Tag Archives: Chico Police Dept

Chico PD announces quarter cent sales tax increase campaign through “Business Support Team”

29 Sep

I don’t like the Annie B’s Foundation because it’s misleading. This is supposed to be a community fund through which the willing and able can channel their disposable dollars into various “community benefit” organizations. Lately it is more and more misused by public agencies phishing for money to cover their outrageous salaries, benefits and pension packages.

And, here’s something that makes my teeth hurt every time I read it – “In addition to receiving a grant from Annie B’s, The City of Chico will match your donation by 40-60%! If you give $100, this organization can receive an additional $50 or more, based on how much is raised!”

As a city of Chico taxpayer, I am forced to give to these organizations whether or not I believe they provide any kind of “community benefit.” 

Like Chico Police Department. They’ve found a way to use a good-will organization to get more money for themselves, through an outfit called “Chico Police Department Business Support Team.” Mysterious front man Jack Van Rossum was interviewed a couple of months ago on Alan Chamberlain’s podcast variety show “Chico Currents”.  Van Rossum makes it very clear – Chico PD runs this organization, telling Van Rossum and his friends what they want and sending them out to get the money for it, one way or another. 

http://chicocurrents.net/2015/08/10/459/

Not only is Van Rossum stumping for money from Annie B’s Foundation, with the 40-60% matching grant from the city of Chico, but he says CPDBST is asking Chico city council to place a quarter cent sales tax measure on the ballot, “specifically used only for the police department…the primary concern is staffing.”

Backing Van Rossum and the  CPDBST are organizations like Chico Chamber/Clean & Safe, Chico Rotary (of which Mayor Mark Sorensen is past president and an active member), Chico Exchange Club, and Neighborhood Church.  Van Rossum says members have been very generous – he mentions the license plate readers purchased in 2013, as though they were completely paid for out of the donation fund. He forgets to mention, “40 – 60%” of that money came out of the tax coffers. 

He mentions the city of Chico is “on the verge of bankruptcy.” But can still make a 40 – 60% match on charity funding? 

Van Rossum begins by describing the “close to a substation” Chico PD is requesting at Enloe Hospital – that’s what they want the Annie B’s/City of Chico charity handout for. Van Rossum claims police officers spend a lot of time at Enloe Emergency Room,  “because of their requirements when they deal with people they meet on the street…”  He says Enloe will give the space, but it needs to be outfitted with special radio equipment because the cops can’t use their cell phones or radios from inside the hospital. He also complains that the emergency room is “always backed up…the hospital does not provide priority to the police department.”    Anybody who’s ever been to Enloe ER, he says, “knows there’s a long tedious wait to get someone to serve you…” So, these officers need their own space to do “other work.” What other work? Their other work is outside the hospital.

Wow, I don’t know where to go with that – I sat at a meeting earlier this year and listened to the head of Butte County Behavioral Health talk about the new building the county just bought over near the old Chico Community Hospital. This building would house the staff who are supposed to meet the Chico PD officers at Enloe Hospital and take these “street people” off their hands, freeing police officers up to, well, get back to their jobs.  Here Van Rossum is telling us it’s their job to sit down at Enloe cooling their heels “in the cue…”  

So, we need to pay for a county building, and we need to provide a substation at Enloe Hospital? 

And then Van Rossum goes off on a bender about how the police department is having trouble filling the positions approved and funded by our “on the verge of bankruptcy” city because the police department is understaffed. Feel dizzy?

Here’s a direct quote: “the police department has a low morality.” Chamberlain didn’t correct Mr. Van Rossum, neither will I.

 Listen to the complete interview for yourself. This is the beginning of Clean and Safe’s campaign to raise our local sales tax. 

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Sheesh I’m glad we got Mark Sorense watching our bacon!

20 Jan

Tomorrow night council will probably pass the employee contracts. There are improvements,  but only because we are at rock bottom now, would what they are doing look the slightest bit good. It’s not good enough.

