Tag Archives: Chico city council election 2020

Morgan’s response: “we have to continually negotiate with employees to pay more of their pension costs” – it’s up to us to hold him to that

16 Sep

Gee, I’m taking some heat for endorsing Stone and Schwab. Yeah, I know, I’ve said repeatedly they both need to go. But it needs to be done right – their challengers are just not acceptable. An empty seat is not acceptable. So, when one is given lemons, one makes lemonade. 

Remember, I’ve asked that people contact their candidates and ask a simple question – would you be willing to ask city employees to pay bigger shares toward their own pension? 

I asked Sean Morgan, I was glad to get his response:

Chico certainly isn’t going to solve CalPers’ extensive mismanagement or annual COLAs (although there is talk that may be halted).

In the meantime, we have to continually negotiate with employees to pay more of their pension costs. They won’t do this without trade-offs (read: raises for increased contributions on their part). You and I both know these are employee bargaining groups, we can’t just impose things on them.

We also need to be extremely cautious in hiring people. Can we outsource? When we can, we should try. We’re in a unique situation because there isn’t a nearby city with plenty private competition for public jobs.

Ok, none of those are solutions, so now it’s down to what can be done (not enough). Grow the economy. Stop harassing business owners and tax paying citizens (yes, it’s happening), hold salaries in check. The economic outlook is changing. When the economy was booming folks started talking about leaving and going other places. Those opportunities are going to be gone and people will be happy to be working. How many business owners (and their employees) in Chico are suffering due to draconian measures by the Governor? How many public employees are suffering same? I believe it’s coming. The revenue just isn’t going to be there. Then what will CalPers do and how many municipalities will declare bankruptcy to cancel collective bargaining agreements?
If there were an easy solution, Sorensen and I would have implemented it. This is one of the reasons my gain goal moving forward is keeping the City solvent.
Finally, the new PD Chief got a bump but the position was underpaid (competitively). These positions in other cities pay better and have far less political turmoil. If we didn’t have a terrific internal candidate (we did) we would have ended up with some partial failure from an outside agency (just my opinion).
Some highlights:
“we have to continually negotiate with employees to pay more of their pension costs. They won’t do this without trade-offs (read: raises for increased contributions on their part). You and I both know these are employee bargaining groups, we can’t just impose things on them.”
Mark Orme continually claims that staff have not had raises while they’ve agreed to pay more of their pensions – but, as Morgan says here, it’s happened. In fact, Orme and other management received raises to cover their additional shares.  I disagree with Morgan, I think that’s backward.  I’m sorry he seems to be so intimidated by staff, I hope he finds his nuts this next term. 
Same with giving the police chief a $21,000 raise. I believe Chico PD is a pretty cush job compared to neighboring cities and our quality of life and low cost of living are also considerations. 
I do like the fact that he at least admits there’s a problem. And, at least he responded. If you want to hear what Pahlka has to say, contact him here:
curtisforchico@gmail.com

and let me know if you get any response. I will try to keep contacting the candidates myself, and we’ll pool whatever we get here, okee-doke?

Are you voting in November council race? For whom? If you can’t vote, and you wish you could vote, who would you vote for?

12 Sep

Friends ask me what I think of the upcoming council election, I always say my district isn’t up. But, as they usually remind me, those who get elected could most certainly wreak havoc on our lives and livelihood, as the current council is doing now. 

And today I notice, the biggest search is ‘council candidates’. I’m glad people are interested, so I guess I’ll throw my nickel down.

I hate the districts but I think we’re stuck with them. My biggest problem with the districts is they lower the number of votes a candidate needs to get elected – meaning, they actually represent a very small portion of the city, but everybody has to put up with their actions.

