Tag Archives: No on Chico Measure H

Many campaign donors look at it like more of an investment – take Measure H donors, please!

6 Oct

It’s always good to see who is behind a campaign and how much money they’ve put into it. Sometimes we find, these donors look at campaign contributions as more of an investment than the rest of us.

Here’s the link to the most recently filed report from Chicoans For The Sales Tax Measure 2022 — aka, Yes on Measure H. It’s a quick read, but very interesting – thanks Dave for the Heads Up.

https://public.netfile.com/pub2/RequestPDF.aspx?id=204866944

The biggest donors on this report are the Chico Police Officers Association and local developers Slater and Son. The CPOA was also the biggest donor behind ill-fated CARD Measure A. The Chico Police Department is also the biggest expense the taxpayers have, taking over half the new budget of $211 million. The salaries lead the pension deficit, so the cops also have the biggest pension deficit. Generous contributions to candidates at election time have kept council members from pressing CPOA members to pay more rational shares of their pensions and benefits.

Meanwhile, developers Howard and son Brandon Slater enjoy their fair share of public housing contracts, most recently receiving the contract for the new Jesus Center and transitional housing on Fair Street. That project is funded by the city of Chico.

I don’t know about you, but I’m not seeing the housing shortage the city (and Measure H proponents) are claiming – read this article, this is what I see whenever I drive around town.

https://krcrtv.com/news/local/nearly-1400-affordable-housing-units-in-chico-proposed-while-camp-fire-survivors-move-out

CHICO, Calif. April 16, 2022 — Construction of affordable housing in Chico is picking up, while tenants are moving out.

Brendan Vieg, the City of Chico’s community development director for planning and housing, released the new development statistics during the Chico Chamber of Commerce’s community development update Thursday.

Affordable housing, historically not comparable to those numbers, is keeping up this year. Vieg says 476 affordable housing units are currently under construction via apartments, duplexes and more. This work can be seen at the 59-unit project located at the old Jesus Center near downtown, the 60-unit project at the intersection of Bruce Road and East 20th Street, 97-unit Laval Ridge project off State Route 32 and east of Bruce Road, the 100-unit Creekside Place project across from Marsh Junior High School and the 106-unit North Creek Crossing project inside Meriam Park.

And a lot of it is being built with public money – “Those affordable housing projects represent solely those that have already broken ground, but something both the in-construction and in-development projects share: where the funding is coming from.

Vieg says a total of 10 projects are being funded through disaster tax credits and CDBG Disaster Recovery Funds. Chico received over $32 million of this post-Camp Fire due to the influx of around 20,000 people who were displaced and eventually moved there in 2018.

The Measure H flyer I received today claims that the revenues from H “would support“, among other things, “housing“. So you see, Slater and Son are making an investment, not a donation. They will receive millions in funding out of those revenues. There’s no oversite on jobs like that, when it’s taxpayer money, the sky is the limit. No fiscal responsibility, no competitive nature, the contractor charges what they want once they secure the contract.

Howard Slater used to say something along the lines of “for every dollar you spend in planning, you save $7 in building…” Well I’d say, he’s using the same philosophy in regards to greasing the wheels that turn his business empire – the public trough. For every $30,000 donated, you get how many million in return Howard?

And we must realize, the cops look at it same. Every election the CPOA are the biggest donors.

I’ll add this last “I told you so” – when Paradise was burnt to the ground and people fled for their lives, city of Chico management treated them like a pack of fleas, claiming they were overwhelming services like roads and sewers. Orme cried poormouth while receiving millions in disaster relief. I told you all that was BULLSHIT, and here’s staffer Vieg admitting it.

Over three years after the blaze, these people are moving out.

“‘Our population swelled to over 112,000,” says Vieg. ‘Based on the Census, they have come in with a number of 101,475. So that’s kind of a big reflection of, again, a greater out-migration in our community.'”

At the time, Orme claimed 120,000. He used that number to file for and receive millions in disaster relief. Council spent the money as they saw fit – doled it out to their buddies in the unions and the developer community.

The most interesting reports come after the election is over, because the smart ones don’t donate until the last quarter. That would be the Service Employees International Union, which is the biggest union Downtown. That’s another time, on This Old Lady.

