I hate to mention it, but you realize, the real work begins AFTER the election…

3 Nov

I can’t wait for this election to be over and I’m expecting people to take down their campaign signs. I think this was a new high for illegally posted signs, with Tom Lando Jr coming in first – his little signs are flapping along sidewalks, road medians, parks, and other public spaces. No, no, no Tom, you were supposed to get your supporters to post them in front yards. Jessica Gianola comes in at a close second, with signs at commercial centers and along public sidewalks. Same for all of those candidates who posted at Bruce and 32 – that’s illegal, and it’s not a good sign of your character. It looks like a trash truck blew up there, thanks for caring!

Same with the flyers – I know they’re legal, but I don’t think they’re very nice. First there’s the content – which is absurd, blaming the challengers when it’s been Vice Mayor Kasey Reynolds and the rest of the so-called “conservative” council who’ve been making all the bad decisions. Reynolds and her pac – Citizens for Safe Chico – has been loading my mailbox full, addressing their little shitbirds to both me and my husband. Reynolds has robo-called my son in Oregon – I don’t get that, he’s never even been registered to vote in Chico. They are pulling out all the stops, spending all that union money – guess why – they’re worried.

And they should be. Let them know why they should be worried. Tell them exactly why you’re unhappy and what they need to do about it. This is the only time they’re listening, or even pretending to listen.

What we also need to remember, is that this election is not the end of anything. No matter who gets elected or what passes, we’ll all wake up the next day to the same problems – our parks and public areas full of transient tents and trash, our roads still crumbling, and the ticker continuing upward on the pension deficit.

I like to ride my old bike around town, and that’s when I really get it – skinny tires pick up every bump in the road. You can hear the pavement jangling loose, it’s like riding on broken crockery. And if you watched me from behind you might think I been hitting the bottle – it’s a 70 year old bike, I try to avoid the big potholes, and that can be a challenge. Yesterday I jogged over to avoid a pothole about the size of a toaster oven – you could see dirt in the bottom. I also realized I need a better bra.

As I rode toward Upper Bidwell Park recently, I noticed a section of South Park Drive has been falling into the creek for years now, still falling. And you must ask yourself – are those houses along the south side of the park on septic or sewer? We went to a park in Sacramento years back where they’d allowed septic tanks from houses on either side to pollute the little creek running through the park, and had finally got the GRANT FUNDING to fix it. You could smell shit, and the water looked awful. They’d let it go all those years, waiting for the state to pick up the tab, while they spent those people’s property taxes on, oh, probably their own salaries and pensions.

And there’s those pensions – the herd of elephants that are crapping all over our living room rug. Here’s what you need to remember – they pay more every year, at the expense of our infrastructure and services, but the pensions deficit does not go away – it actually increases.

And here’s one reason why – besides the fact that employees pay unrealistic shares – in the past two years, city management has added three new positions (that I know of) at over $100,000/year. Council has also approved raises for both the fire and police departments, as well as the management unit, without asking them to pay more toward their own pensions. Employees pay less than 20% of their payroll costs and NOTHING toward the deficit created by those unrealistic shares.

So remember this – when I started this blog in 2012, most employees paid nothing toward their benefits. Former city manager Tom Lando, for example, PAID NOTHING toward one of the biggest pensions currently carried by the city of Chico. They only started paying when we discovered their scam, and only in tiny increments. We’ve had to beat their asses for every dime since then. They expect us to pay them twice – once for actually doing their job, and then another 70 – 90% in retirement. So the $100,000 salary we see really costs hundreds of thousands more in pension, benefits, perks like life insurance, burial insurance, and the interest accrued on the debt.

So, we have a lot of work ahead of us in 2023.

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