Redding City Council Recall is a Cry For Help, But Who’s Listening?

Captain, played by Strother Martin in the classic film Cool Hand Luke and shown here swinging a truncheon, knew all about crime rates and failures to communicate. Publicity photo from film.

Captain, played by Strother Martin in the classic film Cool Hand Luke and shown here swinging a truncheon, knew all about crime rates and failures to communicate. Publicity photo from film.

Ladies and gentlemen, what we’ve got here is a failure to communicate on so many levels, my head is spinning.

As just about everybody in Shasta County knows by now, there was a pretty damned intense Redding City Council meeting last week, during which a dozen or so constituents roundly criticized the city’s leadership on issues ranging from fighting crime to economic development to hiring a good old boy to be new city manager.

“If you’re not part of the solution, you’re part of the problem,” is one of their slogans, and just to show they’re serious, they’ve gone and filed recall petitions against two Redding City Council members, Francie Sullivan and Kristen Schreder.

It’s nothing personal, they say, picking on the pair of senior council members, other than they’re the ones who’ve been making allegedly bad decisions the longest. It’s the first step in what the group promises will be an ongoing campaign to oust public officials they claim aren’t listening to “the people.”

I’m familiar with several of the people who testified at last week’s city council meeting from the Take Back Redding Facebook page, one of several pages dedicated to fighting crime in the Redding area. “If not us, who? If not now, when?” is the group’s motto and it has more than 6000 members, many of them Redding residents. While I’m not a Redding resident and I don’t necessarily agree with the recall effort, for reasons I’ll present below, I am familiar with the grievances of the people behind the recall, many of which are legitimate in my view, if misdirected.

It all began, oh, let’s say four years or so ago, when these local business owners and residents, equally divided between men and women, began attending city council meetings, voicing their concerns and presenting evidence in regard to rising property crime rates and the increasing number of so-called low level criminal offenders menacing Redding’s shopping districts and neighborhoods.

It’s worth noting that the increase in property crime rates since 2011 can be directly attributed to AB 109 — also known as prison realignment — state legislation that mandated the release of low-level prisoners to community custody, in order to relieve the state’s unconstitutionally over-crowded prisons. Academics have called the reform historic, and its impact on the state has been significant.

Prison realignment, combined with successful statewide criminal justice reform initiatives such as Props 47 and 57, has transferred responsibility for incarceration and rehabilitation of low-level offenders from the prisons to the cities and counties. It has also led to increased crime rates across the state. Redding is far from the only city in California experiencing low-level criminals running amok on its streets as a result of ongoing criminal justice reform efforts.

That’s not to say the reforms haven’t hit cash-strapped Shasta County particularly hard, with its perennially over-crowded jail and law enforcement staffing levels dependent on proximity to the most recent economic crash. That’s what brought many of the people now demanding a recall down to those city council meetings in the first place.

To be fair, the Redding City Council listened to its constituents, and tackled the problem with typical managerial zeal, contracting an outside agency to produce the Blueprint for Public Safety, following that up last year with a proposed half-cent sales tax to pay for the additional police officers, jail space and rehabilitation services required to execute the plan.

Measure D on last November’s ballot would have raised an estimated $11 million annually for the city’s general fund over 10 years. The city could have insisted that the money be spent on public safety, but that would have required a super majority of voters for passage.

Instead, the city served up Measure D with Measure E, a non-binding advisory directing, but not requiring, the funds be spent on public safety. Both measures required just simple majorities for passage, and given the furor its constituents had expressed over the property crime rate in countless city council meetings, city officials can perhaps be forgiven for thinking the measures would pass easily.

Then again, it’s no secret that Shasta County voters, including more than a few in Redding, are notoriously averse to any new tax, and perhaps the campaign should have taken that more into account. Measures D and E flopped, in part because more tax-averse voters weren’t convinced the city would spend all the revenue fighting crime, given that the advisory measure was non-binding.

Thanks to this communication breakdown, what might have been a golden example of democracy in action—constituents complain about public safety, city council comes up with a plan, constituents approve funding for plan, plan is implemented, crime rate goes down—has morphed into a quasi-populist rebellion, pitting an aggrieved citizenry comprised of ordinary workers, small business owners and professionals incensed by rising crime against a managerial elite perceived by them to be overpaid, ineffective, out-of-touch and perhaps even unnecessary.

Thus, just about anything the city council has done since the election has been greeted on the various local Facebook pages I troll with howls of derision and disbelief. It’s gone far beyond the topic of public safety at this point. Genuine anger and resentment are beginning to boil, and unfortunately recent news events haven’t been too favorable to the city council.

The numerous city department managers earning six-figure salaries, including new city manager Barry Tippin, who will make $210,000 annually, have become obvious targets of resentment. One member of Take Back Redding told me she began losing faith in the city council when it gave raises to several city managers shortly after Measure D and E’s defeat, even as it was proposing cuts to public safety personnel. Another compared Tippin’s salary unfavorably to President Donald Trump’s, suggesting Tippin was overcompensated, bigly.

A former assistant city manager who was promoted to the head position after Redding had conducted an expensive outside search for a candidate, Tippin took heat from one recall supporter at last week’s city council meeting for being part of the “good old boy” network. The hope was an outsider might shake things up, particularly in regard to renegotiating contracts for the city’s 1000 employees.

The pensions of past, present and future city employees have also become a target of wrath, especially after the Shasta County Grand Jury released a fairly stunning report on Redding, Shasta Lake City, Anderson and the county’s unfunded pension liabilities earlier this year.

It’s complicated, but to cut to the chase, in the near future local taxpayers will be liable for millions in stock market losses incurred by state-run pension funds like CalPERS during the past two economic downturns. There’s not too much we can do about contracts that have already been negotiated except pay them out. Pray that we’re not currently on the cusp of yet another stock market implosion, for that will only add to the previous losses.

In yet more damaging news to city leadership delivered by the grand jury, the city’s $41 million public investment in Stillwater Business Park was seriously called into question last month. In development since 2006, the project consists of 14 parcels zoned for light and heavy industrial use, with infrastructure such as electrical and plumbing connections already installed at taxpayer cost. In the past seven years, the city has generated just 14 sales leads and has managed to sell just one parcel.

One of the leads that almost generated a sale was with greenhouse manufacturer Emerald Kingdom, which planned to build a state-of-the-art composite building on one of the parcels until its bid was turned down last year for reasons that remain unclear. A senior associate with Colliers International, the third firm Redding has hired to market the project, told the local daily at the time, “We need jobs in Redding and we don’t need cool designs.”

Perhaps Colliers should examine the website it designed to sell the project, which features Sundial Bridge—a cool design by anyone’s standard—as a primary area attraction.

Industrial real estate is supposed to be hot in California, but Stillwater Business Park isn't selling.

