The Good Old Boy Network is alive and well in Chico

6 Nov

This afternoon I attended a meeting I had never attended before – the Local Government C0mmittee, made up of representatives from county and city elected officials and staffers. This was easily one of the worst meetings I have ever attended.   I sat there looking at a group of trough slickers, people who’ve grown comfortable getting paid to sit  in meetings  for endless hours, their mushroom-shaped asses molded right into those chairs. They don’t have any sense of time anymore, they just sit in these rooms breathing their own gas until they’ve all dissolved into a slurry of communal back-scratching.

That would include the ones we may or may not have voted for – Randall Stone, Scott Gruendl,  City of Chico;  Maureen Kirk, Larry Wahl, County board of Stupes; Cory Honea, Butte County Sheriff. Excuse me if watching these morons in meetings has left me without an ounce of respect for any of them. They’ve all completely lost touch with what they’re supposed to be doing, and WHO they’re supposed to be serving. Then there’s the usual collection of ass-sucking bureaucrats who go whichever way the wind blows – Chico City Manager Brian Nakamura, representatives from the police department, and then those drip-lickers from agencies like Butte Environmental Council and “park volunteer” Susan Mason, of Fiends of Bidwell Park.

Again, I’ll say, these people have made a life of sitting in meetings on our dime. While we’re out hustling to survive, these soft-handed help-themselvers are sitting in a gorgeously appointed room with a brand new H/A system and fancy furniture, pretending to work for a living. They’re no better than the freaks who hang around the outside of the building. 

The meeting didn’t start until 3:45. That sucks for me, I’m not a professional mushroom ass, I have other responsibilities. And, I like to use my bike to get around – it sure beats the hell out of going everywhere in a conga line of cars – but that limits me to daylight hours. It now starts to get dark at 5 pm, and I don’t feel too secure running around alone in what this council has done to my town after that hour. Lights don’t help, unless we’re talking about a Maglite 6 cell D, or how about a set of nunchucks strung with LED’s?

I also notice, the afternoon and evening meetings are not that productive. I’m not the only person who’s been up all day. Jennifer Macarthy, the county Economic and Community Development Manager  who was supposed to be running this meeting, seemed to forget what she was doing, and let the first topic run off subject a number of times. This was particularly annoying when people insisted on addressing the next topic on the agenda, and then expected to make the same remarks during that conversation as well. Every now and then, sometimes with a nudge from Mo Kirk, Jennifer seemed to remember that she was supposed to be keeping people on subject. This discussion of cleaning up homeless camps ran at least 20 minutes long, at least, with people asking to make just one more off-subject remark after another, and Jennifer allowing them. When one woman’s off-subject comment was ignored, gadfly Emily Alma raised her pudgy little mitt to insist somebody answer the woman. At this point, I wanted to re-enact these old bits from “All in the Family”

I went to hear the report on the garbage franchise contract now being stitched together in a cooperative effort between Butte County and the city of Chico. This deal will give either Waste Management or Recology,  or both, exclusive franchise zones in Butte County and in Chico. This means you no longer pick your own hauler, and there’ll be no more incentive for these companies to keep our costs down. There will also be admitted but as yet undisclosed increases in costs for the city of Chico, as well as liability issues. 

Given remarks I’ve heard lately and again at today’s meeting, this is already a done deal in both the county and the city. Right now they’re playing the haulers against each other, nudging them into giving up as much as possible. Today I again heard mentioned the idea that whoever gets the permit should be willing to do all kinds of free services for the city of Chico, like pick up trash in city parks for free, provide free dumpsters for community clean-ups, free street sweeping, etc.

Brian Nakamura has also been running around town saying that we need some kind of prod to make our haulers abide by the laws – during last night’s City Council meeting,  Recology manager Joe Matz finally took exception to this trash talk Nakamura has been spewing. Nakamura said to a Tea Party gathering recently that the garbage companies would use Butte County as a dumping place for their old substandard trucks, that they’d cut recycling services to save money, and all kinds of other fear mongering if we don’t have this franchise to hold over them. Matz reminded everybody last night that all of California has the same air quality laws and vehicle standards. What is Nakamura trying to pull here?

Well, that’s a rhetorical question, you know the answer, I know the answer – he wants the hugely increased fees to pay down the UNFUNDED PENSION LIABILITY. What does he think, that like Herman Goering, he can just keep repeating his Big Lies until they become the truth?

I didn’t have to stay for the rest of the meeting to  tell you what when on – Good Old Boy network. They allow women in now, but it’s all the same stuff that’s always gone on. Our county and city are run by the talking heads, and they run things to their advantage. Your elected officials are just as bad as staff  – city councilors get a small stipend and a big health insurance policy, and last time I checked, county supervisors were being paid almost $60,000 in salary, plus benefits. None of these people are going to rock their little boat. You have to rock it for them every four years, and it’s time for Gruendl, Wahl and Kirk to take a little swim.

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