Tag Archives: Measure J Chico Ca

The squeaky wheel gets the grease

26 Jan

I been rattling chains over at the Finance Department to find out how they plan to legally notify the public about cell phone tax refunds. I feel  it’s more their job to protect the citizens than to protect the city itself, but they agree to disagree with me on that. It’s all about civility people – don’t ask too many questions, you will be treated like you’re from Glenn County or something. 

I feel the city should be more responsible for returning this ill-gotten booty, so I’ve been e-mailing the Finance office about once a week for more details. I have to give Frank Fields some credit – at least he answers my e-mails.   He told me they’d finally decided how to notice the cell phone tax  refund:

Ms. Sumner:     The City will be placing a “Notice” (much like the notice for the annual UUT Refund program) in both the Chico ER and Chico N&R beginning late next week (i.e., sometime over the weekend).   – Frank

We’re so damned civil around here! Don’t fart, you gauche bastard! 

So, next Thursday there should be something in the N&R, and then we’ll maybe see it in the ER later that weekend.  

Of course, as far as I know, they’re still taking it out off people’s bills, which really isn’t very civil, but you know how they are. Down at the city, civility means, you get a kiss with your screwing.

 I have not heard one more word on their quest to inform the cell phone companies. That’s a question for Jennifer Hennessy, and I forgot to ask her at the last Finance Committee meeting. I’ll have to drop her an e-mail soon. 

What I do know is, people are hitting that link I posted to the refund application – here it is again:

http://www.chico.ca.us/finance/documents/CellPhoneRefundApplication_0117

I hope people will get their refunds – that’s the real “victory” I’m looking for here, that the city is called on it’s bad behavior, and made to set things right. 

Last minute meeting reminder – Chico Taxpayers Association meets tomorrow at the Chico library, 9 – 10am

1 Dec

I don’t know what the weather will be like tomorrow morning but I will be over at the library at 9 am, trying to get up a discussion regarding the defeat of Measure J.  We should talk about this past Tuesday’s Finance Committee meeting and comments made by city attorney Laurie Barker regarding contacting the cell phone providers and also the possibility of refunds on revenues already collected.

Hopefully, we can get some letters going to Ann Schwab, the council, and the local newspapers, letting people know what’s going on Downtown, and encouraging them to contact Mayor Ann Schwab and tell her they want this matter handled promptly and correctly. By some fluke I’ve had two letters in the ER over the past week – I hope some other people will write. The letters section seems to be wide open these days. 

If we have time tomorrow morning, we might want to discuss Brian Nakamura’s persistent warnings about “unfunded pension liabilities.” At the Finance Committee meeting, Nakamura kept mentioning UPL’s, but never elaborated. He said he was going to talk about them at next Tuesday’s council meeting, but I see there’s nothing specific in the agenda, just “goal setting meetings. set dates”   I’m guessing Nakamura is trying to give us the bitter pill – he’s going to warn us that Brown wants the cities to pay more of their employees’ pensions.   Nakamura and Lando are going to use this as a reason to pass a sales tax increase, just watch them. We need to be mentally ready to run another NO campaign. 

I know the weather is bad, so if I don’t see you at the meeting, don’t worry, I’ll fill everybody in! 

Let’s make Scott Gruendl squeal like a pig

1 Dec

I love living in Northern California and these winter storms are part and parcel. I keep my house maintained and I try to watch the storm drains up and down my street because you can’t depend on the city to do anything until there’s a problem. All along the Manzanita corridor intersections have suffered severe flooding because the city isn’t cleaning the storm drains.  They make a lot of noise about leaf pick-up, allowing landscapers to dump tons of leaves in the street every year, but all it takes is a handful of leaves to plug a storm drain, and that’s what I’ve been seeing around town. 

The city has also allowed an enormous amount of development around town, especially along Big and Little Chico Creeks, without providing any kind of flood mitigation. That’s why you’re all getting notices right now. 

