Stone/Ory recall – I want to support this but have some questions

27 Aug

I’ve been trying to watch the effort to recall Chico City Council members Karl Ory and Randall Stone.  According to Melissa Daugherty at the News and Review, recall organizers have 160 days from the date the petition was approved by the city clerk – until November 18, 2019 – to collect signatures of at least 7,592 registered Chico voters.  They will want at least a couple thousand more to be on the safe side, since the clerk is allowed to throw out a petition if she finds a certain percentage of the signatures to be invalid. 

As far as I’ve been able to gather, that would put the recall on a ballot sometime in Spring 2020, which is confusing, because both Stone and Ory’s terms are up in 2020, and they’ll be up for re-election. I’m not sure if the recall election will be called before or after the general election, and how it would all work. 

Here’s the group’s Facebook:

I have not signed the petition because I have questions.

  • Who is financing this recall? I looked at the city clerk’s website but did not find any campaign contribution documents for this group. I don’t frankly know if they are required to file finance documents with the clerk unless the recall comes to a ballot. 
  • What will happen if the recall is successful? Will we have to have another special election? Who will run? 

I don’t subscribe to Facebook, and don’t know who exactly to contact, so hope somebody  from the recall effort will come back to me with some answers. 




45 Responses to “Stone/Ory recall – I want to support this but have some questions”

  1. Jim August 27, 2019 at 5:58 pm #

    From what I understand they have raised money mostly from developers.

    In an article published in the Washington Post, the leader of the recall, Nicole Nava stated that the displaced Camp Fire survivors are “a burden on society.”

    • Juanita Sumner August 28, 2019 at 5:57 am #

      Thanks Jim, I also saw that article. The author, a journalist?, repeats the made-up numbers – is there any such thing as “investigative journalism” anymore?

      And yeah, this group loves developers and police officers, the usual suspects in every election.

      Think Nava is trying to get her name out there for a run at city council?

    • Nichole August 28, 2019 at 10:06 am #

      Developers funding effort= False. The group relies on grassroots community donations.
      WaPo article quote= Taken way out of context in comment noted. Guy thought Chico ‘looked great to him’ as he swooped in for the cleaned up Thursday Night Market and swooped out again.
      If enough Recall signatures reached= Yes, Special Election.
      Who would run?= We have no idea. Seriously. We are not politically motivated contrary to popular belief, so there will be a ‘candidacy period’ declared by City Clerk for those eligible and interested to run.
      Nichole (please note spelling) Nava for Council= False. Nichole was contacted by concerned citizens repeatedly asking for involvement in a Recall.

      There is NO ulterior motive. We have repeatedly stated the above and people just want to write or speak their own narrative. We believe Stone and Ory have and will continue to cost our City thousands to hundreds of thousands. Less than had they just quit council.

      Hope that addressed your questions. Good day.

      • Juanita Sumner August 28, 2019 at 12:42 pm #

        Thanks for coming over Nichole – sorry to misspell your name, it was a typo. Nobody ev-er misspells my name 😉

        I wouldn’t know if the developers funding claim is false, because I still haven’t seen your donors list. Is that available?

        I realize, the WaPo “reporter” didn’t do much of a job – he’s using the same population figure the city of Chico used in their press release. But, could you explain what you meant by the following remark (quoted from WaPo article) “‘At some point you have to make a decision, and, if it’s not working out for your family, you have to move on,” said Nichole Nava, whose One Chico civic group is behind the recall effort, referring to the Paradise displaced. “Otherwise, you become a burden on society, and I do not use that term lightly.'” How is that taken out of context? Did the “reporter” misquote you? I see he’s the one who said you were referring to the “Paradise displaced…”

        Yes, I realize the recall will be a special election. Let me clarify the question I asked – assuming you gather enough signatures to place a recall on the ballot, and the recall is successful, does that mean another special election?

        You say you are going to recall two members of council with no replacements? I’m not sure if that shows any better judgement than any decision Karl Ory or Randall Stone have ever made. I think it’s pretty natural for people to assume you want to run.

        I’m sorry to put you on the defensive, but you should have expected this kind of scrutiny. I hope you’ll come back and keep the discussion going.

