Tag Archives: Election March 2020

NO on state Prop 13 AND CARD parcel tax measure A – as the voters keep passing tax increases on themselves, the publicly employed pigs will keep eating more and more of our economy

22 Jan

Lately I feel like the legendary Dutch Boy – I only have 10 fingers, but the local dikes are full of holes. Yes, I think this whole city districts thing stinks to high heaven. “Citizens for a Safe Chico”? Who is hiding behind that generic moniker? Dog houses for poor people – whacko!

I know other people here are similarly concerned – the two top searches for this week were “money given to the city of chico to house transients” and “why are pacs bad” .

I’ll try to answer those searches – 

  1. How much money has the city received to “house transients”?  The city of Chico declared a “shelter crisis designation” in 2018 and received $4.9 million in state grants. If you want to comb through the budget to look where that went, be my  guest – I’ll guess, it went to salaries/benefits, and the pension/benefits liabilities. Maybe they spent $100,000 on the warming tent, but I’d bet my last $5 most of it went to salaries and benefits. They got another $4 million or so for their plan (not yet realized) to “consolidate” homeless services at the Silver Dollar fairgrounds. In order to make room for adults who cannot seem to behave as adults, the city evicted a group who had put a lot of work and money into a kids’ public BMX track.  This did not surprise me – I’ll say, as a mom of two kids born and raised here, Chico has never been a child-friendly town. 
  2. Why are pacs bad? In my opinion they have way more rights than the rest of the voters, and therefore way too much influence on elections. The biggest donors in every Chico election are the public employee unions – specifically, Chico Police Officers Association (CPOA), International Association of Fire Fighters (IAFF), and the Service Employees International Union (SEIU). You can find those reports at the  city of Chico website. But, every election brings up another pac, this year it’s “Citizens for a Safe Chico,” fronted by local businesswoman Teri Dubose. You will have to look at their campaign filings to find out who is really behind this group, and who they intend to foist into the arena. And, here’s what stinks – their last report isn’t due until after the election. That’s usually when the unions file their reports, after the fact. 

The good news is, we have until November to worry about the council elections. Right now, the March 3 election is rolling right up on us, and I believe the most important items on that ballot are California State Proposition 13 (Education finance: school facilities: Public Preschool, K-12, and College Health and Safety Bond Act of 2020) and Chico Area Recreation District Measure A (parcel tax). 

I believe the proponents of Prop 13 purposely chose 13 to confuse voters, make them think they might be renewing or strengthening the original Prop 13. No, this measure essentially overturns the protections guaranteed in the original Prop 13, allowing the legislature to float bonds that we are not allowed to vote on. This in addition to bonds passed by our own school district. From Ballotpedia:

A “yes” vote supports this measure to authorize $15 billion in general obligation bonds for school and college facilities, including $9 billion for preschool and K-12 schools, $4 billion for universities, and $2 billion for community colleges.

Voters just approved the $126 million Chico Unified School District Measure K in 2016. At that time, Dave Howell wrote this in a letter to the Enterprise Record:

“Just four years ago voters approved a $78 million bond for Chico Unified School District. Now CUSD wants another $126 million for the same things the $78 million bond was supposed to fund. This despite declining enrollment and CUSD deferring maintenance on its facilities.”

Look at the history of STATE bonds at Ballotpedia – “Californians last voted on a school facilities bond measure in 2016, which passed with 55 percent of the vote. The bond measure, titled Proposition 51, issued $7 billion for K-12 education facilities and $2 billion for colleges. Between 1998 and 2019, voters approved five bond measures for school facilities—Proposition 1A (1998), Proposition 47 (2002), Proposition 55 (2004), Proposition 1D (2006), and Proposition 51 (2016).”

Remember, you pay these in addition to the bonds our school district issues. Wake UP!

Meanwhile, Chico Area Recreation District (CARD) has a parcel tax on the March 3 ballot – a tax that will start at $110/year and go up with the cost of living index – roughly 1.9 – 2% PER YEAR. What CARD doesn’t say in the ballot information is that they will use the proceeds from this parcel tax to issue bonds, creating a downward spiral of debt that your grandchildren will be saddled with. And they have the nerve to say, it’s all about the kids! Like the  city of Chico, CARD has been funneling hundreds of thousands toward their $2 million +++ pension liability. The funds from this parcel tax are not restricted to maintenance or capital projects, but will go to the General Fund to be spent at the discretion of the board and staff. 

What does CARD have in common with the school district? They both admit to having deferred maintenance while paying millions toward their pension deficit. Read a four year old piece by Dan Walters when he was still with the Sacramento Bee.


“School districts and other local governments often neglect maintenance of their facilities to meet demands for other spending, particularly pressure from unions for increases in pay and fringe benefits. Then, after the deferred maintenance results in deterioration that can no longer be ignored, officials draw up bond issues to make repairs that could have been avoided with proper maintenance.”

And here’s the proof that these monies are not really used “for the kids” –  a note I received from CUSD finance officer Kevin Bultema just months after the passage of Measure K.

The increase PERS and STRS [pension] costs are certainly a challenge for the district’s operations budget and will need to be addressed with either increased revenues from the state or cuts in CUSD’s program expenditures in the future.” 

See, right there he admits – they take money from the “district operations budget” to pay their pensions, and he furthermore admits that they will take more money to pay their pensions, at the cost of “CUSD’s program expenditures” – meaning, the kids!

Just six months later I read this in the Chico Enterprise Record: ““The board also voted to ratify a tentative agreement with the Chico Unified Teachers Association. That agreement will collapse the salary schedule, reducing the years of service necessary for a teacher to reach their maximum salary.”

Raises in salary mean raises in pensions which means an increase in the pension deficit, since this agreement did not result in the teachers paying more of their share. School district employees, like CARD, still pay less than 10% of their pension cost. 

So, as long as the voters keep passing tax increases on themselves, the publicly employed pigs will keep eating more and more of our economy. 

Are you sick of being a cash cow for these entitled bastards? Well SPEAK UP! Just say NO on tax measures, starting with California Prop 13 and CARD Measure A.