Tag Archives: Chico Unified School Bond

Will the gas tax repeal make the ballot? Stay tuned!

2 Mar

Carl Demaio and Reform California are still working to put the gas tax repeal on the November ballot.  I believe (?) the deadline was Wednesday (Feb. 28) but have not heard whether they were able to gather the required number of signatures. 

Here’s what Ballotpedia has posted:

https://ballotpedia.org/California_Voter_Approval_for_Gas_and_Vehicle_Taxes_Initiative_(2018)

“The California Voter Approval for Gas and Vehicle Taxes Initiative (#17-0033) may appear on the ballot in California as an initiated constitutional amendment on November 6, 2018.”

Scroll down and have a laugh – Jerry Brown says, “I can’t believe the proponents of this ballot measure really want Californians to keep driving on lousy roads and dangerous bridges. Taking billions of dollars a year from road maintenance and repair borders on insanity.”

Listen, Moonbeam, you should think before you speak. You can’t believe it because it’s not true – proponents of this ballot measure have repeatedly said the money for road repairs is available but being siphoned off for other purposes. You’ve also just acknowledged lousy roads and dangerous bridges, for which you, as Captain of our ship, are responsible, and therefore, liable!  And yes, taking billions of dollars a year from road maintenance and repair to fund your pension borders not only on insanity, it borders on corruption, Sweet Cheeks. Should we have a court martial? Maybe set up a plank? Ooooo – keeeeel haul!

I think Brown is privately shocked about the voter’s response, lots of people have signed. I’m guessing the petitions were turned in, but it will take a while to verify the signatures. 

We’ve been talking about hidden taxes, such as the “franchise fees” the city and county are allowed to collect from utility companies such as Comcast and PG&E. This gas tax was shoved on us by the governor and the legislature, without any input from the voters.  For years now they – including Jerry Brown – have siphoned their outrageous salaries, pensions and benefits out of the road funding. I’ve sat in meetings many times and watched the local agencies pilfer “restricted”  fund to pay down their pension deficit, while roads and other infrastructure in Chico have turned to absolute crap. 

The foxes are in charge of the henhouse People.  For example, Scott Dowell used to be the finance manager for Chico Area Recreation District before he got hired by the city of Chico. While CARD allowed two public swimming pools to deteriorate to sub-code and sub-ADA conditions, Dowell made a extra $400,000 “side fund pay-off” on CARD’s $1.7 million pension deficit, saying it would save the agency money on interest payments to CalPERS. Meanwhile, CARD management has only started paying toward their pensions within the last two years, “classic members” like CARD manager Ann Willmann are only paying 2 PERCENT.  That all happened on Dowell’s watch.  Now he’s running City of Chico finances.  Next Thursday I’d bet my last $5 he’s going to lay down a pretty wild argument for a sales tax increase. 

Cause taxes are their heroin. As long as they can get a fix, put off rehab for just one more fix, one more fix, one more fix…

Just look at Chico Unified School District – they’ve had a bond measure on almost every ballot since 1998, and the last three have passed. But they are getting ready to put another bond on the ballot, because they just got new demands from both CalPERS and CalSTRS for more money, more money, more money…

You probably think you hang around with a nice crowd, but if you send your kid to a Chico school – any Chico school – you are leaving them all day with a bunch of freaking junkies. Wake UP!

A friend of mine recently asked me if I knew city council member Randy Stone is running for Butte County Assessor. I was kinda bitchy – I told her I didn’t give a shit who was running for election, because elected offices don’t matter anymore – it’s $TAFF. And we don’t get to vote for them. 

But, voting is important, especially the initiatives. So I’ll gas up the old election buggy and try to get it out on the road, try to start posting some news about the local candidates, besides just…YECHHHHHHH!

cause we can’t and we won’t and we don’t stop…

 

 

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Let’s take back our schools – starting with a solid NO! on the Chico Unified school bond, Measure E

29 Sep

 

I like the “shell game” analogy for public finance because it describes the use of multiple, sometimes dozens of designated funds to move money around and change it’s legally allowable uses. For example – years back, the Chico voters agreed to float a bond for Chico Unified School District for the specific purpose of building a third high school. The two existing high schools were, and still are, miserably inadequate. Families like mine were promised that if we all agreed to pay a bond on our property taxes there would be another school by the time our kids came of age.

My kids came and went, no new high school. Chico Unified used legal shenanigans to redirect the money toward various and sundry and undocumented uses, all over the district, fixing “this” and repairing “that”. The money on record doesn’t begin to add up when you do the rabbit math, but whatever. The public gets what the public is willing to swallow. 

What the public gets, specifically, is a $200,000/year plus Superintendent of Schools who totes a $taff of $100,000/year plus “assistants” who each tote their own $taff, etc, etc, til all the money’s gone. See, every time the public approves another bond, $taley and her $taff give themselves raises all the way around, and then  bake up another argument about how they need yet another bond just to run the schools.

Here’s how they get away with it – over recent years, the legislature has changed the wording of the rules for bonds. Here’s what the California Education Code currently allows for the use of bonds – borrowed money that costs $3 for every dollar borrowed:   “The construction, reconstruction, rehabilitation, or replacement of school facilities, including the furnishing and equipping of school facilities.”

According to political reporter Chris Reed in Cal Watchdog,  San Diego schools have interpreted that to mean laptops, iPads, “and the most routine maintenance, such as painting and minor repairs.”

Why not?” you might say.  You might be among those who can’t say no, based on your love of children. You might say, “No expense is too great for our kids!”  Well, I would say to you, stop and think before you step into that voting booth.

A whopping share of our property taxes already goes toward our schools –  over 40 percent of the state’s General Fund, in fact.  Why can’t they operate within that budget? Because on average, over 90 percent of a district’s budget goes toward “compensation” – salaries and health benefits. In Chico, with over  20 administrators making more than $100,000 a year, I guess you can imagine which salaries we’re talking about. 

The loose wording in these bond rules allows the district to pay for everything but salaries with bond money, leaving over $36 billion dollars – the schools’ share of the General Fund –  to spend on salaries, health benefits, and pension payments.  

Kelly $taley is looking to raise another $78 million to feather her retirement nest, in addition to the millions she siphoned off our property taxes with her  third high school ruse. This woman’s greed knows no bounds. If we continue to allow her and her friends to run our school district  this way, our children will pay for it for the rest of their lives. 

In her request to the county clerk to add the measure to the November ballot, $taley asks  that “we not be assigned the letter ‘F'”.  In this case, ‘E’ is for ’embezzlement.’  Please vote NO on Measure E. 

Read more at http://www.calwatchdog.com/2012/09/24/what-school-bonds-pay-for-from-san-diego-to-burlingame-the-crime-is-whats-legal/

and http://clerk-recorder.buttecounty.net/elections/archives/eln27/27_local_measures.html#a