Tag Archives: Truth Matters Chico

We’ve got to get that gavel away from Gruendl – he’s a danger to himself AND the public!

15 Feb

 put up a great post the other day of the last council meeting a couple of weeks ago, during which Mayor Scott Gruendl used his gavel like a tomahawk.   That guy, he’s just drunk on his own power trip.  Watch for yourself, the gals posted the footage from the meeting.

http://truthmatterschico.com/2014/02/13/a-good-gaveling/

People don’t pay enough attention to Scott Gruendl, and they really should. If you get to know him like I have, you see, he’s a creepy, weird little jerk, with delusions that we are all so lucky to have a guy like him, we absolutely aren’t worthy. 

Hey, did you ever watch the original film, Anastasia? Ingrid Bergman plays a mysterious woman claiming to be the lost Russian Grand Duchess Anastasia Romanov, and Helen Hayes plays the  grandmother who must decide if this woman is the child she knew many years before.  Near the end, when the Hayes character feels it’s impossible to know, she watches the younger woman scold a soldier – “How dare you light a cigarette in my presence!” She immediately decides that this young woman really is her granddaughter, telling her, she had shown a streak of royal bearing that was impossible to fake. 

Well, we may have found Anastasia’s lost brother Alexei – in Scott Gruendl, our royal mayor. He treats Mary Fitch like she’s a child, trying to get away with something.  Not only have I seen him and other mayors allow many people to go well over the illegal three minutes,  also documented several specific incidences, including an incident at the same meeting. Scott is way out of line to stop Mary Fitch without any discussion, while allowing other speakers to go on at will. Watch for yourself.

Holiday must reads: Truth Matters, and here it is!

27 Dec

Mary, Quene and Alicia over at Truth Matters Chico! have been working hard to explain some of the financial calisthenics that go into paying for public government – you know, of the government, by the government, paid for by the people. Here Mary gives us the details of the cost allocation study in grown-up but pretty easy language:

http://truthmatterschico.com/2013/12/23/into-the-weeds-revenues-transfers-and-allocations/

Mary has been going to a lot of trouble to try and put this stuff into readable packages, it is up to all of us to tag along. It’s really not rocket science. If you don’t think you should have to understand this stuff, then put a collar on and go along being a lapdog to the Oppressor.

And then get ready to get really mad. Mary’s next post tell us all those things we have suspected are true. Here she posts a report that was never given because the city employee who was going to give it – Fritz McKinley – mysteriously got the ax the day or so before the council meeting at which he was scheduled to give it. I’ll let Mary explain, I’m too pissed off.

http://truthmatterschico.com/2013/12/24/2nd-floor-staffingfinance-workout-plan/

I also have a couple of e-mails from Sorensen, related to the discussion we’ve been having about the garbage tax, but I got a lot of chores right now, so I’m not going to get all pissed off about that again too. I’ll get to it later.

 

Hey – sometimes bitching about something really does work! City Clerk posts up-to-date council minutes! (does her $135,000/year + benies job)

19 Oct

Stop the presses – the city council minutes have been brought up to date! Why? Because Debbie Presson won’t be publicly criticized. 

Thank you Truth Matters Chico!

Presson is now doing what folks have been asking for – posting the actions of the meetings almost immediately instead of holding them for six months while she powders her nose and fixes her lipstick.  She’s “annotating” the agendas with the motions made, the votes and actions taken. That’s good to have, really, because I’ve watched those meetings and things happen so quick and off-mike – sometimes I can’t tell what they did right in front of me.  Reading annotated notes is like going to a city council meeting without having to wade through hours of bullshit. 

Here’s why –  “Then Presson said she can spend time composing more detailed official minutes for council approval.”

That’s a good word to use – compose – because that’s more what she does – she picks and chooses which comments to include, and leaves the rest out. I’ve actually had to ask her to include question and answer sessions I’ve participated in at those meetings. She’s included some comments I’ve remembered at meetings and left out whole conversations on another topic. She left out the conversation I had with Jennifer Hennessy at one meeting, during which Hennessy gave me mis-information about the amount spent on employee pensions.   They should not be able to pick and choose – it should be either action-only (like she just posted) or it should be verbatim. They were doing the Chief’s Advisory Board minutes verbatim when Maloney was chief, why not city council and committee meetings? 

