City $taff will be as good as we demand

21 Sep

I sent the following letter to the Enterprise Record, regarding a meeting I attended September 11 – the reporter, who I did not see at the meeting, did not post her story until the following week (9/17), and didn’t do any background on Portland Loo. She allows herself to be led by $taff – makes the job easier. 

Committee members Andrew Coolidge and Reanette Fillmer were strangely silent during the meeting, listening to the report. Fillmer asked a couple of questions about Gustafson’s remarks, then left the room right behind me after adjournment. But Coolidge babbled at the reporter – why didn’t he make more comments on the legal record? He told the reporter he thought we needed more public restrooms? This is the guy who told a gathering of Chico Taxpayers that he had taught his own kids to call City Plaza “Bum Park”. When will we get some action out of these idiots? 

When we write letters, make phone calls, show up at meetings. My letter, run in the Enterprise Record today:

Chico Public Works Director Eric Gustafson reported to Chico Internal Affairs Committee (9/11/17)  that Downtown public restrooms are suffering “unsustainable vandalism”.  He suggested the city invest in Portland Loo. 

Portland Loo is a toilet designed to keep criminal activities – including prostitution and drug sales – out of public restrooms. With slats at top and bottom so police (and everybody else) can see inside, they are coated with vandalism resistant paint and made in such a way that they can be routinely hosed out by janitorial staff. They must be connected to water and sewer but can provide  their own lighting. They are supposedly tamper-proof.

The manufacturer lists a price around $250,000, but other cities, including Portland, have found initial costs can exceed $500,000 per unit. Both the city of Portland and the city of San Diego have installed and later removed these devices because of increased crime in the immediate area. In Portland, costs for cleaning the devices were so high – $99,000/year for two units – that water ratepayers successfully sued the city for  $617,588  spent on marketing and maintaining their Loo’s,  the cost attached to city sewer and water bills. 

Why do city staff continue to placate transient criminals? Gustafson is the staffer who told me transients have Fourth and Fourteenth Amendment rights to sleep in Bidwell Park. What about the taxpayers’ rights? 

4 Responses to “City $taff will be as good as we demand”

  1. bob September 22, 2017 at 8:24 am #

    Well, it looks pretty clear CARD is going to do everything they can to raise our taxes. They want to go on an insane spending spree when they can’t even afford to maintain what they now have and of course to pay for their pensions.

    I see you and the Colonel have already seen this and commented…as the Colonel says this is not at all a Blissful situation except for John Bliss and CARD…

    • Juanita Sumner September 22, 2017 at 1:52 pm #

      Thanks Bob – it’s all about the pension deficit. I don’t know what CARD’s payment is now, but the city’s payment -just for the deficit – will go from $500,000 to $1.5 million over the next couple of years. So they both want a revenue bond, I believe that’s what the ad hoc committee is really about.

      • Rob September 22, 2017 at 6:42 pm #

        Juanita, Bob,, I believe you are correct. This agency is desperate to meet their obligation.

      • Juanita Sumner September 23, 2017 at 5:00 am #

        Thanks Rob, I hope more people are starting to figure that out.

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