I’m so mad right now, I should not drive a car or use sharp tools. That latter would probably include my own tongue.
Today, at the Successor Agency meeting, Chris Constantin insinuated that if they didn’t allow the city of Chico to raid the last $5 mil or so left in the RDA fund, he’d not only have to lay people off, he said they might have to cut library funding!
He didn’t say Chamber of Commerce funding, or the Nature Center, or any of the other handouts they give to their political faves, he specifically said, “cut library funding,” and I swear to Goddess, he looked at me out the corner of his snake eye.
I don’t think it’s any secret I’ve supported library funding, and more importantly, I don’t think it’s any secret we have our Chico Taxpayers Association meetings at the library. That little bitch! He thinks he’s just a chucked a dirt clod at my forehead!
No Chris, you’ve just made a threat against the nastiest beehive in town – the Chico library supporters. I’m not talking about Friends of the Library – that is a group of social butterflies who try to stay non-political because they depend on donors from all over the spectrum. They just put in that flashy new wood floor in the library – boy, that was a life or death deal, glad to hear myself walking across that every time I go in there.
The real “Friends of the Library” are the people, including some from the club of the same name, who come out of the woodwork every time the council discusses library funding. I’ll never forget one meeting where the liberal-led council, under Mayor Maureen Kirk and following her lead, decided to cut library funding, threatening to cut the number of days the library would be open. Wow, what a crowd that was – to heck with the art people, the only bigger crowd I’ve seen in there was the Hmong community lobbying for the appointment of Sor Lo to Larry Wahl’s seat. The library crowd can fill the chambers, with people of every age and background, people who don’t know each other, don’t communicate really, just come en masse to the chambers when they sense any kind of threat to the real seat of Democracy – the library. Like Mary Wahl pointed out at the time, the library serves more people in one day than the city building serves in a week.
Council liberals led the charge against library funding, despite the protests of that full chamber. Mayor Kirk, now county supervisor, said, “the library needs to do more for itself.” See how she refers to the library, a church of Democracy, as “itself“? The library is one of the last true services available to the people, and she just sneers at it, like, “let them eat cake…”
And then there was Dan Nguyen-tan, who also insinuated the public should do more for themselves and stop expecting “hand-outs” of their own tax dollars. My husband, standing next to Dan as the crowd reacted to council’s decision during a break in the meeting, pointed out that standing room only crowd and asked Nguyen-tan, “how many votes do you think you lost tonight?” Nguyen-tan got a kind of sick look on his face. We weren’t surprised when a few months later, he announced he would not be running for another term. As far as I can tell, this bastion of the public who was “raised by wolves in Chico Ca” has left town and opened a business in San Francisco. That’s the kind of stick-to-it determination it takes to be a “Townie”.
So, go ahead Chris, huck a dirt clod at that beehive, I hope they eat your ass off. You might want to call Nguyen-tan and see if he has any advice, or possibly a job for you.
$taff is in charge Downtown. Our elected officials know what’s going on, but they bow and smile and hand the reins to $taff. With the exception of Trevor Howard (Butte County school board), who questioned the continued use of these funds instead of paying off the bonds, this board – Steve Visconti of CARD, Scott Gruendl for City of Chico, Larry Wahl misrepresenting the county, and Wes Gilbert, a local engineer – is useless. All but Stewart went along with $taffer Shawn Tillman – who, by the way, takes his salary out of the RDA - agreeing that the projects on that list need to be funded! Then they all agreed that $5 million dollars wasn’t adequate to fund any of the items on the list. But oh well, we couldn’t possibly hold up PROGRESS!
That’s because they all know, this funding will not be used for the projects on that list. Constantin admitted it – they need the money to pay salaries Downtown, or he will have to recommend another round of lay-offs. These projects are just a list of excuses for using the money to pay salaries, busy work. At one point Tillman exclaimed, “Capitol Improvements [department] needs projects!” That was when Constantin interjected that otherwise, he would have to make lay-offs, and “possibly cut library funding…”
They know they can say this stuff, because nobody comes to these meetings. The only other person in the “audience” was $taffer Tom Varga, who I’m guessing also receives a good deal of his salary out of the RDA.
Board member Wes Gilbert said the community wanted the money to be spent on these projects, to which I had to answer, “the community never had a word to say about how this RDA money is spent,” and nobody in that room had half a testicle to argue me back, except maybe Trevor Stewart, who I believe was in agreement with me. He’s the only member of that board who gives a shit about the public, the taxpayers, or the bond holders. He wants to use the $5 mil or so left in the fund to start paying back the bonds. At first, Tillman tried to tell Stewart the committee had no authority to make that decision, tried to tell him it was an illegal use of the funds, but finally, seemed to admit it would be okay, said it couldn’t be done til 2014. Until that time, if the committee didn’t recommend spending the money, it would just sit right where it was until 2014. God,
Tillman’s a back-peddling liar, he just sits there and lies, and when he gets called on it, he “corrects” himself. And Varga lied too, denying he made a report years back saying traffic congestion would not be relieved by the Hwy 32 widening because nothing could possibly alleviate the traffic those permitted subdivisions would bring. And yes, they admitted, those developers will not pay one dime in impact fees until their projects are complete built out, meaning, we pay for the Hwy 32 widening that was necessitated by subdivisions like Meriam Park and Westside Green, among others.
The committee of course voted to spend the RDA money, never once denying that every RDA dollar spent costs $3 or more to pay back. With the exception of Stewart, I don’t think any of these people should be trusted within close proximity to a cookie jar, or your purse or wallet.