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Still think Agenda 21 is a big joke?

30 Oct

I don’t know how many people are aware of our city’s efforts to get “Green”.  For years I tried to cover Chico’s Sustainability Task Force, formed originally by then-Mayor and current city council member Ann Schwab.  When current chair Mark Stemen took over a few years ago, the committee went completely underground, ad hoc, no council members, no staffers to take notes – like former city staffer Mary Fitch once said, these ad hoc committees are just “an end-run around the Brown Act”.  

https://chicotaxpayers.com/?s=sustainability+task+force&submit=Search

A committee member is tasked to take “notes”, which appear every few months on an agenda, after they’ve been abridged and approved by the committee. Read those here:

http://www.chico.ca.us/government/minutes_agendas/sustainability_task_force.asp

The STF gave us the bag ban. They also passed an ordinance by which we have to put new toilets, new shower heads, new light bulbs and do up to $800 worth of insulation and other weatherization in our house before we can sell it. Read through those agendas and “notes”, see what other short hairs they are grasping for.  But I still had to laugh at this video Dude sent me:

Recently, local developers were told they could pay lower fees for building smaller houses in new urban type neighborhoods.

http://www.chicoer.com/article/NA/20171025/NEWS/171029818

What does the average family want? I don’t know, because the average family was neither invited to nor represented at the meeting, it was just a bunch of developers and suits. Oh yeah, and Ken Fleming, who likes to talk philosophy. Ken’s a nice guy, but he lives on some planet where everybody is on Valium.

They think the smaller houses will get us out of our cars, that’s so funny.  Read the following story and don’t forget to watch the video – note, the woman is driving a Prius – didn’t she see the Audi commercial? 

http://www.zerohedge.com/news/2017-10-28/prius-driving-ny-legislator-fakes-ptsd-panic-attack-get-out-minor-speeding-ticket-vi

Go on to her campaign speech below – she’s an urban planner! 

The Sustainability Task Force also gave us our trash deal, are you happy with that? Got your postcard, telling you all the things you can be fined for? Not so funny now, is it?

 

Thanks Dude, for sending those videos, and reminding us to keep an eye on the Sustainability Task Force.

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Randy, you have got to be kidding

4 Oct

I noticed a person had come over to this blog from city councilman Randall Stone’s campaign website. I won’t direct you there – I’d rather direct you to this:

Because at least Robert Preston is entertaining. Stone is just obnoxious.

Saved the Esplanade? Is that the way you remember it? 

I have been studying the candidates, and I’m not looking forward to this year’s election. 

Are you sick of junk mail? You’re not allowed to wrap your groceries in a plastic bag, but the local newspaper can dump garbage in the street in front of your house?

13 Jul

I usually keep this conversation to my worldofjuanita blog, but here I find, the city is at fault. For one thing, we have a city-wide ban on “single use” plastic shopping bags, but here the Enterprise Record can wrap a pile of ads in a plastic “sleeve” and toss it in the street out front of your house?

Read here:

Market Value Place – ad rag resorts to “bomber” mailings – OPT OUT OPT OUT OPT OUT!

How will you celebrate “The Fourth”? Try acting like an American

4 Jul

I always wonder, how many Americans have even read the US constitution? How many of you have read the California constitution? The city charter?

Good homework for “The Fourth.”  

I’ve been reading up on the laws regarding tax measures, how they are enacted, and how the public citizen can resist an avaricious government.

First, we must “Watch the skies!”   Actually, we have to watch the agendas. That is where the initial discussion of putting a tax measure on the ballot is supposed to happen.  We all know it actually happens in private meetings, but, legally, it has to pass through a public discussion before it can be handed to the county clerk, so there’s a place for the observer to begin. I’ve been watching agendas not only for council meetings and county supervisor meetings but the smaller committee meetings in between.

I have to admit, I’ve been distracted with Chico Area Recreation District, trying to figure out whether their tax grab will appear on the November ballot or whether they will go the slimy way and deliver assessment ballots by mail.  Assessment elections aren’t the same as regular elections – they are rigged with bigger property owners getting more votes, the “weight” of each property owner’s vote being determined by the very board that is asking for the tax. These shouldn’t be legal – that’s our fault. We need to try to get rid of the entities that can attach us this way, starting with CARD, and including the Butte County Mosquito and Vector District.

I haven’t heard an elected official at either the city of Chico or Butte County mention a sales tax increase, but with municipalities all around us seeking, and in some cases, getting a sales tax increase out of the voters, I’m worried. Ex-city mangler Tom Lando, the guy who came up with the MOU that attached city salaries “to revenue increases but not decreases,” has been stumping for a sales tax increase for a few years now, saying he wants this and that amenity for the public, as well as better paid cops and fire fighters. 

Wow, what’s better than a base pay of $62,000/year with automatic step increases and mandated overtime that can as much as double that base salary? Not to mention paying only 12 percent toward a retirement of 90 percent of your highest year’s pay at age 50? What the helllllll could be better than that? 

Ask Lando, a guy who is in the regular habit of dropping a C-note for lunch.

I don’t believe Lando is worried about the public, I think he is worried about his $12,000/month pension payments.  Can you imagine living on $134,000/year, without having to work? Just getting a check for the rest of your life.  Ask Barbara McEnepsy – how’s life out on Keefer Road Hon? I don’t even know what Barbara McEnepsy did for the city, but she receives an even higher pension than Lando. 

Here’s the real stinker – these two individuals retired before the rules were changed to make employees “pay their own share” – neither Lando nor McEnepsy paid a dime toward their pensions.

If you are not outraged about paying these pensions, I’ll say – you’re not an American.

