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CARD meeting next week chock full o nuts

12 Mar

Chico Area Recreation District board will hear from their consultant Thursday. EMC ran a phone survey last month regarding a bond or assessment for CARD.  I would like to ask them for a copy of the results, we’ll see what they say.

CARD board will also be discussing taking over the city’s park impact fees on development. 

That’s Thursday March 16, 7pm, at the CARD center on Vallombrosa. 

$28 million-plus in salaries and another $12 million-plus in pensions and benefits – why does our town look like SHIT?

5 Mar

The Enterprise Record, a propaganda rag that masquerades as a newspaper, ran the following op-ed the other day, as though it was a news story.

Caper Acres needs you

Renovation project a public, private partnership

By Dan Efseaff and Shane Romain

Humpty has not quite fallen, but Caper Acres needs to be put back together again. All the king’s horses and all the king’s men will not be enough, but the citizens of Chico will be able to, and we need your help.

About 60 years ago, members of the now Chico Women’s Club started hatching ideas for a children’s playground w ithin Bidwell Park. After 13 years of fundraising and construction, the efforts of the club with the support and generosity of the Chico community resulted in the official opening of Caper Acres.

Children walked through the castle-like entrance for the first time, the iconic fairy- tale themed playground transformed the world into a magical place where imaginations blossom. Generations of children have had that same experience over the years.

Caper Acres has lost some of the sparkle since its last remodel in the mid-’90s. Recent storms provided dramatic images of the destruction of the Crooked House, yet there’s been a steady crescendo as decayed and unsafe play structures are removed.

Now is the time to recapture that same community support and dedication to bring Caper Acres back to a place where children and their families can create lifetime memories. Your help is needed to make repairs and move forward with the renovation.

The city’s recent financial crisis and the loss of park staffing added to the challenges of the maintenance and critical upkeep of Bidwell Park. We must confront our aging infrastructure. The list is long: Roads, restrooms, trails, fencing and playground equipment that are either decades old or engineered for a smaller population are failing. While deferring maintenance can save money in the short term, the costs mount over time.

For example, our daily safety inspections and repairs of Caper Acres sometimes take hours each day, just to open the gates.

Updates to the park’s facilities will make them safer, more enjoyable, and more cost effective to maintain. The renewal also allows people of all abilities to enjoy this jewel. The new features will help capture the next generation’s imagination and prove to be practical from a cost and maintenance standpoint.

In 2013, the city Parks Division, Chico State University students, and local landscape architecture consultant Melton Design Group collected citizen input to improve Caper Acres, increase safety, and reduce maintenance costs. Public meetings with community members, interviews with teachers and students, moms and dads, citizens and staff, and most importantly, the children that enjoy Caper Acres, produced great ideas.

Multiple generations of Chicoans remember moments in the park presided by Humpty Dumpty and wanting to keep the dream of Caper Acres alive. The effort yielded a beautiful rendering of ideas in the Master Renovation Plan that the Bidwell Park and Playground Commission and City Council approved in 2014.

The renovation plan provides the broad concepts to improve drainage and landscaping, replaced damaged and impractical materials with low maintenance ones, add new features such as a zip line and a Monkey Face climbing structure, and much more.

While the city will provide some funding and staff to oversee the work, in reality the Caper Acres renovation is a community venture with broad support. The phase plan will help us match implementation needs with community resources that have been generously offered.

To make the plan a reality, we will rely on community donations. We have already begun some work. Over the last two years the Parks Division has been able to apply received donations toward the Caper Acres renovation. Those funds have been and are being utilized for a variety of items such as the repaired footings of the Bird Cage, added needed fall material, and removed the aged and hazardous Bunker Hill Mine.

How can you help with Caper Acres?

You can attend the Caper Acres Fantasy Fun Run on May 13. Join us for a volunteer day. Donate to the Parks Division. Buy a Caper Acres brick. Greet other park visitors and garner support. All of these types of efforts help us move forward.

