Tag Archives: Chico Library

Library funding up in the air – staff recommends funding, but you might want to e-mail city council

21 Mar

I got the agendas for next week’s back-to-back Finance  and Economic Development Committee meetings.  These committees have not been combined, but Nakamura said it would save money to have them on the same afternoon, with about a short recess in between. For me, that’s like some kind of all afternoon jail sentence, I am so sick of these meetings, I can’t even spit.

But, I did notice, they’re kicking around the idea of cutting library funding, again, along with Community Organizations (like the Blue Room and the Cat Coalition) and Economic Development/Tourism (like Artoberfest and the “Chico Open Boards Art” ).  “In light of the City’s budgetary constraints, and the impacts that staffing reductions are having on the city organization...”  they will “restructure“.   

NOTE:  Staff is recommending that library funding remain at it’s current $100,000/year. But I’ll also say, we should be worried anyway, they’ve gone against staff recommendations before. I’d also expect the other groups to be coming in to bitch, that is, if they were notified. When I called the library the manager told me she didn’t get a copy of the agenda, although she’d been told about a month ago that this discussion would be coming around. If they noticed her about it at all, should they notice her about this meeting? I don’t like to tell her how to run our library, but maybe I should have suggested she sign up for notifications. She asked me how I got it, I should have scolded her there, for cripessake. 

So, I’d say write a letter. It’s not worth your time or mine to attend these meetings anymore, they’ve restricted the public to speaker cards and three minutes, on subject. No more discussion, just an audience like a king gives.  In fact, I’d say, DON’T attend these meetings, you are just providing your tacit consent, they need to be able to say, “we told people!”. And your remarks will be put into the public record if and as the clerk or her staff see fit.  Those gals have attributed comments to me I never even said, while leaving out whole conversations about questions I’d asked. But if you write an e-mail or letter and ask that it be put into the record, there it is, for anybody who wants to see it.

After the Finance Committee meeting the Economic Develoment Committee will discuss dissolving itself. Again, “In light of the city’s budgetary constraints…”  I’m tired of hearing that. The budget is constrained because our council hired a bunch of overpaid junk and pays for it by laying off staffers hand over fist. They haven’t reduced our debt, we’re in as much trouble as ever, but we’re receiving little or no service for what we’re paying. They’re serving themselves, is what’s happening. 

If this committee is dissolved, the business they conduct will go completely behind closed doors. My biggest concern is that they are giving away city staff time to private businesses. That’s what TEAM is all about. While I hate these meetings, at least they are on the record. If this committee is dissolved, we’ll never know what’s going on in Nakamura’s office. 

Again, I’d say, e-mail or write a letter. 





Jim Nielsen will speak to Chico Taxpayer’s Association, Sunday, April 1, 11:30 am

25 Mar

Memories of summer - I made this minestrone  with tomato sauce from last year's garden.

We are lucky to have good friends – our friend Mark is one of the bestest. Every year he gets us a ginormous corned beef brisquet from the locker, and we eat it for a week, in one form or another. My favorite way to finish it off is to use the broth to make a nice pot of minestrone.

I used my own tomato sauce, from last year’s garden. My husband plants a lot of tomatoes because you never know what might happen. They kicked in late last summer, because of that late rain – we didn’t get a ripe tomato til August! And then they came in, Hellbent for Glory. My little freezer was solid packed by the end of September.  I still have about half a dozen pints of sauce in there, stowed away with all my Meyer’s lemon juice and some big-ass chickens bought on sale at Safeway.

Nothing makes a good pot of soup like some good bread – this time I made it into stix, my kids loved them. I might make some more today.

I buttered them when they were still hot and rolled them in a little pile of big salt and garlic powder. Next time I might use real garlic – I’ve heard, if you eat enough garlic, it keeps the tax vampires away. I know, that’s probably just some old wives’ tale.

What you really need to do to keep the tax vampires at bay is organize early and get a good plan. So, next Sunday, Casey has got a promise from Jim Nielsen, Second Assembly District representative, to come to the library and give us some strategies for fighting tax increases.

Jim  Nielsen shares our area with Dan Logue. Their districts meet up at Hwy 99, splitting off some of West and South Chico, with Nielsen skirting the edges and Logue taking the lion’s share of our town.  Nielsen has been in one California legislative office or another, on and off, for over 25 years. I don’t know how you feel about him politically, but I’d say, he has some experience to share and some  things to tell us about the system, how it works, and how to go about putting down Tom Lando’s plan to increase our sales tax by 3/4 of a cent, in it’s tracks.

Unfortunately, I have a previous committment, a Mom Thing, and nothing gets in front of the Mom Thing. So, I am counting on folks to come out and greet Mr. Nielsen and show him a good time, listen to what he has to say and give me the skinny when I get home.

Remember, keep the questions and the conversation on topic – what strategies can Nielsen offer to stop this tax increase? Has he ever participated in a local tax increase battle? Does he know of any instances where citizens have successfully overturned an effort like this? How?

I’d like to invite Dan Logue and other legislators and local elected officials  to speak to us as well, so let’s be nice to Nielsen, give him the old “Y’ll come back now, y’hear!” treatment.

That’s next Sunday, April 1 (yeah, I know!), at 11:30 am, at the Chico Branch of the Butte County Library, at the corner of First and Sherman Avenues.