Tag Archives: Andrew Coolidge Chico City Council

Staff trying to get their pensions bond under the wire by end of January

31 Dec

Next Tuesday city council will hear a presentation on a Pension Obligation Bond. They are trying to slide it under the wire as “restructuring debt,” which is really deceptive – they don’t mention the part where they take on millions in NEW DEBT.  This is really dirty and sneaky, and you need to let your council members know, you know what they’re up to. You can contact them directly through the clerk’s office – debbie.presson@chicoca.gov – or you can go to Chico Engaged. I’d recommend both.

Here’s the link to the agenda:


And here’s the POB presentation:


I also wrote a letter to the editor. Staff is trying to  get this thing done within the next two meetings, let’s stop it in it’s  tracks. 

Also, get a load of Coolidge’s request for a “streets bond”! 


Here’s my letter about the POB:

January 5, Chico City Council will consider Pension Obligation Bonds. Staff calls it “restructuring pension debt/Unfunded Actuarial Liability”, but it’s really millions in new debt. A new twist on the old Shell Game, Staff will invest borrowed money in the stock market, hoping to make enough to pay both the pension debt and the new debt. If their investments fail,  the taxpayers will be forced to pay not only the pension debt but the new bond debt, at the expense of city infrastructure and basic services.

Over the last couple of years,  surveys, letters to the editor, and comments on social media have demonstrated two main concerns: lack of law and order, and lack of maintenance to public infrastructure.  While Staff has claimed they don’t have enough money for either, they’ve continued to appropriate more money each year from city departments into the Pension Stabilization Trust – this year, $11.4 million, roughly 20% of tax revenue.  

Furthermore, even with 10’s of millions a year paid through payroll and the PST, the UAL has still grown, up from $126,000,000 only a few years ago to $146,000,000. Staff has recently revealed another $140,000,000  interest. This is the result of insufficient  contributions from employees, and poor returns from CalPERS investments. 

The Government Finance Officers Association says POBs are dangerous without a plan to manage pension costs. Instead, our city has increased pension costs through new hires and overly-generous salaries, without demanding more from Staff. 

The GFOA also determined POBs were the cause of bankruptcy in San Bernardino and Stockton. 

Juanita Sumner, Chico CA


Looks like Marysville has beat their tax proposal – but it was a squeaker due to low turnout. We’ve got to get ready for a tax blitz in 2016

12 Nov

Looking at the election results for Yuba County, I see Marysville just barely turned back a sales tax increase proposal – Measure W. It looks like only 1800 people voted in that race, and almost 900 voted YES. It only seems to have been beaten by only about 60 votes.

I know, Marysville is a small town, but I think they have more than 1800 registered voters. 

I’ve been following Dan Walters lately – don’t tell him – and he’s warning that the Democrats might make a rebound in 2016, and bring a lot of tax increase and tax extension proposals along in their little knapsacks. I’m sure Chico will pursue a sales tax increase. Council will vote almost unanimously to put it on the ballot without petitioning the voters. 

Randall Stone has contacted me on several occasions to tell me he won’t support a sales tax. We’ll see. 

In the meantime, get ready to RUMBLE!