More views on the cop flap

30 Nov

Below I have posted two more letters about Randall Stone and Chico PD.

 Chico Enterprise-Record

POSTED:   11/29/2013 12:33:30 AM PST

I find the comments attributed to Councilmember Randall Stone (Chico E-R, Nov. 21) to be an insult to not only the citizens who attend the Chico Police Community Advisory monthly meetings but to the other board members who have taken their personal time on a voluntary basis to attend those meetings. To say “It’s like lunch with the chief but it doesn’t have any value”; “most of the members miss most of the meetings”; and the most egregious comment of all, “The topics are relatively mundane.” How uninformed and arrogant he is.

Topics discussed over the last year centered on exactly what have been the most important topics that have affected our community — homelessness and its causes, the Grand Jury report on mental health, downtown anti-social behavior, Police Department staffing, etc. All meetings start with citizen/community input. The meetings last exactly one hour and in that time impart of great deal of information regarding issues facing the city and our Police Department. To call them “mundane” shows the ignorance of the man who uttered that.

Stone has struck a tone not befitting a member of the Policy Community Advisory Board but also that of a council person. He needs to be dismissed.

— Stephanie L. Taber, Chico

Frankly,  I’ve been to the PAB meetings, and the only other member of “the public” besides me was Stephanie. Kirk Trostle has never exactly invited the public into these meetings.  Just recently, I found that Trostle had stopped posting the notices for these meetings on the city’s agendas pages, and I had to ask city clerk Debbie Presson to please start posting them again.

I also agree with Stone that these meetings are like “lunch with the chief,” an inappropriate use of high-salaried officers like Lt. Linda Dye. Dye and Lt. Jennifer Gonzales  spent almost an hour total giving the assemblage of bloated trough dwellers their take on homelessness and mental illness, based on a one week course at Butte College.

The other people at the meeting I attended were on public salaries, including Chico Chamber of Commerce director Katie Simmons, whose salary is heavily subsidized with Community Block Grant Funding from the city. These meetings are just chatter-babble intended to make them look like they’re “doing something about it.”

Chico Enterprise-Record

POSTED:   11/29/2013 12:33:30 AM PST

The Nov. 21 front-page article concerning the controversy over the racist photo illustration allegedly posted by police officer Todd Boothe on the Internet reminded me of the adage that when you point a finger at a problem, there are those who will study the finger ad infinitum. It seems to me that the primary fact here is that a member of the Chico Police Department may be guilty of a racist posting and that any investigation ought to focus on that accusation. Investigating Councilman Randall Stone’s behavior in this matter looks like nothing more than a smokescreen to shift the focus away from the main issue.

I applaud Stone for bringing the matter to public attention. What we need in government, whether it’s the police department or the finance office, is transparency.

As for Peter Durfee, the Chico Police Officers Association spokesperson, I would suggest that if he is sincere about wanting to improve relations between the citizens of Chico and its Police Department, then he should first tone down the abusive in-your-face rhetoric and stop making ridiculous charges about due process and such. I am convinced that Chief Kirk Trostle is quite capable of handling this matter and will reach a conclusion satisfactory to all parties involved.

— Charles W. Bird, Chico

I do agree with Charles Bird, but I’m tired of talking about the Facebook page. I wish people would focus on the real matter at hand here – the contract talks. That’s why I wrote this letter, which ran today.

 

I hope Chico voters will not be distracted by the “flap” between Councilor Randall Stone and the Chico Police Department. The real issue here is not free speech or racism, it’s the “employee share” of pensions and benefits.When Stone spoke to the Chico Taxpayers Association earlier this year, he said in order for Chico to regain fiscal solvency, the various employee groups would have to agree to pay their “employee share”. Especially fire and police, who pay 4 and 0 percent, respectively.

The Police Department subsequently made an offer to pay their entire 9 percent share, but only if given a raise proportionate to the cost. According to Mark Sorensen, “The proposal would have cost the city about an extra $500,000 over the term of the contract, and gave up some management rights.”

Stone has exposed the nature of the contract talks and why so many people want to keep them behind closed doors. Now Stone is being ostracized and persecuted by the Police Department and their cronies. This is exactly the kind of behavior City Manager Brian Nakamura described at a recent tea party meeting.

Please join the Chico Taxpayers Association in asking council and staff to come up with contracts that require employees to pay at least their full “share” — only 9 percent of the total cost of their generous benefits and pension packages.

What decent person would expect taxpayers living on less than a third of their generous salaries to also pay their benefits?

— Juanita Sumner, Chico

This is the copy I cut and paste directly from the ER, and I have to ask – why did they go to the trouble to change “Tea Party” to “tea party.” They had to make an effort to do that, why in the world would a newspaper that claims to be besieged by letters lately take the time and trouble to change two upper case letters to lower case? I just don’t get that. 

I hope we can keep this conversation going, and get some results out of the council. If not we need to dump the three that are up for re-election in November 2014 and get some new faces in there. 

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