As we embark on this journey, we will share milestones and provide opportunities for public input so that we can continue improving our efforts. We also report our progress to the Bidwell Park and Playground Commission. Interested citizens can get on our mailing list.

For more information and ideas on how you can get involved please email parkinfo@ chicoca. gov or call the parks office at 8967800. Dan Efseaff is the city’s parks and natural resource manager. Shane Romain is parks services coordinator.

I had to answer, so sent the following to the ER letters sections – the appropriate page for opinions such as the above.

According to publicpay.ca.gov, City of Chico Park and Natural Resources Director and Park Services Coordinator make  a combined $236,000 in total compensation.   That’s $118/hour, based on a 40 hour week, for two employees to tell us they don’t have enough money to maintain the park. (“Caper Acres Needs You”, 3/3/17) 

According to city Public Works Director Erik Gustafson, the Butte County “Alternative Custody Service” is available for $100 a day and has been used to clean restrooms, perform vegetation removal, and clear illegal encampments. I wonder why this program is not employed for clean-up and repair at Caper Acres. 

The Park Commission has discussed more citations for illegal camping and other violations, “which could add to the park revenue…” while deterring illegal activities.  In 2016, 444 “warnings” were issued to illegal campers, while only 76 were cited. City manager Mark Orme explained to me that “one of the reasons for the high number of warnings is that, in many cases, the occupant moves on and removes items…”  Gustafson told me the city believes these campers are protected by the Fourth and Fourteenth Amendments, which pertain to a person’s rights within their home.  

 Welcome to Sanctuary City. 

Juanita Sumner, Chico? CA

I had a little trouble finding these positions on the public pay website because the titles were mis-spelled in the story – the database is spelling sensitive, you have to spell it exactly  right. Whoever was responsible for this story added an ‘s’ to “Park”, I had to drop the ‘s’ before the database would spit it out. Look for yourself, it’s a shocking read. Then look  at our town – does it look like a town that pays out $28 million plus in salaries, with another $12.5 in pensions and benefits?

With a payroll like that, we should be able to eat off the streets, instead, we can hardly drive on them! 

Thank a Teacher! California taxpayers will pay $153 million more a year for school district pensions

30 Jan

Thanks Bob for this article from the Sacramento Bee.

“CalSTRS will consider lowering its official investment forecast in a move expected to require higher contributions from state taxpayers once again for the teachers’ pension fund. The cost to the state could be an additional $153 million starting with the next fiscal year.”

 

I didn’t know this was legal:

Three years ago, the Legislature agreed to raise contributions to CalSTRS by billions of dollars a year. Assembly Bill 1469 affected the state, local school districts and teachers themselves. For example, the annual contributions from school districts is growing from $2 billion to $6 billion, although the increases are being phased in over several years.

The 2014 law does give CalSTRS some latitude to impose higher rates on state taxpayers without going back to the Legislature for permission. According to the staff report, Gov. Jerry Brown’s budget proposal for the new fiscal year includes an additional $153 million for CalSTRS, bringing the annual contribution to $2.8 billion.

No matter what Chico Unified said about crumbling classrooms, rot, mold, asbestos, old computers – it’s the pensions folks, it always has been.

Bidwell Park and Playground Commission aware of “transients dismantling bicycles and other unsavory activities…” but what have they done about it?

25 Jan

I found this three year old report from the Bidwell  Park and Playground Commission,

Click to access BPPC_AgendaandReports_13_1028.pdf

In 2013, rangers reported 98 “warnings” for illegal camping in the park but only 54 citations.  The first thing I hear is, the rangers aren’t looking hard enough, or they’d have at least 365 warnings. The second thing that occurs to me is, why so few citations? And, I have to ask – what happens with a citation?

So I wondered if the commission is still hearing these reports. I looked at their website here

http://www.ci.chico.ca.us/government/minutes_agendas/bidwell_park_playground_commission.asp

and looked over agendas and minutes of recent meetings. I found they’d just had a short conversation about it at their October 24 meeting.

