Tag Archives: Andrew Coolidge Chico Ca

Latest numbers posted for election night – attendance still falls miserably short

15 Nov

Look here – 

http://clerk-recorder.buttecounty.net/elections/archives/eln31/update-2.pdf

and then compare here –

http://www.smartvoter.org/2012/11/06/ca/bt/city.html

Voter turnout was in the dirt last week, look at the numbers. In 2012 we had eleven candidates for four city council seats – the top vote getter got over 15,000 votes. Last week we only had seven candidates running for three positions, Andrew Coolidge winning with just over 11,000. I wonder if he’s asking himself this morning – what happened to 50 people who voted for him in 2012 but didn’t vote for him last week?

Almost 1,000 people left the city council portion of their ballot blank, while almost 4,000 “undervoted,” choosing less than the three requested.

Here, compare with Election 2010 – Sorensen got roughly 3,000 more votes in that race, and there were two more candidates running in that race.

http://clerk-recorder.buttecounty.net/elections/archives/eln22/22_official_results.html

Voter turnout was definitely down folks, and we have to wonder why. I blame the choices – look how many people only voted for two, when both parties ran a slate. Meaning, they voted for part of a slate,  but couldn’t stomach the whole team?  This does not bode well – our council and our town are divided, but not evenly. The conservatives have the power, and they are backing the police department, because the police department put up the money to get them in there. When the cop contracts come up later in December we will take more steps down the Road to Perdition. In 2016 a frenzied council will place a tax measure on the ballot, let’s see what they decide to flop out.

I’ll be making signs, let me know if you want one.  

 

 

Well, maybe not ANYBODY but Gruendl… council candidates look so bad this year, I’m writing in Joe Montes

19 Oct

This is a very unpleasant election, not as fun as usual – there aren’t any good candidates. City Council is an avalanche of crap. Look at our choices here – I already discussed why I’m not voting for Gruendl, now I’ll tell you why I’m not voting for ANY of them.

Mark Sorensen says it’s too hard to cut the salaries and perks because he gets the same package as city manager of Biggs. He won’t rock the CalPERS boat. Did you see his campaign flier?

I know, the same picture he's used for the past two or three elections.

I know, the same picture he’s used for the past two or three elections, Mark and The Super Vixens.  

What I see in this picture is five people on the public dole – we pay for a $21,000+ package for Mark Sorensen and his tribe there. He also gets a package from city of Biggs. Our contracts are written so that if an employee gets another package from another job, they can choose a package from the city and then accept a cash payout instead of the insurance policy. What do you think Sorensen does – does he take two policies at the public expense or does he take the better policy and then take cash for the lesser? 

What I  don’t see in this picture is the grandkid he was bragging about a couple of years back, or any son-in-law to go along with said grandkid, so I’m guessing grandkid is also on the public dole. 

No, this man will never take any kind of stand against public overcompensation, he’s never going to go after the conflict of interest in the cop and fire contracts (the city collects their unions dues, even from employees who don’t want to be in the union, and they use the money for elections). An endorsement for this man is an endorsement for bankruptcy and a life in chains for the private sector worker.

And then there’s little Reanette Fillmer – when Michael Jones asked her if she will get a public pension for her work in Tehama County, she said she didn’t know. How cute – playing dumb? She works as a human resources consultant for a law group that works out of  CalPERS, doing CalPERS bidding in public entities all over the state. Now she’s here to make sure we pay our pension premiums so CalPERS doesn’t go bust and  take all those phat pensions with it.

http://publiclawgroup.com/people/reanette-fillmer/

I’ll just lump Forough Molina and  Lupe Arim-Law along with Gruendl because they won’t say anything that Gruendl and the Democrats haven’t pre-approved. In fact, in our conversation about the PG&E rate increase, Molina came off as an idiot.

I am interested in this discussion. I am one of those people who keeps my bills forever and fume over the changing charges. I remember in college physics, my prof told us that a group of Yale students could not figure out how the heck PG&E charged customers. Not sure if that was true, or just getting us fired up to solve some problems, but it sounded right to me. It’s pretty crazy, really, that people don’t seem to notice these increases. I guess on a single income, I do notice.

I work during the day, and have a pretty full calendar now, but do have some evenings I could find an hour or so for something important like this.

Let me know.
Forough

She can’t look at her bill and see what’s happening? She also excuses herself out of participating because of her job – will she have time to perform her duties on council? Probably – her duties would just be rubber stamping whatever Gruendl says. Same for Arim-Law – neither of them will discuss anything in depth, because they’re afraid to make any statement that is out of step with Gruendl and Mulhullond. They’re just a couple of fist-puppets.