Industrial real estate is supposed to be hot in California, but Stillwater Business Park isn’t selling.

As it turned out, any jobs Emerald Kingdom would have provided to Redding have now gone to Red Bluff, where the company recently announced it’s building a new facility. The announcement further bolstered claims by members of the Take Back Redding group that Redding, compared to nearby cities such as Anderson and Red Bluff, is hostile to new business development.

The very existence of Stillwater Business Park would appear to bely that notion, but then there’s the grand jury report, in which the jurors were unable to find anyone officially in charge of the project. That’s concerning considering the interest on the underlying bonds will bring the total cost of the project to nearly $60 million when and if they reach maturity. Without new tenets bringing in revenue, taxpayers will be stuck with the costs, and there is apparently no plan to avoid this inevitability, other than muddling through.

One thing I’ve noticed in Shasta County during the short time I’ve lived here is grand jury reports generally don’t have much bite, no matter how egregious their findings. The findings on Stillwater Business Park are pretty egregious. Someone needs to be held accountable. Moreover, someone needs to be put in charge of the project. Or at least pretend they care.

I think that’s a pretty common feeling here in Shasta County—no matter which city you live in—the feeling that no one’s in charge, no one’s ever held accountable, no one cares, and it’s driving this nascent quasi-populist rebellion in Redding.

In large part, this animosity is a built-in feature of our present way of local government. We elect part-time, underpaid figureheads (sheriff excepted) who we pretend run the show, while high-paid managers do the real work. When something goes wrong, we can throw the bums out and elect new ones, but it’s still the same machine behind the curtain, so nothing really ever changes, except the level of frustration.

And the level of frustration is rising at this point, due to the reasons cited above and many others, including the brutally maligned contest to design a new city flag as well as the recent city code enforcement crackdown on rental trucks and storage sheds in the parking lots of Lowe’s and Home Depot, with no sign of letting up. It’s no use pointing out that code enforcement was responding to citizen complaints. The city can’t do anything right in the minds of its detractors.

I call it a quasi-populist rebellion because I’m not exactly sure where the people behind the recall effort are coming from yet. Are they serious-minded reformers, or just the typical anti-government voters one encounters in Shasta County?

Supporters of Francie Sullivan and Kristen Schreder suggest the pair have been targeted for recall because of their work on homelessness and joblessness issues. Judging from some of the remarks on those issues I’ve read on Take Back Redding, it’s clear some recall supporters believe a bus ticket out of town for every troublesome vagrant is the final solution to Redding’s crime problem.

Moving the problem to another city or county faced with exactly the same issues can hardly be called a populist policy. Neither can it be called being “part of the solution,” which thanks to a wave of historic criminal justice reforms in the past decade, now necessarily involves cities and counties providing services to low level criminals once provided by the state, whether its constituents like it or not.

In short, this problem isn’t going away, unless the state suddenly decides to build a bunch of new prisons, which is entirely possible, if the great reform experiment the state has embarked upon continues to fail. That’s how historical cycles have worked in the past.

So far, the state savings from AB 109 prison realignment that have been passed on to Shasta County have not covered all the costs of housing and rehabilitating the low level criminals that have become our responsibility. We started out in the hole with an over-crowded jail and we’ve been digging our way out ever since. The county’s recent failure to secure $6 million in Prop 47 grant funding from the state was a kick in the teeth before we’d even poked our head up out of the hole.

Therein lies the essence of why I cannot endorse the recall effort against two Redding City Council members, allegedly for not doing something about the crime rate: This is a county-wide problem, not just a city of Redding problem, one caused by a dramatic shift in criminal justice reform at the state level that’s clearly failing even as its architects, from Gov. Jerry Brown to Lt. Gov. Gavin Newsom to former state attorney general and now U.S. Senator Kamala Harris, continue to tout it as a success.

How long they’ll be able to maintain this charade remains to be seen, but until they drop it and start funding criminal justice reform more aggressively, the crime rate’s not likely to get any better.

How can it, when low-level criminals who commit serious nonviolent crimes face virtually no criminal penalties? A serious misdemeanor might land a junkie thief a jail sentence, assuming there’s a cell available, but more likely than not, low-level drug offenders are cited and released to continue preying upon not just residents and businesses, but the homeless community, which receives the brunt of the violence. Without the threat of a jail sentence, local law enforcement have no leverage to force such offenders into drug treatment programs, assuming a program is available in the first place.

In other words, we’re in really deep shit. The crime rate isn’t going down because this is the new normal. Which means for the time being we’re stuck with this quasi-populist rebellion in Shasta County. In fact, it may already be exerting influence. As I was completing this story, news broke that Redding Police Chief Robert Paoletti has been sacked by new Redding city manager Tippin, for reasons unknown at this time.

Last year, I spoke to Paoletti at length about the challenges posed by criminal justice reform, and I left one remark on the cutting room floor that warrants repeating now. The worst job in Shasta County, he told me, belongs to the deputies at the jail who have to decide who to keep and who to release without endangering the public.

My impression of Paoletti is that he knows the score when it comes to the reality of criminal justice reform. He’s a shrewd communicator who’s done a fairly decent job informing the public about the department’s progress—or lack thereof. Up to this point, I haven’t noticed too many negative comments about the now former police chief on social media, other than posts concerning several well publicized incidents of alleged police brutality on his watch.

I can’t recall Paoletti’s name being mentioned on Take Back Redding, at least recently, and I have no idea what the people behind the recall think about his performance as chief. If I had to guess, I’d say they support Paoletti, which means city officials have screwed up yet again. But I could be wrong. Perhaps they’ll see it as the sort of bold decision-making they’ve been seeking.

I really have no idea what the quasi-populist rebellion thinks about Paoletti’s firing, but I’m pretty sure the crime rate ain’t going to improve while Redding is breaking in a new chief of police. Perhaps it will get bad enough, state officials will finally take notice of us. That’s a positive of sorts.

In the meantime, the question to be determined over the next 160 days will be whether 7600 hundred Redding voters are angry enough to sign recall petitions for two city council members. The two council members can hardly be blamed for the city’s present predicament—but then there’s those grand jury reports. Someone’s gotta pay.

Currently, I rate the chances of a successful recall at 50-50. If the economy tanks, make it 100 percent. Either way, it’s not going to be pretty, but these days, democracy seldom is. Pretty.

R.V. Scheide
R.V. Scheide has been a northern California journalist for more than 20 years. He appreciates your comments and story ideas.
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81 Responses

  1. cheyenne says:

    When Weld County and a few other rural counties in Colorado started their secessionist movement a couple of years ago because they felt Denver politics was ignoring them Governor Hickenlooper visited many of those counties and promised more attention would be paid to them.  The secessionist movement was voted down by the counties and concerns have been addressed.  Has Governor Brown been to visit Shasta or any of the other counties?