Butte County Homeless survey. Commissioner Reddemenn asked how the Park Rangers are dealing with the transients in the park dismantling bikes and other unsavory activities. [Staffer Dan] Efseaff replied we are getting more cooperation from PD and are trying to focus on area and look at our approaches. Reddemann asked what to do if she witnessed possible criminal behavior. Efseaff; call PD.

I will write a note to the commission and ask them what’s being done about the entrenched encampments in my neighborhood stretch of Bidwell Park. I think what the city needs to do is get bulldozers in there to clear out non-native, overgrown, and dead vegetation. And that’s just a start. 

The park looks like a hobo camp, therefore it has become a hobo camp.

CARD to run phone survey in late January, early February, trying to convince us to tax ourselves for their pension deficit

21 Jan

Run in the Enterprise Record, 1/22/17

At their November 16, 2016 meeting, Chico Area Recreation  District Board authorized  $28,000 for  EMC Research of Oakland to conduct a community engagement survey.  Consultant Ruth Bernstein said a phone survey would be conducted in late January or early February. Callers will not mention CARD, nor that CARD is seeking an assessment or bond on property owners.  Bernstein told the board the survey will “build community support for your vision,”  identifying  “what they want…then you know what to say about yourself…”  

CARD has spent nearly $100,000 on revenue measure consultants since a 2012 survey came back negative. Consultants have told CARD repeatedly, they need to build their image in the community to get the public to tax themselves more for this agency. This survey is part of a campaign to convince residents CARD could give them whatever their hearts desire if only they’d agree to tax themselves more. 

CARD already gets about $3.8 million – roughly half their budget – from property taxes. They spend almost $800,000 on retirement and health benefits for less than 30 employees. Management, protected by “PERS PEPRA”, only pay 2 – 6.25 percent of their benefits. According to their auditor their pension deficit increased by $54,480 this year, now $1,758,200.  At the current rate of employee contribution the auditor reported the pension deficit “will never go away.”  

If you receive a call from this consultant, be sure to ask a few questions of your own.

Juanita Sumner, Chico

 

 

City of Chico fiddles while Rome burns

18 Jan

It’s only been a couple of weeks since I reported an illegal camp in Bidwell Park. It took the city a few days – New Year’s weekend! – to get them out and then collect up the trash. We knew that wouldn’t be the end of it, and again yesterday my husband found an illegal encampment – this time right off a main trail, right out in the open, unabashed and unafraid of detection.

0117170736-1r

Some people just get too comfortable in the park.

When my husband was taking a picture of the tent a woman actually confronted him. He had our 10 year old diabetic dog, so I started to worry – what if one of these people had a pit bull or other killing machine type of dog? I started to question my husband’s insistence to walk the park with my old dog every morning, even though this routine has successfully kept her blood sugar down to manageable levels.

There you are folks – I don’t feel safe in Bidwell  Park, and you shouldn’t either. Arm yourself and be ready to defend yourself and your children/pets. 

When the woman shouted at my husband, “what are you doing?!” he responded, “what does it look like?” And he took a picture of her tent. He told her, “you know what you’re doing,” and that she had about 30 minutes to clear it all out before he’d report it to the police. 

When he made he way back home with Biscuit, the tent was gone. 

Yeah, the park looks like a hobo camp, why not? The city has allowed the park to sink into horrible disgrace. It’s not “natural,” it’s a manmade disaster of non-native species and septic swamp. Nothing has been done to maintain the health of the park for at least 20 years. The city turned maintenance over to “volunteers”, has brought in jail crews a few times, but has no cohesive plan for how the park should be maintained.  How many millions have gone to plans for Bidwell Park? I’ve lost track. 

City council voted last night to spend more money on staffing Chico PD. I will make my official prediction – the homeless problem will continue to get worse, Bidwell Park will continue to sink into disgust.

UPDATE: I will say, Mark Orme is quick to respond to my inquiries.