 

Short Attention Span Theater – we have the government we deserve in Chico

18 Jun

I’ve just been having a frustrating conversation with a friend about public participation. 

Sorry if I have been rude, Friend.

Friend tried to explain to me how overwhelmed most people are in their lives, they can’t pay attention.

That just got my skivvies in a bunch. I pay attention, and let me tell you, I got stuff going on.  I won’t bore you with my epic problems of the past months, but through it all, my close friends have been annoyed with my constant complaining about what the city and county and various local agencies are doing. My husband keeps telling me the government stuff is stressing me out, I should concentrate more on what’s going on at home. At least we can do something about our private problems, he says.

I have a hard time keeping it all under my hat.  Every morning, when I give my dog her insulin shot, I have to mentally prepare – “don’t think bad thoughts, don’t think bad thoughts…” as I skewer that needle into a lump of flesh behind her collar.   She lays on the floor behind me as I read the paper, read e-mails, she can hear me grumbling about stuff. I have to be careful or she’ll slip into the bedroom and stick her head under my husband’s side of the bed. I can feel the tension in her neck, makes it hard to get loose skin, sometimes she lets out a yelp and a half.

What bugs me is how people are so quick to use any excuse to stick their head in the sand, but they still expect to be allowed to complain when something finally gets under their skin.  I won’t mention names, but I’ve watched the local gadflies make big stinks about stuff, after a few months, the stink dies down, and the problem still exists.  All that blab about volunteers for the park – the park still looks like shit. The work they did at the One Mile parking lot last year has become completely overgrown with non-native invasive plants again. An area they did earlier this year is also going back to a mess.   Whole sections of the park are sub-code – if it was your yard, you’d get a notice to clean it up or pay the city to do it. 

And this conversation about keeping public restrooms open has been going on for two years now. Meanwhile, the million dollar One Mile restroom is pretty hit and miss – here’s the conundrum – if it is open, will it be usable? 

Short Attention Span Theater.

I’m going to tell you Esplanade lovers – don’t go back to sleep! Isn’t it pretty obvious, they’ve shelved the roundabouts until after the election? I’m hoping Cheryl King and friends are quietly looking for somebody to run for council, but I’m not going to bank on it.  

I’d like to see somebody run for CARD. Why don’t I do it? I would if I had some support – I ain’t going into those meetings without a posse anymore.  If they pass their bond, it means the people of Chico are completely gone fishing.

Tony St Amant said it in this morning’s paper – we have the government we deserve.

 

 

Election 2016 sneaking in the back door – what rough beast, know what I mean?

14 Jan

Here’s the latest schedule of events for Butte County Election 2016.

http://clerk-recorder.buttecounty.net/elections/archives/eln33/33_election_calendar.pdf

What I was looking for are the deadlines for announcing candidacy and for putting measures on the ballot. Looks like all that stuff has to be done by late February – by March 14, the county clerk is supposed to be appointing letters to the various measures and turning ballot information over to the state printing plant. 

I don’t know all the rules for measures and bonds, but it looks like the paperwork needs to be submitted by February 4th for consideration at a February 23 Supervisor’s meeting. So, I will keep an eye on county agendas. 

Here’s the schedule on the Secretary of State’s website, easier to read:

http://www.sos.ca.gov/elections/upcoming-elections/june-7-2016-presidential-primary-election/key-dates-and-deadlines-june-7-2016/

I’ve been waiting so long, I was afraid I’d go to sleep before the action started. Now’s the time to check these websites regularly to see what is going to end up on our June primary ballot. 

As usual our lazy city clerk, $135,000/year plus benefits Debbie Presson, has not posted any election information. I think we have three seats up in November – Morgan, Schwab and Stone.  Correction (thanks R.K.): Tami Ritter’s seat is also up for grabs.   Our lovely clerk is still posting old information from Election 2014. She insists she does not have to post up-to-date campaign contribution information online because the city does not require her to do so. I would like to see both her and “deputy” clerk Dani Brinkley retire soon. I’d just like to see what kind of clerk’s office we could have if those two weren’t sitting on it, like a couple of hogs in the manger.

http://www.chico.ca.us/city_clerk/election_information.asp

 None of the encumbents are campaigning publicly right now, but I’m pretty sure they are all gathering money.  But no websites, no press releases. Why is this election so quiet? 

 

Will California voters overturn the bag ban? Maybe this issue will piss people off enough to raise voter participation in 2016

15 Jun

From Ballotpedia:

The California Plastic Bag Ban Referendum is on the November 8, 2016 ballot in California as a veto referendum. If the measure approved by the state’s voters, it would:[1][2]

  • Ratify SB 270 (2014).
  • Prohibit large grocery stores and pharmacies from providing plastic single-use carryout bags on July 1, 2015, and small grocery stores, convenience and liquor stores on July 1, 2016.
  • Allows single-use plastic bags for meat, bread, produce, bulk food and perishable items.
  • Mandate stores to charge $0.10 for recycled, compostable, and reusable grocery bags.
  • Exempt consumers using a payment card or voucher issued by the California Special Supplemental Food Program, a public assistance program, from being charged for bags.
  • Provide $2 million to state plastic bag manufacturers for the purpose of helping them retain jobs and transition to making thicker, multi-use, recycled plastic bags.

The American Progressive Bag Alliance is leading the campaign to repeal SB 270.[3]

This measure is a veto referendum; this means that a “yes” vote would be a vote to uphold or ratify the contested legislation – Senate Bill 270 – that was enacted by the California State Legislature, while a “no” vote is a vote to overturn Senate Bill 270.

Read more here:

http://ballotpedia.org/California_Plastic_Bag_Ban_Referendum_(2016)