This Fourth of July make it real – no new taxes that are not dedicated to specific services!

4 Jul

Happy 4th of July – here’s a blast from the past –

This is what a Chico Fourth of July looked like in 2016.

Yes, 2016 was the last time Chico had pancakes and music for breakfast in the park on the Fourth. I’m shaking my head, I just can’t believe it. For many years, this event was sponsored and run by Chico Area Recreation District. But, citing money problems, they cut it from the budget. It was picked up by Chico Running Club, who were responsible for the breakfast pictured above. And then it disappeared again.

How does something like this just disappear?

An important part of that celebration event was the Captain Bob Pancake Wagon and the local celebrities who flipped the flapjacks for the cause. My personal favorite was always Congressman Wally Herger, personable guy whether you agreed with him politically or not. The pancake wagon was owned and run by a group of volunteers from the Butte County Sheriff, but supported by donations. They were active as of 2021, and I’m guessing they are still available for events.

I went to Oregon for a couple of days this past week to hook up with relatives at a really groovy campground near Lake of the Woods. Driving back yesterday, in almost every town we passed through – even tiny towns – there were big banners strung up touting 4th of July fireworks celebrations, picnics, jamborees, races of all kinds. I couldn’t help but wonder – how come, a city with a budget over a million dollars, is not doing anything?

Especially a town that has promised us a year long 150 year town founder celebration. That seems to be in the hands of Chico Chamber – here’s their calendar:

For the weekend of July 4, they suggest you pack a basket and head over to Rotary Park. That is a Chico Area Recreation District event. “We’re so proud of CARD’s new Rotary Centennial Park, which was recently completed with the help of CARD staff and so many volunteers from the Rotary. It’s the perfect example of Chico community teamwork! Come enjoy this beautiful new spot by having a picnic in the summer sunshine.” But all they seem to be providing is the park – no fireworks, no sack races, no corn hole, nothing. It actually sounds like a pitch for a tax increase, but you know me, I speak their language.

Of course, and thank goodness, every year we get the fireworks show at the Silver Dollar. But that has nothing to do with the city, that is provided by the raceway promoters. Actually, the fans pay for it – $20 a head for adults, $15 for seniors, $10 for kids. My family would have paid $60 just for admission. Of course, you could sit outside the raceway in your car, or head over to the pallet shelter. I’ve never lived in a house in Chico from which the show was visible, but I have sat comforting my dog year after year. Price of liberty.

But here’s all the city of Chico has had to offer lately.

Yesterday the city admitted they have lost control of transient camps, that the bums just have to move to a new spot.
How about that $395,000 chambers remodel?
Every pothole tells a story of deferred maintenance.

So, yeah, I’m a little disappointed in the City of Chico. They sure have enough money to offer Mark Sorensen an inside job at $207,000/year base salary. That doesn’t include stuff like “extra pay”, cell phone and car allowance, all kinds of insurance, and don’t forget, 70% pension with a very small (9%) contribution on his part. In fact, I can’t even guarantee the 9%, they told me they don’t have to show me his contract until he signs it. Wow, that sure makes me feel included! I’m just blinded by the sunshine!

They are hiring Sorensen because he’s already on board with the sales tax measure. He wanted a tax of some sort when he was on council, but oh gee, he couldn’t take his hands off his junk then because he had to be elected by the taxpayers. Now he’s hired, so he doesn’t have to answer to the taxpayers. He wants that tax to pay down the pension deficit, because as of 2012 he’s been a public employee, “serving” the city of Biggs for 10 years now. They hired him at about $60,000 – wow, quite a come-up to $207,000 base pay.

So Sorensen is going to try to shove this tax measure in, get ready, they want it bad. His future depends on it.

Our future and that of communities all over California depends on us overturning this tax measure. The revenues from this tax measure are not dedicated to any specific services, no matter how they insinuate they will use the money, it goes into the General Fund. Every year Staff takes a larger amount of the GF to make a “catch-up” payment on their pension deficit, while admittedly deferring maintenance and services. That is a willful pattern, a determined act, insubordination. And it’s a racket – following the advice of the California League of Cities, towns across the state are doing same, trying to throttle us into passing a tax increase to line their stinking nests.

And it will be a tight squeeze – knowing there was not true community support for this measure, council unanimously voted to make it a simple measure, requiring only 50% of voter turnout plus ONE VOTE to RAISE EVERYBODY’S TAXES. That, excuse me, is CHICKENSHIT, and they know it, but they’re doing it anyway.

Call your council rep, and sing them a little ditty –

6 Responses to “This Fourth of July make it real – no new taxes that are not dedicated to specific services!”

  1. bob July 4, 2022 at 9:37 am #

    Didn’t the city clerk get a car at taxpayer’s expense? Or at least the use of a car at taxpayer’s expense? All the companies I worked for only provided company cars if one spent the majority of their time on the road. What travel does the city clerk do for the city that justifies having a city car? Also, does the city clerk pay income tax on the use of that car?

    • Juanita Sumner July 5, 2022 at 6:39 am #

      I haven’t had time to look at the clerk’s contract, but many of them get a car allowance, maybe that also would mean a car. I’ll guess she does travel on city business, whether that’s necessary or not is doubtful. But GOOD QUESTION – no city employee pays taxes on any of this stuff, and I’m afraid most taxpayers don’t get that – they don’t pay taxes on their benefits until they collect in retirement. That’s a tax deferment that saves them a ton of money.

  2. bob July 4, 2022 at 3:25 pm #

    “In fact, I can’t even guarantee the 9%, they told me they don’t have to show me his contract until he signs it. Wow, that sure makes me feel included! I’m just blinded by the sunshine!”

    Why won’t they be transparent??? It is our money, after all. Hard to not smell a whiff of corruption there.

    They won’t be transparent with us but they expect us to vote for them to take even more of our money. Well, they can shove it!

    We need independence from them and their taxes!

    • Juanita Sumner July 5, 2022 at 6:41 am #

      Yeah, trying to get information out of these people is like pulling teeth – it would take a lawyer in many cases, and I don’t have that kind of money. Thanks, I feel same – they can shove this tax measure right back where they got it.

  3. Dawn Plants July 11, 2022 at 10:49 am #

    Love this!

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