Successes (partial list)
SAVED CAPER ACRES – After city budget cuts took effect in July 2013, Councilmember Randall Stone set out to find permanent, budget neutral solutions to keep Caper Acres children’s playground open during its usual six-days-a-week schedule. Stone worked with the Butte County Sheriff’s Office to develop a Chico Alternative Custody Supervision Program – initially to keep Caper Acres open with the intention of expanding the program.¹,²,³,4,5 The Councilmember linked with and organized meetings between City and County staff to ensure the program was a success in Chico.
SAVED THE ESPLANADE – ¹,²,³ Randall Stone worked with the Americans with Disabilities Committee – a state recognized policy body – to craft the plan to make The Esplanade accessible and safe for pedestrians and motorists, but acknowledged those changes will have to happen without roundabouts. Stone insisted that to force tax payers into paying for something they are opposed is not reasonable and he took action to stop it. Stone says ultimately he just wants to make sure the residents of Chico have their voices heard on the matter.
SAVED THE FARMERS MARKET – Randall Stone fought hard to keep the Chico Certified Farmers Market downtown and on Saturday, despite aggressive attempts by the Council majority to move the market. Because of Stone’s efforts the Saturday Market now has a 6-year lease to stay downtown and remain a fixture in the city of Chico.
Stone has been endorsed by the Chair of the CCFM Board from that time, Richard Coon who spearheaded the effort to keep the Market downtown.
SAVED VALLOMBROSA – MANGROVE – ARBUTUS NEIGHBORHOODS – ¹,²,³,4 Through the NextDoor.com app, Randall Stone worked since January 2015 to develop a critical mass of users to work together on neighborhood crime concerns¹,²,³. Chico City Councilmember Randall Stone, said he was able to identify and solve a crime before the police were even aware of the problem.
“Because of Nextdoor, my neighbors and I were able to determine that there was a tire slashing spree occurring in our neighborhood weeks before Chico PD was even aware of the problem,” Stone said. As the website has gained more attention, citizens have become more active. Stone said that a community meeting was organized solely on Nextdoor in August. They met at Hooker Oak Elementary School and formed night watch groups that patrol crime-ridden areas and report activity to the authorities.
Stone said, “I surveyed the area around Buttonwillow, Vallombrosa, and Mangrove Shopping Center, we noticed a high incidence of criminal activity surrounding the NexCycle facility behind Safeway. NexCycle has excellent policies regarding CRV redemptions and is a legal requirement for large businesses selling CRV products.”
“I expressed my concerns to the Chief of Police and asked for his help in moving the NexCycle facility to the front of the Safeway – keeping with the same layout as all of the other NexCycle facilities in Chico (Raleys, Safeways, etc.). I was convinced this would help both our Sunset Neighborhood problems as well as help NexCycle. One employee of NexCycle conceded that the behind-the-store location of their facility on Mangrove made servicing their clients more dangerous and challenging.”
Stone also tried – and failed – to attack dangerous Arundo Donax, a bamboo like weed and remove it from neighborhood creeks and streams¹,²,³. While Stone assisted and encouraged the coordination of private, non-profit groups to manually remove the arundo weed, necessary grant funding has not been obtained to address the problem. Chico Fire continues to attempt further grant opportunities.
SAVED FROM BANKRUPTCY – During his 2012 campaign for Chico City Council, Randall Stone promised to bring “pension reform and budget accountability” to the City of Chico – specifically reference a rollback of salary and benefit increases, as well as demanding reform of pension contributions by City employees¹,²,³. Immediately after Stone was elected he worked to bring over $4 million in employee concessions – money directly back to the City General Fund to pay for additional police officers (Stone’s motion)¹,²,³ Unfortunately a change in the Council majority squandered $1.5 million of this revenue in 2015¹,²,³,4 But the long term benefits still remain. Because of Stone’s efforts, all employee groups pay at least the CalPERS recommended minimum employee contributions towards their pension costs.
SAVED TRANSPARENCY – Councilmember Randall Stone believes the public has a right to campaign finance disclosures and transparency throughout the government process. Stone has pioneered the efforts to increase transparency in Chico City government. To this end, Stone insisted, proposed, and passed policy that all campaign finance disclosures appear on the Chico City Website for the past ten years of elections as well as current election cycles for the indefinite future¹. Although staff had taken the disclosures down from the website during an election cycle without notice¹ – Stone proposed the policy and it was passed unanimously¹.
