Letter From the Editor

Let’s talk about Ann Schwab. For those of you who don’t know, she’s been on the city council for a long time, she’s popular with the progressives, she’s been the Mayor a couple of times, and she’s also been boning out of the city council meetings a lot lately. Ann has been recusing herself from meetings that involve votes about downtown Chico and the homeless (specifically the sit/lie ordinance), the Farmers’ Market, and anything to do with Bidwell Park. Owning property near the park and owning a business downtown apparently present multiple conflicts of interest.

I’ve been told a couple of different stories about why this confusing constant recusing is taking place. One person says that the City Attorney calls her and warns her about the conflict of interest ahead of time. I called the City Attorney’s office and City Attorney Lori Barker confirmed that she does not alert Ann ahead of time about a conflict of interest. Ann, being a veteran council member, acts independently, letting experience dictate her departures. I’ve also heard a theory that Schwab is planning to run for Supervisor, and is trying to keep her nose neutral and clean. But somebody else said that wasn’t going to happen because Maureen Kirk decided to run again this year. Conspiracy theories! They’re fun.

Anyway, my point is that a lot of times, Ann Schwab is unable to do the job that she was elected to do. How can she govern our town if she’s sitting at home with a martini, watching the action on public access? I mean, I sit at home watching the council meetings with a martini and you see how effective I am at governing the town. I live-tweet my heart out about those meetings and I’ve only got 78 twitter followers. I’m the hardest workin’ tweeter in town that nobody ever reads. Ann Schwab on the other hand, was elected by a landslide and she’s probably not even watching her own council meetings half the time.

Now whether or not Ann is doing her due diligence by recusing herself isn’t really the question. We all have a vested interest in seeing Chico thrive and survive. We are all business owners, landowners, and lessees. The city councilmembers are elected to represent their constituents, and to make decisions based upon their personal sector experience. If they’re recusing themselves from meetings based upon their geographical proximity to a problem, then who are they actually representing?

Sara makes the words happen.