Tag Archives: Friends of Ann Schwab

We are not alone! NO on Measure J! NO on Schwab! NO on Stone!

5 Nov

Some citizen placed these colorful fliers on cars along the perimeter of Chico State the other day.

Sue received this picture from a friend who spotted these fliers over near Chico State campus last week.  We can only guess who put these out, and be really thankful that there are some other people out there who aren’t afraid to act.

We had our regular First Sunday meeting yesterday, library, 9am.  We have a core of diehards, willing to come down to the library on a Sunday morning when they could be snuggling up to a plate of blueberry pancakes!  We have people who have spent time reading and yakking over documents and boiling them down to half-size bullet point sheets, people who have literally stood out on street corners to hand them to fellow citizens, and taken time to explain this measure to people who were hearing about it for the first time.  

We have a group who was willing to put up their own dough to print signs, and then move out in unison to get those signs placed around town.  We have Toby Schindelbeck, who not only set us up with a printer but went about putting out ‘NO on J’  signs right alongside his own.  He and Andrew Coolidge are the only candidates in this race who have taken on Measure J – where’s Bob Evans? Was his signature on the ‘argument against’ just a one-night-stand?  And,  I sure haven’t seen Ann Schwab speaking on behalf of this measure that she brought forward herself. Where are the ‘YES on J’ signs Ann? 

At times I fear ‘Democracy’ is just a pipe dream.  It’s really hard work, and a lot of people don’t seem to be willing to put into it what they expect to get out of it. It’s frustrating talking to people about issues, and then hear what one of our members heard in a door-to-door conversation – “I vote however the newspaper tells me…” 

The Chico media has said there’s “no organized opposition” to Measure J. School Administrator Magazine defines “organized opposition” as “two or more individuals banded together to fight a local school bond or operating levy proposal…”  Well, gee, that would be, The Chico Taxpayers Association. There’s at least four of us at every meeting, with seven regular members on the mailing list. Our meetings are wide open to the public and noticed here, where anybody who can string together an intelligible sentence on topic is allowed to join the conversation. You can also spy on us via the library website – the meeting room schedule is there for everybody to see. It’s as if the proponents of Measure J are just wishing us away – David Little edited “Chico Taxpayers Association” off the letter I sent to the paper, I thought that was kind of weird. 

Meanwhile, here’s the website for the Chico Democrats:

http://www.chicodemocrats.org/index.html

Or you might approach them at their HQ over on Mangrove, but don’t ask any pokey questions or Bob Mulhullond will show you some Chicago style politics.

And here’s Guzzetti’s joint, Chico Conservation Voters:

http://www.chicoconservationvoters.org/index.html

it says, there’s three members – Kelly Meagher, who pays for everything, Dave Guzzetti, who issues all the orders, and little Jessica Knothead, who does the bidding of Guzzetti. 

Where’s their public meetings? Where’s their public discussion? 

And then there’s the Democratic Action Club of Chico – that’s Mark Stemen and Maria Phillips – they have a Facebook page which you can only look at if you have Facebook. When Stemen had a meeting at the library, he got in trouble for trying to kick out a woman who was not a member of his club – he’s not allowed to do that at the library. I guess that’s why I haven’ t seen them schedule another meeting there. 

Isn’t that funny – the “Democrats” don’t seem to believe in Democracy!

Thanks whoever you are, anonymous stranger. I hope you will continue to spread the alarm. Wow, Paul Revere could have used a good copy machine. 

Why is Jerry Brown screaming at elementary school children? And there’s our Mayor, partying while she’s supposed to be working.

5 Nov

The photo below is taken from the LA Times

http://www.latimes.com/news/opinion/endorsements/la-ed-end-prop30-budget-cuts-20121102,0,6650069.story

Gov. Jerry Brown Gov. Jerry Brown speaks in support of Proposition 30 at an elementary school in San Diego. (Lenny Ignelzi / Associated Press / October 23, 2012)

Ann blew off a meeting I attended to party with the Moonbeam at Chico State Thursday.  The friend who took this photo also got some pretty hilarious footage of Ann dancing backstage. Shake that money maker Honey – but watch out, an ass that size is liable to be dangerous in a crowd. 

