Mark Sorensen asked council to stand up and declare they don’t want to protect the taxpayers, or be accountable for the taxes they pass, and council said, “wait a minute here…”

9 Mar

Welcome to Dr. Juanita’s office – see, ever since my husband and I got kicked off Cal Covered for not making enough money, we’ve had to take care of ourselves. Recently, when I started to feel like I couldn’t raise my arms, I sat down at my laptop with a heating pad and started googling “sore arms”. It seems that with all this weather and the raking, shoveling and general pick-up around my house and yard, I have “hyperextended” my arms – you all remember the milk commercial in which the old man grabs his wheelbarrow and his arms fall off… OMG! that can really happen!

Wow, I like that word – hyperextended – you could use it for a million different occasions. Chico, for example, is pretty “hyperextended” right now. At least my problem is from overwork instead of overspending.

I don’t like painkillers, cause they don’t like me. Taking an ibuprofen or even an aspirin is like shoving a whole roll of Mentos into a liter bottle of Mr. Pibb. You don’t want to be there. Chico uses band-aids – for example, grants – grants are a form of instant gratification that comes with interest.

So I did some homework – here’s the advice you get for hyperextended arms – “stop doing whatever you’re doing…” I get that, but does the city of Chico get it?

This morning I finally got a chance to watch the Tuesday (3/7) Chico City Council meeting. Wow, what a show – I could tell Debbie Presson was kind of annoyed, in her nice way, I think she wanted to put somebody over her knee. Council acts like tiny children sometimes and Ms. Presson seems to feel that is a direct reflection on her skills at keeping meetings in order. Let’s give her a taser! How about a stick?

But what I was after was the discussion about opposing the Taxpayer Protection and Government Accountability Act, item 2.2 in the Consent Agenda. I guess-tulated that was Sorensen’s Baby, I think I was right. Kasey Reynolds immediately complained that she wasn’t sure she understood the measure or the discussion and she wanted to table it for another meeting. Morgan fell right in with her. The rest of council agreed and tabled it.

I’ve watched these guys discussing the sales tax measure for about 5 years now, and they always have problems standing publicly and declaring they support any tax. In one Finance Committee meeting, former council member Mark Sorensen, along with current council member Morgan, both declared they wanted a 2/3’s tax measure because they wanted “the voters” to be responsible for the decision – they didn’t want that albatross hung around their necks, and they still don’t. They’re afraid they’ll lose their next bid for re-election, and yeah, that’s always a possibility. What has happened to change Mark Sorensen’s tune? Well, since he left City Council he has sold his private business and take a job in the public sector – first as city manager of Biggs, now he’s getting $211,000 + benefits to run the City of Chico into the ground.

Now Sorensen wants council members to stand up and declare they don’t want to protect the taxpayers, or be accountable for the taxes they pass. Boy, do they wish they could meet and make these decisions in private, like they hold most of their discussions, with staff and other “stakeholders”. But now there’s scrutiny, the COVID farce is over, people are attending meetings and paying attention.

I’ll have to hand it Reynolds – at least she admitted she didn’t understand something BEFORE she voted on it for a change. I’ll guess she and the others did a double-take because of the extra scrutiny put on this action – thank you Muna Sadek at Ch 7 for choosing to cover this story. I hope Muna will stay with us a while, she’s a real journalist.

I’m not sure what will happen to this proposed resolution, I’ll watch for it in committee agendas. I don’t know why they spend staff time on stupid stuff like resolutions, and this one is especially vexing because it’s an attack on the sunshine/transparency laws. Yes, the city of Chico is hyperextended, they need to get off their spending bender and start making some new policies that save money instead of strongarming working people to pick of the tab for overgenerous employee contracts and irrational spending policies.

Here’s the link to the meeting video –

When you get a chance, take a look at the business from the floor segment – Robyn Engel gives a good rundown on some pretty questionable uses of Chico taxpayer money, right out of the budget. I think we’re on the verge of some sort of rumble, I just don’t know exactly where it’s going to come from.

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