What do Chico councilors seek in new top cop? Q&A on priorities, Floyd killing fallout, community policing

photo by Leslie Layton

Mayor Ann Schwab

by Dave Waddell

In Chico’s way of government, the city manager selects the chief of police. Since the city manager, Mark Orme, takes his marching orders from the City Council, ChicoSol thought community members would like to hear from council members about their priorities for the selection of Mike O’Brien’s successor.

O’Brien retired last week after five years as chief. His deputy, Matt Madden, is serving as interim chief. read more

City Hall rally for public safety creates danger A tense confrontation is diffused

photo by Morgan Kennedy
A Trump flag was flown at the so-called public safety demonstration in front of city hall Tuesday.

by Morgan Kennedy
guest commentary

“Chico First,” “One Chico,” “Safe Chico,” or whatever this group is choosing to call itself this week had a protest in front of city hall on Tuesday.

As a response to a recent escalation in the aggressive language members or supporters of the groups use on social media, some Chicoans – myself included — decided to hold a counter demonstration prior to the City Council meeting. read more

City re-examines police advisory board Some want more transparency from Chico PD

photo by Leslie Layton
Chico Police Chief Michael O’Brien is retiring in June.

by Leslie Layton and Dave Waddell

Item 5.5 on tonight’s City Council agenda could easily be overlooked given other hot-button topics competing for attention. But it could be instrumental in shaping police-community relations.

Mayor Randall Stone has agendized a discussion on the Police Community Advisory Board (PCAB), a nine-member panel, in a bid to press for more transparency from Chico Police Department. [Editor’s note: Stone tabled the discussion at the Feb. 18 meeting until a replacement for the retiring chief is appointed.] read more

Chico commits to a fossil-free future Council declares climate emergency as storm rages

photo by Karen Laslo
Alma Miranda

by Leslie Layton

Pounding hail, bolts of lightning and tornado alarms drowned out plaintive voices of the shyest of the teens who spoke before the Chico City Council Tuesday night.

To many in the chamber, nature had also spoken in a thundering, biblical voice.

To others, of course, the racket was produced by a mere flash flood.

As rain water filled the streets of Chico, trapping a few vehicle passengers and flooding some homes and businesses, the City Council voted 5-1 to pass a resolution declaring a climate emergency. It commits the city to act on climate change and prepare for extreme weather events. read more

Let’s embrace responsibility and help the unhoused Individual stories eclipse overused term ‘criminal vagrant’

photo by Karen Laslo

Chico City Councilmember Scott Huber.

by Scott Huber

After recent experiences, I’m compelled to present a counter-narrative to those who have spoken out against a “Code Blue” cold-weather shelter (and other sheltering ideas).

At the Feb. 5 Chico City Council meeting, a minority of speakers expressed their reasons for opposing a city-sponsored cold-weather shelter. Their reasons included (paraphrased) “sheltering these people is not Chico’s responsibility, it is the responsibility of Butte County or the non-profits.” Others asserted that because this form of shelter would be open to anyone it would allow for “drug addicts, criminals and sexual predators” (again paraphrased). read more