Here’s the link to the city website election page:

https://www.chico.ca.us/election-information

Do you know what district you’re in? I realize the boundaries are not shown that clearly. I just happened to recognize the shape of my street, and the way the fenceline runs down the neighborhood – the fence of my back yard is the boundary of my district. Cutting it pretty close, eh? Well, how’s this for close – it actually jogs over at Kasey Reynold’s house to take her residence into my district, and then jogs back. It’s pretty obvious these districts were drawn to accommodate the status quo.

If you are unsure of your district be  sure to contact the clerk’s office – debbie.presson@chicoca.gov  While you’re at it, thank Debbie and staff for now throwing up their hands and running away screaming.

Of course, my district is not up, so I guess I could ignore this mess until 2022. The problem being, like I said – all the council members will be in a position to screw up my life, so I guess I better pay attention.

Here’s another reason why districts are stupid – anybody can contribute to these campaigns. Your district council member can take money from anybody, so why should we only be allowed to vote for one candidate? Why did the council vote unanimously to go along with this deal instead of fighting the lawsuit?  Because both sides of the aisle think they can manipulate the districts to their favor. It’s a sad situation, but let’s talk about candidates anyway.

In District 1 we have incumbent Sean Morgan and challenger Curtis Pahlka. To his credit, Morgan has tried to hold the line regarding illegal camping and drug use. But he’s no fiscal conservative, having approved every management contract with all the perks and benies. He NEVER questions the pensions, just shakes his pompoms for the cops. Pahlka, on the other hand, is endorsed by unions like the SEIU. He’s also the darling of the local liberal fringe hangers, like Angela McLaughlin. While he has very little to say jfor himself about public policy at this point, his supporters are saying plenty.  So, in District 1, I’m endorsing Morgan.

District 3 is a real ballbuster – Incumbent Ann Schwab, who in 2012-13 tried to deny we had a financial crisis. Challenger Kami  Denlay Klingbeil, who complains about “Fires. Drug Paraphenalia. Vicious dog attacks. Assault. Attempted kidnappings. Drug deals. Human excrement. Trash. Chop shops…” but refuses to question the police as to why they don’t arrest these criminals. Steve Breedlove, whose agenda seems to be total anarchy.

I’ll tell you what sucks for me here – this district is right next to mine, right over my back fence, neighbors I’ve worked with on various issues, but I don’t get to vote. I hate the districts.

To her credit, Schwab has jumped the ideological fence a few times and voted with the conservatives, which means she’s workable. Denlay, with her childlike take on government, will just be another fist puppet for staff. Breedlove, with his total lack of civility and hystrionics, he’ll add hours to every meeting. So, in District 3, I’m endorsing Schwab.

Another toughie – District 5 – Incumbent Randall Stone, a guy with a colorful history of pissing off citizens and staff alike, he’s also been quick to back pedal when faced with a stone-toting mob. Former council member Andrew Coolidge was dumped in 2018 after jumping the conservative ship to vote with the liberals to declare a Shelter Crisis Designation, which led to the current situation in our parks and waterways. A new challenger, Lauren Kohler, a former Butte County Behavioral Health employee who currently works for a local manufacturer, is full of youthful idealism, but has very little to offer in terms of how to pay for the rainbow.  

I can’t support Coolidge because he’s the wrong kind of flipper. When he was campaigning he played to the conservatives with references to “bums” and Chico’s deteriorating public spaces. But as a council member he voted to declare a Shelter Crisis, which essentially allowed illegal camping in public lands. Meanwhile, Kohler makes no bones about wanting more services for transients, including a “come as you are” shelter. We already have a “come as you are” shelter, it’s called Butte County Jail. 

Meanwhile, looking back, I’ve actually agreed with Randall Stone on a number of issues. He and Tom Nickell made public the problems surrounding the recycling centers at various grocery stores, including what amounted to a bike “chop shop” behind the Mangrove Safeway. Stone, whether it was legal or correct or whatever, also outed a Chico PD officer for his really offensive and inappropriate behavior on Facebook. Stone took a lot of flack for that, but in the end that officer was discharged, and after seeing the stuff he put on Facebook, I’m okay with that. 