Andrew Coolidge has lied right to me, he’s said things to me and then denied them later – I predict this guy will win, and then we’re going to be up Shit Creek without a paddle.  He’s the cops’ boy, and along with Fillmer and Sorensen, he’s going to take us down the road to Perdition.

The only candidate I can say I have an ounce of respect for is Rodney Willis. He’s the only one with the balls to say he’ll favor a tax. You know they all will, but they’re lying right now to get elected.  Still, I couldn’t vote for this guy, he didn’t have anything else, just honestly admitting he wanted to give the cops more money. Honesty isn’t enough Rodney, you have to have more brains than that. 

I wrote in Joe Montes. Joe is the only one who would discuss anything pertinent. He’s also very qualified to work on employee relations – he’s an administrative law judge, the same kind of judge that sat on our CPUC hearing like an old hooker holding down a popular corner. But he seems to be more concerned with the public welfare – he’s the one that opined it is a conflict of interest for city councilors to vote on contracts that include a clause that the city collects union dues that are funneled into councilors’ campaigns. That was enough for me, the rest of them are a pile of shit – I wrote in Joe Montes.

 

 

 

CPOA MOU – cops asking for 5 percent raise, other cherries

17 Oct

I received the agenda for the next city council meeting yesterday, and there at  the bottom is a discussion of the cops latest contract proposal. Here’s the report summary – I’ll admit, I edited in the slashes in that first date, they’d been left out and it looked like nonsense:

Chico POA
Proposal – September 24, 2014
The following is a proposal for a successor MOU to the one expiring 12/31114 between the
Chico Police Officers’ Association and the City of Chico. This proposal is intended to begin the
bargaining process and introduce several ideas that the POA believes can create a better
environment within the City of Chico Police Department, specifically the Departments ability to
retain and recruit police officers.
When possible, the current MOU provision that would be affected is listed. Wording is NOT
final and will be edited to reflect any changes prior to submission to the City in formal
bargaining.

1. Three year term ofMOU: 11/11/15-12/31/17. 1.3A 

2. Salary. 5% increase effective 1/1/15, 1/1116 and 1/1/17. 5.1 and Exhibit B
3. Longevity. Add four new longevity step increases of 4% at the following length of time
of employment with the city: 10 years, 15 years, 20 years and 25 years. New Article
5.12 “Longevity Pay”
4. Pay Step Addition and Adjustment. 5.1C
a. Add a Step H at 5% salary increase.
b. Add a “training pay” step equivalent to $18 per hour.
5. Cash out Holiday Time Banlc Reinstate policy of allowing employees to cash out
unused holiday time bank hours each year. 6.2
6. Vacation Cash Out. Allow employees to accrue vacation above the maximum caps and
to cash out any unused vacation accrued above the caps at the end of each calendar
year. 6.5
7. Holiday Hours. City shall provide ten hours of Holiday Time Bank pay for holidays.
6.1A
8. OT Pay for Holidays. City shall pay employees overtime rate for working holidays. 5.2
and 6.1
9. FICA and Dental to be paid by City. 6.3

I had to ask Debbie Presson to reload the reports yesterday, because she’d “accidentally” loaded them so that they could not be cut and paste. She complained that it would “take hours” to reload the reports properly, but she did it. I think they are required by law to do that, even though she tried to avoid doing it for years, telling me, she was afraid I’d edit them if they were available in cut and paste. I swear to God, she told me that. All the sudden Chris Constantin showed up and now she has to load them the way I ask. Every now and then I catch her loading them wrong and all I have to do is ask – she reloads them. She claims it’s a matter of a little button being switched. If a private sector worker made that mistake constantly I think they’d be out of a job, but Debbie not only stays hired,  she gets over $135,000 a year in salary and only pays 9 percent of her loaded benefits package.  I know it seems petty – but just think, what does “hours” of her time cost, to load reports into a computer? 

Of course when I cc’d Chris Constantin, he sent me the whole MOU, in cut-and-pastable format.  The summary only highlighted stuff the cops want to change – they want a 5 percent raise (bust a snicker!), they want their holiday and sick leave banks restored, they want, they want, they want. They  remind me of the bums on the street corners, hand out, mouth open, ass slackened.

