Letters for February 28, 2002
Perry Reniff is responsive to community needs, shows up with solutions when problems arise, follows through and doesn’t embellish his record. He cooperates with other agencies, knows and remembers the names of residents, and cares about kids who are having problems. He works with neighborhood watches, Children’s Services Coordinating Council, Butte-Glenn Family Violence Prevention Council, Tribal Community Intervention Task Force, Community Health Alliance of Oroville and countless other public, private and private non-profit organizations. He has integrity as well as know-how. He ought to be our next sheriff.
Credits and grants
I read in a recent news report that Sheriff Mackenzie said he is responsible for $4 million in grant revenue to the Sheriff’s Department since he took office. That sounded preposterous to me, so I checked. In fact, revenue to the department in fiscal year 1997-98 from all sources totaled $2.5 million. In the latest full fiscal year, revenue from all sources was $3.4 million. Most of that is from programs started prior to his tenure, and much of the increase is attributable to agencies outside of Sheriff Mackenzie’s control, such as Butte County Mental Health, Butte County Office of Education and the governor of California.
Sheriff Mackenzie has a pattern of shifting responsibility. When things go wrong, it’s someone else’s fault, and when things go right, he takes the credit. It was someone else’s fault when he overspent his budget by more than $1 million, and so he’s taking credit for income and grants that are clearly the result of other people’s effort.
Murial L. Hawkins
Matter of priority
For all of us who live in Cohasset, Bangor, Berry Creek, Forest Ranch, Concow and other outlying areas, don’t forget where you lie in the range of priorities for Sheriff Scott Mackenzie. When he overspent his budget two years ago, we were the people who lost our police protection. He’s made it clear that we are “rock bottom” in his mind.
Perry Reniff, on the other hand, knows community policing, whether it’s in remote areas or closer areas like Chapman, Palermo, Thermalito or Kelly Ridge. His priorities are based on years of management experience and training. He knows how to control a budget, and he knows how not to “sell us out.”
No on B and Bertagna
I urge Butte County voters to reject Measure B, Yamaguchi’s redistricting plan. This plan was conceived and voted into law without proper democratic procedure and without the requisite public input customary in such circumstances. It’s a plan designed to split Chico urban communities apart in such a way as to dilute the town’s representation at the county level.
But it won’t do any good if we vote down Measure B and then elect Steve Bertagna as District 3 supervisor. Bertagna has stated publicly that, were he a county supervisor, he would have voted in favor of Measure B. When questioned, Bertagna also equivocates regarding the Greenline, intimating that some modifications might be warranted. I wonder how long it would take for Bertagna, along with Yamaguchi, Beeler and Josiassen, to reintroduce another version of Measure B. How long would it take for them to compromise the Greenline?
Unlike Bertagna, Mary Ann Houx opposes Measure B and has always supported the Greenline. Houx’s conservatism is the genuine thing. She would conserve the traditional rural character of the county, preserve the integrity of the political process, and guard our county budget against such a reckless squandering of public money as the $100,000 lawsuit brought by Yamaguchi, Beeler, and Josiassen in their effort to override the political will of the citizens. Houx’s campaign slogan, “Integrity Money Can’t Buy,” describes her exactly.
Please vote no on Measure B and re-elect Mary Ann Houx.
Mary Anne Houx has earned our support for 3rd District supervisor. She supports No on Measure B. She supports the Greenline. She supports open county politics. Her campaign financial support comes from local citizens who want nothing more from her than fiscal responsibility, integrity and plain common sense. Please vote for Mary Anne. With the current crisis in Board of Supervisors politics and the looming county fiscal crisis, we need an honest, hardworking supervisor who puts citizens first.
Do the math
Algebraically, one negative does not equal two positives. Politically it very well may.
For those Chicoans who regard Rick Keene as an overly conservative member of the City Council, the thought of voting for him in the upcoming March 5 primary for 3rd District Assembly may appear at first to be real negative. But consider the two positives: 1.) Rick’s move to the Assembly creates a vacancy on the Chico City Council that might be filled by a more moderate councilperson, and 2.) a vote for Keene keeps local scoundrel Dan Ostrander from buying his way into politics.
It may not be good math, but a vote for Keene for Assembly is a good strategy for Chico!
Tacos, taxes and books
Candidates Rick Keene (state Assembly) and Steve Bertagna (Butte County supervisor) have a record we can see of keeping their promises. When new city codes threaten to put Chico’s taco wagons our of business, Keene and Bertagna stopped the wheels of government from running these family businesses over by rewriting the new codes. In fact, they streamlined onerous renewal procedures and created a less expensive process for these small businesses.
When energy prices were spiraling out of control last winter, Keene and Bertagna voted to reduce the city’s utility tax by 22 percent, returning $418,123 to Chico ratepayers in the form of an across-the-board tax cut.
After 10 years of empty promises from county supervisors to increase Chico library hours, Keene and Bertagna followed Councilmember Wahl’s lead to fund our library to increase the hours to a respectable 60 hours per week.
To be sure, other councilmembers joined in these unanimous votes. This demonstrates Keene’s and Bertagna’s experience in working with their liberal colleagues to serve the best interest of all of their constituents.
Some people talk about the Republican values of less-intrusive government, less taxes and better educational opportunities for our children. Bertagna and Keene have a record of delivering results.
Measure A adds up
Butte College is like the poor stepchild that quietly gives the most and gets the least. A yes vote on Measure A will help change that.
What does BC get? For every $1 spent on BC students, $1.50 is spent on grammar school students and more than $2 is spent on Chico State University students.
What does BC give? In transferring students to four-year colleges it is ranked third in the nation for community colleges of its size. And if becoming a double yoker egghead isn’t one’s goal, there are 41 career programs to choose from: nurse, paramedic, firefighter, welder, secretary, auto mechanic, agriculture, computers and 33 more!
On a cost-benefit analysis, Butte College might be Butte County’s biggest asset. Today we have 14,500 students and in five years expect 20,000. Let’s invest where we get the best return for our money and help students succeed. Vote yes on A.