Tag Archives: Chico Police Officers Association

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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Why PAC’s are BAD

17 Feb

There’s not much surprising in the reports that were just posted from former police chief Mike Maloney’s PAC – Chico Citizens for Accountability. Shocking, yes, disturbing, yes – surprising? No. 

Maloney raised around $50,000 – I didn’t do a formal tally – and spent it on mailers, billboards, radio ads and other support of candidates  Sorensen, Coolidge and Fillmer, as well as a pretty damning mailer with a picture of Scott Gruendl with the UNIVERSAL NO! over his face. I already knew that. I already knew alot of his donors – mostly realtors and construction people. 

What really disgusts me about these reports, beyond the fact that Maloney was allowed to be five days late in filing without being fined, is the amounts single donors are allowed to contribute to PAC’s – way beyond the city’s $900 limit for a single person.  For example, local realtor and developer Doug Guillon gave at least $5,000 in this last campaign. As an individual, like you and me, he would have been limited to $900.

Guillon has always been a big donor to the conservatives, and always gets a lot of consideration from them when he has a project. Years ago, conservatives led by realtor Dan Herbert were going to push forward an extension of Otterson Drive, in Guillon’s business park, meaning, put it ahead of other slated public projects, do it with public money, instead of making Guillon pay for it. People gathered signatures against it, and the council had to reconsider – the project ended up being scrapped. It was so obviously a spoils project for a big donor. 

You got to wonder, what will they try to give Guillon now? 

PACs are bad. We either need a resolution that severely limits PACs, or we need to kick them out of local elections. 

We do have a city clerk, Debbie Presson, who is supposed to keep these PAC’s honest – she has the discretion to fine them when they turn their paperwork in late – $5 a day – but has chosen not to do so, even though the CPOA has been late for a number of filings. It’s a pattern with those guys, and Presson lets them get away with it. The CCAG was five days late, according to the date stamp – I guess that’s  why she wasn’t posting that filing on line, she didn’t want people bitching about it. Well, I am. And the CPOA has yet to file, but she hasn’t fined them either.

We need to change the city charter to elect the city clerk. I know this hasn’t worked out perfect at the county, but I think it helps keep Candy Grubbs honest.  Presson is supposed to be an officer of the public, but she seems to work for the police union instead.

Read the CPOA proposal here

11 Dec

On next Tuesday’s agenda we again find the council in closed door conference with Chico Police, but no “sunshine” on the discussion. The last thing we have is the CPOA proposal from the October 21 agenda:

http://chico-ca.granicus.com/MetaViewer.php?view_id=2&clip_id=512&meta_id=42166

Council has been in closed door conference with the CPOA at every meeting since October 21, but that’s all we know. I have not seen any kind of proposal from the city, only the demands listed by the CPOA.

Read it yourself – right off the top, they want 5 percent raises, more holiday and overtime pay, and they want the city to pay benefits recently surrendered by management employees, like FICA. Here we pay 91 percent of their pension and benefits – on a pension worth 90 percent of their highest year’s salary, available at 50 years of age –  but they still expect us to pay their workman’s comp. 

The cops already get about half the budget – over $20 million out of about $43 million total budget. Yes, we have crime here, but Chico Police get paid on par with cities like San Francisco – that hardly seems legitimate. More people have been killed here by the cops than cops have been killed, that’s a brutal fact, Ma’am. 

We hear threats they will leave if we don’t pay them enough – I can’t believe our council folds to that, and expects us to fold too. That is the kind of extortion we can count on from these people – none of them are fit to wear a badge, to serve in a position of trust. The idea that a cop would threaten the citizens – what are you people thinking, putting up with a bag dog?

Bad dog, bad bad dog!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Oh gee, MY BAD! Presson posted the cops 460’s the day the newspaper ran the story…how about that!?!

30 Oct

http://www.chico.ca.us/city_clerk/campaign_disclosure_files/documents/CPOAForm460sSemi1stand2ndPreElection.pdf

 

Big deal right?

Well, it is a big deal. Until two days ago, she hadn’t posted anything since 2012.

I felt it was important to stay on Presson because she hasn’t been doing her job lately. I think the light but embarrassing scrutiny of the newspaper was enough to teach her a lesson, but if she doesn’t post the upcoming reports on time, I’ll be right on her again.  The report that really tells the story is the report they are supposed to file after the election. They didn’t file anything after the 2012 election. I think it’s prudent to be proactive, but you see how you are treated Downtown for asking too many questions.

