Tag Archives: fraud

Engage your “leaders” regarding the transient problem

9 May

After I posted the picture my husband took in Bidwell Park I sent it to Mayor Sean Morgan with this note:

Mayor Morgan,
>
> I am sending a photo of a mess my husband and dog walked into Friday morning in middle Bidwell Park, along the Fitness Trail. I don’t know the station numbers, but I think this bears investigating. A cursory walk through the area between the freeway and Manzanita Avenue would turn up many illegal camps. You will see small but well established trails leading back into the blackberry vines and other non-native, overgrown brush, where you will find trash piles and oftentimes occupied camps. My husband has encountered people in tents right on the main trail.
>
> We’ve reported these camps in past, this very spot has been cleaned within the last six months by the alternative custody program.
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> This is disconcerting given Chief O’Brien’s recent revelation that bicycles are being stolen to fuel heroin habits. We see other articles in these trash piles, oftentimes bike parts, stuff that looks like it’s been taken from people’s garages  – even a real estate sign in one pile. We’ve found poop tied up in those bags the city provides to pick up after dogs, piles of them. We’ve found the little caps that go on syringes at places like Cedar Grove and along the Fitness Trail. This is our neighborhood, where we live, our adult children live, and where we have rentals. We wonder why illegal camping is being allowed in a park that traverses a large area of town, and is so overgrown, a criminal can disappear through a gate and into the bushes faster than a jack rabbit.  These people are predating our neighborhoods, and public works department staffers have told us the campers have Fourth and Fourteenth Amendment rights and must be given notice before they can be kicked out. They are not required to take their garbage.
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> How ironic.  These people are practicing illegal Search and Seizure in our homes while our families are at work and school, but they get Fourth and Fourteenth amendment rights by pitching a tent in the park.
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> Having heard/read your comments regarding the parklet for Starbucks (and I wholeheartedly agree with the latest decision), I know you must be as disgusted as I am with what’s going on  in Bidwell Park. My family and my tenants need to hear you have a plan to do something about it. All we hear is how the city doesn’t have enough money to fix roads and clean the park, but the pensions get paid no matter what.
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> Thanks, at your convenience, for your anticipated response, Juanita Sumner

He responded fairly quickly and it seems we are in agreement about the problem.  

Juanita,

Disgusting picture to be sure.  I am frustrated by the transient issue and short of throwing all the service providers out of town (which I’m told won’t work) I’m short on plausible solutions.  Our police Target team and Park Rangers break up camps on a regular basis only to see them started again. 

 I am forwarding your email to Chief O’Brien who I know will forward it to Target.  The camps will move then pop up again (leaving trash, debris, and worse).

I believe making Park Rangers fully fledged police officers will have some effect but not a magical one.  Until we stop protecting the people taking advantage of our community we’ll continue down this slippery slope.  The Governor says they’re not criminals and the Sheriff can’t house them.

Regarding the pensions: you nailed it.  Illegal not to fund CalPers (which can’t seem to earn a decent return to save it’s life) while we can’t keep up on street maintenance in our town.  Municipalities in California are in for a rude awakening (one we avoided once) as sales tax revenue disappears (lost to the internet) and pension cost rise.  In Chico we’re doing all we can to hold pensions and salaries in check without losing valuable safety officers.

We do have some things coming (not tax increases, those are on someone else’s agenda) and I expect to see some improvement soon, but if the majority that runs this state doesn’t realize how they’re killing it, there won’t be much left to fight for soon.  BUt fight we will.

Thanks for letter and continued vigilance.

-Sean

Well, there he acknowledges the problem.  Since he offered no solutions I offered him some of my suggestions.

Thank you for your courteous reply,

I think the first thing you can do is reject the “continuum of care” coordinator – this position is nothing more than a grab for more federal money to house more of these people in our county/town. [The city of Chico has been asked to approve and provide funding toward this position, which requires matching funding to get the grant.]

Also, I don’t know where you live in town, but you might consider running for county supervisor. Both Kirk and Wahl have consistently voted to fund the Behavioral Health programs that are bringing these people here.  I think they’ve had their term and they need to step down, time for somebody new give that office a whack.  [Both Wahl and Kirk are up in 2018 and maybe Morgan could do a better job as county supervisor than he has done as mayor – he would have more authority to defund Behavioral Health.]

I’ve worn myself out reporting these camps to the police and public works department. Eric Gustafson told me these people have Fourth and Fourteenth Amendment rights, in our park?  I’m also tired of hearing we don’t have enough money to deal with this stuff. We’re paying people to tell us they don’t get paid enough to work. The spot I showed you has just been cleaned by the alternative custody program, but they don’t go far enough. They need to remove non-native, dead, and overgrown vegetation.  We’ve talked to these people – they’re not real workers, my own kids could run circles around them. They stand around yakking, looking for the first passerby to stop and talk to.  [They aren’t supervised.]

