I think the time has come for the city of Chico to tell Judge England where he can shove it and start ignoring his insane orders. Can we get a competency hearing for a judge?

17 Jul

Driving in from Paradise the other day I noticed the Chico city limits sign has been updated to reflect the latest census figures – Chico’s new population is just over 111,000 people. As I predicted, that falls far short of the 120,000+ claimed by Mark Orme when he was crying about Chico being overwhelmed by the Camp Fire and other wildfires. I’ll guess his claims about the sewer being overwhelmed – while the city works director admitted it was at just over half capacity – were also false. Orme tried to blame the condition of our streets on the wildfire refugees – anybody who’s lived in Chico more than five years knows that is also a fib.

We also know, it wasn’t the refugees who added 11,000 to our total population – while some former Paradise residents ended up living in Chico, for now, what is really bringing new people to town is development. Look around you – while the streets in your old neighborhood are crumbling, the city of Chico is using grants and RDA money to put new streets in new subdivisions. Grants require matching fund and the RDA is a loan at 3%, so they will be using your tax money to make the match and then pay $3 for every RDA dollar they use.

This is an old, tired pattern in Chico – build new, because it brings in new money – state grant funding, builder fees (which council has just raised again) and new, enhanced property taxes. And of course, the added population brings in more sales tax and utility tax. Win Win Win! for city staff, who can use all that unrestricted money to pay their pensions.

But it’s a Lose Lose Lose for our town – they don’t spend the money as they should, and as our population increases, our infrastructure begins to fail. And somehow, despite all their promises of “affordable housing,” living in Chico just keeps getting more expensive.

Our town and council have fallen on a practice of taking whatever funding wherever they can get it, and sometimes it costs more than it’s worth. A “conservative” led council signed the Shelter Crisis Designation in 2018 for roughly $4 million. Where the hell did that money go? You see where it got us, our town is a loony bin. But our entire council, conservatives and liberals, signed to extend the SCD last year, having got our town into a finger trap of a lawsuit.

Ever tried one of these? City of Chico Council and Staff have put us all in this trap.

Don’t read the paper, or watch the news – look at the social media site “Butte County Fires, Accidents and Crimes” on Facebook. When I checked yesterday, I immediately saw a report of a stolen vehicle and another of a fire involving four transient tents at Ninth and Cedar. Right in the middle of the afternoon, on a 3-digit day.

Hey, did you know, you can cook a small batch of meth on a camp stove? With ingredients available at any drugstore. I’m just saying.

Since the opening of the Pallet Shelters at the fairgrounds, I’ve seen reports of thefts from nearby businesses, multiple overdoses requiring emergency service, and yeah, bum fights, including battery of a staff member. How could anybody not have seen that coming? You put a few hundred people into that kind of crowding, in the bleaching sun with no trees or grass, give them three bathrooms, relax the rules for stuff like dogs, drugs and stolen merchandise – tell them, oh no, we won’t kick you out if you break the rules! What the hell would anybody expect?

All conscious and willful decisions made by our council, advised directly by staff, that have had an incredible and easily foreseen negative effect on our “quality of life”.

Staff has admitted that all of our shelters are nearing their physical limits, and that we will have to stand by while the bums take over our parks, waterways and public spaces. All because the city signed the SCD. As long as we are in that finger trap, our city management has admitted, an increasing amount of the General Fund will go toward the shelters and the clean-up of the parks, not to mention the drug and crime problems that are exacerbated with the transfers from the jails and the mental hospitals.

Here’s my solution – ignore Judge England’s orders. Enforce the laws, rout the campers, and here’s a twist – arrest them! Jail is a form of shelter, and I think any moron could make an argument that even an overcrowded jail with drug treatment and regular meals is more humane than a filthy camp on an open toilet formerly known as a creek.

So, Man UP Chico City Council. Reach down between your legs, and find your BALLS!

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