Slip of the tongue

Vice Mayor Reanette Fillmer is mute on why she made a face at constituents during recent meeting

I’ve written a few times about the immaturity of members of the Chico City Council, in particular Sean Morgan, a two-term city representative and Chico’s new mayor, and Reanette Fillmer, a first-termer who was voted in as vice mayor back in December.

By now, it’s pretty much common knowledge that both have cursed from the dais and that their decorum is at times juvenile, as I described months ago in this space (see “Dynamic duo,” Dec. 15). But Fillmer took things to a new low last week, when, according to multiple sources, both conservative and liberal, she stuck her tongue out at people in the gallery during the council’s regular meeting.

The tongue appeared sometime after the conservative majority voted down a motion to agendize discussion of a proposed resolution calling for Chico to become a sanctuary city, a designation many municipalities have adopted to protect their undocumented immigrant communities. More than 30 people, including several students, spoke to the issue at the Feb. 21 meeting during its business-from-the-floor segment, a time set aside for members of the public to address the council on any matter.

“High school antics,” as I described her and Morgan’s behavior in the aforementioned column, is one thing. But making faces at constituents is another. It’s hard to believe this is Chico’s new political landscape.

I reached out to Fillmer to ask if she’d like to explain that slip of the tongue. I got no reply, which should tell people all they need to know.

Several folks who attended last Tuesday’s meeting also complained to me that Councilman Andrew Coolidge had been looking at his cellphone as the public talked to the panel about the proposed sanctuary designation. Turns out, he has an explanation for that.

Coolidge isn’t my No. 1 fan (remember when he threatened to sue me?), but to his credit, when I reached out to him, he got right back to me. He explained that his city iPad wouldn’t connect to the wifi that evening, so he couldn’t pull up the emails he’d received from folks who’d written to the council on the subject of sanctuary cities. Some of them were giving testimony that evening, but since they had to boil everything down to a single minute at the lectern, Coolidge wanted to see their comments in full.

“I was not playing Angry Birds or updating Facebook when the comments were taking place,” he told me.

Good to hear.

IN OTHER NEWS I want to let readers know about some changes at CN&R. Starting this week, our website is home to a new interface for our calendar, a user-friendly feature both for those submitting events to the online and print calendars and for those searching for what’s happening in and around our region.

In addition, because of the many activist-driven events taking place these days, we’ve created a special breakout online calendar—Take Action, Chico!—highlighting those types of activities. As it happens, one of the first listed is the March for a Sanctuary City—Chico, a demonstration this Saturday (March 4). That rally and march, in response to the City Council’s rejection last week as well as local racism, is scheduled to start at 9 a.m. at City Plaza. Learn more about that event and those that follow it at