Chico City Council Quiz

Hello my fellow Chico-Americans! For the first time in the history of the Synthesis, we held a City Council Candidate Forum in our hallowed halls.  Nine of eleven candidates showed up to answer the tough questions while allowing their answers to be filmed.  Bob Evans and Lisa Duarte were the only absent contenders.

All the action will be posted later this week on our Life in Chico Facebook page.  In the meantime, maybe you’re thinking, “City Council stuff is totally boring! Who cares? I’m skipping it and writing in “Beavis & Butthead” just like I’ve done for the past 20 years. Local politics is pointless.”  Oh no, my fellow Chico-American, local politics are more important than ever.  With a nation polarized by the two party system, congressional gridlock and the blamestream media filtering everything through giant piles of cash, and a state hell-bent on looting city coffers, local politics has become the most effective way to ensure that your voice is heard when it comes to your everyday quality of life.  These public servants are your direct connection to the town you live in, the town you love, and the town you want to see thrive.  “Alright,” you say, “I’m on board, but who should I vote for? I don’t even know who these people are, should I just vote for the guy with the coolest sign? Should I vote for the guy who says he’s my Uncle?  Should I vote for the same person my neighbor/parents/friends vote for?”  No, no and no!  Just take the quiz below, circle the answers that speak to you, and then check out your results on page 17 to find out just who you should receive your vote in the November election.  Who’s going to be your new PFF? The answers in the quiz are direct quotes from city council candidates; to hear more from those candidates be sure to check out our Life in Chico Facebook page (www.facebook.com/chicoca) and let us know what you think!

Question #1

Everyone agrees that the City of Chico needs finance reform. What are your realistic revenue generation ideas? How will you be more effective than the current council at increasing our fiscal solvency?

  1. I know for the past decade or so that council has become complacent, in fact lazy. I think it’s important for Chico to be known as business friendly. And instead of losing stores like Marshall’s to Oroville, that just happened, losing stores like Super Wal-Mart to Paradise, which just happened, and losing a boon to our economy which would have been SportJet…we lost out to Texas because we wouldn’t offer any incentives whatsoever and that’s just wrong. Waving property taxes, waving environmental impact fees, permit streamlining, those types of things…
  2. In the city we have duplicated services in a lot of areas. We can privatize quite a bit, well I wouldn’t say quite a bit, but at least look into it.
  3. We need to get better, and the way we can do that is through priority-based budgeting, having community-wide discussions on what our priorities are as a community and we do that together.
  4. I think we also need to focus on tourism and the world-class recreational opportunities that we have here. We have Bidwell Park, we have Sierra Nevada which is a great example of a sustainable business.

Question #2

How can we make the Airport a more viable resource?

  1. I think the answer the people are looking for…is subsidizing flights in and out of Chico. Which is unreasonable, we can’t afford it now; it’s of questionable value if we could. The airport itself is a fantastic location for business, so what can the city do about it? As long as they’re not spewing toxic waste into the environment, roll out the red carpet and let these people come.
  2. I’ve heard numerous complaints about the fixed base operator. I know quite a few pilots and companies that exist and had lots of problems with the fixed base operator, lots of complaints…
  3. The biggest thing that the airport has… it’s called a Foreign Trade Zone. So if we push that as a place for people to come and reassemble, to make things, use that tax break through the state, that would be a good start.
  4. Maybe instead of looking at the airport right now, which actually doesn’t look like a viable option, maybe we could be looking at different rail options and other ways of bringing people in and out of town.

Question #3

Candidates make promises when running for office all the time. What one promise can you make, with absolute certainty, that you will keep?

  1. I will not appoint any person who contributed any money to any candidate to any board or commission. I don’t want to have any perception of favoritism or cronyism.
  2. I absolutely promise my protection to the Greenline, that no matter what, I will always preserve that Greenline. Future development at the foothills; I will automatically oppose that.
  3. All I can guarantee is my work ethic and that my responsibilities will be adhered to. Dedication, responsible behavior, I will work hard, I promise I will do everything I can to reform pensions in this community.
  4. I’ll be a champion of businesses here.

Question #4

Would you support incentivizing, via a rent subsidy grant program, property owners with unoccupied commercial space to offer budding entrepreneurs, community groups or pop-up shops, space at a low or no cost for the purpose of new business creation?

  1. I’d support looking at any business incentive program.
  2. Yes. Yes. Yes. And the reason is, jobs, jobs jobs.
  3. I am against taking tax dollars, from people that pay taxes in the form of a rent subsidy. That should be up to the landlord. I don’t think it’s right to take tax dollars…it’s redistribution of wealth.We’re starting them off with a disadvantage so to speak, by not allowing them to make their own way.
  4. Google, Apple and Build.com didn’t need taxpayer subsidies to launch.

Question #5

In this highly polarized political climate, a city councilperson is elected to be a non-partisan public servant. As a progressive or conservative, how will you serve the opposite political constituency?

  1. No matter what the issue is, I think we can find common ground when the goal is, what is the best solution for the city of Chico. The real issue is, what is good for Chico.
  2. I think the voters that are going to elect me are going to want me to stick by my principles and those principles will influence my decision.
  3. I’m proud to have the support of a broad cross-section of liberals and conservatives. At the end of the day, there are 7 people on the dais we work hard for the people and the city of Chico.
  4. We are here to represent the city of Chico, our citizens. I want to make sure that it’s a safe, beautiful community. No, it’s not a partisan position at all, and that’s the way we need to look at it. We’re here to represent the city of Chico and our citizens.

Now that you’ve taken the quiz, remember that city council candidates are expected to be non-partisan.  So regardless of whether or not you’re a card carrying Tea Party member, you’re still donating to Ron Paul’s campaign, you heart the plastic bag ban, or you think it’s totally acceptable to put a diarrhea dog on top of your car; your local government should represent you either way.  Now, go find out the exciting results of your PopQuiz, then enter the polls a more informed, and proud, voting citizen.  You’re welcome.

City Council Candidate PopQuiz Results!

Question 1

  1. Toby Schindelbeck
  2. Dave Donnan
  3. Ann Schwab
  4. Tami Ritter

Question 2

  1. Sean Morgan
  2. Dave Donnan
  3. Dave Kelley
  4. Tami Ritter

Question 3

  1. Dave Kelley
  2. Kimberly Rudisill
  3. Randall Stone
  4. Andrew Coolidge

Question 4

  1. Andrew Coolidge
  2. Randall Stone
  3. Toby Schindelbeck
  4. Sean Morgan

Question 5

  1. Ann Schwab
  2. Toby Schindelbeck
  3. Randall Stone
  4. Kimberly Rudisill

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