Tag Archives: Tom DiGiovanni Chico Ca

Dogpile on Mary!

11 Apr

Do you remember childhood? Remember being on the playground and hearing somebody scream at the top of their lungs, “DOGPILE!”  And a mob would form out of nothing and jump on some poor kid – usually, a real annoying kid.  Seen it. Done it. Gonna do it now.  It’s highly uncivil, but let me ask you – has Mary Flynn Goloff been civil?  

I’ve actually been holding back lately, but you know I’ve said it before – Mary needs to go. She needed to go from the get-go. She’s never contributed anything worthwhile to a conversation. I remember when she chaired the Economic Development Committee (yeah, it’s all coming back to you now…), I sat in on a meeting where a former Chamber CEO was making his farewell speech as he headed to another town, carpet bag in hand. Jim Goodwin told us that Chico wasn’t going to get any new jobs because our housing was too expensive. Perspective employers know they can’t pay the kind of wages it takes to own a $400,000 house, so they go elsewhere. One manufacturer, of a cool, space age, high tech jet, pulled up stakes and headed for Texas.

Why are houses so expensive here? Well, first there was Tom Lando’s attaching of salaries to “increases in revenues but not decreases.”  Staff and council started handing out building permits to raise their own salaries. By the time that hayride was over, houses had gone from less than $100,000 to $600 – 800,000, in the span of a couple of years. Tom Lando’s salary had gone up about $100,000. 

Then staff, with the blessing of council, started giving the cookie jar to their friends who helped them raise revenues. They’ve allowed developers to come in and get all kinds of cheap to free service – streets, sidewalks, sewer hook-ups. They’ve handed money to developers – the $7 million used to purchase the low-income section of Merriam Park went right into New Urban developer Tom DiGiovanni’s pocket, out of the RDA fund, meaning we’ll pay for it three times. Scott Gruendl arranged for  DiGiovanni to write a “parallel code,” so he wouldn’t have to get variances for the sub-code stuff he does. They just let him write his own code, with narrower streets, smaller setbacks, and stuff like, the wall of one house acts as the fence to the neighbor’s property – your neighbor’s kid can play basketball off the wall of your house, and you have to sue his parents to make him stop. Go look at Doe Mill – you think that’s standard code? But those yardless crappers will still run you over $250,000 each. What?

Goloff sat through that Economic Development meeting listening to Goodwin’s report, and whenever there was a break in the conversation she’d kind of look around the room and flutter her hands and say, “Well I just think Chico is a wonderful place to live.” She just kept repeating that, over and over. 

Yeah, nice if you’re a public worker, and make three, four, five, six times the median income. It’s real nice to live in a town like Chico, where people are desperate, on a big salary. You can have a maid, nanny,  landscaper, all these willing slaves to do your shit work for you.  But it sucks if you’re living on the median income or less, because the high salary assholes drive up the cost of everything from gas to hair cuts to daycare to eggs. I got my hair cut at Dimensions once. I went in and told them, Annie August sent me, so they knew she’d told me how much to pay. I used to get a nice ‘do, a little color, made me feel pretty when I was changing diapers and scrubbing rental toilets. As I sat in the chair getting my color and cut, a lady came in, announced she was visiting from “The City,” and sarcastically asked if she could she get a cut for less than $150? Oh sure! they told her. They did exactly what they did to me and charged her twice as much. I remember how those gals looked at me, “Shut Up!” I never went back. After having a woman like Annie August fussing over you, there’s just nobody else. But I saw what they did, and I never forgot it. That’s the way this town is – take advantage creeps.

And that’s what Mary Flynn Goloff is, a take-advantage creep. She never even understood what she was getting herself into with the job of councilor, she just wanted attention.  I don’t know which ones are worse – the ones who come in with agendas in place, or the ones who come in to be fawned over like some sort of Evita, and end up being used like a Fist Puppet by the ones who do have agendas. That would be little Miss Mary. 

