Tag Archives: Demographia home affordability survey

Oh no, nobody ever believes Juanita!

27 Mar

I saw this report on KRCR Ch 7 news the other night – “Chico Housing Market One of Nation’s Least Affordable”.


The survey mentioned was done by a conservative “think tank” (my description) owned and run by a guy named Wendell Cox. Looking into Cox’s background, what I see is, this guy was an early proponent of the stuff we now know as “new urban” and “smart growth,” where you shove all the people into densely packed inner cities, served by public transportation. Now, he has turned 180 degrees, saying that none of this stuff has helped, our cities and roadways are still a giant mess. 


Well, duh. I tried to tell people that a long time ago. Why do you have to have a bunch of money and some initials after your name to get people to listen? Back in the early 2000’s, I saw this happening in Chico. A building boom that necessitated the import of labor! We must provide starter housing for new families!, they said. “They” being our city council and staff.  They spoke in panic – painting a picture of whole families sitting on their suitcases out on the curb, unable to find a house to live in. I knew it was bullshit then, and I tried to say as much. 


Of course New Urban Builder Tom DiGiovanni, father of some of the biggest jokes in town (Doe Mill, Westside Green), said I made the whole thing up.


Wow, the laugh was on me – little did I know, at just about that time, city council was approving that MOU that linked city salaries “to revenue increases but not decreases“.  Wow, if you don’t get that, unscrew your head and put it in a bucket of pine tar.  That’s how they simultaneously drove up the cost of living and their salaries. By the time we figured that one out, City Manager Tom Lando’s salary had gone from around $65,000/year to about $190,000 a year. Just salary. At that time we didn’t know about the pensions scam.  And, when they dumped the MOU that tied salaries to revenue increases, they agreed to pay the lion’s share of pension premiums, and here we are today, well, you read the story in the paper.

Mark Sorensen went on his little swing about how it’s not his fault, he wasn’t on council when they did that stuff. Well, he sure as hell hired Brian Nakamura at $212,000/year plus 96 percent paid retirement and benefits, and tried to tell us it was for our own good. Yeah, that’s what they tell the victim – lay back and think of Mother England. 

Our housing market, after a boom that increased the size of our town by roughly a quarter, actually raised the price of housing. How does that happen? 

Read here, read it good. And then come back so I can say, “I told you so!”


I told you so!