Tag Archives: Chico Police

Chico PD’s latest contract proposal is unsustainable

21 Nov

I wrote a letter to the News and Review, I want to keep the city employee contracts in the news. 

Again, Chico Police employees put more money into local campaigns than any other group. In addition to the CPOA, former police chief Mike Maloney formed his own PAC, allowing police employees to get around rules limiting contributions.  

The new council majority will negotiate with a police department asking for 5 percent raises as well as payment of various benefits currently paid by employees. The city already pays over 25 percent of their pensions while most police employees pay 9 percent. Salaries in the police department average over twice the local median income. 

Police employees continue to complain they are understaffed, ignoring practical suggestions to lower their salaries to reasonable amounts and pay a more rational share of their own pensions in order to loosen up money for new hires. 

Despite an obvious conflict of interest, the proposal still includes a provision that the city collect union dues from employees who do not wish to be union members, this money being poured into campaigns at election time. 

The city is currently suffering “liabilities” over $75 million, about $50 million of which are pensions. We’ll soon see how new councilors installed with CPD money will react to the cops’ demands.

Here’s the cops’ proposal – I cut and paste this verbatim from the city agenda, the typos are all theirs. I highlighted stuff in red to show, they’re not only refusing to reign in their salaries and benefits, they’re asking for more stuff!  And they want a three year term, so these contracts would stand for three years with very little chance of review. 

Chico POA
Proposal – September 24, 2014
The following is a proposal for a successor MOU to the one expiring 12/31114 between the
Chico Police Officers’ Association and the City of Chico. This proposal is intended to begin the
bargaining process and introduce several ideas that the POA believes can create a better
environment within the City of Chico Police Department, specifically the Departments ability to
retain and recruit police officers. When possible, the current MOU provision that would be affected is listed. Wording is NOT
final and will be edited to reflect any changes prior to submission to the City in formal
1. Three year term of MOU: 111115-12/31/17. 1.3A
2. Salary. 5% increase effective 1/1/15, 1/1116 and 1/1/17. 5.1 and Exhibit B
3. Longevity. Add four new longevity step increases of 4% at the following length of time
of employment with the city: 10 years, 15 years, 20 years and 25 years. New Article
5.12 “Longevity Pay”
4. Pay Step Addition and Adjustment. 5.1C

a. Add a Step H at 5% salary increase. 

b. Add a “training pay” step equivalent to $18 per hour.
5. Cash out Holiday Time Banlc Reinstate policy of allowing employees to cash out
unused holiday time bank hours each year. 6.2
6. Vacation Cash Out. Allow employees to accrue vacation above the maximum caps and
to cash out any unused vacation accrued above the caps at the end of each calendar
year. 6.5
7. Holiday Hours. City shall provide ten hours of Holiday Time Bank pay for holidays.
8. OT Pay for Holidays. City shall pay employees overtime rate for working holidays. 5.2
and 6.1
9. FICA and Dental to be paid by City. 6.3
a. City shall pay the 1.45% of FICA that has been paid by employees since 1/1111.
b. City shall pay the entire employee portion of the dental insurance (or allow the
employee to opt out of coverage). 6.3 and Exhibit C.
10. Call Back Pay. Increase the call back minimum pay to four (4) hours. (3 currently). 5.5
11. Shift Differential. 5.9
a. Increase swing and graveyard shift differential pay by 5%.
b. Shift differential to be calculated into base pay for overtime pay rate calculations.
12. Adopt and/or publicize the ability to put OT earnings directly into deferred
compensation. 6.6E

Please write letters to council and the papers, this contract is not sustainable. No matter what Mark Orme tells us, this city is up Shit Creek and nobody can find the paddle. 

The paddle we need right now would be a local Right To Work initiative.

ER ran my letter, here’s a few comments from Faceblob

11 Sep

We’ve seen letters to the editor, the police seem to be pushing a sales tax increase “for public safety.” 