    • anon says:

      Our Governor is a fossil that should have been put out to pasture years ago.  I would bet that he has driven more business from CA than any other Governor in history…

    • R.V. Scheide Jr. says:

      Cheyenne, not that I know of! We really do seem like pariahs up here!

    • Steve Towers Steve Towers says:

      If it’s any consolation, Gov. Brown does spend a lot of time on his family’s ranch in Colusa County.

      I wonder if any local politician representing us in Sacramento has taken the time to draft a list of our concerns that supposedly need to be addressed?  Other than: We want your full subsidies of our country-cousin lifestyles back.

    • Carter Slade says:

      Back in the 70’s when Jerry was dating Linda Ronstadt, he may have come up to Shasta to buy a little smoke but these days we are too far from the bright lights for him to bother. Besides, we have nothing he wants, needs or can benefit from……

      • Steve Towers Steve Towers says:

        If you think Brown is seeking bright lights in his off time, you really should read that article I linked up above.  His weekend get-away camp is too Spartan and desolate for my tastes, and it’s not like I mind roughing it.

        • Carter Slade says:

          Who said anything about off time? I was speaking of political benefits.

          • Steve Towers Steve Towers says:

            It was the Ronstadt and marijuana references that threw me.  I thought you were talking about the social/cultural benefits of bright lights and big cities.

          • Carter Slade says:

            Actually, perhaps “too far from the spotlight”  instead of bright lines…Yea that fits better. Thanks S

  2. Christian Gardinier says:

    Seems like some of the Downtown power establishment wants to the City to clear and clean without Measure D and E. So, R.V. I’m wondering if you found any Bethel Church activity in the Take Back Redding recall effort?

    • R.V. Scheide Jr. says:

      I have not found any positive Bethel activity on Take Back Redding, but that doesn’t mean it isn’t there. I have read negative comments in regard to the city’s relationship with Bethel.

  3. cheyenne says:

    Redding has always been the Big Bully in Shasta County.  The city has stalled on many projects that would have benefited the city and county because of their aversion to sharing tax money.  If the Stillwater Park had been built in Anderson where all the lumber mills were closing, with a freeway, railroad tracks and fairly reasonable access to the airport already in place, the park would be full.  But Redding would not work with the rest of the county.  Redding wouldn’t share taxes but they didn’t hesitate to use others facilities, most notably Anderson River Park.  I went before the Redding City Council with documents showing that 80% of the users of ARP were from Redding and asked for some funding.  They said they didn’t fund out of city, but that didn’t stop them from continuing their use of ARP.  In fact the only financial aid we got out of Redding came from the McConnell Foundation as they donated the equipment for the playground by the tennis courts.

    If Redding had worked with the rest of Shasta County instead of acting like a feudal lord I dare say things would be different there.

    • R.V. Scheide Jr. says:

      There’s still a bit of a feud between Anderson and Redding. Lately, Anderson appears to making moves that are appreciated by its constituents.

  4. Carter Slade says:

    IMO, this situation is not a simple failure to communicate-it runs a might deeper. But yes, it surely will make one’s head spin which sometimes, can also lead to just wanting to throw up. I believe it’s more of a case of one side’s failure or refusal to simply listen which btw isn’t that one of the most important duties/jobs of an elected council? This is also about a council doing whatever it pleases, without fear of reprisal or consequence which has resulted in poor and at times, rather bizarre choices, local residents be damned. All that said, you left out a lot of key importances that I believe have led up to what you so easily dismiss as a “legitimate but misdirected” effort. I guess that can easily happen when you’re, as you say, an out-of-towner…Misdirected to what? To where?  To whom? Oh please don’t tell me this is Trumps fault…

    Just a few-First, you’re not sure “where the folks leading the recall are coming from” but you chose to leave the recent firing of Chief of Police Paoletti as — “for reasons unknown at this time”.  Tippen is hired and immediately Paoletti is fired and all with no explanation other than the generic “He’s steppin down” rhetoric which we all known isn’t the full story. Wouldn’t you think, with all the mistrust, turmoil and upheaval currently happening, the council would at least take the time to try to appear in control? Don’t we, as the ones who elected this council deserve at least that much?  Our city council, who just brokered the Bethel bailout deal, took in $500,000 that would have, at some point soon, passed thru this same Chief’s hands. This deal alone shattered a lot of trust in this town, especially when council person Sullivan, when questioned about the very odd deal arrogantly dismissed constituents with the famous  “Bring it” quote.  It didn’t help when while newly elected council member/BETHEL ELDER Winter who helped broker the Bethel deal,  quietly and slickly recused herself from the vote to accept the Bethel Bucks. This is not failure to communicate, this is more along the lines of  “we don’t need no stinking badges…”

    Yes, there is the tumorous StillwaterPark debacle along with a “toothless” but far from exemplary grand jury findings report but a grand jury investigation none-the-less. Don’t be too quick to dismiss the negativity, doubt and mistrust such an investigation can and has manifested and justified or not. There is Emerald Kingdom and their $500,000 both now somewhere else and with nothing good to say about our council.  There is the now on hold food truck folly and yea, let’s talk about the Blueprint for Safety recommendation that cost us taxpayers around $200,000 but was then scrapped to go with the supposedly no strings attached Bethel “buy in”.

    Finally, the failure of “D” was not a communication breakdown. The voters spoke very clearly. It was a case of public mistrust which had to do with questionable goings-on regarding retirement funds , etc. Our council being forced to create an over-sight group to insure the revenue is spent properly speaks volumes.

    Don’t focus on the why RV. In light of the council crap that has been happening almost constantly over the last year or so, ask yourself-Hell,why not…

     

     

    • R.V. Scheide Jr. says:

      On Measure D: While writing this story, I asked the Take Back Redding group if Measure D had been specifically for public safety, would you have voted for it? The overwhelming answer was yes, and generally believed it would have passed the 2/3 threshold if the money went directly to public safety. I have no idea if that’s true, it’s just a seat of the pants guess based on the responses.

      • Virginia says:

        You are right on the vote guess.  I believe if  the measure was earmarked for public safety, I would have  voted for it.  I didn’t trust the swamp we have here.

  5. Karen C says:

    “If you’re not part of the solution, you’re part of the problem.”  What does that even mean?  Not everyone can be part of the solution for every issue.  I was once told that I was part of the problem because I had a CCW!  Really!  At 76 years old I have never had any criminal activity in my life, not even a speeding or parking ticket, and I am part of the problem?  It is an overused and unappreciated phrase.

    I am also tired of the City blaming the populace for the failure of  “D”.  Anderson passed theirs with flying colors because they care what the people wanted and they did it right.

