Tag Archives: Butte County board of supervisors

Paul Valery: Politics is the art of preventing people from taking part in affairs which properly concern them

21 Aug

Since the COnVID shut down, I do almost all my shopping online. I’m not talking about major purchases, but anything that generates sales tax. One day I noticed the shampoo bottle was almost tapped, so I ordered some. They offer free shipping with a $35 purchase, so I bought a brake cable for my bike, some shirts for my husband, and a new winter bed sheet (I know, it’s hard to imagine right now, how cold your ass is going to be in a few months, and then all the winter bedding will be sold out).

I had the shampoo within 4 days. 

I’m still waiting for the break cable, which came from an East Coast vendor. My husband is fixing up my old bike, it’s been sitting in the shed ever since the brake cable snapped on me at a really inconvenient bend in the road. The back tire needs replacing – another online order, next time we need toothpaste.

I like online shopping. I used to hate it when I had my PO box in Chico. My family has had packages lost, packages destroyed, packages stolen from, at the Chico Post office. I had to do the “Repo Man grab” for the last package – the staffers were unwilling to look for it in the mess of their backroom, they just kept sending me away. Finally,  I insisted that one clerk look at the tracking number, and finally he comes sheepishly out of the back room with package.

We’ve tried having packages delivered to Fed Ex and UPS but found the same problem – lazy staffers who wouldn’t do their job.  News flash – Larry Wahl sold his UPS stores, and the new owners are out-of-towners who don’t  give a shit, and charge $5 for pick-up.  UPS and FedEx drivers are great, but if you’re not going to be home, do you want a package laying on your doorstep? In this town? 

So, when a transient lit a fire in the annex where our box was contained, and later when we heard reports that boxes were continually getting broken into at the annex where they relocated us,

Investigation continues into P.O. box break-ins at Chico, Durham post offices

we decided we should move our post office box. Out of town. We found out you can get a PO box in any one of half dozen nearby towns, for the same rate, and the service and security are worlds apart from Chico post office. Orland, for example, is great, and only 30 minutes away.

I grew up on a farm. We always had to drive, everywhere, this is nothing new to me. And while we are picking up our mail, we can hit the grocery store – smaller towns are more likely to respect the exemptions to the mask mandate –  mine being, it cuts off the oxygen to your brain.

Do you “dine out”? My husband and I used to eat out a lot, when Chico was a nice, clean town. That all ended when they got a new health inspector for Butte County and suddenly we found notices on the doors of many of our favorite eateries, saying they’d been closed due to unsanitary conditions. We noticed, none of the taco wagons had been shut down, so now we don’t eat anywhere that doesn’t have wheels.

Wake up, restaurants are dirty, if you haven’t been in the kitchen, you shouldn’t eat there. But now, the city has mandated outside dining. They’ve shut down Downtown three nights a week for restaurants to take over the sidewalks. Well, I hope they’re enjoying the temperatures, air quality, and don’t forget the flies. All over downtown this time of year the flies are on everything. In this heat, you have an ambience of garbage and human excrement that brings them buzzing in. Add floating ash and the smell of a wet camp fire, and you have a recipe for failure of small restaurants all over town.

So you’d think the city of Chico would be strangling financially from all these losses. No, plenty of businesses are thriving. Liquor stores all over town are ringing up record sales, while bar owners pay their rent and watch the calendar.

A friend of mine recently remarked that the shut down is ruining lives, and people are very depressed, even suicidal.  I agree – my neighbor has been acting completely out of character. But who do you call? Butte County Behavioral Health complains that calls are down? What?

With calls and funding down, Behavioral Health focuses on restaffing, crisis intervention

CHICO — While statewide suicide prevention measures are under review, Butte County Behavioral Health faces high budget cuts this year with fewer resources available.

Residents like John Doe in Oroville using the county’s mental health services worry there is a reduced amount of staff available to help family members or themselves with mental health issues, and that phone counseling is “not the same” as in-person services.

Doe said he and his daughter were told there would be no more in-person counseling as well as fewer phone counseling services. He feels telehealth is not the same as it is less personal and “there’s nothing like face-to-face.”

“They got essential workers working at Walmart and they can’t even put these mental health workers as essential workers?” Doe said. “Mental health workers need to be essential. They are just as essential as people hooking up respirators. Services like this should not be disregarded.”