 

 

Casey Aplanalp: Measure J “aims to sanctify years of theft”

3 Nov

From CTA member Casey Aplanalp:

Measure J is a devious attempt to legitimize the taxation on our cell phones that is currently not authorized. The City has been pilfering these monies for over a decade, last year taking in $900,000 alone. This is illegal, but if Measure J passes it will be as if we voted for these additional taxes years ago. It aims to sanctify years of theft, and to continue doing so.
Not only does Measure J allow for cell phone taxes, it goes to include any and all technical modes of communication now and in the future, broadening the tax base. Furthermore, it would give the power to increase taxes to the City Finance director, bypassing voter approval. This is taxation without representation, and circumvents the democratic process. 
Supporters of Measure J call it a tax rate decrease while also claiming, incredibly, it to be revenue neutral. Supporters also claim it merely updates the verbiage, another lie. Of course, supporters claim the money goes to public safety, but there is nothing specifically written in the measure to support that claim. It is spent at the whim of current bureaucrats. 
Finally, Measure J was drawn up in the hopes of preventing a massive class action lawsuit against the City for the millions of dollars it has taken in over the years. Those behind Measure J have been dishonest with the public, but that is to be expected because they’ve been caught stealing from the public. Measure J deserves defeat. Vote NO on J.

 

THANKS CASEY!     And remember everybody, only you can prevent a massive takeover of our city, county, and state by the snout-nosed trough dwellers.  Don’t forget to VOTE! 

Homegrown in the North State – a citizen takes his stand against more taxes.

2 Nov

Thanks to Rick Clements for posting this sign at the corner of Eaton and Cohasset. I wanted to get my picture with it but haven’t had a chance to get out there.

CalPERS headed for a cliff?

29 Oct

From Chico News & Review 10/25/2012

“The California Public Employees Retirement System (CalPERS) has made a disturbing announcement for many of its long-term-care clients.

CalPERS has proposed an 85 percent premium increase for 115,000 of its 150,000 long-term beneficiaries, according to the Sacramento Business Journal. Earlier this month, CalPERS officials were considering a 75 percent premium hike, which organization spokesperson Bill Madison called ‘a work in progress’ at the time.

The raised premiums, which would take effect in 2015 and be phased in over two years, are in anticipation of budget shortfalls in the future. Unlike its pension-benefits program, CalPERS’ long-term program is not funded by taxpayers.

‘At current course and speed, we would not have enough money … to pay anticipated claims,’ said CalPERS deputy executive officer Ann Boynton.”

I didn’t know CalPERS offered “long-term-care” insurance. What a scam. They take these premiums fully expecting you to DIE before you collect.  Read more below, from the CalPERS press site.

CalPERS site:  http://www.calpers.ca.gov/index.jsp?bc=/about/press/pr-2012/oct/ltc-premium-increase.xml

Press Release

October 17, 2012

External Affairs Branch
(916) 795-3991
Robert Udall Glazier, Deputy Executive Officer
Brad Pacheco, Chief, Office of Public Affairs
Contact: Bill Madison, Information Officer
pressroom@calpers.ca.gov

 

CalPERS Approves Long-Term Care Premium Increase

Three alternative plans offered to ease impact on policyholders

SACRAMENTO, CA – The California Public Employees’ Retirement System (CalPERS) Board of Administration today approved an 85 percent premium increase for early purchasers of its Long-Term Care (LTC) Insurance Program policies. The increase, to be spread over two years, is being implemented to help stabilize the Program’s underlying Long-Term Care Fund and will take effect July 2015. Members who opt to cover the increase in a single year will pay only 79 percent.

Policyholders affected by the increase purchased two types of policies between 1995 and 2004: policies with lifetime benefits with inflation protection, and policies with lifetime benefits without inflation protection (California Partnership policies will be excluded).

The premium increase is necessary to offset the effect of higher-than-expected claims, lower-than-expected investment income, the Board’s adoption of a more conservative LTC Fund investment mix, and a lowering of the Fund’s investment discount rate to 5.75 percent to align with the more conservative investment portfolio.