New group comes out against Measure H: Chico Says No

2 Oct

https://chicosaysno.weebly.com

VOTE NO ON MEASURE H

Why Should You Vote No On the Chico City Council’s Measure H Sales Tax Increase?

  • There is No Guarantee How the Money Will Be Spent

The measure contains a long list of possible uses for the money (many vague) but no details, dollar amounts or completion dates are assigned to anything.  Instead of necessities like street maintenance, the money can be spent on unsustainable employee costs, boondoggles and possibly hundreds of millions in new bonds (debt)! Remember, the money from the garbage tax was supposed to be spent for street maintenance but was siphoned off for the pensions. And that is only one example of our money being mismanaged!

  • There is No Citizen Oversight Council

Our city councils have proven over and over they can’t be trusted to spend our money wisely.

  • The Tax is PERMANENT Despite What The City Says

The ballot measure deceitfully says the tax will be in effect until “ended by voters.” Do you think the City will ever put a repeal on the ballot?  Of course NOT!  So it will require professional signature gathers to collect in excess of 12,000 signatures to get a repeal on the ballot and that will cost thousands of dollars.  Who is going to pay for that?  No one!  You will NEVER get a chance to repeal this tax.

  • The Tax is REGRESSIVE

Working people, poor people and those on fixed incomes will pay a disproportionate amount of their incomes and savings for this tax. In 2019 a City consultant said the per capita cost would be about $200 a year and that’s before the worst inflation in forty years.

  • This Is No Time for Another Tax Increase

Inflation at a 40 year high, looming recession, 22.4% of Chicoans living in poverty, record debt, taxes and the cost of living are already too high, etc.  And the City just passed a 67% sewer rate increase! Among other taxes, the City already taxes us 5% on gas, electric, telecom, water and has “franchise fees” of 2% on gas and electric and 10% on garbage. We have enough taxes!

  • The City’s Revenue Has Been Growing for Years

The City has never had more money to spend and the streets and the rest of the City’s infrastructure have never been worse.  The City’s revenue is up 40% FY15-16 through FY20-21 and when the audited financial reports come out for last fiscal year revenue will be up again. (As usual, the City doesn’t publish the audit financials until 6 months after the FY closes!)

  • The City Has a Spending Problem, Not a Revenue Problem

For many years money that should have been spent for essential programs like infrastructure maintenance has been siphoned off for massive unfunded liabilities which continue to grow anyway.  These liabilities are unsustainable. A tax increase will NOT solve this problem but only enables the City to delay taking action resulting in more tax increases later.

Instead of voting for a tax increase, demand the City Council reform these unsustainable liabilities so they are not passed down to your kids and grandkids! Download this flyer here and distribute it to everyone you know! Thank you!

Do your research, write your election letters, and send them here!

7 Sep

I’ve had a couple of people ask me about writing letters to the editor. I see Mike Wolcott has already lowered the boom – it was sometime in August, after which we are only allowed one election related letter. He says he gets overwhelmed with letters – I think he manages the page poorly, whole days printing nothing. But, he’s the boss, and he makes the rules.

Of course it’s perfectly reasonable for an editor to make rules, I just wish Wolcott was more consistent. No personal insults – since when? Claims must have supporting facts – since when? I laughed out loud when I read that the paper will not research anything in depth – isn’t that what journalism is about?

We’ve all watched the letters section descend into a mosh pit. I wish more people would actually follow those rules all the time, and Wolcott would really uphold them.

Here’s a source I wish more people would read and cite – the city budget.

https://chico.ca.us/city-budget

I quoted the budget in my “Argument Against Measure H,” and the proponents came back saying I was using “scare tactics”. Yeah, our budget is scary, give it a read, there are things in there you should know, and can quote in your next letter.

Another good read is the Agendas/Minutes page – City Council is not the only board that affects our lives, and the others aren’t elected, they’re appointed. You should know about these boards and read up on their activities:

https://chico.ca.us/boards-commissions

I know, I’m just a blogger, and I’ve been accused of spreading misinformation, but I am very serious about getting people to inform themselves, look at different sources, read between the lines. Stay out of gossip and feelings, and state the facts, Ma’am.

And, if you please, send your letter here and I’ll run it. Just cut and paste it into a comment on the “contact us here” page.