      • Nichole August 28, 2019 at 1:28 pm #

        1. The finances are available on the state elections website. Have at it. Mulholland, Stone, and Ory have and were hopefully embarrassed at their lies about who was behind the Recall, likely not, as you will note their is not much ownership taken of their mistakes.
        2. Many, if not all, of your questions could be answered on our site. No offense taken but same to you as this blog isn’t followed by all of us either and we hear word of mouth about various people making assumptions and try to respond where we are able. When we don’t it is typically because that entity or person has outright lied or spread misinformation.
        3. The Special Election and Recall Election would be a ‘One and done’ process if we gather enough signatures to hold one. You may think we are not making a right move to hold a Recall when another election would be in November 2020, but we could end up saving the city hundreds of thousands compared to what a single election would cost. They are on track to burn through money on yet more pet projects that fall way lower on a priority
        list as evidenced by what his community has noted in several surveys and the online fever pitch of folks feeling unsafe in Chico. It isn’t our place to run replacements. We are damned if we do and damned if we don’t as the opponents and the two men have accused us of running conservatives or named me as a runner and both claims are patently false.
        4. Those men love to state they are new. They aren’t. They have served since 2013 and 2016, or so I believe when looking at the archives. Stone became Mayor in November 2018. That is not the same as being ‘new’ to council.
        5. Below is a copy/paste of my response to the WaPo article posted on One Chico. Lesson learned. An ‘investigative’ journalist who didn’t investigate at all.

        This attached article features an interview of me by the Washington Post. A few qualifiers and corrections since the reporter, Scott, got them wrong: The first quote he attributed to me was taken out of context; I had actually noted that FEMA and the City of Chico’s Mayor and majority Council had failed many of the Camp Fire Survivors in the housing challenge they face and by not vetting those from out of the area who bilked resources intended for our Survivors and sending them packing right away. I noted that if people had exhausted all their resources, a family has a difficult decision to make which may include moving to where it is more affordable to live. Of course the reporter narrowed it down to the part he found sensational for print.

        Also, he didn’t quite get my job description correct, but I had asked him to leave it out, as I am acting with a group of people in Chico, which is unrelated to my job; I keep what I do completely separate from my personal activities.

        I also noted the group is comprised of liberals and conservatives alike, as this is not a partisan act to us. Lastly, I told him my house had not been breached inside; I only had things taken from my yard multiple times, but they did breach my car and take equipment from it. Also, the unit on our property behind us was breached and robbed years ago.

        The reporter, Scott, had already formed his opinion before we even spoke. He strolled along at the Thursday Night Market and thought things looked peachy-keen. I noted that what people don’t see is that a group of people called the Downtown Ambassadors funded by downtown business owners who imposed a fee assessment on themselves to pay for the downtown area to be cleaned and people assisted who might need directions or recommendations had pre-cleaned for that event and rove around keeping things running smoothly where possible. He missed other market nights where a juvenile delinquent, well known to police, robbed tip jars from vendors, and the takedown of an addict who had assaulted someone in the Children’s Playground and ran all through the market until he was apprehended smack in the middle of our city plaza! Downtown Chico and other areas are filled with the likes of the transient who snorted cocaine straight off the Plaza sidewalk, the weenie waggers, or the multiple public masturbators, and the many home intrusions and armed robberies.

        Like one local resident many of us know, who chooses to be blinded to the realities we are facing due to the criminal vagrants and transients living amongst the homeless (the reporter didn’t quote me correctly as I used criminal vagrants, not homeless, as there is a difference), Scott chose to swoop in and write from his perspective after visiting an event that is staged to look good by people paid to clean up, then he weighed in more from a liberal slant (given the nature of his paper’s leaning it was not a surprise) and was selective about what went into print. I clarified for him what the crime statistics did and did not include, and he left that out of the story; well of course, because it highlights why our quality of life has been so impacted!

        I also noted we had chronically homeless that include a large population of the criminal transients and that this pre-dated the Camp Fire. And I am sure Paradise and other communities had their chronically homeless population relocate here which likely included some transients up to no good; statistically that is realistic to assume. Ergo, we had a problem and now it is a bit bigger; but it is NOT the fault of the survivors. It is just a population growth issue and an issue made untenable due to ZERO plan on managing the homeless issue by our own Chico city council.

        Those of us living here know that our quality of life has changed due to a lack of accountability imposed upon those who are committing criminal acts such as rampant petty theft and trashing our parks* and waterways. *I will place photos of Chico that should have been included in the article versus a cherry picked photo of the One Mile in the comment section below.

        Laughable in this article is Randall Stone’s lie about who is behind the Recall effort. He knows damn well the local builders have nothing to do with it, as our group and more have gone before him at council for years to complain about his job performance and Orys as well. He just needs to try to make it about the ‘Big Old Bad Builders trying to take the Poor Mayor down’ to garner sympathy, instead of own the fact that this community has many residents who are fed up with years of his incompetence and poor policy decisions hurting this city. Total BS by our Mayor again.

        And Karl Ory knows, as does Stone, that we are a mixed group who are acting based on their poor job performance and not their party alliance, as Council members are supposed to be a non-partisan office; note from their own respective comments that clearly they are the ones acting along party lines; not the Recall group.

        The reporter was a nice guy, but leaning his own way in advance of our meet up. He doesn’t have to live here and be exposed to what we exposed to day after day. So use your eyes and your ears and make up your own mind on whether things are sunshine and roses or not.

        Bottom line: These two men have implemented and are trying to implement poor policies that are harming our city and they need to be removed so that they are not allowed to continue dismantling our quality of life in Chico. Period.