    • R.V. Scheide Jr. says:

      I don’t care much for the slogan either. It will alienate people and won’t help the recall effort.

      While writing this, it really dawned on me how much of a failure the Measure D effort was. The city really didn’t think that through, apparently.

      • Sharon says:

        If you were truly paying attention, that is not a slogan, it is purely a FB Cover. I change it depending on the mood of what is going on. More a battle cry of sorts perhaps!

      • Jimmy Nickles says:

        RV, that same measure for public safety was on the ballot in I believe 2014, and failed to get the 2/3 majority that it needed to pass. That is why measure D was designated for the general fund. So the folks that you talked to about it have had facts other than the general voting public in regards to it passing if designated for public safety.

  6. Joseph Bowers says:

    While most know, I think it is important to remind people that Redding is the County seat.

    That means all of the state prisoners pushed back to the county level end up in Redding and report to probation or parole in Redding.

    It also means that when criminals are released from jail with no place to go and no transportation they end up hanging around downtown (even if they were arrested in the far reaches of the county or passing through on I-5).

    It also means that State officials not only passed the burden of housing the criminals, but also the burden of paying for it to Redding.  State officials flat out expect localities to pay more to support the criminal justice system.  Redding cannot afford these state policies with existing funds and there are no magical solutions i.e. firing managers that will solve this problem.  Emergency services already eats most of the general fund’s pie as seen in the City’s annual report.

    Often people do not make these connections, but to me they are large components of our problem.

    As you said, this is a countywide problem and a community problem.

    Lastly, I feel some members of the recall effort are acting disingenuously.  Promoting flat out falsehoods they must know are false i.e. the idea that these Councilors vote themselves raises.  City Councilors are paid a $600/month stipend per State law.  They are not “paid” employees like federal or state legislators.

    • R.V. Scheide Jr. says:

      I probably should have mentioned Redding is the county seat, but presumed people know that.

      I agree city council members are being targeted as “overpaid elitists” when they are in fact part-time underpaid figureheads. They’re serving as a proxy for those highly paid city managers.

  7. Brandon says:

    I’m still sore about being laid off from the City of Redding in 2009, while the council decided to move forward with Stillwater, spending millions of dollars on a loser of a project. I was forced to sell my car, short sale my house and eventually move away from Redding. Turns out that leaving Redding was the best thing that has ever happened to me. It would probably be the best thing for anyone under 40. There are much better places to live, where the economy is stronger and more resilient and where there are less straight, white men running the show.

    • R.V. Scheide Jr. says:

      I happen to think the Stillwater Project was a good idea, it just hasn’t been marketed. Of course, if I’d lost my city job while the city was puttering around on the project, I’d be angry,

      Where is this mysterious place you moved where everything’s cool?

  8. John R. Dixon says:

    The City of Redding can not fulfill it’s unfunded liability indebtedness and has no plan to address this deficit.  The apparent answer to it is to continue it’s spending as usual and kicking the  liability down the road until the bankruptcy of the city is the only resolution.  We continue to award over priced salaries to incompetent city management, granting them positive reviews for incompetent performance.  Barring a complete overhaul of our City management by a new and aggressive City Council who challenges and does not fear City Management/Managers, reducing overblown salaries and revising retirement payments and benefits,  Redding will be doomed to bankruptcy.

    • R.V. Scheide Jr. says:

      You are correct that this is a very serious problem that will prevent us from tackling all our other very serious problems. Not good!

  9. Justin says:

    Good one Scheide.

    I agree, I think the recall effort seems like a waste of time and effort and money that could be better spent by all parties.

    Since we have such a huge chunk invested in Stillwater, how about we move in?

    Why cant we put a new jail facility out there, the police department, and the homeless shelter.  Move them all out there, you can build warehouse space cheap and start using it quickly.

    I don’t fault the Sheriff for the full jail, or necessarily the cost to run it, but we will continue to be in  deep poo until someone takes a little risk and does something different with criminals like Joe Arpio.  Maybe the city can find a way to do it cheaper.

    The ‘policy’ of no penalty for non violent crime has to end.

    • R.V. Scheide Jr. says:

      I think there are a lot more interesting things the city can do with Stillwater rather than turn it into a prison, but that is an option.

      They could build a really nice tech school out there. The hook-ups are already in!

  10. Frank Treadway says:

    Out of the 10 responders to this article, so far, only one had their facts lined up, the rest were near hysterical, non-factual diatribes.  The City does not engage in areas of education and so many other points that the TBR folks blathered on about at the Tuesday City Council meeting.  Please take a short course on what the City can do, how to address an elected official from the dais, how not to use profanity, therefore losing the attention of your target audience. Can you imagine one of these TBR folks representing you, not one had a clear understanding of what a council member or staff person can do while working for a City.  Countless laws, regulations and codes are there to be used and enforced. But, if you’re part of the State of Jefferson, Tea Party and Trumpkins, then laws and codes are out the window, let’s run this place like they did in the Old West.  I dare them to run a slate of candidates for the next City Council election and see what they have to do and spend in order to win. And remember City of Redding residents you’ll be paying for the $200,000. ballot measure should they get enough signatures, so think twice before you sign this piece of paper. You’ll owe big time !

    • R.V. Scheide Jr. says:

      Frank, I agree with much of what you say, particularly regarding behavior at city council meetings. Wear a suit, don’t issue veiled threats, and people take you more seriously. Then again, many of these people have been going to meetings for years, with no result.

      However, I’m not convinced that TBR is monolithically SOJ/Trumpist. There are members who are, more than a few, but there are also quite a apolitical professionals, business owners, more than half women, who are genuinely upset about the crime rate and want something done about it.

    • Shelley says:

      Also you should not use profanity in this very article!!!!

  11. Steve Towers Steve Towers says:

    I can only guess what percentage of the “Take Back Redding” crew leading the recall effort opposed measures D and E, but I’ll reckon most of them.  (Or more accurately, voted against D—the funding measure that lost overwhelmingly; but voted for E—the advisory measure that passed overwhelmingly).  The vote left the City Council with the responsibility to implement a solid existing plan for doing something realistic about local crime, but without the funding to implement the plan.

    Following the failure of Measure D, I started to seriously consider moving my business from downtown Redding, where it had been located for 8 years, about 5 of which were great.  Repeated vehicle break-ins amounting to thousands of dollars of damage and ripped-off equipment—not to mention the daily encounters with opioid zombies and prison-inked tweakers—was it for me.  As of this past month, we’ve relocated back to Palo Cedro.

