Tag Archives: Mark Orme Chico City Manager

The rise of Bum Town

1 Sep

My husband and I were floored when we ran into an old friend the other day and he said he and his wife are thinking about moving out of Chico. Our kids grew up together.

“Chico’s just not the same town anymore,” he lamented. What an understatement.

I know this man came here as a college student, but he’s lived here most of his life now, married, raised kids, paid property taxes. As a person who’s lived in this area since early childhood, I’ll say it’s a nightmare. As I wander around town – what was it Woody Guthrie said? I never see a friend I know as I go rambling round.

Many of the older people I knew have  retired elsewhere. Many of the people I knew of my own age have moved out of Chico, staying just close enough to commute to jobs, mostly moving into the outer lying communities  like Paradise, Forest Ranch or Concow. None of their kids seem to be staying in Chico. For one thing, there are no good jobs for young people in Chico. My son and his girlfriend are both employed in Chico, but their bosses hold them to less than 30 hours so they don’t have to pay Obamacare. On that income  they can’t afford to live in Chico unless they want to live in the ghetto and get their cars  broken into every night.

That’s what I’m hearing from a lot of my old friends, Chico is expensive but it’s a s*** hole. Why pay a lot of money to live in a s*** hole? That’s what our friend was saying, the areas surrounding the old subdivision he lives in are like Zombie Town. When I was a kid, that whole part of town was brand spanking new. Now the streets are in lousy condition, as are most of the residential streets in town, and the retail sector’s are trashy and rundown. It’s just a perfect setting for a bunch of bums to move in, take up residence in bus stop shelters and bushes lining the streets. Or in any of a number of crapped out old motels that are not held up to code.

I’ve known homeless people, I’ve been homeless. When I was working and going to college I was always on the verge of homelessness. But I stuck with my family and friends. I lived on my sister’s couch, I lived in my mom’s spare bedroom, and when I was in between Apartments I stayed on Friends couches or in spare bedrooms. I never had to worry about a place to stay, because I wasn’t a dysfunctional drunken drug addict. I didn’t get what I wanted by demanding it and waving around a dirty knife or smashing a bottle on the floor in a grocery store. My friends didn’t have to worry that I would be robbing them while they were asleep.

On the other hand, I did have friends and even family members who robbed me while I was asleep. Sometimes I didn’t have the best judgement in friends and when somebody was in trouble maybe I didn’t realize it was because of their own doing. I did get taken advantage of when I was nice to people sometimes. I had a cousin who wasn’t trusted by any member of the family because she always had a hard luck story but as soon as you were out of the house she was routing through everything you owned and making long distance phone calls.

I learned that people like that never had any remorse for their bad behavior, if you let them they would take advantage again and again. When I was young there was a concept called Tough Love, and it still makes sense to me. You really aren’t helping your loved ones – or anybody – when you don’t hold them to higher standards for their behavior.

A woman who spoke to my health science class in college talked about the concept of “enabling”. Enabling means allowing people to behave badly, whether it’s drug addiction or spousal abuse or just plain dysfunctional Behavior towards friends. Enabling means not holding people accountable for their actions.

The city of Chico, in its Declaration of a shelter crisis, allowing these creeps to physically take over our town, is a classic enabler.

I’ll say most enablers get something for their enabling. Often times it’s just friendship, but in the case of the city of Chico, it’s the funding that comes along with this designation. I can’t remember all the figures I’ve seen and heard but I do remember that city manager Mark Orme mentioned a $450,000 Grant would be available if we congregated all of our homeless services at the fairgrounds. The shelter crisis designation would bring another pot of money, I can’t remember how much.

In closing, I’ll also say, Mark Orme is a big part of our problem. Look at how our town has deteriorated since he came here about 5 years ago. He’s the highest paid city manager we ever had, making over $200,000 in in salary, plus about an $80,000 benefits package.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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Gas tax repeal makes the ballot – now the real work begins!

2 May

I  got a note yesterday from the gas tax repeal campaign staff.

