4.14 Board of Supervisors Public Comment (Continuation as Needed) - Comments to the Board on issues and items not listed on the agenda. Please note that pursuant to California State law, the Board of Supervisors is prohibited from taking action on any item not listed on the agenda.
Today is November 8th. There is no acknowledgment on this agenda, no Camp Fire Recovery Update. There has been no Update all year, a subtle reminder that there has been little recovery. Unincorporated Sonoma has rebuilt half the homes lost in the 2017 fires; another 18% or so are under construction. Unincorporated Butte has rebuilt something like 400 out of 3284 -- the 11/01 update says 363 but has not been kept current. The current pace is on the order of ten per month, so we might reach 50% recovery by the 14th or 15th anniversary.
Unincorporated Sonoma has also permitted 23 multi-family rebuilds. The Town of Paradise has permitted roughly 600 multi-family units and finaled roughly 400. In unincorporated Butte, those numbers are zero and zero. Out of more than seventy million dollars Washington provided to replace lost rental units in unincorporated Butte, the amount unincorporated Butte received was zero. Every dime went to valley cities which received their own allocations to offset losses from secondary displacement, once again reinforcing rather than mitigating the primary displacement from the Camp Fire.
The Town of Paradise is clearly moving forward. Lower Magalia inches forward ever slower as opportunities for rebuilding become ever more scant. Upper Magalia, devastated not by flames by loss of necessary services, is frankly further from recovery than we were three years ago. Life on this island went from terrible to tolerable that first year, and we thought we might regain our quality of life within a decade. The pandemic again increased our isolation, and the Bear Fire left us marooned as sympathy for an unprecedented disaster became apathy for what outsiders came to see as a routine event.
Butte County still needs Magalia. Housing built here is tax base the cities won't annex that can pay your staff to serve your constituents, city and country alike. Roads and utilities are already in place. There is nowhere better to build than here.
Butte County still needs those of us up here soldiering on, keeping Ridge businesses alive. If our quality of life deteriorates to the point we sell our homes and move on, that buyer is one less new home in the burn scar, one more vacant lot full of weeds. Our recovery is the County's recovery. The rate at which Magalia rebuilds is the rate at budget shortfalls and withdrawals from the Settlement Fund decline. You neglect us at your own peril.
We would prefer to work with you for the benefit of us all. On this day especially, remember both the thousands displaced and the thousands of us left behind.