I’m glad to see Dan Efseaff get the boot, we need to get rid of more management do-nothings. He once  told me he had brought the Salt Creek crews in and the work we saw was great. He said these crews cost about $100 day, but he couldn’t afford to bring them in again?  [See the link below for professional services these crews provide.]

http://www.cdcr.ca.gov/Conservation_Camps/Camps/Salt_Creek/

No more Alternative Custody Service, let’s get the real crews into the park and you’ll see how many hobo camps they find buried in there. I grew up here, I remember the Bidwell Park of the 1960’s, and it’s a disgrace how bad it’s got just in the last 5 or so years since Nakamura gutted our work force to give management bigger salaries. You and council must figure out how to get rid of these overpaid suits and get more workers in here on the same budget. Good luck.  [I didn’t want to remind Morgan, but he and Sorensen stood by and cheered as Nakamura cut positions and quietly raised management salaries.]

thanks again, Juanita  

I have not received any response to my second e-mail, and neither Chief O’Brien nor the Target Team have contacted me about the homeless camp I pictured. 

Please engage these people – sean.morgan@chicoca.gov – mark.orme@chicoca.gov – michael.obrien@Chicoca.gov  – and let them know how you feel about this situation.  Send pictures, that seems to get their attention.

Tom Wolfe called it “Mau-mau’ing the Flakcatchers”.

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Sitting with the Circle of Jerks down at City Hall

14 Feb

Happy Valentine’s Day! This morning I’m treating myself to one of those 8am meetings Downtown. I can’t resist this meeting. It is a perfect example of the waste of $taff time that is costing us millions a year.

Today’s example is the Internal Affairs Committee. Internal Affairs is part of the city’s  internal masturbation process. I’m sorry to be crude, but this process just lends itself to potty talk.
See, the City $taff have got to stay busy. They have to provide themselves with something to do to justify those salaries, like Burkland’s, over $190,000 a year. Mr. Burkland has to look like he’s doing SOMETHING, or at least his $taff has to appear occupied, so these morning committee meetings are just fuel for their salary rationale.
Here’s this morning’s menu:

A. Consideration of Request from American Lung Association for Comprehensive Policy Regarding the Reduction of Tobacco Product Waste.
The Lung Association, also searching for ways to prove their worthiness, is asking the city to ” protect the public from outdoor secondhand smoke exposure and to reduce tobacco product waste in public areas.
I have to wonder, is the Lung Association “in on it”? Do they realize how much money this request will cost the taxpayer in $taff $alaries? As Dave Burkland points out, the city already has litter laws, they just don’t enforce them. What makes the Lung Association think they’ll enforce a redundant law any moreso than they’d enforce any other law? Who do they think is going to enforce this law, anyway – the same Chico PD who told us they wouldn’t investigate a major vandalism incident in a California Park neighborhood because they’d just been turned down for a pay increase?
I also have to ask, what’s Dave Burkland doing, allowing this use of $taff time? Is he an idiot, or is he “in on it”?  (okay, that’s a rhetorical question, the answer is “both”).
Next item,

B. Consideration of Request from American Lung Association for a Comprehensive Policy to Protect the Public from Second Hand Smoke.

Yeah, you’re reading it right. This is a redundant redundant request. Again the committee will consider “a comprehensive policy to protect the public from outdoor second hand smoke and reduce tobacco product waste.

I know, stop it! Or as Elaine would say, “Shut Up!”

The explanation here is that “The Committee agreed to pursue the issue of second hand smoke after receiving input from community groups representing businesses, health care professionals and enforcement.”

The “community groups, representing businesses, health care professionals and enforcement” amounted to less than a dozen people, actually, well, I’m guessing, exactly three people.

The third item on today’s menu was agendized by exactly one person,  city Planning Commissioner and all around pain in the ass Jon Luvass.  Here’s Luvass’ item, you’re going to love it, you know, they always save the best for last:

C. Resolution to End Corporate PersonhoodDiscussion regarding a request from Jon Luvaas to have the Council adopt a resolution urging Congress to initiate an amendment to the U.S. Constitution to end corporate
personhood. This item was referred from Council at its meeting of January 17, 2012.

See what you’re missing when you’re not sitting with me in these meetings? Total insanity, that’s right. This whole thing is nuts, and not the kind of nuts that bring $$$$ into Butte County, but the kind of nuts that load it into their 401K and take to to Costa Rica.

I’d call it a Circle Jerk, but they don’t sit around in a circle. These meetings are an absolute waste of time, and of course, wads of your money.