Ms. Sumner,

 Thank you again for your input.  I’ve cc’d the Police Chief and Public Works Director over Operations on this e-mail, as they may have additional feedback to give.  I can tell you that staff is evaluating every opportunity to move forward with an effort to deal with this situation more aggressively.  One potential program we are working on is furthering the bond between our public works team and the Police department.  They already have a great working relationship, but we’re looking at a creative approach to securing an even smoother ability to deal with these park issues.  It will roll out during the budget process.  As for now, the Police Department and Public Works will continue to monitor and conduct sweeps on a regular basis…although not as often as staff would like to be able to do, simply due to resource constraints.  

 Have a great day,   Mark

 Mark Orme

City Manager

For the Beautiful City of Chico

But there’s your answer – “resource constraints”. A hundred million plus budget, and this guy is complaining about “resource constraints”?

So I had to ask him about this.

https://chicotaxpayers.com/2015/09/29/chico-pd-announces-quarter-cent-sales-tax-increase-campaign-through-business-support-team/

The podcast is still available, listen to it yourself. Mr. Van Rossum spoke at last night’s council meeting in favor of increasing the police budget – without talking about his “Business Support Team” or mentioning that he raised a few thousand dollars through North Valley Community Foundation Annie B’s for Chico PD. I asked Orme if it’s still true, the police spend so much time at Enloe dealing with the homeless, they need a substation?

When I asked Dorian Kitrell, a director at Butte County Behavioral Health, why the cops were spending so much time babysitting the homeless,  waiting for county employees to pick them up for a ride to the facility in Oroville, he didn’t know what I was talking about. 

We’ll see what Orme says. I’m getting kind of tired of hearing about “resource constraints” from a guy who sits on a $100 million-plus budget and a $200,000-plus salary. 

 UPDATE UPDATE: I have to hand it to Orme, he’s quicker on that send button than Donald Trump!

Yes, the business support team is an independent group, not under the City’s auspices.  The person who usually speaks on their behalf is Ms. Donna Sherry.  I don’t have her contact information readily available, but it may be something you can reach out to Chief O’Brien to get.  As for the radio issues at Enloe, I know it has been an ongoing problem, however, one of the capital expenditures the City is evaluating this year is an upgraded radio system that would deal with this issue.  Again, the Chief would be the best person to speak to that concern.

 If you e-mail him on both of these matters, he is really good about getting back. 

 Hope this helps and gets you connected to the right folks,

Mark

So I wrote to the police chief:

Hi Mr. Obrien,

I was told by city manager  Mark Orme to forward the inquiries below to you.

First, I wonder when we can expect regular patrols of Bidwell Park. My husband and I keep encountering illegal campers on morning walks with our dog, and we don’t feel safe in the park or our adjacent neighborhood anymore. We feel the park has become a haven for criminals to predate our neighborhoods.  The online police reporting website does not have a button for “illegal campers” so we have made reports to the city manager and staff. 

Second, I wonder if you have contact information for the Chico Police Business Support Team, Donna Sherry.  I wondered about a fundraising effort made in 2015 through the Annie B’s drive, by Jack Van Rossum. He made comments on a local podcast show, Chico Currents, saying the police spend so much time at Enloe with homeless people, they need a private “substation” and special radios for communication. I wondered if this is still true and what became of the fundraising efforts. 

Thank you, at your convenience, for your anticipated cooperation, Juanita Sumner

I have not had any dealings with O’Brien, we’ll see what we get.

UPDATE UPDATE UPDATE:

O’Brien responded with contact information for Officer Scott Zuchin. I had told Maureen Kirk about a tent spotted along Hwy 32 below the new  water tower, and she told the cops. Here was Zuchin’s response:

Greetings… The Target team linked up with realtor Tamara Lambert-Valencia from Coldwell Banker DuFour to address the encampment issue near the water tower located inside the new Oak Valley subdivision two weeks ago. This camp is no longer an issue. Target will continue to work with the realtor and developer as crime and safety issues arise. Please give me a call. I can arrange a neighborhood meeting with the Target team to discuss your questions and concerns.

