Shock treatment – it’s dumb decisions on the part of council that raise our cost of living while lowering our quality of life

19 Jun

Yesterday I noticed the price of the pack of chicken I always buy at Winco has gone up. It was about $1.89/pound the last time I bought it, now it’s $2.28. Let’s do the math. First I’ll try to do it in my head, because that’s good for your brain.

Okay, subtract 1.89 from 2.28 = 39 cents. I’m going to check that on my calculator before I get mad. Hmmm. We divide .39 by 1.89 and we get a 20% increase. Wow, now I’m kinda pissed.

It’s a daily shock treatment. We go grocery shopping, get the bill for our vehicle registration, open a utility bill, go to the gas station – it’s like that great old Stephen King movie, Cat’s Eye.

I’ll tell you what – I might pay an extra sales tax to see Gavin Newsom and members of the Democratic legislature in this box.

Our own mayor and city council have put us in that box. They tax our utilities, put franchise taxes on our services, raise the cost of housing with their new developer fees, and squeeze local businesses for stuff like “improvement districts”.

And the double-whammy is that we get nothing for it. Crime is at an all time high even though the cops get over half the budget. We just got snookered into instituting a “homeless” shelter camp that, as Rob Berry twitters, is already inadequate because the city will not require that both beds in each box are occupied. As soon as the 177 pallets are “full”, the city will have to allow the transients to camp in our parks and open spaces again – and predate on our neighborhoods when we’re asleep and at work. And of course that will lead to more demands for money for the cops.

It’s dumb decisions on the part of council that not only raise our cost of living, but lower our quality of living. Look at an agenda, you’ll see what I’m talking about.

I saw an item in this week’s agenda that caught my eye – Deepika Tandon has requested a conversation about the Downtown trash receptacles. I still remember when the city underwent a “remodel” of Downtown, bulbing sidewalks – essentially inviting pedestrians to become human traffic calming devices. They also spent a bunch of money on those big, ugly concrete trash receptacles. The transients, who essentially own Downtown Chico after 10pm, had vandalized the old metal buckets, and the consultant who sold the city the concrete cans convinced them that concrete could stand up to the abuse of the bums.

No, they didn’t. They were vandalized, literally to pieces, until the city removed them. In fact, as my husband and I toured our out-of-town relatives through Thursday night market, shortly after the cans had been purchased, my husband’s cousin and I watched a filthy little perv completely destroy one of those cans with a bike chain.

So, let’s watch this conversation, and I hope some of you will chime in on Chico Engaged to let them know what you think of their ridiculous spending decisions. New garbage cans for Downtown – have you looked at the street in front of your house lately?

Sometimes I wonder if we should even have a city council. Every new council seems to repeat the mistakes of the past, like Tandon, they don’t do their homework. I think we might be better off voting on staff hires, but then I realize – that would be, the same idiot voters who elect these councils we’ve had, who have made these idiot decisions. I always wonder, how much homework does the average Chicoan do at election time?

This election is different. The idiots are demanding a one-cent sales tax increase to carry on their idiocy. This is a permanent increase in our cost of living, and again, you have to ask yourself, FOR WHAT? When was the last time you remember a council who didn’t make stupid spending decisions?

NO, and tell them that now, while they can still change course on this stupid tax measure.

2 Responses to “Shock treatment – it’s dumb decisions on the part of council that raise our cost of living while lowering our quality of life”

  1. bob June 19, 2022 at 8:51 pm #

    HJTA has it right…and sure describes our city council.

    The locusts come out at election time

    The deadline for local governments to place tax hikes on the November ballot is rapidly approaching. This is why political consultants have descended like locusts on city councils, county boards of supervisors and school boards pitching their services. Their objective? Fool, er, convince, voters to approve even higher levels of taxation.

    These consultants are nothing if not slick and very convincing. They also use taxpayer dollars to engage in so-called “informational” campaigns explaining to the public why their city, county or school needs more money, whether they do or not.

    Here’s how it works. Consulting firms specializing in tax measures engage in aggressive advertising pitching their services directly to local governments or through associations such as the League of California Cities or the California School Boards Association. If they get a bite from a jurisdiction, they claim to be able to do a “feasibility” study to test voters’ receptiveness to a tax hike. But these surveys are often loaded with questions designed to elicit support for the desired outcome (e.g. Do you think education is important?).

    Armed with “data” showing that tax increases could pass voter approval, the consultants then engage in “outreach” to organizations and interests that might benefit from tax hike increases, such as public sector unions and construction companies. The jurisdiction even begins to engage in direct mail campaigns that are designed to build good will with voters. These might be glossy fliers with photos of police or fire personnel.

    The next step is the drafting of the tax hike measure, which invariably begins with “findings” of extreme necessity for additional money. The drafting includes coordinating with the consultant’s legal team and government lawyers to provide one-sided ballot titles and summaries.

    The sad part about all the activity described above is that it is all taxpayer funded. It is only when the actual political campaign begins that the consultants partner with the special interest groups for the “advocacy” part of the campaign. But even here, examples of local governments crossing the line into taxpayer-funded advocacy are too numerous to mention. Moreover, in most of these cases, the consultant hired to run the election campaign is the same firm that did the “informational” campaign on behalf of the city, county or school district.

    ​Taxpayer funded political campaigns are illegal. The free speech clauses of the federal and state Constitutions prohibit the use of governmentally compelled monetary contributions (including taxes) to support or oppose political campaigns.

    As we enter the 2022 election cycle, cities, counties and special districts will use public funds to pitch tax hikes.

    The Modesto Bee has already reported that the city of Modesto is considering spending $115,000 for consulting services to test the viability of a tax increase.

    Fortunately, prosecuting such violations of law was the very reason the Howard Jarvis Taxpayers Association created the new Public Integrity Project, which has already proved to be an additional enforcement tool against illegal expenditures of public funds and other violations of law that hurt taxpayers and voters.

    Citizens who believe that their government entity is illegally spending public funds for election related activities can contact HJTA as well as the Fair Political Practices Commission. To find out if anybody’s pitching a local tax increase for your November ballot, check the website of your city council, county board of supervisors and school board throughout June and read the agenda of all upcoming meetings.

    https://www.hjta.org/california-commentary/the-locusts-come-out-at-election-time/

    • Juanita Sumner June 21, 2022 at 5:39 am #

      Thanks Bob, even if we can’t pop them for it, knowing what they’re doing should really turn the voters off to this measure.

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