Just because it’s legal doesn’t make it ethical. Some people can’t be trusted with discretion. Sustainablity Task Force needs to GO. Are we going to have to call The Exorcist?

12 Jan

I was not able to get to last Thursday’s Sustainability Task Force meeting until the end, but I did get some answers to my questions regarding staff coverage and noticing of these meetings. Yes, Brian Nakamura is going to let this committee form ad hoc committees but he’s not going to provide staff to either notice these meetings nor supervise and take notes.

Mark Stemen, committee chair, has promised me a million times that a committee member will be responsible for noticing and taking notes. Unfortunately, it’s pretty haphazard. Stemen noticed me, very tentatively, weeks ahead, and then neglected to send the usual 72 hour notice. That’s why we have paid staff, and that’s what ‘noticing’ is really all about to me – it’s a last minute reminder, because that’s when people forget, at the last minute. Frankly, I resent the notion that they can just create these committees that allow for inappropriate interaction behind closed doors, and then expect me to step and fetch to make the meetings. 

So, believe me, I was thrilled to see Stephanie Taber sitting in the front row when I walked in the last five or so minutes of the meeting. I sent her  the following e-mail the next day:

Good Morning Stephanie,


Was very relieved to see you at the STF meeting last night. These are impossible for me to cover, I only came down last night to talk face to face with Mark Wolfe about getting noticed of the ad hoc meetings. He says Staff doesn’t have to notice the ad hoc meetings, and doesn’t plan to do so. 


I think it is outrageously inappropriate, given the excesses of the past, to allow this committee to form ad hoc committees but not provide staff to cover them, but that’s up to Nakamura. Since you are able to cover these meetings and have your connections Downtown, I’m going to leave it with you, I have other obligations.  Good luck. If you have anything that you think the taxpayers should know, feel free to send it to https://chicotaxpayers.com/ and I will print it verbatim with your byline.


Thanks again, JS

She responded to me and to Brian Nakamura and staff:

See Juanita’s comments above.  My gut feeling is the two (or three) “ad hoc” committees will run amok unless we have some notice so the “public” can sit in and listen.  I don’t know how admin can make that happen but as Mark W [Wolfe] can tell you we have at least one zealot on the committee that thinks all the work that has gone before is worthless ’cause the conclusions the former staff came up with is greatly flawed and the committee needs to start over.  (Specifically Neal Road methane gas capture which taints the upcoming discussions re the waste management franchise) Surprisingly Dr. Stemen tried to rein  that person in but that was at a “public” meeting – not certain he would do that if no public was present .. sorry but I’m a real skeptic when it comes to the Sustainability Committee having been in attendance many times over the last few years.  I am not suggesting that any staff needs to be present at any of the ad hoc meetings but it would be greatly beneficial if there was mandatory notice….any possibility?


Stephanie is asking for staff to keep track of and notice the ad hoc meetings, we’ll see what Nakamura says. I think the ad hoc meetings should be cut off. They should be able to do what they want in the full committee meetings. And here they are, demanding staff time to do new studies, etc. “Oh, we don’t need staff to take notes, but we want to be able to order them around…”

These ad hoc committees are exactly what Mary Fitch called them – an end-run around the Brown Act. I asked Stemen why he needs these committees and he flat won’t answer. But he admits to knowing that plenty of inappropriate stuff went down with Ann’s committee, including a $70,000 pay off to one STF member and $10,000 to another. The city got  the rest of that $400,000 PG&E “grant” (ratepayer money) to pay Linda Herman’s salary and benefits.  I have nothing against Linda, but if I’m  going to pay her that kind of money, she could get her sorry ass over here to help with the laundry or something.

Do we have to call in an Exorcist?  

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.

%d bloggers like this: