City stoops to emminent domaining private property to pay their salaries – THIS IS AGENDA 21

1 Jun

From this coming Tuesday’s council agenda:

3.1.  HEARING ON ACQUISITION OF INTEREST IN REAL PROPERTY BY EMINENT DOMAIN FOR THE BICYCLE PATH – LITTLE CHICO CREEK TO 20TH STREET PARK  Hearing on the public use and necessity of acquisition of property rights at 1377 Humboldt Avenue by eminent domain for: Bicycle Path – Little Chico Creek to 20th Street Park Project. The City budgeted funds for the construction of the new bicycle facility and must acquire additional right-of-way from a property owner to construct the project.  By notice letter dated 5/13/13, Laura and Jerry Douglas, the property owners of 1377 Humboldt Avenue, were advised of this hearing, of the City’s intent to purchase right-of-way and improvements, and that the property owner should submit a request in writing within 15 days of the date of the letter if the owner wished to be heard at this meeting. No request was received as of the date of preparation of this agenda. Compensation is not the subject of this hearing. (Report – Ruben Martinez, Public Works Department Director) Recommendation – Adoption of the following resolution: RESOLUTION OF THE COUNCIL OF THE CITY OF CHICO FINDING THAT THE PUBLIC INTEREST AND NECESSITY REQUIRE THE ACQUISITION OF INTEREST IN REAL PROPERTY LOCATED AT 1377 HUMBOLDT AVENUE IN CONNECTION WITH A PROJECT TO CONSTRUCT A PEDESTRIAN BRIDGE OVER LITTLE CHICO CREEK CONNECTING HUMBOLDT AVENUE TO 20TH STREET COMMUNITY PARK AND AUTHORIZING THE INITIATION OF AN EMINENT DOMAIN ACTION TO ACQUIRE SUCH PROPERTY (ASSESSOR’S PARCEL NO. 004-374-032)

And here the real reason behind it, in an e-mail from $taffer Tom Varga:

Ms. Taber-
Thank you for your patience for my reply.
Yes you were looking at the right project when you checked the “2012 Chico Urban Area Bicycle Plan”. Regarding the work to be done with acquiring the Douglas parcel, there are sufficient funds to accomplish this task and that was what I had in mind when describing it as having no budgetary impact. Construction funds will at the very least come from the Bicycle Improvement Fund. The City Council will decide in its budget deliberations when and how much is appropriate. In the meantime, staff will continue to look for other funding sources to improve on this. As an important point of information, once all of the needed easements have been secured, (the Douglas acquisition being the final piece), then the City is qualified for many more grants it can not yet apply for. Nevertheless, eminent domain is a powerful tool that should be invoked as the exception and not the rule. The City has been negotiating with the Douglas family for several years now and if an impasse is reached, then such a tool may be considered. State and Federal laws are very stringent in giving the highest reasonable valuation to any property acquisition by a public agency. Given the consequences of such a choice, it is very much a public process with a difficult decision placed before the City Council.
Regarding the Bicycle Plan (from which the various items are being referenced in our email chain), that is a topic that is basically different from the project or the acquisition under consideration. Your observations refer to a generalized list of potential funding sources to accomplish all of the goals in the plan. Likewise, the Bicycle Plan is a long-term plan with the understanding that not every listed project may actually be realized. Coincidentally, the City is starting a major update of its Bicycle Plan. This would be an ideal time to join in this review if you find topic important to you. By copy of this email, I will ask Tracy Bettencourt who is working as our bicycle coordinator to contact you about your interest in the matter.
If there are other questions, or if I can be of further assistance, please contact me at your convenience.

>>> Tom Varga 4/5/2013 8:09 AM >>>

What Varga doesn’t mention here is that he needs to secure these grants to pay his own salary.  Varga made over $113,000 in salary alone in 2012, and then we pay for all but 4 percent of his benefits and pension.  $taff is desperate to get these grants.
Scott Gruendl is all over this snatch. Gruendl, who lives like a rat in a hole over in Doe Mill because he’s not financially responsible, has no respect for private property rights. As a proponent of Agenda 21, Gruendl does not believe in private property rights.
It might be too late to save the Douglas’ property rights, but we need to turn that little slimeball Scott Gruendl out in 2014.

2 Responses to “City stoops to emminent domaining private property to pay their salaries – THIS IS AGENDA 21”

  1. Jim June 1, 2013 at 8:34 pm #

    Isn’t there already a bike path there? Why do we need another one?

    • Juanita Sumner June 2, 2013 at 5:07 am #

      In my opinion, the only reason for “building” this bike path is to secure grants for Tom Varga’s salary.

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