She’s been to rehab at least twice for alcohol and prescription drug problems. She’s already had problems attending meetings – we found out later, she’d been in rehab at that time.  Nobody is going to forget her unannounced entrance at Harvest Bakery while on prescription medication. How can we help but be suspicious that she’s fallen off the wagon again? In an attempt to be civil, I will ask Goloff to buck up and finish her term, but to announce NOW that she does not intend to run again. Thank you Mary for your anticipated cooperation.

 

 

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My guess: Mary Goloff is kicking the farmers off the parking lot so she can sell a parking lot to Tom DiGiovanni

13 Jun

I got some freaked out e-mails, and then I read the story in the paper this morning – Mary Gol0ff is calling for an end to the Farmer’s Market agreement? Wow, what got up her ass? 

At first I thought she was just desperate to raise revenues, desperate enough to nickel and dime the Farmer’s Market? 

No, that’s not it – compared to our current deficit, the annual fees for every Saturday morning at the plaza wouldn’t amount to a drop in the bucket. I’m going to throw this out there – they want to surplus a parking lot – maybe even THAT parking lot – and they want the CCFM offa there.   Whether they are planning to sell that lot the farmers are on now, or whether they just want to free up Saturday morning parking on paper so they can surplus that other lot over on Salem, I don’t know. I do know, Tom DiGiovanni has proposed major developments –  “live-work” units –  for both of those sites, as well as other Downtown lots. 

The Downtown parking discussion has been, like the farmer’s market discussion, a political football. The Friends of Downtown and many people from the Certified Farmer’s Market have added nothing to the discussion, raising an hysterical howl that blots out any intelligent conversation on the matter. I’m tired of hearing about the merits of the farmer’s market – that’s not the real issue here.   It’s been impossible to get anybody Downtown, except ex-mayor Carl Ory, to admit there are plans being discussed to put residential development on city-owned parking lots. Tom DiGiovanni has been pushing this plan for years.

A view of the creekside promenade envisioned as part of New Urban Builders’ proposed East First Street project, circa 2005.IMAGE COURTESY OF ENVISION DESIGN, BERKELEY

This picture above is the plan for the old Wascomat building currently occupied by businesses like Solutions Cubed and the Little Red Hen. Retail on the bottom, offices on the second floor, small high-end apartments on top. And cement right up to the creek, with a small public walkway. The plan includes NO PARKING. None of New Urban’s plans call for parking.  They will bring residents Downtown without providing for their cars. 

I know, I’ve said, there is currently no lack of parking Downtown. I mean, there are plenty of spaces to accommodate the folks who currently go Downtown, even if they can’t expect to pull right up to the  front door of the business they are patronizing.  

But I realize, that’s during the week day.  At night, when restaurants are busy, or when the Thursday Market has streets shut down, and on weekends when people drive in, those precious out-of-town shopper we are losing hand-over-fist, there is a parking shortage. Try patronizing a restaurant – you have to drop the family off on the curb at go look for a spot. Try picking up to-go food – thank god my kids have gotten old enough to drive, that’s another two man job – drop one person off at the curb and circle the block waiting for them to appear with the bag. 

No, I don’t feel any need at present for a parking structure – not unless Downtown property owners will pay for it. I won’t have a bond put on my property taxes to pay for something that benefits a small portion of the city. They need to come up with the money from assessments of Downtown  property owners. Why should Raley’s pay property taxes on their parking lot to subsidize Downtown businesses? 

But neither am I interested in surplussing lots. That’s desperation on Goloff’s part. She’s freaking out. She’s just realized why they let her be the mayor. 

When we had the surplus parking lot discussion Downtown a month or so ago, Brian Nakamura put the kybosh on any talk of what the parking lots would be used for when they are surplussed. He’s no dummy, he knows the idea of live-work units is not going over good, and he doesn’t want it to muck up the conversation about selling the lots. He’s just desperate to raise revenues right now, he doesn’t want some community roaring up his ass. 

Well, back to work, I want to get my dinner made by noon, so I don’t have to work in a hot kitchen later.