        Please sign the Recall petitions if you haven’t already. Thank you.

      • Juanita Sumner August 28, 2019 at 2:21 pm #

        Okay, first I’ll apologize – I was operating under the misconception that council elections are held in Spring. You guys were so on the defensive you didn’t even get that? You came at me like a pack of bee-girls just for asking questions, but neglected to correct my misconception, opting instead to accuse me of “making assumptions”. Hey, assumptions don’t end with a question mark! You really need to tone down a little, it’s perfectly within my rights to ask questions over a decision like this.

        So now I see, no thanks to you, the recall timing isn’t as bad as I thought – only one $200,000 special election instead of two! However, what you are trying to do is remove two incumbents so newcomers won’t have to run against incumbents. Yes, that could be construed as an ulterior motive, frankly.

        Anyway, I still believe this effort would be better spent vetting candidates for NOVEMBER 2020. Sorry, but I can’t support your petition. Why? Main reason? Cause you went right up my ass with your friends just because I and some others had asked questions. Poor strategy. “Have at it”? Again, poor strategy, you might have got the conversation to go on a little longer if you had included a link to your donors. “Have at it” hardly sounds sincere Nichole.

        So, have at it Beeee-atches! Good luck out there!

      • Nichole August 28, 2019 at 4:19 pm #

        Huh? I took the time off to respond to you when I am not even in town. I don’t have the links handy and can’t get at your full site so it takes a long time to respond in this limited little window. Not sure what ‘friends’ and ‘flurry’ you are responding to here. I was notified you had posted questions and that I was mentioned so I tried to provide a response. I literally meant ‘have at it’ as I have no idea where the link is…we (being one nice unpaid volunteer) inputs financials into a city Portal That apparently hooks to some state elections reporting system.

        We are literally mostly full-time worker bees, not Ritchie Riches as inferred by that awful Robyn person. We had to pull volumes of info on elections and do the best we could on the fly since this Recall is full-on grassroots community people.

        I totally get your fiscal concerns. I have them too. We all do! But we honestly keep seeing the damage these two guys do and worry greatly what more they will do to tie up one time and ongoing city funds.

        We have read some of your blogs and are on the same page with many points you have made. Two of my corrections were directed at ‘Jim’ whom I suspect is a certain Jim who enjoys trolling many of us. If not, apologies.

        We were trying to make a point that if you would hop on FB, these questions and many more would be answered. We have grabbed video footage to provide examples of how these two men do not serve our city well.

        I also can see why you think like you do about the ‘incumbent effect’ I will call it. Do you see our challenge? If we back and present a candidate then we are perceived as some UberPAC coming in to take over Poor ole Chico (mimicking Bob Mulholland, Stone, and Ory here). If we don’t have candidates to run, then we are deluded, unprepared, and have an ill-conceived approach. We have thought of it all. But ultimately, we chose to have faith that after seeing what putting their eggs in the Stone/Ory basket got them, that voters would make sure that wouldn’t happen again and do their best to truly understand their chosen candidates’ platform and make a sound choice.

        City Council is supposed to be non-partisan. Like you, I imagine, we just want to be safe and happy and have our city leaders keep our infrastructure maintained which requires having a plan.

        I am sorry if you took anything away that we were hostile. The written word is often misconstrued. Again, working out of town and took time on a break to respond so forgive if it wasn’t prettied up and as PC as people would like. I am a straight-shooter so that is typically how I speak.

        Thank you.

      • Juanita Sumner August 29, 2019 at 6:55 am #

        Nichole, don’t complain to me about taking time off your public job to push this recall – I really don’t want to hear that.

        Jim is a guy I know, he’s not a troll, and he made perfectly legitimate comments. If you have that link to your donors – and I can’t believe you don’t keep track of who give s you money – feel free to post it here on your time off.

        I know, you guys wanted to get me into a private conversation at some coffee shop or on the phone – I don’t fall for that tack anymore. If you want to bully me you do it right in front of Dog and Everybody.

        I think the following comments bring up some interesting points you might want to take into consideration. You are free to comment further but I’m done with the conversation.

  2. Kimberly Craven August 27, 2019 at 6:40 pm #


    So Suzanne Wong messaged me and said perhaps my e-mail did not attach.

    My e-mail is Or

    Let me know if you are able to meet for coffee or chat at the library. I can fill you in on most parts of the recall. And what the next step is supposed yo be from here.

    Ok thanks Juanita. Hope you are having a good evening.

    -Kimberly Craven

    On Tuesday, August 27, 2019, Chico Taxpayers Association wrote:

    > Juanita Sumner posted: “I’ve been trying to watch the effort to recall > Chico City Council members Karl Ory and Randall Stone. According to > Melissa Daugherty at the News and Review, recall organizers have 160 days > from the date the petition was approved by the city clerk – until” >

    • Juanita Sumner August 28, 2019 at 6:03 am #

      Hi Kim,

      I am looking for a conversation here on the blog, can you answer my questions here?

