Chico Chamber of Commerce released its Community Vision Report. Public pensions are looming and every jurisdiction is facing the same dilemma. It's up to us to begin a new dialog about our institutions and their futures. Revenues continue to flux as retail evolves. Marijuana cultivation is seen as a possible revenue source yet is a safety and environmental concern. These are all REAL issues for elected officials and their constituents. Please see the downloads section for the Butte County Budget.
Butte County is not alone in fighting what seems to be a homeless epidemic. The county is key in creating a sustainable and plausible solution to housing our homeless. We must determine the criminal element within the population and make sure law enforcement is involved. We need to assist those who are mentally unstable and get various housing options for the unhoused. We can do better. We must. Check out this Point in Time Study of Homelessness. Transportation is also critical to community vitality. Here is B-Line's Unmet Transit Needs Assessment document.
Read more about Butte County's agriculture - our No. 1 industry. "The exporting of water has threatened the sustainability of Butte County water resources and raised awareness of groundwater among its citizens. The community has developed water resource management tools that include assessing the implication of local land use decisions on water resources through local ordinances and polices to preserve the community’s culture and quality of life." - Water in the West: Stanford University Study. Climate change is affecting everyone and counties will be particularly hit in coming years. Learn more about how it will affect Butte County here.
Creativity has always been at the center of job creation but we now need that same creative approach in local government.
According to Nortec's Labor Market & Industry Sector Anaylsis, the median household income is $43,165 compared to the state's $61,489. The poverty rate for the county is 21.9% compared to the state's 16.4%. The county’s top sector by employment is Health Care and Social Assistance, which makes up over 20% of employment within our county. Other significant employment sectors include: Government; Retail Trade; and Accommodation and Food Services. All of these sectors experienced growth over the past five years, with the Health Care and Social Assistance sector adding more than 4,500 new jobs over the past five years.
To learn more about future trends in the job sector, check out this article.
Public safety continues to be a top-of-mind concern for cities, counties, states and the federal government. Butte County is no different. We have seen concerned merchants and citizen groups form to assist with homelessness and property damage but a more coordinated and targeted effort is needed when it comes to policing. Particularly as technology and community patterns change. Fire safety continues to plague our communities. Can we be more creative with scheduling, collaboration and training?
Health care has been in the news for decades but the COVID pandemic has taken this concern to new levels. Astronomical insurance rates, combined with a lack of access to healthcare and doctors is a recipe for disaster. Butte County's Health Assessment Report is snapshot of where we're at but we need a better solution as to where we're headed. This will take pressure at the local level as well as cooperation at the state and federal level. In-home heath care is also a growing concern with 18% of Butte's population hitting age 65.
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