Your toilet just got a lot more expensive

15 Apr

Hahn, Paul <>

Yesterday, 8:10 AM
Kirk, Maureen (;Schmidt, Dennis (


 We treated your request as an official Public Information Request which means it is routed through the Department, and then County Counsel for a response.   It should be forthcoming very soon.   You request was only received early Tuesday morning and the response is forthcoming.

 In addition, this issue has been discussed with the Board in public session on numerous occasions over the last two plus years as well as special meetings with the affected industries involved and has been extensively covered in the local papers.   The issue of transporting the septage to Lincoln is actually the most consumer friendly option for cost control.  

 As soon as you receive the official response, if you still have questions, staff and I would be more than happy to sit down with you to answer any more questions.   We pride ourselves in being transparent in the County and I assure you that this issue, as well as all others, has not and will not be pushed under the radar.  

 Thank you,

 Paul Hahn
Chief Administrative Officer/CAO

Butte County Administration

25 County Center Drive, Suite 200, Oroville, CA 95965

T: 530.538.7631

Here’s something people need to know about me – don’t call me by my first name until I’ve introduced myself that way. These people have their titles, I get mine – “Ms. Sumner,” thank you.

My Response:

Hahn, Paul (;
Kirk, Maureen (
 Mr. Hahn, 

I’m sorry, I thought I had asked a pretty simple question. You told me, “I am forwarding your question to Bill Mannel, the Manager of the Neil Road facility who is charge of this operation for  a response.  Bill is extremely knowledgeable and can best respond.” You didn’t say anything about FOIA or the county counsel. 

I’ve followed the agendas Mr. Hahn, and I’v tried to follow the minutes – the reports are not included, and the minutes are very incomplete. I never saw a discussion about having our septage taken to the Chico wastewater treatment plant – can you direct me to that report, which I assume would be attached to the corresponding agenda?

I’m sorry you seem to be offended. I’m just trying to remind you – you came to the Local Government Committee meeting and told Mark Orme not to make the same mistake the county had made in rolling out the trash deal – you told him to be sure to get the public engaged early in the discussion. You reported two weeks of phones ringing “off the hook” with complaints over that deal. People are still mad.  But, here you are, making the same mistake in this deal, you are not engaging the public.   I own two properties with septic tanks, I haven’t had any notice. My septic pump technician has not been noticed in any way. Do you really expect people to check the agendas every two weeks just to make sure septic tanks are still legal? The newspaper isn’t really covering it adequately. How is the public supposed to know what’s going on here? 

What have you done to engage the public in this matter? 

I’ll tell you what, you aren’t exactly encouraging me to be involved, I feel very much I am being given the runaround.  

Juanita Sumner

Excuse me for getting huffy, but I felt Hahn was getting kind of huffy. His first response to me – the one-liner I quoted above – seemed friendly and casual. Now all the sudden he’s coming back with a process that includes county counsel? Why? 

Because I complain. I’m the squeaky wheel, but around here, you don’t get the grease, you get crapped on. 

Let me tell you what’s going on here. The city of Chico and County of Butte have conspired to keep the Neal Road Landfill  running well beyond it’s capacity by requiring that all trash collected in Butte County go to Neal Road.  There have been articles in the Chico Enterprise Record – Dump  Starving For Trash!  

Here’s an old post about it:

News and Review quotes Hahn:

“‘The county’s main goal in this is to make sure the haulers bring their trash to the Neal Road landfill,’ Hahn said. ‘We want that measurable solid waste for a variety of reasons.’

Not only does the landfill need a certain amount of waste to be fiscally sound, but it also allows it to pursue more waste-to-energy opportunities, he said.

What the county would like to see is for the city’s haulers to agree to bring their waste to the landfill.”


In past Recology has trucked trash they collected here to their state-of-the-art facility near Wheatland. When they refused to bring trash to Neal Road, they lost the contract for residential service in Chico. 

Of course the Neal Road dump is in the Stone Age by comparison and is already past it’s capacity. You realize, that big plastic-covered mountain you see from the freeway used to be a canyon?  How will they fit more trash in that place? By getting rid of the only septage ponds in Butte County. How could they do that when they know most of Butte County is on septic tanks? Sounds like they’re trying to pull something, huh?

There is the City Sewer Treatment Plant out by the river west of town, why not truck it there, you ask? I couldn’t find the discussion they had at Butte County Supervisors’ chambers, but I think it went something like this. Chico Treatment Plant is already  at capacity, but they are in the same quandary as the dump – they still need more money for salaries and pensions.

The sewer fund, as told by our former mayor Mark Sorensen, was tapped out by fund transfers. Like the road fund, all the money had been trickled out by way of “appropriations” to pay salaries and benefits in other departments. They want more sewage out there, but they have the same problem as the dump – the sewer treatment plant needs a massive expansion, just to handle the new sewer hook-ups going on all over Chico right now. The city actually ran trunk  lines on private property, free of charge,  to encourage people in Chico to hook up.

Now they are making a deal to take Paradise sewage. But no room for Chico septic tanks? Looks like we’re out of luck! Looks like we’ll all end up going on sewer too! 

You think you sewer rats will get off easy? Take a look at your bill sometime, keep looking, cause sewer charges are going up, up, up!

I know – this is a racket.  You know too. Get off the pot and say something about it. 

2 Responses to “Your toilet just got a lot more expensive”

  1. Your Daddy April 15, 2017 at 3:59 pm #

    SHUUUUUUUT UUUUUUUUP! Cry, Wine, Moana, Bitch and Cry some more about pensions and pay. It’s the same old story from the same old shrew. Play a different song.

    • Juanita Sumner April 16, 2017 at 5:00 am #

      I realize, you know we’re on to you, and you’re afraid we’ll cut you off your fix.

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