Tag Archives: Chico quality of life measure L

Will we be forced to sue the city over the garbage tax? Ask Debbie Presson debbie.presson@chicoca.gov

26 Jan

One of the better news sources we have here in Chico/Butte County is the Butte County Fires and Accidents Facebook – better known as “bcfac”. Here’s a story I have not seen in the local news media –


Chico, CA Saturday 1/21/2023 7:25 PM BCFAC: A juvenile just walked up to a house asking for help, reporting unknown people robbed him of his bicycle and property in Bidwell Park.

Yeah, sometimes kids make up stuff – unfortunately this story is true. Two 26 year old adults were arrested for “strong arm robbery, willful cruelty to a child and annoying or molesting a person under 18 years of age”.

How would you feel if that was your kid? I know what I’d do, but let’s not talk about it here.

Why should I have to behave myself? Our town has become lawless, and you know Folks, when the fish stinks, it’s the head of the fish that stinks. Here in Chico, we have a many-headed fish, including 7 council members, a police chief and a city council member turned city manager.

And now, according to lawyer/activist Rob Berry, the “public safety” measure Kasey Reynolds floated onto the last ballot is completely gutless. Here’s Berry’s description of how a citizen would use Measure L to complain about a problem, like, how about – rampant crime all over town?

Measure L gives you a means to report a public nuisance on city land. It has to be particularly injurious to you. That is, if you were going to report litter at an encampment, you need to live nearby, not across town. It is one tool, not for everything. So one example that has come up is the encampment at Eaton and Cohasset. Before, the only thing available was a civil lawsuit.. Now you can simply fill out a form and the city has to respond, and if it’s valid, they should abate the nuisance. For example, restricting the use, citing for littering, illegal structures, etc. They are required to reduce the impact of the nuisance. That is how it is used.

No disrespect to Berry, but there it is – this measure is completely useless to 99.9% of the population. I read the measure – did any of you who voted YES on it actually read it first? It is very clear – the city gets to decide whose complaint is valid – gee, walked into that one with your pants down, didn’t you?

Right now the city is trying to clear Teichert Ponds. I don’t live nearby, but I know the people that live in that illegal encampment are shoplifting from nearby businesses – again, you have to check bcfac to hear these reports, the local media doesn’t pay much attention to this type of crime. In many instances, these people are followed right back to that camp. Frankly, this is just another reason NOT to shop in Chico – many of these business refuse to press charges, passing the cost of the crime onto the paying customer. At Walmart, it means you have to find an employee with a key before you can buy everyday items like socks and underwear.

It also means the customer is at risk. At Mangrove Safeway I was almost knocked down by a guy stealing a bottle of booze. The manager apologized to me but I don’t know if charges were pressed. I later saw the guy laying on the sidewalk alongside Kwando, empty bottles on the ground next to him. We used to live two blocks from that plaza and shopped there almost daily. We sold that house as we watched the crime move up our street, into our driveway. We still live in the general neighborhood but we don’t shop there anymore.

When we run errands in Chico while we’re out doing chores, one of us always has to sit in the truck while the other goes into the store so our tools won’t get stolen. I’ll never forget the transient who tried to act super drunk while he rolled his way along the bed of our truck trying to see what we had in the back. When he rolled across my passenger window my dog went nuts – it was comical to see how fast the man sobered up and walked away.

Chico used to be such a great town, it’s hard to see. But you know, it’s our own fault – we elected the people on council. We elected the people who passed a “Shelter Crisis Designation,” got us into a lawsuit, built a cardboard “homeless” camp on a children’s bicycle track, passed a sham measure designed to force us to sue if we don’t like what they’re doing, raised our sales tax, instituted an illegal garbage tax and most recently, announced a sewer tax over Christmas holiday.

Speaking of the garbage tax, no, I have not heard back from our lovely and vivacious city clerk about my request to agendize “Zolly v City of Oakland”. I have the worst feeling this is going to play out like the illegal cell phone tax the city of Chico collected for years. Measure L will not help us here – Chico taxpayers had to wait for a rich guy named Donald Sipple to sue cities all over California for collecting the tax, and then wade through a very misinformative campaign for the measure Ann Schwab put on the ballot – Measure J. In my experience trying to defeat that measure, I was shocked how many people didn’t know they were paying such a tax, and the very common response was, “what does Chico do to provide me with cell phone service?” The answer – nothing, it was just a shakedown. Like the sales tax, the garbage tax and the sewer tax.

So I’ll keep you posted here, and you keep me posted – don’t just stand there with your mouth open, flies will get in. Please cc me on your email to clerk Debbie Presson debbie.presson@chicoca.gov asking for the Zolly v City of Oakland discussion to be agendized, and I’ll post it here on the blog.