Houston, we got a problem…

1 Feb
This letter from former planning commissioner and past city council candidate Dave Kelley shows we haven’t solved our problems by electing new faces:
Chico Enterprise Record
Letter: Donors are winners on Chico commissions
Donors are winners on Chico commissions
At the Sept. 16, 2014, Chico City Council meeting, Mardi Worley, myself and others spoke up against the council’s desire to change the process of selecting citizens who apply to serve on city boards and commissions.Instead of selecting all applicants at a public hearing, in a 4-3 vote they permitted themselves to directly chose their own favorites for the Planning Commission and the Bidwell Park and Playground Commission.That night, I said changing this city policy could result in applicants believing they would have to be a friend and/or a donor to be considered for a board or commission position.Sure enough, recently two councilors appointed campaign donors. Mayor Mark Sorensen received $150 and Reanette Fillmer received $50 from their appointees. No public disclosure of the donations occurred before the appointees were seated.

These campaign dollars are petty amounts. But now, the perception of patronage is real. Now donors are winners. Now the door has been opened for future councilors to follow this dubious example.

The issue at stake is about principles, and principles are not petty.

— Dave Kelley, Chico

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