The Board also approved three new optional alternative benefit plans that will provide the affected CalPERS LTC policyholders with options for relief from the financial impact of the 2015 rate increase. These new alternatives will allow policyholders to avoid further premium increases by converting to policies that will still provide adequate protection and possibly lower their premiums.

“We took great care to listen to the concerns of our policyholder constituent groups and weighed staff proposals for these options carefully before making our decision,” said Board President Rob Feckner. “We are taking these actions to ensure the sustainability of the Long-Term Care Fund and the availability of benefits for our policyholders.”

Affected policyholders will be given the opportunity to convert their policies to these new options in the spring of 2013. The policy changes will take effect July 1, 2013. View a list of the proposed new policy conversion options (PDF, 87 KB).

“We feel the plan options we will offer our policyholders make this a win-win situation, especially for those with lifetime benefit policies,” said Priya Mathur, Chair of the Board’s Pension and Health Benefits Committee. “With the average length of stay in a care facility a little over three years, we think the 10-year conversion option will provide more than adequate coverage when our policyholders need it.”

The CalPERS Long-Term Care Program began in 1995 and currently has more than 150,000 members and approximately $3.6 billion in LTC Fund assets. The LTC Program is a voluntary, self-funded, not-for-profit program funded entirely by policyholder premiums and investment earnings.

CalPERS is the nation’s largest public pension fund with approximately $243 billion in assets, providing retirement benefits to more than 1.6 million State, public school, and local public agency employees, retirees, and their families, and health benefits to more than 1.3 million members. The average CalPERS pension is $2,332 per month. The average benefit for those who retired in the fiscal year that ended June 30, 2011, is $3,065 per month. For more information about CalPERS, visit http://www.calpers.ca.gov.        

                                                                                                                                                                                                      ### end of press release ###

There it says, “The premium increase is necessary to offset the effect of higher-than-expected claims, lower-than-expected investment income, the Board’s adoption of a more conservative LTC Fund investment mix, and a lowering of the Fund’s investment discount rate to 5.75 percent to align with the more conservative investment portfolio.”

“higher than expected claims” – that means, people are actually living to collect! How could they NOT have expected that? They sell you insurance, and then they don’t provide for you?  Again I will say, what a SCAM.

lower than expected investment income” – yes, like the pensions, they’ve gambled this fund on the stock market, and where they predicted they’d be getting somewhere between 7 and 20 percent returns, they’ve been lucky to get ONE PERCENT. They’ve lost millions.

Which led to “the Board’s adoption of a more conservative LTC Fund investment mix” – oooo, I’ll bet!

“”and a lowering of the Fund’s investment discount rate to 5.75 percent to align with the more conservative investment portfolio.” This means, CalPERS clients will pay more toward their own benefits, for the “long-term-care” coverage anyway.

http://www.calpers.ca.gov/index.jsp?bc=/about/press/pr-2012/sept/discount-rate.xml

These articles are like boxes within boxes – every time I read more, I have more questions than I had before. See this link, here above – this article tells how  CalPERS got public employees to buy into this scam by offering them a “discount rate.”  Suckers – anybody who thinks they can get something for nothing deserves to be had.   How could they believe they could pay so little, and then be taken care of indefinitely in some rest home? How could they believe that the stock market, which has behaved very poorly and been outrageously volatile these last ten years, would pay consistently enough to float thousands of retirees who aren’t paying anything?

But it’s not just the employees – we, the taxpayers, are also  the suckers here. A lot of public employees get “long-term-care” paid for by their employer. I haven’t seen the city of Chico contracts – have you? I’m guessing we pay for “long-term-care,” but I’d have to see the contracts. 

This is part of the perfect pension storm. CalPERS is in trouble, they’re just trying not to let on. Right now they are hitting lower level employees, like my friend who earns less than $40,000 a year with Butte County, to pay their own “employee share.” Sounds like no big deal, huh? Well, it’s the beginning of a big deal, so watch it. The lower level county employees – “classified staff” – those making less than $50,000/yr – have been TOLD over the last year that they would be paying their own 7 percent share of their benefits. That’s the deal at the county, at the city it’s 9 percent. Then the employers pay a matching amount – 7 percent for the county, and 9 percent for the city.  I don’t know all the details perfect, but here’s the bottom line – City of Chico employees, with the exception of the fire department,  pay only a small portion toward their health benefits, and NOTHING on their pensions. 

