Tag Archives: city of Chico bankruptcy

Still no CPOA report on city website – is the clerk incompetent, or just won’t do her job?

19 Feb

Here it is, February 19, and still no campaign final report from the Chico Police Officers Association, which were due January 31. I don’t know if the clerk has the reports, but she hasn’t posted them on the website.

The City Clerk’s Office will post copies of all current election campaign statements as soon as possible after receipt.  Addresses of individual contributors have been omitted as required under the Public Records Act for internet posting.  Please note that a prima facie review of the documents has not been done prior to posting, and amendments may be requested of the candidates or committees.

“…as soon as possible after receipt...” without “prima facie review”, which should mean it gets posted as soon as they get their hands on it. 

No, I’m not going to her office. That’s what the website is for.  The idea that we have to interrupt our work day to go to her office to ask for documents that are supposed to be readily available to the public  is another reason we need to get somebody else in this job. The city clerk should be elected, she is supposed to answer to the public. She runs our elections, she can actually make candidates or pacs do stuff, or not, at her discretion. Right now, because of an ordinance passed in the 2012 election, she is answerable to the council with whom she can  choose to be helpful, or not, during an election. You know, don’t bite the hand that makes the campaign rules – mess with Debbie Presson, and you might find her a harsh taskmaster at re-election time.  I’m pretty sure that’s a conflict of interest, but I’m not a lawyer. 

I’m guessing what she is doing right now is perfectly OK with the council majority. Three of them were elected with money from the CCAG, and I’m guessing, CPOA spent most of their money on Sorensen, Coolidge and Fillmer as well. Why they are dragging their feet with their final report is the  question – why can’t the cops obey the law? 

At any rate, we will only get as good as we demand. 

Compare Chico and Redding by public pay and crime statistics

13 Jan

I’ve got a few links here I found interesting. The first are public pay reports from the State Controller’s Office. These charts are made with figures reported by the various cities and counties in California. I’ve posted the links for Chico and Redding. What I found is that salaries are similar, sometimes higher in Redding, but that Chico taxpayers pay more for benefits and pensions.

http://publicpay.ca.gov/Reports/Cities/City.aspx?entityid=79&fiscalyear=2013 – chico

http://publicpay.ca.gov/Reports/Cities/City.aspx?entityid=473&fiscalyear=2013 – redding

Below I have the latest crime statistics for Chico and Redding, also 2013. I was shocked to find,  Redding has a lot of violent crime. They also have a bigger population spread out over a larger geographic area, including a lot of riverfront and wild grasslands, but, according to the chart above, pay their cops and fire about the same as Chico.


Chico population – 88,226; Redding – 91,035

violent crime – 299;   585

murder/non-negligent manslaughter – 2;  2

rape – 41;  49

robbery – 95;  146

aggravated assault – 161;  388

property crime – 2,572;  3,774

burglary – 622;   742

larceny/theft – 1,568;  2,483

motor vehicle theft – 382;  549

arson – 37;  5  (NOTE: in 2013 we had a rash of couch fires in Chico)


Guest Post: ER letter writer finds better shopping outside Butte County

12 Dec

Every now and then I check the letters section of the Enterprise Record to see what other people are talking about – this morning I found a somewhat like-minded person.

Letter: Butte County sales leaking over to Glenn County

Butte County sales leaking over to Glenn County

I used to live in Willows and drive to Chico to shop. Now I live in Chico and drive to Willows to shop.

There’s a big difference in the size and offerings at the Walmart in Willows as well as less traffic and parking hassles. Another plus is that you don’t have to stand in line for 20-plus minutes to return an item.

While I am in Glenn County, not only do I end up buying groceries as well as other items at Walmart, I have dinner at the Black Bear Diner and I often make a stop at CVS, Dollar General and/or The Dollar Tree. 

— Maxine Rodgers, Chico

Ms. Rodgers says she shops in Willows to avoid the lines and parking hassles – that’s true. I think she’s talking about Walmart mostly, but it’s always interesting to check out the rest of the scene – there are some interesting specialty shops in both Willows and Orland, and there’s good Mexican meat markets and bakeries, for example.

Ms. Rodgers may not be aware, there is a movement in Chico to raise sales tax to pay for stuff Downtown. That is a good reason to shop in Glenn County too.  Please save your receipts and send them to Chico City Council.

Don’t forget to stop at the gas station  in Ham City before you cross the river – send that receipt to the council too!

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:


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!








Stockton Chapter 9 proceedings result in retiree’s “giving up” $550 million in benefits

7 Dec


I’ve been trying to follow the proceedings in Stockton, where the city is currently negotiating a Chapter 9 bankruptcy with the court.  I found the court reporter’s word-for-word report of the most recent October 30 hearing, it’s really interesting:


On page 13, the judge acknowledges that significant changes were made to Stockton’s employee contracts, regarding the payment of “employee share”. He doesn’t offer all the details, but on page 16 or so he says it amounts to around $550 million in “unsecured claims” that retirees will now pay themselves. 

As with Vallejo, the cops were the biggest problem, but he says they’ve now reached agreement with the city. We’ll have to keep an eye on that, Chico will very likely be headed in a similar direction within the next two to four years. 



Turkey makes you sleepy – try to stay vigilant over the holidays!

24 Nov

With the holiday season bearing down on us, it’s hard to think about our city’s problems, but it’s hardly a good time to go to sleep at the wheel. The employee contracts expire in December – I think that’s on purpose, Folks. They have Tom Turkey and Santa Claus running interference, so they try to get away with a lot of stuff behind closed doors.

If you haven’t seen the new employee contract proposals, look here:



I’ll say, the clerk has gotten a little better at posting this stuff on time, but there’s still discrepancies – some meetings are still missing minutes, some are even missing agendas. I don’t have time to snoop into that, but I’m guessing something happened at those meetings she doesn’t want people to know about? Just asking! 