I agree with John Doe, but I don’t think it’s a funding issue, I think it’s a spending issue. Look at the first page of Butte County salaries – two Behavioral Health Workers get paid more than $200,000/each, plus benefits. The psychiatrist who gets almost as much as the county manager doesn’t even work in Butte County, but meets with the board via computer. 


Here’s just Behavioral Health – look at these salaries and benefits packages. For “managers”? What do they “manage”?


And they’re telling us, they don’t have resources? 

Well, you can call that in to your county supervisors cause their meetings are still closed. They have a better comments system, but, “Board of Supervisors meetings will  be closed to the public and all non-essential County staff for the foreseeable future. “

I read a great quote the other day, attributed to Paul Valery in the LA Times: “Politics is the art of preventing people from taking part in affairs which properly concern them.”  I’d say, we’ve elected a bunch of artists to public positions, and we need to put a candle to their asses to open the county and towns again. 

City of Chico and County of Butte continue to exacerbate the transient problem

17 Jul

My husband likes to get out with our old dog for a quick walk in Bidwell Park before the heat sets in. He took this picture at a campsite off Bryant Avenue this morning.

Yes that is a very well established campsite along Chico Creek. I presume the man is just asleep but if you’d been watching the news lately you might want to poke him with a stick to make sure.

This guy took over a picnic spot that is supposed to be for day use only. 

Look hard – right behind this guy there is a picnic table. And it’s taken him a few days unmolested there to gather all that crap. And I’m not using the word “crap” loosely, I’m guessing there is human waste in the bushes.

Remember the “Occupy Movement”?  Well here it is folks. 

The other day I read about the new “Harm Reduction Center” being opened at Mangrove and First Avenues. 


“With the help of Butte County Bar Association, homeless service provider Stairways Programming is opening a harm reduction and legal center this week at 1112 Mangrove Ave. It will provide free legal help and therapy to those who are homeless or living in poverty and struggling with severe mental illness or substance use disorders.

“Attorneys will volunteer their time, offering pro bono work 1-4 p.m. every Monday. During the center’s other hours of operation, 10 a.m.-4 p.m. Monday through Friday, Stairways will provide case management and therapy, and trainings for service providers on methods used at Stairways such as de-escalation, said Stairways Executive Director Michael Madieros.

“’Here’s a chance for them to meet with an attorney, get advice … and start to feel good about the justice system and like somebody cares,” Madieros said. “And when they do show up in court, they feel positive.’”

What I’m hearing is another bum magnet opening up within a mile of one of my rentals, just blocks from the retail centers where I (have done) a lot of my shopping for years. Mangrove shopping center is becoming a bum camp, not to mention that alley that runs  behind Cash and Carry between Palmetto and First Ave. And now this. 

“The new program will also serve as a harm reduction center, operating on a model that Stairways Programming has been using for quite some time. It will provide a space in which those who are experiencing homelessness can learn about and understand the harm they may be creating for themselves and their community by their behaviors, and how they can take small steps to be safer.”

Harm reduction? Stairways has been using this model “for quite some time” ? Well, Mike old buddy, it’s not working.  And here’s why.

“The ultimate goal for those abusing substances is abstinence, Madieros said, but it isn’t the starting point. One of those small steps may be teaching someone how to dispose of needles correctly.

It’s about helping people up, rather than pushing or forcing them, he said.

According to the Oakland and New York-based Harm Reduction Coalition, the philosophy meets drug users where they are, accepting that legal and illegal drug use is part of reality and its effects should be minimized rather than ignored or condemned. The conditions of people’s drug use, such as childhood trauma or mental illness, must be addressed along with the drug use itself, which is where therapy and case management plays its part.”

“legal and illegal drug use is part of reality and it’s effects should be minimized rather than ignored or condemned”? These people are mollycoddling junkies.  Is it part of reality to allow people to commit crimes to support their drug habit, and for shills like Madeiros to take advantage of the system for their own profit? Yes, Madeiros receives quite a nice salary for “managing” Stairways. Then there’s “CFO” Megan Harriman, another salary.  Stairways receives funding from various public agencies, including Butte County. 

But they still want us to volunteer, not only our time, but money and supplies. 

When this story popped up there was the usual criticism on Disqus, and Madeiros was quick to come back with a response.

“Harm Reduction is the model of treatment. Stairways provides emergency services to anyone in need but our commitment to Chico is we only provide services and programs to people from Chico. This is not a safe space this is a place people can come and start being accountable for their lives and actions. 
Looking forward to your donation!”

But when I chimed in to ask about site supervision and for a look at Stairways financial reports, I got no reply. 

I don’t know if they received city money for this enterprise, but I know the city had to permit the use of the building, and I’m wondering if the neighbors were asked for input as is the normal routine. 

I have to laugh – the city refuses marijuana dispensaries, but allows these centers to open all over town without any supervision or input from the neighbors. They wait til problems develop, and then they don’t do anything to fix it. 

But it’s Butte County Board of Supervisors who keep approving more and more “beds” and “centers” that bring these creeps flocking. You can start with Chico supervisors slambert@buttecounty.net, mkirk@buttecounty.net, and lwahl@buttecounty.net. 

Snidely Whiplash in “PG&E rate increase – let’s foil it again!”

26 Sep

Still growling over PG&E’s pending rate increase proposal, I got a nice note from City Council  candidate Forough Molina today. I had sent out a note to city council candidates as well as sitting councilors, and county supervisors, asking for their help in publicizing and maybe strategizing for  CPUC hearings scheduled October 9, 2 and 6:30 pm.

So far I’ve only had responses from District 3 Super Maureen Kirk, candidate Rodney Willis, and today candidate Molina. Kirk and Willis were interested in hearing what others had to say, and I’ll try to keep them in the conversation. Molina expressed her frustration as a ratepayer, echoing everyone else’s complaint – we are all so busy with our jobs, kids, etc, how do we stay on top of this stuff?

Ditto here. I tried to get a meeting together, but found the library room is very booked, they didn’t have any openings that fit my schedule. So here we are, at our virtual meeting place. Let’s get our bananas together for that hearing.

We can rant, we can rave – they like that, it’s easier to write us off as idiots. I was reading a letter to the Board of Supervisors from Cal Water rep Pete Bonacich, in which he totally downplays the recent Cal Water rate hike. “...the typical customer using an average of 14,960 gallons of water per month (20 Ccf) will see water utility charges of $40.94 in 2014…  The “typical” customer? Who is the “typical” customer?

I realized when I read that letter – we should have all done the math, taken our bills and figured out exactly what the Cal Water rate increase would mean to us, and then,  with a full head of steam, really let our elected officials, as well as our CPUC officials, know a little more vividly how we felt about  that. I find, I never really get mad-mad, until I have the numbers waved in my face.  Bitch-slap me with a utility bill, and I’m raring to go to a hearing.

So, there’s your homework assignment Kids, I’ll work on my bills too, we’ll do some scenarios for our PG&E rate hike, and see what we come up with. 

Ha, ha – joke’s on me – I notice in my new bill for period 8/20/2014 through 9/18/2014, they’ve changed the rates! Damn that Snidely Whiplash, we got to foil his next caper, before he has us all so corn-fused, we don’t know which end of the hose the pie is coming out of.

Write to Butte County Supervisors about mosquito tax

7 May

Contact: phahn@buttecounty.net; lwahl@buttecounty.net; mkirk@buttecounty.net; dist4@buttecounty.net; bconnelly@buttecounty.net; dteeter@buttecounty.net


Dear Supervisors and Mr. Hahn,

Below is an e-mail conversation I had with Matt Ball of Butte County Mosquito and Vector Control District. He says, district employees only pay 1 – 6.25% of their retirement plans, and pay nothing toward their health benefits. 

But they’re asking for an assessment?

I don’t care how “small” the assessment looks per property, it’s insulting that they don’t pay their own benefits or pensions and expect to hold their hand out to the public. I looked at their last three years’ budgets.  I see they’ve lost RDA funding in almost the exact amount they’ve been paying on their benefits – that’s the underlying reason for this assessment.  I also notice that while they’ve been laying people off and cutting the expenditure for pesticides by about $150,000 a year, at the same time their benefits expenditure has increased. 

And no matter how many properties we own, my husband and I are limited to one vote between the two of us? And then, these votes are only “taken under consideration”? 

This looks pretty bad. I also can’t find any kind of contact information for the BCMVCD board. Another board of spoils appointees, out of the reach of public comment?

Mr. Hahn, can you please provide me with direct contact information for the BCMVCD board?  I’m not willing to go through Mr. Ball or staff, I’m guessing these board members all have county provided e-mail addresses, and the public should be able to contact them directly. This information should be on the website. 

I have included the newspaper editors because I have not seen any of the above information in stories I’ve read in the paper. 

