Tag Archives: Reform California

Janus vs AFSCME: Reform California to hold workshop for public employees who want their union dues back

26 Dec

Earlier this year the Supreme Court ruled on a case brought about by a public employee who didn’t want to be a union member or pay union “fees“. In Janus vs the American Federation of State, County and Municipal Employees (AFSCME), the court ruled, “Forcing free and independent individuals to endorse ideas they find objectionable raises serious First Amendment concerns. That includes compelling individuals to subsidize the speech of other private speakers.”

In fact, non-members who have paid “fees” are eligible for rebates of at least some of their money – as much as 78% of member dues, for the privilege of having a job. According to Reform California, ” many of our friends, co-workers, neighbors, and family are eligible for an average rebate of $800 this year alone!”

The law supposedly restricted these “fees” from being used for political purposes, but given our own city clerk’s abysmal record of holding these PACs up to the rules, I’ll guess there’s never been any audit of how they are really collected or spent. Not in Chico, or Butte County, that’s for sure. 

Reform California and the California Policy Center are hosting a workshop to help non-union employees who have been ripped off for these “fees” to get their rebates. Get more information about that here:

https://reformcalifornia.org/event/briefing-helping-friends-get-their-union-dues-refunds/

 

Read more about the Supreme Court decision here:

Click to access 16-1466_2b3j.pdf

City mounts it’s tax increase campaign

21 Jun

Bubble, bubble, toil and trouble – the Chico City Council is at it again. I’m pretty sure, the public has let them know, they will not vote themselves a sales tax increase. So, Mark Sorensen, “fiscal conservative,” has pulled a bond out of his ass – a special use bond! For street repairs!  A measure that can be passed with 51 percent of the vote!

Sorensen has balls of brass these days – you can actually hear them click together when he walks – because he has announced he has no plans to run for re-election. Good plan Mark!

Somebody should remind Sorensen that his tenure as councilor has coincided with the most incredible downward spiral any town has ever seen. But we’ve got work to do folks, no time for finger pointing.

Unless it’s your middle finger – go ahead and point that in the general direction of city hall every morning when you get up. Better yet – do what I did – write a letter to the Enterprise Record. That’s letters@chicoer.com  Cut a few words and send it to the News and Review if you like – that’s chicoletters@newsreview.com

The city of Chico is running a tax increase campaign in the form of quick-fix, highly publicized road repairs. First, city officials want to stop the November repeal of SB 1, the “gas tax”. Furthermore, they want to put their own revenue measure on an upcoming ballot.

Contractors are scraping 4 inches of old asphalt, chewing it up, mixing it with tar, and spreading it back over major thoroughfares like Esplanade and Cohasset Road. That’s nothing but a patch job – those roads need to be scraped to the base and completely resurfaced, as were East and Palmetto Avenues, back in the 1990’s. Those are still among the best roads in Chico. Meanwhile, the “resurfacing” job the city did on Vallombrosa last year is already crumbling to pieces, with major road hazards.

The city of Chico has deferred maintenance on roads in favor of paying pensions. On June 19, council voted unanimously to put $1 million (from where?) into a fund that can’t be used for anything else but paying the pension deficit. City Finance Director Scott Dowell set it up so that “We can’t use the (funds) for operations. There’s value there. If we had dollars available there’s a temptation to use it for needed things.” 

At the same meeting, council referred the concept of a “street maintenance bond” to the finance committee.

Here you see their real priority – fund the pensions. The road work they are doing now is nothing but posturing – it will be over as of November 7.

Repeal the gas tax.

Juanita Sumner, Chico

What we need to watch for Folks, is any indication they are spending taxpayer money to push this initiative. In the meantime, write those letters!

There’s still time to sign the gas tax repeal petition – tell your friends!

23 Mar

I hope more people will yak up this gas tax repeal effort – I just sent a letter to both local papers. It only took me about 45 minutes from start to finish – and I had pots on the stove.

It didn’t take very long for the 2018 gas tax and car registration increase to affect our quality of life – I’ve already noticed higher prices on staple groceries. Today the news confirmed as much  – Yoplait and Cheerios are up in price,  “due to transportation costs”. 

This tax increase has no “low income subsidy” –  poor families will pay a higher percentage of their income, just to get to work and buy food.  

Gas tax proponents claim the money will go to fix roads, but according to the San Diego Tribune, only half the money would be dedicated to traffic infrastructure, “The other half of the money would be spent largely at the discretion of local municipalities on a variety of projects.”  

The city of Chico already receives gas tax from the state, as well as over a million dollars a year in “franchise fees” from PG&E, Comcast, and Waste Management, for use of city streets, and look at the condition of our streets. 

California registered voters can still  sign the gas tax repeal petition that is being circulated by “Reform California”.  Signature gatherers have been working at Chico Safeway stores.  You can also download the petition to print, sign and send in at http://www.reformcalifornia.org/

Juanita Sumner, Chico CA

 

Our local GOP are not working hard enough to overturn the gas tax – just posturing for re-election?

21 Mar

I’ve been trying to follow the progress of the Reform California gas tax repeal petition. I’ve received updates from Carl Demaio’s office – they are asking for donations to pay signature gatherers to continue collecting signatures until their new deadline of April 23. The additional signatures are needed because Governor Brown has demanded a full count of the petition – this could delay the filing and they’d miss the November election.  If they submit 10 percent MORE than LEGALLY REQUIRED, they are confident they can qualify in 30 days with a random sample. 

I know, there’s a screwing around every corner of government business, but rules are rules.

I don’t have money to donate, but I’d like to encourage you to print out another sheet and try to get a couple more signatures yourself, send them in. 

http://www.reformcalifornia.org/

I am usually leery of big campaigns, I wasn’t eager to download something from a website and send it in the mail.  Unfortunately, I don’t believe local GOP are sincere in their support of this effort. When I heard about their rallies at Sinclair’s gas station in Chico, I tried to contact Senator Jim Nielsen and Congressman Doug Lamalfa about opportunities to sign locally, but received no response from either. So, in early February, I e-mailed the Reform California campaign to ask if any of our local GOP were collecting signatures. Demaio himself answered me back:

“We don’t have any locations in Butte County to sign, we tried reaching out to the Butte County GOP but they never returned our requests.”

I e-mailed Nielsen, Lamalfa and Butte County Dist. 2 supervisor Larry Wahl – all of whom showed up at Sinclair’s – telling them what Demaio said, and asking if it’s true. I told Nielsen and Lamalfa I won’t vote for them if they don’t do more to help with the petition. I’m not in Wahl’s district, but I told him I’d like to have something to run with in supporting him – I’d rather have Satan himself than Wahl’s opponent, the salary seeking Debra Lucero. 

So, print out some petitions, try to get your registered voting friends to sign – and remember, if they are from different counties they need to fill out separate petitions. And, take a minute to write/call  these three posturing ninnies, tell them they need to get their asses out there and get more signatures.

Doug Lamalfa    https://lamalfa.house.gov/contact/email-me

Jim Nielsen   http://nielsen.cssrc.us/content/my-offices

Larry Wahl     LWahl@ButteCounty.net