Yamaguchi weathers recall attempt
Backers of a drive to recall Paradise Supervisor Kim Yamaguchi admitted defeat this week, blaming the weather, the failure of Measure B at the polls and political apathy for not being able to collect enough signatures to force a recall vote.

The Committee to Recall Kim Yamaguchi was formed after the supervisor angered pretty much everybody with his plan to redraw the boundary lines of Chico Supervisors Jane Dolan and Mary Ann Houx. Yamaguchi submitted his controversial Plan 5 without the required public comment time, drawing accusations of backroom dealing and political corruption and eventually leading to a referendum, a county-funded lawsuit, and the now ill-fated recall attempt.

The committee needed at least 5,000 signatures by May 21 but, despite mounting a last-ditch effort that included the hiring of a professional signature-gathering service, was able to collect only about 3,000.

CUSD contracts silently settled
Here’s something new: a teachers’ contract without all the shouting and hard feelings. The Chico Unified Teachers Association voted May 20 to accept a tentative agreement, which must now be ratified by the Chico Unified School District Board of Trustees.

Just a few days earlier, the California School Employees Association, which represents “classified” staff such as clerks, custodians and bus drivers, similarly agreed to a new contract.

The spirit of cooperation, said Deputy Superintendent Jim Sands, “is something new.”

Dan Sours, president of CUTA, said, “We like to say that everyone’s working to build a better relationship.”

Salary was not up for discussion, so most of the focus was on benefits, along with how to handle employee issues such as work hours and safety that will come with the transfer of special-education services from the Butte County Office of Education to the CUSD.

Notably, both certificated and classified workers will join the ranks of those who have deductibles and co-payments on their health insurance. CUTA chose to apply the 1.5 percent raise scheduled for next year toward the higher cost of the restructured health plan.

“It’s just the way health care costs have escalated,” Sands said. “In the end, everyone could see that there was one logical conclusion—we have to go to a different plan.”

Hey, weren’t there too few students a few years ago?
Professors’ theory of enrollment relativity: What goes up must come down. And when it comes to managing the number and quality of students at Chico State University, faculty members want a say.

The Academic Senate voted May 16 to form an Enrollment Management Committee, which will meet over at least three years to consider such issues as student recruitment, admissions policies, financial aid and housing, degree completion and so on. Then, they’ll report to the senate’s Executive Committee, which will advise the provost.

Despite urgings by Dean of Enrollment Bob Hannigan and Provost Scott McNall to keep the membership rolls to about seven or so in order to “get a lot more in depth,” the senator majority chose instead to have 13, including one faculty members from each of the seven colleges. Included in the discussions will be a representative from the student body, a dean, the director of the Admissions Office and Hannigan himself.

“There is sometimes value in numbers,” said Professor Sam Edelman. “Each college is different in its enrollment needs and its enrollment strategies.”

The committee is expected first to take on matters such as what the enrollment target should be, as right now the university has more students than the state is paying it to support.

Also at the meeting, members elected Dennis Rothermel, chairman of the Philosophy Department, to head the Academic Senate in the 2002-03 school year. They also lauded outgoing Chairman Paul Persons for his service.