When the City of Chico shifted to an outside contractor to collect and maintain campaign finance disclosures after the removal of the documents from the City website, Stone noticed that the contractor’s systems were not reporting all contributors – a reporting inconsistent with the Chico Municipal Code Section 1.30. Stone first reported the failure and worked closely with the City Clerk’s Office to correct the deficiency so that the community would have all the records readily available without having to physically appear before the Clerk to retrieve them.
SAVED CHICO’S 4TH OF JULY – Three weeks before the City of Chico’s only public Independence Day celebration, the city learned that the 50th Annual 4th of July Celebration was cancelled by local organizers. Councilmember Randall Stone stepped in, initially single handedly, and saved the community pancake breakfast and celebration¹,²,³,4,5. By working with local non-profits, Stone organized a quick coalition to ensure the event was a success for all involved and in record time. Stone has committed to expanding the morning celebration and has already set out to make the event a greater success next year – pledging the financial and community support necessary to make it happen. Whether difficult or easy, long term or short term, Randall Stone gets the job done.
SAVED NON-PROFIT FUNDING – After decades of ineffective prohibition, Councilmember Stone single handedly set out to legalize alcohol sales and consumption in Bidwell Park and simultaneously increasing revenue to local charitable and non-profit organizations¹,²,³. Stone proposed and championed the effort to legalize alcohol sales at the Golf Course and encouraged the development of solar panels to increase investment capital in Bidwell Park.
Despite threats from others that the move would cause problems in the Park, the move has only enhanced the Park and precisely zero instances of problem behaviors have occurred since the ban was lifted. Non-profit organizations hold monthly wine tasting events to raise money for their respective organizations. This would not have otherwise been possible without the no-fee for hosting the tastings by the Bidwell Park Golf Club.
SAVED FROM BUTANE EXPLOSIONS – Randall Stone pushed Council and staff to enact first ever in Butte County regulations on Butane to prevent deadly and costly explosions¹,²,³ in Butane Honey Oil production – a crime that was increasing at an increasing rate until Stone demanded and got action.
The ordinance was recrafted for expansion to the entire County of Butte and surrounding cities – a nod to the leadership Stone exhibits on local and regional legislation to protect our communities from the harmful effects of dangerous labs.
REGIONAL & STATEWIDE LEADER – This photograph represents the leaders of a North State Homeless Policy Meeting coordinated by Councilmember Randall Stone. 57 City Leaders were invited to work on homelessness and city policy at the League Division Meeting in Sacramento recently. Stone currently serves as the President of the Division – representing 57 cities in the North State and is a member of the statewide Housing, Community, and Economic Development Committee of the League¹,²,³, 4 . This committee strategies, lobbies, and advocates for homeless and vagrancy solutions for local communities. Stone recently received the League’s Advanced Leadership Award.
“The whole mission of the League is for cities to unite together to work on our joint goals. Some of that is lobbying the state, making sure we can maintain local control,” Stone said. “It is a benefit to my constituents as well as the residents of all the other communities that are coming to these meetings.”
Councilmember Stone will be the sole elected official representing the City of Chico at the League of California Cities Annual Conference in Long Beach, California in October 2016. Despite similar sized cities throughout the region and state sending many – if not all – councilmembers to the Conference, Chico does not fund a single elected representative to attend the joint strategy and networking meetings. Stone almost exclusively personally finances his efforts with the League – a significant departure from the operations of other cities throughout California. For example, the City of Truckee budgets $10,000 per year for councilor development. The City of Chico has no such budget, educational, or professional development for its elected leadership. Stone recognized the deficiency and took it upon himself to push for his colleague’s professional standards.
“Hero” to HERO with the Environment – Recognizing the need to impact climate change’s devastating impacts, Councilmember Randall Stone knew that changes were needed in housing design for retrofits. “Newer developments coming online today have rigorous energy efficiency and emissions standards. But that doesn’t solve the problem with existing housing supply and transportation planning. We must start encouraging retrofits to cut down on greenhouse gas emissions and climate change impacts.”