Meanwhile, they are blaming the defeat of Measure J for all their problems and getting ready to mount a campaign to raise your sales tax, starring Ann Schwab and  Scott Gruendl, and produced by Tom Lando and his fist-puppet Brian Nakamura.

Schwab and Gruendl are currently undertaking a scare campaign, with the help of the local media, to convince Chico voters that if they don’t pay more taxes, anarchy will reign in the streets of Chico and we’ll all be home-invasioned and carjacked. Ken Campbell says we complain too much. 

They’re also cutting street maintenance, and watch for the park to start looking pretty bad too. Those bread bags hanging out of those dog doo dispensers are looking like weird trash cans. Wait til we see old crappy bread bags laid alongside trails full of poop, that’s going to look good. 

You probably watched Kojak as a child, if you’re reading my blog. You know what a “protection racket” is, don’t you? 

Nakamura, like a broken record, keeps repeating the same words over and over: “To give you some perspective, $900,000 means seven to eight police officers or potentially two-thirds of an
operation of a fire station…”  
That fucker is threatening us. 

Maybe I need to put this in perspective: at the same meeting referenced  below, Jennifer Hennessy told us, we spend over $7 million a year paying  our employee’s pension premiums. She didn’t have the figure on health benefits.  

Yes, that’s just the “share”. The city only contributes 18 percent of the actual costs of these pensions, including the employee and employer shares.  The rest of the cost is what they called, “the unfunded pension obligation.” 

I’ll save you rereading those epic blogs I wrote about the Pension Bomb – the California Public Employees Retirement System – CalPERS – expected to fund 82 percent of these pensions by loading them into a little cart and sending them off to the stock market with Mr. Toad. Mr. Toad fell out before the got the cart off the runway, and every time the cart comes back around it’s full of nothing but I.O.U.’s – or rather – “we owe them’s”. CalPERS has lost 10’s of millions on the stock market, they’ve never made the returns they’ve promised, and now Governor Moonbeam is starting to talk about making the cities and counties pay their own pension obligations. 

Here’s a little slice of what that’s going to look like – these are just the top management pensions, current as of 2010. Yes, all these people are RETIRED. They do NOTHING but still get this money. 70 – 90 percent of their highest years earnings. The “warrant” amount means, their monthly check.  Right now, they are being paid out of RDA funds and off the premiums of lower level workers who pay more, but soon Jerry Brown will turn on us for this money. And guess what – we don’t have it! 

Name Employer Warrant Amount Annual
ALEXANDER, THOMAS E 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 L 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

This is what Gruendl doesn’t want to talk about.

Scott Gruendl is a sneaky little creep. The discussion in the meeting lasted less than five minutes, but after everybody was gone he sidled up to reporter Ashley Gebb and continued his threatening diatribe against the public. “After the meeting, Councilor Scott Gruendl said he was disappointed and a bit confused by the measure’s failure.  ‘The voters have sent a conflicting message,’  he said.  Citizens reportedly say they are concerned about
public safety and want more officers on the streets, yet they knew this revenue was tied to preventing cuts, he said.”

Gruendl has a selective hearing problem –  he is deaf to our concerns about salaries, benefits and pensions. 

When I questioned Jennifer Hennessy about the  shares, she told me what an employee pays toward their perks depends on what “unit” they’re in and what kind of “package” they choose. Most pay less than 5 percent toward their health package and NOTHING toward their pensions.  She also acknowledged that all our city councilors receive benefits packages paid by the taxpayers, for which they pay an amount equal to two percent of their city salaries.  For example, Gruendl receives a $16,935 health benefits package, for which he pays 2 percent of his $7,800 council salary – about $150 a year.  That in addition to his salary and benefits out of Glenn County, two other salaries from Chico State, and his partner’s salary. According to his Form 700, Gruendl takes over $140,000 in public money, not including benefits packages. I’m assuming his partner, who takes “between $10,001 – $100,000” as a supervisor at a local rest home, also gets a benefits package. 

