Chico is “leaking” – retail sales are down due to traveling consumers and online shoppers, Chamber CEO tries to shame us into charity shopping

12 Oct

Months ago the city of Chico, Downtown Chico Business Asses, and Tri-Counties Bank ran a retail survey, which was available on the city website, asking consumers about their shopping habits. I participated – I said Chico does not have what I want, and when they do, it’s way more expensive than I can find it in other towns or online. I waited for the results, and I’m still waiting. 

I’ve asked at meeting after meeting, I’ve sent e-mails, but I’ve been put off again and again. Now Chamber CEO Katie Simmons has announced the workshops that will focus on the survey, telling local businesses how they can cash in on our thoughts, but still no survey results available to the public. The workshops are free, and I’ve been told they’re open to the public, but Simmons is not publicizing them to the public. 

I sent an e-mail to Simmons and Economic Development $taffer $hawn Tillman, including Mark Sorensen for shits and giggles, and asked them one more time when the results of that survey will be available to the public. I reminded them that Tillman had already admitted quite a few hours of $taff time went into that survey. We’ll see if I get an answer – Sorensen still hasn’t answered me regarding the employee contracts.   He’s no better than the “liberals” – disagree with him on something, ask him a question he doesn’t like, or make an observation he’d admittedly rather ignore, and you will get the back of his hand, just like Scott Gruendl, his erstwhile rival and now apparent paramour.

Meanwhile, Simmons did an interview with “business” reporter Laura Urpsilly.   I had to laugh – you try to tell people something, but they don’t believe it until they hear it coming out of their own mouth!

Years ago, former Chamber CEO Jim Goodwin left the chamber to take the city manager position in Live Oak, a town that is flowing over with agri-money and has no fancy bullshit spending machine to blow it out their asses. Their latest “state of the city” reports that Live Oak is just Dandy!   In  fact, I think they could make it off the sales tax from that Penny Candy store – people come from freaking MILES. 

Before he left, Goodwin came before the Economic Development committee – including Goloff and Gruendl – and  gave a very damning report of Chico’s retail future. He said, little towns around here are finally getting their own economies – their own grocery stores, their own WALMART!  For many years, Chico had enjoyed being a retail hub for these towns, and Goodwin was trying to tell us, that hayride is over.  He also mentioned online shopping, but didn’t have any statistics.  Wow, that was a gobstopper of a report,  I never forgot it. But Katie Simmons and our current council act like they never heard it. 

Little Katie had to find it out for herself. According to Urpsilly, “Simmons noted the economic development team that looked over the results was ‘shocked’ at the online shopping information, including that a large percentage of shoppers go online for almost everything except groceries.

She said the ‘leakage’ — what is spent outside Chico — was also stunning.”

Simmons just won’t get it. She tries to tell us that where we shop is some kind of charity we owe to our community, we’re not supposed to be smart  consumers and save money for our families, we’re supposed to prop up businesses that can’t  compete, and pay higher prices to generate more sales tax to feed $taff.

Simmons points out percentages about local shopping and the economy.

‘If you choose Chico for shopping, that is a locally owned business, 68 cents of every dollar stays in the community. Even when you shop with a business that’s within the city limits but not locally owned, 43 cents stays in the community.

When consumers shop online or out of the area, the community loses those dollars.’

‘It’s important to think where and how we spend our money,’ said Simmons, pointing out that the higher quality of life that Chicoans enjoy mean more city services.

Also, what I’m hearing from this bitch, is that same old crap about “local businesses.” I’ll tell you what Katie, WalMart is a local business – they are located in my town, and employ my neighbors, who spend money in our local economy.   I’m so sorry, I can’t afford to shop Downtown, which seems to be the focus of this effort.  Like I said in the survey, there are few stores Downtown that cater to the working class family.  My husband, who was raised in Chico, will tell you, Downtown has become “the U District”.  And, Tillman made remarks that the survey indicated they are not “taking full advantage of the student population.”   I’m predicting Downtown will become even more unfriendly to Chicoans as Downtown businesses stretch and contort to provide whatever the students want. I’m guessing, more of the same – BOOZE AND LOUD MUSIC! 