When Stone voted to totally revamp the South End of Esplanade, he got such a pantsful in the way of complaints from the public, he changed his vote. I think it takes a lot of guts for a public official to bow to the overwhelming sentiments of the voters and taxpayers.

Like when he voted against the recent sales tax increase measure. I almost had a stroke when I heard him say it. I really expected him to go along with the rest of them, I was already working on my Arguments Against for the ballot. I still don’t know if he really cares about low-income citizens, or if he just has a nose for any subtle change in the wind, but he shot that tax measure out of the saddle.

So I can live with Randy, in District 5, I’m endorsing Stone.

And then there’s District 7.  I know I don’t want Ober, who identifies too closely with the “Foul Four” and their “New Green Deal.” He is another member of the Homeless Industrial Complex who says he wants to use “imaginative ideas” to “solve homelessness” but won’t be rational on the subject of crime in Chico. He thinks everybody shares his lifestyle, he has no concept of blue collar work or low-income lifestyles. He’s what I like to call a “Happy Wanderer.” 

Meanwhile, I know nothing about Deepika Tandon except her ads are all over my computer. When I looked at her funding I saw where the money comes from – a lot of it from James Gallagher. Which means, developer money. 

I know we need affordable housing, but I’m not willing to dump environmental review just to cram in a bunch of tiny little boxes along the freeway. I don’t think you can build your way out of a housing crisis. Our housing crisis isn’t a lack of housing, it’s a lack of jobs. We need better quality jobs for people who already live in the North State. We don’t need to close manufacturing plants or pave over rice fields and orchards to build clusterfuck housing for yuppies to move here. 

District 7 is a draw. I don’t know if I can endorse Tandon, but I’ll say, I wouldn’t vote for Ober.

Issues? Next time, on This Old Voter, with Juanita!

Chico city council candidates turning in their paperwork for November 3 election

21 Jul

Summer half over, election deadlines are passing. Potential candidates for various offices are turning in their paperwork. Here’s the link to city election information.

https://www.chico.ca.us/election-information

In the city of Chico Districts 1, 3, 5 and 7 are up for grabs. There is a map posted at this site but it’s not the greatest. I couldn’t open the link for the “interactive map”, maybe you’ll have better luck. I just happen to know that the line  for my district runs right down my back fence, and then jogs over suddenly to take in a sitting councilor, and then jogs as abruptly back. I also know my district is not up in this election – so, as my uncle used to say, I do not have a dog in this race. 

Not that I don’t care. I don’t believe these districts were necessary – every member of this council will make decisions that affect my life, so I believe in “at large” election. I will certainly keep my eyes and ears open. And my nose, that’s for sure.

I hate the new city website, why they’ve changed things I can only suspect. For one thing, the Public Information Officer who was hired at full salary and benefits has removed stuff that used to be there – like the old campaign reports. She included Karl Ory’s 2017 Intention to Run statement with the current statements – if you look at the page, it looks like Ory is running when he’s made it clear he’s not. 

I also see paperwork from incumbents Schwab, Morgan and Stone.  Rich Ober, who has run in past, filed his intention statement in September 2019, before districts were finalized, so he has not listed his district.  Randall Stone filed a year ago, without a district.  None of the forms include the candidates’ street addresses.  Three new candidates have filed, they list “council member, city of Chico” as their street address, as if told to do so. 

I realize, in past, they’ve redacted the addresses of these people for privacy reasons. I didn’t like that then, because there’s a question of residency that should be proven to the people. If they expect us to swallow the districts, then we need to know where these people live. Are they so afraid of their constituents that they want to live in secrecy? That doesn’t sound good.

Kim Tietz put District 5 on her form and Kami Denlay Klingbell (for some reason she’s dropped her married name all the sudden) is running in District 3. I believe Stone is also District 5.  

Well, that’s what I know so far.  Next time let’s talk about the school board.