Folks, the cops get over $20 million a year and fire gets another $17 or so. Million. Our budget is only about $42 million, do the math. According to a recent revelation from Downtown, the cops [sorry – correction – I’m sorry I screwed this up –  cops and fire between them get 72 percent, over half of which goes to the cops] get about 72 percent [more like 42 percent] of the General Fund [almost half the total budget], and they still can’t do their jobs. While the college students seem to have been keeping the fire department off their butts lately, the cops have gone on vacation as our crime rate goes up, up, up. We had a fatal stabbing at Downtown 7-11 last week, and a tussle with a guy who was later found to have a knife at Rite Aid on Mangrove.  Compare that to the number of cops who have EVER died in Chico – one.  And those are just the incidents that made it into the press. Chico is becoming much more dangerous for the general population, while the cops, who eat half our budget, walk away from their duties saying they don’t get paid enough. 


Months ago, I sat in a meeting Downtown, with Chief Trostle and now-retired officer George Laver, and told them how bad the situation was getting at Mangrove Plaza. I told them how twice I’d been in the Payless Shoes store when shoplifters had just about run over customers getting out the door with shoes. Payless takes a responsible stance – their clerks are told to stay put, never follow anybody out of the store. Wise thinking, you can get dead so fast, over a radio or a pair of shoes? Forget it – that’s the cops’ job.

All it would take is an undercover cop at that shopping center for a week, just a guy in shabby clothes, or a woman dressed like a housewife, and you’d be able to figure out who’s who and what’s going on down there.  I think the cops could learn something by talking to the people who work in those businesses, but Trostle just sat there as I told that story, the muscles in the sides of his head moving like boiling milk. I told him about an encounter I’d seen between some customers and a screaming drunk in front of Rite Aid. I told them about a guy who stood in front of me in line, stinking drunk, and bought a bottle of whiskey at 10:00 in the morning. I got no response. I don’t even know if they approached the management of either business.

Our police problem is not financial, it’s mental. They think they’re too good to serve people. What they’re doing in “public service” is anybody’s guess. Oh, I’ll answer that – they know the money is  great, the benefits are unreal, they don’t have any illusions about doing society any favors.  As soon as they put on that uniform they start to breathe their own farts and their attitude goes right through the top of their silly little hats.

I sent the following letter to Chico Enterprise Record two days ago, we’ll see if they run it:

Any candidate or incumbent who wants to be elected to Chico city council in November should be quizzed extensively about the employee contracts which will be back on the table in December. So far none have discussed the contracts in detail, nor have promised to curtail excessive compensation.  They all complain that employee negotiations are complicated, and promise to save the city with cuts elsewhere, but won’t elaborate.  So far, cuts have resulted in the disgraceful deterioration of our streets, our parks, and public  safety in general. 


One provision of  the contracts that needs to be changed is the city’s collection  of union/political action committee dues, even from employees who do not want to be  union members. These same funds are channeled into every city election, throwing the odds ridiculously. 


And, as pointed out by former candidate and administrative law judge Joe Montes, it creates a terrific conflict of interest. The city councilors sign the contract that allows the money to be collected, at taxpayer expense, and handed over to PAC’s that turn right around and hand it back  to the council candidates of their choice, either through direct contribution or through “indirect” support such as mailers and billboards. 


This election will be a turning point for Chico. As the public safety unions become more powerful, the average citizen will see their influence over their locally elected leaders get weaker and weaker. Speak while you have a voice – join Chico Taxpayers Association. 


The ER ran my letter yesterday. I noticed there were a few comments – I don’t participate in Faceblob, so I brought the comments here, where anybody who can use a keyboard is allowed to participate in the conversation, not just people who are mainlining their social life through a box.  I’d like to see this conversation go beyond “the usual suspects”. 

Juanita you are wrong about the power of “public safety” unions. The fire union is powerful, the police union is not. The fire union was taking raises when then the police union was giving money back to the city. The police department is losing officers to higher paying agencies where the fire department has hundreds if not thousands who would do the same job for half the pay. You should recognize the difference.

