TWO CITY MANAGERS? Let’s promote Jennifer McCarthy to city manager and get rid of the Ass Mangler position. We also just lost Admin Services Director Scott Dowell, and his assistant ASD is now the “interim” ASD – just promote her, and dump her old position. Let’s get rid of that double-team in every department, we’ll SAVE MILLIONS OF DOLLARS IN PENSIONS AND BENEFITS.

Be vigilant and be active, we can do it.

UPDATE: I just received the agenda for next weeks Finance Committee meeting – they are jacking up the builder fees, which just raises the cost of housing – this is how the city of Chico GETS EVERYTHING WRONG.

7 Responses to “Right now we have an opportunity to eliminate two management positions – tell your district rep we need to cut our “top heavy” management instead of raise taxes and rates on the working class”

  1. BC May 17, 2022 at 12:37 pm #

    Voters need to decide what they want Chico to become. And it can be complicated.

    There is the obvious cost of municipal pensions. It has to be addressed, because when it comes to the municipal budget, there are pensions, and there is everything else. They are a direct result of poor municipal decision making. Pensions are a serious threat to the city’s financial solvency. There are many levers that can be pulled: higher employee contributions, employees paying a share of unfunded liabilities, years of service, changes in vesting, employees fully paying for post employment benefits, benefit formulas, 401 (k)’s and many others factors that are only known to pension actuaries.

    Who represents the taxpayers?. Perhaps the city council could authorize money for a pension-reduction consultant that would advise staff on realistic and competitive ways to reduce pension costs. Reduce the overall cost. Not a firm that sells pension obligation bonds as an enabler and a funding source..

    But nice stuff costs money (you may not like this next part).

    If you travel to the towns where the 1% live and the money collects, you will find that what they all have in common is a very high cost of living. And high taxes. Think Mill Valley, CA, Greenwich CT, Scarsdale, NY, Del Mar, CA, and the DC suburbs of Northern VA and the Main Line in PA come to mind. You can’t make ends meet on $30K per year in Beverly Hills. If you want perfect streets, perfect parks, top notch City services with free candy for the kids and a well functioning municipal government, you have to have lots of money. That is a tax increase.

    So the quandary is: How do you approve a tax increase which is probably needed, when you know that it will not be properly spent and will drain down the gopher hole of pensions.

    Its complicated.

    • Juanita Sumner May 18, 2022 at 5:44 am #

      No, it’s actually simple – you don’t approve the tax until you fix the problem. Yes, we have a lot of fixing to do, starting with demanding that employees either pay more or give up benefits. Pass another tax? That’s just gas on a bad fire BC.

      Who said I wanted to live in Del Mar or Scarsdale? I’d be perfectly happy with the working class town that Chico was when I was a kid, a working person, and a young mother, a town where a working class family could own a house, send their kids to college. Over the last 15 years we’ve watched public employees defer maintenance and cut services in a deliberate attempt to squeeze more taxes out of us.


      We’ve watched the cost of everything from housing to groceries to daycare go up with the public salaries. And here’s the stinker BC – the costs have gone up, but the services have dried up. They’re making way more now, but THEY DON’T DO ANY WORK.

      So here we are. No, it’s really not that complicated – it’s just greed BC.

    • Juanita Sumner May 18, 2022 at 1:41 pm #

      I had to go out this morning, I’d like to add to my response to BC – sorry if I was a little flip, but I don’t believe a tax increase would be too smart right now.

      “Perhaps the city council could authorize money for a pension-reduction consultant” – the city has already hired a number of consultants, including Chad Wolford, who has told them on two separate occasions that the city has “too much overhead”, meaning, management salaries. They have overlapping positions in every department, including City Manager and Asst. City Manager.

      Also, we don’t “need” to raise taxes, we need to lower them. The city already collects a number of what I call “hidden” taxes that were never approved by the voters – including franchise fees on garbage, cable, and PG&E, as well as Utility taxes on PG&E, Cal Water, and landline phones. They collect license fees from businesses and then require them to hire private security. They put fees on new homes and add hurdles to building that raise the cost of housing. They even tax our dogs, requiring license fees when former ass city manager Chris Constantin admitted the county provides most of the animal control services.

      And last night they increased the city budget by about 30%, adding $12.2 million for the pension deficit, up from the $11.7 they poured into it last year. Without any contributions from the employees.

      Think voting in a new council will change anything? I thought so, again and again. I never been so disappointed as I’ve been with these last few “conservative” councils we had, they’re no different from “the liberals” – spend spend spend.

      You can’t spend your way out of bad spending habits.

    • bob May 19, 2022 at 2:18 pm #

      It’s more than a tax increase you will be voting for. If the tax increase passes they will use the money from it to float a huge bond. The interest cost will be huge and that is money that doesn’t get spent on road maintenance and not even for more cops or even the pensions. It goes straight to the white shoe boys on Wall Street. Of course, the ballot measure won’t mention the bond which is criminal or should be.

      And this is general fund money we are talking about. What doesn’t get spent on interest can be spent anyway the City Council wants – pensions, the Brown New Deal, etc. And what makes you think they will put roads ahead of pensions. They never have. In fact, they’ve done just the opposite which is why the roads have fallen apart.

      • Juanita Sumner May 19, 2022 at 2:47 pm #

        Thanks for that reminder Bob, how soon we forget – council has approved a simple majority measure, with no restrictions on spending. And Coolidge, for one, has said he wants to use the proceeds to secure a bond (bonds?). And yes, they have practiced the wrong kind of attrition – starve the taxpayers! They’ve willfully deferred maintenance to starve us into paying more taxes. We also have to remind people how pissed off they were when they found out the trash tax would not be used for the streets, as promised, that the bums will not be removed from the parks, as promised, etc.

  2. bob May 19, 2022 at 2:21 pm #

    Think voting in a new council will change anything?

    The only people who can get elected are beholden to special interests who want to pick our pockets.

    • Juanita Sumner May 19, 2022 at 2:49 pm #

      Exactly – the unions get what they want because they are the biggest donors at election time. Remember, the CPOA and SEIU funded CARD’s Measure A campaign, $63,000. And the CPOA president Jim Parrott ran the Measure A campaign, handing out signs at events, etc. I get frustrated that most people have no idea how the unions run our town to their own benefit.

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