Michael Jones provides a good commentary on the summary here,

http://chicopolitics.com/2014/10/16/police-staffing/

but doesn’t discuss what I found in the whole MOU – the city will still collect union dues, including those  officers who don’t want to join the union (they call that a “service fee”), and then handing the money over to the same union that dumps money into every election. And, Jones reports, the CPOA has missed the filing deadline for their campaign report.  It was due October 6, but still is not posted. Jones dug into the muni code and found this to be a misdemeanor. Wow, let’s call the cops!  Jones was the one who busted the news that such an agreement, according to administrative law judge and ex-city council candidate Joe Montes, is a blatant conflict of interest. 

Here’s our dilemma: these contracts will not come up for discussion on council until AFTER THE ELECTION. And, I will remind Jones, they spend and collect late, so they don’t post their biggest report until AFTER THE ELECTION.  I hope he’s not too disappointed when his candidates, Mark Sorensen, Reanette Fillmer and Andrew Coolidge, are shown to be the biggest recipients of the cops’ attentions, and then all turn around and sign this contract with very little editing. They will also be first on board for the sales tax increase, that’s my next prediction. 

 NOTE – I didn’t catch all the weird typos in the summary, but it’s readable

 

 

 

 

Chico City Council race kicks off next Sunday, April 27, with Andrew Coolidge, Chico library, noon to one pm

19 Apr

Next Friday we have our first city council candidate coming in to the library for a chit-chat – Andrew Coolidge. You may remember Coolidge from 2012.

As I scan over my drafts file, I see plenty of city of Chico  issues I haven’t had time to talk about – a back page story about California’s looming pension liability, a letter from a Chico man suggesting we set another tax on ourselves to fund more cops, a chart showing that Cal Water gives public agencies like cities a flat water rate while the rest of us are on meters, an article about a pile of bad home loans recently written off by the city, BK Brook’s letter about the problems at Chico’s long neglected sewer plant, an editorial from a man who has never attended an airport commission saying we need to “get better commercial service at the airport…” , and then an interesting report about how claims against the city – for stuff like falling tree limbs and injuries/tire damage due to broken sidewalks and potholes – are UP.  Have you looked at Bidwell Park lately? You are taking your life in your hands walking into Bidwell Park – the trees need to be trimmed along the driveway, or somebody is going to be seriously injured.

We need to make sure these candidates are not riding on a cloud of air. What do they know about the real issues? Has Coolidge read the employee contracts? What does he think about paying benefits and pensions on people that make three, four, five times the median income? Months ago Coolidge made a public statement about the water rate increase – what has he done since?  Has he contacted the Ratepayer Advocate or the CPUC, does he have any news of our rate case, has he written a letter of protest? Has he attended an airport commission meeting – how many? Has he attended any meetings Downtown, which ones? Does he know how much money has been taken from the sewer fund to pay pensions and benefits? Does he understand that our sewer has reached capacity, and there are concerns about our water table falling, but our city keeps handing out building permits?

So far we have two city council candidates lined up, Coolidge and Joe Montes.  I don’t know who else is running because Debbie Presson won’t post the filings – she’s waiting until after the June primary, because she’s just plain lazy and incompetent. I’m curious about measures or initiatives that might be on the city ballot, so if I get a chance I’ll go down to her office and ask to look at them. In the meantime, let’s give Coolidge a good vetting, that’s next Sunday, April 27, from noon to one pm, Chico Library at First and Sherman Aves.

 

Get a convoluted answer.

4 Dec

I won’t pretend to understand what goes on Downtown. Sometimes I am afraid to ask questions, because they just lead to more questions. When I asked Finance Director Jennifer Hennessy how much the city spends on employee pensions a year, I didn’t know what I was getting into.

First there’s the “employer share,” and that’s a gob-stopper – over $9 million a year. And then there’s the “employee share” – and we pay that too. There’s the terminology – “employer paid member contribution.” And there’s never a straight answer to anything.

When I asked, “how much the city spends,” I meant, in total, all of it. But Hennessy “only recalled” the portion that comes out of the General Fund – about $7 million, she says. She forgot about all the other walnut shells she moves to pay these employee costs.

Ms. Sumner~

 
At last week’s Finance Committee, I stated that the cost of the City’s pension was $7M, however I was recalling the approximate General Fund portion only.  The estimated cost across all funds is budgeted at $10.1M for FY12-13.
 
Sorry for the confusion.  Please let me know if you have any further questions.
 
Thanks,
Jennifer
Jennifer Hennessy, Finance Director

websitewww.ci.chico.ca.us

Across all funds“? See what I mean about the walnut shells? They have over 50 funds now, I can’t remember how many, and I can’t remember where I put the blog where I talked about it before. That’s a lot of confusion, and that’s why they do it that way. They can shift money from one fund to the other to pay for stuff they couldn’t pay out of the first fund. That’s like saying, “now that this money is in my purse instead of my 401K, I can’t spend it without consequences!”