Thank you for your anticipated response – Juanita Sumner, Chico CA  




Attached is the contact information for Board Members for the Butte County Mosquito and Vector Control District that we currently have on file.    While you are probably already aware of this, the Mosquito Abatement District is a completely separate entity from Butte County.  The only connection is that the Butte County Board of Supervisors does appoint five members of the of 11 member Governing board with the rest selected by respective City Councils.


I hope this answers your question.  If not, please do not hesitate to let me know.





Paul Hahn

I like to deal with Paul Hahn, he’s very professional. Cool blue ink too!  So far, I guess I have not pissed him off, he always answers me right back. What I learned here is, five of the board members are appointed by our county supervisors, that makes them responsible too.  Our city council appoints one, I think, and the others are appointed by other towns in Butte County, and I think Hamilton City. Ham City left the Glenn County abatement district when Glenn County health and human services officer Scott Gruendl raised their assessment – let’s see what they have to say about being duped into a higher assessment by Butte County. 

Butte Supers write another protest letter over Cal Water rate hike – the leaders are leading, now the people need to follow

7 Apr

I’m sorry I haven’t posted this sooner – the Butte County Board of Supervisors has sent another protest letter over Cal Water’s proposed rate hike. 

March 25, 2014 

Ms. Karen Miller
Public Advisor, California Public Utilities Commission
505 Van Ness Avenue, Room 2103
San Francisco, California 94102
RE: California Water Service Company General Rate Case
Dear Ms. Miller:
On behalf of the Butte County Board of Supervisors, I am writing to express concern over the proposed increase
filed by California Water Service Company (Cal Water). Butte County is served by two Cal Water service districts,
Chico and Oroville, with customers of each facing proposed increases of more than 26%. The Office of Ratepayer
Advocates proposed alternate rate increases of 7.2% for Chico and 16.1% for Oroville in March of last year, but
those rates are not reflected in the proposed rate case settlement.
The unemployment rate in Butte County at the end of January, 2014 was 10.0%. Although that rate has improved in
the past year, it continues to exceed that of the State of California and the United States as a whole. New home
construction may be on the rise throughout the rest of the State but that trend has not extended to Butte County.
While our local economy is finally showing some signs of improvement, it remains extremely vulnerable to events
affecting local spending and consumer prices. Our community can ill afford the negative long-term impacts of the
proposed Cal Water rate increases.
It is our hope that the Public Utilities Commission will assist the thousands of Butte County citizens and businesses
facing economic hardship by adopting more reasonable and affordable rates in the Chico and Oroville Water Service
Districts served by Cal Water.
Thank you for your consideration.
Doug Teeter, Chair
Butte County Board of Supervisors
cc: Members, Butte County Board of Supervisors
The Honorable Brian Dahle, Member of California State Assembly
The Honorable Dan Logue, Member of California State Assembly
The Honorable Jim Nielsen, Member of California State Senate
Paul Yoder, Strategic Local Government Services, LLC
Joe Como, Office of Ratepayer Advocates

The other good news is, while the decision was supposed to be made in January and we might already be paying that 38 percent proposed increase, the commission is still out. I’m guessing, the various protests have been getting through, and these commissioners and their hangers-on have realized they are suddenly under scrutiny. Reading up at Marysville for Reasonable Water Rates’ Facebook page


I understand the proposal has so far been whittled down to 10 percent – WOW! – but the source, a spokesman from Cal Water, warns that the commission “ can raise it to whatever amount they determine that Cal Water needs/and or deserves. ”  We have it in cyber ink –  the CPUC does what’s good for Cal Water! “needs and/or deserves“? We need to keep up the pressure.

I wish people would write to the supervisors and thank them for joining the protest. You can find their e-mail addresses here


A friend of mine who lives here in Chico reports that her homeowner’s association has raised dues because of the pending increase. “People had no clue,” she said. Yes, it takes time to get the information out. If you’re reading this and you care, write a letter to the Enterprise Record, News and Review, Oroville Mercury Register, or some other local newspaper. Remind your neighbors, this increase is mainly for pensions and benefits. Only $165,000 for infrastructure, over three years, but almost a million for pensions and benefits. Do the math on your bills, tell people how much your bill will go up. Tell people how much you’ve spent fixing your plumbing, buying water-conserving fixtures and appliances,  how you’ve changed your lifestyle to conserve, and  been rewarded with rate increase after rate increase. Remind them, we don’t have a water shortage, we have too many developers in Southern California demanding our water. 

My friend’s comment, and the inaction of the commission on the rate case have convinced me that people need to know, and we still have time to tell them.