What are the issues leading up to November?

7 Feb

The top three searches this week, in order of popularity,  were

  • “torres shelter executive director brad montgomery salary”
  • “joe matz recology”
  • “water rate increase”

I was relieved to read that Chico city council gave the Torres Shelter the back of their hand last Tuesday, offering them the $277 collected by way of those new red-topped meters Downtown. That is a perfect solution for both the Torres and for naysayers who appropriately pointed out that the city shouldn’t collect money without specifying exactly what it will be used for.  It also tells us, point blank, what the community really thinks of the shelters – those meters have been available since August, and they’ve only collected $277? (compared to about $35,000 raised over roughly the same period by the non-charity News and Review). That’s a pretty clear message if you ask me – “Go Away.”

 A letter in this morning’s paper suggests that the Jesus Center and Torres should merge.  Good point. I had always thought there was a board of directors that ran the various homeless agencies in town, but no. They all have their own boards of directors, staff, etc. The Jesus Center has 12 paid employees, the Torres boasts anywhere from 8 to 16 – wow, that’s a lot of people being paid to serve the same hundred or so people a night. Maybe merger would be the best answer.  

I hope the search for Joe Matz, Recology, was out of curiosity over the trash deal the city is working out with the haulers. I had just inquired about the deal, and again Chico city manager Mark Orme assures me he has nothing to report. I’ll speculate here – they are fighting like, well, junk yard dogs, over this deal. The trash companies were given 5 years “notice”, so in that time  they can drag their feet, saying they are doing cost studies, etc. The city is asking for too much, and the haulers know the public will buckle under the rates  they will have to charge to cover all these services – street sweeping? Hazardous trash  pick-up? I told  Orme the public needs to be let into this discussion but as usual he will not respond to that request. I don’t know if he’s just stupid or doesn’t care what the public thinks, but county admin officer Paul Hahn already warned him what would happen when the deal rolls out – “phones ringing off the hook for two weeks…” 

 Of course people are pissed about water rate increases when we have been told that Chico came within half a percentage of meeting it’s water saving goals while other districts around the state are not even coming close. Farmers in So Cal are growing strawberries with water transfers while we are being told to rip out our lawns. Of course, doing their part to spread propaganda, the Enterprise Record sent Heather the Hack over to Cal Water’s open house to act as their mouthpiece. She’s a lawn feeder, that girl. No, she did not ask Pete Bonacich how much he gets in salary or why he doesn’t pay anything toward his benefits. 

I didn’t see any searches about the swimming pool tax, the school bond, or the sales tax increase, but as November draws near, I think the conversation is going to get pretty hot. 

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