Tonight they are installing a new council. I can only predict a darker picture for Chico. Randall Stone and Tami Ritter are two of the biggest pigs who have ever hit the trough.

When I was a kid I lived in the community of Glenn, where my grandparents belonged to various social organizations. We had “feeds” over at the Glenn Pheasant Hall, where everybody would bring a covered dish. With food in it, you know? Except for this one family of enormous fatties – I won’t say their name, they were nice enough people – but they would walk into a pot luck party carrying empty casserole dishes covered with fresh tin foil. They would walk straight over to the table and load their plates with food, several times, and then when everybody else had their fill, both the man and the woman would totter over to the table with those casserole dishes and load them full of whatever was left. The adults wouldn’t say anything as these pigs chatted their way up and down that table, filling those dishes with whatever they wanted, but we kids couldn’t believe it. We weren’t allowed to make pigs of ourselves that way, seconds were for really good children whose mom had brought a contribution to the table.  We’d follow these two up to the table, wide-eyed and gape-mouthed, marveling aloud at the amounts they were able to stuff into those dishes.  In fact, my sister and I used to bolt our food just so we could go and sit across the table from them to watch them eat! It was a-MAY-zing.  Then we’d file along with the rest, watching them load their take-out containers.  The bolder among us would ask, “whatcha gonna do with all that food?” Some kids thought they might have dogs. But the man would just laugh and say, “Eat it!” As if he had nothing to be ashamed of. The adults would all stand off, some of them would cover their mouths and giggle, and they’d all have something to say later, after this couple made their way out to their enormous station wagon with those piled high dishes of other people’s hard work. But nobody wanted to rock the community boat. No, these people were not particularly good neighbors or hard workers, their house was a disheveled eyesore and they never came around in times of need. But in a small community, you “have to get along,” and we did. 

But Chico is NOT a small friendly community anymore,  so  I’m going to say it. Randall Stone is a worthless, soft-handed leech who should not be allowed on council unless he is willing to divest himself from his development business which bamboozled the city out of millions in RDA money to build clap-trap low-income housing that will never contribute anything to the community but another eyesore. He’s wangled the city out of so much money it’s inappropriate for him to sit at the dais. In past when I’ve criticized this guy, he’s tried to smear me on Topix. He’s a cheap, nasty little pinhead, and having him on the dais, while it might have some entertainment value, is going to be a disaster for the city. 

And then there’s Tami Ritter, who has been in one trough position after another ever since she trolled into Chico, with complaints from everybody involved.   She left the Torres shelter under accusations from homeless people who were complaining she ran the place like her own home, picking and choosing who got to stay based on whim. She got FIRED from Chico Green School when she complained she wasn’t getting a big enough salary. From Chico News and Review, September 2012:

Ritter, a well-known Chico resident who quickly won the support of the teaching staff when she assumed her position in July, described some chaotic weeks that led up to the school’s opening.

Tami Ritter lost her job as the school’s part-time principal during the upheaval.

PHOTO BY LESLIE LAYTON

Ritter, a former director of the Torres Shelter, had been hired in May while she completed work in Philadelphia on a second master’s degree. When she returned to Chico in July, she found that no site had yet been selected for the Green School, creating a lot of “organizational tension.” She said she and a few others worked out of the Chico State teaching office of Sandoe, a computer science professor.

The group decided on the Cohasset Road site, set up the school and recruited the students. But Ritter said she soon found herself working 45 hours a week in a position that paid for 20 hours a week. She took the issue to the board of directors, and the board suggested she limit her unpaid overtime to five to 10 hours a week. She and the board often disagreed on how she could be most effective with so few hours.

Then, Ritter said, she defied board instructions to withhold information—specifically the school’s student roster—from CUSD. The Green School board placed her on administrative leave and asked her to show up for a second mediation session.

She said she refused to go through mediation for a second time without a representative, and she then received e-mail notification that she was fired.

