Chico Mayor to Respond to Criticism of City Leadership

Sep 3, 2013 3:04 PM

Mayor Scott Gruendl will be holding a press conference today at 5:30 p.m. outside the council chamber entrance prior to tonight’s council meeting in order to respond to scrutiny faced by the city’s leadership.

In a press release sent out this afternoon, Gruendl stated “Chico faces extraordinary times and our success lies in the strength of our citizens. Seeking truth and civic involvement are critical, yet some utilize protections of democracy in a selfish and counter-productive way.”

The embattled city council has faced scrutiny from the public in managing the city’s deficit. In June, the council passed a budget totaling in $4.8 million in cuts. The cuts resulted in a $2 million reduction in the Chico Police Department’s funding, the “closure” of Chico Fire Station 3 at the Chico Airport, a reduction in park hours until aid from community donations, layoffs of city employees, and other cuts in services. Chico’s former Mayor, Mary Goloff, stepped down from her position last month citing health reasons.

Gruendl believes that some members of the public, while appearing to appropriately use a powerful democratic tool of democracy, may actually have harmful intent.

“My intent is not to limit the voice of our community or access to government,” stated Gruendl. “But when these sacred instruments appear to be used as tools of abuse, my oath of office requires action. Some have grievances due to the separation from city employment and others falsely believe that the city’s financial calamity was caused by the very people hired to fix it. The truth is that this administration has taken action that no predecessor would and the total salary cost is significantly less than past executives whose failures resulted in the extraordinary difficult times we experience today.”

The mayor wanted to make clear that speech is a protected freedom, but when speech is used to “bring physical or emotional harm,” it is an abuse of that freedom’s sanctity.

Action News Now will be live at the press conference this afternoon.


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