Councilmember Stone suggested parterning with the Home Energy Renovation Opportunity Program or HERO Program – a financing option for energy-efficient upgrades for increased efficiency, comfort, savings, and water-saving upgrades. This program was proposed by Stone and was swiftly approved by unanimous vote of the Council – the first such approval of the HERO Program in the North State. The HERO Program is made possible by Property Assessed Clean Energy (PACE) legislation, which allows government and business to partner and provide financing for energy-efficient improvements. Although some Realtor groups have been critical of other PACE programs due to limitations on subordination, Councilmember Stone recognized that the HERO Program, as of August 2016, is the only PACE program that by default permits subordination – making the assessment loans easier to navigate with real estate transactions. Stone has a background in real estate finance and development which aids in his coordination with these types of public-private partnerships. Since the City of Chico approved Councilmember Stone’s proposed partnership, many surrounding jurisdictions have mimicked the leadership in Chico and partnered with the HERO Program to combat the effects of climate change on our existing housing stock.
Randall Stone was one of the first participants in a pilot program to retrofit households of all incomes for energy efficiency standards in August 2016. The program seeks to retrofit existing homes with energy efficiency upgrades to reduce energy consumption and dependence on green house gases. “I literally live this lifestyle in my personal and professional life. As a bicycle commuter, I have long recognized the value of reducing and limiting consumption wherever possible.”
Downtown Ambassador – Councilmember Randall Stone has been the principal liaison with downtown businesses to improve and enhance the downtown area. He was one of the first Downtown Chico Ambassadors and the first elected official to volunteer to serve as a community liaison as an ambassador. Stone works with attorney offices, developers, restaurants, and downtown merchants to keep Downtown Chico vibrant and thriving. He has worked with other community leaders throughout the State of California in developing solutions that work to keep downtown areas safe and growing. In his first few months in office, Stone personally met with and toured other cities’ downtown revitalization efforts including San Jose, San Francisco, Sacramento, Rocklin, Winters, and other communities.
WORKED FOR CHAPMANTOWN RESIDENTS – “We’ve certainly never had a meeting like this before.” Councilmember Randall Stone holds first ever meeting in the Chapmantown neighborhood exclusively to discuss neighbors concerns about annexation forced on the residents by LAFCO¹,².
“The city rejected a LAFCO agreement in November but Stone asked for the council to consider it again after LAFCO decided to proceed with legal action against the city. He called for Saturday’s community meeting to give residents a chance to ask questions and learn more about annexation’s impacts. Nearly 100 people crowded the cafeteria of Chapman Elementary, including elected representatives, community leaders and citizens.”¹
BANNED PLASTIC BAGS – Councilmember Stone was the single most ardent advocate to banning single use plastic bags in the city of Chico¹,². Recognizing these bags as pollutants to our creeks and streams – one of our greatest tourist and cultural draws in Chico – Stone made the motion and gathered public support to ban the plastic bags; citing landfill waste and cleanup as a major driver of unnecessary expenses at the County landfill. “I was on a ride along with our waste haulers when I was first elected to Council and was astounded that so many plastic bags must be cut free from landfill machinery and surrounding fences, causing considerable cost increases at the dump and potentially damaging surrounding neighbors. I knew I had to do something.”
The Chico Plastic Bag Ban has been in effect for several years now thanks to Councilmember Randall Stone and his work.
Randall Stone is co-developer and co-owner of the Bidwell Park Apartments on East 8th Street. This complex renovated an entire neighborhood, providing much needed affordable housing for families and children, and replaced a crime infested mobile home park¹,²,³,4. This project alone brought in 75-full time equivalent, annualized jobs in the year Stone was first elected to Council.
The neighborhood has since undergone extensive reinvestment and revitalization – all since the this dilapidated mobile home park
was replaced with Stone’s new affordable housing community.
Additionally, the complex sits on the gateway into Chico’s downtown from Highway 99 – straddling East 8th and East 9th streets at Willow Street. The complex serves residents with low income and disabilities.
STONE MAKES A FOOL OF HIMSELF! – “Chico City Councilmember Randall Stone raises his fist in victory as he wins first place during the celebrity edition of the World Championship Pancake Eating Contest at the Silver Dollar Fair in Chico, California on Saturday May 28, 2016”¹. Stone bested U.S. Congressman Doug LaMalfa who outweighs Stone by more than 100 pounds as well as a fellow council colleague, media personalities, and the local daily newspaper editor. At the end of the day, a great time was had by all and we hope you will work with Stone to help make Chico even better in the coming four years.
RANDALL STONE IN THE NEWS IN YEARS GONE BY (just for fun):
Experienced. Leader. Job Creator.
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