And the other thing is, that’s only 14 and 18 percent. The rest of the pension premiums are riding on the stock market. And the market is not paying fast enough to keep up even with the pensions currently being paid out, not to mention the pensions that will be paid to our current employees. So Jerry Brown is trying to get CalPERS to raise the payments – whether the employees pay them, or WE pay them, they’re going to have to be paid. We’re talking BILLIONS in unfunded pensions.  

The problem – the giant defecating elephant – is that thousands of people  currently work for public entities, thinking they will be taken care of for life having only paid a couple thousand dollars a year toward that care. The average premium, according to Cal Pers, is $2500 a year, while the average pension benefit payment is $3200 a month. How could that possibly be sustainable? 

CalPERS convinced the public employment sector, as well as our governor and our  legislature, that they could sustain these outrageous pensions with only 14 – 18 percent of the premium being paid by the employee/employer. They promised they could make these crazy, 20 percent returns on the stock market, and our corrupt and lazy legislators gave them the go ahead to do it. 

The city of Chico does not have to remain on this road to Perdition. The contracts are being hashed over right now. Some of them are already done deals – with all the perks and benies, and even some raises! How nice! But there are still contracts on the table. We must lean on our elected leaders to make our employees pay more of their “share.” Whoever you vote for in this election, take some responsibility for them – like you would your own child. When your child does something wrong, you have to point it out, you have to tell them it won’t be tolerated – not only by you, but more importantly, not by society at large. We have to take our elected officials off to the corner too, tell them when we feel they are not doing their jobs, not listening, not taking correct action. You can tell them sweet or sour, but you should tell them. We need some sort of benefits reform HERE IN CHICO. We don’t have to continue like helpless lemmings off into the Pacific with Governor Moonbeam and his horde. 

We’ll have to hit the ground running

26 Oct

I’ve reserved the meeting room at the Chico library for our First Sunday meeting, November 4,  9am. I hope that’s good for everybody, let me know, I can change the time.

That of course, is only days before the election, a little too late for any strategizing on Measure J.  What I’d really like to talk about is what we’ll do after the election. I got a couple of ideas I been kicking back and forth with the fence post.

Of course, I believe our first true concern is a sales tax increase. I would bet my last five dollars that whether or not Prop 30 or Measure J pass, Tom Lando will bring forward his sales tax increase measure. He will either say, Prop 30 lost and we need the money, or Prop 30 won but we can’t trust Brown to share the proceeds from 30.  He’ll say, whether it wins or loses, that Measure J was already being spent, which is true. The city has been collecting the phone tax illegally, mainly through stooges AT&T, for years, and stands to lose millions in ill-gotten gain. Sheesh – they may even be afraid we’ll sue them for those illegal takings, like the folks of the  city of Chula Vista!

http://www.caseygerry.com/news/class-certified-chula-vista-tax-lawsuit

I honestly believe Tom Lando fully intends to ask for a special election in Spring 2013 to put a sales tax increase measure before the voters, and we need to start thinking about a serious “organized” campaign against it.

Secondly, I heard a good idea from the city of Hemet, which recently unloaded their ex-city manager on us – Brian Nakamura. Sure, they made it look like they were being ripped off, but I say, they hoodwinked us into taking the guy. Ever read “Ransom of Red Chief”?

Yeah, those Hemetians are pretty damned smart.  Two years ago, they passed some very interesting legislation in their little town, read here –

http://www.pe.com/local-news/riverside-county/hemet/hemet-headlines-index/20101026-hemet-campaign-spending-increases.ece

Here are the ballotpedia pages for Measures W and X – both passed with OVER 80 PERCENT OF THE VOTE. Measure W limits terms for city elected officials, and Measure X cuts them off from city-paid  health benefits.

http://ballotpedia.org/wiki/index.php/Hemet_Term_Limits,_Measure_W_(November_2010)

http://ballotpedia.org/wiki/index.php/Hemet_Prohibition_on_Contributing_to_Cost_of_Healthcare,_Measure_X_(November_2010)

You will note, the Hemet Taxpayers’ Association put some money into these issues. We must decide, do we want to start raising and spending money?

