The Board of Trustees on June 16 finalized its decision to create a Campus Consolidation Committee that would re-examine the demographics and boundaries of elementary schools in the district. Ultimately, the district expects it will have to close two campuses.
Superintendent Scott Brown said Chico is part of trend shared by half the districts in California: an enrollment decline. “It’s not that people are fleeing, per se,” he said. He attributed the slide to everything from a slowing birthrate to a lack of affordable housing.
The board was set to choose nine or so members at a June 23 meeting, after the News & Review’s press time.
Parents and others concerned about the reassignment of Marsh Junior High School Principal Jeff Sloan also planned to attend and quiz the board on the budget, Brown’s performance (including his “integrity”) and the criteria and need for the aforementioned consolidation committee.
And, on that note, Sloan and Vice Principal Frank Thompson were reassigned by the board in a June 16 closed session.
While it’s not yet public where Thompson is going, Brown confirmed that Sloan will be the vice principal at the Center for Alternative Learning (CAL), located on the Fair View High School alternative campus. The move smacks of irony, since one of the accusations that arose in the community as Sloan’s use of student funds were being debated was that he would rather not deal with at-risk populations—a charge he has vehemently denied.
Homicide off Park Avenue: Chico Police are investigating a suspected homicide that took place around 2:20 the morning of June 23. Police got a phone call that a shooting had occurred at 136 West 16th Street. Police had blocked off the apartment complex there.
Sgt. Scott Franssen said police could not release any identifying information about the victim, who was pronounced dead at the scene, both because the investigation is continuing and the next-of-kin have not been notified. The sergeant confirmed the victim was a Chico resident.
“We have several leads that we’re following up on,” Franssen said.
Trippin': Hoping to overturn a committee decision, Paradise Supervisor Kim Yamaguchi questioned at Tuesday’s Board of Supervisors meeting why the county was planning to ditch the current county tourism promoter for a consortium of Northstate chambers of commerce.
While the Butte County Economic Development Corp. got last year’s $40,000 allocation to promote tourism here, county Treasurer Dick Puelicher told the board that a committee set up to decide what to do with the county’s hotel tax money had decided this year to give it to a group headed by the Shasta Cascade Wonderland Association, which would work with the Oroville and Chico chambers of commerce.
Puelicher said the decision was made because the Shasta/chambers organization was better suited to advertise events in Butte County and added that the BCEDC in the past had used “most of the money for administrative costs.”
Yamaguchi, along with Chico Supervisor Jane Dolan, seemed to disagree, but the board could not make a decision without seeing both proposals. The item, which had been on the consent agenda, will be revisited by the entire board at its next meeting.