Reade’s back in the saddle
Political consultant David Reade—he of dubious Plan 5 redistricting fame—will again be playing politics in Butte County next year.

Of course, he’s been involved in the political game here for years, since way back when he was the late Assemblyman Bernie Richter’s chief of staff and chairman of the Republican Central Committee, which steers the conservative agenda here in Butte County. Since Richter died, though, and Reade lost an effort to take his place in the Assembly, Reade has taken a lower profile, working behind the scenes (much to the liberal community’s chagrin) on the campaigns of people like Kim Yamaguchi, Curt Josiassen, Doug LaMalfa and Scott Mackenzie.

Now he’s in line for an all-but-guaranteed seat back on the Republican Central Committee. He’s filed candidacy forms, along with Richter’s brother Raymond, to represent District 2 on the committee, and since two positions are available, he’s almost guaranteed a seat.

This should make an interesting year on the board, given that Reade’s appointment will further split an already fracturing Butte County Republican Party.

We’ll be watching.

Odle: Here for good?
Larry Odle, the county’s interim chief administrative officer, admitted this week that he’s already decided whether he’ll keep his temp job if it’s offered to him, but he declined to say what that decision was.

Odle, whose four-month contract winds up in February, gave a hint, however, by saying that he’s “having a blast” at his temporary gig, despite the fact that he’s helmed the county at a very tumultuous time. After all, he’s had had to steer the county through a messy redistricting lawsuit, forecast a bleak financial future for next year’s budget, and answer to a Board of Supervisors that rarely agrees on anything.

Still, Odle said, he “loves the job.”

“I thrive on this kind of thing,” he said. “I’m making plans for the future, but I’m not even close to ready to talk about them right now.”

Land trust eyes Bruce Road property
There’s a chance that southeast Chico land that has been tapped for a new high school, preserve and housing development could end up in the hands of a conservation-minded land trust.

The nonprofit Northern California Regional Land Trust has applied to a state and federal agency for a grant that could provide $1.5 million toward buying more than 250 acres on the east side of Bruce Road, land that is now owned by the Schmidbauer family of Eureka. The applicant hopes, according to the project description submitted to CalFed, that other federal and private entities could also contribute to the cause.

Jim Saake, the volunteer president of the land trust, said of the grant application, “I think we’re going to hear back by March at the latest.”

The environmental community, supported by 1994’s General Plan revision, has long believed that area of town should be protected from development, set aside to preserve its population of the endangered Butte County meadowfoam and vernal pools.

Barbara Vlamis, executive director of the Butte Environmental Council, which would help develop a wetlands management plan if grants came through to buy the land, said such a preserve would be educational for students of all levels. "It would establish a more viable meadowfoam preserve within the city of Chico," she said. "It would help the landowner, who has known for some time that [it is] constrained land."