This woman is not speaking to my letter, she’s a cop groupie who attacks the fire department. That is so distressing – aren’t they all public safety workers? Why do they act like characters from Super Troopers or Gangs of New York? Aren’t they supposed to support each other? But you’ll hear this same rant from police Chief Kurt Trostle – “the firefighters get paid to sleep and play X-Box!” He said exactly that when Stephanie Taber and I were invited to meet with him at the police station one day. He is very juvenile, like a big pouting teenager.  Angela is also playing with the facts – look at the salary charts, the cops have continued to get salary increases despite the theatrics played out in city chambers. 

Michael Jones answered:

I agree the Fire union members are more overpaid than police. And if it can be independently confirmed that Chico pays below market rates for police, then perhaps they’re not overpaid. But they make a lot more than the sheriff. Did you know that Dave Main Chico fire captain makes more then the Secretary of Defense? Is anybody really OK with that??

I don’t know what he bases this claim on, that fire fighters “are more overpaid” than police.   Maybe he will come around with the background on that. Does he mean they take more overtime? Also, he just showed a chart that blows the “Chico pays below market rate for police” out of the water – look at Chico Politics.  It is clear that both are fire and police are paid well above the average. 


I don’t really understand this entire remark, but I will say, no, it’s not okay with me that both our police and fire chiefs make more than the Secretary of Defense. Furthermore, they make more than four times the median income.  They are paid by people who live on less than a quarter of what they make, just in salary, then we pay their benefits. No, this is not okay with me.



Do our “public safety” unions exert inappropriate influence over our city council? See for yourself.

25 Jan

Thanks Michael Jones for all the digging you’ve been doing regarding city election campaign contribution reports. I’ve seen contributions in past that I thought were inappropriate, and I still remember most of a discussion here in town, years back, to limit single contributions. These efforts were undermined by laws that allow Political Action Committees, such as the Chico Police Officers Association, and the International Fire Fighters Association, to donate much more than citizens. In past elections, the CPOA has been the biggest single donor, followed closely by the IFFA, donating or spending thousands to skew our elections in their favor, making sure to promote people who will carry their agenda of higher salaries and fully paid benefits and pension, like Scott Gruendl, Mark Sorensen and Sean Morgan.

Below Michael Jones has sent us a guest commentary regarding his findings. Thanks Michael! 


Previous Chico City Councilors felt that receiving political donations in excess of $500 for an election might lead “a contributor [to gain] disproportionate access to or influence” over the City Council.  They felt so strongly they banned contributions over $500, and they required that smaller donations to be publicly reported.  (Municipal Code 1.30) 

Supreme Court decisions disallow limits on independent efforts to elect particular candidates. These independent expenditures cannot be coordinated with the candidate’s campaign.  They also must be publicly reported. 

An effort by Councilor Dan Nguyen-Tan in 2003 would have required an announcement at the Council meeting when a major contributor had business before the Council.  This proposal did not pass.  But in the spirit of his concerns, and in harmony with the Municipal Code, we can make those public disclosures. 

Chico Police Officers Association (CPOA) has business before the Council this month.  That business is the negotiations of the union’s contract with the city.  Their contract for fiscal year 2013-14 is for $18,302,883 in wages and benefits, or $143,000 per police employee0.   

Previous Councilors put into the Municipal Code that disproportionate influence might be had for over $500 for an election.  The Supreme Court said the union (or anyone) could contribute more for the election as long as the candidate did not control it. 

CPOA expended $5000.001 for the 2012 election of Sean Morgan. 

CPOA expended $2709.212 for the 2006 election of Scott Gruendl. 

CPOA expended $2709.213 for the 2006 election of Mark Sorenson. 

These Councilors are now in negotiations across the table from CPOA.  It is their job to represent the interests of the people of Chico, not the interests of CPOA. 

0  2013-14 budget p 149, p 253 

1  $500 contribution, $4500 independent expenditure 

2  $2709.21 independent expenditure 

3   $2709.21 independent expenditure 

Note:  CPOA in 2008 expended $8000 for television ads for undisclosed purposes 

by Michael Jones  1/24/14

Christmas is over, time to get back to business

29 Dec

I really don’t know what to think or who to trust these days. Yes, I’ve been testy with Mark Sorensen, and some of my friends are giving me the hairy eyeball over that.  Well, I’ll give it right back at them – why aren’t more “conservatives” questioning Mark Sorensen?  Why aren’t more people demanding to know what’s going on in the contract talks?  At the very least, Sorensen could be more vocal about what he would like to achieve in the new contracts. 