Oh Geeshy! The cops and fire are being asked to pay (gasp!) nine whopping percent of their own pensions.  Yeah, they will receive 90 percent of their highest year’s salary – most of them taking home $90,000 to $100,000, some even more, for RETIRING. For not coming to work. Wow, that’s just a gobstopper.

I will predict that Gruendl and Sorensen will lead the kudos team with exclamations about how much money they’ve saved!

Let me put this in perspective. Imagine, you are out in the ocean in a disabled boat,  a week’s float from civilization. You have the city staff in the boat, and exactly enough water to meet their dire need for the exact amount of time it will take to reach land. But, of course, passengers start bickering –  the cops and fire employees feel they should have more water than others, because they can’t stand their own body odor.  Mark Sorensen and Sean Morgan take over the boat and announce they will  give the cops and fire employees more water, cause they need to shower, so the cops and fire start using up all the water. A few days later, Sorensen, under pressure, decides that the cops and fire need to cut their showering by 50 percent. Then he takes a shower to celebrate – “look at all the water we’ll be saving!

Plug this into our scenario – Sorensen’s shower is the $21,000 health insurance package he takes off he taxpayers, for which he pays a Jesus H. Whopping amount of two percent of his council salary – less than $200 a year for a $21,000 health insurance package. He also gets a package from the city of Biggs. I’ve asked him again and again, why does he need us to pay for that $21,000 package? On his FPPC Form 700, he claims his satellite tv business yanks in over $100,000 a year. What’s he need the taxpayers to pay his healthcare bills for? But he won’t answer. He’s a weird bird – if you ask him a question that suits his propaganda, he’ll yak all day. But if you ask him the wrong question, it gets so quiet you can hear a cricket fart.

Maybe we should ask him how much money he’s been taking from the “public safety” unions. I’ll tell you what – you won’t pull that out of him with a tractor. And, as of a minute or so ago, it’s not on the city website either. After all that bitching I did about the minutes not being up to date, I’ve let them get – are you ready for this – YEARS behind on the campaign reports. The clerk doesn’t even have the reports for the last election – and I’m sorry, I know it’s on purpose. They were there and they were taken. Gone. Kaput!

I sent an e-mail to Clerk Presson, City Manager Nakamura, as well as Mark Sorensen …. oh excuse me, that must be “Sorense,” because he’s dropped that last ‘n’ from his e-mail. You know he’s CRAFTY!

He’s TRICKY!

That’s Mark Sorensen at msorense@chico.ca.us. Wait! That’s mark.sorensen@chicoca.gov   – see Mary’s comment below, I had forgot about that.   I asked very nicely why the reports aren’t on the website, and where can I find them. We’ll see what we get. 

Don’t be a Mole Rat!

11 Jan

It’s good to see other places and how they do things. I just visited a town that declared bankruptcy a few years ago when sued for millions by a developer in a breach of agreement over a land deal. I was surprised to find, they are still standing, but things aren’t exactly good for the little town of Mammoth Lakes.

As I recall, a major factor in that lawsuit was lack of snow for the last few years running. The town depends on tourism, mainly snow tourists, and when they don’t have snow, they don’t get tourists. Most of the people who ski Mammoth can just as easily head for Utah.  Tuesday I heard a report on the local news that occupancy, over a period considered Winter vacation by rich people, was only 20 percent, down from 28 percent the same weekend a year ago. Well, I could tell you, from looking, the snow is down about 80 percent, no brainer.

So, they got a perfect lack of storm. Right in the middle of a dry spell, while they held their collective breath trying to stay within a $19 million annual budget, a disgruntled developer decided to sue. I myself would have waited til it started snowing again. Developer lost, and the town was able to divert their bankruptcy proceedings.  But, they’re hardly out of the woods, and the workers I saw all acted as though they have a perpetual sword hanging over their heads. They tried to be friendly, but you could tell, it was an effort to put on a smile, not much to smile about when you can’t afford to pay your heating bill. There’s no snow, but it was still in the 30’s during the day. In a place like that, you can’t afford to have a poorly paying job.