    • Jim August 28, 2019 at 7:41 am #

      Kimberly, It would be better if you shared the information here. We would all like to understand your position.

      • Juanita Sumner August 28, 2019 at 9:01 am #

        I agree. Frankly, I don’t have time for phone calls, which go all over the place, and there’s no record. Same with private meetings. The whole point of this blog is conversation. You don’t have to sign in or be a member, as long as you are polite and on subject you can participate. Nobody can rip you off, you can even use a pseudonym as long as you keep it polite and on subject. You can even contact me later and ask me to edit out your spelling and grammar issues. I think word press is the way to go.

        I don’t use Facebook because it’s exclusive to Facebook users, and is vulnerable to a lot of security and privacy issues.

        Private offline conversations are out. From now on, if the recall people contact me in my private e-mail box it’s going on the blog.

  3. bob August 27, 2019 at 11:32 pm #

    I’d like to see the entire City Council recalled.

    The terrible shape of the roads and the rest of the infrastructure, the ridiculous compensation for all the bureaucrats, the top heavy administration…you could fire half the bureaucrats and no one would notice.

    Instead, these rapscallions on the City Council and CARD continue to let the roads and everything else in this city fall apart while whining for tax increases and of course spending over a hundred thousand of our tax dollars the last year or so for their consulting firms to propagandise the public to pass tax increases.

    And you know damn well if they get their tax increases it won’t solve the problems, all it will do is keep the bureaucrats fat and happy for a few more years.

    The entire situation is disgusting.

    • Juanita Sumner August 28, 2019 at 6:01 am #

      I know, I called for Ory to be recalled a year ago – then I looked into the recall thing. You need a lawyer, and you need a lot of money. For a recall that comes just a month or so after the subjects are up for a regular election? The recall group offers no plausible explanation for this, just a lot of ranting.

      And I’m with you and Daugherty – why not just recall all the inglorious basterds? These people have an agenda they’re not talking about, and I’m going to guess it’s Nava for City Council.

  4. Michele August 28, 2019 at 8:55 am #

    Hi Juanita; I sent you an email to answer your questions. I would like to correct “Jim” above; the Recall is not funded by “developers”. The donations come from private citizens, like yourself. These are people who are concerned about the path our city is headed and want to see an immediate change. I am unsure why there is all the hostility toward Nichole Nava. She is part of a “team” effort to make this Recall successful. Please let me know if you have any further questions after you read my email.

    • Juanita Sumner August 28, 2019 at 9:27 am #

      thank you very much Kimberly for coming to the blog. I haven’t received any mail from you in my mailbox, except this comment to which I am responding.

      I don’t know why Jim said they were developers, I don’t have the names. Of course developers are also private citizens. Where can we see the full donor list?

      I don’t mean to be “hostile” toward Nichol Nava, but if she has plans to run for council, she should be up front about it.

      Also, I wish somebody from your group would answer the other questions – 1) what happens if the recall is successful – will that mean another special election? 2)And who will run to fill their seats?

      • Michele August 28, 2019 at 9:54 am #

        Here are the common questions people ask and the Recall team’s answers:
        A special recall election will be expensive
        The recall may cost taxpayers as much as $200K, but Chicoans should know that Stone & Ory have already cost
        the city more than this amount in litigation costs, Ory with the Scrapyard lawsuit and Stone with the lawsuit
        that was settled out of court with a former Chico Police officer. Their recall would be a smart preemptive
        move to reduce the city’s exposure to future lawsuits. Plus, Chico’s quality of life has drastically diminished
        under Stone & Ory’s leadership. Chico is trending to become another crime and transient magnet community
        like Santa Cruz, SF, Portland and Seattle. Reversing course quickly is necessary and comes at a cost. The recall
        proponents believe the cost of a recall election is insignificant when compared to the damage already caused
        by Mayor Stone and Councilmember Ory.
        Stone & Ory were just elected – we should give them a chance
        Stone & Ory were both elected in 2016. They’ve had ample time to address the ills of our city. During the last
        council majority (2016-2018 under mayor Morgan), then mayor Morgan pushed for a budget that would
        include 6 new police officers. Stone & Ory were opposed. Now that they have both been served with an Intent
        to Recall notice, suddenly they both now support the addition of 6 new police officers, even claiming that this
        was their idea all along! Had they supported the proposed budget during the last council we would be much
        closer to having 6 new police officers on patrol. They played politics and Chicoans are now paying the price.
        The recall is merely an attempt to change the council majority from liberal to conservative
        The recall effort does not seek to change the political structure of the council majority by running replacement
        candidates. The recall is promoting NO candidates to replace Stone & Ory. They are merely assuming that
        more qualified and Chico-focused candidates will step-up and run as replacements, regardless of party
        affiliation! Any candidate that will promise to lead our city through these unprecedented challenging times
        and promote solutions for the increase in crime, our housing crisis, illegal encampments found in our parks
        and waterways, roads and infrastructure, and the overall diminishing quality of life will be better than what
        Stone & Ory have offered.
        Why not wait until the 2020 election?
        Stone & Ory have wasted the last 6 months since the Camp Fire pursuing frivolous pet projects, including
        commercial marijuana, declaring a climate change emergency, warming tents, low-barrier shelters next to
        schools, and building ordinances for one-person tiny homes (in that order). Imagine the additional waste of
        city resources these two are capable of in the remaining 17 months of their terms! They should have been
        focusing on crime, common sense housing solutions for taxpayers (not low barrier transient shelters or tiny
        homes for 1% of our population) deteriorated roadways, illegal encampments and the pollution in our parks
        and waterways. California election law has established that a recall is allowable on elected officials anytime up
        until 6 months from the time their term expires. The Recall Stone & Ory effort has met this requirement.
        Therefore, the State of California recognizes the Recall Stone & Ory effort as reasonable and legitimate in
        terms of timing.