I am surprised to find Enterprise Record Editor David Little saying something about city employee compensation.  I’ve had to wonder if his paper is running some sort of propaganda screen in favor of city employees. In June he ran a story entitled, “Chico officers offer concessions, city says no.”   The headline should tell you, Reporter Ashley Gebb wrote a slanted piece.  She made it look like the police department was really trying to help out! She wrote it as though CPOA president Peter Durfee had the facts, and Mark Orme was just making excuses when he said the proposal would actually cost the city an extra $500,000, not save the city $700,000 like Durfee claimed. An unbiased piece would have started something like this: “City officials and police employees are in disagreement over a proposal by the police department...” etc. Instead she writes it from the police department’s point of view. 

Since then, as far as I can find, there hasn’t been one word run in the Enterprise Record news section about the current contract discussions Downtown, even though it’s been kicked around the letters page. A couple of years ago the city told us they’d “sunshine” these talks, show us everything that came out of every meeting. When I ask Sorensen about it, he simple denies that there is any negotiation going on right now. He treats us like “the kids.” Well Daddy-O, Junior is about to drive your carcass over to Sunnybrook Farms if you don’t get off the stick and do something.  

 Below Little seems to be pointing a ridiculous salaries in cities around California, as if Brian Nakamura’s salary is not so bad! But, Little reminds us, Chico is a small town with small problems – our biggest problem here Folks, is how we will pay our employees! Look at the amount of time they put into that subject Downtown, at various committee meetings. Whenever they are talking about “funding” anything, it’s the salaries they’re talking about, paying salaries and the associated benefits and pension.

Our town just drives itself around in a little circle all day, they never do anything for us, they just perpetuate their own livelihood.  And “they” include seven councilors who take a salary and very nice health benefits to sit up there like the Mad Hatter and his staff of Dormouse and other idiots.  Oh, that’s beautiful – imagine it yourself, Gruendl in the hat, and Sorensen’s butt sticking out of a teapot! 

Meanwhile, as Dave Little says, “An alert reader pointed out this week that Chico’s wages, plus retirement and benefits, ‘are higher in comparison to bigger cities in Marin and Los Angeles counties. Even Beverly Hills.’ Chico?!”

Later he describes our city employee benefits as “Cadillac packages.” I have to agree. And we can’t just point at the cops and fire – it’s Brian Nakamura and the rest of management staff, who have the highest salaries, expect to be paid 70 percent of those salaries in retirement, but pay only 4 percent of the cost now. They are just as bad as the cops and fire, if not worse – Nakamura controls the whole thing, as head negotiator, as if that’s appropriate! 

Where are the rest of you? Sitting at home with your cozies? Hey, Christmas is over, and the New Year is breathing down your neck, holding it’s hand out for more of your money. Wake up and write to council. Tell them to stop giving away the bank. 

Chico Taxpayers will be taking up the new year with a new schedule. We’re meeting on the fourth Thursday of January, trying out a new time – 1pm.  We have a guest for this meeting, County Assessor candidate Alan Petersen. I hope he can enlighten us about the workings of the assessor’s office, and his philosophy for running it.  Incumbent Fred Holland will also be running, so I will try to get him to come in and visit another time. I don’t believe in debates, they’re too hard to run correctly and usually end up skewed by politics. I’d rather give these candidates a forum and the public an opportunity to ask non-political questions. 

Meanwhile, I hope you will all read up on the employee contracts, available here:


You’ll also find some interesting rules for employees and various employee-related procedures, but you won’t find anything about the rules for the contract talks. I look for that and get back to it.

David Little: Salary numbers don’t lie


POSTED:   12/26/2013 10:31:11 AM PST

For an alleged wordsmith, I’ve sure become a numbers geek lately.

Spreadsheets with data fascinate me (well, usually) and the release of new salary information on state Controller John Chiang’s website was a revelation to me this week. I spent four hours browsing it Friday to see what cities, counties and colleges are paying their employees.