Everybody always forgets to check after the election, and that’s when the real money is donated and spent. I don’t think candidates or PACs should be allowed to spend money within a certain time frame before an election, since they won’t be posting those expenditures until afterward. That’s when the real donations turn up – in 2012 it was the SEIU making the single biggest contribution to the “Yes on Measure J” campaign. That’s the same thing that happened in 2010 with Measure A – the ordinance that would have switched council elections to June. The SEIU was also the biggest single donor to the “No on A” campaign, but that didn’t turn up until after the election.

So, stay vigilant people, your “public servants” will live up or down to your expectations. 

 

Presson tells me one story and newspaper another – which is it Debbie?

30 Oct

From the ER story run day before yesterday:

The Chico Police Officers Association Political Action Committee filed its statement of organization with the city July 31. No other paperwork had been filed since, which means it is not in compliance with city and Fair Political Practices Commission requirements.

It could be at risk of fines from both the city and the oversight agency of $10 per day, and potentially dating back to 2012 because of some other gaps in its paperwork, said City Clerk Debbie Presson.

She has sent reminders that the reports were due and a notice that the group missed the filing deadline. She said she has not heard anything back.

“I’m hoping to resolve it,” she said. “My hope behind all of this is compliance and getting the forms in here for citizens’ review.”

Presson also confirmed several political action committees participating in the city election have not filed courtesy copies with the city, although they have filed with the county. She also contacted the FPPC on that issue.”

But in a e-mail I received Oct. 23, she said,  “This process is in place and is being reviewed with FPPC.  In addition, this office has been working with the CPOA in order to obtain compliance on the required filings.  However, fines have not been levied at this time.”

Yes, she was so mad at my question, she wrote her entire answer to me in RED! See the entire e-mail exchange here:

https://chicotaxpayers.com/2014/10/24/yeah-debbie-presson-is-a-bitch-and-shes-not-going-to-post-the-460s-is-she-doing-it-on-purpose-or-just-incompetent/

Well, which is it Debbie? Are you working with the CPOA toward compliance, or have you “not heard anything”?  Those are two distinctly different answers, I’d like her to pick one. 

I’d also like to know, who are the other PAC’s who haven’t filed? I don’t think there are any, I think she just threw that in there, or she’d name them. It’s not only public information, they’ve violated the law, and everybody needs to know who’s above board here and who’s not. The CPOA certainly is not, and Debbie Presson, an  officer of the city, isn’t doing anything about it. 

I don’t know why we have such a duplication – the county clerk is supposed to be responsible for elections, let’s give her the whole job and demote Presson to administrative secretary. She can’t even handle that, having taken months to get the minutes up to date – frankly I haven’t checked, I don’t even know if she has got the minutes up to date. 

 

 

 

Furthermore…

24 Jul

I couldn’t have timed my letter to the Chico Enterprise Record better – Stephanie Taber wrote a complementary letter to the News and Review, printed today.

Re “Who you gonna call?” (Letters, by Jane Martin, July 17):

Chico taxpayers provide police officers with a generous salary package including overtime starting after eight minutes, 10 minutes of paid time to put on and take off “protective clothing,” compensated call-back time, court time (even if canceled), and telephone standby time (three-hour minimum).

“On-call” is compensated at $100/week or compensatory time off. Salary compensation also includes: 5 percent differential if working out of class, alternative assignments earn a basic pay increase between 5 percent and 10 percent and a 5 percent bonus for a bilingual assignment. There is also additional compensation for POST certification: 2.5 percent (intermediate officer) or 5 percent (advanced officer).

CPOA’s basic compensation package includes worker’s compensation and long-term disability. There is medical, vision and dental coverage with minimal employee compensation. The life insurance policy provides full salary coverage. There is a $50/month payment for membership in a qualified health and fitness program with no requirement to show attendance. There is also a uniform allowance of $900/year.

Police officers also serve because of tradition and honor, but they get paid handsomely for it.

Stephanie L. Taber
Chico

 

I remember the letter to which Stephanie is responding – I remember getting a big laugh out of it:

Who you gonna call?

Re “Take note, union president” (Letters, by Stephanie L. Taber, July 10):

Once again Larry Wahl has his paid staff person, Stephanie Taber (a political appointee with handsome benefits we subsidize), write a letter attacking law enforcement.