I don’t go to the meetings anymore because it’s just public theater. The real news is in the documents. I used to think it was important to go to the meetings, participate in the soap opera drama – no, that is how you give your “tacit consent.” Don’t let them hand you a pile of crap – do your own digging. I’ve had some comments lately from people who actually read this stuff, and I’ve seen links getting used to important documents off this blog, so I know SOMEBODY is paying attention. 

Thank you Somebody!

I want to enjoy the holidays like everybody else, and the city tends to shut down anyway, meetings go underground, just get cancelled. But, let’s not forget, George Washington mustered his half-starved and freezing troops to attack on Christmas Eve. The Viet Cong made their most successful attack on US troops over their New Year holiday, supposedly the most important holiday in Vietnam. Tet is probably even more significant now than it was before 1968.

So keep your ears open and your eyes peeled, you don’t want to wake up to a hangover in January. 


Tonight’s council meeting just another step down the Road to Perdition – $7 million Gen Fund deficit! And counting!

18 Nov

Chris Constantin is such a considerate fellow. He sent me a note the other day (Sunday!) to tell me, there’d been some changes Downtown, and he wanted to be sure I knew who to direct my questions to in the future. Seems he’s been promoted to Assistant City Mangler, and Frank Fields has been moved up to Administrative Services Mis-Director. Scott Dowell, who ran CARD into the ground as chief finangling officer there, will be sidling into Frank Fields’ position.

And you all heard, we have two new councilors, yippee doo-dah.  I’m going to throw out a no-brainer – Mark Sorensen will be our new Mayor, and Sean Morgan will bask in the glory of Vice Mayor – go get ’em Big Boy!

This will be a short hayride for both of them – Ann Schwab and Mary Flynn will get a big laugh when they ride us right into bankruptcy. I know, I’ve been hard on Mary – I hope she learns to laugh again, and not like a crazy lady.

At this time of year, with darkness and my PG&E bill closing in on me, with no hope of jobs here for my kids, looking at higher and higher prices at the grocery stores despite the recent downturn in gas prices – it’s hard for me to muster a “fuck you” about what’s going on Downtown. Especially when I look at tonight’s agenda


and see nothing but trouble – grants for salaries, fund transfers, unsustainable raises for management and police.

That’s Trouble, right here in River City. Trouble! And that starts with ‘T’ and that’s rhymes with ‘C’ and that’s your City Council.





Council offering management employees 12 percent raise over 5 years, and we still pay their pensions

16 Nov

I know I’m not a “Human Resources” expert, but I think city employees are overpaid. When you’re paying a guy $80,000 a year to collect change from parking meters, you have to ask yourself, “am I getting a good deal?”

The management employees’ contract proposals have been made available here:


Read it yourself. Yes, it’s true that management employee have taken pay cuts over the last few years  – I’d call them “adjustments.” They are still making almost twice the median income, and probably at least twice what they would be making in the private sector, if they could find jobs in the private sector. 

They want a step raise system by which their salaries are automatically raised by 2.5 percent a year. Who gets that? Only public employees would have the gall.

And  sure, they’re giving up their workman’s comp payments – because we will still pay over 90 percent of their pensions and benefits.

This is not as bad as the cop contracts that ask for 5 percent raises, but this kind of “Me Me Me” is going to sink our ship. According to John Chiang’s new charts, here:


Chico has over $70 million in “liabilities”. Brian Nakamura said our pension liability was over $60 million – I think he said exactly $68 million.  When I looked at  the chart, it looked like the figure was going down for a couple of years after 2010, but now it’s headed right up again, going from $75 million in 2012 to $75.8 in 2013. 

Meanwhile, Mark Sorensen plays his fiddle over our burning ship. I like to make salads with my metaphors, it’s so hard to choose one when they all fit our perfectly disastrous scenario. 


What’s a little budget appropriation between friends? Time to “clean up” the budget!

3 Oct
CONSIDERATION OF A SUPPLEMENTAL APPROPRIATION/BUDGET MODIFICATION FY 13/14 The Supplemental Appropriation/Budget Modification addresses budgetary adjustments necessary for “clean up” of budget vs. actual expenditures in Fiscal Year 2013-14. (Report – Frank Fields, Accounting Manager)Recommendation : The Administrative Services Department recommends approval of Supplemental Appropriation/Budget Modification No. 2014-ASD-016.


I can’t post the report, because Debbie Presson loads the reports in such a way as they can’t be cut-and-paste, even though she promised she wouldn’t do that anymore. You can look at it here, if you can make heads or tails of the Suit Speak, get back to me.


But a cursory reading says they want over $32,000 extra,  for  “salaries and benefits…expenditures exceeding revenues…bloat, fart, burp…”



Chico Tea Party to host councillors Sorensen and Morgan, ass city manager Orme – “Chico’s role in economic development and how Chico can grow it’s way out of debt.”

17 Apr

Chico Tea Party meeting Tuesday 4/22/14 @ 7pm.

The Chico Tea Party Patriots will be holding a symposium. The topic will be the city of Chico’s role in economic development and how Chico can grow its way out of debt.  Mark Orme assistant city manager along with Sean Morgan and Mark Sorensen will be guest speakers.

The meeting starts at 7PM– at Marie Callenders 1910 East  20th Street, Chico. Doors open at 5:45 for those who want to order Dinner and visit before the meeting.



Check us out on Facebook at “Official Chico Tea Party”

Check out www.chicoteaparty.com for more details on what tea party patriots are doing today.

Chico Tea Party Patriots

236 East Ave., Ste. A
PMB 112
Chico, CA 95926-7239