Who’s in charge here? Where’s my slurry?! (my apologies to Matt Thompson)

28 Mar

Well how’s the weather treating you? Looks like customers around the Downtown core are experiencing rolling blackouts. Of course, the bars and restaurants in the core had their power lines buried years ago. That needs to happen all over town. I know, in my old neighborhood, we’ve had two transformers literally blow up over the past three years, knocking power out all down our street. That’s because they’re old, and they can’t take the wind. Not to mention, there are trees towering over lines throughout our neighborhood and all along Bidwell Park.

About 20 years ago, a phone company crew came through our neighborhood making band-aid repairs to the lines – the technician told me, as I picked up the crap he was dropping all over the ground, that “people in this neighborhood are paying for high speed internet that they’re not getting…” because the lines were old and rotten and “too far from the transmitter“. Yeah, he added, our phone service was shitty too – whenever we’d walk or drive out from our house we’d see at least one person standing in their front yard to use their cell phone. Great way to meet your neighbors.

Before he left, Mark Orme made a pitch for a publicly funded internet infrastructure improvements, saying the city would be the new internet provider. He admitted our city infrastructure was poor to non-existent, especially in the older neighborhoods, people just don’t have internet. This is a particularly poignant problem when schools require kids who don’t have internet to do homework on their computers. Talk about inequity – I’ll assure you, Orme’s kids have good internet, while kids all over Chapmantown and other neglected parts of Chico are excluded. Here was Orme’s solution:


Did we pay for that? Was it even made locally? And what became of it? I don’t know, but my service has not improved, and I haven’t heard another word out of any “commitee” about it.

Well, it’s that time of day – let’s talk about sewer service. I’ve had one frustrated lady come here to inform me that the city has sewer lines laid within a block in both directions from her house, but “can’t” give her any hook-up. Her septic tank is failing, but I’m guessing Staff is not answering her calls. Becca, if you’re still with me, you need to take this up with Kasey Reynolds and her Quality of Life committee. Let me know, I’d like to be in the front row for that discussion.

On my street – annexed when Dan Nguyen-Tan was still around – there are also voids in the sewer lines that have left people with failing septic tanks. When my neighbor’s tank failed, the city finally just let him replace it, because the sewer trunk line is too far from his house. They can’t make one property owner pay for the trunk line, only for hooking up to the trunk line. So here we all sit, on our septic tanks, waiting for the city to get another grant from the water quality department or something. About 10 years ago they used grants to lay trunk lines and allow cheaper hook-ups – well how about the rest of town you assholes?

Sorry, but you know, I just re-read an old post about the $22 million in COVID emergency funding the city received, and before that, it was over $20 million in Camp Fire relief. Where the hell did that go? Well, they’ve been spending alot of that COVID/American Rescue Funding on “improvements” Downtown, finally mentioning that they need to dig up Downtown streets to replace 100+ year old sewer lines.

Who’s in charge here? Well, we are, and we need to start acting like we’re in charge. Don’t wait for the Measure L committee, make a list of the services you aren’t receiving, and then how much you paid in property taxes for the last five years, and ask your city representative when you can expect that conversation.

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