    It’s worth noting (once again) that this whole pattern of shifting responsibility to local governments is born of frustration by our state government in Sacramento.  That includes not just AB 109, but also the rural fire fee and such.  Those generating the great majority of the revenue for the state—the mostly liberal counties and cities along the coast—grew tired of having us revenue-parasite conservative counties forever dipping our straws into their milkshake, while at the same time stymieing efforts to spend money on solutions, in large part because of the 2/3 majority requirement for new earmarked tax revenues.  The shifting of responsibilities (and costs) to local government is meant as a stiff middle finger to the likes of us.  The message: If you don’t like our methods or our priorities, you’re on your own, Gomers and Goobers. Enjoy collectively hoisting yourselves on your own petard.

    • R.V. Scheide Jr. says:

      I asked on the TBR Facebook page if Measure D was specific for public safety, would they have voted for it? Many responders who claimed they voted against Measure D said they would have voted for it if it was presented this way, because it would have theoretically been all spent on public safety. They claim it would have passed the 2/3 threshold. I think that’s dubious, but that was what many of them said.

      I don’t it’s totally fair to chalk this up to just another day in Rubeville. Some people did vote against it for that stereotypical reason, but as those recent grand jury reports demonstrate, there are plenty of reasons to vote against giving this particular city a blank check. Suppose they started using that half-cent tax to pay off pensions? Would there be any money left?

       

      • Richard Christoph says:

        It is worth noting that the 2014  1/4 cent sales tax proposal which specified that the revenue would be spent for public safety received 57% of the votes—a clear majority to be sure, but far short of the 66 2/3 % required for passage. That is why Measure D was constructed to require a simple majority vote for approval and was accompanied by Measure E.

         

      • Steve Towers Steve Towers says:

        Measures D and E were drafted the way they were because of what happened in 2014.  Pigs will fly across the landscape of a frozen-over Hell before Reddingites pass a higher sales tax by a 67% supermajority.

        Those who voted against Measure D and say they would have voted “yes” if it has been earmarked specifically for public safety are free to lobby for the drafting of just such a ballot measure so that they can prove how wrong-headed the D and E strategy was.

        My comments about Redding resembling Hooterville were mostly about outsider perception, but my sharper point is regarding this odd dichotomy/delusion:  (1) We see ourselves as conservative rugged individualists who don’t want the gum’mint telling us what to do. (2) We are a net-revenue-suck, and get unglued every time the state tugs us away from Sacramento’s teat.

        • R.V. Scheide Jr. says:

          While I agree there are maybe 20 percent struggling with your dichotomy, I don’t think what’s going on with AB 109 is really analogous to being tugged away from Sacramento’s teat. It’s a dramatic reform, its failing all over the state, and the state really needs to admit that. I don’t like this super majority democrat Legislature in Sacramento right now. They’re busy grandstanding against Trump while the fucking state is falling apart. Sad.

        • JeffG says:

          Your point about rugged individualists being revenue negative would carry more weight if we were truly independent from California.  But we’re not and almost anything of value we have is appropriated by Sacramento without adequate compensation.

          Example:  Commercial trucks drive approximately 30 billion miles in the north state (vs ~330 billion miles for the entire state).  The average commercial truck gets 7mpg, but let’s just say 10mpg for easy math.  That is 3 billion gallons of diesel that California taxes at a rate of $0.40/gal (regardless of where that diesel was purchased).  So $1.2 billion belongs to the North State, yet CalTran’s entire budget, statewide, is just $10.9 billion.  What about the money from non commercial diesel?  gasoline?  Registration?  HVUT?  The apportioned income taxes paid by commercial carriers like airlines & buses?

          That money gets stuck in the general fund as if all was earned in Sacramento, even though a good chunk was earned in the north state.

          And how can we be faulted for a lack of jobs when California tax policy makes it cost prohibitive to create the types of jobs best suited for our area’s resources?  “Create tech jobs” they say, as if we have the resources to instantly train what’s left of our workforce.

          Q: What is the number 1 job in the US (and the north state)?

          A: Trucking

          Q:  How many of the 50 largest trucking companies are based in California?

          A: zero

          What about our water?  Are we being compensated for the dams & diversions that have crippled our fisheries?  Shouldn’t we be entitled to a royalty for every gallon pumped to the converted deserts of Socal suburbia?

          How about our trees?  Are we being compensated for the CO2 we are removing from the atmosphere?  How about the oxygen we’re providing?  No?  But we’re being charged a $152/structure fee for fire service that urbanites aren’t…

          The lack of an articulate leader doesn’t mean the grievances are imagined.

          • R.V. Scheide says:

            This is very interesting! I will explore this avenue.

          • Steve Towers Steve Towers says:

            First of all, JeffG, all of those liberal counties along the coast aren’t any more independent of California than we are—in many ways, they are less independent.  As an example, I practice CEQA across the state, and believe me when I tell you that CEQA standards, set by Lead Agencies, are far more stringent along the Coast.

            Second, the same pattern applies to the states:  With few exceptions, the blue states send more money to Washington DC than they receive back, and the red states are revenue vampires.

            There’s something going on with that pattern—repeated over and over across America—that has little to do with Sacramento’s boot on Shasta County’s neck.  I have yet to encounter a conservative’s explanation for it that doesn’t amount to unconvincing hand-waving just-so bullshit.

            Here’s another thing to chew on:  Last year the national Chamber of Commerce named Mississippi the #1 business-friendly state in America.  That prompted me to look up Mississippi’s economic, education, and quality-of-life metrics.  That was a laugh riot.

          • JeffG says:

            Steve, have you considered the possibility that, culturally, folks in red states generally don’t share the same monetary ambitions as those in blue states, yet almost all of the federal government’s revenue is based on income?

            And take a closer look at those happiness & quality of life surveys — how many are based on things like higher education & income?   You’ll get wildly different results if you ask different questions, like:  What percentage of the population regularly sees extended family?  What percentage of the population regularly watches after-school activities?  How much time do you spend with friends and family?  Do you have everything you need in life?

            Ask those questions and I bet Mississippi ranks near the top for “quality of life”.

          • Steve Towers Steve Towers says:

            Jeff G. — The net revenue statistic is income tax paid to the federal government vs revenue returned, on a per-capita basis.  Lower income taxes paid to the federal government because blue-state folks just don’t want to work so hard (which, by the way, is contrary to how they portray their values) is not the issue.  If they want to be slackers, cool.  But rural conservatives scream like stuck pigs when lawmakers tighten the revenue valves and reduce the flow of money to rural areas, even when those rural areas remain net-revenue vampires.  We want our country-cousin lifestyles, but we don’t want to pay for it.  We want it hella subsidized, and when that’s threatened we play the victim card.

            As for the quality of life metrics:  crime rate, inclusiveness, health care, overall health, local attractions, parks and recreation, and environmental quality.  For sure, you can change the methodology to get the results you want.  Sure, you could probably put all of the Deep South states at the top of the list if you changed the methodology and only asked three questions:  (1) How often do you go to church? (2) How many guns do you own?  (3) How often do you have sex with biological relatives?

