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Randy, you have got to be kidding

4 Oct

I noticed a person had come over to this blog from city councilman Randall Stone’s campaign website. I won’t direct you there – I’d rather direct you to this:

Because at least Robert Preston is entertaining. Stone is just obnoxious.

Saved the Esplanade? Is that the way you remember it? 

I have been studying the candidates, and I’m not looking forward to this year’s election. 

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Are you sick of junk mail? You’re not allowed to wrap your groceries in a plastic bag, but the local newspaper can dump garbage in the street in front of your house?

13 Jul

I usually keep this conversation to my worldofjuanita blog, but here I find, the city is at fault. For one thing, we have a city-wide ban on “single use” plastic shopping bags, but here the Enterprise Record can wrap a pile of ads in a plastic “sleeve” and toss it in the street out front of your house?

Read here:

Market Value Place – ad rag resorts to “bomber” mailings – OPT OUT OPT OUT OPT OUT!

How will you celebrate “The Fourth”? Try acting like an American

4 Jul

I always wonder, how many Americans have even read the US constitution? How many of you have read the California constitution? The city charter?

Good homework for “The Fourth.”  

I’ve been reading up on the laws regarding tax measures, how they are enacted, and how the public citizen can resist an avaricious government.

First, we must “Watch the skies!”   Actually, we have to watch the agendas. That is where the initial discussion of putting a tax measure on the ballot is supposed to happen.  We all know it actually happens in private meetings, but, legally, it has to pass through a public discussion before it can be handed to the county clerk, so there’s a place for the observer to begin. I’ve been watching agendas not only for council meetings and county supervisor meetings but the smaller committee meetings in between.

I have to admit, I’ve been distracted with Chico Area Recreation District, trying to figure out whether their tax grab will appear on the November ballot or whether they will go the slimy way and deliver assessment ballots by mail.  Assessment elections aren’t the same as regular elections – they are rigged with bigger property owners getting more votes, the “weight” of each property owner’s vote being determined by the very board that is asking for the tax. These shouldn’t be legal – that’s our fault. We need to try to get rid of the entities that can attach us this way, starting with CARD, and including the Butte County Mosquito and Vector District.

I haven’t heard an elected official at either the city of Chico or Butte County mention a sales tax increase, but with municipalities all around us seeking, and in some cases, getting a sales tax increase out of the voters, I’m worried. Ex-city mangler Tom Lando, the guy who came up with the MOU that attached city salaries “to revenue increases but not decreases,” has been stumping for a sales tax increase for a few years now, saying he wants this and that amenity for the public, as well as better paid cops and fire fighters. 

Wow, what’s better than a base pay of $62,000/year with automatic step increases and mandated overtime that can as much as double that base salary? Not to mention paying only 12 percent toward a retirement of 90 percent of your highest year’s pay at age 50? What the helllllll could be better than that? 

Ask Lando, a guy who is in the regular habit of dropping a C-note for lunch.

I don’t believe Lando is worried about the public, I think he is worried about his $12,000/month pension payments.  Can you imagine living on $134,000/year, without having to work? Just getting a check for the rest of your life.  Ask Barbara McEnepsy – how’s life out on Keefer Road Hon? I don’t even know what Barbara McEnepsy did for the city, but she receives an even higher pension than Lando. 

Here’s the real stinker – these two individuals retired before the rules were changed to make employees “pay their own share” – neither Lando nor McEnepsy paid a dime toward their pensions.

If you are not outraged about paying these pensions, I’ll say – you’re not an American.

 

Short Attention Span Theater – we have the government we deserve in Chico

18 Jun

I’ve just been having a frustrating conversation with a friend about public participation. 

Sorry if I have been rude, Friend.

Friend tried to explain to me how overwhelmed most people are in their lives, they can’t pay attention.

That just got my skivvies in a bunch. I pay attention, and let me tell you, I got stuff going on.  I won’t bore you with my epic problems of the past months, but through it all, my close friends have been annoyed with my constant complaining about what the city and county and various local agencies are doing. My husband keeps telling me the government stuff is stressing me out, I should concentrate more on what’s going on at home. At least we can do something about our private problems, he says.

I have a hard time keeping it all under my hat.  Every morning, when I give my dog her insulin shot, I have to mentally prepare – “don’t think bad thoughts, don’t think bad thoughts…” as I skewer that needle into a lump of flesh behind her collar.   She lays on the floor behind me as I read the paper, read e-mails, she can hear me grumbling about stuff. I have to be careful or she’ll slip into the bedroom and stick her head under my husband’s side of the bed. I can feel the tension in her neck, makes it hard to get loose skin, sometimes she lets out a yelp and a half.

