Tag Archives: Butte County mosquito tax

Mosquito Tax passes by 58 percent

10 Jul

Well, I don’t have time to bitch about it now, but I called the Butte County Mosquito and Vector Control District and the little shoat at the phone told me the assessment passed, with 58 percent of the vote.

Sheesh.  This town is so divided down the middle – I was looking at our stats the other day, and according to several sources, the Republicans in town only outnumber the Democrats by about 5 or less percent. No  wonder this is such a nasty little town at times.  Lately, all the time. 

A man I was talking to about this reminded me, BCMVCD just built a “Taj Mahal” office over on Otterson  Drive. “There’s about three employees sitting in that thing,”  he complained.  Yeah,  three employees worth almost $500,000 in salaries, pensions and health benefits. 

I’m surprised this passed, but not surprised by the slim margin. That’s why the  legislature has been  lowering the voting threshold for bonds from two thirds to 51 percent – they know they can’t get popular support for these taxes, so they’re just going for fascism.

I’ll tell you what’s really wrong here – the local media has not said anything about the salaries, pensions, benefits,  or, like the man reminded me, the Taj Mahal office building. Today I ate my lunch over the usual propaganda piece on Ch 12 News – fogging in Hamilton City and Nord tonight! Heck, they legally have to tell us when they’re going to fog us, but insist the fog is harmless. But cover your car maybe. Uh-huh. Linda Watkins Bennett, a woman I once admired, read the public relations release from  BCMVCD as if it was news, running a video  of a BCMVCD  employee gravely warning us not even to go outside after dusk, as if we’ll be swept away  by the swarm and our desiccated carcass will be riddled with deadly diseases.  Then  Linda trots out the provided figures – 24 cases of West Nile in 2013? They’ve got a bigger problem with Chlamydia over at the  campus.

The piece the News and Review did in April came off like straight propaganda,  not a word about the salaries, pensions, health benefits, or the Taj Mahal headquarters, just a bunch  of crap about how afraid we should be of mosquitoes.

And I could only find one specific  case, of 24,  described,  from 2013 – that of a child in North Chico. The child had already made “full recovery” at the time of the report, symptoms including headache and fever had occurred at least a month before the girl’s test results were made public.  She had no lasting consequences. I’ve only heard of one death confirmed from West Nile, that of an older Chico  man.

I’m not being flip – the flu  is  dangerous too,  but you don’t see a Butte County Flu Control District. Why  isn’t mosquito  abatement handled out of the Health Department? Why all the  extra management salaries? ‘

I know, that’s a dumb question.

 

 

Mosquito abatement district still tabulating assessment ballots – public hearing July 9, 7:30 pm, 444 Otterson Drive in Chico

25 Jun

I finally phoned the Butte County Mosquito and Vector Control District in O-ville to ask what was the result of the assessment vote. 

I’m sorry to poke fun, but the lady who answered the phone sounded so happy to get a call, I felt I had made her day. How many hours does she sit there, watching the hands on the clock? I won’t speculate on what she does all day, but I’m guessing she could count the number of calls she gets from the public on one hand. A month.

You could almost hear the air fizz out of her head as I asked about the assessment ballot. Her voice lost all that cheerful animation,  immediately became very strained. Like I’d offended the hell out of her just asking.  I get that alot.  People just hate a snoop, don’t you? I hate a snoop, but I don’t eat out of the public cookie jar, I just put cookies in.  Public servants need to get used to getting slapped when they get caught with that sticky mitt in there.  But they continue to act like, “what?”

“The tabulation will be announced July 9 in Chico,” she snapped. Yeah, snapped. I could tell by her tone that I wasn’t the only person who has questioned this assessment. 

Yes, according to the ballot instructions, the results will be announced to the public on July 9 at 7:30 pm, at the District office in Chico – 444 Otterson Drive. I don’t know why she just can’t give it to me on the phone, you know they’ve done it already.  

Well, I’m just on pins and needles – hope you are too. I will try to attend that meeting, at least it’s in town.  

 

 

Write to Butte County Supervisors about mosquito tax

7 May

Contact: phahn@buttecounty.net; lwahl@buttecounty.net; mkirk@buttecounty.net; dist4@buttecounty.net; bconnelly@buttecounty.net; dteeter@buttecounty.net

 

Dear Supervisors and Mr. Hahn,

Below is an e-mail conversation I had with Matt Ball of Butte County Mosquito and Vector Control District. He says, district employees only pay 1 – 6.25% of their retirement plans, and pay nothing toward their health benefits. 

But they’re asking for an assessment?

I don’t care how “small” the assessment looks per property, it’s insulting that they don’t pay their own benefits or pensions and expect to hold their hand out to the public. I looked at their last three years’ budgets.  I see they’ve lost RDA funding in almost the exact amount they’ve been paying on their benefits – that’s the underlying reason for this assessment.  I also notice that while they’ve been laying people off and cutting the expenditure for pesticides by about $150,000 a year, at the same time their benefits expenditure has increased. 

And no matter how many properties we own, my husband and I are limited to one vote between the two of us? And then, these votes are only “taken under consideration”? 

This looks pretty bad. I also can’t find any kind of contact information for the BCMVCD board. Another board of spoils appointees, out of the reach of public comment?

Mr. Hahn, can you please provide me with direct contact information for the BCMVCD board?  I’m not willing to go through Mr. Ball or staff, I’m guessing these board members all have county provided e-mail addresses, and the public should be able to contact them directly. This information should be on the website. 

I have included the newspaper editors because I have not seen any of the above information in stories I’ve read in the paper. 

Thank you for your anticipated response – Juanita Sumner, Chico CA  

PAUL HAHN RESPONDS (thanks Paul!)

Juanita,

 

Attached is the contact information for Board Members for the Butte County Mosquito and Vector Control District that we currently have on file.    While you are probably already aware of this, the Mosquito Abatement District is a completely separate entity from Butte County.  The only connection is that the Butte County Board of Supervisors does appoint five members of the of 11 member Governing board with the rest selected by respective City Councils.

 

I hope this answers your question.  If not, please do not hesitate to let me know.

 

Thanks,

 

 

Paul Hahn

I like to deal with Paul Hahn, he’s very professional. Cool blue ink too!  So far, I guess I have not pissed him off, he always answers me right back. What I learned here is, five of the board members are appointed by our county supervisors, that makes them responsible too.  Our city council appoints one, I think, and the others are appointed by other towns in Butte County, and I think Hamilton City. Ham City left the Glenn County abatement district when Glenn County health and human services officer Scott Gruendl raised their assessment – let’s see what they have to say about being duped into a higher assessment by Butte County.