      • Juanita Sumner August 28, 2019 at 10:55 am #

        One question you haven’t answered here is, if the recall (assuming significant signatures are gathered to place the item on a special election ballot) is successful, does that mean another special election? I think the answer is yes, but maybe I’m wrong.

        You did answer my second question – I see you are promoting no candidates. I think that’s a major flaw in your campaign. I think your time (and the taxpayers’ money) would be better spent on the general ballot, with candidates who understand the process.

        Here’s another question – if Stone and/or Ory are re-elected in the 2020 general election, do you really think you could get enough people to turn around and vote them out of office a couple of months later?

      • bob August 28, 2019 at 6:36 pm #

        “…Morgan pushed for a budget that would
        include 6 new police officers. …”

        Michelle, due to the huge pension liabilities the City CAN’T afford 6 new police officers. Also, the City WOULDN’T need 6 more officers if our county weren’t a dumping ground for mentally ill transients thanks to Butte County Behavioral Health.

        What this city needs more than anything else is pension reform and ending the dumping of mentally ill transients in this community.

        Yet Chico First doesn’t mention any of this? WHY???

      • Juanita Sumner August 29, 2019 at 11:00 am #

        Thanks for bringing in the county Bob, there is another board that perpetuates the outrageous salaries and benefits that have contributed to our financial problems. And yeah, their solution seems to be bringing the transients and mental patients in for the funding that comes with them. Nobody is talking about this, thanks for continuing to keep it in the conversation.

      • Jim August 28, 2019 at 7:00 pm #

        This recall was originally about AB430. However now the reasons are changing into public safety. They are blaming Mayor Stone for things that happened before he was mayor.

        I’m going to say that developers are funding this recall until I see otherwise. I would suggest that the pro-recall folks be open and honest about where the money is coming from.

        What are they hiding?

      • Juanita Sumner August 29, 2019 at 10:55 am #

        Thanks Jim, I know you do your homework.

        I’ll agree, neither Stone nor Ory nor the two of them together are any more responsible for the situation this city is in right now than any of the other council members past or present. And, as ugly as the politics get up there, they are in solemn and united agreement that they will pass a tax to cover the pension shortfall.

        They also voted unanimously to use last year’s garbage tax receipts on salaries and benefits instead of fixing neighborhood streets.

        What we need are some fresh faces on council, some people who are willing to roll up their sleeves and stand up to the unions and the developers, both of whom have had way too much influence on city business for years and years.

  5. Michele August 28, 2019 at 9:54 am #

    Nichole Nava is NOT running for Council, just to be clear.

    • Juanita Sumner August 28, 2019 at 10:56 am #

      Am I talking to Michelle or Kimberly?

      • Michele August 28, 2019 at 12:48 pm #

        I am Michele. Yes, there would be a special election to take place in the spring of 2020. If Stone and Ory were voted out of office at that time, they would not be running in the general election in November. I hope that answers your questions.

      • Juanita Sumner August 28, 2019 at 12:59 pm #

        Thanks Michelle, but still not sure what you mean. Are you saying, the recall would take place in Spring, but the seats would remain open until November?

      • Michele August 28, 2019 at 3:50 pm #

        I’m sorry for not being clear. Yes the special election would take place in the spring, and the seats would be filled at that time by whoever runs with the most votes. I hope that makes more sense. I also want to retract my statement above about the two not being able to run again in the November 2020 election. They absolutely could have another go at it, although if they were recalled once, it seems silly to run again.
        I also want to address your “tone” with Nichole and I. Both of us have been trying to answer your questions. However, calling people names does not lead to productive conversations. I guess since you have already decided not to sign the petition, the rest of this conversation is already over. And that’s too bad, but it is your choice.