I hope to see the usual suspects on November 4, at the library, 9am, along with some fresh newbies, willing to put their shoulder to the wheel to turn our city around.

We need to dump structural overtime and ask public safety employees to pay more of their own health and pension costs so we can hire more personnel

24 Oct

I watched the city council meeting for a while online last night and then I read the report in this morning’s ER. As usual, no mention of pension premiums or structured-in overtime.

Right now Chico police employees pay nothing toward their pensions, which will be 90 percent of their salary, available at 50 years of age. The city of Chico, and that would  be you and me, the taxpayers, pay not only the “employer  share” but the “employee share” of pension premiums for all city employees – except the fire department. They pay two percent of their premium cost, and the city picks up the other seven percent of the “employee share”, as well as the entire nine percent “employer share”.

Two questions stand begging beside the table here –

  1. why do they call them the “employer” and “employee” shares if the employer is doing all the paying?
  2. who pays the other 82 percent of the premium?

The answer to Number 1 is, we’re a pack of suckers.

The answer to Number 2 can be found in this  earlier post:

https://chicotaxpayers.wordpress.com/2012/10/02/ann-schwabs-mismanagement-21-top-paid-retired-employees-get-over-2-million-a-year-in-pension-payments-plus-benefits-and-cola/

Nobody pays that other 82 percent. It’s “outstanding.” It is waiting offshore like the fabled “perfect storm,” waiting for the lack of revenues to catch up with the overspending of same. When CalPers can’t pay those “outstanding” pensions anymore, it will fall on the cities and other public entities that agreed to these contracts to pay them. Let me show you the tidal wave we’re facing here – well, how about, just the part you can see through the windshield of George Clooney’s crappy little fishing boat. These, again, are just those 21 retirees receiving over $100,000 in pension. There are hundreds more receiving $99,000 or less, plus health benefits.

Name Employer Warrant Amount Annual
ALEXANDER, THOMAS CHICO $8,947.23 $107,366.76
BAPTISTE, ANTOINE G CHICO $10,409.65 $124,915.80
BEARDSLEY, DENNIS D CHICO $8,510.23 $102,122.76
BROWN, JOHN S CHICO $17,210.38 $206,524.56
CARRILLO, JOHN A CHICO $10,398.98 $124,787.76
DAVIS, FRED CHICO $12,467.78 $149,613.36
DUNLAP, PATRICIA CHICO $10,632.10 $127,585.20
FELL, JOHN G CHICO $9,209.35 $110,512.20
FRANK, DAVID R CHICO $14,830.05 $177,960.60
GARRISON, FRANK W CHICO $8,933.56 $107,202.72
JACK, JAMES F CHICO $9,095.09 $109,141.08
KOCH, ROBERT E CHICO $9,983.23 $119,798.76
LANDO, THOMAS J CHICO $11,236.48 $134,837.76
MCENESPY, BARBARA CHICO $12,573.40 $150,880.80
PIERCE, CYNTHIA CHICO $9,390.30 $112,683.60
ROSS, EARNEST C CHICO $9,496.60 $113,959.20
SCHOLAR, GARY P CHICO $8,755.69 $105,068.28
SELLERS, CLIFFORD R CHICO $9,511.11 $114,133.32
VONDERHAAR, JOHN F CHICO $8,488.07 $101,856.84
VORIS, TIMOTHY M CHICO $8,433.90 $101,206.80
WEBER, MICHAEL C CHICO $11,321.93 $135,863.16

Six of the above, that I know of, are either police or fire department.

The police and fire departments also manage to drive up their salaries, some of them almost DOUBLE, with overtime. It’s the classic repo-man grab – they say they need to write overtime into the budget, and the contracts guarantee officers a certain amount of overtime. They say overtime is cheaper than new hires. But then they turn around and bitch for new hires.

The police and fire departments, mostly through salaries and benefits packages, take up over 82 % of our city budget, and drive our looming pension debt.   This never came up in the budget conversation at City Hall last night. There stood the elephant in the room, crapping all over the chambers, but nobody would look him directly in the eye.