          • JeffG says:

            So your argument is rural conservatives are hypocrites for wanting to spend tax dollars on the projects important to them because they are forced to receive more than they paid in taxes to fund programs they don’t want?

          • Steve Towers Steve Towers says:

            Forced to receive more money than they paid in taxes for programs they don’t want?  That’s your retort?

            JeffG, that sauce is weak.

          • JeffG says:

            Not sure what you want to hear, those states (and the northstate as well) tend to have low payrolls for reasons that won’t change regardless of which party is in power.  And they have almost no control of federal spending in their districts — the national averages are: 65% going to social programs like Social Security & Medicare, 16% goes to the military, 6% goes to interest on the debt, 4% goes to the fda & Monsanto subsidies, 3% goes to education, 2% transportation, the remaining ~4% goes to science, epa, international affairs, etc.  Do you honestly think a Mississippi republican can significantly cut spending on any of those expenditures in their districts?

  12. Carter Slade says:

    Other local governments are doing just fine in spite of whatever the state throws at them. Few have to go to the extent of firing their police chief. Few if any accept a half mil from a local cult church with no hesitation or concern of how that reflects on the city or the lack of confidence that may conjure. Few if any local governments have a taxpayer funded industrial park/albatros that doesn’t seem to occupy much priority or embarrassment even when mentioned by a grand Jury.  This problem doesn’t lie at the doorstep of the state or even Sacramento.  It’s a simple case of inept city leadership and that is ultimately a task for the citizens to correct.  It happens every day…

     

    • R.V. Scheide says:

      It’s not correct that all other local governments are coping with AB 109.

      • Steve Towers Steve Towers says:

        I don’t think Carter used the word “all” to describe how other local governments are doing.  I took his point to be that there are other local governments out there that are coping far better than we are, and we could look to them for effective ways of dealing with AB 109 et al.

        That doesn’t seem to be our way, however.  In fact, hiring consultants to tell us what we’re doing wrong and what others are doing that’s working is usually met with scorn (we’ve seen it happen), unless the consultant is cherry-picked to tell us what we want to hear (we’ve seen it happen).

        • Carter Slade says:

          I said “other” RV, not “all”. So, you’re saying the reason our city council has  become an utter embarrassment to the city because of AB 109? I was aiming for a more blanket ineptness.  I’m not sure what poor local leadership, a taxpayer funded/failed industrial park and hitting up a cult church for city revenue instead of finding our own solutions has to do with AB 109.

  13. pmarshall says:

    Mr. Scheide, you have written a very interesting article; I haven’t read all of it, but what I did read, I have to agree.  I can only say that having lived in Redding for over 50 years, never has there been so much turmoil.  I think most of it comes down to money.  Yes, the taxpayers don’t want tp pass the proposition D and E, etc. because they don’t understand the problem we have  — or problems–i.e., not enough  police to cover all the lawlessness; most of which has caused the early relesae of the so-called lesser crimes.  Also, we have one of the lowest real estate taxes in the state probably.  Unfortunately, we  have what we have unless, somehow, that changes.  Knowing what I have observed over the years, that won;’t change.  Recalling the  people on our City Council is not the answer.  I don’t know what is the answer; it is very complex.  We just have the put a blame somewhere.  I just think California, in general, is going “downhill”.  We are paying a very large number of dollars for “illegal” aliens, but, wow, don’t go there.  I thank you for your editorial.  I wish everyone could read it.  Put it in the Record-Searchlight?  I haven’t much confidence in the RS.

  14. Sharon Smedley says:

    Please understand Take Back Redding is a group of individuals, we are not all of the same thought and mindset. We do agree on a lot of what is going on both positive and negative in our community. We choose to actually try to make things better by voicing our opinions, showing support when needed and showing up to help our community when needed via different avenues such as our Heroin Not in Our Town rally, helping families that are devastated by addictions find solutions by offering resources for affordable recovery for their family members, Shasta Support Services cleaning up the homeless camps, helping with community beautification programs, volunteering when needed for searches, helping find stolen cars, lost kids and yes showing up as concerned citizens when we hope we can at least be heard. As far as Chief Paoletti, I personally do not speak for the entire group but I believe most of us are sad to see this happen. Chief Paoletti is an amazing communicator, full of energy, common sense and an ability to work with the people as well as the government. His loss will be huge to the community, but obviously that does not matter to our City Council as they do not listen, rarely hear and never respond. I feel we are part of the solution, that slogan was used not as a mantra, but to inspire those on board to not complain, but to get out and help make a difference. I see that as a positive motivator not negative, but some see the glass as half full others are dying of thirst. We are not angry people that hate the government we are citizens that are involved in many activities, clubs, organizations, businesses and professions. Our common thread is, We Love Redding/Shasta County and want to make it better!

  15. Common Sense says:

    You will Get…..What you Put up With….There’s a big difference between complaining….and being Proactive and Doing something that will effect a change!

    Great Article R.V!

    A sales tax increase would bring in approx $1.1 M a year ( with no additional jobs created) …..a Cannabis Tax would bring in a MIN of $2M…First year ( with approx 100-150 jobs created first year?) …..What’s in your wallet?

    Julie Winter was sent a proposal right before she was sworn in…..showing how many million this could bring into our city…..thus far….it’s either in her Spam Folder…..and if it is….NOW would be a GREAT time to look at it and SHARE it and become a Hero in this we have “NO MONEY” Fiasco…..or….she could play Jeff Sessions….and say the famous lines of …..I Don’t seem to Recall that…..

  16. Dan says:

    RV, I follow and enjoy most of your work. Your above piece is an opinion story (I respect everyone’s right to one) that I don’t feel you researched as well as past pieces. The group was formed AFTER very well-publicised stories in the NATIONAL press about Redding’s high per capita crime rate. One recent issue with the “Take back Redding” Facebook group (about 6,700 locals), is that the Counties’ unresolved issues have touched a raw nerve with voters and over 3,000 incensed newcomers have joined the group recently. The original links and discussions that dealt with time-tested solutions that have worked well in other communities are buried. The administrators (who all have full-time jobs except for me- who JUST retired.) can’t possibly correct every unresearched comment or rant, so it would be disingenuous in my opinion to cherry pick FB comments as a group “position”.  The page was never meant to be a lock-step public statement of position anyway. I look at it as a private (closed page) brainstorming site where ideas can be floated..laughed at..adjusted..or accepted. Most of the real in the ditches work is done by phone and in person. The recall is just ONE avenue being pursued. Members have also actively participated in meeting with, writing and emailing public officials (local, state and Federal), writing irresponsible landlords, doing community clean-ups, homeless outreach, public meetings with local officials, neighborhood watch and Guardian Angels. The Recall was only undertaken after certain City Council members continued to ignore citizens and well-publicized Crime and economic issues damaging the City. 

