Tag Archives: City of Chico Airport Commission

New urban builder wants high-density housing on public-owned Downtown parking lots – you pay! Sounds like Chico!

12 Feb


This week I will hit the ground running in my attempt to keep my New Year’s resolutions – two meetings in two days.  

Tonight at dinnertime I will go to the Airport Commission meeting. I had so much trouble getting on the notification list for this committee, I just have to find out why. These meetings are only held four times a year, which I find odd, for something as important to the economic vitality of your town as an airport. I’ve heard bad things about how our airport is run, I’ve heard the airports at O-ville, Willows and Redding are fun far better, and I’ve read reports about the workings of those airports that leave me wondering, “why not Chico?”

While Redding is looking into providing more aircraft parking for private jet owners who are able and willing to pay, Chico looks into raising car parking fees for people who have to leave their cars at the airport while they fly out of town. 

Are you tired of being treated like a cash cow? Poke, prod, yank, squuuueeeeezzzze!” Me too. I’m going to try to find out what the heck is going wrong at the airport. 

And then, the next morning, I’m going Downtown to the 8am Internal Affairs meeting. There’s an item on that agenda that I have been watching float around town like a bad turd for years – Tom DiGiovanni wants a “public/private partnership,” which he managed to worm into the General Plan, to develop Downtown parking lots into high-density “live-work units.”  This guy is a leech – he doesn’t really build anything, he just goes about getting the plans approved and selling them to other developers. He got Meriam Park, a “city within a city” approved, then sold the low-income portion to a Fresno based developer for $7 million. The $7 million came from our RDA fund, given to the Fresno developer to route to DiGiovanni. 

Have you seen a shovel of dirt turned over at Merriam Park? No, but you’re looking at a gazillion dollar freeway widening that was necessitated by the approval of Meriam Park, forced by the threat of a lawsuit from CalTrans.  That freeway widening was also paid for out of the RDA – it was part of the lawsuit, Cal Trans demanded that Chico “dedicate” money for that widening, so Tom Lando handed them some cookies out of his RDA cookie jar.  Now we, well, really, our grandchildren, will pay $3 for every dollar spent on that low-income housing and on that freeway widening.

Not to mention, DiGiovanni and his high-density new urban spree have bottomed out the new housing and rental markets, and you see the results. And now DiGiovanni wants public money again, so he can sell the plans and walk away with his pockets full of money? 

Oh, and by the way, whatever happened to that parking crisis that caused a $1 million…oh, excuse me, $3 million Downtown makeover? This whole thing just stinks to high heaven.

So, I will be there at 8:00 in the morning, and I’ll keep you posted. 



Something funny going on out at the airport again?

6 Feb

This year I’ve made a New Years Resolution to stay on top of the committees Downtown and try to attend more meetings.   And this year, instead of focusing on the Sustainability Task Force – which had so many ad hoc committees I could hardly keep up – I am going to try to get to some other meetings.  So, about three weeks ago, I started e-mailing the city clerk, requesting to be put on notifications lists for the various committees – Finance, Economic Development, Internal Affairs and Airport – so I don’t have to worry about missing meetings that I was interested in attending. I can’t always attend anyway, but it’s nice to have a three day heads up to think about it.

In past I’ve been on these lists, but for some reason, I’ve just been dropped after a while. I thought at first it was just because Lynda Cameron, the staffer who had been sending the notifications, was retired. Then I thought it was because I didn’t attend every single meeting. See, it’s not an onerous task to type in an e-mail address on a list-serve, but  it takes a physical act to remove somebody from one of those lists after they’ve been placed on it. I just don’t get why they keep dumping me from these lists.

And, this time, I don’t understand why it took me three weeks and a trail of e-mails to get put back on. In fact, I had to rattle chains down there constantly to get any response, and while I’ve finally managed to get confirmation on the Finance, Economic, and Internal Affairs lists, I’m still waiting to get on the Airport Commission list.

I originally asked to be put on that list January 17. I had to ask twice, and the second time, Debbie Presson tried to tell me she hadn’t received my first request . I let that one pass – I didn’t say, “Sorry Debbie Baby, the computer doesn’t lie!” She said she was forwarding my request to Debbie Collins, the staffer attached to the Airport Commission. I had to ask Presson because Collin’s contact info is not available on the city website.

Well, I have yet to get anything back on that. Since I made that request, the meeting scheduled for January 29 has been cancelled and rescheduled for February 12. I should be receiving some sort of notice of the Feb 12 meeting by Feb 8, but I’m not holding my breath.

Yes, I know, I could get up every morning and faithfully check the agendas schedule. That takes my time, people, and as you know, I don’t get paid for that time nor do I get it refunded at the end of the fiscal year. 

They have a notifications process, I’m asking to participate, somebody’s holding me out by the forehead.

Word press blogs come with stats pages. They tell you how many visitors you have every day and what they looked at.  Somebody, or bodies,  have been hitting the heck out of those posts I made about the airport, how badly it’s run, etc. And, the same somebodies? have also been searching the heck out of BT Chapman. BT was a member of the Sustainability Task Force, and I’ve criticized his actions on that committee. Now he’s been named to the Airport Commission. Is he trying to keep me out of those Airport Commission meetings because I’ve criticized him, or because I’ve criticized the airport? I’m just asking.