This guy never ceases to amaze me. Ever hear a pig scream when you are late with that bucket? Well, there’s Gruendl for you. 

Here’s the article from the ER below.

More cuts to Chico police on the way?
By ASHLEY GEBB — Staff Writer
Posted: 11/29/2012 01:46:41 PM PST
CHICO — Chico voters’ defeat of a proposed change to the city’s telephone users tax almost inevitably will cause
cuts to public safety, members of the finance committee said this week.
Measure J asked voters whether to amend wording to the city’s phone tax to encompass modern technology such
as cellphones while decreasing the tax rate from 5 percent to 4.5 percent. The measure was voted down Nov. 6,
gaining only 46 percent of the vote.
The telephone users tax, like other utility taxes the city collects, supports the general fund. The city receives about
$1.4 million annually in phone tax revenue, of which $900,000 to $1 million comes from wireless
telecommunications providers and likely now will disappear.
Discussion of the impact was brief at Tuesday’s meeting but City Manager Brian Nakamura said the revenue loss
will be a significant hit to the general fund, which primarily supports public safety.
“To give you some perspective, $900,000 means seven to eight police officers or potentially two-thirds of an
operation of a fire station,” he said.
Cuts to public

safety have a trickle-down effect, he said.
“Public safety, that’s what drives economic development, with businesses wanting to locate here and residents
wanting to locate here,” he said.
Revenue loss is expected to start this year, said City Attorney Lori Barker, who plans to bring the topic to the City
Council in December for discussion.
The issue will be determining the loss’ size and
where to adjust the budget, Barker said. The city will
also need to address how it will deal with any
refund requests and notifying phone providers.
Until specific legalities are ironed out, Finance
Director Jennifer Hennessy said the Finance
Department will hold any revenue from phone
companies in an account.
After the meeting, Councilor Scott Gruendl said he
was disappointed and a bit confused by the
measure’s failure.
“The voters have sent a conflicting message,” he
said.
Citizens reportedly say they are concerned about
public safety and want more officers on the streets,
yet they knew this revenue was tied to preventing
cuts, he said.
“People are going to blame us for taking cops off
the streets,” he said. “I’m OK with being blamed
because I’m an elected official, but I voted yes on Measure J.”
Proponents of Measure J said its passage was critical to protect tax revenue, while opponents argued it was a
regressive tax that unfairly targeted students and economically disadvantaged.
Options to address the revenue loss through negotiations will be limited, Gruendl said.

“Part of where my disappointment is, is the unions who are affected by Measure J did absolutely nothing,” Gruendl
said.
This revenue loss is not the only fiscal challenge the city faces, Nakamura said. Several other issues coming
forward will have to be addressed, and he anticipates a significant budget discussion will take place in January.

I booked the library room for every first Sunday through April 2013 – Chico Taxpayers Association is here for the long haul.

19 Nov

I am still waiting, with coffee breath, for the final results of the election. I’ve noticed, more votes have been added at some point since election night, but the result remains the same – Measure J is a good 2,000 votes behind and at least 5% short of the 51% needed to pass. 

I think it was member Casey Aplanalp who said we should be thankful to Tom Lando and Ann Schwab and the other tax hike proponents – they gave us the nudge to create our group, and wow, it sure worked out. 

So, I went ahead and reserved the library meeting room for the next five months, first Sunday of every month, 9am to 10am. I will be there this December 2 to see if anybody can help me draft a letter to the city. I want to ask a  few questions, what happens now that Measure J has been defeated? Which companies are collecting the tax currently, and when will Jennifer Hennessy have a letter drafted to those companies, telling them to stop? 

Etc. 

I hope you can join me, but don’t worry, I’ll be sure to fill you in.

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. 

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.

Thanks Toby and Sue for getting those ‘NO on J’ signs out there!