It convinced me I went into the wrong business.

We have our own database of public employee salaries at www.chicoer.com/salaries, but it lists only salaries of local governments and schools.

Chiang’s website (publicpay.ca.gov) is fun to play around in because you can compare the local entities to others in the state. I found there’s no rhyme or reason to salary levels.

You’d expect that the highest-paid city manager in the state would be from Los Angeles, San Diego or San Jose. Wrong. Not one of them is even in the top 10.

The top-paid city official in the state is the city manager of Buena Park, who earned $545,394 last year. Really? The home of Knott’s Berry Farm is that tough to manage?

City managers from Carlsbad, Menifee and Temecula are also in the top 10. Without Chiang’s website, I’d never know the fascinating fact that the city manager in Menifee earned $440,415 in 2012. Without Google maps, I’d never know where Menifee is.

The second-highest-paid city official in the state isn’t a city manager. It’s a police sergeant in South Gate who earned $486,044. Must be a dangerous place. No. 3 is the city attorney in Pleasant Hill ($465,209). A lot of litigious people there, I guess. And No. 4 is a fire battalion chief in Milpitas ($461,212). A lot of fires in Milpitas.

Chiang’s website not only lists these people (without naming names, for some reason) but it allows other ways to parse the data. You can see how wages rise and fall. (Hint: They don’t fall.) You can see the positions with the highest compensation. (Hint: You want to be a doctor at the Kern County Medical Center.) And you can see the average employee wage for each local government.

An alert reader pointed out this week that Chico’s wages, plus retirement and benefits, “are higher in comparison to bigger cities in Marin and Los Angeles counties. Even Beverly Hills. Chico?!”

Well, yes. Dive deep and there are plenty of appalling numbers. But there are also reasons to be thankful. For example, be thankful you don’t live and pay taxes in Vernon, where there are 121 residents and 287 city government employees. Those city employees make an average of $98,332, highest in the state. (Vernon, by the way, is right next to Bell. That figures.)

The second-highest wages in the state are in Hayward. Then Sand City. Vallejo is fifth, right after Los Angeles.

Chico, which has some well-documented financial problems, is 44th in average wages at $67,645 out of 478 cities. That’s better (for taxpayers) than Vernon or Sand City, but higher than larger or more expensive cities such as Napa, Newport Beach, Oceanside, San Diego, Sausalito and Santa Barbara.

Even more alarming for Chico is if you filter the results based on the average retiree and health care cost the taxpayer funds. Chico is 14th in the state out of 478 cities, paying $31,940 per employee. That’s almost double the state average. Add it to the average wages, and it’s an average of more than $100,000 a year per employee.

That’s something for City Council members to keep in mind as the city negotiates labor contracts and tries to cut expenses to end this brutal cycle of cutting. There wouldn’t be as many job cuts if the city wasn’t handing out Cadillac benefits packages.

Chief Beery needs to go, maybe Trostle too

9 Jun

I sent the letter below to the Enterprise Record last Sunday, Dave Little responded bright and early Monday that he’d run it, but hasn’t.   So, here it is, I won’t wait for him next time.

People have already forgotten Beery’s threats to close the airport station – guess why – because people don’t care unless something crawls right up their ass.   If he’d threatened Station 5, all those little yupsters over there in the subdivision that used to be North Valley Swim School would have their panties in a knot. If you don’t hold the stinking fish right up to their noses, they don’t give a shit. That’s the kind of people that have moved here over the Boom Years – stupid lemmings. If I have to read one more letter about the cops being cut, I’m going to barf – the cops have people like ex-chief Maloney’s wife writing in, spreading bullshit. Laurie Maloney is a fed pig. She sits with her husband on his $150,000+ pension and benefits, and she’s afraid the public is going to turn her apple cart over. Mrs. Piggy is going to get pushed out of the slops trough, oh no!

We need better chiefs. We need LEADERS, not mule drivers who threaten and whip. We may need to turn an apple cart over, get your gloves.

Who needs Dave Little – this is our newspaper!  Here’s my letter, if you send me something that’s not creepy or obscene, I’ll print it. 