“Yesterday was outstanding as we turned in nearly 1 million signatures to force the Gas Tax Repeal Initiative on the November 2018 ballot! “

Of course, Governor Brown is not pleased – have you ever noticed, how Trump-like he gets at times with the potty mouth? Last year, annoyed by not one but two attempts at repeal, The Moonbeam made this comment.

“The freeloaders—I’ve had enough of them,” Brown announced in Orange County earlier this month. “Roads require money to fix.” Without an increase in the gas tax, he argued, Californians might have to drive on gravel.”

Oh my god – freeloader? Would he say that to my face?  I know the truth.

From reason.com, “Brown’s state already has the seventh highest gas taxes in the nation, and that money pays for much more than road repair. About $100 million of gas tax revenue—2 percent of the total—is diverted straight into the general fund every year, and another 7 percent goes to public transit.”

If you don’t believe in Agenda 21, ask yourself – why should people who drive cars pay for public transit? Millions of dollars a year goes into public transit in California – how about the BART train that just broke on it’s first day? – and public transit is still unusable for most Californians? Because most of the money goes into bureaucrats’ back pockets. 

https://www.sfchronicle.com/bayarea/matier-ross/article/BART-s-brand-new-cars-take-another-trip-to-the-12549936.php

Read that – when Chronicle Staff asked what kind of problems the trains were having, BART staff said, “You have our response…” Don’t you love that Caleeforneeya Sunshine!

Here’s what that woman gets paid to treat the public like garbage:

http://publicpay.ca.gov/Reports/PositionDetail.aspx?employeeid=18046298

And here’s what you see when you use public transportation in California (this is from a UK new service but I found other related stories in US press sources):

http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-5665041/Shocking-footage-shows-junkies-taking-San-Francisco-BART-station.html

In Chico, like everywhere else, gas tax funds are diverted to pay salaries and pension premiums for people who never even get their hands dirty. Using the process of “cost allocation,” the gas tax is spread out and divvied up, used to pay a staffer just for putting a signature on a report – meet Mark Orme, City Mangler – that’s how he gets paid. He does nothing toward fixing your roads, he spends his days in meetings wearing fresh white shirts. But every time he signs a staff report, he gets money out of the gas tax and other road funds.  As our gas tax is “allocated” into his pension, we drive on gravel. 

This gas tax allows for much of the money to be given to cities to spend at their discretion. Right now, instead of fixing roads for us to drive our heavily taxed cars on, the city is going on a bike land bender. These projects – like the “experimental” bike lanes recently painted on Downtown streets – cost a fraction of the grant, the rest goes into Gustafson and Ottoboni and Orme’s back pockets. 

So, we will have to get busy working to get the initiative passed. Of course the repeal folks need and are asking for money – I don’t have much to give, I don’t think you do either. What can you do? Tell friends, and write letters to the editors of the local papers. 

 We need to keep this repeal effort in people’s minds all the way to November. Start writing letters about how this gas tax has and will effect you. I’ve noticed the prices at the grocery store have already gone up – list items you buy regularly and how much they’ve gone up. Talk about what you’ve had to cut back on to get to work – it’s getting hard to find things to cut back on, isn’t it? Talk about your most recent car registration – how much did they gouge you for? Talk about the streets around your house and the roads you take to work – have they gotten better, or worse, as state and local taxes have gotten higher and higher?

Write now, because about two months ahead of the election, David Little will announce he is limiting us to one political letter, and I mean, that’s it. Save your piece d’resistance for after he makes that announcement. Write regularly, try to sink one every month or so. Talk about a different aspect of how this tax has affected you personally. Talk to your friends, get some more ammo from them.

And come here to chatter it up, then put a link to the blog in your letters – that’s chicotaxpayers.com

And, if you can afford to chuck a few bucks at the repeal folks, I’m sure they will put it to better use than the gas tax. Here’s that link with my regards:

 

Can you to help with a contribution for the campaign TODAY to pass the Gas Tax Repeal? Here’s the secure link