Shopping is not a charity – a smart consumer, especially these days, shops to save money, not to prop up poorly managed businesses.   Simmons is going to have to tell businesses to be smarter – carry goods people want to buy at reasonable prices instead of trying to shove high-priced crap on us. You want more consumers Downtown? Put a grocery store Downtown, some reasonable kid’s clothing retailers and shoe stores, and more family-style restaurants instead of these spendy “bistros” where they treat you like a buffoon for bringing your kids. 

And Simmons might also want to have a talk with whoever it is trying to plant the “sales tax increase” bug in people’s asses.  I can’t believe any intelligent person would even mention a sales tax increase right now. 

Right now, I’m going out of my way to shop outside Chico because Matt Olson and whoever are running around trying to get a sales tax increase on the city ballot. I didn’t have to buy a car in Oroville – but I’m so glad I did.   Wittmeier screwed us out of $980 on our unused “extended” warranty, and I will never do business with them again,  or recommend them to anybody else. Finance officer and owner of Santos Paving,  Jackie Santos, personally told us that money would be refunded in the event “something happened,” all except for a $35 service charge!  Jackie, you are a Jersey whore with a mouth full of cat crap. Next time I see your husband George I’m going to tell him all the stuff you said about him – how he’s “one dead Portagee” if he steps out of line with you, etc. I guess you thought that impressed us, but we bought the extended warranty because we didn’t realize our car would be incapacitated before we were able to use any of it. Thanks for a good lesson – don’t trust Jersey whores.

And here’s something else funny – no ha ha – Wittmeier charged us over $3,000 for that extended warranty, Oroville Ford only wants $1400, and we bought a more expensive car. When we questioned this, the Wittmeier people essentially answered, we can do what we want.  I’m guessing that $980 went right into Santos’ pocket, to be spent on grease paint and acrylic claws. 

I learned something about that  from reading celebrity gossip – I read an interview with Goldie Hawn’s ex-husband Bill Hudson. He was talking about Hollywood stars and divas, but it applies to everybody – when you pay somebody a bunch of money, they think they’re important. When you give them a high position, they think they’re powerful. In Hollywood he says, nobody argues with them, questions them, or tells them to Fuck Off. That’s the way it’s become in Chico – the $taffers, all these overpaid divas, just think their shit doesn’t stink! They are doing whatever they want Downtown, and we’re just supposed to pay for it without question.  Katie Simmons is just another public $taffer – she gets the biggest chunk of Community Block Grant Funding – and she’s mouthing the same bullshit – “You citizens need to give us more money!” She just stands there with her hand out, like she’s some kind of royalty or something. 

Go to hell Katie.  Today I’ll be planning my Christmas shopping trip to Redding and Anderson, and in the past two weeks I’ve ordered over $100 in household goods online – everyday junk like soap and cooking aids. And, one of my favorite online sites – Lucky Vitamin – has added a whole bunch of food products.   Just keep pushing it Katie, and I won’t be doing ANY shopping in Chico anymore.  And I’m not alone.

2 Responses to “Chico is “leaking” – retail sales are down due to traveling consumers and online shoppers, Chamber CEO tries to shame us into charity shopping”

  1. Mary October 12, 2013 at 8:56 am #

    If you don’t mind upsetting the clerk and the mayor (!!) you could submit a public records request for the survey results, and the City will have to respond within 10 working days. Of course, the response could be “nothing exists that is responsive to your request,” but at least you’d have an answer. If you ask for the survey to be sent electronically, you won’t have to pay the per-page fee. We’ve set up a link to the form at ‎since it isn’t available anywhere on the City website.

    Thanks for what you do.

    • Juanita Sumner October 14, 2013 at 5:35 am #

      Thank YOU Doll, I’ll put that on my “should do” list. I participated in that survey in good faith – I would honestly like Chico merchants to know what I think. But now I feel like a dummy and wish I had not participated. I’ll never trust Katie Simmons again, she’s a duplicitous bitch.

      right now I must do a write up of yesterday’s meeting before I forget what we talked about.

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