Shot down

Political reform group receives lukewarm response from City Council

Districts for Chico, the nonpartisan organization pushing to change the way members of Chico City Council are elected, was shot down Tuesday, Oct. 6, during the council's regular meeting.

Seeking to set up a public hearing for a future meeting, Robert Speer (pictured), Districts for Chico co-director, summarized the goals of placing two measures on the November 2016 ballot—one separating Chico into six voting districts represented by one council member each, and another mandating that the mayor be elected at large. The council rejected the request in a 4-3 vote.

“It puzzles me,” Speer said later by phone. “It was an opportunity to engage the public in an important issue that isn't going away.”

Speer said the group likely will begin gathering signatures for a referendum initiative.