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Golden Fleece Awards


2017 Sacramento Taxpayers Association Annual Golden Fleece Awards Dinner —  April 18, 2017 featuring Assemblyman Travis Allen, R-Huntington Beach.



SacTax Annual Dinner & Golden Fleece Awards


April 18, 2017 at The Dante Club.

Our featured Speaker is Assemblyman Travis Allen, R-Huntington Beach. Allen has run his own small business for more than a decade as a Financial Planner, focused on creating and preserving wealth for working families, retirees, and local business owners.

This is our second year at The Dante Club. We will enjoy again the delicious family-style dinner: mixed green salad, pasta with meat sauce, spinach ravioli with pesto cream, balsamic chicken, tri tip, rolls and ice cream.

$55 per ticket, or

$500 for a table of 10

and sponsorships are welcome!

Tickets available on EventBrite:




 2016 Annual Golden Fleece Awards Dinner


The Sacramento Taxpayers Association held its 55th Annual Taxpayer Dinner April 13, featuring keynote speaker Sen. John Moorlach, and the SacTax GOLDEN FLEECE AWARDS!

 The winner of the Sacramento Taxpayers Association’s 2nd Annual Golden Fleece Award is:

The entire Board of Directors, Sacramento Regional Transit, for two recent moves:

(a) Raising bus and light rail fares to the highest level in California.  (RT staff sought board approval for fare hikes that would have been the highest-in-the-nation).

(b) Pushing for a bailout of RT through voter approval of a doubling of the current ½% Measure A county-wide, transportation sales tax, a proposal that’s likely to be on the November ballot.  The RT board has failed to take fiscally prudent steps to rein in RT’s escalating operating costs, such as considering 15 cost-saving steps proposed by EOS in its study of RT.

Department of Utilities, Sacramento 1st Runner Up and winner of the TRIFECTA AWARD for three moves:

(a) Creating an open-ended new entitlement program to subsidize the utility rates of almost half the entire city population, while facing a fiscal cliff and a 25% spike in violent crime.

(b) Carcinogate – For introducing a new chemical, in a cost-saving move, into the city water system as part of a 12-month trial.  It was immediately determined by DOU tests that the chemical triggered elevated levels of a known carcinogen which exceeded EPA-allowable levels – a condition that the DOU allowed to persist for a full year without public awareness.

(c)  Negligently supervising city contractors digging up streets for the water meter program, leading to five gas line breaks in a single neighborhood (Land Park) in a single year, one of which required the evacuation of two city blocks and 60 emergency-response personnel.

City Council, Sacramento 2nd Runner Up & Recipient of STA’s ANNUAL HUBRIS AWARD – For blatantly ignoring the clear will of city voters who soundly rejected a tax assessment in Downtown/Midtown to pay for a circulating streetcar system by a vote of 56% “NO” to 46% “YES” (the special tax required a 2/3rds “YES” vote to pass).   The City didn’t miss a beat in pursuing a “Plan B” strategy to build the streetcar project anyway.

City Council, Sacramento [3rd Runner Up]– For approving phony ethics reform by approving the creation of an ethics commission that will have members who are not independently selected, that lacks jurisdiction over almost all types of ethics violations and lacks the enforcement power to deter unethical behavior by elected and appointed city officials.


Arden Manor Park & Recreation District [Honorable Mention]– For using the 1/1/16 hike in the state minimum wage rate from $9 to $10/hour as a pretext for raising the pay of all District employees – when it’s burning through cash reserves to cover it chronic operating deficits.

City Council, Sacramento [Honorable Mention] – For spiking the pension of City Clerk Shirley Concolino by approving a 10.5% increase in her salary (a $17,000 raise) a couple of years before her expected retirement, which will cost city taxpayers an estimated $50,000 in higher direct employment costs and an astonishing $250,000 in estimated future pension benefits – at a time when Sacramento faces a severe fiscal cliff and sharply increasing violent crime.

City Council, Sacramento [Honorable Mention] – For vacuuming up a projected $10 million in utility taxes generated by council approval of unprecedented four years of double-digit hikes in both water and sewer rates, which imposes greater costs on ratepayers, diverts funds available for utility infrastructure upgrades and conveniently dodges the need to obtain voter approval of the $10 million tax hike.


The Sacramento Taxpayers Association held the First Annual GOLDEN FLEECE AWARDS, bestowed upon public officials, governmental agencies and organizations for their “wasteful, ridiculous, or ironic use of taxpayers’ money,” at the STA Annual Dinner April 15, 2015.

The winner of the GOLDEN FLEECE AWARD was the City of Sacramento’s Department of Utilities for “Metergate,” its wasteful practice of tearing up city sidewalks to install water meters, at an average cost of $5,000, instead of simply installing them in people’s yards at a small fraction of the cost.

The list of nominees included:

  • The City of Sacramento’s Department of Parks & Recreation for spending $200,000 to build an ADA-compliant restroom in McKinley Park;
  • Mayor Kevin Johnson for implementing “Strong Mayor Through the Backdoor,” by engineering a recent City Council directive to City Manager John Shirey to implement 20 new programs, projects and initiatives in the City’s next budget, without public review or vetting;
  • The City and County of Sacramento for pushing a plan to spend $150 Million to build a 3.3 miles of circulating streetcar system that nationally-recognized transit experts have concluded will further congest Downtown traffic, contribute nothing to commuter mobility, be as slow as walking, won’t meet ridership projections and will drain millions each year from existing light rail and bus service needed for folks of limited means to get to work;
  • The City of Sacramento’s Police Department for paying five senior police officers at total of $1 million each year in salaries and benefits to spend all of their time working for their own labor union;
  • The 15 employee Carmichael Recreation & Park District, for handing out $96,000 in raises to just four managers, for an average raise of $24,000, at a time when district officials were asking property owners to approve a higher property tax assessment;

Under “Metergate,” the practice of tearing up city sidewalks, coupled with the City’s needless abandonment of backyard water mains long before the end of their useful lives, has burdened city utility customers with tens of millions of dollars of added expense, compounded by interest costs since the work is being financed mostly with City bonds.

Investigative journalist Joe Rubin, accepted the SacTax Golden Fleece Award on behalf of the City of Sacramento Utilities Dept. Rubin was the author of detailed exposés published in the Sacramento News & Review that broke the “Metergate” story wide open, leading to City action earlier this year to halt many of the wasteful practices.