Letter to the Editor: Matt Gallaway is worried about his bottom line, not yours.

18 Oct

The Enterprise Record posted a letter from Measure H proponent Matt Gallaway, a guy who expects to benefit directly from Measure H revenues. Gallaway is the local architect who received $300,000 in American Rescue Plan money, and expects to receive more, to design parklets for Downtown bars and restaurants. Like BC, I’ve responded to each paragraph.

Though conservatives typically are not in favor of taxes, there comes a point where we must recognize the limitations of what the state provides our municipality. California may have a huge surplus, our city does not.

The first line insinuates that people simply oppose tax increase because they “typically are not in favor of taxes.” I take exception to that – I pay my taxes on time, and I pay plenty. Between property taxes, utility bills (which are subject to franchise taxes and utility users tax), gas tax, car registration tax, and sales or “use tax”, the city of Chico is well funded, look at the budget.

And yes, the city of Chico has enjoyed a financial surplus, receiving over $20 million in American Rescue Plan money over the last year, another $12,2 million just two months ago. Directly on the heels of millions in sales tax surplus from the Camp Fire refugees, who also afforded the city millions more in disaster funding. Hey, that is still going on – people in Paradise are still building homes, with materials from stores in Chico.

Gallaway should know – $300,000 of that American Rescue Plan money has gone into his pocket to furnish designs for the parklets the city plans to install Downtown. Tomorrow night Staff is asking council to approve more funding for their Downtown remodel – Ass City Manager Jennifer McCarthy says, “$300,000 does not begin to cover this…” How much goes to Gallaway for more designs?

A sales tax seems to be the most appropriate method to generate funds to help our community.  It would come from those who visit and use our infrastructure as well as from our residents. It is NOT assessed on a gallon of milk or a loaf of bread. It is not added to rent checks. The truth of the matter is that when we froze property taxes with Prop 13 back in the late 1970s, our funding started to slip — we live the reality of that today.   Most other communities in the state have recognized the need for a sales tax and have passed them long ago, leaving Chico behind.

Paragraph Two is where he goes into the same pitch we’ve heard from Brandon Slater, Ann Schwab and other proponents, almost word for word. So much for Mike Wolcott’s rule about “no form letters.” Gallaway repeats the mantra about visitors paying their fair share – they already pay bed tax – and then the la-la about the tax not applying to “a gallon of milk or a loaf of bread...” No, but it applies to soap, underwear, shoes, gas not only to get us to the store but to get the truckloads of supplies to the store. No, it doesn’t apply to rent, but it drives up costs for landlords.

Then he take a new tack – he blames our problems on Prop 13. Did this guy call himself a “conservative” in Paragraph 1? Cause I think he’s one of those RINO’s – Republican in Name Only. This guy is telling us Prop 13 is bad, when he should know, the city takes in over $24 million a year in property tax, regardless of Prop 13. And right now there is an unprecedented building spree going on in Chico – all those new homes/apartments will generate millions more in property tax, not to mention building fees.

Chico hasn’t fallen behind in revenues, it’s fallen behind in infrastructure because they’ve been siphoning the money into the pensions.

And Gallaway admits that in his next paragraph. He finally tells the rest of us what’s been talked about in off-the-record meetings for over a year now – they want to use the sales tax revenues to secure bonds, to assure us that it won’t go to CalPERS by way of the General Fund.

The good news is that there are methods to help make sure this tax is not spent on CALPers and the city’s unfunded pension liability.  I trust our city staff and council to secure the vast majority of the proposed tax for our parks and roadways in the form of long-term bonds. Most jurisdictions find this to be a good method to span political cycles.

First of all, that just shows what a lie they’re floating on the ballot, where they promise $24 million/year off a 1-cent sales tax. Second, they never mentioned the bonds in front of the public, the last reference to purchasing bonds was during COVID at a closed meeting. Bonds are permanent debt, and they ride the market. You’ve seen the market lately?

Gallaway closes with another lame pitch –

“H” is for help and we all need to do our parts to help insure our city maintains it’s character and charm.

Matt Gallaway, Chico CA

Gallaway says “we”, but what he’s really concerned about is himself. This man works for the public sector almost exclusively, he knows this tax is part of his bottom line, and he doesn’t care about yours.

NO on Measure H.

9 Responses to “Letter to the Editor: Matt Gallaway is worried about his bottom line, not yours.”

  1. Dave October 18, 2022 at 7:41 am #

    It will be interesting to see how much money this Gallaway joker put in to get Measure H passed. “Let’s Go Brandon” Slater has put in $30,000 so far. We won’t know until AFTER the election is over how much in total Slater, Gallaway, SEIU and the rest of the special interests put in, but I bet it will dwarf the $60,000 special interests put in to try to pass CARD’s property tax in 2020.

    To their letters Wolcott should have added that Gallaway and Slater have contracts with the City and that Slater has contributed at least $30,000 to get this tax passed so people would know these jokers are partisans.

    If the specials interests fool people into passing this it will most likely be the first step in getting the City a quarter billion dollars deeper in dept.

    People need to see https://chicosaysno.weebly.com/more-debt.html

    Coolidge and the rest of the City Council don’t dare mention it even though it was their plan all along. CARD was going to float a big bond, too, if their tax passed and when people found out that help defeat the tax.

