Tag Archives: EMC survey Chico CA

City sales tax measure in June 23 agenda – speak up, we might still be able to keep this measure off the ballot

20 Jun

The agenda is out for this Tuesday, June 23, so-called “special” and most certainly CLOSED city council meeting. You can look at it here, on the Chico Engaged site.

https://chico-ca.granicusideas.com/meetings/706-june-23-2020-special-city-council-meeting/agenda_items

I hate the report they’ve presented for 3.1 on the Consent Agenda – the mysterious Supplemental Allocation/Budget Modification. That’s a holdover from a cancelled meeting in April. Remember, they had a rainbow list of stuff to spend that projected money on, until Orme pulled the plug with dire predictions of COVID tanking our finances.

Now, look at the report in Tuesday’s agenda, Item 3.1, it’s nothing like the straight forward report in that April agenda. Can anybody tell me exactly where the money comes from, whether it exists or is still only a projection, and what exactly they intend to spend it on? They wrote the report “not for dummies,” so I don’t get it.

When will council get it? This is exactly the kind of stuff that leaves the public with a taste of mistrust.

Then there’s the ballot measures – wow, these all merit more serious discussion in OPEN meetings, but see how these guys are shoveling through this stuff just as fast as they can while they have the cover of COVID.

Again, this is what fosters mistrust in these people. Just keep it comin’!

Here’s my favorite ballot measure:

Shall an ordinance to fund essential city services such as preserving the number of on-duty police officers and fire fighters, protecting 911 emergency response times, maintaining and repairing streets, sidewalks and Bidwell Park, and funding other general services and essential activity, by establishing a 0.5 percent sales tax, providing approximately $9,000,000 annually until June 30, 2029, subject to annual audits, with all funds staying local, be adopted?

I’ve been waiting for this measure for years. They’ve been talking about it since at least 2012, when Tom Lando ran a survey. He reported a “negative” response, but the idea stuck. Since then both the city of Chico and Chico Area Recreation District have hired various consultants, all on taxpayer money, to run surveys trying to convince us that we do want to pay more taxes.

Here’s how that works. The consultant asked respondents to “rank” various arguments. “I’d like to read you statements from people who SUPPORT the Chico City Services Measure. After each one, please tell me how convincing [very convincing or somewhat convincing] that statement is as a reason to vote FOR the measure.”

That’s the Band Wagon Effect – telling you that other people support this measure. And then they begin campaigning for the measure by reading you reasons to support it.

They hold out a stick in one hand – implying cuts to fire and police – “We need to pass this measure to make sure city services can keep up with the increase in population, keeping us all safe and protecting our quality of
life..
.” – and a carrot in the other – “much needed revenue for road upgrades and repairs“.

As you can see, looking at the proposed measure above, they use the most popular responses to write the measure.

I always wonder – am I the only one who is offended that they use my own money to manipulate me in this way? Using a survey of 400 people in a town of over 90,000? Really think I’m that dumb? Really?

When I looked at Chico Engaged I didn’t see any comments posted. I hope more people will tune in and chime in – we still might have a chance to stop this measure before it gets to the ballot.