Jonesing for a city manager: Chico’s Assistant City Manager Greg Jones was named the city’s next city manager, replacing Tom Lando, who’s held the position since 1992. The appointment came one year after he was hired out of Concord.

The low-key Jones said he was pretty excited about the promotion, announced following a closed-session meeting of the council, which voted unanimously. Lando had announced his retirement more than a year ago, but the council was able to talk him into extending his stay until a replacement could be found. Lando agreed and will most likely step down sometime after Jan. 1, 2006, the day Jones is slated to move into the city manager’s office.

Jones was originally hired as a replacement for Lando, but at one point earlier this year, word was out that Jones didn’t want the Lando’s job. This week Jones dismissed that information as mere rumor.

The City Council must still come to terms with Jones, who said he’s not sure what his new salary might be. Lando said it would be in the same ball park as that of the newly hired Chico Unified School District Superintendent Chet Francisco, who was hired on last month at $170,000 per year.

City votes for newer sewer: Just five years after the last expansion was completed, the City Council voted this week to further increase the capacity of the city’s water treatment plant.

The $31 million upgrade will allow the sewer to process 12 million gallons of sewage a day, up from its current capacity of 9 million gallons. The demand on the sewer comes from three sources—new housing, annexation of residences from the county to the city and the state-mandated nitrate action plan, which requires some 3,800 homes now on septic systems to hook up to the sewer. The new system calls for the sewer effluent discharge to flow through a wetlands area near the river, back to the plant and then out into the river itself.

Potential impacts of the enlargement project include: stranding of fish during construction; increased levels of mercury finding their way down the river and into the Delta, which is already impacted with pollutants; and growth inducement for the city of Chico.

The project should begin in 2007 and will serve the city until about 2013, when a final increase to 15 million gallons will be needed to serve the city’s projected build-out, at least according to its general plan.

Can’t we all just get along? A man who once referred to the videotaped arrest of his stepson as “Butte County’s Rodney King” and was accused of goading the younger man into fighting sheriff’s deputies had his case dismissed this week.

Fidel Molina, 53, had been fighting the charges for five years, making 70 court appearances and continually denying accusations that he urged his stepson, Andy Fulton Jr., to fight the deputies who came to arrest Fulton in the parking lot of Gold Country Casino in the summer of 2000. Fulton, who had been kicked out of the casino for allegedly being drunk, struggled with deputies while a casino camera captured his arrest. The tape shows mutual combat among Fulton and the deputies, who pepper-sprayed Fulton and hit him with batons while he took wild swings at them. Fulton and another family member were convicted of battery in 2003.

Molina now says he will pursue a civil case against the deputies.