There is so much impropriety about the Chico Green School mess,  I don’t know where to start.  Did you get that part where she told them 20 hours wasn’t enough and they gave her 10? That’s because she’s a bitch to work with.   Is this the kind of performance we’ll get from Ritter on council? When I encountered her at an envelope-stuffing party I got talked into  by Maureen Kirk, she was totally weird. Instead of walking over to the main table and getting a pile of letters and envelopes for herself, she just walked right over to my table and sat down next to me without a word, abruptly snatching up my little piles of letters and envelopes  and placing them in front of herself! Then she let everybody at the table know she was in a bad mood and didn’t want to talk. Silence! How can you possibly be productive with a person like that? I predict she will not get along with Schwab, who is quick to let other women know when she feels they are being “too pushy”.   And to top it all off, at her age,  Ritter’s got a new baby – that will make you bitchy alright.  Let’s see how many meetings she excuses herself from because of the baby. That’s why I feel she ran in the first place – she is currently unemployed, and uninsured, and that’s kind of tough with a new kid.  She’s like a pigeon looking for a roost.

Ritter and Stone are snout-nosed trough dwellers. This is a council we really need to keep an eye on. We need citizens to attend meetings, and ask the right questions. We need to get together to compare notes, because as you’ve seen, they’ll FLAT LIE to get  their way Downtown.

And that’s what I’m looking for in a candidate for 2014. Coolidge is still eager to be on council – he needs to make his presence more known. We haven’t heard a peep out of the guy since he got himself on the local news protesting Measure J. Then he posted that blurb on youtube, and never said another word about it. He raised weird non-issues on his website – “Andrew will oppose any elimination of the leaf pick-up program…” ?  There is not one word about the budget or Measure J – just pseudo problems with no specific solutions. He has shown no real knowledge of city affairs.  I have yet to see him at a meeting aside from a couple of council meetings – standing silently and noticeably at the back of the room, just so he could say he was there. He really should have been at that Finance Committee meeting last week. There’s no excuse for not making meetings if you want to be on council. 

I don’t know if Toby Schindelbeck is interested in running again. I can’t help but admire Toby for being himself, but some people didn’t like him for the same reason they don’t like me – he doesn’t eat shit with a smile, he tends to tell people what he thinks. That won’t make you any friends, but it will get you my respect.  The kind of people who voted for Schwab, Stone and Ritter want to hear lies, they don’t have the courage to hear the truth, and they’re too lazy and stupid to do anything about it anyway.

I won’t forget – Toby actually accomplished something really important at the expense of his council campaign – he forced the Finance Director to give the monthly reports she’s required to give under Section 908 of the city code.  That is huge people. Now it’s time for all of us to pay attention. I think Toby has what it takes to turn this city around, whereas the rest of them seem to be worried more about keeping their butts in the chair than anything else. By going to the mat and risking the election – you realize how many city workers vote, don’t you? – he has actually accomplished a monumental task. Now, if the rest of the citizens would only pay attention, we might be able to get our city turned around, back on track. 

Toby Schindelbeck proved that old saying – “If the people will lead, the leaders will follow…” 

Right now, the candidate I’m looking for is willing to say NO to the police and fire employees, and make them pay their own pensions. Hellllloooo?

Thankyou City Council Candidate Andrew Coolidge for taking on Ann Schwab’s Phone Tax Plan

7 Aug

You may have seen the following bit on the news:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=XeE2xJfFiUM&feature=youtube_gdata

Andrew Coolidge, candidate for Chico City Council, has got the issue onto the news, good for him.   This is the kind of candidate I can support in November – a regular citizen who’s actually out there DOING SOMETHING! 

Coolidge points out that Ann Schwab is out of touch with the reality most of her constituents live – she thinks the average phone bill is only about 50 bucks.  No, Pollyanna Schwab, that’s about the lowest cell phone bill you can get – is she talking about pre-paid cards?  Those will also be taxed. My family gets the cheapest package available, and for the four of us it’s just about exactly $98 a month. And that’s the strip-down package. I know plenty of people who pay more, and Coolidge estimated high bills of $200 plus. I believe it. 

So, under Ann’s phone tax, my family will pay almost $4.50 more, a tax that goes into the General Fund, which can be used for ANYTHING, including the “employee share” of benefit and pension premiums.

That’s the other problem I had with the story. When Alan Marsden ran this story, he quoted Ann as saying the money would go to “public safety”. In the ballot argument she wrote in favor of raising your taxes, she says the money will go to public safety. Well, that’s all nice and everything, but that’s not what the measure says. The measure doesn’t promise anything of the sort. The measure only promises to place a 4 and a half cent tax on your cell phone. 

There’s alot that’s wrong with this phone tax, and I’ll be posting more information as the days go by.

And tonight, don’t forget, Toby Schindelbeck will be making his request for more disclosure from Finance Mis-Director Jennifer Hennessy. He will need support at the dais. This request is scheduled for the end of the meeting, under “Reports and Communications.”