22 Oct

Wow, at last, a change in the weather. Kris Kuyper reported single digit humidity last week – my hair was standing on end, my nose was bleeding, my skin was itchy, I had about enough “drought season” for this year. I can’t wait to go outside after this downpour and take in all the fall colors. 

Our little plastic ‘NO on J’ signs are holding up well. I want to thank Toby Schindelbeck and Sue Hubbard for helping me get these signs out. My husband and I have taken little forays, and we’ll be out there again today and tomorrow, but it’s so gratifying to see signs we have not posted, out there waving in the wind like little red warning flags.

Cause I got a sign, and I’ll wave in the morning, I’ll wave it in the evening, all over this land – it spells out D-A-N-G-E-R, it spells out W-A-R-N-I-N-G, it spells GET YOUR HAND OUT OF MY PURSE, ANN SCHWAB!

 

 

 

A real “grass roots” endeavor

20 Oct

I remember way back when Casey Aplanalp contacted me via my “Ad Hoc” blog in the Enterprise Record, asking me if I would like to form some kind of group to oppose Tom Lando’s proposed sales tax increase.  We talked it over and came up with the name “Chico Taxpayers Association,” and an “organization” was born.  I started this blog on word press, and yakked it up, and before you know it, we had a group of the “usual suspects” – people who had very little in common except their compulsive curiosity about government spending and intuitive suspicion toward tax increases. We’ve carried on with regular First Sunday meetings, same place, various times, trying to get the public to pay attention what we consider to be EVERYBODY’S BUSINESS.  

We found no support in this community for a sales tax increase, in fact, we heard from many people who were angry about it.  I think we added to the pressure that forced Lando to take a “break” from his tax-raising activities, obviously hoping that public sentiment will change significantly by next year, when I believe he intends to ask council for a special election. 

But we couldn’t let up at that point, because Ann Schwab had already introduced her cell phone tax, eventually Measure J, and it seemed like a “no-brainer” to re-tool our little weed-whacker to oppose this obvious G-snatch. 

We have no registered PAC, no officers, we collect no money, and we have no manifesto. We have a word press site, and a regular standing date at the library. 

According to wikipedia,  “A grassroots movement (often referenced in the context of a political movement) is one driven by the politics of a community. The term implies that the creation of the movement and the group supporting it are natural and spontaneous, highlighting the differences between this and a movement that is orchestrated by traditional power structures.”

Well, I’d say, we’re about as “grassroots” as it gets. 

And then there’s the opposition – led by our mayor, Ann Schwab. I’d say, a woman who’s been sitting on council since 2004, mayor since 2008, is pretty clearly a “power structure.” Of course, city council is supposed to be a non-partisan body, but try telling that to Bob Mulhullond, the guy who kept his own wife in a “non-partisan” office for 30 years! There’s nothing “spontaneous” about these people  – you can always expect an ugly letter from Steve Troester regarding whoever the conservative front runner is. This morning he unleashed his pen on Toby Schindelbeck – how telling! And you can expect the same last-minute hit-mailer from Michael Worley, even though he got fined by the FPPC for the mailer he sent out in the last election because he put a fake name in the return address – tried to rip off Mothers Against Drunk Drivers – how low will “Miguel” sink this time? It’s anybody’s guess. 

Somebody has already trashed one of the signs I gave a neighbor, along with a Bob Evans sign. Somebody!  Welcome to Chico Elections! 

Oh well, I will say, it has no effect on my enthusiasm. Today I spent an hour at the library, sitting in the lobby with some signs and my sample ballot. The library was busy as usual, I’d say, two or three people came in that door every ten minutes. I had a couple of good conversations – the usual reaction – people are surprised to find out about the tax. It’s not like anybody’s advertising it. You don’t see any “Yes on J” signs around town, do you? The sample ballot was only delivered Tuesday, I wonder, has anybody read it? This morning my husband and I drove out around town, covering the east-south corridor from mid-town out toward Doe Mill and then over to Chapmantown. Most of the people we spoke to had not heard of Measure J, had not had a chance to look over their sample ballot. I worry that people will not have a  chance to look at the text of this measure until they are standing in the voting booth, so I’m out there, and I’m saying something. 

