Meet the new boss, same as the old boss…

21 Aug

Sheesh I hate those night time meetings. I keep saying I won’t attend another one – for what purpose? The usual circus, freak show and bullshit storm? Sitting all night fielding their garbage, three minutes to puke out my thoughts, and then sit/stand and wait while they wax moronic for another 50 minutes? 

What I really hate is, they get to respond to your remarks, say whatever they want, but you don’t get to respond to their response. That’s why I went down there last night and asked them to leave the morning meetings alone.  I’m not sure what they actually voted to do, but it sounded as though they will actually be adding meetings.

At last I got in on a real  movement – remember Folks, what Arlo Guthrie said, in Alice’s Restaurant and Massacree:

 “One Guy is NUTS, Two Guys are (not politically correct), but THREE GUYS, THAT’S A MOVEMENT! “

Well, more than three guys stood up last night to tell council that the committee meetings are important. In fact, the Art Commission made a regular run on the place – out of 15 speakers I’m going to say at least nine spoke directly in favor of keeping the arts commission in tact. A lot of them just spoke about how bad we need art, but most of them spoke of the need for more public input in general. Jessica Allen actually said she agreed with me – stop the presses!

Several members of council, including Ann Schwab, expressed the same sentiment. Schwab remarked that many people don’t like to come to council meetings. Boy is she right. For years I’ve sat through meetings she agendized and ran poorly, hours into the night discussing “proclamations” about human trafficking and corporate personhood. Goloff seemed worse – my husband timed her one night – it took her almost 5 minutes to explain how to fill out a speaker card.  

I almost expected last night’s meeting to be better run, but it was more of the same shit we got from Schwab and Goloff.  Five items agendized as one, and the conversations all over the place. Gruendl even joked about speakers having three minutes to discuss 5 items – oh ha ha Scott, you suck.

Mark Sorensen, Mary Goloff and Scott Gruendl all said public meetings cost a lot of money. Mark Sorensen says they take staff away from other important activities, but wouldn’t elaborate. I’m saying, BULLSHIT BRUDDAH! What do they do Downtown that they can’t do in front of the public? They have conversations with stake holders, do special favors for people “under the wire” as Bob Summerville likes to say, that’s what they do down there.

Just when I thought they were going to move to end the committee meetings,  Scott did something funny I saw him do during a committee discussion about canning the Economic Development Committee – he actually ended up expanding that committee, with some of the meetings occurring between staff and local business owners, other at the city building, and all supposedly open to the public. They’re even hiring a new Economic Development Director, as if we can afford another management salary. All out of a suggestion Nakamura made to get rid of that committee.  

Ha ha Brian. I see Nakamura sitting at those meetings like a corpse, I know his life is hell, I’m waiting for him to quit and move along to the next teat.

Likewise, last night Gruendl agreed to leave the committees in place, adding “special study sessions.” He also says, right now the clerk is working with a new Granicus setup to allow the meetings to be interactive or something. 

I really don’t understand how Gruendl’s plan saves any money, and the interactive bullshit will only be available to the owners of Smart phones. Great, another investment in already been there technology, just like the phone system at the cop shop. But, if it allows the committee meetings to stay in place, that’s okay with me.  I guess.

I also wanted to stay for the Hwy 32 widening conversation – I wanted to tell those idiots to make the 19 developers who necessitated the widening PAY FOR IT, but why bother? They dragged the previous item out for TWO HOURS, a discussion about scheduling work committees. What the hell? At about 8:45, with a mob romping out on the front lawn waiting for the sit/lie conversation, Gruendl took a break, beginning the Hwy 32 widening discussion at 9pm. Great – the reports took at least 20 minutes, and they were just getting into them when I got home and turned on my box. Tom Varga was going on and on about how sorry he was the project was so screwed up, yadda yadda. This is the man who told us, with the approval of Merriam Park, that our traffic rating on Hwy 32 was going to go from A to D – even with the widening.  He said, at that committee meeting, that traffic would only get worse and worse in Chico, get ready for GRIDLOCK, he said.  Last night he was all full of news about grants he wanted to secure – with matching amounts from US, to pay his own fucking salary, and I assume, that of Ruben Martinez, his partner in crime.  I tuned out, it doesn’t matter – we’re fucked people, this town is on it’s last legs. In five years we will have Bay Area style traffic on and around our freeways, regardless of how many of our property tax dollars are sunk into these “improvements”

This is why the committee meetings need to stay in place, the night time meetings are too onerous to attend. As I walked my bike around the building, the lawns in front and on Fourth Street were busy with “sit/lie” protesters, a literally ugly crowd, members of which kept wandering back and forth through the lobby doors, keeping the air conditioning running full-tilt boogie, to see if their item had come up yet. Bill Mash was doing his best to rile them up.

I think the sit/lie ordinance Lori Barker came up with is useless. This whole discussion was a waste of staff time, I knew they wouldn’t pass it when they asked Barker to take all the teeth out of existing ordinances gleaned from other towns. There are already laws against blocking a public sidewalk, being drunk in public, and camping on public property, but for some reason I won’t speculate here, the cops won’t enforce these laws. I’ll never forget  those people who burned to death in Bidwell Park because the city turns a blind eye to transients living in the park. 

I guess the news is, Chico is still poorly run, the change in “leadership” hardly makes a blip on the radar. 

 

 

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