Tuesday, January 18, 2011

I'm Pissed!

This post may be a little out of character, but not often do I get riled about something negative that I want to blog about it. Tonight isn't the case.

I attended my first Red Bluff City Council Meeting tonight. There was only one part that bothered me and it was this: The Red Bluff Tehama County Chamber of Commerce was asking the City Council to approve of inserting a flyer in the utilities bill to "Support small business and shop local". Nothing super duper fancy, just a gentle reminder to help our local economy and support the small businesses that are trying to survive this economy. There were 4 yes votes and one no vote.

Needless to say, I was PISSED! I said on Facebook "CMON MAN!" It was directed at city council member Daniele Jackson but since we aren't friends on Facebook, I don't know if she'll see that. So afterwards I asked her "Why did you vote no?" She said "because it was too vague and there wasn't anywhere to put a local business to support" OK, well a couple minutes before the vote, the council asked the specific question "Will any business be mentioned or just a vague "shop local" kind of thing?" The chamber replied that it would be vague because if someone wasn't given the chance to put an ad in, there could be legal ramifications. I get that.

So it was decided to approve the request for the chamber however, every flyer had to be approved by the city manager. Fine, that works for me. But what really bothered me was that Ms. Jackson had the chance to further the discussion but she didn't. What bothered me even further was the fact that IF businesses were allowed to put in a business card size ad, there is only enough space on an 8 1/2 - 11 Flyer. So here's where the problem would lie IF businesses could pay to be on the flyer. 1) every business wants a piece but only a set amount (roughly 10) would be able to buy an ad each month. SO, first come first serve? Yeah that's gunna go over like a fart in church. Make it to where if you put the ad in once, you can't do it again for the year unless an opening occurs? Nope, that won't fly either. So then problem #2 arises. 2) if everyone wants to join in, then does it become a bidding war? If so, then WalMart will get dibs, Car dealers will get dibs, and other BIG businesses who have a large bankroll get dips and thus ruining the WHOLE IDEA of shopping locally. So what does that leave us with?

Here's my solution: The flyer would say this: "The Red Bluff Tehama County Chamber of Commerce encourages everyone to Shop Locally!" Period, Done, the End, FIN. That is a business card ad right there. And here's the kicker... The Chamber said they would pay for any extra charges that occurred for postage! So to me, this is a win-win-win. Small businesses get more support, the Chamber does their job, and the city doesn't pay a dime for it.

Yes, I understand they approved it. But why not ask those questions? It was my first time and didn't know the protocol for asking questions otherwise I would have. But isn't that why we have a city council? For them to think of those questions before hand? They see the agenda.

Anyways, Here's something that politicians don't do very often or at all. If Daniele reads this little blog from a guy in Faaaar Northern California, Please accept my apology for sounding like an ass on facebook. I thank you for giving me a direct and honest answer to my question when I asked it. I don't like having Foot in Mouth syndrome, but I know how to apologize when i've been a jerk and tonight I was. With that, Please forgive me for speaking and assuming before asking to get clarification. It won't happen again.


The Nice Guy.

Monday, January 3, 2011

a guy who knows about a community

I grew up in a small town. I returned to that small town (Red Bluff, Ca) back in 2004 after my 4 year contract with the US Navy. Since returning home, I've met hundreds of people who make a great impact in the Community. From sports organizations to non profits to your everyday heroes that help a small town stay alive and in our case, thrive.

About six months ago, I was sent a friend request by a dog... Yes a dog. His name? Kaiser Von Hindlick... I got the notice on my phone and at first glance, I thought this was some kind of spam account or something even worse. To my surprise, when I got home, I got on the computer and checked the account out. The dog's owner, Dan Mabry, sent me a friend request shortly after. From first glance, Dan seemed to be just an average guy who had a funny sense of humor. However, after a few weeks, I realized he was much more than "average".

And so now over the past 6 months or so, I've seen Dan jump head first into the topics and problems that face our local community. We had a missing teenager, and he spent his days and nights tirelessly asking people to get the word out. Missing dogs, homes lost to fires, home insurance rates skyrocketing because of ISO ratings.... You name it, if its a problem for our local community, he's there trying to find a solution for it. He's a Rudy. To him, no problem is too big if you get enough people involved. He isn't pushy in trying to get people to purchase insurance through him. He's too busy trying to make a real difference in the area.

About two months ago, he shared a story of a neighbor who had been battling with Wells Fargo. The story goes that his neighbor had reached a deal with Wells Fargo Mortgage and weeks after the "Deal", she was served with a foreclosure notice. Being the hero that Dan is, he hopped on the horn and shared the information of the CEO of Wells Fargo along with email, fax, and phone numbers for the office of the CEO.

I have had many conversations with Dan, and I consider myself lucky to have met him and his lovely wife Debi, and their awesome dog Kaiser. If there were a photo in the dictionary next to the word Local Hero, Dan's face would be there. If you have a chance, swing by his page and say hi. Send a friend request to his dog who responds with "ARRF", and see just how much of a difference this man is doing in our community. I wish everyone had a man like Dan in their community.

Happy New year everyone!