    • R.V. Scheide Jr. says:

      I’ve been following  Take Back Redding group since it formed, but I really started following it the past several months, as things have been heating up. Between there and New Redding Crime, it’s been very entertaining. I researched the members of the group who spoke at the city council, I know people have been involved in various activities, but I didn’t want to single any one person out. Rather I hoped to show it’s a politically diverse group of people that should be taken seriously.

      Quite honestly, I don’t know what to make of the Guardian Angels thing. Has the crime rate gone down?

  17. Frank Treadway says:

    How come when I have an issue with anything in Downtown Redding, or on the East side, I get results ? What is it that I do that you all don’t do and yet you come up with the most inane reasoning for recalling 2 City Council members.  You should have taken them all on, clean house while you’re at it.  Last week I saw 5 dead trees within the RABA Bus Station, I went home and called the department head and it’s done, they’re on their way turned into pulp. I see trash on Placer & California Sts. I call the streets dept. and it’s picked up in minutes. So, don’t tell me you as an individual can’t make our City work.  Admit it, you just don’t want to put your finger to the phone, make that call; because you’d rather go to council meetings and share your ego to the world at large.  You just want to give a high five and go home and brag about how you really told those council members off and where to go. I think you should run that lady at the  last council meeting sitting in the back, who said, “Shoot um”, that’s the kind of citizen you want on the council.

    • Common Sense says:

      Frank…..perhaps you can make the call to all the City Council members then and and ask them to allow Prop 64 Businesses in Redding so we can take in that $3 Million a year in tax revenues and keep some fire fighters and hire more Police Officers and Pay for the Unfunded Liabilities that are coming up?

      The don’t seem to respond to anything I have tried to do!….. In fact…..not sharing a proposal that laid this all out with her fellow City Council Members should be reason enough to see that we are dealing with closed minded folks down there that would rather let the city Slide Further down the Rabbit Hole than open up their minds and allow Millions to come into the City from the Taxes!

      Heck…maybe even fix the Pot holes all over the Redding Streets!

      There’s a cost to always Saying NO to everything Presented that you don’t like!…in this case…MILLIONS!

  18. Doug Christian says:

    Well as much as I agree with most of what’s been written, I too believe the State laws are to blame for most of our current criminals on the streets issue. However I also feel the county had been notified in advance this was coming and they refused to take it serious enough to expand our current county jail stating they could build it but not sustain it. That is a risk worth taking knowing what crime would come. Developing a plan that would gain community support to sustain a expanding of our jail was the county supervisors job. It’s not going to be free to do this but every business project starts with some risk but a plan is written and modified as needed to support sustainability as well as profitability. Thinking outside the box here is what was needed and is needed today. Until we take on this responsibility the state dumped on us we’re not going to succeed in reducing crime and rehabilitation for those incarcerated. To do anything less is a fail.

    • R.V. Scheide says:

      Yep.

    • Steve Towers Steve Towers says:

      I thought the plan was fairly well articulated.  It’s a plan with multiple facets that includes more LE, more incarceration space, a sobering center, a methadone program, housing transition, and more.  It was also well articulated that we needed funding to make the plan happen.  Redding voters rejected providing more funding.  Without funding, most of the plan is DOA.

      People, including myself, have placed much the blame on the local aversion to tax hikes of any kind.  We’ve recently attempted to pass measures for earmarked public safety revenues (requiring 67% approval) and a general fund enhancer paired with an advisory measure (requiring 50% approval).  Both strategies failed at the ballot box, bigly.

      I think it’s more than just an aversion to higher taxes, though.  I believe it’s also an aversion to any kind of plan that’s not limited to punishment (jail time and hazing).  It’s an aversion to helping, regardless of whether helping is a necessary part of the solution.  There’s an inherent self-righteousness and meanness involved.

  19. Richard Christoph says:

    Steve Towers:

    Due to a refusal to join Facebook, I do not comment on R-S stories or other comments of that site. But because your postings are consistently intelligent, thoughtful, and fact-based, I would like to address those you made on the following article:

    http://www.redding.com/story/news/2017/06/13/police-chief-poaletti-fired/391337001/

    Your first criticism of the Chief was that he lacked vision. I believe that his comprehensive and detailed Strategic Plan exhibits that he possessed abundant vision but lacked the means to implement those clearly delineated ideas and plans which would have had a very positive effect on public safety. You will see from the link below that potential funding from passage of  Measure D would have been allocated precisely and efficiently:

    http://www.cityofredding.org/home/showdocument?id=10048

    Your contention that he was always asking for more money is true, but please consider that his predecessor, Peter Hansen, retired precisely because of the cuts to RPD’s funding/staffing, and that prior chiefs, including the one for whom the new RPD headquarters is named, enjoyed staffing levels 25-33% above what Chief P.  inherited. Considering Redding’s increase in population and thousands more calls for service annually, the Chief accomplished more than could reasonably have been expected with the woefully inadequate resources available.

    Your second criticism was regarding lack of implementation of body cameras. It is no secret that while some cops are in favor of them, others are not, and any changes in work environment require union approval. Additionally, there is no funding for a full-time digital records technician to manage and maintain the high volume of data that would be legally required by the justice system. And please note that is was the city council, not the Chief, who voted at the council’s priority- setting budget workshop in Feb. 2017,  to divert the funds earmarked for body cams to other areas.

    The comments made by the new city manager regarding what he is looking for in a new Chief include

    ” Changes in state laws have created challenges in the criminal justice system” which require “new ideas and fresh ideas, that are necessary to move us forward with our limited resources,” “change in direction,” and ” humble, team player with emotional intelligence, who will go the extra mile.”  I contend that Chief Paoletti remains the best individual to deal with those challenges, and possesses the requisite personal qualities now being sought in his successor.

    Taking into account the way Chief Paoletti has been treated and terminated, good luck finding a suitable replacement.

     

     

     

    • K. Beck says:

      100% agreement here. No one can do the best job without financial resources (to those who compare Redding to “other cities” please understand “other cities” have many businesses providing income to those cities through TAXES, a dirty word in Redding). We will never know the politics behind the termination (which is what this was) of Chief Paoletti, but certainly there was some back room politics going on there. Perhaps City Manager Barry Tippin (less than one week on the job!…perhaps not the best choice?) thinks he can hire someone else for less money? Perhaps the people “managing” the City of Redding, who can’t seem to make anything work, need to all either take a drastic cut in pay or be replaced, too?

      I would like to see a publicly placed copy of the city budget so we all know exactly where the money comes from and where it goes. How about here on A News Cafe and in the RS?

