So long, Mary Anne: Butte County District 3 Supervisor Mary Anne Houx (pictured) announced her intention to retire at the end of her current term, ending a career in local politics that by then will have spanned three decades. Houx, who entered public service in 1977 as a Chico school board trustee, also served a short stint on the Chico City Council before moving over to the county in 1990. A moderate Republican who was well known for speaking her mind, Houx said she always tried to put her constituents first, even if it meant bucking the party line.

“In all things, there is a compromise,” she said. “It’s a little bit like a marriage. You can’t have it your way all the time.”

Houx bemoaned the current polarization in local politics but said she was proud to have served on the board. This week, City Councilwoman Maureen Kirk announced her intention to run for Houx’s seat. Another likely candidate is City Councilman Steve Bertagna. Houx said she will give an endorsement “when it’s appropriate.” A Houx endorsement carries some weight in her district, where she is well-liked, but don’t look for it to go to Bertagna, against whom she fought a bitter campaign in 2002.

Surprise, surprise… Butte County District Attorney Mike Ramsey announced Monday that the Chico police officers who returned fire on a suspect last week acted appropriately when they shot and wounded Kenny Warren, who had broken into his estranged wife’s apartment.

Sloan reloaded: Saying he has proof that he was wrongly accused of mishandling student body funds, former Marsh Junior High School Principal Jeff Sloan showed up at the June 15 Chico Unified School District Board of Trustees meeting in hopes of getting trustees to meet with him and revisit his case.

After an investigation that cost the district tens of thousands of dollars, reached into the most obscure of school funding rules and dominated news headlines, Sloan in May 2004 was demoted and reassigned by the board majority after evidence that he spent student money on things such as staff lounge furniture and parent appreciation lunches.

“If someone falsely accused you of things you wouldn’t just sit back and accept it,” he said. Instead of punching the superintendent in the face as some have suggested, he said, “I’ve been quiet and endured charges that everyone knew were preposterous.”

Sloan went on to say that he’d heard from many sources that what had been done at Marsh was “accepted practice” at other schools in the district. “Teachers, principals, even district personnel in this room have all shared that they’ve done the same expenditures and were scared to come forward.”

Sloan’s ouster was seen by his supporters as a vendetta brought about by Superintendent Scott Brown out of jealousy for his success at Marsh.