I’m telling people, read your sample ballot, you’re likely to find all kinds of outrageous stuff! 

 

 

Chico Taxpayer’s Association meeting, Saturday, Chico library, 3pm – come get a sign!

19 Oct

When I got the “No on J” signs yesterday, I immediately reserved the meeting room at the library for 3pm tomorrow. I will be there until about 4pm, with some signs, and some “Vote NO on Measure J!” fliers.

So far I have given away 25 signs, with help from friends, and I’m hoping to get these signs up and around town by the end of this week.

Three things to know about Measure J :

  • Measure J will add a 4.5 percent tax to cellular phone services and every form of electronic communication service existing now, as well as those yet to be introduced to the consumer.
  • Measure J allows the city Finance Director to add new forms of electronic communication to the list of those services taxed, without voter approval.  
  • Measure J revenues will be directed to the General Fund, which means there is no guarantee they will be used to fund public safety as proponents claim, but could be used for any purpose determined by council.

Measure J will add a 4.5 percent tax to “cell phone services, meaning, $4.50 per hundred dollars of your bill.  According to the sample ballot, “‘Telephone communication services’ shall mean and include the transmission, conveyance or routing of voice, data, audio, video, or any other information or signals, to a point, or between or among points, whether or not such information is transmitted through interconnected service with the public switched network , whatever the technology used, whether such transmission, conveyance or routing occurs by wire, cable, fiber-optic, laser, microwave, radio wave (including, but not limited to, cellular service, commercial mobile service, personal communications service (PCS), specialized mobile radio (SMR), and other types of personal wireless service – see 47 USCA 332(c)(7)(C)(i) – regardless of radio spectrum used), switching facilities, satellite or any other technology now existing or developed after the adoption of the ordinance codified in this chapter, and includes, without limitation, fiber optic, coaxial cable, and wireless. “

You’d think they’ve covered it here.  But wait!  There’s more!

“The term ‘telephone communication services’ includes such transmission, conveyance, or routing in which computer processing applications are used to act on the form, code or protocol of the content for purposes of transmission conveyance or routing without regard to whether such services are referred to as voice over internet protocol (VoIP) services or are classified by the Federal Communications Commission as enhanced or value added, and includes video and/or data services that are functionally integrated with telecommunications services. “

It goes on to include, “but not limited to…the following services regardless of the manner or basis on which such services are calculated or billed: central office and custom calling features (including, but not limited to call waiting, call forwarding, caller identification and three-way calling), local number portability (?), text messaging, ancillary telecommunication service, prepaid and post-paid telecommunications services (including but not limited to prepaid calling cards); mobile telecommunications service; private telecommunication service; paging service; 800 service (or any other toll-free numbers designated by the FCC); and value-added non-voice data service. 

“For purposes of this section, ‘private telecommunication service’ means any dedicated telephone communications service that entitles a user to exclusive or priority use of communications channels.” 

Is that, hmmm,  clear?  Basically, every service that is billed with your cell phone is taxed. If you have a basic basic basic plan like my family of four, you may get away with a tax increase of $4.50 a month. But if you have a bigger family and a social life, or if you have one of those new Smart phones with all the bells and whistles, I think you will probably pay more like $10 more a month.

I don’t even understand all these services, I don’t use them, but Mark Sorensen was saying that small businesses use a lot of “VoIP”. He calculated the cost for a small business to be hundreds of dollars a year, just for this tax. A shake-down, really.  That’s not very employer-friendly, as far as I’m concerned. 

It also includes Skype.  

This whole thing stinks, and we’ve got to move fast if we’re going to stop it. Come down to the library tomorrow and pick up a sign, or watch the blog and we’ll have at least another couple of meetings down there before the election. Or contact us here and we’ll get a sign over to you.