CARD reschedules final budget meeting – July 30, Lakeside Pavilion, 3pm

21 Jul

I was unable to make the CARD board meeting last week. I missed the opportunity to tell them what I think about the budget. According to the subsequent article in the Enterprise Record, only one member of the public showed up with a comment – an Aqua Jets parent, who wanted to say he was happy to see the board going forward with plans to build a fancy new aquatic center. 

It frustrates me that nobody pays attention to this board. I’ll admit, sometimes I get a bad attitude because I think nobody else cares.  I could have put a muster on it and made that meeting last week, but I was tired, just like the rest of you, after a long day, and I didn’t feel like it. 

I’ll admit, I haven’t felt like it a lot lately.  It’s not like they roll out the red carpet to the public. I’ve been trying to get into the Aquatic Center Advisory Committee meetings for a couple of years now. I finally got into a meeting a couple of months ago, only to find the committee was disjointed and many members were not up to speed. Turns out, most of the real discussion and decision making has been going on in ad-hoc committees of former Chico City manager Tom Lando, former CARD manager and board member Jerry Hughes, and members of Chico city staff, the police department, and other public officials.  There have been special meetings called with 24 hours notice. When I’ve tried to get reports of these meetings I’ve been handed around from one staffer to another. I asked to be on the notice list for these meetings.  Interim manager Steve Visconti told me I’d be contacted by incoming manager Ann Willman, who left her post at Oroville Recreation District after only a year or so to take the manager’s position in Chico. He told me I’d get a report of that special “inter government” meeting, but I’m still waiting. Willman was supposed to have started her job July 6.

I’m guessing these meetings are about a sales tax increase initiative, as well as city funding for the aquatic center.

I predicted cost overruns on that center – Lando is already announcing they will need more than twice the budgeted amount – about $75,000 – just for a feasibility study. He wants to get that out of the city parks fund. 

The good news is, they have postponed their final budget meeting, which was to be held in two days, to July 30. I hope more members of the public will show up to address this fiscal irresponsibility. It’s nuts, and we need people to turn out in droves to say so. That’s Thursday, July 30, at 3pm, Lakeside Pavilion, Chico. 


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