Tag Archives: Kasey Reynolds Chico City Council

Is Kasey Reynolds using public resources to forward a political measure?

13 Jul

The deadline for the city to turn over their tax measure to the county clerk is coming around soon, and now Kasey Reynolds has proposed a “Quality of Life” measure as well. She will have to pedal fast, as the city attorney has issued a report saying the measure they’ve proposed is not doable.

http://chico-ca.granicus.com/GeneratedAgendaViewer.php?view_id=2&event_id=766

“the Act is unconstitutional, unlawful, is in violation of the Warren Settlement,
and the City of Chico Municipal Code, and therefore is not recommended to be adopted or placed on the ballot as drafted.”

The report includes the draft of the ordinance Reynold’s and friends have presented. I’m no lawyer, but the first thing I thought was VAGUE and the second thought was UNENFORCEABLE. That’s exactly what city attorney Vince Ewing has said, read it all for yourself.

But the real sticker is that the ordinance calls for the city to fine itself, $5,000, should it determine that the complainant’s complaints are reasonable. How many problems do you see there? The first one I see, is that the city gets to determine whether the complaint is valid? And this is really cute – if they determine that the complaint is facetious in any way, they get to fine the complainant? I’m sorry, I don’t think Councilwoman Reynolds is being very sincere.

Ewing included the rules for using taxpayer money in his report. This is especially important since we can see the boundaries around the campaign for the city’s sales tax increase measure.

“It is unlawful for any local official, including any local appointee, employee, or consultant
(collectively referred to herein as “City staff”), to use or permit others to use public resources for a campaign activity. (Gov. Code § 8314.) Campaigning is any activity that attempts to influence voter opinion in a particular way. (Stanson v. Mott, 17 Cal. 3d 206, 218 (1976). “

Of course public agencies are allowed “Informational activities that provide a neutral, fair presentation of a ballot measure or duties authorized by law, such as preparing ballot materials, are not campaigning and public resources may be used for those activities. (Vargas v. City of Salinas, 46 Cal. 4th 1, 24-25, (2009), citing Stanson, 17 Cal. 3d at 221.)

But I don’t believe that’s what Reynolds is doing. Where’s the information? Her draft ordinance is vague and leading. I believe she is trying to use Ewing to forward a fake, feel-good measure, leading the public to believe the city will be accountable with the new revenues from their sales tax measure, and I’m glad to see he told her where to stuff it.

I don’t know if Reynolds is running for re-election, but I know she’s failed miserably in her attempts to “solve the homeless problem”. City finances are a mess, the town is a mess, she knows people are angry, and it seems she’s desperately looking for a way to take the heat off herself. She should have to hire her own attorney for these activities. It’s not an appropriate use of the city attorney, a taxpayer funded public resource.

Shasta County opens meetings – when will our “conservative majority” reopen council meetings? After they’ve already implemented the POB?

11 Jan

Almost a month ago, on December 13, I contacted my Chico city council representative Kasey Reynolds to ask her about the progress in removing transient camps in public spaces around town. We’d been having a conversation about the situation, and I forwarded her a conversation between Rob Berry and Chico PD officer Scott Zuchin regarding the DA’s unwillingness to prosecute City of Chico Municipal Code violations.

She responded, same day, “I will take a look at it for sure. However our City Attorney was meeting with the County and DA on Friday to talk about our newly passed resolution and the prosecution/enforcing aspect of it. I have not talked to the Atty since the meeting so not sure the outcome.  I’ll find out and let you know.”

I waited until the 22nd, then, realizing it was nearly Christmas, I wrote her again. I asked about the Shelter Crisis Designation, asking “1) if that’s still in effect, 2) if we are still receiving a grant for that designation, and 3) if so, where does the money go (into the General Fund?). I’ll add, 4) do we still get a grant for consolidating services at the fair grounds?” 

I also reminded her that she had previously promised to get back to me regarding the conversation our city attorney had with the county DA. 

As of today, 1/11/21, I have had no response from Reynolds. I know she’s busy – you realize, candy and ice cream are considered an “essential business”, so her shop is open.  

https://www.facebook.com/ShubertsIceCreamChicoCA/

We’re open and ready to scoop your favorite flavors and pack your favorite candies! Stop by the shop until 10:00pm to pick up your favorite sweet treat and see all the new renovations 🎉🍨🍫  We will now be open regular hours, Monday through Friday 10am-10pm, Saturday & Sunday 11am-10pm

Well, isn’t that just nice!

But the same woman thinks it’s okay for council chambers to be CLOSED TO THE PUBLIC? You can run out and grab yourself a SCOOP OF DIABETES, but forget about participating in your local government, especially when they are discussing a tax measure that does not require voter approval. 

So, instead of trying to contact my “representative” again, I wrote a letter to the newspaper. Hope you will do same.

On January 5, while Chico City Council prepared for another closed meeting, Shasta County Supervisors Les Baugh and Pat Jones opened their meeting to the public. Residents were invited inside to redress their grievances, no mask required.

Meanwhile, Chico City Council and Staff continue to hold the public out while they discuss their Pension Obligation Bond. It’s hard to believe we have a “conservative” majority on our council – 5 people voting unanimously to raise taxes? Without voter approval?

That’s right, the consultant reports this bond requires no voter approval. This bond, he explained, requires only “judicial validation”, a purely administrative process. In fact, the consultant assured council, “they all get approved, it’s just a matter of time.”

Staff reports the UAL has grown 43% over 5 years, even while making bigger payments toward the deficit every year, this year over $11 million. Staff blames poor CalPERS investment returns, but the real reason is drastically unrealistic employee shares,  just 9 – 15%, for pensions of 70 – 90% of salary. The situation is exacerbated by incredibly generous salaries, including three new hires in the last year at salaries over $100,000. 

The payments for both CalPERS and the bond service will be appropriated by percentage from all city funds. But POB revenues are restricted to paying the UAL, because, as finance director Scott Dowell has said, “otherwise we’d be tempted to spend it on needed things…”  He means, infrastructure maintenance and public safety – the needs of the citizens.

Employee demands have officially superseded the rights and needs of the public.

Juanita Sumner, Chico CA