Chico mayor Scott Gruendl fired back Tuesday after months of complaints and criticism from a number of activist-citizens and disgruntled former city employees. Gruendl held a press conference outside the City Council Chambers to discuss those concerns. The people behind the website "savechiconow.org, for example, have been particularly relentless in criticizing city manager Brian Nakamura, as well as elected officials.
Gruendl says the harsh attacks delivered online, and at the City Council Chambers podium may be constitutionally protected speech but that some people intentionally cause more harm than good. He points to a recent barrage of requests for city council meeting minutes, requests that tax the precious time of city workers in an attempt to paralyze the city. Gruendl called for more civility and meaningful discussion of concerns and accused the harsh critics of causing physical and emotional harm.
One of those critics is Jessica Allen who is part of a group petitioning for city council minutes. She told Action News Now Tuesday night the mayor's words could have the effect of stifling free speech, by lumping, into one group, various factions of critics, including those who have threatened the safety of city leaders.