And then, what they’re not talking about in the news article, is “council approval“. Yeah, council members get to remove stuff they don’t like! Even if they really said it! 

I’m happy to see the action-only posted, but I’m sick and tired of Debbie Presson collecting a $135,000/year for sitting on her ass “composing” stuff to be passed off as the truth. 

We need a BIG shakeup in November 2014. 

NO CTA MEETING THIS SUNDAY – regular meeting rescheduled for October 13.

4 Oct

I have other obligations this weekend so I have scheduled the monthly Chico Taxpayer’s Association meeting for October 13 – usual time and place, 9am, Chico Library.

I was happy to see a story about Truth Matters Chico in the Chico News and Review this week:

http://www.newsreview.com/chico/insider-talk/content?oid=11635933

I especially love the expression on finance department staffer Frank Field’s face in the photo – he seems to be saying, “oh oh, the shit’s about to hit the fan…”   Lately I been kind of worried they’re going to lay it all on Fields – remarks have been made to the extent that “Frank’s been here all along…” Ever been left holding the bag? Not me – I was always the one who ran to tell Gramma. 

Well, I’m off this weekend to scatter some TOT and sales tax around the sunny town of Antioch. My Christmas money is burning a hole in my pocket, but I ain’t letting it out until I’m over the Butte County line.   Some of the stuff they’ve been doing over at the County Center has me wondering – who do our supervisors work for? The garbage company? Southern California developers? “You got the money Honey, I got the time!” I’ll be sending them the same message – I will spend my sales tax elsewhere. It’s just another excuse for a road trip. 

 

 

 

From Truth Matters Chico: Mayor Gruendl threatens to release personnel files – why is he so desperate to shut these people up?

19 Sep

The following is a repost from Truth Matters Chico, with permission from Mary. Read more discussion at

http://truthmatterschico.com/2013/09/19/mayor-gruendl-threatens-to-release-personnel-files/

Mayor Gruendl threatens to release personnel files

Posted by 

In today’s Chico News & Review, Bob Speer writes of our interaction with the Mayor during September 17 Business from the Floor, wherein we exposed his recent Facebook rant:

Interviewed after the meeting, the mayor was unapologetic, though he acknowledged he may have been “a little over the top.” Obviously frustrated by what he called a “cover your ass” effort on the women’s part, he said they’d waived their right to employee confidentiality and threatened to reveal embarrassing things from their personnel files.

We will be addressing the entirety of the article shortly; however, we wanted to get this out to you right away. Every person who has a personnel file at a prior employer should be outraged.

Again we ask, why is it so important that the Mayor silence us? Could it be that, although we have only exposed the tip of the iceberg, he knows what lies beneath the surface? Could it be that, as the longest-seated member of the Council, his prior words and voting record would reveal that he contributed to the City’s current financial situation? Does he want to stop us before we reveal a truth he does not want to acknowledge?

This behavior is frightening. It is an abuse of power for a government official to assault private citizens and attempt to quash their right to free speech. Only your voices can stop this out-of-control official. Please attend Council meetings and be heard, or write your Councilors and demand that they cease their efforts to silence dissenting opinions. Remember, the next person who disagrees with the Mayor could be you or someone you love.

If you did not see the Mayor’s Facebook rant, it is here:

2013-09-06_Mayor Scott Gruendl_FB

The entire Chico News & Review article can be found here:

http://www.newsreview.com/chico/on-the-chopping-block/content?oid=11501932

As always, we thank you for your readership and encourage your comments.

Remember, Truth Matters, Chico!

GRUENDL_CHICOER

Clerk feels her $135,000/year time is best spent hunched over her computer picking and choosing what goes into the minutes – that’s why the minutes are seven months behind

11 Sep

Well, my questions to the city clerk and staff regarding the production of meeting minutes has started quite a conversatin.  It’s gotten weird – with Stephanie Taber and Sean Morgan asking me to “back off.”  But here’s the answer I was waiting for, from Debbie Presson:

Hi Juanita.

