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Katy Grimes

Sac Metro Fire has one-half of the 100 highest paid public employees Sacramento Region

Next month, the Sacramento Metropolitan FireDistrict is expected tomake a pitch that 220,000 Sacramento County property owners approve a large property tax assessment on their properties.

Annual assessments on single-family homes will range up to $50 per year if the proposal is approved by property owners, according to Craig Powell, president of Eye on Sacramento, a public policy watchdog. Commercial properties and apartment complexes will be significantly higher.

The Sacramento Beepublished a story Wednesday reporting about the State Controller’s most recent report on the 1,000 highest paid publicemployees in the Sacramento region, reporting payfrom 2012.

Six different California fire districts top the list of highest paid public employees:

Belmont-San Carlos Fire District,San Mateo County Montecito Fire District, Santa Barbara County Novato Fire District, Marin County Chino Valley Fire District, San Bernardino County Woodside Firer District, San Mateo … Read More

Katy Grimes

CA Courts executive officer charging taxpayers to travel to SF office

The Administrative Office of the Courts is in the news once again, and again, it’s not good news.Known as the central bureaucracy for California’s courts, the AOC has a rich history of statewide controversy.

Following a promotion of the state judiciary’s top lobbyist to a specially created executive position at the Administrative Office of the Courts, Curtis Child, theAdministrative Office of the Courts Chief Operating Officer,has been billing taxpayers for travel from his home in Sacramento to the San Francisco AOC office where he works, according to Courthouse News Service and the Alliance of California Judges.

Curtis Child, the former AOC lobbyist, has been billing taxpayers for lodging, tolls, parking, and travel costs of working from Sacramento, where he lives, when the AOC office and 223 employees he manages are in San Francisco, the Alliance of California Judges and Courthouse News… Read More

Katy Grimes

Sacto City Clerk rejects petition to put arena subsidy to a public vote

In another twist in Sacramento’s arena derangement syndrome, a petition drive to put a public subsidy for the proposed Sacramento basketball arena project to a public vote, has been rejected by the Sacramento City Clerk.

Friday, the city clerk announced that she rejected the petitions, along with 34,000 signatures, on the grounds some of the petition versions did not comply with election code.

“Due to technical issues identified in the submitted petitions, I find the petition noncompliant with significant provisions of the California Elections Code and the Sacramento City Charter, and therefore insufficient to move forward,”Shirley Concolino, Sacramento City Clerk, said in a press release.

Yet, just last week,theSacramento County Registrarcertified there were enough… Read More

Katy Grimes

Arena Derangement Syndrome update: Arena lawsuit nears deposition of city officials

Opponents of the push for a heavily subsidized downtown Sacramento basketball arena are closer to forcing key city insiders to tell what they know about how much taxpayers actually will have to pay for the project.

Last week,Sacramento Superior Court Judge Eugene Balononissued a tentative ruling in the lawsuit targeting the arena deal orchestrated by Mayor Kevin Johnson, a former NBA star. It supported petitioners’ requests that they be allowed to depose Sacramento Councilman Kevin McCarty and Sacramento Economic Development Director Jim Rhinehartabout undisclosed dealings between city officials and the new Kings ownership group to help it buy the team.

The Sacramento Investor Group,led by tech entrepreneur Vivek Ranadive,… Read More

Katy Grimes

Gerawan Farming files constitutional challenge against ALRB

Gerawan Farming is fed up.

On Dec. 16, the Gerawan Farming company filed aconstitutional challengeagainst the California Agricultural Labor Relations Board, with the United Farm Workers of America as a “Real Party of Interest.” It was filed with the California Court of Appeal, Fifth District in Fresno, against the ALRB’s invocation of theCalifornia’s Mandatory Mediation and Conciliation Statute. The statute wassigned into law by Gov. Gray Davis in 2002.

This was part of wrangling with the United Farm Workers Union that began in Oct. 2012, when the union insisted that a collective… Read More

Katy Grimes

Discrepancies found in Brown aides’ FPPC reporting

Several of my recent stories about some of Gov. Jerry Brown’s appointees have revealed discrepancies about reports filed on conflicts of interest and financial disclosure.

Form 700 is a Statement of Economic Interests required of “designated” government employees, meaning the governor’s top aides and consultants.Some, but not all, Brown “designated” appointees have filedForm 700s with the Fair Political Practices Commission.

As I detailed in the stories, the FPPC included in its files Form 700 fromFish and Game Commissioner Mike Sutton.

But for newLabor Secretary David Lanier,the FPPC did not comply with CalWatchDog.com’s request for copies of his Form 700.

Because of the discrepancy, I also asked Brown’s… Read More

Katy Grimes

Can liberty in America be saved in 2014?

What will Liberty look like in 2014?

And no, it’s not a car.

Liberty is something we often hear about, but isn’t exactly a topic of discussion at dinner parties. If we don’t really know what liberty is, how will we know when it is taken away, or if it is being taken away? Unfortunately, it often takes tyranny to make liberty more precious.

The purpose of liberty is to allow human life to flourish.Are we flourishing in California and the rest of America in 2013? What will liberty look like in 2014?

Are Americans prepared to fight for liberty?

Government serves the people

John Locke, a 17th century English philosopher and physician, regarded as one of the most influential ofRead More

Katy Grimes

Merry Covered CA Christmas: No payment, no health coverage

If you are signing up for Obamacare, I hope you’ve already put your check in the mail. If you haven’t paid by Dec. 23, don’t count on having Obamacare insurance in January. As with all insurance coverage, the plan must be paid for before you are officially covered.

According to theU.S. Department of Health and Human Services, nearly 365,000 Americans have signed up for health insurance through state exchanges under Obamacare, or signed up usingHealthcare.gov.

“Since October 1, 1.9 million have made it through another critical step, the eligibility process, by applying and receiving an eligibility determination, but have not yet selected a plan,” theHHS agencysaid. ”An additional 803,077 were determined or assessed eligible for Medicaid or the Children’s Health Insurance Program (CHIP) in October and November by the Health Insurance Marketplace.”

But Healthcare.gov and state insurance exchanges are still not… Read More

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