Whenever we ask the public safety departments to curtail spending, they threaten to cut positions and close stations. This time Chief Beery is threatening to close the airport fire station, which will put the city afoul of federal air safety restrictions.  We ask the chief for leadership – instead he threatens public safety and the viability of the airport to protect his department. 
Our Finance Director has revealed  the city is losing about $70,000/month with the defeat of Measure J, the cell phone tax initiative. Meanwhile, the city spends over twice that amount – over $158,000 a month – paying the employee’s share of pension premiums. 
The police and fire departments, having the biggest budgets at about $22 million and $18 million, also pay nothing toward their pensions, so their pensions comprise the lion’s share of the ominous unfunded pension obligation.  
These pension agreements are a threat to public safety. During this last round of contract talks, it became very clear that most public safety employees will see their co-workers laid-off and positions go empty before they will step up and pay their own shares, for pensions of 90 percent of their highest year’s pay, available at age 50. 
Council signs these contracts because the public safety employees routinely make the biggest expenditure in every council campaign. If council was really working for us, they’d refuse to sign these contracts until the employees came back with a better deal.  

Juanita Sumner, Chico

UPDATE:  The ER finally ran my letter, over a week after I sent it. The cops made an offer to pay their own share the other  day, but they also wanted a raise to cover it!    They say they got a pay cut – no, they just didn’t get a raise. They call that a pay cut. 

We don’t need yer stinkin’ deals, Coppers!  


How dare they tell us, they don’t make enough money to pay their own pension premiums! They’ve made “sacrifices”?  Look at these salaries – this is just a sampling from one page, with regular pay and overtime:

  • Anthony Ferreira, Police Officer – $71,219.20 in reg pay, total $97,473.35 with overtime
  • Donald Finkbiner, Police Officer  – $71,219.20 reg pay, total $83,070.98
  • Daniel Fonseca, Police Sergeant – $87,913.76 reg pay, tot $121.145.91
  • Scott Franssen, PS – $95,638.40 reg pay, tot $126,657.16

You can see more salaries at the Enterprise Record. You’ll see “compaction” on page 2 – Lieutenant Jennifer Gonazales, at a regular salary of $101,000 year, is not allowed overtime, being an “at will” employee – she’s just supposed to be available for whatever comes up?  From what I’ve seen, she spends most of her overtime in meetings, like the Police Advisory Board meetings, making high school style reports on subjects like mental illness among the homeless population. She did receive about $15,000 in “special” and “other” pay, without any details beyond that description. But, down at the bottom of the page it says that for CSU  Chico, “Other pay includes police training, uniform, holiday OT and special assignment stipends; summer stipends or pay; and payments for indirect instruction, educational achievement, and misc. incentives.”

But, Gonzalez and the other lieutenants pitched a bitch because many sergeants, who are supposed to be subordinate to the lieutenants, were jacking up their $80 – 95,000 a year salaries with overtime, to waaaay more than the lieutenants were getting paid. So, despite the bullshit storm being stirred up by Peter Durfee of Chico Police Officers Assoc, they did so get raises in their new contracts. it makes me sick to have to listen to even Channel 7 perpetuating this horseshit campaign, letting Durfee shoot his mouth off on the news without any opposing viewpoints.

Durfee, by the way, padded on more than $30,000 to his seemingly innocuous-looking $63,000 salary, taking home more than $95,000 in 2012.

Here’s a response my letter got from a cop groupie, sitting next to her scanner in a negligee:

Linda Hinchcliff Rouland · Clear Lake High

Chico PD is the only city bargaining group that has come forward offering concessions to contribute toward their retirements in an effort to offer savings and keep their department operating. No one else has, and the city managers rejected the offer.

Yes, they certainly did reject it, and good for that. I wish people would try harder to be informed before they accuse ME of spreading misinformation – but this woman is obviously going to support the cops no matter what they do.  

