Category Archives: Letters to the Editor

Telling it to the ER

In another move that appears to support our theory that the Chico Enterprise-Record is guzzling Nakamura’s kool-aid, the editor seems to have begun selectively queuing up those pesky little Letters to the Editor according to whether or not they fit his agenda. We thought any letter submitted that conformed to the ER’s 250-word limit and included all of the writer’s personal identification for authentication would be included in the queue and published in the order received. Apparently that is not the case.

Now, I know the death of the “Tell it to the ER” column probably resulted in an increased number of letters; however, if their publishing queue operates in a manner such that all submitted letters are treated fairly, it would operate as a ‘first in, first out” queue.

Just what am I blathering about, you ask? While I was thrilled to see Mary’s recent letter to the editor published yesterday, that served as my notification that a letter I had submitted 10 days prior to Mary’s would not be published.

I wonder why the ER would not want to publish my response to the recent editorial entitled “An unfortunate sign of the times.” Could it be I hit a nerve by calling out what I suspect is a lack of interest in investigative reporting?

Here is the letter I submitted for publication:

In response to the recent editorial, “An unfortunate sign of the times,” while I would like to respond to your statement that “former employees…don’t like this sudden rush of fiscal oversight [and] have stirred some hostile feelings,” I feel like I have become a broken record; telling you over and over again to stop making assumptions.

So, what I will discuss instead is the statement that “Nakamura…has been accosted in public and his car has been vandalized.”

As a City of Chico employee, my first introduction to Nakamura was when he and his wife attended a second floor staff meeting. Having him introduce himself and then commence a banter with his wife was uncomfortable, as though a skit was being performed for staff, but it was a learning opportunity as well. What did I learn, you ask? Why, I learned that in Hemet, both Nakamura’s and his wife’s car were broken into and vandalized. He also mentioned his son’s car being keyed. His wife told of drivers running him off the road while he was riding his bike, and about the overall general threats he apparently received on a regular basis. None of this seemed to bother the Nakamuras, as the tales were told with a hefty dose of laughter.

So, do these problems follow him from city to city? Has anything even occurred in Chico or is he just retelling old stories to rile people up? This just does not sound like the Chico I know and love.

We are interested in your thoughts about whether or not the Chico Enterprise-Record has been dealing fairly with both sides of the story about the goings-on at the City over the past year. It seems to us they have planted themselves firmly in Nakamura’s corner, cheering him on with no concern for the issues we have raised.

We thank you for your continued readership.

Remember: Truth Matters, Chico!


The Price of Integrity

Today’s Chico Enterprise-Record ran a letter to the editor from Stephanie Taber, in which she attempts to assault our credibility by revealing our salary/benefit packages (public information already provided by the City to the ER annually); pointing to some information about tuition reimbursement (to which she must have been directed by City officials, since Alicia graduated 10 years ago); incorrectly identifying flex schedules as some sort of additional benefit; accusing us of remaining silent while we were “on the gravy train”; and directly attacking our personal integrity.

We generally ignore Ms. Taber, since she has always been highly selective in calling out who was right or wrong, depending on her personal or political agenda. For example, I haven’t read in any of her outbursts that she is currently employed by Butte County Supervisor Larry Wahl, who voted in favor of the now infamous union agreements that linked annual cost of living salary changes to revenue increases but not decreases. An inconvenient truth, perhaps.

Anyway, we thought today’s letter deserved a short and sweet response. Here is what I submitted to the ER editor earlier today:

Former-watchdog-turned-lapdog Stephanie Taber’s recent letter, “Where was this fiscal concern earlier?” contains a number of flawed conclusions drawn from a slanted perspective that my colleagues and I surmise is being fed to her by City officials. We generally avoid responding to her, since in the larger picture her opinions are inconsequential; however, this round of mud-slinging deserves a factual response.

Fact: Tuition reimbursement has been available for at least 15 years [actually, since 1976: AP&P_15-5] to all City employees who choose to further their education in a field of study deemed beneficial to the City. It has never been a benefit available only to a select few.

Fact: Flex schedules require employees either to work a full 40-hour week or use accrued leave time for pursuing their education. Ms. Taber’s assertion that the flex schedule is an additional benefit is absurd.

Fact: Ms. Taber’s conclusion that we three did nothing and said nothing about the City’s fiscal situation is false. In addition to having spoken out to the prior City Manager, we revealed the entire history to Nakamura over the first few months after he was hired. I personally received an email from him in October [2012] thanking me for my full explanation of the issues surrounding the Private Development Fund and agreeing with me that it should be daylighted.

Ms. Taber should examine the price of her own integrity before she questions anyone else’s. Shame on her.

Remember: Truth Matters, Chico!

September 29 Letter to the Editor

For those of you who do not subscribe to the Chico Enterprise-Record, we wanted to share Quené’s most recent letter to the editor, which was published today:

Letter: Council knew what was happening

Chico Enterprise-Record
Posted: 09/29/2013 12:32:47 AM PDT

In response to the recent editorial, “Has Chico been cooking books?,” this paper continues to presume to have knowledge of former employees’ perspectives on past practices, and the three of us who have created wonder why we have not been contacted to confirm those assumptions. The fact is, we all agree that the city of Chico is in a financial mess. Collectively, we believe it has been in a mess for quite some time.

The gripe is not with the spending cuts. Rather, it is with the continuing stream of inaccurate information being put forth in public meetings and the media, and the shady methods with which the cuts are being made. The city has been overspending for years and the cuts should have been made long before Brian Nakamura swept into town. However, city staff works at the direction of the council, and for members of council to assert that staff was making choices without the council’s knowledge and support is disingenuous at best and downright deceitful at worst.

City Council has always had the power to have made spending cuts and staffing reductions that could have helped prevent the troubling financial times Chico finds itself in now.

The City Council works for the members of this wonderful community, and it is about time the citizens start giving them some marching orders.

— Quené Hansen, Chico

As always, we thank you for your continued readership and welcome your comments and questions.

Remember: Truth Matters, Chico!

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