What bugs me is how people are so quick to use any excuse to stick their head in the sand, but they still expect to be allowed to complain when something finally gets under their skin.  I won’t mention names, but I’ve watched the local gadflies make big stinks about stuff, after a few months, the stink dies down, and the problem still exists.  All that blab about volunteers for the park – the park still looks like shit. The work they did at the One Mile parking lot last year has become completely overgrown with non-native invasive plants again. An area they did earlier this year is also going back to a mess.   Whole sections of the park are sub-code – if it was your yard, you’d get a notice to clean it up or pay the city to do it. 

And this conversation about keeping public restrooms open has been going on for two years now. Meanwhile, the million dollar One Mile restroom is pretty hit and miss – here’s the conundrum – if it is open, will it be usable? 

Short Attention Span Theater.

I’m going to tell you Esplanade lovers – don’t go back to sleep! Isn’t it pretty obvious, they’ve shelved the roundabouts until after the election? I’m hoping Cheryl King and friends are quietly looking for somebody to run for council, but I’m not going to bank on it.  

I’d like to see somebody run for CARD. Why don’t I do it? I would if I had some support – I ain’t going into those meetings without a posse anymore.  If they pass their bond, it means the people of Chico are completely gone fishing.

Tony St Amant said it in this morning’s paper – we have the government we deserve.

 

 

Election 2016 sneaking in the back door – what rough beast, know what I mean?

14 Jan

Here’s the latest schedule of events for Butte County Election 2016.

http://clerk-recorder.buttecounty.net/elections/archives/eln33/33_election_calendar.pdf

What I was looking for are the deadlines for announcing candidacy and for putting measures on the ballot. Looks like all that stuff has to be done by late February – by March 14, the county clerk is supposed to be appointing letters to the various measures and turning ballot information over to the state printing plant. 

I don’t know all the rules for measures and bonds, but it looks like the paperwork needs to be submitted by February 4th for consideration at a February 23 Supervisor’s meeting. So, I will keep an eye on county agendas. 

Here’s the schedule on the Secretary of State’s website, easier to read:

http://www.sos.ca.gov/elections/upcoming-elections/june-7-2016-presidential-primary-election/key-dates-and-deadlines-june-7-2016/

I’ve been waiting so long, I was afraid I’d go to sleep before the action started. Now’s the time to check these websites regularly to see what is going to end up on our June primary ballot. 

As usual our lazy city clerk, $135,000/year plus benefits Debbie Presson, has not posted any election information. I think we have three seats up in November – Morgan, Schwab and Stone.  Correction (thanks R.K.): Tami Ritter’s seat is also up for grabs.   Our lovely clerk is still posting old information from Election 2014. She insists she does not have to post up-to-date campaign contribution information online because the city does not require her to do so. I would like to see both her and “deputy” clerk Dani Brinkley retire soon. I’d just like to see what kind of clerk’s office we could have if those two weren’t sitting on it, like a couple of hogs in the manger.

http://www.chico.ca.us/city_clerk/election_information.asp

 None of the encumbents are campaigning publicly right now, but I’m pretty sure they are all gathering money.  But no websites, no press releases. Why is this election so quiet? 

 

Will California voters overturn the bag ban? Maybe this issue will piss people off enough to raise voter participation in 2016

15 Jun

From Ballotpedia:

The California Plastic Bag Ban Referendum is on the November 8, 2016 ballot in California as a veto referendum. If the measure approved by the state’s voters, it would:[1][2]

  • Ratify SB 270 (2014).
  • Prohibit large grocery stores and pharmacies from providing plastic single-use carryout bags on July 1, 2015, and small grocery stores, convenience and liquor stores on July 1, 2016.
  • Allows single-use plastic bags for meat, bread, produce, bulk food and perishable items.
  • Mandate stores to charge $0.10 for recycled, compostable, and reusable grocery bags.
  • Exempt consumers using a payment card or voucher issued by the California Special Supplemental Food Program, a public assistance program, from being charged for bags.
  • Provide $2 million to state plastic bag manufacturers for the purpose of helping them retain jobs and transition to making thicker, multi-use, recycled plastic bags.

The American Progressive Bag Alliance is leading the campaign to repeal SB 270.[3]

This measure is a veto referendum; this means that a “yes” vote would be a vote to uphold or ratify the contested legislation – Senate Bill 270 – that was enacted by the California State Legislature, while a “no” vote is a vote to overturn Senate Bill 270.