 

I thought I would provide additional clarification regarding the preparation of minutes that is clearly my responsibility.

 

First, let me set the record straight, the Council action regarding minutes which carried 7-0 on November 7, 2000 was to “approve “action-only” minutes, with staff to provide summary detail when needed.”  This action was based on the fact that VHS videos (at that time) were available for check out the day after the meeting.  We then moved to DVD’s when that technology became available and then in 2009, started streaming the meetings and making all Council meeting videos available on the website so our citizens would have immediate access to the meeting information.  For citizens who cannot access the videos on the internet, we still maintain a DVD copy available for citizens to check out and take home to view.

 

So, yes… the City Council minutes are behind at this time.  Back in May 2010 through the first part of 2011, they also got behind when nine additional Council meetings were held in order to take in public comment for the General Plan Update.  Public input was critical to that process and therefore needed to be reflected accurately.  I had to watch those meetings over and over again in order to capture what each citizen stated for the record. 

 

The second note that I would like to make is that I do not pick and choose what goes into the minutes.  The detailed minutes were in many cases “verbatim” in order to capture anything related to the budget issues that the Council was grappling with at that time.  I began to provide more verbatim minutes when Council kept asking questions regarding the financial situation but was often told by the Finance Director that she didn’t have that information with her.  Detailed or verbatim minutes were solely related to those financial discussions and contained all the comments from all speakers related to the item, not just the items I wanted to see included.

 

I am honored to serve as the City Clerk of Chico and my duties surrounding the legislative history are very important to me.  I strive at all times to provide minutes that accurately reflect what actions were taken at each and every meeting and more importantly, what the video can attest to…. at any given moment.  As mentioned by both the Mayor and Stephanie Taber, there is no statute that provides a deadline or time line for the presentation of minutes to the Council for review.  Having said that, I am committed to getting them caught up as quickly as I can.  However, there are other things that are deadline driven and required by State law that will always need to be completed within the time frames allowed by law.  Those types of items by their very nature, take priority over the minutes.

 

I do appreciate your suggestion of annotated agendas where the motion, second and vote are indicated.  At this time, I am just trying to get the minutes caught up…. but should a backlog of minutes occur again in the future, I believe the annotated agendas would be helpful to those individuals who choose not to watch the videos.

 

Thank you for your comments. 

 

Debbie Presson  

I answered:

Debbie, you do pick and choose. I still have the e-mail exchange where I had that conversation in which Jennifer gave me erroneous information about the employee share, and you and Dani just “chose” to leave that whole conversation off the record. I wondered if Jennifer had asked you to strike it – is that allowed?  You’d put another question I’d asked in the record, so I knew I was at the meeting.  It was Sorensen who pointed out Jennifer gave me the wrong figures, and I had to ask you to add that. It’s pretty clear that you guys listen to the tapes and type what you want into the record.

 

I’ve seen the verbatim minutes. With a video for back up, I see absolutely no reason for verbatim minutes. 

 

It is my belief that you would better serve the public if you gave us the annotated agendas where the motion,  second and vote are indicated. That would be best for all the meetings, not just council. I think it is a terrible waste of expensive staff time to strain over an hour’s tape for 5 – 6 hours trying to pick and choose. 

 

Here’s why I choose not to watch the videos – all I want is the motion, second and vote, why should I have to sit at my computer, pushing the button, trying to find the exact moment of the motion, when you get paid over $135,000/year to take notes?  Why can’t the notes be available within a week? A month? That’s not unreasonable, other towns do it with less resources than Chico. 

 

Thank you for doing the job you are generously paid for, and I’d also like to add, you guys need to pay your own pensions and healthcare package. That would really establish some good will on your part. 

 

Sincerely, Juanita Sumner

This is a catharsis – FINALLY the city clerk drops that “have a wonderful day” bullshit and talks straight – I’ve been waiting for this through years of phony ass-kissing and superficial conversation.   I don’t hate Debbie Presson, I hate phony people, and she doesn’t present her true face, she uses that sugary coating as a defense mechanism, so nobody will tell her to cut the crap and do her job. Well, I’m telling her, damn the feel-good torpedoes.