I had told Kirk, I’d just seen it the previous weekend, and I saw it again the day before Zuchin responded. I told him it was still there, visible from Hwy 32, a green rain fly strung up over it, bike carts piled next to it. He responded again,

Please be more specific then. We may not be speaking about the same location. You may attach photographs to your email if that helps.

That answer pissed me off. I could tell, he didn’t even take a look. It’s visible from the road. I  gave him more specific directions, and told him he could talk to Kirk about it, she was the one who was complaining about break-ins to Cal Park garages,  etc, threatening to move herself and her husband to a “Del Webb Leisure Village.”

But yesterday, Saturday January 21, on their morning stroll in Bidwell  Park, my husband and  dog encountered illegal tents again.

0121170849b_resized

This tent was concealed in brush, but with a well-worn path leading right to it. I think the cops need more appropriate shoes.

They also saw piles of trash containing bike parts, the usual. So he took the usual pictures, and we made the usual complaint, this time to Zuchin instead of  the city manager. And this time we got no response.

That Orme, he responds very quickly, no matter the day of the week. This Zuchin person has the weekend off! What a boon for criminals! Wouldn’t you think the chief would give me a number that is good for weekends? I mean, if he’s really serious about wanting citizens to report this illegal activity. There’s no mechanism for reporting illegal camping on the Chico PD website.

So, I’ll tell you what, if my husband  finds campers again this morning, I’ll say  it’s official – Chico PD is turning a blind eye to illegal  camping.  They don’t want to do anything about it because it’s just more fodder for their threats to cut services if they don’t get more money.

 

CARD rose garden under water

12 Jan

As I listen to the dumping rain outside, I wonder what damage is occurring around town that could have been foreseen by anybody who has lived in this town more than four or five years. Yesterday on a trip through Bidwell Park we found the new rose garden installed by Chico Area Recreation District was flooded and badly damaged.

0111171103a

Irrigation lines, rose bushes ripped out, expensive sand washed out to the creek.

This job was engineered by Greg Melton, the same guy that drew up the plans for DeGarmo Park. The first year after DeGarmo was opened, the play field flooded, and the whole thing had to be redone. I don’t know how much that cost. But Melton has been given a contract by CARD, guaranteeing him jobs without bidding.

0111171104a

This sand is supposed to be on the inside of the fence.

The woman who brought forward the idea for this rose garden offered $100,000 of her own money, but Melton drove the cost up to $250,000. I don’t know what the total cost of installation ended up, I’ll have to ask Ann Willmann, CARD director.

0111171103b

Anybody who has lived here more than five years knows this area gets regular flooding during heavy rains. Why would anybody put a rose garden in a potential swamp? Cause he wasn’t spending his own money.

There’s the creek, right there. This area has long been known as a flood zone. But CARD went ahead and removed big trees to bring this project right down to the water’s edge. During a drought, that was GENIUS MELTON!

I’ll  ask Willmann what the cost of repairs will be, and get back to you. 

The problem with Bidwell Park: they’ve deferred maintenance but kept on paying their salaries and benefits

11 Jan

I e-mailed park manager Dan Efseaff yesterday regarding the backhoe that sank into the asphalt path in Bidwell Park. This is a heavily used commuter trail.  In good weather you will see people riding Downtown to their jobs.  My husband and I use  it regularly to get out and do various errands around town, most of which involve SPENDING MONEY. So I wanted Efseaff to know, somebody cares. 

I wonder when we can expect repairs to the asphalt path under the freeway. My husband and I encountered a city back hoe sunk into it yesterday. There’s a big sinkhole there.  I got a good picture for my blog if you want to see it –   chicotaxpayers.com

 The asphalt was just laid right over dirt – this path has been undermined by gophers for some time. There should be road base laid under asphalt, with proper preparations. The little sinkholes that have formed over the years are a hazard, especially for pedestrians. This back hoe sinking was bound to happen, but it’s just lucky nobody has been injured. I use the park paths regularly, and there’s hazards out there  that need to be addressed, including these asphalt paths laid improperly over dirt. 

