Democrats issue call for special Council election

David Welch, speaking for the Butte County Democratic Party, today called for a special election to replace two former Chico City councilors: Scott Huber and Kami Denlay.

The Democrats say the council election should be combined with the “attempted recall of the governor.” See our story “Chico in turmoil” for more information on the town’s political drama and homelessness crisis — photo and reporting by Karen Laslo.

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Chico in turmoil with shrinking City Council Councilor Kami Denlay resigns

photo by Karen Laslo
Councilor Kami Denlay resigned June 27.

by Leslie Layton

This is what a political crisis looks like: Two City Council resignations in seven days. A barely-used emergency shelter for homeless residents that was erected by the city on a remote lot. Social media threads where commenters use terms like “trench warfare” to describe local politics.

The second City Council resignation came June 27 when first-term Councilor Kami Denlay announced she was stepping down — only seven days after her colleague, Scott Huber, had resigned. That leaves two vacancies on the seven-member panel – an unprecedented event, at least in recent decades. read more

Councilor Scott Huber resigns; fears for family Conservative PAC responds to social media attack on Huber

by Leslie Layton

Councilor Scott Huber has stepped down from the Chico City Council after being subjected to attacks on social media and giving up a temporary summer job out of state.

“…given the tone and content of online discussions I genuinely fear for my family’s well-being. For all of these reasons I resign my Council seat, effective immediately,” Huber says in the June 21 letter.

“It is with regrets and sadness that I submit my resignation from the Chico City Council. Regrets that the community I love and only hoped to serve has become toxic for me, sadness that as hard as I tried modeling civil discourse and respectful treatment of people from the dais, I have clearly failed at changing anyone.” read more

Heavy equipment used to remove belongings in Bidwell Park As campers are pressed to move, protesters ask where they'll go

photo by Karen Laslo
Loading up belongings for removal.

A bulldozer arrived early today in lower Bidwell Park when city employees, accompanied by Chico Police Department Target Team members, began clearing what Councilor Scott Huber said was “abandoned personal property” at the horseshoe pits encampment.

The action follows a vote by the new conservative majority on the Council to enforce a ban on camping in the park. Huber stood with about 60 protesters who, with signs, banners and conversation, pointed out that the homeless living in the park have nowhere to go. read more

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.

All seven council members were asked to answer three questions via email and given a week to do so. ChicoSol received responses from five councilors – Sean Morgan, Scott Huber, Alex Brown, Ann Schwab and Randall Stone. Karl Ory and Kasey Reynolds did not respond. 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.

Most of us arrived shortly after 5 p.m., and their protest — an effort to influence the Council on issues related to homelessness and needle distribution — was well underway. There were throngs of people in highlighter-yellow shirts on the Main Street side of city hall. They had bullhorns, whistles, and a flatbed semi-truck sporting the slogan “save our town.” There was also a large Trump 2020 flag being flown, and several in the group wore MAGA hats or other Trump regalia. read more