      • Juanita Sumner August 29, 2019 at 6:46 am #

        Michelle, I don’t understand what you’re saying here – “Yes the special election would take place in the spring, and the seats would be filled at that time by whoever runs with the most votes.” What do you mean, “the seats will be filled at that time…”?

        Can you clarify – will there be an election as well as a recall in Spring?

  6. bob August 28, 2019 at 1:58 pm #

    Great to have the Chico First people here.

    Would the Chico First people please indicate where they stand on the tax increases that will be on the March and November ballots? (If you’ve been reading this blog I am sure you know all about them.)

    Obviously I am no fan of Stone or Ory or anyone else on the Council for that matter. But I would just like to remind the Chico First people that recalling Stone and Ory will do no good if you don’t replace them with people who will get the unsustainable pensions issue resolved.

    As long as we have people on the Council who are more interested in trying to maintain unsustainable pensions we will continue to get tax increases that will not solve the problem. And the roads and everything else will continue to crumble.

    If you are for Chico first as your name states, why isn’t fixing the unfunded pension liabilities on your agenda?

    I have heard nothing from your group about this important issue.

    • Juanita Sumner August 28, 2019 at 2:27 pm #

      I’ll add, that’s why I’m so concerned about who this recall is opening the door for – some rough, publicly employed beast, his/her hour come round at last, to make sure the pension liability is paid by the taxpayers?

      • bob August 28, 2019 at 2:54 pm #

        Last election no one except one candidate would even talk about the unfunded pension liability. He lost and I haven’t heard a word from him since.

        The fact is there’s not a single politician in this city who is not in the pocket of special interests. So of course not a single one of them will take on the pension issue.

        And that goes for any active political group in Chico.

        I hope Chico First proves me wrong on that.

      • zenandjuniorhigh August 28, 2019 at 7:39 pm #

        Hey Juanita

        I’m sorry Nichole and some of the other recall proponents have been so rude to you for asking basic, informed questions that any voter should. As a group, they have been incredibly rude to me, friends of mine, and anyone who disagrees with them.

        I think you’re correct to be concerned. The recall is of two councilors nearing the end of their terms and up for reelection. An expensive special election in the Spring is impractical and a drain on taxpayers.

        However, if one’s political strategy were to force a special election, which are known to have lower voter turnout, to try to get an otherwise unpopular candidate elected, this would be a great way to go about it.

        To speak to the pension liability, I’m not sure you’d agree with Mayor Stone on every political issue (doesn’t seem so based on statements here on this blog, but it would be rude to make an assumption of your politics based on this single issue) but I will say that in multiple personal conversations he has shown a high level of understanding about city budgets and how to balance them compared to other city councilors. This is my personal experience with him. I’ve had him sit down and explain part of the budget to me before.

        Finally, the claim about Mr Ory and lawsuits by the recall proponents is explicitly disingenuous. Ory was sued because he was part of an organization that drew a petition to move the scrap yard on 20th to a new location. However one feels about that, Ory and the other citizens who signed and organized the petition were well within their rights to do so. Upon presenting their petition to the City Council, which was, at the time, run by former mayor Sean Morgan, the council sued Ory and the rest of the petition group. They could have voted on the petition or put it on the ballot, but instead took the more wasteful and, I would argue, unconstitutional route. There was an election in the middle of all of it, and Ory wound up having to recuse himself from a vote to sue himself, as he was voted into the council during it all.

        The point is: if they were going to recall anyone for that, it should be Morgan. Ory defending himself from a frivolous lawsuit is not Ory’s fault. Morgan leading a vote to sue Ory frivolously is Morgan’s fault.

        It’s the biggest sign the recall group has been dishonest, and have an ulterior, partisan motive to their actions. A motive that will cost ALL of us money. That they haven’t said who they would like to have on the council instead is probably a sign that none of us would like that person.

      • Juanita Sumner August 29, 2019 at 11:14 am #

        Thanks for coming by Zen.

        You make good points about special elections – drain on the taxpayers, impractical, and yeah, possibly a sneaky way to do a few things. I do fear the turnout would be low, and the circus would make it difficult to vet candidates very well.

        And thanks for giving Stone credit, he did come to my group years back to explain how public safety was compensated, that was an eye-opener. And I resent the implications that he got us into any lawsuit over Todd Boothe – Boothe was fired for inappropriate behavior and he was the one who initiated the lawsuit. The entire council voted to go ahead and pay him out of court, probably on the recommendation of Staff.

        But, Stone was also very flip with me when I asked him to explain the pension formula, and made it clear he has no intention of holding employees to any more than the paltry shares they are paying now. I haven’t had time to put that up yet but just got some information from the city finance dood about how that works and will blog it when I get a chance. Stone has also made it clear that he is fully on board with a sales tax measure, which would be used to secure bonds. Oh yeah, I know he’s a finance whiz, he knows exactly what he’s doing, and that’s what bugs me. But not enough to support a recall.