They’re in the catbird seat now – but the “paycheck protection” initiative may throw public employee unions out on their ears

30 Jun

I was glad to see Wisconsin throw out collective bargaining – a system that specifically denies public participation in the bargaining process – and I’ll be equally thrilled when Californians pass the “Paycheck Protection” Initative. This initiative would prohibit – prohibit! – the government, including the city of Chico, from deducting union dues from government employee paychecks that will be used for political purposes. It will also ban contributions to “candidate controlled” committees by corporations and labor unions. Furthermore – and this seems like a no brainer – it will ban contractors who receive government contracts from donating to the officeholder who awarded the contract. Now, that last one is interesting – remind me to get back to that.

Currently, both Chico Police and Chico Fire employees have union dues collected from their paychecks by the city of Chico paymaster, whether they are union members or not. These fees go to the Chico Police Officers Association and the Chico Firefighters Legislative Action Group, both registered with the city of Chico as Political Action Committees. These fees have, in past elections, been the biggest donations to any candidates. But the romance seemed to fizzle as the council  started to balk at these groups’ salary and pension demands in the face of a deepening deficit.  In the last couple of elections, neither PAC has solidly endorsed any candidate. The CPOA instead produced a slick video portraying Chico as an urban style crime area that was not properly funding it’s “public safety” organizations and released it at election time over youtube and through an e-mail campaign.

I don’t know if these tactics have any effect on the voters, but they sure made their mark on council, who has yet to take a firm stance with either Chico PD or Fire, giving in to wage increase demands and allowing structured overtime to run average salaries over $100,000 a person, with retirement at 50 years of age,  90 percent of their highest year’s pay, including overtime, and paying less than 25 percent of their benefits package. 

I believe large PAC’s have ruined our elections, and the idea that our “public servants” would use forcibly conscripted money to mount campaigns to enrich themselves with public funds is unacceptable.  The other employee unions have also played heavily in the disenfranchisement of the Chico voter – the SEIU and the nurses union were the biggest donors to the “No on Measure A” campaign back in June 2011. They all get conscripted union dues from non-union employees. These employees are NOT considered members and are NOT allowed to vote on these matters. 

This initiative seeks not only to ban conscripted dues but to ban contributions to candidate controlled committees  by these union PACs. Of course, this doesn’t seem to matter, given that these PACs, as illustrated above, are free to mount their own campaign on behalf of or against a candidate. But, it’s a nice thought. 

Now, at the end, it says, “ban contractors who receive government contracts from donating to the officeholder”. Like I said, this seems like a no-brainer. But look – we have the police and fire department and the other employee unions  in our town, who fill the definition of “contractors.” They “contract” with us, don’t they? But they are allowed to donate to officeholders, both as  PACs and as individuals.   I don’t imagine this is what the authors of this initiative have in mind, but I think there could be a good argument made in court that no public employee should be allowed to donate to the campaign of politicians who hire them. 

I’ve been reading some interesting buzz on this issue. According to tax-happy Sacramento Bee columnist Dan Morain, the state’s public employee unions are finding themselves “torn between donations to support the (Jerry Brown) tax hike, and donations to defeat another measure…the “Paycheck Protection” initiative…”  Apparently, they are short of funds to fight both, or at least, that’s what they want us to believe. I  think these unions are LOADED – they’ll pour gazillions into both measures, they’re absolutely DESPERATE to hang on to their position in the catbird seat – and fund their pensions.

Morain believes this initiative would “strip them (the unions) of their ability to raise and spend money on campaigns.”  Strip them? You mean,  force the unions to get their money by asking for it instead of stealing it from people’s paychecks?  You mean, they’d have to support candidates who actually share their views instead of buying them off?

You mean they’d have to compete with the rest of the voters, who’ve lately been shoved out of these elections by the ridiculous price tag? 

I hope Morain is right, I hope the employee unions are going bust, in a handbasket. But I’ll believe it when I see it.  Already, the California Teacher’s Union has put $1.5 million, the SEIU $1 million, the federal and state federation of teachers almost $2 million into the campaign to raise the sales/income tax. According to “ballotpedia”, the “No” campaign for the Paycheck Protection initiative has already raised over $6 million – this mainly from the the California School Employees Association, with only $500,000 coming from the California Labor Federation,  made up of private sector employees.

Let’s talk about this more tomorrow (Sunday July 1) at the library, 11:30 am.