Read more here:

http://ballotpedia.org/California_Plastic_Bag_Ban_Referendum_(2016)

Dogpile on Mary!

11 Apr

Do you remember childhood? Remember being on the playground and hearing somebody scream at the top of their lungs, “DOGPILE!”  And a mob would form out of nothing and jump on some poor kid – usually, a real annoying kid.  Seen it. Done it. Gonna do it now.  It’s highly uncivil, but let me ask you – has Mary Flynn Goloff been civil?  

I’ve actually been holding back lately, but you know I’ve said it before – Mary needs to go. She needed to go from the get-go. She’s never contributed anything worthwhile to a conversation. I remember when she chaired the Economic Development Committee (yeah, it’s all coming back to you now…), I sat in on a meeting where a former Chamber CEO was making his farewell speech as he headed to another town, carpet bag in hand. Jim Goodwin told us that Chico wasn’t going to get any new jobs because our housing was too expensive. Perspective employers know they can’t pay the kind of wages it takes to own a $400,000 house, so they go elsewhere. One manufacturer, of a cool, space age, high tech jet, pulled up stakes and headed for Texas.

Why are houses so expensive here? Well, first there was Tom Lando’s attaching of salaries to “increases in revenues but not decreases.”  Staff and council started handing out building permits to raise their own salaries. By the time that hayride was over, houses had gone from less than $100,000 to $600 – 800,000, in the span of a couple of years. Tom Lando’s salary had gone up about $100,000. 

Then staff, with the blessing of council, started giving the cookie jar to their friends who helped them raise revenues. They’ve allowed developers to come in and get all kinds of cheap to free service – streets, sidewalks, sewer hook-ups. They’ve handed money to developers – the $7 million used to purchase the low-income section of Merriam Park went right into New Urban developer Tom DiGiovanni’s pocket, out of the RDA fund, meaning we’ll pay for it three times. Scott Gruendl arranged for  DiGiovanni to write a “parallel code,” so he wouldn’t have to get variances for the sub-code stuff he does. They just let him write his own code, with narrower streets, smaller setbacks, and stuff like, the wall of one house acts as the fence to the neighbor’s property – your neighbor’s kid can play basketball off the wall of your house, and you have to sue his parents to make him stop. Go look at Doe Mill – you think that’s standard code? But those yardless crappers will still run you over $250,000 each. What?

Goloff sat through that Economic Development meeting listening to Goodwin’s report, and whenever there was a break in the conversation she’d kind of look around the room and flutter her hands and say, “Well I just think Chico is a wonderful place to live.” She just kept repeating that, over and over. 

Yeah, nice if you’re a public worker, and make three, four, five, six times the median income. It’s real nice to live in a town like Chico, where people are desperate, on a big salary. You can have a maid, nanny,  landscaper, all these willing slaves to do your shit work for you.  But it sucks if you’re living on the median income or less, because the high salary assholes drive up the cost of everything from gas to hair cuts to daycare to eggs. I got my hair cut at Dimensions once. I went in and told them, Annie August sent me, so they knew she’d told me how much to pay. I used to get a nice ‘do, a little color, made me feel pretty when I was changing diapers and scrubbing rental toilets. As I sat in the chair getting my color and cut, a lady came in, announced she was visiting from “The City,” and sarcastically asked if she could she get a cut for less than $150? Oh sure! they told her. They did exactly what they did to me and charged her twice as much. I remember how those gals looked at me, “Shut Up!” I never went back. After having a woman like Annie August fussing over you, there’s just nobody else. But I saw what they did, and I never forgot it. That’s the way this town is – take advantage creeps.

And that’s what Mary Flynn Goloff is, a take-advantage creep. She never even understood what she was getting herself into with the job of councilor, she just wanted attention.  I don’t know which ones are worse – the ones who come in with agendas in place, or the ones who come in to be fawned over like some sort of Evita, and end up being used like a Fist Puppet by the ones who do have agendas. That would be little Miss Mary. 

She’s been to rehab at least twice for alcohol and prescription drug problems. She’s already had problems attending meetings – we found out later, she’d been in rehab at that time.  Nobody is going to forget her unannounced entrance at Harvest Bakery while on prescription medication. How can we help but be suspicious that she’s fallen off the wagon again? In an attempt to be civil, I will ask Goloff to buck up and finish her term, but to announce NOW that she does not intend to run again. Thank you Mary for your anticipated cooperation.