All over California, cities and towns are suffering the effects of the Pension Storm. Hey, I been through droughts – back in the 70’s, we said, “Shower with a Friend!” This is a different kind of drought. The public workers have cleaned out the kitty with their outrageous pensions, and here we sit, being told we need to pay more taxes and accept less service in return. All for their outrageous salaries, benefits and pensions. Especially the pensions. That’s the cherry on top for me. When I realize, these people actually believe we owe them a perpetual living, I have a compulsive episode of Archie Bunker behavior. I want to say, “You are a meathead, dead from the neck up, meat… head…”

As usual, Council and Staff are holding the contract talks behind closed doors because they don’t want us to see what a pack of meatheads they are. We see the proposals but we don’t hear the conversations full of threats and rainbow promises.  Let’s face it, our council members are afraid of public safety “workers”. In every election, Chico Police Officers’ Association spends the most money. Sometimes they give it directly to the candidate that mouths their line, like that idiot Sean Morgan. Other times they wage an ad campaign threatening to cut off services if they don’t get their contract demands – “The gangs are hiring…” Oh bullshit, you little pussies. I checked into that, and the  gangs are not offering don and doff pay, free gym membership, fully-paid health insurance, or pension plans paid 50-100% by the taxpayers. They don’t even have a clubhouse where you can take a shower and send the bill for your hot water to the city of Chico taxpayers. Chico PD is the biggest, best paid, most ridiculously pandered to and  most threatening gang in our town, and they’re a lot more exclusive than the little kids they lord over.

Then there’s the fire department. Ask a cop about that – Kirk Trostle said it – they get paid to watch tv, play video games and sleep. We pay 50-100% of their pensions, and most of their health benefits. We even pay for them to be kept in a rest home later, when their kids get sick of them.

I’ve read the new contracts, and I’m not happy about a lot of stuff, including the five year lifetime. I think they should never give more than a year at a time – we’ve been through this so many times. When we allow them to make these longer-term contracts, they end up getting in trouble almost immediately. They never seem to have any foresight, just a big foreskin pulled neatly over their heads. Mole rats.

We need to pay extra attention this election. Please come down to the library tomorrow, 1 pm,  to meet a guy who wants to be your tax assessor. Stop voting blind, Mole Rat.

What happens to the revelers after they are arrested Downtown? How about some accountability for the $60,000 spent over four days of Halloween?

20 Dec

A month or so ago I read an article (posted below) in the Enterprise Record regarding the dollar total for police enforcement over Halloween weekend. Over a four day stretch the cops reportedly rang up over $60,000 in regular hours and overtime, it’s all spelled out down there, thank you Almendra Carpizo. 

Lately I’ve been looking over arrest reports – something I found a few years back when I was researching potential tenants. I try to keep an eye on those, which are available online – I just google “Chico police arrest reports,” and usually the most recent ones pop right up. I’ve never kept notes, or tried to make any long term study. What I’ve been doing lately is checking the names on the arrest logs over at the Butte County Superior Court website. I realize, it may take some time to update the court website.  I haven’t been doing this too long, but I will start writing down names and dates on the drunk in public stuff, and then I’ll try to check back to see how many of these drunk in public arrests actually make their way to court.

I’ve been told, Ramsey won’t prosecute, his office is understaffed and overbooked, yadda yadda.  Not to mention, he seems to have been carrying at least one staffer with perpetual hangover the last few years. Whatever the reason, the fact remains – the city of Chico is spending millions of dollars a year on cops who arrest people who are never formally charged with a crime, never prosecuted, and therefore, never tapped for their share of the cost. 

I asked Chief Trostle about it.

Sent to Chief Trostle, Dec 3 2013:  I have a question about arrests made over Halloween, St. Patricks and other high enforcement “holidays”. I was not sure who to ask, so I have sent to you four.  I’ve cc’d the news folks because I thought they’d be interested, or maybe they know something that can shed light here. 

 

My question: what happens to these arrestees? How many are charged formally? How many convictions, generally speaking? How much is collected in fines from these people? If you do the math for this recent Halloween, it cost about $600 per person to make there arrests, how will that money be retrieved? 

