The nine from ’08

Recapping those we watched over the previous 12 months

How did the past year treat those who made the Who to Watch list for 2008? On the whole, pretty well, but not completely …

Kathy Barrett and Tom Hayes: Much of the controversy surrounding the Chico Planning Commission subsided after the seating of these short-term replacements. Coincidence or causality? The City Council will make that call tonight (Jan. 8), as it considers their applications for full terms.

Dave Burkland: Interim city manager at the start of the year, he got the job for keeps in February. He retains strong support from the City Council, even if he did lose his “biggest fan” with the retirement of Councilman Steve Bertagna.

David Day: Nick’s Night Club, the “sports bar by day, music venue by night” he named for his younger brother, reached the all-important one-year milestone and continues to host several shows a week.

Candace Grubbs: On the plus side, Butte County’s registrar oversaw three elections devoid of controversy. On the minus side, she became embroiled in controversy in her clerk-recorder role, deciding to stop conducting weddings right around the time the state Supreme Court upheld gay marriage.

Brian Haddix: Unlike his predecessor, who put a face on the leadership at County Center, the new chief administrative officer has kept a low profile while facing an array of issues, most notably budget shortfalls and the unresolved Oroville Dam relicensing.

Bruce Hagerty: Between the disorderly events ordinance, budget cuts, the arrest of a city councilwoman, bursts of violent crime, officer attrition and unsettled contract negotiations, 2008 marked a challenging time for the Chico Police Department—and, by extension, its chief.

Jann Reed: Her fourth year on the Chico school board, during which she served as president, brought another round of budget cuts and school closures. That made for a challenging campaign, but Reed got re-elected handily.

Heather Schlaff: The founder of Chico Advocates for a Responsible Economy was set for a busy year … until Walmart canceled its plans for a North Chico supercenter and expansion of the South Chico store got pushed back. Look for Schlaff to resurface when the Forest Avenue project does.