 Thanks, Juanita Sumner

The response I got was nothing short of depressing:

Hello,

 Yes, unfortunately the City skimped on road base years ago when the paths and roads were paved, we sometimes tread on the asphalt as if it is thin ice—the backhoe broke thru as we were clearing a hazard tree across the path.   In addition, the recent weather conditions have accelerated the decline of a number of deferred maintenance issues.

 We will need to wait until the soil is dry enough for us to do a temporary repair (fill and compact properly).  We will then put on some gravel base to provide a temporary surface (and better base for the future), and then later schedule an asphalt repair when Right of Way starts that operation later in the year.  The temporary fix will reconnect the path.

 Long-term, we will seek funding options for more comprehensive repairs and fixes to Lower Park roads and paths.

 We are collecting an inventory of issues, so let us know if you see anything new (530-896-7800), but be careful in the Park the next couple of days as the wind and saturated conditions are of concern to us.

Thanks.

 Sincerely,

 Dan Efseaff |Park and Natural Resource Manager

530.896.7801 | dan.efseaff@Chicoca.gov

Yes Efseaff admits the park has been “skimped on”, while salaries have gone up and benefits have been paid.

According to Public Pay, Efseaff makes $93,000 in salary and gets a $47,000 pension and health package.  He pays 9 percent of his package – what, less than $5,000/year out of a $93,000 salary for 70 percent of that salary into perpetuity. 

Whenever I read this stuff I want to slap their hands – “get the hell out of my purse, Leech! 

Here’s a guy who admits, he just hasn’t been doing his job – he collects the salary and perks, alright, but he “defers” the work. Great! 

A “temporary” repair for a trail that is a major commuter route in dry weather? They will “seek funding options”? 

Here’s the city’s 2016-17 budget:

http://www.chico.ca.us/finance/documents/2015-16CityFinalAnnualBudget.pdf

The park fund has a lot of money in it, but management eats like pigs.  Park salaries outpace the budget by almost $5 million, leaving a deficit in the General/Park fund of $4,266,937.

So I gotta wonder – what does he mean when he says “seek funding options”? 

And, he makes the usual plea for us to help him collect his $93,000 a year salary – “let us know if you see anything new”? 

Don’t get your loafers dirty Dan. 

Move the recycling center – city has permitted too much housing in that spot, so should help Chico Scrap Metal move to a new location

5 Jan

Yes, Debbie Presson is incompetent and should step down.  As David Little reported in this morning’s editorial,City Attorney Vince Ewing said he hadn’t prepared his legal opinion on the matter yet [Chico Scrap Yard]. Obviously the city clerk and the mayor didn’t realize that when they set the agenda. And so 11 people got up in front of the council to ask for a decision, only to be told it would be put off for two weeks.”

Presson really jumped the gun on that – the signatures were only turned in a couple of days before the meeting, the agendas had already been sent out. She had to send an amended agenda the day of the meeting. That’s not very good noticing, but hey, look who we’re talking about here. 

This is the same woman who once told me the noticing distance for a project was only 300 feet when it was actually 500 feet. When I pointed this mistake out to her she actually giggled. Her mistake meant a neighborhood meeting had to be cancelled and rescheduled, but who cares about the inconvenience of the public at the clerk’s office?   A few months later the distance was “administerially” changed to 300 feet, meaning Presson had to notice less neighbors of impending subdivisions and other projects. I had to wonder – how long had she been noticing only at 300 feet? When it was pointed out to her the rule was changed.

She also told my neighbors and I that the 300 feet extended only along the sidewalk, from the “front door” of the project. Our project was an empty lot, but she still refused to notice any of the neighbors that lived along the back border of the project, their back fences lining the lot. She said the distance was measured along the city sidewalk, and the notice only had to include the neighbors on the facing street. What a bitch.

