Team Chico – city still spending $taff time on “economic development”

26 Mar

My husband and I are turning over a rental. We had a big load of cleaning rags to wash, so we took them over to Bubbles laundromat at Mangrove Plaza. We’ve used that laundromat for years, whenever we have an oversize load, to use their bigger, more powerful machines.  I think that was the last load we’re going to do there after the experience we had yesterday.

Over the last few years, Bubbles has been dealing with the homeless problem that moved to Mangrove Plaza with the Downtown “sit and lie” ordinance. There are almost always homeless people sitting in there when we have brought in laundry. They usually sit quietly, I assume they also have laundry to wash, so I’ve never thought anything about it. Yesterday I found out, it is a problem.

As we entered with our bag of laundry and handful of quarters, a woman came walking toward us, she looked very pissed off. She stepped right in front of us to confront a man who was sitting in a chair, staring at a row of unused machines. “If you’re not doing laundry,” she said, “you will have to move along.” She was not friendly, she had already decided the guy would be moving along. This seemed to be a situation she had dealt with before.  My husband and I skipped across their confrontation like a pair of deer avoiding a car wreck.

This man, about 30 years old, sat back in his chair and challenged the woman’s authority to kick him out, challenged the idea that he did not have laundry in one of the machines, and challenged the notion that he was not allowed inside unless he did have laundry in a machine. She asked him to show her his laundry, and the conversation got belligerent on both ends. The woman lost patience and stalked toward the office, saying she would be calling the police.

At this point, we had our machine running, and we left to walk to Safeway to get groceries.  We felt a presence behind us, it was the homeless man, grumbling his way out the door.  A little boy who had witnessed the scene was crying, and his dad took him outside to comfort him.  We watched as the ejected man lumbered out across the parking lot toward Mangrove Avenue, then we went about our business, wondering if the woman actually called the cops, and if they would actually respond.

When who should we almost run into but little Katie Simmons, Chico Chamber shill. She had a bundle of papers, and seemed to be standing there in front of that new sandwich place, waiting for somebody. I saw a couple of young, office-dressed men join her, and then an older, casually dressed man – Team Chico.

Team Chico is our “economic development” policy. They go out and walk around whatever retail area, checking in with businesses, letting them know the chamber and the city are there to help them with whatever. Whatever. You mean, like these homeless creeps who stand around the front door of my business, scaring away customers?

I sure wanted to ask her if she was planning to go into Bubbles, but I had business of my own to attend to.  I believe Team Chico is nothing more than a membership drive for Chico Chamber of Commerce, which has come to have way too much influence in city business. It annoys me that she has city employees in tow. When I asked former city staffer Shawn Tillman what the city was spending on Team Chico, he said, “The City put no money in it–just staff time.”   

Just staff time. 

Look how quickly idiot Tillman landed in a sweet new job! While still living in Chico!

There’s no accountability in government. 


11 Responses to “Team Chico – city still spending $taff time on “economic development””

  1. Jim Matthews March 26, 2016 at 7:03 am #

    Team Chico is totally pro-growth. However they have no plans on how to manage the problems that come with growth. Problems like crime, homelessness and traffic. We all pay for growth by suffering a lower quality of life.

    • Juanita Sumner March 26, 2016 at 12:49 pm #

      You said it. I have lived in my neighborhood for over 20 years, raised two kids here, I’ve written letters, gone to meetings – all for naught, my neighborhood is going downhill really fast ever since they chased the bums out of Downtown.

  2. bob March 26, 2016 at 11:12 am #

    Isn’t Simmons’ and the other Chamber of Commerce staff compensation funded by the taxpayers through various government grants and subsidies?

    And isn’t Lando a member and didn’t he once head the Chamber of Commerce here?

    It’s no wonder the Chamber pushes various tax and spending increases. The Chamber of Commerce is really just another branch of government.

    It really should be called the Chamber of Cronies as it is just another part of the crony capitalism that infests our economy.

    These people are all trough feeders of one form or another.

    • Juanita Sumner March 26, 2016 at 1:07 pm #

      Yes, the Chamber gets community grants from City of Chico, and I think state and federal grants – anything they can get. That’s Katie’s job, raising money to pay her own salary and benies ahead of anything else.

      Lando is not only a member but past president of Chico Chamber. He brought forward the subject of a sales tax increase, going so far as to fund a survey, which he said was positive.

      I believe a sales tax increase will have the effect of pushing people to shop more online, if not out of town. Sheesh, Nevada is a hop-skip-jump – they have huge retail centers in Carson Valley. Their Walmart is dirty but not much worse than a trip to any retail center in Chico. It’s bigger and has more stuff, lots cheaper. City of Reno is a nice day trip, lots of restaurants, shopping centers, pull a few slots on the way out of town, take in the Early Bird special at The Biltmore.

      • bob March 26, 2016 at 1:14 pm #

        Regarding that survey, do you recall how much it costs and who paid for it?

        People think all these surveys the city and various special interests pay for is to find out what the people think allegedly so the people can be better “served.”

        That’s not the case at all. These surveys are done by consultants who are paid to figure out how to put all these tax increase and bond proposals in the best possible light so the sucker taxpayers will pass them.

        Their job is to figure out what the people want to hear and then phrase the propaganda so these measures pass.

      • Juanita Sumner March 26, 2016 at 1:18 pm #

        Lando and business partners like Jim Stevens paid for it. Yes – those are called “push polls.”

        It’s somewhere in this blog, I’ll look for it when I get a chance.

      • bob March 26, 2016 at 2:37 pm #

        Haven’t the various chambers of commerce across this country been a part of the abuse of eminent domain and the cronyism and corruption of the various government redevelopment agencies?

        These rent seekers sneak into every crevice of government and then create entirely new ones.

        I wonder if someone like Steven Greenhut has written a book on the influence of this country wide organization. Greenhut wrote a great book shedding light on the incredible power of government employees and their unions.

        Plunder: How Public Employee Unions are Raiding Treasuries, Controlling Our Lives and Bankrupting the Nation

      • Juanita Sumner March 27, 2016 at 5:18 am #

        I think that’s what Chambers of Commerce were invented to do – give business owners disproportionate influence over city leaders. Like any other PAC.

  3. bob March 26, 2016 at 1:56 pm #

    Lando and business partners like Jim Stevens paid for it.

    Does anyone honestly believe that these people would pay thousands or possibly tens of thousands for a survey if they did not stand to personally benefit from that tax increase?

    They just look at it as an investment. Hell, I bet they wrote the cost of that survey off on their taxes.

    The voters should remember all of this when they cast votes this year.

    • Juanita Sumner March 27, 2016 at 5:17 am #

      You may remember Lando’s very insensitive remark, that a quarter cent increase in sales tax would only be about a dollar on the average lunch tab – my husband immediately pointed out that Lando doesn’t think anything of dropping $100 on lunch.

      Yes, I agree with you – of course Lando, who receives one of our biggest pensions, would benefit directly from any tax increase. But we have to depend on the voters to see that. I’m scared Bob.

  4. March 28, 2016 at 5:40 pm #

    Hello, has anyone reading this ever had a salaried position? Do people reading this understand that these individuals are taking on more work voluntarily and not getting extra pay for it. ? Can someone explain to me when it costs no additional dollars, why it’s bad ? I think I’m wasting my time but I thought maybe people understanding that “staff time” when people are salaried doesn’t cost anymore seemed like a worthwhile point of clarity to make.

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