Letter to the editor: This is a general measure, they can’t make promises. We have to look at the record.

13 Jun

One election over, time to get ready for the next one. I hope those of you who are opposed to the city’s sales tax measure will help me get the conversation going. Write those letters to the Enterprise Record, even the News and Review. The city is spending 10’s of thousands in taxpayer money to pump this measure, making promises they can’t keep. It’s up to us to fight their misinformation campaign. Here’s my first letter, and I intend to keep them coming.

On June 7 Chico City Council forwarded their sales tax increase measure to the county clerk for the November ballot. They approved a general one-cent measure, requiring only 50 percent of voters plus one additional voter to raise our sales tax.

Why? Because a general measure is not restricted, going into the General Fund, to be spent at the whim of whomever is on council. They can’t make promises of any kind, can’t promise to fix roads, or hire more safety personnel, because that takes a 2/3’s measure. They know they wouldn’t be able to spend the money as they want with a 2/3’s measure, so they voted unanimously for a general measure.

We have to look at what they’ve been spending money on, and expect more of same. They’ve already allocated part of the General Fund toward the pallet shelter site. Acting city manager Paul Hahn says he expects these costs to increase annually. He also admits that they are far from controlling illegal camping.

However, Hahn says, “the largest financial challenge is increasing contributions to CalPERS retirement benefits.” While streets have gone unmaintained and Bidwell Park and other public areas have sunk into a state of disgrace, staff has made increasing “catch-up” payments to CalPERS – last year $11.7 million, this year over $12 million. Ironically, the deficit just keeps going up – 45% since 2015.

So don’t be fooled by promises, look at the record. Please join Chico Taxpayers Association in opposing another one of council’s poor decisions.

2 Responses to “Letter to the editor: This is a general measure, they can’t make promises. We have to look at the record.”

  1. Scott Rushing June 13, 2022 at 10:55 pm #

    The CPD controls 50% +/- of the annual budget and the pension costs associated with “peace officers” is heavy. Is Juanita alone in questioning the cavalier actions of the Chico City Council with YOUR money? Listen to the comments of the council from the last meeting. Didn’t the comments from the council members imply everyone else, but them, is to blame for fiscal and legal challenges facing the city?

    • Juanita Sumner June 14, 2022 at 5:46 am #

      Thank you Scott. Council spends over half the budget on the cops and I still don’t feel safe, not even in my home. And you’re right – the police, frankly, are as big a threat as the criminals these days. Chico police are poorly trained and neither council nor their chief are providing good leadership. I want a good police department, and for the money we’re spending, we should be able to get better service.

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