Frankly, I’m guessing Mayor Sean Morgan, who can be found leaning over Presson’s desk quite regularly, encouraged her to agendize the matter quickly so he wouldn’t have to listen to the little mob that has formed around this issue. While I question Karl Ory and Mark Stemen’s motives in this movement, I know Morgan likens listening to the public to listening to a set of fingernails being dragged down a chalkboard.

I honestly believe Morgan would like to run this issue under the radar, but the city attorney nailed him on it.

Little complains this issue has dragged out for 40 years. Well, in that time, the city has permitted housing right up to the boundaries of the property. Instead of protecting an industrial area by moving the old houses that were present, they permitted one low-income development after another. You realize, over the past 40 years, staff and elected officials have changed so much, the right hand hardly knows what the left hand is doing. That area is a planning disaster.

Yes, Chico Scrap Metal is an important business. When my family  was buying and fixing up old houses we made trips in there several times a year, with stuff no one else would take.  But that part of town has changed. Would you like to live next to the scrap metal yard? Who would? Especially now that other recycling locations are closing and that neighborhood suffers a steady stream of garbage can miners every morning.  But the city permitted housing right up next to that site as recent as last year. 

The scrap metal yard has been sitting on the train tracks for years – hey, wake up! You should have sued the city to stop permitting housing in your armpit or to help you move to a more appropriate location when they built Ricky Court. 

I do believe the city should provide financial and staff assistance in helping Chico Scrap find a new place. 

But yeah, this just adds more to Chico’s “business hostile” reputation and chases more jobs out of town.

 

Cut the pensions

3 Jan

Thanks Rob, for this link to yesterday’s Dan Walter’s column.

Walters opines, “If it’s not economically or politically possible to finance the pension promises made to state and local government employees, the system’s only hope for solvency may lie in reducing those promises.”

Read more here: http://www.sacbee.com/news/politics-government/politics-columns-blogs/dan-walters/article123886739.html#storylink=cpy

We must ask ourselves, who made these promises in the first place?

  • Jerry Brown – with contributions of $50,000 – 100,000 from just about every employee’s union in the state of California  (   https://votesmart.org/candidate/campaign-finance/69557/jerry-brown-jr#.WGu0MvkrKUk   )
  • Third District Butte County Supervisor Maureen Kirk.    As a council member Kirk signed the “Memo of Understanding” that attached city employee salaries to “increases in revenues but not decreases…”   She also signed one contract after another requiring the city to pick up the lion’s share of city employee benefit expenses –  not only the much larger “employer share” of pensions and benefits but all or most of the “employee share” – the “employer paid member contribution”. For years under Mayor Kirk “public safety employees” paid nothing toward their own pensions, while management employees were allowed to get away with 4 percent. Now she rubber stamps raises for the county, as well as anything the Behavioral Health Department wants.
  • Second District Supervisor Larry Wahl – Wahl signed on to all of the above as a council member and added a step-increase system for the police department that essentially means automatic promotions and raises. As supervisor Wahl has voted to fully fund every request made by the Behavioral Health Department.
  • Don’t look now, but your former and current mayor are public employees who collect their own pensions. Don’t expect either Mark Sorensen or Sean Morgan to turn down any raises or require higher contributions, especially for cops or fire. They’ll dump lower level employees to feather the public safety nest, which is why our streets are shredded and our park is a disgrace.
  • Your vice mayor is a former employee of CalPERS. When we asked Reanette Fillmer during her 2014 campaign if she is eligible for a public pension, she said she didn’t know.  Don’t expect a straight answer about anything from that little minx. 

Do you feel responsible for these pensions? Do you get a pension? If so, who pays for it? 

Our public employees are like junkies – they’re high on ENTITLEMENT, the notion that they are better than us because they are a member of the racket, and we aren’t. They are high on the notion that we will foot the bill for their ridiculous lifestyle.

Remember what Nancy Reagan told you – JUST SAY NO!