 

Thanks, at your convenience, for either answering my questions or forwarding me to someone who can  – Juanita Sumner, Chico

Response rec’d Dec 4 2013:

Ms. Sumner,

I received your email and questions regarding arrests, convictions, and fines.  I wish I had access to that type of information, but unfortunately it doesn’t exist.  I can tell you that during the special events (ie Halloween, St. Patrick’s day, etc.), everyone we arrest is booked into the county jail and charged.  This is different than most of the rest of the year.  For most of the year, people arrested for things such as drunk in public, are not formally charged.  This is mostly due to the workload of the District Attorney’s Office.

 

We do not receive a report from the DA’s Office regarding convictions or fines.  When a case is adjudicated by the courts, we do not receive any notice of the final outcome.  That is also true with potential fines.  It is possible to go to the court’s website and research cases by name, but that is a very time consuming process which we have never had the staff to complete.  Sorry I don’t have more information for you.

 

Ford Porter

Captain

Chico Police Department

I had to thank Captain Porter for his response, but I find it very frustrating, and unacceptable. Here they hold their hand out for more money every Halloween – not to mention, Cesar Chavez Day?  But they don’t have any kind of figures on what becomes of their arrests? That’s just inexcusable un-accountability.  

Again I will quote that old Yiddish saying – When the fish stinks, it’s the head of the fish that stinks!  Here we have a many-headed fish, a monster sporting the heads of Scott Gruendl, Mark Sorensen – the whole council, in fact – along with Brian Nakamura and Kirk Trostle. This is why we have elections folks. It’s time to wrap up some fish and huck it into the bin. 

Chico Police Department reveals salary costs of patrolling Halloween weekend

By ALMENDRA CARPIZO-Staff Writer

POSTED:   12/03/2013 12:00:00 AM PST

CHICO — The Chico Police Department spent more than $60,000 to patrol downtown and the area south of the Chico State University campus from 6 p.m. Oct. 31 to 6 a.m. Nov. 3, according to the department.Chico police used about 1,380 staff hours during that period, mostly due to regular shifts or shift adjustments, according to a press release prepared by Chico Police Lt. George Laver.

“Numerous officers (including detectives) had their shifts adjusted to work Halloween night in an attempt to alleviate overtime,” he stated.

The police chief, captains, lieutenants, detectives, other sworn staff and dispatchers who would normally work during the day were required to work the three nights to help with the event, Laver told the Enterprise-Record on the phone.

The only exceptions were for personnel working a day shift — about 7 a.m. to 4 p.m. — and a few other officers.

The amount of staff that worked is what would be expected, because “unfortunately” that’s what the department has had to do for the last 20 years, Laver said.

“It’s one of the days or events that we have circled in the books and everyone knows that there’s no vacations … A ‘don’t even bother’ type of thing,” he said.

The costs of the extra staffing were just over $42,000 in regular wages and an extra $20,000 for overtime, according to Laver, who oversaw the Halloween operation.

Those wages reflect the people who were pulled from their assignments to work specifically on Halloween weekend and were dedicated to the campus area and downtown, Laver said. There were two teams that were on duty to patrol the rest of Chico, but the amount of money to staff those teams was not included as to not skew the data.

Halloween 2012 took $53,000 out of the department’s overtime pay, and it was expecting to spend about $70,000 to $75,000 in total this year.

Although the figure was smaller than first thought, Halloween weekend costs the department two training days to accommodate for the event and stay on budget.

Typically, the Chico Police Department trains once a month with the department splitting in half and alternating months, Laver said. Training days scheduled for November and January had to be canceled in order to save on overtime.

If the Police Department wouldn’t have done that, overtime costs would be over or comparable to last year, Laver said.

Laver said that during the Halloween weekend there appeared to be fewer arrests than years prior, but he’s unsure why. There were 99 arrests, 84 alcohol-related, according to police.

People may say not to worry and let people have their fun and only respond if there’s a problem, Laver said. However, a situation can quickly become a crowd-control issue and the Police Department won’t be able to muster enough resources to handle it.