    And where is the media to inform the public? Shouldn’t the public know if they vote themselves a tax increase they could very well be signing on to much more debt?

    • Juanita Sumner October 18, 2022 at 12:35 pm #

      No kidding, the cronyism runs pretty deep around here.

  2. bob October 18, 2022 at 3:19 pm #

    “H” is for help and we all need to do our parts to help insure our city maintains it’s character and charm.

    No, H is for Hooey!

    https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/hooey

    Or maybe as Sherman T. Potter used to say on MASH “HORSE HOCKEY!”

  3. Mike Trolinder October 22, 2022 at 9:08 pm #

    Juanita, Im sure you dont want to be the source of bad information, I was at the same meeting you were at. The proposed parklet budget of $300,000 was mostly to build them. Matt Gallaways architectural firm RGA did the Concepts, the design guidlines incuding the mobility methods and the engineering to develop standard approved designs so business wouldnt have to pay the approx $10,000 in fees it takes to do one and meet code. RGA was paid about $15,000.. they are not builders or contractors and not part of the remaining $285,000 nice to see you at a meeting its been a long time.. As for Matt and the added sales tax he makes a good punching bag so have fun.. I agree with him, we need the revenue. Have a nice night.. Mike

    • Juanita Sumner October 23, 2022 at 6:15 am #

      Hi Downtown business man Mike Trolinder. I was there too Mike, McCarthy said Gallaway Associates had rec’d $300,000 of the city’s American Rescue Plan Funding. It’s in the report. I have her direct quote from the meeting – “$300,000 does not begin to cover this.”

      Finally – it’s not an appropriate expenditure, even if it was only $100. “so business wouldnt have to pay the approx $10,000 in fees it takes to do one and meet code.” – you think taxpayers who live on crapped out neighborhood streets should pick up the tab for a Downtown Remodel?

      I know you’ve been watching them through COVID too, while I was held off by the forehead, so you know what kind of crap they’ve pulled. You try to make it sound like I just haven’t been paying attention – I read the reports, sweetie.

      Futhermore, Gallaway has received a lot of public works contracts, and that’s why he’s endorsing Measure A. What do you mean that Matt makes a good punching bag? I’m not punching anybody Mike, I’m just trying to tell the public how their money is being spent, and you’re trying to stay in good with city staff because it’s good for your bottom line, same as Gallaway.

      • Mike Trolinder October 23, 2022 at 7:51 am #

        Why do you need to make stuff up? I dont have a business. downtown. That was her direct quote regarding the proposed budget. She also had a quote re RGAs contract amount.. what did she say ?
        Ok I will take the bait.. what is a lot of public works contracts ? I know of 3 smaller projects in 5 years. They do however work for the county and the state regularly. Punching bag is accurrate.. you fictionalized his motives after he told us what they were.. your on the attack and I actually admire you for it. Being the keeper of how the peoples money is spent is good work. I also appreciate your no coward like Rob Berry who pulls down and blocks anyone calling him on his bogus garbage.

      • Juanita Sumner October 23, 2022 at 8:20 am #

        McCarthy said RGA had been given $300,000 in 2021. It’s also in the agendas and minutes. Over and done, they got the money. Care to show me your tape of the meeting – you didn’t even have a notebook.

        Mike, let’s just talk about the taxpayers picking up the tab for Downtown bars and restaurants code enforcement fees. You said it – they would have to pay $10,000, but the taxpayers will pick that up. That’s the kind of bullshit I’m talking about. And I remember a remark you made at the meeting about the process not being consistent, meaning not every business in town is privvy to the favoritism – care to elaborate?

        And then you admit that RGA has taken, that you know of, 3 contracts in 5 years. That’s ON THE DOLE, as far as I’m concerned. Can you tell me how many private projects they took on in the same amount of time?

        I love that you admire me, but it comes off very passive-aggressive when you call me a liar and then say you admire me. The uncomfortable truth is not a lie, thankyouverymuch.

  4. Mike Trolinder October 23, 2022 at 9:35 am #

    Now that Im blind I dont take notes so I record. Her quote was the architectural firm RGA was paid about 10,000 for the conceptual drawings. She used the illustrations in her presentation. I didnt believe her so I investigated.. The contract amount for the proposed work was 30,000, they billed about 15k to the contract before it was stopped. You are funny.. Im passive agressive and you write fiction..

    • Juanita Sumner October 23, 2022 at 12:02 pm #

      well, let me look at the report again and get back to you Mike – it said the city gave RGA (Gallaway) $300,000 in 2021. I’m not trying to be funny.

      NOTE: Well, here it is, in the reports available on the city website

      https://chico.ca.us/sites/main/files/file-attachments/09-12-22_internal_affairs_agenda_packet_0.pdf?1662655084

      “In June 2021, the Council allocated $300,000 in one-time American Rescue Plan funds toward the design,
      construction, and implementation of temporary parklets in the downtown area. The purpose of the project was to
      replace the existing K-Rail parklets with safe, aesthetically pleasing parklets, and allow for continued use of outdoor
      dining in an effort to continue to provide a safe dining experience for local residents and visitors.”

      Okay Mike, we’re done. You’re just trying to throw shit – go away.

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