        As for Ory, I think he should step down from council or take his name off the lawsuit. I’m not a lawyer, but I don’t think it’s right for an elected official to involve himself in a lawsuit against the city. If he feels so strongly he should step out of office and pursue the lawsuit, that’s his choice. But, I don’t think that’s sufficient reason for a recall.

        Nor do I think Morgan should be recalled. He’s an ass, but wow, he just keeps getting elected. Can’t beat Democracy.

        Yes, I think my biggest problem with this recall is that they have no solution, no suggestion, no clue as to who is supposed to replace these people. That’s a deal killer.

    • Nichole August 28, 2019 at 4:33 pm #

      If you mean me, I am not repping ‘Chico First’. I am just ‘Nichole’. I am an Admin of One Chico. I also belong to various groups, Chico First being one of them. So I will not answer for Chico First. I am sure you could post those questions on Chico First and you hopefully would get a response.

      But Bob, I am so with you on the roadways…it is a travesty and embarrassment. On a site visit in another county office here were nothing but smooth roads everywhere. Chico is like some bombed out roadway system. It is unbelievable and I worry how we will ever pull our city out of the disrepair we currently find it in.

      Stone’s new bike bridge may be a nice to have but adding a one time cost differential that our city would be on the hook for, plus ongoing costs seems the height of irresponsibility and a misuse of our city funds at a time where every penny is needed toward our infrastructure and ensuring the safety of our citizens.

      Juanita and Bob- What do you see as a way out of this situation we find ourselves in? I honestly cannot see a happy retirement in a home I worked hard for with my spouse when my street feels like driving on a past war-torn Beirut road and is what has turned into a Transient Highway.

      • bob August 29, 2019 at 8:39 am #

        So are you for or against the City’s sales tax increase and CARD’s property tax increase, Nichole?

        We had a garbage tax increase, supposedly to fix the roads. The state had large tax increases on gas, diesel and car registration and Chico and Butte County got millions of that. Again, supposedly to fix the roads. Are the roads any better?

        CUSD and Butte College had two tax increases on our homes in 2016.

        Now CARD wants a property tax increase and the City wants a sales tax increase. And both want to use the tax revenues from those increases to buy bonds which will put both entities deeper in debt. And that’s insane.

        Are you for that?

        Can’t you see the tax increases never end? They’re not enough to bail out the pensions, let alone to do that and fix the roads and rest of what’s falling apart.

        Other cities up and down the state have raised taxes. And even with that and the greatest bull market in stocks of all time their unfunded pension liability is WORSE.

        Do you understand that tax increases won’t solve the problem?

        The private sector started phasing out pensions long ago. Pensions need to go, at least for new hires. And those who continue in pensions plans need to pay significantly more. Instead of paying a few percent or even 8 or 10%, government employees need to pay at least 50%. But they should be given the option to convert their pension equity to a 401k.

  7. Cheri Dawn Smith-Comfort August 28, 2019 at 4:33 pm #

    The group, consists of a few untra-conservative members of the city and areas around the city (who can’t even vote on this issue). Their money is coming from a variety of conservative sources that I do not have specifics on at this moment.
    If the recall petition gets enough valid signatures then it will go, they are hoping, to a special election. Conservatives tend to have a better turnout in special elections and they hope to overturn the validity of the outcome of the previous elections they lost. The special election would cost the city taxpayers around $200,000 dollars.
    If the special election happens, it will be two fold. The first part will be whether to recall Stone and/or Ory (listed independently). The second part would be to vote for their replacements should they be recalled. Stone and Ory can not run for their own replacement.
    Hope this helps.

    • Juanita Sumner August 29, 2019 at 7:10 am #

      Thank you Cheri, that is very helpful. It was hard finding any information about this recall. I was very confused about whether there would be replacement candidates, as there were in that early 2000’s recall of Gray Davis. That does add credence to opponents’ claims that this group is trying to change the council from liberal to conservative.

      I have to tell you, while I’m not supporting the recall, I don’t like Ory or Stone, but I think we could do a better job of vetting candidates for the November election. Also, although I’ve seen sighs outside the city limits, I hope you’ll come back with some evidence of the claims you made in paragraph one, we don’t want to be accused of spreading false information 😉

  8. jesica August 28, 2019 at 5:05 pm #

    I keep hearing that the council have “pet projects” and every time I ask what those might be, the recall group just ‘laughs’.. no one has been able to answers what those might be. Can any of you recall members answer what ‘pet projects’ that the two council being recalled are guilty of having, and why they are deserving of a recall?

    I have also seen in this thread accusations that the two council members being recalled as being in office for many years and are somehow responsible for our failed society. Then why not Sean? Not only has he been in council for a long time, he was JUST MAYOR. Why isn’t he being recalled for our failing society?