Outside agencies like the Butte, Glenn and Tehama County sheriff’s offices, several Butte County police departments, and the Butte County Probation Department donated 686 staff hours to help Chico police during Halloween weekend, according to Laver. The AVOID the 8 DUI Task Force provided an additional 64 hours of enforcement.

“It’s a tremendous help to have those agencies here,” he said.

Laver said he’d like for things to get back to where the Chico Police Department could staff Halloween weekend with its regular shifts or just one extra team.

All the money saved could be used for increased staffing for the remainder of the year, he said. He recalled 1989 as the last year the Police Department had its regular staffing out for the event.

I walked in on a Pig Party!

25 Jan

January is a tough month, dark and cold. It’s hard to fight that compulsion to hibernate.  I don’t like to leave my house, I like to be in my comfort zone in January. But, for some dumb reason, I fight it. 

So, yesterday I planned all day to go to the Economic Development meeting Downtown. There was an interesting item on the agenda – some folks from Glenn County are proposing a “solid waste converter” – simply put – a giant incinerator that turns trash of all kinds into electricity. The burning trash heats water, creates steam, and turns the turbines that run the generator. It’s been done in Europe and Asia for years. In fact, I read an article from Jennifer Arbuckle of Northern Recycling and Waste Services saying that alot of our trash, including recyclables, goes to China to be burned for electricity. Whether they buy it, or we pay them to take it, I don’t know.

NRWS is out of the Bay Area. A couple of years ago, they entered into a garbage franchise with the town of Paradise. They are in the business of sorting and diverting trash from the landfill. Here’s an interesting article on that:

http://www.newsreview.com/chico/northernrecycling-waste-services-reduces-waste-stream/content?oid=1932112

I don’t know why this option has never been discussed for Chico. All I’ve ever heard at the STF meetings is that Neal Road Dump is starving because our haulers have been driving to Yuba City for cheaper “tipping fees.” The city is considering “franchise zones” – meaning, town will be split up like a pie between Waste Management and Recology. This will mean guaranteed revenues for both companies, but they have to sign an agreement to bring all their trash to Neal Road. This will not be good for customers – rates will raise to meet Neal Roads’ higher tipping fees  and we will have no choice of hauler.

Bringing in an outside company with a different plan is sure to make this conversation waaaay more interesting. Right now, we are in the stone age of trash.

So, a gal named Kara Baker from KVB Inc was going to give the Economic Development Committee a little presentation, and I had really wanted to hear it, but last week Mayor Goloff had the meeting changed to Wednesday. 

Of course this was in the agenda, but these meetings have been on the same day at the same time for over 4 years now, without change, so I haven’t looked at the day on the agenda for at least that many years. I used to be on the notice list, but they drop you from those if you don’t keep asking to be added. So, I asked to be added again so I won’t miss out. 

It was an interesting trip anyway. Turns out, instead of the ED meeting, I walked into the city employee contract talks. Wow, ever walk into a barn full of brood sows? You know – momma pigs. Momma pigs are nasty creatures, with nasty sharp little teeth. They’ll attack you alright, and they’re omnivores – remember,  never trust a man who keeps pigs!

When I walked into that little room, as I fumbled around trying to get my notebook out of my bag, scarf off neck, etc, I noticed all this food on the table. I thought, “since when do they have food at these meetings? Little trays with bread or something – sandwiches? Before I could get a good look, Chico PD officer Linda Dye turned at me from her chair, like a momma pig, and said, very unfriendly, “There’s a meeting going on in here right now!” I was struck dumb – all I knew at that moment was, the room was hostile. I apologized, and she softened a little, then I left. Outside, in the breezeway between City Hall and the muni building, I encountered city clerk staff Debbie Presson and Dani Brinkley, clattering across the sidewalk and up that ramp with a wheeled catering cart, full of MORE FOOD. 

I have to go now, so I won’t speculate on this. But the word TROUGH keeps popping into my mind. 

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?