Tag Archives: State of the City Chico CA

The state of our city is disgraceful

30 Jan

At yesterday’s “State of the City” address, Mayor Sorensen admitted that pension liability is the biggest problem we face, that only 51 of our 400 and something employees are under the new “post retirement reform” laws (meaning they pay 50 percent of  their own benefits instead of 9 percent like the others), but cried like a baby that we “have no control” over the situation.  Soon we will be paying 41 percent of their pensions, while most of our employees pay 9 percent. We’ll pay more next year, and the year after that. We don’t have the money – that’s why they call it a “liability.” 

Sorensen even had the nerve to say, the city is putting their “deficit” to bed soon. If you look over the meeting agendas of late, you will see how they have separated the pension deficit from the budget – a second set of books – to hide the millions we owe on pensions for long-gone city employees. 

Mayor Sorensen might be a master chef and book cooker, but his daddy must have been a glassmaker, cause we can see right through him.  Although, I don’t think Sorensen can see past the end of his own nose. He simply has to protect the pensions, because he’s going to get one when he retires from his job as city manager of the little town in the orchards, Biggs.

Knowing people in town are pissed off about the condition of city and neighborhood streets, letter after letter asking that the Esplanade be left alone, and just another letter this morning describing our City Plaza as a “refugee camp,” Sorensen apparently didn’t touch those subjects. Fair weather mayor. Instead he’s going to spend a bazillion more dollars on gadgets for the cop shop. 

Like Nextdoor, the website that was touted as a kind of “Neighborhood Watch” on the computer? A big crime fighting tool? I wouldn’t know, apparently I was held out of most conversations because I did not have a “neighborhood group.” None of my neighbors were joining, nor were they interested. When I asked to be added to another group they simple never responded.  So,  I was left out of most conversations, left with general postings like, yard  sales, ad for local services, now and then a report of a suspicious activity, and meandering chatterfests about what neighbors were doing that would come to a halt as soon as somebody got their nose out.

Frankly, I began to wonder – are there even 100 Chicoans signed up for this service?

Then, after I’d been signed on about a month,  they sent me the notice about their “privacy” practices, including this blurb about cookies:

Server Logs. We automatically collect information created by your visits to our website and use of our apps, your use of Nextdoor, and your interaction with the messages we send. This information may include the browser you are using, the URLs you came from and go to, the model of your computer or mobile device, the operating system version, IP address and protocol used by your computer or mobile device, your mobile device or app identifier, and usage and browsing habits. We use this information to provide and improve our Services, to diagnose and resolve problems, to analyze trends, to help target offers and other ads (if and where applicable), to monitor aggregate usage, and to gather broad (aggregate) demographic information.

You can configure your browser to reject cookies, but doing so will prevent you from logging into our website. Our systems are not configured to accept browsers’ Do Not Track signals.”

So, I realized, this was the entire idea behind Nextdoor – gathering data for advertising. Wow.  And, I never found any useful news – I know there are car break-ins and other property crimes going on within a mile of my house but nothing ever turned up on Nextdoor.  My husband and I are able to find out more about what’s going on in our neighborhood simply by taking a rake out to our front yard and puttering around for half an hour. We also walk the hood at different times of night and day, we try to stay in touch with our neighbors. Having face time with neighbors is probably the best way to keep your hood safe.

Chico PD has credited chatter on “social networking sites” with helping them solve certain crimes, but they’ve never named Nextdoor so I don’t know what sites they’re talking about. I’m sure they watch Facebook, I’m guessing it looks like a scene from “Batman Forever”.

Take a good look, this is what you look like to passersby when you’re texting. So much for technology and crime fighting.

I didn’t hear Sorensen’s whole speech, I had to rely on the media! I didn’t hear him talk about the crime rate. But I did read a back page story about a guy who was just arrested in October for stealing a car – grand theft auto – furthermore, assault on a “police animal” – and just got arrested for essentially the same thing again this week.


In fact, Anthony Raymond Beck seems to bust out and steal a car quite frequently. In 2013 he was arrested and convicted for stealing a  car under the influence of drugs and booze, causing injury and property damage, but let out on probation in January 2014. By March he had violated his probation, arrested again for obstructing a police officer. He was arrested three times within a week in April 2015, released “O/R” each time, even after found with burglary tools.

He was arrested a total of six times in 2015, found with drugs and needles, burglary tools, under the influence, with stolen cars, yadda, yadda, yadda.

And now another stolen car. This guy is a crime spree. Why is he still out there, endangering the public safety? 

The cops will tell you it’s because these crimes have been lowered to misdemeanors by the voters. The jail is overcrowded, and they are forced to release criminals without serving a sentence, because of the voters.

No, it’s because their salaries and benefits eat the budget so that we can’t build a decent and sufficient jail. Now we are told we must pass a bond to pay for improvements at the jail or we will be at the mercy of criminals.

I feel like we’re at the mercy of the public workers. When will we get these people to do the right thing, pay their own way?