      And, people of Shasta Co.: Please learn how things work and pay attention to what is happening. I have heard people say Chief Paoletti should have been fired when “he took that money from Bethel.” Correction: The City Council agreed to take the money from Bethel, NOT the police chief.

      Someone recently complained that Bethel “owns” the Civic Auditorium. NO, THEY DO NOT.

      To the people complaining about the body cameras: would you rather have body cameras or officers on the streets?

      How about, when you want to start pointing fingers at this person and that person because Redding is a mess, you first look at yourself in the mirror. No one can make meaningful change when they have no idea about how things work and what has actually been done.

    • Steve Towers Steve Towers says:

      Richard, I concede that I’m not intimately familiar with Chief Paoletti’s strategies, and that his may have been an impossible position.  I was reacting mainly to his reported rejection of the consultant’s report finding that he could do more with what he already has by adjusting his department’s scheduling.  I am also reacting to my own observations of how RPD operates downtown.  In my opinion (and the opinions of others downtown), there is far too much cruising around in circles and not enough direct engagement with bottom-feeders at street level.  I’m not in favor of hazing the homeless, but when I see someone in a parking lot going from car to car, looking inside, and I see a RPD cruiser go by slowly, the cop eyeballs the guy, and keeps on going, something is wrong.

      I’m not backing down on body cameras.  I don’t care whether cops are in favor of them or not—that some are not just makes me think all the more that they should be required.  I think the City should make them a priority.  In the event of a lawsuit, they protect the City if the cops were acting as they should, which saves money.  In the event that the cops were way out of line, it prevents the City from hiding that fact and the cops can be held accountable.  I don’t see the downside, unless you’re the type of police department that doesn’t want to be subject to any kind of scrutiny, and doesn’t favor accountability.

       

      • K. Beck says:

        Thanks. I will have a look at it. That is hardly a “public” posting, given the lack of personal computers here in Redding, but better than nothing, I guess.

      • K. Beck says:

        Was the “consultant” a former police officer, or Chief? Doing the job is different than sitting in a chair somewhere and looking at data.

        Did you call the PD and recommend they get out of the car and talk to that person, or persons? People rarely do what you want them to do if you never tell them what you expect.

        As I said earlier, my guess is the body cameras lacked funding, which seems to be the major problem with everything in Redding.

        My post, above this one, was supposed to go with your post of the link to the city’s budge page. I put it in the wrong spot!

      • Richard Christoph says:

        Steve,

        Your points are well  taken and I concur fully regarding the body cam issue, and on a prior ride- along with an RPD officer he told me that he had worn a camera in his previous department and would be happy to do so again, as would I if I were LE.  My point was that the union had to first approve the change in working conditions, cameras and vendors had to be assessed, a pilot program initiated, and then a mechanism for preserving the huge amount of data which the cameras would generate.  But then the funds were diverted by the city council.

        As for the findings of the Matrix Blueprint, it is difficult to imagine that when a department has sustained staffing reduction from 119 to 98 sworn officers, and a decrease in CSOs from 18 to 4, a mere rescheduling of available personnel is sufficient to solve the problem. IMO, that dog won’t hunt.

        As for your observations of RPD downtown, you are a credible witness and there is no reason to doubt your experience. We also live downtown, but have found RPD to be quite responsive and pro-active,  assuming they are not responding to other calls. Frankly, Chief was a huge proponent of neighborhood policing and had the Measure D revenue come to fruition, would have implemented far more than just the excellent and effective NPU.

         

  20. Marc Dadigan says:

    Serious question RV – on what data do you base the assertion the rise in property crime is solely related to re-alignment?

    I’m sure it’s a factor, but it seems like there are a lot of other factors including the lack of affordable housing, the lack of investment in supportive services as well as the opioid epidemic.

    While I don’t know if anyone has seriously studied at Shasta County, I know other criminologists have found property crime rates started spiking prior to re-alignment in many other California communities.

    • R.V. Scheide says:

      Stanford University’s law school has done excellent research on the topic and I have reported in detail about it in previous anewscafe.com stories.

  21. cheyenne says:

    On this so called blue supports the red theory.  July 12 Wyoming will offer 240 parcels for oil/gas lease auction.  This is public land, above ground and below ground, that the federal government has entrusted to the state to administer and share the taxes which will go to Wyoming’s K-12 school system as well as 24 other groups.  That oil/gas will go out of state and so will most of the profit.  The pollution from that gas/oil extraction will stay in Wyoming.

    Technically all these public lands belong to the people but because most of those people are absentee owners somebody has to administer the use of those lands.  While you may find San Francisco is a major tax payer per capita separate the Tenderloin from Pacific Heights and see how the demographics change.  I faced this all the time when I would prepare the sports fields in Redding for games and a few would want to use the prepped field for practice.  I would tell them no and they would counter with their taxes paid for the field.  This was true but somebody had to administer those fields or the public would tear up their own field.  I was the administer and some were not happy.

    When a group like the Bundys take over a public land the absentee owners come out of the woodwork protesting.  But who cleans up the mess, not the owners, it is the locals.  If the fifth largest consumer economy in the world wants the energy to run that economy then they are going to pay for it.  Call it a subsidy or what ever you want but you’re not getting it free.

  22. George Koen says:

    So, let’s raise the dead horse(s).

    Redding/Shasta county live in an isolationist bubble. We think we are special by virtue of us harping on our high crime rate. Well folks, we are not alone. Accept that!

    We feel victimised by Sacramento. Why? Because Brown is a democrat or because we truly are victims? Maybe we need to whip our representatives into shape instead of whining. (The squeeky wheel right).

    What happens if R&R are successful in recalling Schreder for example? Who do they put in her place? She is one member that has a sense of communal equality. She has appealed to morality in her efforts regarding the homeless challenges we face. (BTW, I live in my car). Is R&R so vehemently biased toward the indigent that anyone but Schreder will do?

    Let’s continue to assume all homeless people are criminals or at the least, criminally inclined and treat them accordingly. Afterall, we need scapegoats right? And oh do the homeless look very much like goats. We are such easy targets folks.

    Yes, Redding is covertly governed by the good old boys club with the accompanying 1950’s archaic principles and it is indeed time to change that.

    I end with these thoughts. Is there such a thing as new leadership in a county where political nepotism has ruled for decades? Rather than go after an individual, go after the political status quo. Rather than trim the branches, uproot the tree and plant a new one.

    There are many divides that need to be bridged. We cannot afford to stand in awe of those in ‘power’. We also cannot afford to to be vigilantes. What we can and must afford is to speak with one another and not at one another.

    Philosophically we all possess equal intrinsic value. As a matter of pragmatic outworking, we do the latter via the motivation to change self before we attempt to change others/systems.

    The latter is possible Shasta County.

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