Tag Archives: CA SB 1

Join the California taxpayer revolution – DUMP THE GAS TAX RIP OFF!

17 Jun

Reform California says they’ve collected over a million signatures – that’s more than twice what they needed to qualify the gas tax repeal for the November ballot. Carl Demaio told me they expect the petitions to be ratified and a Proposition number to be assigned by the end of June.

They’re taking orders for signs,  go over to the Reform California site to check that out.

We’ve got four months of ugly campaign ahead, with Governor Moonbeam trash talking the repeal and threatening us with third world quality roads.

That’s ironic, isn’t it? When I was a kid, the Moonbeam’s dad, Old Edmund Brown Sr, went on a tear building and improving roads all up and the state – I saw it all, from the cab of my Daddy’s Peterbilt.

While my dad was employed by Teichert, my mom was office manager for a Dixon CA highway contractor named John Vickery. The highway industry buttered our bread. We weren’t rich, but my mother always owned the house we lived in.

Now the management salaries and pensions eat all the money. The highest paid city employyes sit in meetings all day, telling us there’s no money to employ the folks who fix the roads, no money for asphalt, etc.

Until we threatened a taxpayer revolution the likes of Prop 13 – DUMP THE GAS TAX RIP OFF!

Now you see they’re making a limp wristed effort at fixing Chico streets – with a lousy 4 inch scrape and patch.

About 15 years ago, the city annexed the neighborhood along Palmetto Avenue where we’d just bought a house.  The county had begun major repairs of that street, scraping it down to the base. That’s almost a foot, folks. The end of our driveway was hanging so high it was difficult to get in and out.

The county and city had made a deal – because of the annexation, which meant the city would be taking roughly half the property taxes from the county, the city was to finish the street repairs to Palmetto. The street was left scraped, our driveway left hanging, we and our neighbors left wondering.

And then the elderly woman we shared a driveway with had a stoke. It was just after dark, the ambulance crew couldn’t get over the end of the driveway. They walked in with the stretcher, 160 feet, and carried her out. She died that night.

I called the city the next day. The public works staffer I spoke to expressed shock and surprise – he said he didn’t know the project wasn’t finished.

In case you’re new around here, Palmetto has always been a much traveled artery through our town. This was my first introduction to the clueless ineptitude that passes for “working at the city of Chico.”

But I’ll also say, Palmetto and East Ave, which both had major repaving about that time, are still the best streets in town, and both are very heavily used. The 4 inch scrape the city is doing now is almost as big a joke as the practice of filling potholes with asphalt left over from other jobs.

Today they won’t even apologize. I sat in a meeting with pissed off developers, at which Daddy’s little darling Bill Webb asked how a person could get the city to fix their street. Three public works staffers sitting in the meeting (while streets were going unfixed) told the gathering they had no money to fix anything, in fact, they were removing projects from the to-do list that had been waiting for attention since 2009.

The developers have a legitimate beef – they’ve been paying fees for street improvements, and city staff have allocated the money into their own pockets without doing the work.

How do you fight back? Get your sign and post it in your front yard.