Hope you all had a wonderful Thanksgiving with your family and friends. Mr. Standish and I have been home alone together – for a variety of reasons, not the least of which is how little time we spend together on the reg. It was like a date.
On Thursday morning, we learned of the passing of our dear friend and comrade, environmental warrior Chico, Kelly Meagher. Kelly was a house painter who lost both of his forearms in 1979 when he was electrocuted on the job. The settlement he received from the public service allowed him to live comfortably and start a new career in environmental and political activism. The impact he has had on Chico and Butte County cannot be overstated.
Our friend Tom Gascoyne interviewed Kelly for Chico News & Review in 2011. If you knew Kelly or just want to know more about him, this interview is available at https://www.newsreview.com/chico/content/ addicted to the cause / 4624039 /.
Our intention for several years was to visit Kelly, catch up, share some jokes and memories, but we never took the time. Now it’s too late and it’s up to us. When will we learn?
Since it was just the two of us, Mr. Standish and I decided to forgo the turkey and side dishes in favor of lots of fun appetizers. It’s unusual for me not to be busy in the kitchen all day on Thanksgiving and suddenly I had all this free time on my hands. We sat down to watch the first installment of “Get Back”, Peter Jackson’s documentary on the making of The Beatles’ “Let It Be,” the rooftop concert and the last public performance of the Fab Four.
Kelly’s death had our emotions quite high, and seeing these four men working on compositions, lyrics and their own relationships took it all to an even deeper level. If you’re between 55 and 85, the Beatles were probably a big part of your life 50 to 60 years ago. We looked forward to each new album, listening to it over and over again, marveling at each new breakthrough that would inevitably change music forever.
“Get Back” tells a very different story from “Let It Be”. We can see these four geniuses building songs piece by piece, from a single snippet of a track that came to their mind, or from a phrase that would become deep and deeply moving lyrics – the soundtrack. of our lives.
Knowing how it all ends – with the band breaking up – only added to the emotional roller coaster we were already on. Joy, love, frustration. And just the general stupidity of four guys playing in a band.
There was also hope. In this room during those weeks, anything was possible. Maybe they could settle their differences. They had their whole future to “Come Back”. Then, 10 years later, a bullet fired at 72nd Street and Central Park West removed that possibility, just as Kelly’s death took away our chance to be with him. When will we learn?
And speaking of possibilities, Tehama County is receiving over $ 12 million in Rescue Act funds with no specific allocation plan yet. This is separate from the millions of CARES Act dollars that we have already received and spent, largely to balance our budget.
The Supervisory Board created an ad hoc committee to decide how the Rescue Act money should be spent. All recommendations must be voted on by the entire Board of Directors, and the ad hoc committee consists of Supervisors John Leach and Bob Williams, with assistance from Auditor LeRoy Anderson and Chief Administrator Bill Goodwin .
Twelve million dollars is a lot of money to spend on four men and it shouldn’t be done behind closed doors. Why is the public not invited to participate? There should be at least one representation from the Chamber of Commerce. Add fraternal and service organizations, charities, education and children’s advocates, the health sector, artistic waxes, water sustainability specialists, etc.
Meetings of ad hoc committees do not have to be private. The unfortunate Cannabis Ad Hoc was open to the public. And even though it was dropped, there was a lot of good dialogue. We have learned how disconnected local government is and that compromises must be found on all sides for progress to be made. Part of the problem was our own impatience with some board members’ refusal to open up to new ideas. Telling people how stupid they are doesn’t make them see things your way.
But now we are presented with the possibility that the community can help decide how this money is distributed. Do you trust these four men to come up with the best plan for everyone? I don’t pretend to know what this plan should look like, but I do know that there are some smart people out there who might have some suggestions that the ad hoc doesn’t even consider.
Please write or call the supervisors and request that this ad hoc committee hold public meetings. You can email them all to [email protected] They won’t answer, but they will see it. The first set of recommendations will be presented at the supervisors meeting on December 7th, so get busy.
The squeaky wheel gets the grease, my friends. Why, just a few weeks ago, during public comments, I suggested a longer mic stand for podium speakers. The microphone only reaches halfway up and you have to bend down to be heard, unless you’re a bigmouth like me. It’s almost impossible for short people – ask Brin Greer. Last Tuesday, the always friendly, helpful and efficient administrative assistant Dava Kohlman told me that they had ordered a longer microphone stand. See?
We can’t complain about the decisions they make after the fact if we don’t offer to help in advance. If we allow them to spend that $ 12 million without public input, it will be for us. When will we learn?
Liz Merry has been half of Merry Standish Comedy for 30 years and is a former owner of a downtown Red Bluff business. She now has a home business and is locked up and loaded in Manton. She can be reached at [email protected].