    If we are recalling council members out of fear of potential FUTURE lawsuits, again, why are we not recalling SEAN for his threats to pop people in the mouth for calling him names?

    I would also like to know how the recall team can legitimately blame Stone and Ory personally for the social failings in our city that mirror every. single. other. city. in. California. ???? What city are we to model then?

    Anyone? Anyone? FYI if you send me a book answer that’s a regurgitation of previous posts I just simply can’t read it. These should be fairly simple answers to make and not take up a lot of typing.

    Thanks fellow Chico Peeps!

    • Juanita Sumner August 29, 2019 at 10:57 am #

      I have to tell you I’m no fan of Stone or Ory, but like you say, they are hardly single-handedly to blame for our problems.

      • Jesica August 29, 2019 at 2:46 pm #

        Right, I can’t even imagine how they can legit claim that they are responsible. I totally get not liking certain people in office. I have cringed too at what I feel are bad personality flaws and poor communication styles by a couple last term and one this term. I never thought to call recall on them though, just wait out their term like normal.

        I know there are supporters of those other monkies, even if I don’t, just like they may not care for ones that I admire. It’s supposed to be that way!

        That’s why they are diverse- so that someone up there closley represents groups of us and speaks on our behalf. I wouldn’t want one solid voice up there even of I could pick it myself. Sure it’s ideal if you happen to be happy with all decisions, but that leaves no room for other people feeling heard or validated, or even to challenge ideals.

        In my opinion the recall process should really be used for serious matters, not for what I feel is really happening – strange control issues and hissy fits. It’s an abuse of rights really, and we are all paying the price.

        Election period is right around the corner. The recall makes absolutely no valid sense for the people and the process. There’s ulterior motive here whether they want to deny it or not.

      • Juanita Sumner August 29, 2019 at 2:52 pm #

        Thanks Jesica, for a rational and well explained position.

  9. Robyn Engel August 28, 2019 at 8:00 pm #

    Hi, Juanita, I founded a FB page to defeat the recall. I appreciate your respectful manner and reasonable questions. I’m going to add points that I believe are worth mentioning. As far as I understand: (1) The pro-recallers really should’ve had two people in mind all along who’d replace our Mayor and Councilman Ory. They have none – none that they publicized, and these names would be on the singular ballot for recall (the ballot that will cost us approx $200,000 – we can’t know for sure the exact price-tag unless it plays out); we suspect Tim Lynch wants a seat. By “we,” I simply mean me and a few allies who attend Council meetings on the regular. Tim is proudly a Trump supporter – to give you a sense of his politics. Nichole has well publicized her hate for Chico (as anyone can glean from her above comment) and has stated her intentions to leave the state altogether. (2) You are correct in that the recall would pull these leaders out and replace them only months (and certainly less than one year) before they are up for re-election. (3) There appear to be no substantial reasons for the recall – only general statements about “poor performance”, but no specs are stated. In fact, one reason for the Mayor’s threatened recall is that his boy has a Facebook account. One reason for Ory’s threatened recall is that he exercised his First Amendment rights as a petitioner to move the E20th street junkyard, and was consequently sued by a Conservative Council – he’s being threatened for being threatened. ?! He and his attorney are out thousands of dollars, yet pro-recallers are twisting this to blame him for “costing Chico too much.”

    One minor correction, I believe the pro-recall team has until Nov 26 (not Nov 18). They had to make repeated attempts to get the initial 20-25 signatures to launch they campaign.

    It’s a shame that even the CNR hasn’t presented a balanced and accurate perspective, in my opinion. I’ve reached out to them, to no avail. I appreciate this space. If pro-recallers are reading this: I request that you cease harassing me and my allies for exercising our first amendment rights. Ms. Nava, I am not at fault for your having received spam mail. I don’t appreciate your harassing messaged in which you blame me for the fact that you receive spam. Nor am I a hostile person who’s at fault for all the other hate that’s come your way. I suggest some introspective work, a reality check regarding the prevalence of spam mail, and a more open hearted sentiment to those who have a lot less than you in terms of finances and moneyis in order — especially Camp Fire survivors. Thank you.

    • Juanita Sumner August 29, 2019 at 4:42 pm #

      Thanks Robin, I missed your comment earlier. I appreciate your perspective, and the date correction.

      I also feel some of the recall proponents have been over-aggressive. I think it’s going to hurt their campaign.

  10. Robyn Engel August 29, 2019 at 4:11 pm #

    A few more quick notes of clarification re Karl Ory: He was sued, not as a Council member, but as a PRIVATE CITIZEN. I know Karl to be, like Randall, very knowledgeable about laws and diligent regarding avoiding any potential conflicts of interest. Also the tab that he and his attorney face/d (because he was sued for exercising his First Amendment rights as a private citizen) was/is at least $150,000. That’s his tab, not our city’s.

    Again, thank you for offering this space for all to get info and set the record straight, a respectful one. too. =)

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