Yes, our military troops and police officers are public employees. And I have no doubt that they complain about their level of pay, too, for the service they render. They serve because of tradition and honor and love of country. But military personnel injured on base in the U.S. or in a war zone are provided services and compensation, possibly for life. All first responders in harm’s way should be guaranteed basic services now and in the future!

It is interesting that Ms. Taber does not mention that she and Mr. Wahl are both local public employees with nice salaries. When citizens suffer serious car accidents or have their homes broken into, they call 911 for help from law enforcement. We don’t call Larry Wahl or Stephanie Taber. So what do these two do to earn their fat paychecks and benefits? Do they put their lives on the line?

What hypocrites—always attacking law enforcement. If Wahl or Taber hears someone breaking into their house at 2 a.m., who do you think they’re going to call? A private security firm in the Yellow Pages or 911?

Jane Martin
Chico

 

I don’t know if Jane knows, Larry Wahl was about as cop friendly as you could get when he was on council.  He voted for all those fat contracts. He admitted to me that he signed the MOU that linked salaries to “increases in revenues but not decreases…”   He apologized, his voice cracked – he said he didn’t understand it.  I just let him tell me that, I didn’t have the nerve to ask him what his reading comp score was in high school. It was a three sentence memo, just as clear as the nose on your face. 

He also proposed the steps promotion plan, saying it would curtail the salaries – instead it seems to work as automatic promotion for these guys. They get automatic raises. There’s supposed to be a performance review, but it’s not spelled out. I’ve seen so many fat, unhealthy cops, I can’t believe there’s any such performance review. Let’s see Peter Durfee jump over my back fence a breath ahead of  my nippers. 

I also have to laugh at her comparing Larry and Stephanie’s income with the salaries these cops are taking home. The smallest salary I’ve seen is about $63,000, that’s starting. That’s also about $23,000 a year more than the median income. And then there’s the health benefits and pensions – they expect to get 90 percent of their highest year’s salary, at 50, for the  rest of their lives, and they don”t expect to pay more than  9 percent. And we had to yank that out of them, kicking and screaming.  That indicates to me some sort of mental dysfunction on their part. 

I don’t want to talk about what cops are worth, or how dangerous their job is – how can we go on paying these salaries? Are their heads made of wood, or what? Can they do math? What are we supposed to do for more money – start pulling cars over on Hwy 99 and shaking down the out-of-town drivers? 

I’m just glad Stephanie Taber is out there. She reads the paperwork, compares what they say with what they  write down. I wish we had 10 more like her. 

 

 

 

Look at the police contracts and who signed them before you vote this November

24 Jul

Here’s a letter I sent off to the Enterprise Record the other day.

I wish more taxpayers would read the city police contract, available here

http://www.chico.ca.us/human_resources_and_risk_management/documents/CPOA_MOU.pdf

before they jump on any ill-conceived attempts to raise local taxes to fund the cop shop. 

 

Police employees pay nothing toward their medical or dental.

 

Police employees pay only 9 percent of their pension, which amounts to 90 percent of their highest year’s salary at age 50.

 

In addition to workman’s comp, the city pays for “long term disability insurance.” This premium is treated as a “post tax” payment so they don’t have to pay income taxes on it. 

 

Contracts force all “permanent and probationary employees” to “be dues paying members of CPOA or shall pay a service fee to CPOA.”  Furthermore, “city agrees to deduct CPOA dues or fee from employee pay.” The Supreme Court just ruled this practice illegal for home health care workers. 

 

For years we’ve been threatened by our own police to either pay up or be left to the wolves.  Our ex-city manager Tom Lando once said, “the police department is always trying to get it’s foot in the door for more money.” I am not willing to pay more to self-interested tyrants. Like the editor says, it’s time for us to learn to take care of ourselves. Join the Chico Taxpayers Association in protesting the contracts that have brought us to the brink of bankruptcy. 

 

 Juanita Sumner, Chico 

 

What can we do about it? We need to elect better people to city council. Scott Gruendl and Mark Sorensen have both signed the contracts that give these employees all this bling. They don’t think there’s anything wrong with the contracts. They both have similar contracts at their publicly-paid jobs. Gruendl makes over $100,000 a year at Glenn County, and I’m guessing he does not even pay the nominal 9 percent toward his benefits and pension – ask him yourself. Sorensen gets about $90,000 a year as city manager of Biggs, plus the usual benefits, and I’ll guess he’s not paying 9 percent either. Ask him.

Do me a favor, ask these jackamoes a few questions about these contracts before you give them your support.